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China Services PMI Jumps Most On Record To 18-Month Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Markit’s Manufacturing PMI fell in August, the apparent demand for ‘services’ in China exploded. China Services PMI jumped from the worst on record 50.0 in July to 54.1 in August (18-month highs). This is the biggest MoM rise in the data on record... because they can. We have nothing to add because it’s simply becoming too surreal and manipulated for rational explanation.

 

 

HSBC is quick to note that it’s not all unicorns and ponies and that more stimulus sis till needed.

“The headline HSBC China Services PMI rebounded to a seventeen-month high of 54.1 in August, after registering an all-time low reading in July. Apart from the rebound in the headline number, other indices suggest a mixed picture rather than a broad-based improvement. The economy still faces downside risks to growth in the second half of the year from the property sector slowdown. We think policy makers should use further easing measures to help support the recovery.”





Did US Macro Just Jump The Shark?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

For the past five years there has been a very clear and significant cycle to US macro data – a slight rise to start the year, notable weakness into the middle of the year, a rapid recovery into the fall, then generally flat to year-end. A year ago, we explained this cycle appears to be created by government agencies need to spend, spend, spend their budgets out ahead of fiscal year-end (Sept).

 

 

This year has been no different, aside from the knee-jerk higher in macro data – somewhat shocking in its magnitude to 'every' economist with 3, 4, and 5-sigma beats in many data – came a little earlier but to the same level of past year's exuberance (as perhaps Ex-Im concerns, Fed concerns, and election concerns sparked earlier-than-usual spend-down by agencies).

The last few weeks have seen US Macro surge faster compared to expectations that at any time since the initial takeoff from the 2009 lows… and note, every time we surge at this pace, US Macro tops out!

 

As in past years, this spike in activity is extrapolated by the smartest people in the room, leaving the reality to miss expectations for the rest of the year. A glance at the chart above might suggest, we just jumped the shark once more in US macro data for 2014…

*  *  *

As we concluded previously,

This begs the question: is the only reason why the economy tends to pick up momentum dramatically as the summer ends just a function of a surge in government spending permeating the broader economy as agencies scramble to spend all the money they have before the end of the September 30 Fiscal Year End (just so they get allocated the same or greater budget in the coming fiscal year), which subsequently plunges or is outright halted as the case may be right now?

 

If so, it would explain so much, and certainly why year after year, the US economy seems to pick up in the mid-to-late Q3 period, only to dramatically fade away in the coming months, as government spending goes from a waterfall to a trickle.

 

It would also put the government's role in generating transitory periodic spikes in economic output under


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IQ, IP and 8 Commandments of Corporate Governance

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Capitalist Exploits.

By: Chris Tell at: http://capitalistexploits.at/

Recent dealings with a company led me to think about the relationship between corporate governance, creativity, innovation and what it takes to create or indeed wreck a successful enterprise.

A result of having been involved in well over 100 private equity transactions (I’ve long ago stopped counting), Mark no doubt a similar number, has been a lot of lessons learned and a particular methodology for choosing investments. Each day I learn more and I’m far from perfect. I only hope that I keep getting better.

One of our pillars of investment methodology has always been to focus very heavily on management in any company we invest our capital into. I’ve seen fabulous ideas run by idiots and they have a near 100% failure rate. I’ve also seen mediocre ideas run by very talented smart people succeed beyond all expectations. Clearly we need to work with good people, period.

Albert Einstein famously commented that “Creativity is intelligence having fun”.

But what exactly is creativity?

I’d define it as an ability to create meaningful ideas. These ideas brought to fruition bring value to peoples lives and people pay for value. In monetary terms this is known as intellectual property or IP. It is a critical element worth mentioning as the vast amount of value in today’s world resides in intellectual property. Additionally, IP is mobile. Governments, organizations and individuals who try to trap IP by force are facing a tough challenge in our modern world. IP can move across borders in minutes without an individual leaving their sofa.

Mark and I own some businesses which are 100% mobile. They are domiciled where it is most attractive for them to be domiciled and this can be changed in a matter of weeks if not days should the need arise. These businesses are driven by IP and are far from abnormal. They are, in fact, becoming the norm.

Consider companies such as Apple, Google or even Glaxosmithkline. What and where is the value in Apple? I’d suggest it is in the IP the company has built. The products are assembled in China anyway and that certainly isn’t where the value lies. Apple’s products could be assembled in any number of countries which provide competitive labour costs. The…
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If You Like Your “Boots On The Ground”, Here’s Even More – Obama To Send 350 Troops To Iraq

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just hours after the beheading of a 2nd American journalist, The White House has issued a statement:

  • *U.S. TO SEND ABOUT 350 MILITARY PERSONNEL TO IRAQ: WHITE HOUSE
  • *WHITE HOUSE SAYS ADDITIONAL FORCES WON’T SERVE IN A COMBAT ROLE

With American non-combat, humanitarian, advisers now being dispersed to the four corners of the world for non-combat, humanitarian, advisory roles; one wonders how long it will be before someone asks President Obama just what these peace-keeping non-combat personnel will be doing in their role “to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad.”

 

 

As Politico reports,

President Barack Obama has authorized the Pentagon to send about 350 more troops to Iraq, the White House announced this evening.

 

The Defense Department had been considering a request from the State Department for the additional forces to protect “diplomatic facilities and personnel” in Iraq, the White House said. “These additional forces will not serve in a combat role.”

 

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the new detachment would increase the total number of U.S. troops “augmenting diplomatic security in Iraq” to about 820. The new force includes a headquarters element, medical personnel, helicopters and “an air liaison team,” Kirby said. About 55 troops who have been in Baghdad since June will “redeploy” elsewhere in Central Command as part of the move.





Memo To Washington: Iraq Is Not A Nation And You Can’t Build One There With Bombs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Washington’s strategy in Iraq is in shambles, but not just because America’s spanker-in-chief is really a wimp at heart. The problem is far more generic. To wit, the geographic territory of Iraq is not a nation; it is an arbitrary series of lines on a map drawn 100 years ago by dandies in the foreign offices of two fading empires (the British and the French) – which lines encircled numerous tribes, ethnicities and religious confessions which had no interest in sharing a common statehood.

In the subsequent century, the warring peoples corralled within the Sykes-Picot boundaries were ram-rodded into a tenuous co-existence by a series of brutal monarchs, generals and dictators, backed up by British and American occupiers. But then the neo-con geniuses in the George W. Bush Administration hung the last dictator and the poll readers in the Obama White House had the good sense to adhere to their campaign pledge and bug out.

They left behind $25 billion in military training and state-of-the-art warfare equipment, but neither a dictator nor a nation. Indeed, under the later heading they had endeavored to build a nation where there had been none, but ended up liquidating the machinery – the Republican Guards and the Baathist political party—that had enforced co-existence with machine guns and poison gas canisters.

Foolishly claiming America’s job was done at the end of 2011 when the last GIs boarded transports out of Bagdad,  Barrack Obama was actually opening the gates of hell without a clue as to the furies that would soon come swarming through. Well, they are all here now with blood soaked hands grasping their weapons and agitated tongues issuing the spittle of revenge and historic enmities.

Yet the foolish man in the White House and his historically illiterate advisors keep banging the same old failed lever. Namely, they are once again attempting to deploy bombs, dollars and hortatory commands to cajole and herd Sunni, Shiite, Kurds and numerous other sectarian and tribal fragments from the time warp of history into a common polity—-a purported nation that would do Washington’s bidding in the ancient lands of Mesopotamia.

So doing, they are attempting to mobilize the alleged Iraqi nation against the freshly minted threat of the Islamic State. But yesterday’s news about the relief of the ISIS siege on…
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The Eurozone Could Be A Problem For Stocks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,


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A Divided World

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Yesterday we showed how ‘isolated’ Russia was (if you chose to look only at isolating parts of the world). Today, we glimpse at the world’s views on China vs US… As The Global Post notes, we know that only 35 percent of Americans have a favorable view of China. But what about the rest of the world?

 

 

Source: Global Post

*  *  *

Who’s isolated now?





Guest Post: How Can You Tell Whether Russia Has Invaded Ukraine?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Dmitry Orlov via ClubOrlov blog,

Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen, declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine's borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't; what do you know? They said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

You be the judge. I put together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or whether Thursday's announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.

1. Ukrainian artillery fell silent almost immediately. They are no longer shelling residential districts of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is because their locations had been pinpointed prior to the operation, and by Thursday afternoon they were completely wiped out using air attacks, artillery and ground-based rocket fire, as the first order of business. Local residents are overjoyed that their horrible ordeal is finally at an end.

 

2. The look of military activity on the ground in Donetsk and Lugansk has changed dramatically. Whereas before it involved small groups of resistance fighters, the Russians operate in battalions of 400 men and dozens of armored vehicles, followed by convoys of support vehicles (tanker trucks, communications, field kitchens, field hospitals and so on). The flow of vehicles in and out is non-stop, plainly visible on air reconnaissance and satellite photos. Add to that the relentless radio chatter, all in Russian, which anyone who wants to can intercept, and the operation becomes impossible to hide.

 

3. The Ukrainian military has promptly vanished. Soldiers and officers alike have taken off their uniforms, abandoned their weapons, and are doing their best to blend in with the locals. Nobody thought the odds of the Ukrainian army against the Russians were any good. Ukraine's only military victory against Russia was at the battle of Konotop in 1659, but at the time Ukraine was allied with the mighty Khanate of Crimea, and, you may have noticed, Crimea is not


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China Will Revise Its GDP Definition Until Its Hits Government “Growth Targets”, Goldman Explains

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Previously we have commented that when all it takes for a country to “hit” its GDP target, is to adjust said definition by adding the benefit of estimated ancillary items as prostitution and drugs, GDP loses all relevancy and meaning in its transformation to an arbitrary, goalseeked policy measurement and validation tool straight out of China’s Department of Truth. After all how else would the Spanish political kleptocracy boast the “favorable” impact of its disastrous policies if it wasn’t for a slew of recent definitional revisions. And yet, all throughout our commentary we were doing so tongue-in-cheek: after all, it is taboo for the very serious economists to discuss the hilarious systemic failures that allow their most prized indicator of “growth” to become a mockery of fringe tinfoil blogs.

At least, it was taboo until now, because moments ago, in an example of “very serious phrasing”, none other than the bank that does god’s work on earth (especially when it means providing off balance sheet financing for the bank of the Holy Spirit), just reported that the reason why China will hit its growth target is because of, drumroll, its fudged GDP. Only Goldman is far more serious when it says all of this, with the result being just too hilarious for words: to wit: “In the coming months, China’s National Bureau of Statistics is to make adjustments to the methodology used to calculate GDP. These adjustments are likely to boost real GDP growth by 0.1-0.2pp, thereby making it easier for the government to reach its goal of “around 7.5%” GDP growth in 2014.

But wait there’s more, because the biggest adjusted “contributor” to China’s economy will be the retroactive benefit from R&D that previously was treated as a cost rather than an “investment.” Yup: research and development, which in China has a different name: Piracy and Reverse Engineering, only R&D is sexier than P&RE.

Which brings us to the question of the day: have we finally gone full econotard? Or is changing the rules to hit your target, while fabricating the dumbest possible adjustments, now considered very serious economic policy?

Full note from Goldman Sachs, whose humor value is far higher than the author intended:

China’s statistical adjustments are likely to make it easier to reach the GDP growth target
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The Scariest California Drought Map Yet

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Across California, reservoirs are running dry as the drought continues to weigh dramatically on many parts of the economy. The following map, showing the dismally low levels of reservoirs in all their horrible glory could be the scariest drought map yet…

 

 

Source: CDEC





 

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!

 
 

Insider Scoop

Analysts See Big Buyback Potential At Microsoft

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MSFT Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Thursday August 28, 2014 This Startup Is Eating Adobe And IBM's Lunch Tech Rewind: Apple's Cryptic Invite, Banks' Cyber Fight (Fox Business)

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) could be on the cusp of boosting its cash returns to shareholders in the wake of Steve Balmer...



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Chart School

Real Median Household Income Rose 0.20% in July

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Summary: The Sentier Research monthly median household income data series is now available for July. The nominal median household income was up $154 month-over-month and $1,945 year-over-year. Adjusted for inflation, it was up $105 MoM and only $905 YoY. The real numbers equate to a 0.20% MoM increase and a 1.70% YoY increase. July marks the third month of real increases following two months of declines.

In real dollar terms, the median annual income is 6.4% lower (about $3,700) than its interim high in January 2008.

Background on Sentier Research

The traditional source of household income data is the Census Bureau, which publishes annual household income data in mid-September for the previous year.

Sentier Research, an organization that focuses on inco...



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Zero Hedge

China Services PMI Jumps Most On Record To 18-Month Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Markit's Manufacturing PMI fell in August, the apparent demand for 'services' in China exploded. China Services PMI jumped from the worst on record 50.0 in July to 54.1 in August (18-month highs). This is the biggest MoM rise in the data on record... because they can. We have nothing to add because it's simply becoming too surreal and manipulated for rational explanation.

 

 

HSBC is quick to note that it's not all unicorns and ponies and that more stimulus sis till needed.

“The headline HSBC China Services PMI rebounde...



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Phil's Favorites

Charting the Average September Stock Market

Charting the Average September Stock Market Courtesy of 

Today you’re hearing a lot about how stocks act historically during the month of September. It’s considered to be the worst month of the year in terms of average annual returns and it usually leads to a pickup in seasonal volatility.

My pal Jon Krinsky CMT, technical analyst at MKM Partners in New York, put the below S&P 500 chart out last night…

While September is historically a negative month, it’s really the back half that tends to see the selling, which continues into October. Below is the average yearly chart for the SPX over the last 30 years. As we can see, there actually tends to b...



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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...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 2nd, 2013

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 ...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

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

Here's the latest issue of Stock World Weekly. Click on this link and use your PSW user name and password to log in. Or take a free trial. 

Enjoy!

...

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Option Review

Puts Active On Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (Ticker: BWLD) shares are in positive territory in early-afternoon trading on Thursday, reversing earlier losses to stand up 0.50% on the session at $148.50 as of 12:15 pm ET. Options volume on the restaurant chain is running approximately three times the daily average level due to heavy put activity in the October expiry contracts. It looks like one or more traders are buying the Oct 140/145 put spread at a net premium of roughly $1.45 per contract. As of the time of this writing, the spread has traded approximately 3,000 times against very little open interest at either striking price. The put spread may be a hedge to protect a long stock position against a roughly 6% pullback in the price of the underlying through October expiration, or an outright bearish play anticipating a dip in BWLD shares in the next couple of months. The spread makes money at expiration if shares in BWLD decline 3.3% from the current price of $148.50 to breach the breakeven point...



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Sabrient

Six Companies Push Tax Rules Most

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Gradient Senior Analyst Nicholas Yee reports on six companies that are using a variety of techniques to shift pretax profits to lower-tax areas. Featured in this USA Today, article, the companies include CELG, ALTR, VMW, NVDA, LRCX, and SNPS.

Six Companies Push Tax Rules Most

Excerpt:

Nobody likes to pay taxes. But some companies are taking cutting their tax bil...



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Digital Currencies

Disgraced Mt Gox CEO Goes For Second Try With Web-Hosting Service (And No, Bitcoin Not Accepted)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Mt Gox may be long gone in the annals of bankruptcy, but its founder refuses to go gentle into that insolvent night. And, as CoinDesk reports, the disgraced former CEO of the one-time premier bitcoin trading platform has decided to give it a second try by launching new web hosting service called Forever.net and is registered under both Karpeles’ name and that of Tibanne, the parent company of Mt Gox.

From the company profile:

“TIBANNE Co.Ltd. ...



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Market Shadows

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street.

Author Helen Davis Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator with a diverse trial practice in the areas of lender liability, bankruptcy, bank fraud, RICO, professional malpractice, trusts and estates, and white collar defense. In 1995, Ms. Chaitman was named one of the nation's top ten litigators by the National Law Journal for a jury verdict she obtained in an accountants' malpractice case. Ms. Chaitman is the author of The Law of Lender Liability (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1990)... Since early 2009, Ms. Chaitman has been an outspoken advocate for investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (more here).

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street. 

By Helen Davis Chaitman   

I confess: Larry D...



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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...



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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.

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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...

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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.

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