Archive for 2014

Allied World To Acquire Latin American Underwriters, No Terms Disclosed

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AWH
Can Chubb (CB) Beat on Earnings with Underwriting Acumen?
Can Torchmark (TMK) Earnings Beat Despite Weak Agent Growth?

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.

Related M
Earnings Expectations For The Week Of November 10
Benzinga Weekly Preview: Retail In Focus
Tips for Successfully Landing a Seasonal Job (Fox Business)

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.

Related CNMD
CONMED Offers Open Letter to Holders
Filing from CONMED Shows Letter from Chair to Daniel Plants of Voce Capital, Responds to Firm's Offer to Withdraw Nominees

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…
continue reading

Benzinga's Top #PreMarket Losers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DNDN
#PreMarket Primer: Wednesday, October 29: Fed Likely To End Bond Purchases
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.

Related MYGN
Crescendo Bioscience To Feature New Data On Vectra DA At 2014 ACR Meeting
Earnings Scheduled For November 4, 2014

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.

Related NSM
Midday Losers From November 6: Qualcomm, Genworth Financial, Epizyme, Nationstar Mortgage
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.

Related MRK
US Stock Futures Edge Lower Ahead Of Earnings, Jobless Claims
#PreMarket Primer: Tuesday, October 28: CDC Warns That Involuntary Quarantines Could Discourage Progress On Ebola
Week Ahead: July Jobs Report, FOMC and GDP (Fox Business)

Related GILD
CNBC's Stock Pops & Drops From November 3: GoPro, Gilead Sciences And More
#PreMarket Primer: Monday, November 3: Commercial Space Travel Questioned After Failed Flights
Making Money With Charles Payne: 10/08/14 (Fox Business)

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…
continue reading

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…
continue reading


Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...

more from Tyler

Phil's Favorites

This Is The One Chart Every Trader Should Have "Taped To Their Screen"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After a year of tapering, the Fed’s balance sheet finally captured the market’s attention during the last three months of 2018.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Fed had finished raising the caps on monthly roll-off of its balance sheet to the full $50bn per month (peaking at $30bn USTs, $20bn MBS, although on many months the (balance sheet) B/S does not actually shrink by this full amount which depends on the redemption schedule) and by end-Q4 markets also experienced some of the largest volatility and drawdowns in nearly a decade.

As Nomura&...

more from Ilene


The Competition For Capital Has Made Stocks Cheap

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The new year is upon us, and now is the time many investors look at what 2018 was and prepare for what 2019 might be. Recession jitters are starting to pick back up again, especially now that the full picture of 2018 is in the books. But what if you could pick only one theme for 2018? Jefferies strategist Sean Darby and team have a suggestion which is especially timely given that it appears to mark the end of an era.

StockSnap / PixabayVolatility carries into the new year

This past year was one of extremes, and the markets ended i...

more from ValueWalk

Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...

more from Kimble C.S.

Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain


Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...

more from Bitcoin

Insider Scoop Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...

more from Chart School

Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn


Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...

more from Our Members


Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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


Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.


more from Biotech

Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...

more from M.T.M.


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


more from Promotions

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 >>