by ilene - May 6th, 2015 1:15 pm
Later this week, a single-seat, solar-powered plane with a wingspan longer than that of a Boeing 747 will take off from Nanjing, China, headed for Honolulu. For a normal passenger jet, that's about a 12-hour flight. Solar Impulse 2, the 5,000-pound plane powered by nothing but sunshine, will take five days.
This is by far the hardest part of the plane's journey around the world, which started in Abu Dhabi last month, and should finish there in August. Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have been working up to this for 12 years, and they're fully aware of how trying it will be.
Inglorious 'Bastards' See Through Herbalife's Smoke And Mirrors (Seeking Alpha)
This evening, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) printed its Q1 results. Investors bid the stock up aggressively in after-market trading due to an adjusted earnings beat and an increase in the company's 2015 earnings guidance. We'll see how long this enthusiasm lasts.
For me, the highlight of the Herbalife earnings call occurred when sell-side analyst Tim Ramey called Herbalife' bankers 'bastards' for restricting the company's ability to buyback stock in the future.
How a strong dollar ambushed U.S. economy (Market Watch)
The almighty dollar deserves quite a bit of blame for the lowly state of the U.S economy early in the year.
From July 2014 through March 2015, the value of the dollar jumped 14% in trade-weighted terms. That made U.S.-made goods and services more expensive around the world at a time when many other countries were also struggling to cope with slowing economies of their own.
by ilene - May 5th, 2015 10:56 pm
Five Charts That Show Work-Life Balance Is Dead (Bloomberg)
If you have a sneaking suspicion that your job is taking over your life, you're not alone. A third of full-time workers say it has become more difficult to manage work-life balance over the past five years, according to an Ernst & Young report published Tuesday.
Herbalife just reported first quarter earnings that topped expectations and the company also raised its outlook for the full year, sending shares soaring.
In after hours trade on Tuesday, shares of the company were up as much as 15%.
Crude oil spikes back above $60 a barrel (Business Insider)
Crude oil prices are back above $60 a barrel for the first time since December.
In early trade Tuesday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up about 2% to above $60 a barrel for the first time in about five months. Prices have crept higher since WTI hit a low of $43 back in March.
And the 'incidents' just keep coming for Japan. Lax safety checks at Kwai Chung container terminal – the only sea entry point for food from overseas – have allowed banned imports from Japan to enter Hong Kong, according to Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan.
As The South China Morning Post reports, radioactive contaminated food may have been entering the city unnoticed for years because of deficiencies in safety controls on fresh produce since the ban following the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in 2011.
(So, Hong Kong has banned, not too successfully, Japaness food. Doesn't that mean that the Japanese are eating quite a lot of radioactive contaminated food?)
There's 'lackluster interest' in Apple Watch, says UBS (Business Insider)
Interest in the Apple Watch is "tepid," says UBS analyst Steven Milunovich.
Milunovich is lowering his estimates for Apple Watch sales in fiscal year 2016
by ilene - May 5th, 2015 11:18 am
Central bankers are proving to be the gang that can’t shoot straight.
A quarter of a century since New Zealand opened the era of inflation targeting, policy makers from the U.S., euro area, U.K. and Japan are all undershooting their consumer-price goals. Of the Group of Seven, only Canada is currently meeting its mandate.
Rather than lowering their sights to make things easier, the misses are fanning calls for targets to be increased from the 2 percent most aim for to perhaps as high as 4 percent.
Gulf oil exporters must reduce spending, including subsidies, and diversify their economies to cope with lower revenues caused by the sharp drop in crude prices, the International Monetary Fund said.
The wealthy monarchies, however, should "not react in a knee-jerk way to lower oil prices", the IMF Middle East and Central Asia chief Masood Ahmed told AFP in an interview Monday.
TEPPER: 'Four Feds going all one way? Good luck.' (Business Insider)
Hedge fund honcho David Tepper, the founder of $20 billion distressed-debt fund Appaloosa Management, is speaking at the Sohn Conference in New York.
His message to the crowd of investors was short and simple:
"It's kind of hard to fight money. Don't fight the Fed…Now you've got four Feds. Four!… Four Feds going all one way? Good luck.'"
The web has dramatically changed the rules of doing business right from fundraising to marketing to selling, everything has changed. What worked before doesn’t work now. Social entrepreneurs that take full advantage of the ever evolving web will be the ones that will rule the hearts and minds of donors and consumers. At Dutiee our goal is to keep you updated with the latest. Trends that are showing results and will help you profit from.
by ilene - May 4th, 2015 10:34 pm
Investors are borrowing more money than ever to buy stocks (Market Watch)
So-called margin debt is at record levels.
Margin debt is a representation of the amount of money investors are borrowing to throw at this persistent bull market. The fact that this measure of investor borrowing is rising could have dire consequences in what many see as a frothy market. If this scenario sounds eerily familiar, it is probably because these same alarm bells were ringing loudly back in 2000 and 2007.
This time Investors are in even deeper. Margin debt in March reached $467.4 billion, the highest level on record going back more than 50 years, according to the NYSE.
But before you freak out and unload your positions, Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions blog says the peaks in margin debt that were the hallmark of prior bubble days are typically not the most pressing cause for concern for investors using the data to chart their course.
Rumors have it (Eurek Alert)
Bad news, fans of rational political discourse: A study by an MIT researcher shows that attempts to debunk political rumors may only reinforce their strength.
"Rumors are sticky," says Adam Berinsky, a professor of political science at MIT, and author of a paper detailing the study. "Corrections are difficult, and in some cases can even make the problem worse."
PIMCO: Four Reasons To Be Bullish On Mexico (Value Walk)
Mexico is not as reliant on oil exports as people may think. Many investors think of Latin American emerging market countries as heavy commodity exporters – and in Mexico’s case, that means oil. After all, its state-owned oil company PEMEX is one of the largest integrated oil companies in the world. Yet even at its peak in 2008, petroleum represented only 20% of Mexican exports. Since then, declines in output and prices have reduced that ratio to less than 7% – the lowest level in more than 15 years.
A downside surprise in the final reading of China’s HSBC Markit manufacturing PMI for April adds to early
by ilene - May 4th, 2015 5:30 am
China shares drift lower (Market Watch)
China shares drifted lower Monday after a reading of the country’s manufacturing activity slowed more sharply than initially expected, a further sign the economy is flagging.
The HSBC China manufacturing purchasing managers index was 48.9 for April, down from a preliminary reading of 49.2 and a drop from 49.6 in March. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity…
This watch is a weird one. Some hardcore collectors might scoff at it because it came together over the course of decades, rather than was designed and constructed all at once. But I'm 100% on-board with this strange little time capsule, as it gives us a glimpse into the history of the watch industry and all its foibles. It's also attractive.
What happens to a wealthy, oil-reliant nation when crude prices collapse and unprecedented monetary easing threatens to scupper returns for its sovereign wealth fund?
Yngve Slyngstad, who manages Norway's $900 billion wealth fund, has said many times in the past year that in a low-and even negative-interest rate world the fund will not be able to hit its expected 4 percent real return.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s had a very bad week with its stock tanked ~ 27% in 5 trading days. It all started when its weak 1Q earnings was posted early by Nasdaq on Twitter Inc (TWTR)’s IR web page. Twitter originally planned to release earnings after market close on Tuesday (so investors may have time to digest the not-so-impressive 1Q numbers to perhaps arrive at amore rational course of action).
Manny Pacquiao says he fought with an injured shoulder (Business Insider)
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao said a
by stjeanluc - May 3rd, 2015 5:11 pm
Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Since then, oil has hit a multi-year low at around $42.50 and is now approaching $60, still well below its highs of 2014 but probably closer to a breakeven price for American shale producers. In this post I want to see what ETF would have profited best from that rebound and also which one would have fared worse. Let's look at a couple of performance charts. First, the standard oil proxies based on the futures:
Oil (red) is up 40% since March 17 but what is interesting is how the pure oil ETFs are tracking that move. USO (blue) which is not leveraged is not tracking very well. In fact, it's up only about 27% or about 2/3 of the oil move. As expected, SCO (pink) is down, but clearly, the leveraging is not the 2x that you would expect as it's only down a bit less than 40%. And UCO (green), while the clear winner here, is only up 57% which is lower than the advertised 2x leverage factor. Once again, these future based ETF are victims of some decay.
Let's look at some ETFs not based on oil futures but who should benefit from an oil price rebound. In the next performance chart, we'll look at OIH and XLE.
by ilene - May 3rd, 2015 12:21 pm
What does it mean to be process-driven in your trading practices? For starters, you want consistency. Decisions based on a particular set of inputs should be reliable and not corruptible by disorganized, biased, or spur-of-the-moment strategies. Consistency is not enough, however. A consistent system that does not result in profits is a losing system. Brett Steenbarger explains "trading with quality" and I suggest everyone learning how to trade and invest in equities read this article. One take-away message is that "quality" trading requires significant effort in constructing a methodology and testing it over time. ~ Ilene
Courtesy of Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D.
We often hear that traders should be process driven and strictly follow their process as a way of avoiding psychologically-driven biases and poor trading practices. This draws upon an analogy between trading and the running of a manufacturing or service business. In the business setting, you are looking for consistent, high quality. Variability of output = low quality. For example, if you're manufacturing a drug, you want the production process to turn out the same pill all the time. If you're a delivery service, you want consistent on-time delivery--and you standardize each step of the process to make sure that happens.
Essential to process-driven quality control are two ingredients: 1) measurement of outcomes and 2) identification of the activities that consistently generate those outcomes. In the world of medicine, that has led to a focus on outcome research and the creation of evidence-based treatment protocols that standardize best practices. If you receive surgery from an evidence-based treatment center, many of the decisions that are made, from the amount and type of anesthesia to the sterility of the operating room and the method of incision, will be laid out as protocols and derived from rigorous, controlled outcome studies.
When traders say that they are "following their process", what they should mean by that is that they have intensively studied what makes them money and what does not; identified their best trading practices; codified these best practices as protocols to follow; and then tracked their fidelity to these evidence-based practices.
In other words, a trader who is truly process-driven should demonstrate:
by ilene - May 2nd, 2015 4:31 pm
Here is a list of articles on many topics, sure to keep your weekend reading calendar full.
EM equities have run ahead of fundamentals and earnings are likely to disappoint materially again, as has been the case in recent quarters, notes Morgan Stanley.
The business of business (The Economist)
The secret of the modern company’s success is precisely that it is such an open-ended organisation. Until the 19th century companies had to pursue a public purpose (imperial domination, usually) in return for limited liability. But various governments, starting in Britain and America, swept away these restrictions and let companies form for no other purpose than to engage in business. This simple act of liberalisation did as much as anything to create the modern economy. Open-endedness lets companies evolve: startups have very different purposes to mature businesses.
Low serotonin is mythical cause of depression, says psychiatry professor (Medical News Today)
The idea that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin and that certain antidepressants raise the levels of this neurotransmitter, is a myth, according to a professor of psychiatry writing an editorial article in The BMJ.
Prof. David Healy – author of the 2004 book Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression - argues in the journal's latest issue that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have never shown any correlation between a potency of serotonin effect and treatment of depression.
The cheap, convenient cloud (The Economist)
IF THERE were a prize for corporate secrecy, Amazon would have an excellent chance of winning. Interviewing its executives can be like pulling teeth. Even trivial details are not revealed, such as the approximate location of the office of Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive, in the company’s headquarters in Seattle. Unsurprisingly, then, its quarterly earnings calls are mostly a dull affair. But financial analysts and many in the information-technology (IT) industry will pay close attention when the e-commerce giant releases results for this year’s first three months, on April 23rd. Nearly a decade after it launched Amazon Web
by ilene - April 30th, 2015 11:17 pm
3D printing popped on the scene a few years ago, and soon it was everywhere. The media were raving about it. Companies were formed and attracted VC money, and the hype bloomed, and soon IPOs of even the tiniest outfits flew off the shelf in the US and Europe. Valuations soared, and everyone was in heaven. Even The Economist jumped on the bandwagon with its article, “A Third Industrial Revolution.” A new world had begun.
But not everyone was a true believer. Among these unwelcome detractors and party poopers was Terry Gou, founder and president of Foxconn, one of world’s largest electronics manufacturing companies. It makes the iPhone and other gadgets. In June 2013, when the Taiwanese media pushed him on 3D printing, he retorted, “3D printing is a gimmick” with no “real commercial value.”
Foxconn has been using 3D printing for nearly 30 years, he said. But the technology wasn’t suitable for mass production. You could print a phone, he said, but it would be a useless phone because the technology could not assemble electronic components. That process still required humans or specialized machines.
The modernization of 3D printing didn’t mean “the advent of a third industrial revolution,” he said, debunking The Economist. It was just one of many useful technologies.
His insights were too mundane for the money that went looking for a spiritual place to go. Terry Gou, ultimate industry insider, was ignored (even though I wrote about it at the time, ha!). And valuations skyrocketed.
But at the end of 2013, the phenomenal bubble began to hiss hot air. And since then, it has been tough.
On Wednesday, Stratasys (SSYS), the largest player in the space, warned on revenues and earnings, after having already warned three months ago. For the year, it now expects revenues of $800 million to $860 million. Analysts expected $943 million. Its loss, stuffed with all kinds of write-offs, could reach $245 million, or $4.79 per share. It would be twice as large as its loss in 2013 and 10 times larger than its loss in 2012.
by ilene - April 29th, 2015 11:45 pm
European Markets Are Having a Bad Day (Bloomberg)
U.S. GDP disappointed this morning, adding fuel to a European market sell-off that had already been underway for much of the day.
German 10-year bonds have tanked.
At a stunning pace of 608 words in just 4 minutes, The Wall Street Journal's Fed-Whisperer, Jon Hilsenrath, has proclaimed his "common knowledge" meme for today's FOMC statement. Confirming that officials "aren’t at this point alarmed about the first quarter slowdown," and in fact stating they are confident of spending picking up due to consumer sentiment (which just fell)… which leaves them signalling no shift in policy stance -i.e. rate hikes are coming whether the economy can handle it or not…
Greece, mired in a protracted financial crisis and at loggerheads with its bailout stewards, will leave the euro, according to the majority of investors, analysts, and traders in a Bloomberg survey.
Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE) has been on quite a tear lately (from under $6 to almost $8/share) and since I cover Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) regularly and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) on occasion, I thought it was time to start researching VALE. While part of this article will be designed as an introduction to the company for new investors and a guide to what an analyst looks at when opening up coverage, there will also be a fun comparison for shareholders with the slides at the end.
If you are the type who enjoys stories along the lines of "Here's the One Chart You Need to See Before the Fed Decision," then by all means take a gander below because it's arguably the One Chart You Need to See Before the Fed Decision.