TER now takes its monthly look at virtual markets. These are markets found on the Internet in which participants invest virtual money - no real cash - to make predictions or to assign value. These markets function like real stock and bond markets. If participants invest more in a given prediction or value, the "price" of that prediction or value gains; if participants invest less, the "price" goes down.
TER has been following the Hollywood Stock Exchange and some of the prediction markets at Inkling, including Blue Hampshire's New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary Market. (Disclosure: I do not participate in HSX, but I do participate in the Inkling markets discussed below except for markets that I administer - and I do not currently administer any markets.)
With the New Hampshire Presidential Primary coming this Tuesday, this will be the final look at Blue Hampshire's market.
Hollywood Stock Exchange
For some time, TER has been following five actors on the Hollywood Stock Exchange: George Clooney, Halle Berry, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Gary Oldman.
The big news here is that for the first time since TER has been following HSX, none of these actors is the top actor. The top spot has been taken by Emma Watson, who has co-starred with Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint in the Harry Potter movies. Watson is currently valued at $223.11 per share.
Among the actors that TER has been following, Gary Oldman is the highest value star - and second overall to Watson; he is valued at $207.58, which is a decrease from last month's $211.36. Daniel Radcliffe is now in third place overall behind Watson and Oldman at $203.03 - a decrease from the $208.07 of last month. Rupert Grint is now in fourth place among actors - and sixth place overall behind Watson, Oldman, Radcliffe, and directors Andrew Adamson and George Lucas; he decreased from $181.65 to $177.24.
George Clooney gained a bit during the month - he rose from $47.15 to $47.53. Halle Berry again decreased in value - from $88.44 to $86.44. In the fall of 2006, Berry was trading at around $120 per share.
New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary Market
With the New Hampshire primary now about 72 hours away, Sen. Barack Obama (D - Illinois) has taken a significant lead in this market; Obama is now trading at $52.72 per share. (Disclosure: TER has endorsed Sen. Obama for President.)
With Obama's win in the Iowa Caucuses, the Blue Hampshire market is feeling pretty confident about the Senator's chances on Tuesday. Obama had been trading the lead back and forth with Sen. Hillary Clinton for the past three weeks. For months previous to that, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D - New York) had consistently led in this market. TER noted Sen. Obama's rise in the market in mid-December - this piece was picked up by The Huffington Post.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is not out of it; she's trading at $39.84 per share - or better than 2 to 1 odds - but this is a weakening within the past month from the nearly 50-50 odds ($46.61 per share) that she enjoyed a month ago.
Former Sen. John Edwards' chances are seen as fading; he is now trading at $7.19 per share - down from $11.23. The next highest candidate is New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who is trading at $0.12 per share.
See this January 6 update.
Other Inkling Markets
Inkling has markets on other caucuses and primaries, the Presidential nominations of both major parties, and the eventual winner of the 2008 Presidential Election.
There is a relatively new market on the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary. It is structured a little differently, asking which combination of candidates will finish first and second. The combination of Sen. John McCain winning and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney coming in second is the leading combination by a substantial margin with a share price of $64.41. The reverse combination - Romney first and McCain second - is at $24.28 per share.
In South Carolina, where the Republican primary will be on January 19, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has stormed ahead on the strength of his Iowa Caucus win - he now trades at $75.39 per share. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who had been favored to win with a share price of $29.34 per share is now in a distant second place at $10.70 per share. Arizona Senator John McCain is in third place at $5.42 per share.
In the Democratic nomination market, Sen. Obama now leads with a price of $44.09 per share. Sen. Clinton is in second place at $32.40 and former Sen. Edwards is in third at $22.53.
In the Republican nomination market, Sen. McCain is back in first place after an absence of several months. He is now at $32.36 per share, having risen from $2.86 per share - and sixth place - a month ago. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has dropped to second place; his share price has dropped from $37.78 per share to $27.03. Former Governor Romney is in third place, and has dropped from $18.70 per share to $13.91. Former Governor Huckabee is in fourth place at $10.94 per share - close behind former Governor Romney. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson retains fifth place, but has dropped from $10.05 per share to $6.78. Texas Congressman Ron Paul has fallen to sixth place, dropping from $11.38 per share to $5.61.
In the Presidential Election market, Sen. Clinton is still favored to become the 44th President of the United States - though her share price has sropped dramatically; her price has dropped from $56.06 per share to $37.49. Sen. Obama retains second place overall, and has increased from $14.97 to $22.73 per share. The leading Republican is still former Governor Huckabee, who has increased from $8.05 per share to $8.88.
Other markets that TER is following include ones tracking the states that the Democratic Presidential candidate is likely to win in November 2008, which candidates will withdraw from the Presidential race by mid-February, and who will win the United States Senate race in Minnesota next year. In the latter race, comedian Al Franken continues to be favored to win over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. Franken has risen from $25.21 to $31.45 per share, while Coleman has gone from $24.12 per share to $10.21.