Archive for 2018

Adam Grant – Facing Adversity by Tackling the Elephant in the Room

By joniferdingcong. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Speaker: Adam Grant, Steinberg Professor of Management and Professor of Psychology, Wharton; Fellow, Martin Prosperity Institute at Rotman; Author


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In Conversation With: Roger Martin, Institute Director, Martin Prosperity Institute; former Dean, Rotman


Session Host: Martin Prosperity Institute


January 31, 2018


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North Korea’s Winter Olympics Cheerleaders “Forced Into Sexual Slavery” Back Home

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As mainstream outlets such as USA Today, ABC News, and the New York Times pumped out a steady stream of propaganda about North Korea’s cheerleaders at the Winter Olympics “stealing the spotlight” and wearing “matching snowsuits,” a more sinister story of sexual abuse and exploitation was apparently not worth the MSM’s investigative resources.

A North Korean defector says that members of the North Korean Olympic cheerleading squad are being forced into sexual slavery by the country’s top politicians, reports the New Straits Times.

“North Korea’s art troupe came here and performed with dances and songs, and it might seem like a fancy show on the outside. However, they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services, that sort of pain also follows,” said former military musician Lee So-yeon, 42. She now heads the New Korea Women’s Union – a group which helps defectors adjust to life in South Korea. 

They go to the central Politburo party’s events, and have to sleep with the people there, even if they don’t want it. Those sorts of human-rights infringements take place, where women have to follow what they are told to do with their bodies.”

“The women there, when they attend, they have to undress. They’re asked to undress, like objects. That’s the physical pain they have to go through.”

Bloomberg also spoke with Kim Hyung-soo, 54, who defected to South Korea in 2009 with his son – a North Korean national league skier. Kim said that all of the North Korean coaches and atheletes are “slaves” of Kim Jong-un, though he did not mention sexual abuse. 

“The cheerleaders, too,” he said. “They select people who are unlikely to defect, and people with loyal backgrounds. This factor is crucial from a very early stage.”

The cheerleaders are hand picked by the North Korean regime based on a stringent set of criteria, according to defector An Chan-il who runs the World Institute for North Korea Studies. 

“They must be over 163 centimetres tall and come from good families,” An said. “Those who play an instrument are from a band and others are mostly students at the elite Kim Il-sung University.”

That said, Mike Pence was a bit standoffish with Kim Jong-Un’s sister, the head of propaganda for North Korea – which in retrospect may have been more newsworthy than North Korea’s forced sexual slavery of it’s national cheerleading squad.





BofA Weighs In On Oil Services, Upgrades Schlumberger And Baker Hughes

Courtesy of Benzinga.

BofA Weighs In On Oil Services, Upgrades Schlumberger And Baker Hughes

Crude oil prices have been headed higher in recent months, and the global oil services industry appears to finally be stabilizing following its 2014 collapse. Oil services share prices have been headed in the right direction for patient investors, but one analyst says oil investors will soon turn their attention from the U.S. market to the international market.

The Analyst

Bank of America analyst Timna Tanners made the following adjustments to her ratings of the three largest global oil services stocks:

  • Tanners upgraded Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE: SLB) from Neutral to Buy and lowered her price target from $79 to $75.
  • Tanners downgraded Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) from Buy to Neutral and lowered her price target from $61 to $50.
  • Tanners upgraded Baker Hughes, a GE company Class A (NYSE: BHGE) from Underperform to Neutral and lowered her price target from $35 to $33.

The Thesis

According to Tanners, the U.S. pressure pumping business will finally report normalized earnings in 2018. Unfortunately or Halliburton investors, the stock’s recent outperformance may have already fully priced in the normalized industry activity.

“While U.S. completion conditions remain strong, outperforming within oilfield services in 2018E, we believe this is largely recognized by the market, with most frac-exposed names already discounting a plateau or correction,” Tanners said in a Monday note.

Tanners said investors will likely soon shift their focus from the domestic U.S. oil industry to the international and, eventually, offshore business, where Schlumberger is the star of the show.

“The heavyweight in int’l oilfield services, SLB should benefit from long-awaited activity improvement even if better pricing takes time,” Tanners wrote.

Tanners said Baker Hughes no longer looks overvalued following its recent sell-off.

“BHGE shares have retreated 15%


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A Square Q4 Preview: Investors Underestimating Key Fundamental Drivers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A Square Q4 Preview: Investors Underestimating Key Fundamental Drivers

Square Inc (NYSE: SQ)’s third quarter earnings beat in November helped push the stock higher to its all-time high of $49.56. Since then, the stock has lost its buying momentum and investors will be closely following the company’s fourth quarter earnings report Tuesday.

The Analyst

Buckingham Research Group’s Chris Brendler maintains a Buy rating on Square’s stock with an unchanged $50 price target.

The Thesis

Square is projected by Brendler to report the following:

  • Gross revenue guidance: $601.7 million (versus management’s guidance of $585 million to $595 million);
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $39.3 million (versus management’s guidance of $34 million to $37 million); and
  • GAAP EPS loss of 3 cents per share and Adjusted EPS of 8 cents per share.

Square’s third quarter report unexpectedly showed its transaction costs fell 3 basis points year-over-year, the analyst said. The company is expected to show in Tuesday’s report costs remained flat from the third quarter and down 0.5 basis points year-over-year for a Net Transaction Yield of 1.03 percent.

Investors should also pay attention to Square’s non-transaction revenue, which continues to be a key theme that the market is “not yet fully aware of,” Brendler said. The Subscription & Service-Based revenue is expected to show a 15 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter from a year ago to $50.7 million. This should account for 19 percent of total adjusted net revenue which marks an increase from 17 percent in the third quarter.

Square’s status as being a “unique tech disruptor” in the early stages of a global expansion remain unchanged and a beat-and-raise fourth quarter print will “continue into 2019.”

Price Action

Shares of Square were trading higher by more than 3.5 percent Monday at $46.47.

Related Links:

Buckingham Calls Square A ‘Unique Tech Disruptor’

Morgan Stanley, BofA Positive On Pagseguro, Brazil’s ‘Square With A Twist’

Image credit: Mybloodtypeiscoffee


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Ohio Sheriff Offers Free Gun Training To 50 Teachers; Forced To Cap At 300 After Huge Response

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

An Ohio sheriff who offered free firearms training to 50 teachers was forced to cap his offer at 300, after a flood of local school employees signed up in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead. 

“We put it online, we thought we’d get 20 school teachers maybe. Within 20 minutes we had 40. Within an hour we had 100. Within four hours we had 200. By the next morning, at 300, we cut it off,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said on “Fox & Friends.”

If you listen 2 media teachers do not want to carry weapons in schools. We have over 300 said want 2.

— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 24, 2018

School personnel start gun training in butler county Ohio Monday ccw. We will train this week over 120.

— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 24, 2018

The Parkland, FL shooting has renewed a national debate on the Second Amendment. Sheriff Jones noted that only a few schools in Ohio allow the concealed carry of a firearm, and that the plan to arm teachers would only work if “the school boards have the guts to make it a reality.” Jones suggested that school staffers should go through mandatory firearms training to help them identify the sounds of gunfire. 

“We have to do something here because we can’t wait for our government to do anything. All they do is fight, they get nothing done,” he said.

Four days ago during a White House ”listening session” on school shootings, president Trump suggested arming teachers – a call he as repeated since. 

If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that — and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it. But the good thing is you’re going to have a lot of [armed] people with that,” said the President. 

President Trump on concealed carry for


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Trump Pivots Toward Trade Wars With Promotion Of Trade Uber-Hawk Peter Navarro

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Trump is officially on a trade war path.

Defying threats of retaliation from the Chinese, on Friday Bloomberg reported that President Trump was pushing for the “harshest possible” global tariff of 24% on all steel imports and 10% on aluminum, a decision that would anger nearly every industrial manufacturer based in the US, while at the same time helping revive the fortunes of US steel producers. The rates were first proposed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week.

Now, two days later, in the latest and clearest indication yet that Trump will not back down from the coming global trade wars, the WSJ reports that the president plans to promote his advisor Peter Navarro – also known as the author of  ”Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” and an unrepentant trade hawk, best known for his protectionist views on trade policy and giving economic nationalists a stronger voice in internal debates as the Trump administration nears decisions on high-profile trade issues.

Peter Navarro, an economist who helped shape Donald Trump’s 2016 protectionist campaign platform, will be named an assistant to the president, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Navarro, who one year wrote a WSJ  Op-ed in which he warned that deficits “Could Put US National Security In Jeopardy”, began Mr. Trump’s presidency with broad influence and regular access to the Oval Office but his role was quickly limited after he clashed with the aides who oppose his views on trade deficits and multilateral trade agreements.

Navarro was originally made head of a newly created National Trade Council, but was given little staff. That was eliminated in April and he was instead made head of a new Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy that was seen as having little influence and was ultimately made to report to Gary Cohn’s NEC.

As such, his sudden “reincarnation” within the Trump circle of trust likely indicates that the influence of Trump’s Wall Street-based globalist wing – Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin – is waning, and comes as the White House is nearing decisions on several high-profile trade matters (one almost smells an off the record phone call between Trump and Bannon here).

Meanwhile, with the Trump administration facing an April deadline…
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IceCap Asset Management: “Get Ready For The 2nd Half Of Global Financial Markets”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted from IceCap Asset Management

“The Halftime Show”

For many, the Super Bowl football game is a rather odd event.

To begin with, Americans claim the winner of the big game to be the world champion – despite never defeating the best from Europe, Asia, or Africa. Next, most of the Super Bowl games are duds. Aside from the crowd pleasing 5 victories by the San Francisco 49ers, and the crowd pleasing 5 losses by the New England Patriots – most games are forgettable.

Now, this lack of competitiveness, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, for most people the game is secondary to the entertainment including the commercials and the Halftime Show. The first ever Halftime Show in 1967 featured dogs leaping through hula hoops and catching Frisbees. Everyone agreed it was pretty cool.

In 1974, the Halftime Show scored a huge win when Miss Texas, Judy Mallett, played the fiddle to the 74,000 stomping fans in Houston. THAT was a good time.

Over the years, the Halftime Show developed into something bigger than the game itself, with the more memorable ones featuring wardrobe malfunctions and the ability of the Americans to actually make it rain while legendary rock star Prince sang about rain. And with the possibility of reuniting the Gallagher brothers and Oasis for next year’s final gig – the Halftime Show will cement itself forever as being the greatest show on turf.

As the Halftime Show literally occurs smack dab in the middle of the game – it should signal the mid-point of the big event. Yet, in reality the 2nd half breezes by fairly quickly with the outcome usually well decided and well accepted by everyone glued to their screen.

The irony of course, is that this year as millions prepare to enjoy the big show, millions of investors are simultaneously wondering if financial markets have also reached their very own Halftime Show.

Naturally, with stock markets hitting all time highs, and Bond yields hitting all time lows – very good arguments are made supporting a significant change in direction for each market.

And as life imitates art, it is reasonable to believe that the 2nd half of financial markets will zoom by just as fast as the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. So, to be safe. Buckle up. Strap…
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How Cryptocurrencies Spawned A New Media Industry

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

In the span of just a few years, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have taken financial markets by storm. Blockchain technology has already created new ways of financing companies. Bitcoin is gradually changing the rules of the game in the financial market: over $3.7 bln was raised by 372 ICOs between 2015 and 2017, meanwhile despite recent volatility, crypto currencies have been some of the best investments in recent years, and according to JPM, on a risk-adjusted basis, bitcoin has generated higher returns than the S&P.

In the media industry where rapid changes have become part of everyday business, traditional sources were unprepared to work with the crypto community. As a result, a large field for media newcomers appeared. Crypto holders are their audience, crypto companies and ICO issuers are their clients.

Below we take a quick look at some of the most popular new crypto media outlets.

Blockonomi

  • Website: blockonomi.com; Twitter: @blockonomi
  • Audience: 2.4 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Blockonomi was launched in 2017 by Kooc Media company. They are focused on writing reviews of companies and beginners guides, not news articles.
  • Editorial policy: No information. According to Blockonomi’s press-kit, the media accepts fiat only.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

The Merkle

  • Website: themerkle.com; Twitter: @themerklenews
  • Audience: 4.8 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: San-Francisco-based The Merkle was founded in June 2014. It is led by Mark Arguinbaev who also founded TheVRBase, media source about the VR industry.
  • Mission statement: The Merkle publishes cryptocurrency news and a variety of educational articles relating to Bitcoin.
  • Editorial policy: No information. The company accepts Bitcoin for press-releases, but do it through BitPay’s service, which turns Bitcoin into dollars.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

Bitcoin Magazine

  • Website: bitcoinmagazine.com; Twitter: @BitcoinMagazine
  • Audience: 2.3 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Bitcoin Magazine was the first magazine dedicated to cryptocurrency. It was founded by  Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, in 2012. They published the first issue in May 2012 and later joined forces with Coin


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Lifelong Kindergarten

By BroyHill. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Having too much fun can give the impression that you aren’t serious. But as far as we can tell, the correlation between appearing serious and actually being good at what you do is spurious at best. Because we love our work, our minds are always in gear. Because we are having fun, we are always engaged.


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Check out our H2 hedge fund letters here.

In Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT Media Lab’s Mitchel Resnick demonstrates how lessons from kindergarten help us develop creative thinking skills.

The rest of school (even the rest of life) should be more like kindergarten. Throughout history, philosophers and psychologists have recognized the value and importance of play:

You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. – George Bernard Shaw

In play, it is as though the child were trying to jump above the head of his normal behavior. – Lev Vygotsky

Play is the work of the child. – Jean Piaget

Through play, more than any other activity, children achieve mastery of the external world. – Bruno Bettelheim

Toys and games are the preludes to serious ideas. – Charles Eames

Lifelong Kindergarten

Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play by Mitchel Resnick

How lessons from kindergarten can help everyone develop the creative thinking skills needed to thrive in today’s society.

In kindergartens these days, children spend more time with math worksheets and phonics flashcards than building blocks and finger paint. Kindergarten is becoming more like the rest of school. In  Lifelong Kindergarten, learning…
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The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths

 

This is from the The Atlantic, a couple years ago. 

While it's certainly true that a number of factors contribute to the high rates of gun violence in the U.S., a comparison of state laws versus rates of shooting deaths does show a correlation. The states that impose the most restrictions on gun users also have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with fewer regulations typically have a much higher death rate from guns.

Source: The Atlantic





 
 
 

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...



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Insider Scoop

60 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • 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...


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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.

...

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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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Biotech

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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ValueWalk

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

Excerpt:

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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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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Promotions

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:

 

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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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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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