by Promotions - October 30th, 2014 4:56 pm
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- The investing trends that will matter next year
- Our top stock picks for 2015!!!
by ilene - October 30th, 2014 4:07 pm
Patrick starts by reviewing what a "broken record" is. (Sadly, I know and you probably do too.) He notes that biotechnology has undergone more enormous changes than the music delivery industry, and that most people do not have a proper appreciation of how big this "biotech transformation" is. Then, he reviews what mitochondria are, how they work and why they are so important to us.
Within all the cells of our bodies, microchondria produce energy - the energy supply needed to run the cells' activities. Without the ability to take nutrients and convert them to energy, via these little cellular machines, we are dead. And that, in brief, is why mitochondria are important.
By Patrick Cox
I may sound like a broken record saying this again, but it’s critical that we realize that scientific understanding of the biological world is increasing at an exponential rate. For younger readers, I should explain that the term “broken record” is a reference to a common failure of the old pressed-vinyl audio recording technology. Occasionally, the spiraled groove on a record imprinted with physical representations of sound would be scratched or otherwise damaged. As a result, the needle that transferred analog information to the amplifier would be knocked outward from the groove to play the same section of the recording over and over again.
For those of you who already knew this, it’s useful to realize that the technology of audio recording that was once universal is not just obsolete, most younger people don’t even know what a skipping record is today. The reason that this is such a useful realization is that biotechnology has undergone even bigger changes than the transformation of recorded music from bumps in vinyl grooves to streamed electrons. Most people, however, have no real appreciation of how big the ongoing biotech transformation really is.
New tools let us see deep into the atomically precise world of molecular biology. Just as important is a growing base of biological knowledge that is available to anybody. Though Google Scholar is only 10 years old, I find it hard to imagine a…
by ilene - October 30th, 2014 12:50 pm
Tim Cook discusses being gay on BusinessWeek. Recent bullying statistics show that gay teens are from 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than others, and almost 30% of completed suicides are related to problems dealing with sexual identity. Perhaps Tim Cook's story will help people accept their differences, whatever they are, and move on to achieve their goals.
Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.
I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.
Full article: Tim Cook: "I'm Proud to be Gay" – Businessweek.
Zero Hedge commented on Cook's admission here and shared…
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 11:04 pm
By John Mauldin
The story of energy is the story of human expansion. From the days when we roamed the African savanna, we tamed first fire and then other forms of energy, using them as tools to control our environment and improve our lives. The control of energy has always been at the heart of the human story.
This week our Outside the Box essay is from my friend Marin Katusa, who has written a fascinating book about a part of that story, a subplot of intrigue and conspiracy. Under Putin, Russia has aspired to dominate the energy markets. Called The Colder War, Marin’s book is a well-written tale of the rise of Putin and his desire to change the way the world’s energy markets are controlled.
I sat down a few months ago with an advance copy, not sure what to expect. Marin is personally very colorful and entertaining, but would that charisma translate to words on a page? I started on a Sunday afternoon and finished before I laid my head on the pillow that night. The Colder War was an entertaining and gripping story of the rise of Putin and the shifting sands of the world of oil. It was also an insightful overview of the last century. I highly recommend it.
At the end of the day, I disagree with Marin as to Putin’s ability to achieve his vision. While Putin wants to displace the petro-dollar as the global medium of energy exchange, he will fail. But maybe that’s the hometown boy in me thinking my team will win.
But that is the last 10% of the book. The first 90% is an easy must-read. Warning: it is not written from a US perspective. Marin’s view of the events of the last century sound more like those I hear when I travel outside the US.
I took the liberty of checking his story with a good friend of mine, Jerry Fullenwider, a very successful Texas oil entrepreneur, who lived in Russia during Putin’s rise. He confirmed Marin’s tales and more. He has his history right. And what a history it is. Today’s OTB is the introduction to the book, and if…
by ilene - October 29th, 2014 7:17 pm
Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded shortly after takeoff Tuesday night.
And now the company's shares are crashing as well.
In premarket trade on Wednesday, Orbital Sciences shares were down more than 15% after the company's unmanned Antares rocket exploded shortly after taking off for the International Space Station with about 5,000 pounds of supplies.
In a statement, Orbital Sciences said that shortly after takeoff the rocket experienced a "catastrophic failure."
No was hurt in the incident.
by phil - October 29th, 2014 7:24 am
Check out this chart:
That's the NYSE McClellen Oscillator, which hasn't been this high (overbought) since July of 2011, when the S&P plunged from 1,345 to 1,123 (16.5%) in 4 terrifying weeks. Yesteday's rally was a very low-volume affair 101.3M on SPY (about 60% of normal) and we were goosed by Peter Schiff on CNBC at 1:10 pm, claiming QE4 was right around the corner:
Ahead of tomorrow's decision by the FOMC, Peter Schiff ventured on to CNBC to discuss the economy, the fed, and gold… among other things. Schiff rightly fears that while the Fed may well stop QE3 tomorrow, QE4 will not be too long behind it as he notes, rather eloquently, that "an economy that lives by QE, will die by QE" as the Fed's total lack of willingness to allow stocks to fall (see Bullard 2 weeks ago) or a 'cleansing' recession leaves the nation's economy in far worse shape than it was before the Fed's intervention. Schiff calmly replies to the anchor's questions (as she proclaims "I am not on the side of the Fed but…"), gently explains his view on gold when challenged about his 'wrongness', but when a guest starts hounding him for being dangerous to CNBC viewers wealth… Schiff (rightly) loses it – must watch!
It seems bulls are confident the Fed will end QE on schedule and at the same time give bulls dovish comments about conditions (“don’t mess with us”!) going forward. Many pundits are discussing interest rates remaining unchanged for several years and longer.
That means companies like IBM can continue (another $5 billion share buyback announced today) their financial engineering to lessen float making it easy to report better earnings at the price of future innovation and company growth. But bulls don’t care about future growth, only what takes place now. Besides, this is the
by ilene - October 28th, 2014 5:37 pm
Courtesy of SAM RO, Business Insider
Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg isn't rattled by the recent volatility in the financial markets.
"For stocks, it always comes down to the Fed and the economy," Rosenberg said to Business Insider.
"The reality is that bear markets do not just pop out of the air," he wrote. "They are caused by tight money, recessions, or both. These conditions do not apply, nor will they until 2016 at the earliest."
We recently asked Rosenberg for what he considered to be the Most Important Chart In The World. He sent us this annotated chart of the year-over-year percent change in the S&P 500. As you can see, the big plunges indeed came during recessions and monetary tightening cycles.
Based on the trends in the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, a recession is "at least two years away," Rosenberg said. "That is one peg — the expansion being sustained. The other is the Fed policy, and any actual rate hikes now seem to be more of a 2015 than a 2016 story."
The Federal Reserve concludes its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday, at which point we may get some clues regarding the timing of the Fed's first rate hike. For now, all we know is it's a considerable ways off.
by ilene - October 27th, 2014 9:29 pm
Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain
The bias in the US media towards corporate and special interests is apparent in some sources more easily and readily than in others, especially if one has access and bothers to look at a broad base of international news sources.
The great change was institutionalized with the overturn of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan in 1985 and the revoking of media ownership restrictions from 1934 and 1975 under the Clinton administration's Telecommunications Act of 1996.
What has changed perhaps is the extreme marginalization of independent sources. For the most part media outlets declare themselves for one group or another. The bias of the financial media in policy issues has become so obvious and servile to its corporate interests that it is almost embarrassing. What is even more surprising is the reach of this sort of continuous advocacy journalism into 'mainstream' channels such as Fox and MSNBC that actively re-interpret reality to suit a class of viewers.
This balkanization of the issues attracts large classes of listeners into group think, and precludes any meaningful debate of the issues, even to the very framing of the questions and the issues, and ultimately their very perception of reality.
This is a brief excerpt. Read the entire article for free here.
"The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism.
They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses.
The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn
by ilene - October 27th, 2014 5:04 pm
Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine
There have been numerous factors contributing to this bull market, even in the face of a slew of daunting and exhausting headlines. Contributing to the advance has been a steady stream of rising earnings; a flood of price buoying stock buybacks; and the all-important gift of growing dividends that keep on giving. Bonds have benefited to a lesser extent than stocks over the last five years in part because bonds lack the gift of rising dividend payouts. Life would be grander for bondholders, if the issuers had the heart to share generous news like this:
“Good day Mr. & Mrs. Jones. As your bond issuer, we value our mutually beneficial relationship so much that we would like to reward you as a bond investor. In addition to the 2.5% we are paying you now, we have decided to increase your annual payments by 6% per year for the next 20 years. In other words, we will increase your $2,500 in annual interest payments to over $8,000 per year. But wait…there’s more! You are such great people, we are going to increase the value of your initial $100,000 investment to $450,000.”
Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not…sort of. However, the scenario is absolutely true, if you invested $100,000 in S&P 500 stocks during 1993 and held that investment until today. Unfortunately, the gift giving conversation above would be unattainable and the furthest from the truth, if you invested $100,000 into bonds. Today, if you decided to invest $100,000 in 20-year government bonds paying 2.5%, your $2,500 in annual payments will never increase over the next two decades. What’s more, by 2034 your initial principal of $100,000 won’t increase by a penny, while inflation slowly but surely crushes your investment’s purchasing power.
To illustrate the magical power of dividend compounding at a 6% CAGR, here is a chart of the S&P 500 dividend stream over the 21-year period of 1993 – 2014:
The trend of increasing dividends doesn’t appear to be slowing either. Here is a table showing the number of S&P 500 companies increasing their dividend payouts:
|COUNT OF DIVIDEND ACTIONS YEAR-TO-DATE||INCREASING THEIR|