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American Capital Announces the Purchase of 8.9M of Its Shares, Suspends Share Repurchase Program

Courtesy of Benzinga.

American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) (“American Capital” or the “Company”) announced today that in the first quarter of 2014, it made open market purchases of 8.9 million shares of American Capital common stock, or 3.3% of the Company’s outstanding shares as of December 31, 2013. The shares were purchased at an average price of $15.38 per share, totaling $137 million.

Starting in the third quarter of 2011, American Capital has made open market purchases of 101.6 million shares, or 29.4% of the Company’s outstanding shares as of June 30, 2011, at an average price of $11.74 per share, totaling $1.2 billion. Purchases starting in the third quarter of 2011 through December 2013 were $1.75 per share accretive to the Company’s $18.97 net asset value per share (“NAV”) as of December 31, 2013. Accretion from the purchases in the first quarter of 2014 will be disclosed in the Company’s first quarter earnings release.

These share purchases were completed in accordance with the Company’s Share Repurchase and Dividend Policy. The Company’s Board of Directors has decided to suspend such purchases for an indefinite period. As previously disclosed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10?K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ending December 31, 2013, the Company is undertaking a process to evaluate its corporate structure to determine whether that structure and the various legal, regulatory and accounting regimes under which it operates are the optimum means for the operation and capitalization of its business. The Board has determined that it is appropriate to suspend share purchases as it considers the capital requirements of organizational changes that could result from this evaluation.

ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) is a publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager. American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originates, underwrites and manages investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy & infrastructure and structured products. American Capital manages $19 billion of assets, including assets on its balance sheet and fee earning assets under management by affiliated managers, with $93 billion of total assets under management (including levered assets). Through an affiliate, American Capital manages publicly traded American Capital Agency…
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SEC Halts Trading Of GrowLife, Here’s Why

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PHOT
Marketfy to Host the 1st Annual Cannabis Investor Conference
GrowLife's Commitment and Dedication to the Market: An Open Letter to Shareholders

GrowLife Halted

Thursday morning, the SEC halted trading of GrowLife, Inc. (OTC: PHOT) based on “concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace and potentially manipulative transactions in GrowLife’s common stock.”

The statement from the SEC announcing the halt hints to traders that there have been exchanges of inaccurate/inadequate financial information.  

A concern of many traders is the recent insider selling from Director & Executive Vice President Robert Hunt. Since April 3, Hunt has sold off more than 500,000 shares of Growlife. Though this insider selling may be purely coincidental, it raises the question of managerial knowledge regarding the then upcoming halt.

Besides the noted insider selling, Eric D. Shevin resigned from the board of directors on April 1, just over one year after joining the company.

Read GrowLife’s Reponse to the SEC notice here.

To date, including GrowLife, there have been five trading suspensions for cannabis companies, including Advanced Cannabis Solutions (OTC: CANN), Aventura Equities, Inc., Citadel EFT (OTC: CDFT) and PetroTech (OTC: PTOG).

Advanced Cannabis Solutions, which was halted on March 27, just resumed trading today, April 10 (to learn more about CANN’s halting, click here).

Sector Security

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) website openly discourages investment in marijuana stocks, stating that “there is likely no opportunity” for investors, further stressing the minimal reporting standards of the OTC markets.

In contrast to FINRA’s grim outlook for the sector, the cannabis space has been incredibly bullish for traders.

Management is in the spotlight for companies in the marijuana space, because the decisions they make for their company can positively (over very negatively) impact the entire industry.


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If Apple’s iWatch Arrives Too Late, It Will Fail

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AAPL
Which Earnings Reprort Are You Waiting For? – Real Time Insight
Yahoo! Proposes 3 Executives to Board – Analyst Blog
The Secret to Social Media Marketing (Fox Business)

The clock is ticking for Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) long-awaited smart watch.

Rumors claim that it could arrive in September 2014, but investors shouldn’t forget that Apple was also expected to release a wearable device last September.

Unfortunately, it might be too late for Apple to enter the market.

“If Apple comes up with an iWatch in September or later, as good as it may be, it will be total failure because in the consumer space the winner takes it all, and Google and its ecosystem are way ahead,” Trip Chowdhry, Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, told Benzinga.

Related: What if Apple’s iWatch is Really a TV?

“Apple doesn’t even have an available SDK for developers to write any applications. It’s not even expected for Apple to talk about any SDK at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which is happening in the first [week] of June.”

Chowdhry previously argued that new products — such as the iWatch or a new television set — could increase shareholder value. He is now afraid that Apple will take too long to make a difference.

iWatch hype has been heating up for more than a year, thanks in part to the many surveys indicating that consumers are eager to buy the device.

The biggest news came when Bloomberg reported that as many as 100 product designers had been assigned to work on the project. That report has yet to be confirmed, but there have been several additional reports claiming that Apple wants to enter the wearable computing space.

Apple CEO Tim Cook fueled those rumors last spring at the final AllThingsD conference.

“I think the wrist is interesting,” said Cook, as quoted by AllThingsD. “The wrist is natural.”

When ChangeWave Research surveyed consumers last…
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Capital One Reports Q1 Results

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related COF
Capital One Beats Earnings on Lower Expense – Analyst Blog
UPDATE: Bank of America Reiterates on Capital One Financial Following Q1 GAAP EPS Report
Week Ahead: Loads of Bank Earnings (Fox Business)

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) reported its first quarter earnings results on April 16, 2014. Shares of the company ended down $0.64 per share or 0.86 percent.

The bank reported first quarter 2014 net income of $1.2 billion or $1.96 per share.

Below are some key highlights:

• Total net revenue decreased three percent to $5.4 billion.
• Total non-interest expense decreased nine percent to $2.9 billion.
• Pre-provision earnings increased six percent to $2.4 billion.
• Provision for credit losses decreased 23 percent to $735 million.
“Capital One posted solid results across our businesses in the first quarter,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and CEO. “We received no objection to our CCAR capital plan and announced a $2.5 billion share repurchase program that we expect to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2015.”

Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance After-Hours Center





FelCor Agrees to Sell Doubletree Suites in Charlotte for $37M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (NYSE: FCH) today announced that it has agreed to sell the 208-room Doubletree Suites Hotel Charlotte-SouthPark for $37 million. The purchaser has paid a $900,000 non-refundable deposit toward the purchase price. FelCor expects the sale to close in May.

FelCor continues to progress with its portfolio repositioning plan. The Company is currently negotiating contracts or has agreed to sell four other hotels for aggregate proceeds of approximately $80 million. FelCor will use the proceeds from selling these assets to repay outstanding debt. To date, FelCor has sold 26 non-strategic hotels as part of its plan.

About FelCor

FelCor, a real estate investment trust, owns a diversified portfolio of primarily upper-upscale and luxury hotels that are located in major and resort markets throughout the U.S. FelCor partners with leading hotel companies to operate its hotels, which are flagged under globally renowned names and premier independent hotels. Additional information can be found on the Company’s website at www.felcor.com.

With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this news release include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws that are qualified by cautionary statements herein and in FelCor’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in our expectations.

Posted-In: News Asset Sales





Avis Budget Group Increases Its Stock Repurchase Program up to $300M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR) today announced that it has repurchased approximately $135 million of stock under its current stock repurchase program. The program was first announced in August 2013 and authorized an initial maximum amount of $200 million. Today, the Company’s Board of Directors has authorized an increase to the amount remaining for future repurchases under the program from the approximately $65 million remaining to $300 million.

“The increase in our share repurchase authorization reflects the continued confidence we have in our business and our prospects,” said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. ”We have reduced our diluted share count by more than 20 million shares as a result of our convertible debt repurchases and share repurchases since 2012, and we remain committed to delivering value to our shareholders, while maintaining a prudent capital structure and flexibility to execute on our strategic initiatives.” 

Under the stock repurchase program, the Company repurchases shares from time to time in open market transactions, and may also repurchase shares in accelerated stock buyback programs, tender offers, privately negotiated transactions or by other means. Repurchases may also be made under a Rule 10b5-1 plan. The timing and amount of repurchase transactions will be determined by the Company’s management based on its evaluation of market conditions, share price, legal requirements and other factors. The program may be suspended, modified or discontinued at any time without prior notice.

Avis Budget Group is scheduled to report its first quarter 2014 results on Wednesday, May 7.

About Avis Budget Group, Inc.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of vehicle rental services, both through its Avis and Budget brands, which have more than 10,000 rental locations in approximately 175 countries around the world, and through its Zipcar brand, which is the world’s leading car sharing network, with more than 860,000 members. Avis Budget Group operates most of its car rental offices in North America, Europe and Australia directly, and operates primarily through licensees in other parts of the world. Avis Budget Group has approximately 29,000 employees and is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. More information is available at www.avisbudgetgroup.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform…
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Ginnie Mae To Big Banks: Show Us Your Mortgages. But Can They?

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related WFC
Goldman Q1 Earnings Beat Ests, Down Y/Y – Analyst Blog
Morgan Stanley Keeps Earnings Streak Alive – Analyst Blog
Find Financial Assistance for Your Down Payment (Fox Business)

The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) recently discovered that Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is missing key documents relating to mortgages the bank services for it, Kate Berry reported for National Mortgage News.

Because Bank of America is missing so many documents, Ginnie Mae put a planned sale of mortgage servicing rights on hold. While Bank of America assesses the problem, Ginnie Mae has decided to take inventory more broadly, Berry reports: “…Ginnie Mae, is trying to assess the magnitude of the problem of missing documents. Ginnie now plans to send letters this month to about 10 of the largest mortgage servicers – including B of A, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo – that take part in a special program to expedite servicing transfers.”

Related: Worrying Housing Market Signs

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) services the largest face value of mortgages for Ginnie Mae, with nearly $420 billion. According to Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda, “Loans serviced for Ginnie Mae are about 23 percent of our total servicing portfolio.”

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) services the next largest slice of Ginnie Mae mortgages, at nearly $157 billion. Bank of America is third at $118 billion.

Turning Over A Big Rock

What will Ginnie Mae learn and what will it mean for the likes of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America? Only time will tell, but the news could be ugly all around.

Problematic documents — including missing documents, altered-for-litigation documents and contradictory documents -- have proved to be so widespread that law enforcers entered multi-billion dollar settlements with the banks and their document-providing contractor, Black Knight InfoServ LLC (nee Lender Processing Services) in an attempt to…
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American States Water Company Announces Share Repurchase Program; To Buyback 1.25N Shares or 3.2% of the Float

Courtesy of Benzinga.

American States Water Company (NYSE: AWR) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program authorizing the Company to repurchase up to 1.25 million shares or 3.2% of its outstanding common shares from time to time through June 30, 2016. The Company intends to initiate the repurchase of the common shares through implementation of a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan in May 2014 at the earliest.

“This repurchase program is intended to enable the Company to achieve a consolidated shareholders’ equity ratio that is more reflective of appropriate equity ratios for our two first-tier subsidiaries, Golden State Water Company and American States Utility Services, Inc.,” said Robert J. Sprowls, President and Chief Executive Officer of AWR. He further stated, “The higher equity ratio currently existing for the consolidated company is partly the result of the sale in May 2011 of our Arizona subsidiary, Chaparral City Water Company, where we received approximately $30 million in cash at closing of the sale.” Since the sale, AWR has used the cash from the sale to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility and invest in or lend to its two remaining subsidiaries. Based upon current expectations, including the projected infrastructure needs for Golden State Water Company and the expected growth of American States Utility Services, Inc. which is not capital intensive, management does not anticipate the Company will need to do a secondary common stock offering in the near term.

The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any specific number of shares and may be suspended, terminated or modified at any time for any reason, including market conditions, the cost of repurchasing shares, the availability of alternative investment opportunities, liquidity, and other factors deemed appropriate. These factors may also affect the timing and amount of share repurchases.

American States Water Company is the parent of Golden State Water Company and American States Utility Services, Inc. Through its utility subsidiary, Golden State Water Company, AWR provides water service to approximately 257,000 customers throughout 10 counties in Northern, Coastal and Southern California. The Company also distributes electricity to approximately 24,000 customers in the Big Bear recreational area of California. Through its contracted services subsidiary, American States Utility Services, Inc., the Company provides operations,…
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UPDATE: DuPont Has Won Nomex(R) Trademark Infringment Case

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DD
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Bad Weather Hits DuPont's Earnings – Analyst Blog
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DuPont (NYSE: DD) announced today that the District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands has ruled against protective garment manufacturer, R.J.N. DALMEIJER BEHEERMAATSCHAPPIJ B.V., which also does business under the name DAPRO SAFETY, and some of its trading partners in a trademark infringement case regarding the DuPont™ and Nomex® trademarks.

DuPont is the registered owner of the DuPont™ and Nomex® trademarks, and inventor of flame resistant Nomex® brand fiber used in fire protective garments, among other applications.

In its ruling (Case No. C/09/372600 / HA ZA 10-2759), the Court ordered DAPRO SAFETY to stop all infringing use of the Nomex® trademark in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg; the DuPont™ trademark in the European Union; and the DuPont™ Nomex® trademark in India and the United Arab Emirates, where defendants had an active presence trying to sell counterfeit protective garments to end users – thereby putting the purchasers at potential risk.

The Court further ordered DAPRO “to have destroyed the total amount of infringing products still in its stock.” DuPont also was awarded the legal fees and damages, of which calculation is still pending. The ruling comes after a recent similar judgment by Malaysian courts in a counterfeiting case.

“DuPont is resolute in defending our global trademarks,” said Marc Doyle, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “We are pleased by the decision of the court following several years of our pursuing this misconduct and it should serve as a warning to companies that misrepresent their products. The safety of those who rely on our technology to protect themselves is at stake.”

DuPont™ Nomex® fiber has offered thermal protection around the world for decades. Workers across industries including manufacturing, chemical, and oil and gas, as well as emergency response and armed forces personnel depend on its thermal protection to help keep them safe. Late last year, DuPont introduced Nomex® MHP, extending the brand by taking on new thermal…
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LG Reportedly to Supply Flexible Displays for Apple’s iWatch

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A report out of Korea, via Cult of Mac says Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has selected LG as its only supplier for flexible displays for the iWatch. The device reportedly will be launched in September and will be available in two sizes.

View full article http://www.cultofmac.com/274515/lg-sole-supplier-flexible-displays-iwatch-rumor/

Posted-In: News Rumors Global Tech





 
 
 

Chart School

A New Look at the Total Return Roller Coaster

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: I received a recent email requesting an update to my Total Return Roller Coaster series. I've now updated the charts below based on monthly data through the March close.

Here's an interesting set of charts that will especially resonate with those of us who follow economic and market cycles.

Imagine that five years ago you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500. How much would it be worth today, with dividends reinvested but adjusted for inflation?

The purchasing power of your investment has increased to $26,567 for an annualized real return of 19.70%.



...

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Zero Hedge

"Holy Grail" HFT Firm Virtu Questioned By NY AG

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Having the trade record of Bernie Madoff and the braggadocio of a WWF wrestler was just too much for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to ignore. Rigged Market HFT Poster-child, and recent-delayed IPO, Virtu Financial has received a letter of inquiry from the AG's office requesting information about its business. As Bloomberg reports, a person with knowledge of the matter said this week that six high-frequency trading firms have r...



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Insider Scoop

Rovi Announces Sale of MainConcept Businesses

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ROVI U.S. Court Of Appeals Sides With Amazon In Rovi Lawsuit Market Wrap For April 8: Markets Bounce Higher As Earnings Season Begins

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), a global leader in entertainment discovery, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its DivX and MainConcept businesses. Rovi had previously announced its intent to sell the DivX and MainConcept businesses by the end of the second qua...



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Market Shadows

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

Two guest authors, David Stockman and long-time contributor John Rubino, write about the current state of Abenomics. 

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

By  

This one matters a lot. Abenomics was predicated on a lunatic notion—namely, that the economic ills from Japan’s massive debt overhang could be cured by a central bank bond buying spree that was designed to be nearly 3X larger relative to its GDP than that of the Fed. Yet anyone with a modicum of common sense and market...



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Option Review

Wild Ride For Chipotle

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (Ticker: CMG) opened higher on Thursday morning, rising more than 6.0% to $589.00, after the restaurant operator reported better than expected first-quarter sales ahead of the opening bell. But, the stock began to falter just before lunchtime on concerns the burrito-maker will increase menu prices for the first time in three years. The price of Chipotle’s shares have since fallen into negative territory and currently trade down 3.5% on the session at $532.89 as of 1:50 p.m. ET.

Chart – Shares in Chipotle cool by lunchtime

...

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Phil's Favorites

The Best of TRB 2014 - Investing and Psychology

 

The Best of TRB 2014 – Investing and Psychology

Courtesy of 

This week I’m in Disney World with the family, our first proper vacation all together in years. As such, I’m off the grid and away from computers of any kind (I’m trying to stay married, you guys). But while I’m gone, I’ve left you some stuff to catch up on…

These were the biggest posts – as read and shared by you – during the first quarter of this year. The theme of today’s collection is good investing and understanding the psychological forces at work when we commit capital. No matter how long I’m doing this...



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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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Sabrient

What the Market Wants: Positive News and Stocks at Bargain Prices

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%.  Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%.  That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine. 

But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%.  While autos led, sales were up solidly overall.  Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone.  Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises.  As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%.  NASDAQ had a less...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 14th 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...



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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 is the new Stock World Weekly. Please sign in with your user name and password, or sign up for a free trial to Stock World Weekly. Click here. 

Chart by Paul Price.

...

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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.

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...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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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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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.

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