Archive for 2014

Allied World To Acquire Latin American Underwriters, No Terms Disclosed

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG announced today that its U.S. holding subsidiary has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Latin American Holdings Ltd. (“LAU”), a program administrator that has underwritten trade credit and political risk coverages solely for Allied World since 2010. The acquisition will allow Allied World to bring in-house LAU’s significant trade credit underwriting and market expertise. LAU wrote $28.5 million of gross premiums in 2013.

Under the terms of the transaction, Allied World will also acquire LAU’s underwriting teams in the United States and London. Allied World will continue to offer worldwide coverage for short and medium-term credit and political risk insureds targeting exporters, importers, financial institutions, contractors and investors worldwide. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

Frank D’Orazio, President, Bermuda and International Insurance, commented “The team at LAU has significant expertise underwriting the risks associated with trade credit and political risk. Bringing them in-house is part of our strategic commitment to building a stronger presence in this specialty segment of the market as we continue to build our global franchise. We expect very little change for our clients during this period of transition and look forward to working with the LAU team to further build-out this line of business.”

Posted-In: News M&A Press Releases

Stifel Previews Department Stores Q3 Earnings: Macy's, Kohl's And Nordstrom

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Richard Jaffe previewed Softline retailers upcoming third quarter results in a note to clients on Monday. The analyst maintains a positive tone on Macy's, Inc. (NYSE: M), Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS) and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN).

Jaffe notes that there exists “near-term uncertainty” at the three companies but the analyst believes in the companies longer-term performance.

Kohl's pre-released its expected third quarter comps, showing a 1.4 percent decline, driven by weak store traffic. Jaffe expects similar trends at both Macy's and Nordstrom.

“In our opinion, the consumer is reacting to lack of a strong fashion trend this year, uncertainty regarding the economy and negative headline news,” Jaffe wrote.

However, all three companies are “advantaged” according to Jaffe because they offer a broad assortment of merchandise with a focus on improving their apparel assortment to attract younger customers. In addition, the analyst adds that “dramatic” consolidation has helped the three companies become more dominant.

Finally, Jaffe notes that allowances from vendors help to offset markdown expense and gross margin erosion in addition to higher marketing expenses.

Jaffe expects Macy's to earn $0.52 in its third quarter, Kohl's to earn $0.74 in its third quarter and Nordstrom to earn $0.71 in its third quarter.

Latest Ratings for M

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Northcoast Research Upgrades Neutral Buy
Oct 2014 Macquarie Maintains Outperform
Sep 2014 Sterne Agee Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for M
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: kohl's macy's Nordstrom Richard JaffeAnalyst Color Previews Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

Curt Hartman Named President And CEO Of CONMED Corporation

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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CONMED Corporation (Nasdaq: CNMD) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Curt Hartman as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hartman joined the Company’s Board of Directors in March 2014 and was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer in July 2014.

“After a broad search conducted with the advice of a nationally recognized executive search firm, I am very pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has selected Curt Hartman to be the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer,” said Mark Tryniski, Chairman of CONMED’s Board of Directors. “This decision was based not only on his previous industry experience and demonstrated results, but also on the leadership qualities he has displayed while in the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer at CONMED. Curt has a thorough understanding of our business and operations, and a deep appreciation for the hard work and talent of our employees. We are very pleased Curt has accepted the permanent position and believe that he will lead the Company effectively into its next chapter of growth, profitability and improved performance.”

“I am honored and excited to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of CONMED Corporation,” said Mr. Hartman. “Since joining the CONMED board eight months ago I have become deeply familiar with our products, people and potential – and I am very enthusiastic about all three. I look forward to building on the work we have already started, and pursuing excellence at CONMED alongside our talented and dedicated employees in order to unlock our full potential, better enabling our customers to enhance patient outcomes. Through a renewed focus on operating performance and innovation, we will drive revenue and earnings growth, and build CONMED into the first choice for our customers’ needs, our employees’ talent and our shareholders’ capital.”

Before joining CONMED, Mr. Hartman had a twenty-two year career at Stryker Corporation where he served in a variety of executive leadership roles, including Interim Chief Executive Officer from February 2012 to…
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Benzinga's Top #PreMarket Losers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Morning Market Losers

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) shares slipped 67.09% to $0.31 in pre-market trading on Chapter 11 filing.

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) fell 9.80% to $15.01 in pre-market trading after the company reported a wider-than-expected Q3 loss.

GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO) shares dropped 5.51% to $74.70 in pre-market trading after the company announced a $800 million common stock shelf offering via selling holders.

PhotoMedex (NASDAQ: PHMD) shares declined 5.13% to $2.96 in pre-market trading after surging 4.00% on Friday.

Posted-In: PreMarket LosersNews Movers & Shakers Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Morgan Stanley Initiates Myriad Genetics With Underperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Analysts at Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN) with a Underperform rating.

The target price for Myriad Genetics is set to $25.

Myriad Genetics shares have gained 29.61% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 14.68% in the same period.

Myriad Genetics’ shares fell 1.98% to $34.20 in pre-market trading.

Latest Ratings for MYGN

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Morgan Stanley Initiates Coverage on Underperform
Aug 2014 Credit Suisse Maintains Neutral
Jun 2014 Macquarie Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for MYGN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Morgan StanleyInitiation Analyst Ratings

Keefe Bruyette & Woods Upgrades Nationstar Mortgage Holdings To Market Perform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc Moves Lower On Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Downgrade

Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods upgraded Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NYSE: NSM) from Underperform to Market Perform.

The price target for Nationstar Mortgage Holdings is set to $30.

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings shares have dropped 21.19% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 14.68% in the same period.

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings’ shares gained 7.03% to close at $29.83 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for NSM

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Morgan Stanley Maintains Equal-weight
Nov 2014 Keefe Bruyette & Woods Upgrades Underperform Market Perform
Nov 2014 Barclays Maintains Equal-weight

View More Analyst Ratings for NSM
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Keefe Bruyette & WoodsUpgrades Analyst Ratings

RBC Sees Weak Merck Data As Positive For Gilead

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a note from RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee, Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE: MRK) weaker-than-expected data for hepatitis C is a net positive for Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).

Merck had looked to shorten hepatitis C treatment by adding Gilead's Sovaldi to its own oral two-drug combination, but the effectiveness came up short, with a high rate of relapses, according to interim data from the study.

In the study, 38.7 percent were cured in four weeks and 86.7 percent were cured in six weeks, according to data presented Monday at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases conference in Boston. Those numbers are well below current cure rates exceeding 90 percent, and far below the cure rates approaching 99 percent from Gilead's Sovaldi and Harvoni combination, which should provide a boost for Gilead.

Shares of Merck were lower by 2.2 percent in pre-market trading at $57.83, while Gilead was higher by 2.7 percent at $109.30.

Latest Ratings for MRK

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2014 Jefferies Maintains Hold
Oct 2014 Guggenheim Securities Initiates Coverage on Neutral
Sep 2014 Jefferies Maintains Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for MRK
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Michael Yee RBC CapitalAnalyst Color News Health Care Analyst Ratings General

Ratio of Part-Time Employed Remains Substantially Higher Than the Pre-Recession Level

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Let’s take a close look at last week’s employment report numbers on Full and Part-Time Employment. Buried near the bottom of Table A-9 of the government’s Employment Situation Summary are the numbers for Full- and Part-Time Workers, with 35-or-more hours as the arbitrary divide between the two categories. The focus is on total hours worked: Full-time status may result from multiple part-time jobs.

The Labor Department has been collecting this since 1968, a time when only 13.5% of US employees were part-timers. That number peaked at 20.1% in January 2010. The latest data point, over four-and-a-half years later, is only modestly lower at 18.8% last month. If the pre-recession percentage is a recovery target, we still have a long way to go.

Here is a visualization of the trend in the 21st century, with the percentage of full-time employed on the left axis and the part-time employed on the right. We see a conspicuous crossover during Great Recession.

The Impact of the Great Recession

Here is a closer look since 2007. The reversal began in 2008, but it accelerated in the Fall of that year following the September 15th bankruptcy of Lehmann Brothers. In this seasonally adjusted data the reversal peaked in January of 2010.

The two charts above are seasonally adjusted and include the entire workforce, which the CPS defines as age 16 and over. A problem inherent in using this broadest of cohorts is that it includes the population that adds substantial summertime volatility to the full-time/part-time ratio, namely, high school and college students. Also the 55-plus cohort includes a subset of employees that opt for part-time employment during the decade following the historical peak spending years (ages 45-54) and as a transition toward retirement.

Change in the Core Workforce, Ages 25-54

The next chart better illustrates summertime volatility by focusing on the change since 2007 in full- and part-time employment for the 25-54 workforce. Note that the government’s full-time/part-time data for this cohort is only available as non-seasonally adjusted. To help us recognize the summer seasonality, I’ve used a lighter color for the June-July-August markers, which are the most subject to temporary shifts from part-time to 35-plus hours of employment. I’ve also included 12-month moving averages for the two series to help us identify the slope of the trend in…
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Swing trading portfolio – week of November 10th, 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


Swing trading virtual portfolio

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.</p></body></html>


The System Is Terminally Broken

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Originally posted at Investment Research Dynamics,

This is a world where nothing is solved. Someone once told me, ‘Time is a flat circle.’ Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.  - Nic Pizzalotto, “True Detective”

The Fed has formally “ended” QE, but it hasn’t really.  The Fed will continue reinvesting interest on its portfolio in more bonds and it will rollover maturities.  We saw what happens to the stock market a few weeks ago when Fed official James Bullard asserted that the Fed needs to start raising rates:   the S&P 500 quickly dropped 8%.  Right at the bottom of the drop, the very same Bullard issued a statement suggesting that QE should be extended.  This triggered an insanely abrupt “V” move back up to a new record high for the S&P 500.  Bullard either did this intentionally or is a complete idiot.

The stock market can’t function without Federal Reserve intervention.  The stock market lost 8% quickly on just the thought that the Fed might start raising rates.  Imagine what would happen if the Fed decided to “experiment” by shutting down its market intervention operations – both verbal and physical – for a month…

As for QE, if the Fed has achieved its objective of stimulating the economy, why doesn’t it start removing the $2.6 trillion of liquidity that it has injected into its member banks (LINK)?  This was money that was supposed to be directed at the economy.  How come it’s sitting on bank balance sheets earning .25% interest?  That’s $6.5 billion in free interest the Fed continues to inject into the Too Big To Fail banks.  But why?  What would happen if the Fed decided to “experiment” by removing this massive dead-pool of money from the banks?  The money isn’t really “dead,” it’s keeping the banks from collapsing.

I’m interested to watch the Government Treasury bond auctions now that the Fed is not there to soak up anywhere from 50-100% of each issue.  I wonder if the banks will be moving their $2.6 trillion in Excess Reserves into new Treasury issuance.  Obama is going around broadcasting the lie that the Government’s spending deficit in FY 2014 was something like $600 billion.  Yet, the amount of new Treasury bonds issued…
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Phil's Favorites

Congress is considering privacy legislation - be afraid


Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

Courtesy of Jeff Sovern, St. John's University

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called privacy the “right to be let alone.” Perhaps Congress should give states trying to protect consumer data the same right.

For years, a gridlocked Congress ignored privacy, apart from occasionally scolding companies such as Equifax and Marriott after their major data breaches. In its absence, ...

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Zero Hedge

Key Events This Week: Trade War, EU Elections, Durables, PMIs And Fed Minutes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Looking at this week's key events, Deutsche Bank's Craig Nicol writes that while the unpredictable nature of US-China trade developments will likely continue to be the main focus for markets again next week, we also have the European Parliament elections circus to look forward to as well as various survey reports including the flash May PMIs which may offer some insight into the impact of trade escalation on economic data. The FOMC and ECB meeting minutes are also due, along with a heavy calendar of Fed officials speaking.

The European Parliament elections will kick off next Thursday with voting continuing into the weekend across the continent, with results expected on Sunday. With the elections surrounded by internal and external challenges for the EU, members di...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will S&P 500 Double Top Derail The Rally?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The rally off the December stock market lows has been strong, to say the least. The S&P 500 rallied 25 percent before hitting and testing the 2018 high.

The old highs proved to be formidable resistance and ushered in some volatility in May… and a 5 percent pullback.

In today’s 2-pack, we look at that resistance level – could that be a double top? We can see similar patterns develop on the S&P 500 Index and its Equal Weight counterpart.

Both indexes are testing short-term Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent decline at point (2).

What takes place here after potential double top highs will be important. Stay tuned...

more from Kimble C.S.

Insider Scoop

60 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY) shares jumped 50 percent to close at $23.99 on Friday. Fastly priced its 11.25 million share IPO at $16 per share.
  • Outlook Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OTLK) shares climbed 37.3 percent to close at $2.10 on Friday after the stock rose over 68 percent Thursday following an Oppenheimer initiation at Outperform with a price target of $12.
  • Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) shares rose 22.5 percent to close at $36.52 after Hewlett Packard Enterpri... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.


more from Chart School

Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control


Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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


DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University


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More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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


Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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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.

Market Shadows >>