(Linda Stern is a freelance writer. Any opinions in the column are hers. You can follow Linda Stern’s financial notes on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lindastern )
By now, most incoming college freshmen have met their new roommates, spruced up their dorm rooms, and run out of ready cash. Going to college is expensive, and it’s not all about tuition bills. There are textbooks and highlighters and midnight snacks. And for most new college students, this is really the first time they’ve had to manage their own money and living expenses.
* The key back-to-school selling season comes into focus as many U.S. retailers, including Target, Gap and Macys, report monthly sales.
At least 20 of the 30 biggest hedge funds boosted their positions in financial institutions in the last quarter, a sign that Wall Street is ready to bet on more risky sectors in the hope of longer-term rewards.
The push into financials indicates fund managers including Steven Cohen and John Paulson — closely watched as barometers of risk — have shifted from routine merger arbitrage plays to directional bets with more reward potential.
* The ADP National Employment survey is expected to show private employers cut 250,000 jobs in August, down sharply from the 371,000 they shed in July. The Challenger report is also expected to be upbeat.
* Automakers are expected to report that August had the strongest U.S. monthly sales figures for the year, spurred by the U.S. government “cash for clunkers” program.
Vital signs for healthcare stocks are improving at the expense of what is shaping up to be a watered down government health reform initiative.
But the sector, which is heavily weighted to U.S. healthcare companies, is still struggling to regain its footing with more investor cash leaving the group than is coming in while the reform debate rages across the United States.