Archive for January, 2016

The Times Endorses Hillary Clinton with a Banner Ad from Citigroup

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

The New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton with a Banner Ad from Citigrorup

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 31, 2016

Today’s digital edition of The New York Times captures the essence of the cancer eating away at our democracy: a leading newspaper is endorsing a deeply tarnished candidate for the highest office in America while a major Wall Street bank that has played a key role in her conflicted candidacy runs a banner ad as if to salute the endorsement. The slogan on Citigroup’s ad, “cash back once just isn’t enough,” perfectly epitomizes the frequency with which the Clintons have gone to the Citigroup well.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, among the top five largest lifetime donors to Hillary’s campaigns, Citigroup tops the list, with three other Wall Street banks also making the cut: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. (The monies come from employees and/or family members or PACs of the firms, not the corporation itself.)

Hillary Clinton famously told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2014 that she and Bill Clinton left the White House after his second term “dead broke.” But apparently, Citigroup felt they were a good investment. According to PolitiFact, Citigroup provided a $1.995 million mortgage to allow the Clintons to buy their Washington, D.C. residence in 2000. That liability does not pop up on the Clinton disclosure documents until 2011, showing a 30-year mortgage at 5.375 percent ranging in face amount from $1 million to $5 million from CitiMortgage. The disclosure says the mortgage was taken out in 2001.

Citigroup has also committed $5.5 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, a charity run by the Clintons. It has also paid enormous speaking fees to Bill Clinton.

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Bottom picture by William Banzai7 at Zero Hedge here.


Alphabet, Matel & PDL BioPharma Are Moving After-Hours

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Shares of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) were trading up more than 5.8 percent in Monday’s after-hours session following the announcement of the company’s fourth quarter fiscal 2015 results. The tech behemoth reported earnings of $8.67 per share on revenue of $17.274 billion, well above the Street’s consensus of $8.17 per share and $16.866 billion.

An interesting data point following the earnings call: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is no longer the largest publicly traded company in the world. Alphabet's market cap now stands above $550 billion, versus Apple's $538 billion.

See Also: Alphabet Just Passed Apple As The Market's Most Valuable Company

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) gained more than 7.6 percent after the market closed. The toymaker reported fourth quarter fiscal 2015 earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $2 billion, comfortably beating the Street's consensus estimate of $0.60 per share and $1.922 billion.

PDL BioPharma Inc (NASDAQ: PDLI) was trading down about 14.6 percent in Monday’s after-hours session, after the company announced its Board of Directors had approved a $0.05 per share dividend for the first quarter of 2016, payable March 11 to stockholders of record as of March 4. The figure seems to have disappointed investors as the dividend used to be $0.15 per share.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

Posted-In: Earnings News Dividends After-Hours Center Movers

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Abbott Laboratories To Buy Alere For $56/Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs
Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 0.88 percent to 16,322.00 while the NASDAQ dipped 0.90 percent to 4,572.47. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.87 percent to 1,923.45.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Monday, telecommunications services shares rose by 0.06 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included NTT Docomo Inc (ADR) (NYSE: DCM), up 5 percent, and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (ADR) (NYSE: NTT) up 2.5 percent.

In trading on Monday, energy shares fell by 2.72 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (NASDAQ: VNR), down 12 percent, and NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NGL), down 14 percent.

Top Headline

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced plans to acquire Alere Inc (NYSE: ALR) for $5.8 billion.

Abbott will pay $56 per share in cash, representing a premium of around 51 percent over Alere’s closing price of $37.20 on Friday.

Equities Trading UP

Alere Inc (NYSE: ALR) shares shot up 45 percent to $53.80 as Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced plans to acquire Alere for $5.8 billion.

Shares of AMAYA INC (NASDAQ: AYA) got a boost, shooting up 30 percent to $13.72 after the company’s CEO David Baazov announced intention to acquire Amaya for C$21 per share.

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTI) shares were also up, gaining 69 percent to $0.120 as the company reported a 90 percent rise in Q4 revenue to $2.4 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE: NOK) shares dropped 12 percent to $6.34 after the…
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Is Twitter A Buyout Target? This Chart Might Shed Some Light On The Issue

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Is Twitter A Buyout Target? This Chart Might Shed Some Light On The Issue

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The past few months have not been great for Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR). Even though founder Jack Dorsey returned as CEO, the company has struggled to get back on track. Since Dorsey took control, a number of top executives have announced their departures and more than 300 employees were fired, leading to a dramatic decline in the stock price.

However, shares of Twitter were trading up more than 5.9 percent on Monday afternoon, after speculation about a takeover once again flooded the Street. This time, it is rumored that Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake Partners have considered making a bid for the social media giant – although spokespeople for both the involved parties declined to comment.

Related Link: What's Coming For Internet Earnings: From Amazon To Wayfair

Other Possibilities

Investors have also played with the idea of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) acquiring Twitter, taking advantage of its deflated valuation.

In fact, the company’s market cap has fallen from almost $40 billion in late 2013 to less than $11.2 billion.

The chart below illustrates the rise and fall of the company’s stock price between its IPO in November 2013 and the present.

Infographic: Is Twitter an Acquisition Target? | Statista
Source: Statista

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Posted-In: Jack DorseyLong Ideas News Rumors Technicals M&A Tech Trading Ideas

Did Deutsche Bank Just Call The Bottom In Michael Kors Shares?

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Did Deutsche Bank Just Call The Bottom In Michael Kors Shares?
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With Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE: KORS) set to report earnings on Tuesday, February 2, before the opening bell, a handful of sell-side analysts have recently been out with 3Q expectation previews.

One analyst at Deutsche Bank, Dave Weiner, seemed to lean toward calling a bottom in the stock.

In the title of a Monday morning research note, Weiner ventured to speculate, “Near-term macro remains pressured, but KORS stock finding a bottom?”

Three Concerns Already Priced In

The Deutsche Bank analyst argued “a lot of bad news” has recently been priced into shares of the handbag maker. According to Weiner, investors have sidelined Michael Kors shares given:

  • a slowdown in North America;
  • pressure related to tourism; and,
  • lower average unit sales which stemmed from the sale of smaller-sized handbags.

Related Link: Handbag Category “Somewhat Slow” Post-Christmas

4 Potential Catalysts To Look Out For

Weiner continued, however, that catalysts for the company and stock “should re-emerge” during the first half of 2016.

He noted the following positives:

  • new products and a Fall product investor preview next week;
  • promotions which have normalized despite being up on a year-over-year basis;
  • the SG&A ramp which “should cycle in ’16″; and,
  • strong trends in China and interest in bringing that business in house.

Expectations For Q3

Weiner has modeled for Michael Kors to report a third-quarter improvement in overall same-store sales to a decline of 5 percent. He is expecting third-quarter earnings of $1.47, compared to the current analyst consensus estimate of $1.46.

“More importantly for the stock, management needs to indicate that positive comps are forthcoming, especially as Coach Inc (NYSE: COH)…
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Credit Suisse Raises Chevron's Target By $1, Notes Dividend Breakeven Continues To Fall

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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  • Amid volatility, shares of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) have lost 4 percent since January 4.
  • Credit Suisse’s Edward Westlake maintained a Neutral rating for the company, while raising the price target from $83 to $84.
  • The company’s cash flow generation is insufficient to cover the dividend, Westlake stated.

In 2015, Chevron generated $21.4bn of cash flow before working capital moves, with oil price at $52/bbl. While cash capex was $29.5bn, net debt increased by $10.7bn. Asset sales contributed $5.7bn. The dividend stands at $8bn. “Clearly something needs to change,” analyst Edward Westlake pointed out.

Chevron’s cash flow generation is not adequate to cover the dividend at current prices, Westlake commented, while adding that even against the backdrop of recession, the current lack of investment “sets up for higher oil prices eventually.”

Management seems to be “pulling the levers they can,” with capex expected to decline as projects get completed, volumes expected to grow through 2018, opex being reduced, and the company targeting $5-$10bn in additional disposals.

“The game plan would be to lower opex, reduce capex below the $20-24bn guide for 2017-2018 and bring on the new projects. We fade some of 2016 West Coast downstream cashflow gains in this analysis, but conclude that covering in the low $50's is plausible,” Westlake wrote.

While Chevron enjoys flexibility on spending in the longer term, the net-debt to cap ratio is likely to rise from low teens to 28 percent by 2018 at the strip. Disposals may be a partial offset. “With a portfolio the size of CVX, there are assets for which decent value might be secured (as long as a recession does not strike first),” the analyst said.

Latest Ratings for CVX

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2016 Baird Initiates Coverage on Outperform
Jan 2016 Deutsche Bank Maintains Buy
Dec 2015 Argus Research Upgrades Hold Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for CVX
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Credit Suisse Edward WestlakeAnalyst Color Price Target Reiteration Analyst Ratings

Star Wars VII: The Audience Awakens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by EconMatters.



By EconMatters

While I do not see EconMatters as a movie critic like Roger Ebert, sometimes it feels almost like civil duty to let people know not to waste money on a bad movie. I missed the Start War VII when it opened during Christmas last year and at the same time endured a horrible experience with Fandango. In retrospect, I should have taken it as an omen not to see the movie at all. But since everyone was telling me how “awesome” the movie was, I finally made it to the theater last night.

One of the Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

Compared to the previous installments, this Episode 7 was a major disappointment and it was the most excruciating 2.5 hours I’ve ever experienced in a movie theater. It was a bad movie compunded by an old and filthy movie theater (AMC Studio 30, located in the better part of Houston). The movie and the movie theater were so bad that I actually had the thought to short both Disney (NYSE:DIS) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) stocks.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, it gave Disney ownership of the “Star Wars” franchise but also “Indiana Jones” franchise. Now, I can’t wait to see how bad Disney can mess up Indiana Jones.

I like action, suspense, and thriller movies. Although I think the Twilight movie series is nothing more than a teen romance story wrapped in vampire myths and action (I am a fan of “The Underworld”, though), I do have certain appreciation and understanding of Twilight’s popularity — It has an interesting story line about the romance, marriage, family, etc. between a social misfit teenage girl and a vampire guy/boy (I think he is actually at least several hundred years old).

Watch: The Silver
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Paul Craig Roberts: The West Is Being Reduced To Looting Itself

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan.

Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners. The money saved by reduced social benefits and raised by selling off the country’s assets to foreigners serves to repay the IMF.

This is the way the West has historically looted Third World countries. If a country’s president is reluctant to enter into such a deal, he is simply paid bribes, as the Greek governments were, to go along with the looting of the country the president pretends to represent.

When this method of looting became exhausted, the West bought up agricultural lands and pushed a policy on Third World countries of abandoning food self-sufficiency and producing one or two crops for export earnings. This policy makes Third World populations dependent on food imports from the West. Typically the export earnings are drained off by corrupt governments or by foreign purchasers who pay little while the foreigners selling food charge much. Thus, self-sufficiency is transformed into indebtedness.

With the entire Third World now exploited to the limits possible, the West has turned to looting its own. Ireland has been looted, and the looting of Greece and Portugal is so severe…
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Swing trading portfolio – week of February 1st, 2016

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>


Japanese Bond Yields Continue To Collapse As China Margin Suffers Longest Losing Streak On Record

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following Kuroda’s panic policy measures from Friday, JGB yields continue to collapse across the curve (though notably 30Y is selling off – is someone actually concerned about long-term survival risk?). 2Y Yields have collapsed all the way to BoJ’s -10bps rate, 5Y is plunging – now close to -9bps, and 10Y has dropped 20bps to just over 6bps… with BofA warning a negative 10Y rate looms. However, Japan is not having all the excitement as China’s margin debt (driver of all animal spirits) dropped again today – making this the longest losing streak in history as China’s stock market investors continue to leave the levered building screaming fire.

JGB yields are collapsing… not exactly the risk-on stock-buying euphoria Abe and Kuroda were hoping for

With 10Y JGB yields closing in on negative, the percentage of global debt below 0% will explode.

*  *  *

And then there is China… where margin debt has collapsed for the longest losing streak in history…

The outstanding balance of Shanghai margin debt dropped for 21st consecutive day on Friday, the longest streak since the exchange began compiling the data on April 1, 2010.

But apart from that – everything is stable.


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Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin


Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...

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Digital Currencies

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin


Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...

more from Bitcoin

Zero Hedge

What's Hot In Women's Fashion?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Capitalism at its best or worst?

We have a few questions:

1)  Does the Tariff Man get a royalty for the sale of each dress sold, and will that violate the Emolumen...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...

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The Technical Traders

Is A Price Revaluation Event About To Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Skilled technical traders must be aware that price is setting up for a breakout or breakdown event with recent Doji, Hammer
and other narrow range price bars.  These types of Japanese Candlestick patterns are warnings that price is coiling into
a tight range and the more we see them in a series, the more likely price is building up some type of explosive price breakout/breakdown move in the near future.  The ES (S&P 500 E-mini futures) chart is a perfect example of these types of price bars on the Daily chart (see below).

Tri-Star Tops, Three River Evening Star patterns, Hammers/Hangmen and Dojis are all very common near extreme price peaks and troughs.  The rea...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

India About To Experience Major Strength? Possible Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If one invested in the India ETF (INDA) back in January of 2012, your total 7-year return would be 24%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 made 124%. The 7-year spread between the two is a large 100%!

Are things about to improve for the INDA ETF and could it be time for the relative weakness to change? Possible!

This chart looks at the INDA/SPX ratio since early 2012. The ratio continues to be in a major downtrend.

The ratio hit a 7-year low a few months ago and this week it kissed those lows again at (1). The ratio near weeks end is attempting to...

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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Credit Suisse raised IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO) price target from $68 to $76. IHS Markit shares closed at $67.75 on Thursday.
  • Wedbush boosted Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE: RH) price target from $170 to $185. RH shares closed at $169.49 on Thursday.
  • Mizuho lifted Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) price target from $46 to $50. Seagate shares closed at $52.94 on Thursday.
  • UBS raised the price target for Weight Watchers Intern... more from Insider

Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 


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The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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


The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:


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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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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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