Guest View
User: Pass: | become a member
Author Archive for Zero Hedge

Thank You Obamacare – California Health Insurance Costs Spike Up To 88% In 2014

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

If you like your disposable income… forget it. Health-care insurance premiums for individuals in California rose between 22% and 88% in 2014 from last year, even after the federal health-care overhaul. This has led, as Bloomberg reports, to Proposition 45 – a bill that would grant regulatory say on proposed premium increases. “Unless Proposition 45 is passed we are going to continue to see dramatic year-over-year increases,” warned Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

 

As Bloomberg reports,

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said, a Democrat, is pushing a statewide ballot measure for November known as Proposition 45 that would give him regulatory say on proposed premium increases. The measure is opposed by insurance companies, which have said that it would actually cause rates to rise while harming the quality of care.

 

“Unless Proposition 45 is passed or some other law is enacted to provide health-insurance rate regulation and the requirement that health insurers and HMOs justify their rates, we are going to continue to see dramatic year-over-year increases,” Jones said in a telephone briefing with reporters.

 

The California health-care insurance exchange, called Covered California, is expected to announce its 2015 rates later this week. Jones said he expects those increases to be “modest at best” because insurance companies will want to avoid providing voters reason to approve Proposition 45.

 

The insurance commissioner is using this misleading report to promote a ballot measure that would give him vast new powers over health care decisions,” said Robin Swanson, a spokeswoman for the campaign against the initiative, Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs. “Our coalition of doctors, nurses, labor unions and health care providers opposing the measure thinks that giving one politician the power to override decisions made by the state’s successful health exchange is the wrong approach to controlling costs.”

*  *  *
Seems like everything’s going according to plan for Obamacare…





“Gold Could Go To Infinity” – Ron Paul

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by GoldCore.

“I Still Believe In Gold” – Ron Paul

Dr Ron Paul, the popular Presidential candidate and America and the world’s most popular libertarian voice, told CNBC yesterday that he “still believes in gold” and that “gold could go to infinity.”

Former U.S. Representative Dr Ron Paul told CNBC’s Jackie DeAngelis and the Futures Now Traders that the long-term case for gold remains firmly intact.

Dr Ron Paul:

“Timing is the only thing. I remember watching gold when it was 35 dollars an ounce and we thought if it ever hit a hundred dollars, the world would come to an end. And then a thousand dollars, so; no, it’s good as long as we continues to do this <print money> , you know, it could go to infinity because when people just leave the dollar, who knows what …”

“But that won’t happen if we finally wake up and do something.  But if we can keep this together, if the money managers can keep it together and it doesn’t collapse, yes, gold is gonna keep creeping up, but, you know, as weak as gold looks right now, it’s up a hundred dollars for this year so…”


Jackie DeAngelis:


“It’s roughly I think up 8% year-to-date. It’s not a horrible move for gold but I think a lot of people were expecting to see a little bit more, especially with the instability that we’re seeing in terms of the geopolitical situation. A lot of conflict around the world — you’d expect gold to be higher right now.”


Ron Paul:

“Yeah, but if you understand the subjective theory of value, you don’t get too concerned about that because, yes, increasing the money supply weakens the dollar and a weaker dollar raises the price of gold and it’s a long term measurement. But you can’t measure, you can’t say that the money supply went up a certain amount, and gold is going to go up, so there’s a subjective element in that.”

“But long term…and economic law says, if you keep printing a lot of paper money, the value of that
continue reading





Argentina Defaults

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It’s all over but the crying: having explained Argentina’s position (i.e. not giving to so-called vulture funds), Economy Minister Kicilloff explains:

  • *KICILLOF SAYS HEDGE FUNDS NOT WILLING TO GIVE DELAY ON RULING
  • *KICILLOF SAYS HARD TO BELIEVE ARGENTINA IN DEFAULT IF HAS FUNDS
  • *KICILLOF SAYS ARGENTINA CAN’T COMPLY WITH COURT RULING
  • *HOLDOUTS DIDN’T ACCEPT ARGENTINE OFFER: KICILLOF

As Bloomberg notes, by defaulting today, Argentina may trigger bondholder claims of as much as $29 billion — equal to all its foreign-currency reserves. Just remember that the last 2 days have seen ‘smart money’ buy Argentine bonds and stocks to all-time record highs.

 

Some color on what next (via Bloomberg):

If the overdue interest on Argentina’s dollar-denominated securities due 2033 isn’t paid by July 30, provisions in bond indentures known as cross-default clauses would allow the nation’s other debt holders to also demand their money back immediately. The amount corresponds to Argentina’s debt issued in foreign currencies and governed by international laws.

 

In a default, even a temporary one, Argentina’s economy will contract and the odds of a crisis are high, according to Marcos Buscaglia, an economist at Bank of America Corp. Money demand will become unstable as Argentines scramble for dollars, causing the peso to slump, he wrote in a report today.

“Argentina’s current weak fiscal, monetary and external conditions make the probability of the situation spinning out of control quite high,” he wrote. “Argentina’s payment capacity should not be taken for granted if it defaults.”

  • *ARGENTINA’S RUFO CLAUSE PROHIBITS MAKING BETTER OFFER: KICILLOF
  • NEW YORK-ARGENTINA’S ECONOMY MINISTER KICILLOF REPEATEDLY CALLS HOLDOUT INVESTORS “VULTURE FUNDS
  • KICILLOF SAYS HOLDOUTS WOULD REAP 300% PROFIT IN DEBT SWAP
  • KICILLOF SAYS HEDGE FUNDS WANT MORE AND WANT IT NOW

*  *  *

All those equity and bond gains – which hit an all time high – today, gone.

Oops:





Foreign Secretary Warns Russian Sanctions “Will Hit UK Economy”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

More blowback… UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond suggests imposing sanctions on Russia are a shared sacrifice that European nations must make. While the sanctions were “designed to maximize the impact on Russia and minimize the impact on EU economies,” he warns his fellow Britons that, “It will affect our economy…” As RT notes, London will likely be hit hardest among the EU powers because of its intimate financial relationship with Moscow and we are already seeing UK home prices fall as oligarch flows slow.

As RT reports,

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the measures had been “designed to maximize the impact on Russia and minimize the impact on EU economies.”

 

“It will affect our economy… but you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and if we want to impose economic pain on Russia in order to try to encourage it to behave properly in eastern Ukraine and to give access to the crash site, then we have to be prepared to take these measures,” he told Sky.

 

“We have spent a lot of time making sure the package is balanced so the pain is fairly shared across the big EU economies, but we can’t expect to be able to do this without any impact at all on our own economies.”

*  *  *

One wonders just how UK will cope when Putin really gets going…





LiaR IN The HoLe!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.


.

 

 

.





Deal Or No Deal? Argentina Declared In Selective Default, Holds Press Conference – Live Feed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After an exuberant day in Argentine bond and stock markets, we are nearing a decision. With a handful of hours left until it’s all over, various ‘deal’s have been proposed today from Argentine bankers as a last-minute rescue package. S&P has already decided that it’s a done deal:

  • *ARGENTINA CUT TO SD FROM CCC- BY S&P
  • *ARGENTINA DEFAULTED ON $13B IN FOREIGN DEBT, S&P SAYS
  • *ARGENTINA MISSED $539M BOND PAYMENT, S&P SAYS

And now, Argentine Economy Minister Axel Kicillof will speak in a press conference at country’s consulate in Manhattan (ironically a block from the holdouts’ office).

 

The hope:

“The idea is to get a stay (suspension of the court order) to reach January,” said Ribeiro Mendonça. “Clearly there’s a concern. There are no winners in a default scenario that brings lower levels of economic activity and a higher jobless rate. The banking sector is going to be the one that contributes the most because it is linked to the debt restructuring.”

The reality from S&P,

“We are… lowering our long-and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on Argentina to selective default (‘SD’) from ‘CCC-/C’,” said the agency’s release, “indicating that Argentina defaulted on some of its foreign currency obligations. At the same time, we are removing the ‘CCC-/C’ foreign currency ratings from CreditWatch, where they were placed with negative implications on July 1, 2014.”

Things do not look good:

  • ARGENTINA’S LEAD LAWYERS BLACKMAN AND BOCCUZZI LEAVE TALKS, SAY NO COMMENT ON STATUS OF DEBT TALKS – REUTERS WITNESS

 

Press conference due to start at 515ET 530ET: (click image for link to live feed)


 

And for posterity’s sake… here’s the MERVAL recently…

 

and long-term…





Social Media Is Making People Dumber, Fears Elliott’s Paul Singer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Excerpted from Elliott Management’s latest letter to investors,

PROGRESS?

Some technology represents unquestioned progress, despite causing real challenges to the employment prospects of citizens who are made redundant. For example, recent advances in science and medicine have merely scratched the surface in terms of enhancing our ability to find cures for diseases in an increasingly focused way at sharply diminished cost. Also, the technology of moving people and goods in vehicles and organizing their movement on roads contains tremendous opportunities for cost and energy efficiencies, as do the areas of resource extraction, the development of alternative energy and the efficiency of food production. These are just a few obvious and impactful areas in which technological progress has lots of headroom for human betterment.

On the other hand, some technological progress is not really progress at all. Innovations in the technology of communications, including social media, provide increasingly powerful and robust platforms to disseminate information. Unfortunately, these same increasingly powerful and robust platforms are also used to spread information that is untrue, and to package information in tiny bits of faux-knowledge that (because of their sheer volume) leave little room for neither more comprehensive reading nor discussion and contemplation. This fact reinforces our view that young people need to be taught the basics as early as possible – of history, political science, philosophy and civilization. In the absence of that grounding, all of these Twitter and Facebook bits alight on a population that lacks the tools to sort or analyze what they are reading while scrunched over their Androids. (Interesting word, Android; maybe in a thinly-veiled joke, it is meant to describe the hooked users and not the device…)

The technology of communications also democratizes news and opinion. Although this development may seem positive at first blush, it also has some powerful negative aspects. Whatever one thinks about the “mainstream” media’s biases, there is at least a set of standards and professional codes of conduct that are more or less followed by established media outlets. Writers are edited, and editors seek to protect franchises against irresponsible communications. Bloggers, by contrast, do not really have to adhere to any such constraints, and making them hew to any standards of professional responsibility is difficult at best. The “blogosphere” effectively makes the dissemination of news and opinion a kind
continue reading





Whole Foods Discovers Stock Buybacks, And It’s Too Little Too Late: Stock Tumbles Again

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A quarter ago, when we commented on the latest post-earnings collapse in Whole Foods stock, we said that “Whole Foods Misses, Lowers Guidance, Or What Happens When You Ignore Buybacks At The Expense Of CapEx”, and broke down the results as follows:

.. the luxury grocery chain moments ago reported revenues of $3.32 billion, missing the $3.35 billion expected, and EPS which also missed expectations of $0.41, instead printing at $0.38. Adding insult to injury, WFM also cut comp store sales guidance lowering its previous fiscal year comp store guidance from 5.5%-6.2% to 5.0%-5.5%, cutting sales growth from 11-12% to 10.5%-11%, and also cut EBITDA from $1.32-$1.37 billion to $1.29-$1.32 billion.

Ok, the results were horrible, but one key thing was missing.

WFM continues to be a cash cow, generating tremendous amounts of bottom line cash. Which perhaps was its biggest failing as well – WFM reported that “year to date, the Company has produced $619 million in cash flow from operations and invested $362 million in capital expenditures, of which $207 million related to new stores. This resulted in free cash flow of $257 million. In addition, the Company has paid $82 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders and repurchased $117 million of common stock.”

The problem was clear: “Alas, this is nowhere near enough shareholder friendly activity to keep investors happy in a New Normal in which buybacks tend to be far greater in amount than CapEx spending.”

As expected, the stock promptly collapsed by 10%:


 

A quarter later, Whole Foods management seems to have read our lament and acted accordingly. On the chart below see if you can figure out which is the company’s quarterly stock repurchase and capex activity without peeking at the legend:

 

Indeed, that red bar soaring from a negligible $55 million to a whopping $361 million is precisely what happens when a company realizes that its only recourse to “goose” EPS is to go full tilt buying back its stock in the open market.

And sure enough, when WFM reported earnings moments ago, it “magically” beat EPS expectations of $0.39, courtesy of its raging repurchasing activity, printing a $0.41 EPS.

However, that was as far…
continue reading





Portuguese Regulator Bans Short-Selling After Banco Espirito Santo Unveils Massive $5 Billion Loss

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Having waited until after the US equity markets closed, Portugal’s troubled Banco Espirito Santo unveiled an enormous EUR 3.577 Billion loss – that is 15 times larger than the loss the bank suffered a year earlier. The data  – to end-June, before the crisis really got going – already shows notable deposit flight, a 73.1% plunge in banking income, and a EUR 3 billion collapse in repoable assets (i.e. liquidity). On the heels of this Portugal’s securities regulator has enforced a short-selling ban on BES… we suspect they would not have done that if all was systemically well in Portugal.

For some context on the loss… BES market cap at the close today was less than EUR 2 billion…

Highlights (or lowlights) of the data as of June 30th – before the crisis escalated

A collapse in banking income

 

Plunge in liquidity, collapse in Net Income, jump in operating costs, and tumble in total equity…

 

*  *  *

With the President warning this is systemic, Draghi better hope they can figure out a bailout (or bail-in) soon…

*  *  *

Full data release below:

BES Results





Right Now: House Voting Whether To Sue Obama

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

House Republicans are expected to formally approve their lawsuit against President Obama today. As John Boehner wrote earlier in the week, “President Obama has overstepped his constitutional authority — and it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to defend the Constitution.” Voting has started on the ‘impeachment lite’ bill…

 

Click image for link to CSPAN coverage…





 

Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743"

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

Thank You Obamacare - California Health Insurance Costs Spike Up To 88% In 2014

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

If you like your disposable income... forget it. Health-care insurance premiums for individuals in California rose between 22% and 88% in 2014 from last year, even after the federal health-care overhaul. This has led, as Bloomberg reports, to Proposition 45 - a bill that would grant regulatory say on proposed premium increases. "Unless Proposition 45 is passed we are going to continue to see dramatic year-over-year increases," warned Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

 

As Bloomberg reports,

Insurance Commission...



more from Tyler

Chart School

GDP - Pre/Post Annual Revisions In Pictures

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

The first estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2014 came roaring in at 4% annualized growth. The following is an initial analysis as written by Neil Irwin from the NYT:

"First, here’s the overall growth number. As it shows, the 4 percent rate of economic expansion in the April-through-June quarter was the strongest since last summer and the third-strongest quarter in the expansion that began five years ago.

But there is an important qualifier. Of the 4 percent reported growth, 1.66 percentage points was attributable to businesses increasing their inventories. But when companies ma...



more from Chart School

Phil's Favorites

Memo to CAPE Slaves

Memo to CAPE Slaves Courtesy of    You don’t hear much out of the adherents of CAPE these days, as even its most ardent fans have given up on it as a timing tool.

Earlier this year and during much of last year, I’d taken the Cyclically Adjusted Price-Earnings ratio to task for various reasons, most notably the fact that it didn’t allow for accounting changes (GAAP losses are recorded differently), structural changes in our economy (are we all still farmers?), structural changes in the makeup of the stock market (isn’t software inherently more profitable than railroading?), taxation (dividends get preferential treatment versus ordinary income) etc. See ...



more from Ilene

All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

more from David

Insider Scoop

Orbitz Worldwide Annouces Large Stakeholder Will Sell Shares In Public Offering

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related OWW Morning Market Losers UPDATE: Oppenheimer Initiates Coverage On Orbitz Powerful Proxy Adviser Blasts Target Board Over Breach (Fox Business)

In a press release Wednesday, Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) announced its largest stakeholder will sell 20 million shares of the company.

Orbitz released a separate press release stating mostly ...



http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Option Review

Kellogg Call Options Active Ahead Of Earnings

Shares in packaged foods producer Kellogg Co. (Ticker: K) are in positive territory on Monday afternoon, trading up by roughly 0.20% at $65.48 as of 2:20 p.m. ET. Options volume on the stock is well above average levels today, with around 12,500 contracts traded on the name versus an average daily reading of around 1,700 contracts. Most of the volume is concentrated in September expiry calls, perhaps ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report set for release ahead of the opening bell on Thursday. Time and sales data suggests traders are snapping up calls at the Sep 67.5, 70.0 and 72.5 strikes. Volume is heaviest in the Sep 72.5 strike calls, with around 4,600 contracts traded against sizable open interest of approximately 11,800 contracts. It looks like traders paid an average premium of $0.37 per contrac...



more from Caitlin

Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bold bulls dare meek bears to take another crack

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Once again, stocks have shown some inkling of weakness. But every other time for almost three years running, the bears have failed to pile on and get a real correction in gear. Will this time be different? Bulls are almost daring them to try it, putting forth their best Dirty Harry impression: “Go ahead, make my day.” Despite weak or neutral charts and moderately bullish (at best) sector rankings, the trend is definitely on the side of the bulls, not to mention the bears’ neurotic skittishness about emerging into the sunlight.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, incl...



more from Sabrient

OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 28th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



more from OpTrader

Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW in the comments below each post. 

Our weekly newsletter Stock World Weekly is ready for your enjoyment.

Read about the week ahead, trade ideas from Phil, and more. Please click here and sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or take a free trial.

We appreciate your feedback--please let us know what you think in the comment section below.  

...

more from SWW

Digital Currencies

BitLicense Part 1 - Can Poorly Thought Out Regulation Drive the US Economy Back into the Dark Ages?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton.

An Op-Ed piece penned by Veritaseum Chief Contracts Officer, Matt Bogosian

This past weekend (despite American Airlines' best efforts), Reggie and I made it to the Second Annual North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. While there were some very creative (and very ambitious) ideas on how to try to realize the disruptive Bitcoin protocol, one of the predominant topics of discussion was New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky's proposed Bitcoin regulations (the BitLicense proposal) - percieved by many participants at the event as an apparent ...



more from Bitcoin

Market Shadows

Danger: Falling Prices

Danger: Falling Prices

By Dr. Paul Price of Market Shadows

 

We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about." 

All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...



more from Paul

Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



more from Pharmboy

Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



more from Promotions



FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>