As if you needed another reason not to day trade... Did you see what happened in the bond market today? Apparently, Treasury Secretary John Snow -- from across the Atlantic, no less -- led bond traders to believe that the Federal Reserve would begin raising interest rates. Never mind that Snow has even less control over the Federal Reserve than he has over the markets' reaction to his comments.

Bonds sold off and the dollar jumped. Once the comments were explained as not a policy statement but "only an observation that as the economy strengthens, it is likely that interest rates could rise," both markets partially reversed. How reassuring.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Is Citigroup's Rebound for Real?

Citigroup (NYSE: C) reported stronger third-quarter results, growing earnings per share from continuing operations by 25% over third quarter 2002 results, while revenue increased 10% to $19.4 billion. Earnings were $0.90 per share. Net income was $4.69 billion.

The largest financial services firm in the U.S. had a sharp increase in its investment banking business, where net income rose 31% to $1.4 billion. This was in part due to rising equity markets and, it is assumed, an improving economy.

Although the numbers give reason to have hope for better times ahead for Citigroup, and many big problems are indeed behind it, there's still reason to remain cautious.

The company's mergers and acquisitions division actually saw revenue decline 30%, marking an even more dismal low than the 2002 nadir. Meanwhile, the company's jump in total revenue is coming on the heels of very depressed 2002 results. Remember, this quarter we're comparing results to the quarter that last year marked the bear market's low.

That said, a stock market typically rises on earnings growth, and growth is occurring. But growing in 2003 is relatively easy when you're comparing to 2002. Now that we've seen double-digit earnings gains from many market leaders this year -- including Citigroup -- 2004 will be the real test of whether this rebound is for real.

The country's second-largest bank firm, J.P. Morgan(NYSE: JPM), reports results on Wednesday.

Quote of Note

"The most important thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging." -- Warren Buffett, 1990 Letter to Shareholders

Kmart Keeps Martha

While some major companies are keeping their distance, Kmart's(Nasdaq: KMRT) first national advertising campaign since emerging from bankruptcy is featuring none other than Martha Stewart herself.

The lady the Washington Times dubbed "the fabled dominatrix of gracious living" is set to go to trial in January on charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice. Her legal troubles have led to her being pilloried in the press and have fueled a 22% drop in the circulation of Martha Stewart Living magazine.

For the wounded Kmart -- a victim of falling same-store sales in the face of tough competition from the likes of Wal-Mart(NYSE: WMT) and Target(NYSE: TGT) -- the choice to stick with Martha makes sense. "We still continue to carry her product, a store spokesman told the Associated Press, "and it continues to sell very well. There has been no change there."

Perhaps Kmart management is paying more attention to the market's opinion of Martha than the media's. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia(NYSE: MSO) is well off its lows and up 61% since David Gardner's selection in Motley Fool Stock Advisor last year (compared to the S&P 500's 25% rise).

Apparently, Kmart and the Street expect Martha to emerge from her trial in much better shape -- and with much greater credibility -- than many think.

Shameless Plug: Become a Fool

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with...." Wait a minute, wait a minute, you can be with the one you love. You can be with ALL the ones you love. Just join The Motley Fool Community today!

TiVo's Manic Monday

Shares of TiVo(Nasdaq: TIVO) are off almost 9% today on concerns raised in a New York Timesarticle (free registration required), which argues that stand-alone digital video recorders (DVRs), like TiVo's namesake product, will one day be largely obsolete. Instead, customers will supposedly choose set-top boxes with DVR technology built into them. The case is then made that TiVo could lose out while such cable companies as Time Warner(NYSE: TWX) win.

But here's the thing: This argument ain't new. The threat to TiVo from DVR-integrated products has been around for quite a while, and TiVo's management is actively addressing it. The article left out, for instance, the fact that today TiVo and DirecTV are launching their $99 set-top/DVR box combo. Existing customers can switch to the combo box, and new customers can get in the game, all for $99 including installation.

Heck, the Times piece even rehashes the DirecTV/Hughes(NYSE: GMH)/News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) story from September. Yes, the same story that was put to bed after it was announced that DirecTV's chairman and CEO will join TiVo's board of directors.

The article also talks about TiVo transitioning from a box, or hardware, company into a subscription-based service. Our own Rick Aristotle Munarriz, however, covered this very thing back in August. TiVo isn't only partnering with DirecTV to get its technology into the homes of customers; holiday shoppers should have 10 different TiVo-related products to pick from later this year.

Given that there's actually no new news today on TiVo's future or its prospects for success, the market's reaction looks overdone.

TiVo was David Gardner's July recommendation in the Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Discussion Board of the Day: Time Warner

Rick Munarriz sings AOL version 9.0's praises in AOL Loves Rave Reviews. Do you think America Online will grow its subscriber base again? Is 9.0 really that good? Will offering a bare-bones $9.95 discount service help -- or hurt? All this and more -- in theTime Warner discussion board. Only on

Not yet a member of the Fool Community? Jump into our discussion boards free for 30 days!

More Fool News

For a list of all our stories from today, see Today's Headlines.

And Finally...

Today on, we give you 12 Investing Must-Knows.

In the requisite baseball news, Rick Munarriz shares what investors can learn from America's favorite pastime in World Series Investing. Also, Southwest 1, Yankees 0 and October's Costly Curses.

Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Paul Elliott, Mathew Emmert, Jeff Fischer, Jeff Hwang, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Alyce Lomax, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Dave Marino-Nachison, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim