Guest View
User: Pass: | become a member
Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

Sticker shock at the steak house; beef prices highest in 27 years

One place you'll find inflation--meat prices.

Sticker shock at the steak house; beef prices highest in 27 years | kens5.com San Antonio

By Doug Miller / KHOU 11 News and The Associated Press

Edd Hendee reached into the chilled glass case containing cold cuts of steak, the classic Texas entrée upon which he built his restaurant and his fortune, proudly showing off his merchandise like a jeweler displaying his diamonds.

“This is a center cut filet,” he said. “It’s the very best filet you can possibly buy. And that’s why it’s expensive.”

And lately, at the Taste of Texas restaurant in west Houston, it’s become even more expensive.

“When the price goes from just under $20 a pound to us wholesale to almost $25 a pound, that’s almost a $5 increase in this steak to me,” Hendee said. “I had to pass some of that along to the customers.”

Indeed, Hendee estimates his menu prices have risen roughly 20 percent in the last 18 months, as beef has hit its highest price in almost three decades.

A good steak hasn’t cost this much in America since Ronald Reagan was president. A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Keep reading Sticker shock at the steak house; beef prices highest in 27 years | kens5.com San Antonio.





Bernie Sanders, American Hero – Speaks out on Income Inequality

Thank God for people like Sanders – there's so few of them left:

“Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  What if there are ten righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the ten righteous people in it?" – Genesis 18:22

 





The “Housing Recovery” Is Complete: Major US Banks’ Mortgage Originations Tumble To Record Low

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Not much to add here that we haven't already said before about the state of demand for housing by the ordinary American.

First it was Wells Fargo:

 

Then it was JPMorgan:

 

Then it was Citigroup:

 

And now, it is Bank of America.

Remember when bank success (and profitability) depended on them lending such trivial things as mortgages so they could arb the Net Interest Margin (which incidentally also tumbled to a record low for Bank of America)? Good times…

In other news, the "housing recovery" is now complete.





Gold Doomed or Resting? Gold vs. Major Currencies; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Reiterate Sell Signal

Courtesy of Mish.

Here are some interesting charts from my friend Nick at Sharelynx Gold. (Login Required)

Gold vs. US Dollars

Gold vs. Euros

Gold vs. Ukraine Hyyvnia

It took about 4,000 Hyyvnia to buy an ounce of gold at the end of 2008. It takes 17,444 now.

Gold vs. Russia Rubles

Gold vs. India Rupees



Continue Here





French Email Ban Update: “Duty to Disconnect”

Courtesy of Mish.

In response to France Prohibits Sending Work Emails, Answering Cell Phones, Outside Working Hours one reader strenuously objected.

After exchanging numerous emails, his main objection was the accuracy of the title itself “France Prohibits Sending Work Emails, Answering Cell Phones, Outside Working Hours.”

Here is the exact headline of the La Vanguardia article that I translated “France prohibits sending mails from work outside working hours“.

The reader’s big objection? Claiming “France” did this.

Similarly, the Guardian received a lot of flak for its report When the French clock off at 6pm, they really mean it.

The Guardian originally had the number of people affected at 1,000,000. They corrected it to 250,000 and posted this correction.

This article was amended on 11 April 2014. An earlier version stated that the labour deal would affect “a million employees” and require staff “to switch off their phones after 6pm”. The deal obliges staff to “disconnect” from work calls and emails after working hours to ensure they receive the full minimum rest periods already mandated in French employment regulations but there is no particular time at which they are required to do so. While the deal was signed by unions representing 1 million employees, it will affect only 250,000 workers directly.

The article I quoted did not mention a time of day or the number of people affected. Thus, I did not have several errors that were present in the Guardian report.

Moreover, I know how these things start. In my opinion, this will quickly cascade, to numerous other unions.

Duty to Disconnect

A Translation on Les Echos speaks of the “duty to disconnect communication tools at a distance” to ensure that the minimum rest periods imposed by the French and European regulations on workload and minimum rest time.



Continue Here





Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal: Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We previously noted that both beef and pork (courtesy of the affectionately named Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) prices have been reaching new all time highs on an almost daily basis. It is time to update the chart. Below we show what a world in which the Fed is constantly lamenting the lack of inflation looks like for beef prices…

 

… pork

 

… and shrimp.

More from Bloomberg:

Prices for shrimp have jumped to a 14-year high in recent months, spurred by a disease that’s ravaging the crustacean’s population. At Noodles & Co., a chain with locations across the country, it costs 29 percent more to add the shellfish to pastas this year, and shrimp-heavy dishes at places like the Cheesecake Factory Inc. are going up as well.

Restaurant chains, already struggling with shaky U.S. consumer confidence, are taking a profit hit as prices climb. Even worse, the surge is happening during the season of Lent, when eateries rely on seafood to lure Christian diners who abstain from chicken, beef and pork on certain days.

“It’s coming at a tough time for the industry,” said Andrew Barish, a San Francisco-based analyst at Jefferies LLC. “With the Lenten season, what you’ll see out there is a lot of promotions with seafood, and usually shrimp is a big part of that.”

In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.

***

James Johnson, a Jewel-Osco supermarket shopper in Chicago, has noticed the price increase. He’s been cutting back on one of his favorite dishes — shrimp and potato soup — because of the cost.

“I haven’t made it in a while,” the 29-year-old said. “Shrimp looks expensive.”

***

At Noodles, it now costs $3.34 to add


continue reading





HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU

Courtesy of Robert Reich 

HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU

It’s tax time again, April 15, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe or possibly getting a tax refund. But what we don’t think about enough is whether our tax system is fair. The richest 1 percent of Americans are now getting the largest percent of total national income in almost a century. So you might think they’d pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else. 

But you’d be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans.

Some don’t pay any federal taxes at all. That’s because they‘re allowed to deduct from their taxable income such things as large interest payments on mortgages for huge homes, also the costs of business entertainment and conferences  (aka vacations at golf resorts), and gold plated health care plans.

Some also take advantage of tax loopholes that let them park some of their earnings in offshore tax havens like the Bahamas or the Netherlands Antilles.

And other loopholes that allow them to treat some income as capital gains – subject to a much lower tax rate than ordinary income. If you happen to be a hedge-fund or private-equity manager, there’s a capital gains loophole designed especially for you.

Consider the Social Security payroll tax and the situation is even more lopsided. That tax applies to every dollar of income up to a cap — which this year is $117,000. Anything earned above the cap is not subject to Social Security taxes at all – meaning anyone with a high income pays a much smaller percentage of it in Social Security taxes than most people do.

Put these all together and you see why Warren Buffet, the second richest person in America, pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, as he readily admits.

State and local taxes are even more regressive. The poorest fifth of Americans pay an average state and local tax rate of over 11 percent, while the richest fifth pay only 5.6 percent. This isn’t


continue reading





Specter of Civil War; Putin’s Army Hiding – Not Even CNN Can Find It; Easy Solution

Courtesy of Mish.

Today the government of Ukraine moved with force against the separatists, evoking a Specter of Civil War.

Ukraine unleashed an offensive to dislodge militants from towns in its eastern Donetsk region as the authorities in Kiev said elements of Russian special forces were identified among the anti-government forces.

Four militants were killed and two wounded when Ukrainian troops stormed an airport in Kramatorsk, taking it under control, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news service reported. Ukrainian units backed by armored personnel carriers blocked all approaches to the town of Slovyansk, RIA said, citing an a pro-Russian activist, Sergey Tsyplakov. Part of Russia’s 45th Airborne Regiment was spotted in both of the towns, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Vitali Yarema said on Channel 5.

The U.S. and EU states say Russia is behind the turmoil that has fueled their worst standoff since the Cold War. Russia, which NATO says has 40,000 troops massed on Ukraine’s border, denies involvement and says the government in Kiev isn’t protecting Russian-speaking citizens. In warnings similar to those that preceded its annexation of Crimea last month, it insists it has the right to protect them with force if needed.

40,000 Troops – Where Are They?

Countless times over the past few weeks the US, NATO, and EU spoke of mass buildup of Russian forces on the Ukraine border. OK so where are the troops?

Pater Tenebrarum at Acting Man notes Putin’s Army Still Hiding – Not Even CNN Can Find It

While it certainly appears possible that Russian special forces are lending a helping hand to the separatist movements in the Eastern Ukraine, we can continue to be quite sure that NATO is telling tall tales about the alleged ‘massing of Russian troops’ at the border with the Ukraine. Shortly after we noted that a UK journalist was unable to find Putin’s army anywhere near the border, NATO published satellite pictures that seemed to prove the opposite.

The Russians averred that while these pictures were quite real, they were also outdated, showing the situation at the time drills were taking place last August. It seems they were telling the truth. CNN has sent a team of reporters to the areas where NATO asserted the troops are stationed,


continue reading





Jamie Dimon’s Top Women and Their Missing Licenses

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Ina Drew, Former Head of the Chief Investment Office at JPMorgan, Testifying at the March 15, 2013 Senate Hearing on the London Whale Trading Losses

In the past two years, two of the most senior, long-tenured and talented women at JPMorgan, Ina Drew and Blythe Masters, have bid adieu to the bank and its CEO, Jamie Dimon, under less than ideal circumstances. Questions are now emerging as to whether Dimon required that these senior supervisors hold proper industry licenses for the work they performed for the bank.

Ina Drew, the former head of the Chief Investment Office, who supervised the traders responsible for losing $6.2 billion of the bank’s deposits in exotic derivatives trading in London, resigned from the firm over that firestorm on May 14, 2012. Drew had been with JPMorgan and its predecessor banks for 30 years.

In Drew’s testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on March 15, 2013, Drew told the hearing panel that beginning in 1999, she “oversaw the management of the Company’s core investment securities portfolio, the foreign-exchange hedging portfolio, the mortgage servicing rights (MSR) hedging book, and a series of other investment and hedging portfolios based in London, Hong Kong and other foreign cities.”

Drew told the Senate Committee that the investment securities portfolio exceeded $500 billion during 2008 and 2009 and as of the first quarter of 2012 was $350 billion. But during the 13 years that Drew supervised massive amounts of securities trading, she had neither a securities license nor a principal’s license to supervise others who were trading securities.

We asked numerous Wall Street regulators to explain how this is possible at today’s too-big-to-fail banks. One regulator who spoke on background only told us that Drew could not hold a securities license because she worked for the bank not its broker-dealer. Only employees of broker-dealers are allowed to hold securities licenses. But apparently, not having a securities license does not stop one from supervising a $500 billion portfolio of securities that are, most assuredly, traded by someone.



Continue Here





Debt Rattle Apr 15 2014: This Is Where We Say Good Night And Good Luck?

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth



National Photo Co. The House Without Children, Poli’s theater, Washington DC 1920

Update:

Michael Ruppert Has Committed Suicide

RIP



 

Let’s start the day with the best – or should I say the funniest – graph I’ve seen in a while, picked up from Tyler Durden. It speaks for itself.





If this means things are going according to plan, we might want to wonder what the plan is.

American markets went up yesterday, and it was suggested that this had something to do with March retail numbers, which were up 1.1%. But then in ‘the back pages’ today, Bloomberg added this:

When the year started, analysts estimated retailers’ first-quarter earnings would grow more than 13% [..] That average had dropped to 7.5% on March 1 and now stands at 3.2%


continue reading





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Is The Fed Fabricating Loan Creation Data?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One of the more bullish "fundamental" theses discussed in recent weeks, perhaps as an offset to the documented record collapse in mortgage origination - because without debt creation by commercial banks one can kiss this, or any recovery, goodbye - has been the so-called surge in loans and leases as reported weekly by the Fed in its H.8 statement. Some, such as the chief strategist of retail brokerage Charles Schwab, Liz Ann Sonders, went so far as to note that this is, to her, the "...



more from Tyler

Phil's Favorites

Sticker shock at the steak house; beef prices highest in 27 years

One place you'll find inflation--meat prices.

Sticker shock at the steak house; beef prices highest in 27 years | kens5.com San Antonio

By Doug Miller / KHOU 11 News and The Associated Press

Edd Hendee reached into the chilled glass case containing cold cuts of steak, the classic Texas entrée upon which he built his restaurant and his fortune, proudly showing off his merchandise like a jeweler displaying his diamonds.

“This is a center cut filet,” he said. “It’s the very best filet you can possibly buy. And that’s why it’s expensive.”

And lately, at the Taste of Texas restaurant in west Houston, it’s become even more expensive.

“When the price goes from just under $20 a pound to ...



more from Ilene

Chart School

Disturbing Charts: New Update

Courtesy of Doug Short.

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

I find the following charts to be disturbing. These charts would be disturbing at any point in the economic cycle; that they (on average) depict such a tenuous situation now ? 58 months after the official (as per the September 20, 2010 NBER BCDC announcement) June 2009 end of the recession ? is especially notable.

These charts raise a lot of questions. As well, they highlight the "atypical" nature of our economic situation from a long-term historical perspective.

All of these charts (except one, as noted) are from the Federal Reserve, and represent the most recently updated data.

The following eight charts are from the St. Louis...



more from Chart School

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

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...



more from Sabrient

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 ...



more from Bitcoin

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...



more from OpTrader

Market Shadows

Winning: Defined as Losing Less

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Market Shadows Excelled – With a 1.36% Weekly Decline

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. Our Virtual Value Porfolio took on that role this week as we lost a modest 1.36% of our value while the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped from 2.35% - 3.10%.

We remain bullish despite the shaky end of week sentiment. Our original $100,000 now totals $145,058 including our 2.8% cash reserve.

 ...



more from Paul

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.

...

more from SWW

Option Review

Bearish Prints In DDD Put Options

3D Systems shares had been in positive territory earlier in the session, up as much as 4.2% to touch an intraday high of $50.85. The stock bounced off a low of $47.17 in the early going, a new six-month low for the share price and a more than 50% drop from DDD’s record high of $97.28 reached back on January 3rd. Shares managed to stay in the green for much of the session before succumbing to selling pressure this afternoon. Options expiring next week suggests at least one trader is positioning for further weakness in the near term.

The 17Apr’14 $47 puts traded more than 2,000 times this morning against previously existing open interest o...



more from Caitlin

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

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...



more from Pharmboy



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 >>