Archive for 2014

Congress Declares War Against Russia … Bipartisan Ridicule Follows

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

Congress has pretty much just declared war on Russia … and is receiving condemnation and ridicule from conservatives and liberals alike.

Conservative former long-time congressman Ron Paul writes:

Today the US House passed what I consider to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever.

 

***

 

In fact, the bill was 16 pages of war propaganda that should have made even neocons blush, if they were capable of such a thing.

 

These are the kinds of resolutions I have always watched closely in Congress, as what are billed as “harmless” statements of opinion often lead to sanctions and war. I remember in 1998 arguing strongly against the Iraq Liberation Act because, as I said at the time, I knew it would lead to war. I did not oppose the Act because I was an admirer of Saddam Hussein – just as now I am not an admirer of Putin or any foreign political leader – but rather because I knew then that another war against Iraq would not solve the problems and would probably make things worse. We all know what happened next.

 

That is why I can hardly believe they are getting away with it again, and this time with even higher stakes: provoking a war with Russia that could result in total destruction!

 

If anyone thinks I am exaggerating about how bad this resolution really is, let me just offer a few examples from the legislation itself:

 

The resolution (paragraph 3) accuses Russia of an invasion of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. The statement is offered without any proof of such a thing. Surely with our sophisticated satellites that can read a license plate from space we should have video and pictures of this Russian invasion. None have been offered. As to Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, why isn’t it a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty for the US to participate in the overthrow of that country’s elected government as it did in February? We have all heard the tapes of State Department officials plotting with the US Ambassador in Ukraine to overthrow the government. We heard US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland bragging that the US spent $5 billion on regime change in


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FBR Capital Markets Analyst On IBM, Oracle Rumored Interest In FireEye: We Expect A Lot More Consolidation Over The Next Year In The Sector

Courtesy of Benzinga.

When asked about the Dealreporter rumor that both International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) are interested in FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE), FBR Capital Markets Senior Analyst Daniel Ives told Benzinga he expects a lot more consolidation in the sector over the next year.

He said that FireEye, among other cyber-security companies, remains attractive as potential acquisition targets.

Traditional technology companies like IBM, Oracle, SAP and others are having trouble accelerating growth, Ives explained, so they need “more fuel in the engine” in areas like cybersecurity and big data.

“I think we’re kind of going into a massive potential phase of consolidation just within a lot of these spaces as these large, traditional tech stalwarts look for growth,” he said.

On the subject about whether or not FireEye would want to be sold, Ives pointed out that CEO David DeWalt has sold other companies of his, including McAfee and Documentum.

Posted-In: Cybersecurity Daniel Ives FBR Capital MarketsAnalyst Color News M&A Exclusives Tech





Aehr Test Systems Announces Changes To Its Board Of Directors

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Aehr Test Systems (Nasdaq: AEHR), a worldwide supplier of semiconductor test and burn-in equipment, today announced that John M. Schneider has joined the Company’s Board of Directors, effective December 3, 2014. Mr. Schneider is founder, President and CEO of Private Wealth Advisors. He replaces Mukesh Patel, who has served on the Aehr Test Systems board since 1999 and has resigned for personal reasons. The number of Aehr Test board members remains at seven.

“John is a successful entrepreneur with extensive knowledge and proven ability to initiate and sustain growth and we are delighted to have him join our board,” said Rhea Posedel, Chairman of Aehr Test Systems. “He has provided ongoing commitment, support and belief in Aehr Test Systems including participation in our recent common stock offering, with his ownership approaching 10 percent of our outstanding shares. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mukesh for more than 15 years of service bringing his invaluable technology and marketing expertise to the company and for his ongoing support as a large shareholder in the company and a significant participant in our recent stock offering.”

Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, said, “Having sat down and talked with John extensively, I am excited to welcome him to our team and believe now is a very good time for him to join the board. He will be a strong addition as we continue to build momentum for our key new products, which are aimed at capitalizing on the substantial emerging test market opportunities in automotive, mobility, communications, and data storage markets.”

Mr. Schneider founded Private Wealth Advisors, Inc. (PWA) in 2003 with $300 million in assets and managed the firm’s asset growth to approximately $1 billion in just over a decade. Based on the substantial growth of PWA, Mr. Schneider founded PWA Securities in 2008 to act as a broker-dealer for PWA. In addition, he founded PWA Real Estate in 2007. From an initial purchase of $14.5 million, the total value of all PWA Real Estate properties currently stands at approximately $160 million. He also serves on numerous boards in the Pittsburgh area.

Posted-In: News Management Press Releases





Fitch Ratings Has Positive Outlook On U.S. Auto Manufacturers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Fitch Ratings announced Monday that it “expects the credit profiles of U.S. auto manufacturers and suppliers to strengthen in 2015 despite slower growth in auto sales, as discussed in its outlook report published today. Fitch's ratings outlook is positive while the overall sector outlook is stable.”

Fitch forecasted “U.S. light vehicle sales of 16.8 million units in 2015, up 3 percent from its forecast 16.3 million in 2014 but below prerecession peak levels.”

Globally, the ratings firm expected “auto demand to increase modestly in 2015.” Fitch believed “that manufacturers will need to adjust from a growth-oriented environment in the U.S. to a more steady-state situation. This will test the pricing and production discipline that the industry generally demonstrated in the post-recession period.”

Fitch commented that General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) “is a candidate for an upgrade to investment grade status in 2015, despite ongoing legal issues around the company's recalls in 2014.” The company is currently rated BB+ with a Positive Outlook.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) was also mentioned as an upgrade candidate along with several U.S. auto suppliers. Ford is currently rated BBB- with a  Positive Outlook.

General Motors closed Monday at $32.68, down 2.82 percent.

Ford Motor closed Monday at $15.43, down 1.72 percent.

Latest Ratings for GM

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2014 Credit Suisse Maintains Underperform
Oct 2014 Susquehanna Initiates Coverage on Neutral
Oct 2014 Morgan Stanley

View More Analyst Ratings for GM
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Fitch RatingsNews Analyst Ratings





Goldman Sachs On Chipotle Mexican Grill: Investors Willing To Pay Big Multiple For A Big Burrito

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Karen Houlthouse of Goldman Sachs resumed coverage of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) on Monday with a $790 price target.

“Not only is Chipotle Mexican Grill one of few concepts well positioned for the “real food” movement, but it has still significant untapped latent comp drivers,” Houlthouse wrote in a note. The analyst adds that the company can confront the movement through increased marketing spend, mobile initiatives, pricing power and long-term store economics.

Houlthouse adds that Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the best multi-year comp stores in restaurants, despite risks on the cost front including food inflation. The analyst states that while food inflation is a concern, Chiptole Mexican Grill didn’t see much fallout from its previous round of price increases.

Houlthouse also states that millennials tend to have a below average opinion of food quality among restaurants with Chipotle Mexican Grill being an exception.

Houlthouse conducted a 15- to 20-year discounted cash flow analysis where the company operates 4,500 total units and calculated shares have an implied valuation of $830. The analyst adds that the calculation implies the company’s two concept restaurants (Shouphouse and Pizzeria Locale) are “free options,” essentially implying investors are getting the restaurant concepts for free.

Latest Ratings for CMG

Date Firm Action From To
Dec 2014 Goldman Sachs Initiates Coverage on Buy
Nov 2014 Citigroup Maintains Buy
Oct 2014 Wunderlich Maintains Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for CMG
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Chipotle Mexican Grill Food Inflation Karen HoulthouseAnalyst Color Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings





Mid-Day Losers From December 8: Digital River, Arista Networks, Baytex Energy, ITT Educational Services

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV) -25% – Shares are lower as the company filed an 8-K granting Microsoft an extension to decide whether or not to extend a key agreement between the two companies.

Arista Networks Inc (NYSE: ANET) -11% – On Friday, Cisco Systems sued Arista accusing the company of infringing on an array of Cisco patents and copyrights associated with its networking equipment. Moreover, Citigroup lowered the price target to $85.

Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE: BTE) -12.6% – Shares are lower as oil continues to trend lower.

ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE: ESI) -10% – Following a 35 percent gain on Friday, it appears profit takers have stepped in Monday.

Posted-In: Intraday Update Movers





UPDATE: Morgan Stanley Reiterates On Lowe's Companies As Most Roads Lead To Upside

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a report published Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman reiterated an Equal-Weight rating on Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW), and raised the price target from $64.00 to $71.00.

In the report, Morgan Stanley noted, “LOW will likely stick to its 2015 EBIT margin goal of 9.7% and lay out new 3-year financial targets. Even if 9.7% is not realized next year (theStreet is at 9.3%), annual EPS growth should be high-teens+ for the forseeable future, implying a still solid risk/reward.”

Lowe’s Companies closed on Friday at $64.86.

Latest Ratings for LOW

Date Firm Action From To
Dec 2014 Morgan Stanley Maintains Equal-weight
Nov 2014 JP Morgan Maintains Overweight
Nov 2014 Citigroup Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for LOW
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Morgan Stanley Simeon GutmanAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings





Earnings Scheduled For December 8, 2014

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: PBY) is projected to post its Q3 earnings at $0.12 per share on revenue of $512.55 million.

H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) is estimated to post a Q2 loss at $0.42 per share on revenue of $141.99 million.

Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) is expected to report a Q1 loss at $2.03 per share on revenue of $132.04 million.

ABM Industries (NYSE: ABM) is projected to post its Q4 earnings at $0.58 per share on revenue of $1.30 billion.

Diamond Foods (NASDAQ: DMND) is expected to post its Q1 earnings at $0.25 per share on revenue of $253.54 million.

IDT (NYSE: IDT) is projected to post its Q1 earnings at $0.42 per share on revenue of $415.00 million.

Liberty Tax (NASDAQ: TAX) is estimated to report a Q2 loss at $0.74 per share on revenue of $7.25 million.

Triangle Petroleum (NYSE: TPLM) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $148.64 million.

Photronics (NASDAQ: PLAB) is estimated to post its Q4 earnings at $0.09 per share on revenue of $128.20 million.

Ingles Markets (NASDAQ: IMKTA) is expected to report its Q4 earnings.

Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) is estimated to post its Q4 earnings at $0.38 per share on revenue of $36.73 million.

Posted-In: Earnings scheduleEarnings News Pre-Market Outlook Markets





Swing trading portfolio – week of December 8th, 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

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

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

 





Wall Street Moves To Put Taxpayers On The Hook For Derivatives Trades

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Wall Street has for some time attempted to put taxpayers on the hook for its derivatives trades. I highlighted this a year ago in the post: Citigroup Written Legislation Moves Through the House of Representatives. Here’s an excerpt:

Five years after the Wall Street coup of 2008, it appears the U.S. House of Representatives is as bought and paid for as ever. We heard about the Citigroup crafted legislation currently being pushed through Congress back in May when Mother Jones reported on it. Fortunately, they included the following image in their article:

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.32.12 PM

 

Unsurprisingly, the main backer of the bill is notorious Wall Street lackey Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a former Goldman Sachs employee who has discovered lobbyist payoffs can be just as lucrative as a career in financial services. The last time Mr. Himes made an appearance on these pages was in March 2013 in my piece: Congress Moves to DEREGULATE Wall Street.

Fortunately, that bill never made it to a vote on the Senate floor, but now Wall Street is trying to sneak it into a bill needed to keep the government running. You can’t make this stuff up. From the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Wall Street lobbyists are trying to secure taxpayer backing for many derivatives trades as part of budget talks to avert a government shutdown.

 

According to multiple Democratic sources, banks are pushing hard to include the controversial provision in funding legislation that would keep the government operating after Dec. 11. Top negotiators in the House are taking the derivatives provision seriously, and may include it in the final bill, the sources said.

 

The bank perks are not a traditional budget item. They would allow financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by the risky contracts. Big Wall Street banks had typically traded derivatives from these FDIC-backed units, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law required them to move many of the transactions to other subsidiaries that are not insured by taxpayers.

 

Last year, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) introduced the same provision under debate in the


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Zero Hedge

Enemy Of The People?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via The Zman blog,

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option.

The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.

...



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Phil's Favorites

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

 

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

Courtesy of 

Shout to Leigh!

On the new Talk Your Book – Josh Brown is joined by Leigh Drogen of Estimize, one of the leading providers of crowdsourced financial and economic data to talk about the trend in corporate profits that could potentially lead to an earnings recession later this year.

What is the thing that Leigh is seeing in the data that Wall Street isn’t yet picking up on? What segment of the stock market is most at risk? Why is the crowd smarter than the narrow consensus of Wall Street analysts?

Check out Estimize ...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

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Digital Currencies

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spri...



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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...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

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 www.shutterstock.com

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.

...

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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...



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OpTrader

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 ...



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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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