Father's Day is this Sunday. If you're looking for something special for your old man, take a gander at our annual "Stocks for Dad" special.

So far, we've featured a giant among companies (Automatic Data Processing(NYSE: ADP)), an online travel agency (The Sabre Group(NYSE: TSG)), and the king of the couch potatoes (La-Z-Boy(NYSE: LZB)).

Check 'em out, and then come back for Thursday's and Friday's stocks. Who knows, maybe you'll find something better than another tie for Dad!

In today's Motley Fool Take:

A Bad Case of Bullishness

You may read elsewhere today about a very negative indicator for the U.S. stock market. It seems it has been 12 years since the level of bearishness among financial newsletter writers has been this low, and that's a bad sign. The problem is, this is practically useless information for the vast majority of investors.

A survey conducted for the Investors Intelligence newsletter by a group called Chartcraft shows "22% of the 110 forecasters in the company's database were bearish, while 53.4% were bullish, and 24.2% were neutral." That low level of bearishness, according to Chartcraft, is a negative contrarian indicator because when overall sentiment swings one way, the market tends to swing the other.

That's certainly interesting information, and there's also some element of truth in it. But what can we do with this knowledge? Nothing, really. No one that I know of has been able to successfully and consistently trade in and out of the market using these or any indicators. I'll use this opportunity to quote Vanguard founder John Bogle on market timing: "After nearly fifty years in the business, I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently. I do not even know anybody who knows anybody who has done it successfully and consistently."

Even the Investors Intelligence press release detailing the survey's findings quotes one newsletter writer as saying, "It would be a lot easier to get instantly rich if these rules were always accurate."

In addition, remember that the market is made up of individual stocks, and even when it's heading down there will be some quality companies that are heading up. As Bill Mann writes today, "Those who are concerned about what 'the market' is doing are more likely to be completely unprepared for the next menace."

Motley Fool Newsletters

We have a couple of newsletter products of our own that we're proud of -- Motley Fool Stock Advisor and Hidden Gems -- mainly because they focus on individual companies and ferreting out long-term value, and not short-term market swings. Check 'em out.

Freddie Mac Under Attack

The water's getting hotter for Freddie Mac(NYSE: FRE).

As we discussed Monday, the quasi-governmental agency sent its president and COO, David Glenn, packing, claiming that he wasn't cooperating with an internal investigation into its accounting practices. Its CEO and CFO also resigned on the same day. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a formal probe and the U.S. attorney's office is also investigating Freddie Mac's accounting.

The troubles surfaced back in January when the company announced that it would restate the past three years' results on the advice of its new auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The new auditors didn't agree with the company's accounting for derivatives -- treatment that flew just fine with the old auditors (who else?) at Arthur Andersen.

It appears that Freddie Mac may have been managing results through a "cookie jar" scheme to keep revenues and earnings floating along at specific levels. By understating earnings in certain quarters (and so far it has been determined that the company did understate earnings), Freddie Mac could set aside reserves for future use when it might have an off quarter.

This charge, which The Wall Street Journal said was a part of the SEC's formal investigation, would broaden the issue beyond just Freddie Mac's derivative accounting treatment, and that could spell real trouble. It's one thing to honestly screw up how you account for derivatives. It's another entirely to do it with the intention of understating earnings now while shoring up earnings in the future.

Congress doesn't want to miss any of the action, either. Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.) announced yesterday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing into Freddie Mac's accounting and regulatory oversight. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is also considering a hearing into Freddie Mac's recent top management shuffle.

Freddie Mac is by nature a politicized investment. With Congress, the SEC, and federal investigators involved, this mess is going to take a while to play out.

Quote of Note

"Be not simply good, but good for something." -- Henry David Thoreau

The Spam Police

In the past three minutes, you've probably been offered a chance to reduce your mortgage rate, buy prescription medication online, enlarge an appendage of your body, cleanse your colon, become debt free, and, yes, even to learn how best to spam others. Please, stop the insanity.

It likely won't surprise you to hear that the dreaded spam message now accounts for nearly 50% of all email traffic, and that number is steadily climbing.

Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission gave notice today that they want to take the fight to the spammers. The FTC is seeking more authority from Congress in order to provide for "more effective investigative and enforcement tools" and beef up "continuing law enforcement efforts."

There's also potential relief on other fronts. Several legislators have been firing off anti-spam bills like, well, spam, and hope to get something passed this summer. On the spam-filtering front, more and more companies are coming up with tools to shed unwanted mail.

Then there are firms like Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT), AOL Time Warner(NYSE: AOL), and EarthLink(Nasdaq: ELNK), which have been more aggressive in prosecuting the most egregious violators. There are also a handful of folks who are fighting fire with fire, as our beloved Rex Moore recently explained.

We can only hope Congress will also provide for increased summary executions. At any rate, perhaps we'll finally see some relief from the endless barrage of emails from the wife of some rebel leader in dire need of our bank account numbers.

Discussion Board of the Day: Nokia

Scapegoats for financial shortcomings abound, but Texas Instruments(NYSE: TXN) became the latest to blame SARS for weakness in the wireless business. Is SARS really to blame, or is it simply a convenient scapegoat? How are the handset makers faring? All this and more -- in the Nokia discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Quick Takes

Shares of Eli Lilly(NYSE: LLY) bumped up 5% after the pharmaceutical company said second-quarter earnings will be at the high end of its $0.59 to $0.61 per-share range. Management also confirmed full-year EPS guidance of $2.50 to $2.60.

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) says it will seek FDA approval for its Taxus drug-eluting stent that reduces the growth of scar tissue in an artery after heart surgery. Though management did not give information about the status of the Taxus trials, it likely would not be asking for approval if they weren't successful.

More fuel for a possible interest rate cut late this month? The Federal Reserve says much of the country's economic growth since the end of the war in Iraq has been "sluggish, subpar or subdued." In a report released today, the agency says, "The unwinding of war-related concerns appears to have provided some lift to business and consumer confidence, but most reports suggested that the effect has not been dramatic."

And Finally...

Today on Fool.com:

Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Mathew Emmert, Jeff Fischer, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Matt Richey, Reggie Santiago, Kate Southerland, Dayana Yochim