Just one follow-up note (as promised) on the Sirius XM situation. Just days before Sirius XM purportedly was going to default on its next loan payment, Direct TV came through with a $534 bridge loan to keep Sirius afloat so it can continue to reorganize – possibly as a takeover target for (guess who?) Direct TV. The lifeline will keep Sirius XM out of bankruptcy (for now) and gives shareholders a shred of hope that the satellite radio pioneer can still pull the proverbial fat out of the fire. Another follow-up, this time to my post this week spotlighting retail …

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Some slivers of sunshine amidst the economic clouds today. First, retail sales are up for the first time in six months, perhaps signaling that consumers aren’t as bearish on the economy as President Obama appears to be. I like the President and certainly wish him success, but his mantra of “we have nothing to fear except a shortage of fear” isn’t going to be celebrated at the Smithsonian anytime soon. All in all, retail sales climbed one percent in January – the largest increase since December, 2007. The spike may not last, especially if gasoline prices rise, but it’s good …

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The End.