Archive for 2019

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.

Trump also called the most recent news “a little squabble”.

On the economic front, retail sales came in below par Wednesday.

Retail sales figures for April showed that U.S. retailers are seeing decelerating purchases for a second time in three months, declining 0.2% last month, compared with expectations for a 0.1% increase. Excluding autos, retail sales were flat for the month, versus expectations for 0.7% growth.

“The 0.2% [monthly] decline in retail sales in April was weaker than the consensus expectation of a small gain and supports our view that GDP growth is set to slow in the second quarter,” wrote Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the NASDAQ 1.3%.

Here is the 5 day weekly intraday chart of the S&P 500 … via Jill Mislinski.

The week ahead…

Interesting data point:

Trading in fed-fund futures reflect a 74.1% chance of a rate cut this year, with a 32.1% probability of two or more rate cuts by end of 2019, according to CME Group. That is a sharp reversal from just two weeks ago, when the market gave a more than 50% chance that the Fed would hold steady through the remainder of the year.

As a “trade deal has become much less likely [in the near term], what the bond market sees as increasingly likely is the Fed easing policy, a net benefit to stocks,” Gary Pzegeo, head of fixed income at CIBC U.S. Private Wealth Management, said in an interview with MarketWatch.

Wednesday, the Fed will release minutes from its meeting that ended May 1.  A few major earnings reports are on the docket, mostly from retailers.

Index charts:

Short term: Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ might have double tops in which would be bearish.  That would be…
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Facebook Registers New Fintech Firm In Switzerland

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Max Boddy via CoinTelegraph.com,

Social media giant Facebook has apparently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, according to a filing on the Geneva Commercial Register.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Libra Networks was registered in Geneva on May 2 by Facebook Global Holdings II LLC. Per the official filing the firm provides:

“…services in the fields of finance and technology, as well as the development and production of software and related infrastructure, in particular in connection with investment activities, the operation of payments, financing, identity management, data analysis, big data, blockchain and other technologies.”

Facebook registered the trademark “Libra” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in June, which was reportedly part of its secretive in-house crypto project. Facebook has also hired two cryptocurrency compliance experts who formerly worked at the major crypto exchange Coinbase as reported by Cointelegraph in May.

Anonymous sources have claimed that Facebook could release a native stablecoin some time in the third quarter of 2019.

At the recent crypto conference Consensus 2019, Polychain Capital CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee commented that he thinks the rumored stablecoin should be built on a public, open source infrastructure. Carlson-Wee thinks it would be in the self-interest of the company given recent controversies surrounding the social media platform:

“I think given all the problems that Facebook has had with policing their platform and things like that, I think that the strategic move for Facebook would actually be to build public infrastructure. And that public infrastructure could be incorporated onto all the Facebook platforms, which of course are proprietary. But that public infrastructure, if they don’t try to own it, I think that’s where they will have the most success.”





Panic Grips Pakistan After Children’s Doctor Infected Over 500 With HIV

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A horrific story has sent shock and panic through Pakistan, further entering global headlines at the end of this week: Pakistani police are holding a doctor on suspicions that he intentionally infected over 500 people, including 400 children, with the HIV virus.

The investigation began after an HIV epidemic was uncovered in an urban district of Pakistan's south starting in February, and after over ten families accused a local doctor of treating their children with used syringes.

Local residents have flocked to makeshift testing clinics after the scandal hit headlines, via the AFP.

 

From there, attention focused on a child specialist in the small city of Ratodero named Muzaffar Ghangharo, who himself reportedly has Aids, and may have infected hundreds with HIV using contaminated needles, but he claims he didn't do it intentionally, which a police investigation is now trying to determine. 

According to Al Jazeera the HIV outbreak has sparked a wave of national panic

Parents flock to screening rooms set up at a makeshift clinic to get their children examined for HIV in a village in southern Pakistan, where hundreds of people have been allegedly infected by a doctor using a contaminated syringe.

At least five different screening rooms have been set up in the last month in the village of Wasayo on the outskirts of Larkana in Sindh province.

"They are coming by the dozens," says a doctor at the makeshift clinic, beset by a lack of equipment and personnel to treat the surging number of patients.

Historically, the Islamic conservative country has long had a low prevalence for HIV, but reports this week say it's now spreading at an "alarming rate". 

Families in rural areas impacted, but with little resources and only access to hospitals with poor sanitation practices, are outraged and desperate according to reports. 

The child specialist Muzaffar Ghangharo is due in court on May 21st, with Pakistani doctors telling reporters they've counted the total number of infected related to his clinic at a stunning figure of over 500 people, which includes at least 437 children

Pakistani police are investigating whether a doctor intentionally infected over 500 people, including 400 children, with the HIV virus

— TRT Worldpic.twitter.com/rSx42lAw33

— EHA News (@eha_news) May 18, 2019

A local police officer involved in the investigation…
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California’s Housing Bubble’s So Bad, 100s Forced To Live On Boats 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

California’s housing affordability crisis is getting worse. Affordability in San Francisco is now at 10-year lows, and only one in five households can afford to purchase a median-priced single-family home in the Bay Area. The crisis has driven many people onto the water, living on makeshift boats, outside marinas, and wealthy communities.

The floating homeless population in wealthy Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Strait from San Francisco, has doubled in the last five years to over 100. The community of 200 barges, sailboats, and other vessels comprise of people who are employed but can’t afford to live on land, jobless folks, the homeless, and some people who are mentally ill. Boat life for them isn’t easy:

“It’s not a free ride. It’s a lot of effort to be out here,” said Kristina Weber, who moved onto a 54-foot vessel she purchased for $15,000 because she couldn’t afford to rent in Sausalito. 

Wealthy people on land warn that the floating homeless community is devastating for their community. Weber and her neighbors told The Wall Street Journal these people have brought crime and poor sanitation to their area.

Residents complain that boats sometimes break away from anchor lines in storms, drift into waterfront homes, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Local authorities have called these seafaring homeless “anchor-outs,” because they permanently anchor their vessels outside marinas and shore communities that is a direct violation of the law. Floating homeless communities have also sprung up in overpriced coastal regions from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Law enforcement removed 40 boats along the Oakland waterfront in 2013 and nine were taken away last month, said Brock de Lappe, harbor master for five Oakland marinas.

“They are taking over a public resource,” de Lappe said.

Beth Pollard, executive director of the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency, said many of these floating homeless communities started showing up in the waters between the Marin County cities of Sausalito and Belvedere in the last several years.

Pollard and her organization aren’t pushing these folks away from the area, but instead helping them secure their boats to more stable anchors.

Jim Robertson, a homeowner in Marin, said these boats have collided with his shore home 16 times over the last two decades, including…
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Which Companies Have the Highest Revenue Per Employee?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Priceonomics

Each year, the annual Revenue Per Employee rankings for the S&P 500, the 500 largest American companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ are relased. Revenue Per Employee (RPE) can be a measure of how efficiently companies utilize human capital. In this report, we will examine the top performers and the worst performers and compare to our rankings from last year.

Before we dive into the company rankings, we looked at the average Revenue per Employee by sector, to see from a broader perspective which industry has the highest human capital efficiency.

Energy & Utilities remains the top performing sector in terms of Revenue per Employee and the only sector with an average Revenue per Employee greater than $1M. Healthcare, Mobile & Telecommunications, and Financial Services sectors are also performing well.

In addition to the absolute numbers, we also analyzed the average growth rate across sectors since FY17.

All sectors saw positive growth in Revenue per Employee in FY18 compared to FY17. Food & Beverage, although the lowest performer in terms of Revenue per Employee at $95K per employee, had the highest growth at 22% year-over-year. Energy & Utilities, the top performer for FY18 Revenue per Employee at an average of $1.7M per employee, also exhibited high growth at 12% year-over-year.

Next, we look more closely at how specific companies are performing. The table below shows the top 25 companies by Revenue per Employee (Revenue per Employee) in 2018 in the S&P 500, along with how their Revenue per Employee compared to 2017.

Energy company, Valero Energy Corporation, tops the chart at $11.4M in Revenue per Employee at the company. Energy companies, in general, dominate this ranking for their human capital efficiency, with 17 out of the top 25 companies in the Energy sector, including Phillips 66Cabot Oil & GasEOGHollyFrontierONEOK, and Exxon Mobil. Three Healthcare companies, AmerisourceBergenCardinal Health, and McKesson, appear on the list, as well as two Financials companies, Everest Re Group and CBOE Holdings. The sole Technology company to appear on the list…
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Will 5G Undermine Weather Prediction?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via Cliff Mass Weather and Climate blog,

There have been a number of media stories this week about a major threat to weather prediction:  the sale of electromagnetic spectrum for new 5G cellphone service.   The problem is that some of the wavelengths being auctioned off for 5G are critical for an important class of weather satellites, with 5G signals potentially undermining our ability to forecast the weather.

Currently, 4G cellphone technologies provide roughly 100 megabits per second (100 million bits per second) of communication speed, while the proposed 5G service could achieve 10 gigabits per second (10 billion bits per second).  Downloading movies and animations would be much quicker, with hardwired connections becoming less critical for most uses.

But to achieve such service one needs a larger communications highway, which means the use of more of the electromagnetic spectrum.   Electromagnetic energy, such as radio, microwaves, and visible light, are characterized by ranges of wavelength and frequency.  The use of these wavelengths is controlled by our government, which can auction off specific frequency/wavelength bands.

Among the spectrum recently auctioned off by the FCC for 5G is a band of frequencies near 24 GHz (GHz is gigahertz, or a billion cycles per second).   Unfortunately, this is close to 23.8 GHz, a frequency in which water vapor emits microwave radiation and which is used by weather satellites to determine the three-dimension properties of the atmosphere.  And that information is very important for providing the description of the atmosphere that is required for numerical weather prediction.

Why weather satellite information is important for numerical weather prediction

Numerical weather prediction, the foundation of all weather forecasts, depends on securing a comprehensive, three dimensional description of that atmosphere--known as the initialization.  The better this initialization, the better the forecast.

One of the key reasons why modern numerical weather prediction has gotten so good is that weather satellites now provide 3D data over the entire planet.  Even over remote oceans and the polar regions.  Roughly 95% of the total volume of weather information now comes from weather satellites.


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Despite “The Greatest Economy Ever,” 40% Of American Families Still Struggling 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With the economic expansion almost a decade old, the unemployment rate has fallen to five-decade lows, and real wage growth has modestly expanded.

President Trump has touted today's economic environment as "the greatest economy ever," despite a new study showing 40% of Americans struggle to afford housing, utilities, food and or health care.

The findings from the Urban Institute highlight the vast amounts of wealth inequality that has developed across the country since the Great Recession.

The Federal Reserve's monetary policies of the past ten years attempted to generate the wealth effect: by driving the valuations of stock, bonds, and real estate higher, so that people would feel wealthier.

However, 58% of people don't own stocks, and another 35% don't own real estate – which means many Americans didn't fully participate in the sextupling of the stock market and the doubling of real estate prices.

Forty percent of Americans (ages 18 to 65) experienced two or more financial hardships in 2018, statistically the same from 2017. The study concentrated on the first two years of the Trump administration, as well as trying to understand if the debt-fuelled tax cuts would benefit the working class.

The study noted Trump's economic policies hardly alleviated financial stresses experienced by middle/lower-class households last year.

"The modest declines in hardship during the current favorable economic environment suggest further progress will require additional policies to raise and stabilize incomes, offset the cost of essential expenses and protect families against adverse financial shocks," the study said.

The Washington D.C.-based think tank surveyed more than 7,500 adults over the last several years about whether they had difficulties paying for housing, utilities, food or health care.

The difficulties encountered by households were related to stagnating personal incomes, the think tank said. "It is also important to consider the cost of major expenses such as housing, utilities, child care, transportation and health care" on household budgets, it noted.

About 20% of households had food insecurity and medical expense challenges over the last…
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John Deere Slashes Production Amid A 1980s Style Farm Crisis Collapse In Midwest 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With the entire US agriculture sector facing a 1980s style farm crisis downturn and record debt levels, demand for new tractors is set to collapse as farmers hang on to old Deere & Co. equipment, reported Bloomberg.

Heavy flooding in the last several months across the Midwest, a deepening trade war with China, depressed commodity prices, skyrocketing fuel costs, declining land values, and massive debt loads have squeezed farmers so much that Deere slashed production last week to deal with the downturn.

Deere executives on an earnings call last week warned that shipments of its tractors would decline by 20% YoY in 2H19.

"Until there's some kind of stability on crop prices or a resolution on the trade front, farmers will continue to repair equipment as best they can or go to used markets," said Chris Ciolino, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. "When we do get stability, the replacement cycle will kick back into gear."

Bruce Clark, a senior vice president at Moody's Investors Service, said the farm crisis had shifted Deere's credit rating to negative.

"Deere's plans to reduce production in its core Ag business to levels below retail sales, which will strain sales but also control the field inventory, are characteristic of the company's approach to contend with operating stress and cyclical downturns," Clark said.

Executives told investors fundamentals will deteriorate in 2H19.

There could be widespread pain across the Midwest in 2H19. Over $76 billion of corn and soybeans are in storage, according to the Farm Bureau, as China slashes imports of grains from North America amid a deepening trade war.

Josh Jepsen, director of investor relations for Deere, said it's too early "to say we've seen permanent shifts in production or market share globally" due to the trade disputes.

Matt Arnold, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., said, farmers, replace tractors in cycles. Following three years of declines, Deere's revenue growth turned positive in 2017. Arnold indicated the industry still has room to grow, which…
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“We Saw A Lot Of Hysterics And Crying”: Computer Science Majors Forced To Take Improv Classes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Forget years of perfect grades and diligent study, often at the expense of a personality. Computer-science majors at Northeastern University face perhaps the most difficult test they’ve ever encountered; improv class

Bryan Wehner, left, and Edwin Cowart during an improv class at Northeastern University in Boston. PHOTO: KAYANA SZYMCZAK FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Yes, in order to receive their diploma, Northeastern is forcing these natural introverts to come out of their shells and sperg out in front of a room full of classmates, according to the Wall Street Journal

We saw a lot of hysterics and crying,” when the class was made mandatory in 2016, said Carla E. Brodley – dean of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. 

The university says the class is one way to “robot-proof” computer-science majors in order to help them beef up their underdeveloped adulting skills, according to university president Joseph E. Aoun, who believes that empathy, creativity and teamwork will help students develop a competitive advantage over machines in an era of artificial intelligence. 

Instructor Samantha Richert leads students last month during a session of “The Eloquent Presenter” class at Northeastern University in Boston. PHOTO: KAYANA SZYMCZAK FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“I put it off to the end,” said recent computer science and mathematics graduate Colin Mullaney, describing the unique hell of being dropped into a lion’s den of emotions. 

As part of the dreaded class, he mimicked elephant noises, imitated Michael Jackson dance moves and had to grunt in front of classmates while playing the role of a Viking rowing a boat.

Like all computer-science majors at Northeastern, Mr. Mullaney was required to take a course in theater and improv. And, like others, “I was afraid,” he said. He fought off anxiety by trying not to think about it outside of class. -WSJ

The class forces the bona-fide computer nerds to bring out, or at least emulate, their inner alpha – overcoming crippling fears of interacting with other humans, face-to-face, in front of a bunch of other people. The course requires public speaking, lecturing on nontechnical topics, and speaking gibberish such as ”butuga dubuka manala phuthusa,” according to the WSJ‘s Sara Castellanos. 

Zach Lowen postponed it until his senior year. On his first day, he had to pretend he was ice skating and walking on


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“Parking Lots Full Of Mercedes SUVs” – All Eyes Now On The U.S. Truck Market

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The shift in automotive production towards trucks, including minivans, CUVs, SUVs, and pickups, is at the very heart of the bull case for autos.

As BlindersOffResearch's Daniel Ruiz explains, the bull thesis is simple, as the new-vehicle-production mix shifts toward the very profitable truck segment and away from less profitable cars, automaker margins increase. To date, the bull case has been correct, and the shift in production mix has been so extreme that increased margins have been able to offset overall production declines.

In order to successfully invest in the automotive sector for the long-term, I believe one very important question must be answered correctly, Will future demand support the current production strategy in North America?

Judging by the latest headlines from CBS42 in Birmingham, Alabama, the answer is writ large and ominous…

Parking lots in parts of central and western Alabama are filling up with Mercedes SUVs, and it has some people wondering what's going on.

Century Plaza in the Crestwood section of Birmingham is filled with hundreds of cars. More arrived Thursday and Friday. 

Mercedes released a statement about it to CBS 42 Thursday, saying it stems from the production of the new Mercedes GLE, which began in late 2018, "it is a challenge we are working to jointly master with both our existing and new suppliers… As a result, we are using a number of locations in the plant and off-site locations nearby for the storage of those vehicles as temporary storage for our vehicles."

We have seen worrisome stockpiling images like this before (here and here most recently), but as BlindersOffResearch's Daniel Ruiz details, there’s no better measure of demand than actual sales transactions (not desire or intention). I say that because actual transactions represent willing and able buyers. Those willing and able buyers have opted for trucks at a historic rate in the last 3 years.

The chart above is perhaps the most important for…
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Zero Hedge

Trash Wars: Duterte Orders Tons Of Garbage Shipped Back To Canada Or Dumped In Territorial Waters

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that containers carrying trash from Canada should be shipped back to the country. It is the latest chapter in a disagreement over more than 100 containers of trash that were shipped to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, illegally, by a Canadian company. 

Canada had previously agreed to take the trash back, but has been slow in making arrangements for its return. Duterte threatened to leave the trash in Canadian waters if Ottawa refuses to take it back, according to Salvador Panelo...



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Phil's Favorites

Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff

 

Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff

Courtesy of 

Mention Animal Spirits to receive 20% off from YCharts (*New YCharts users only)

Stories Discussed

Best graduation ever

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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Insider Scoop

55 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBLN) shares jumped 233.3 percent to close at $1.30 on Wednesday after the company reported expanded data from a large scale commercial use study that was presented at the Digestive Disease Week.
  • Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCMA) shares jumped 51.4 percent to close at $1.37 after the company announced a restructuring support agreement with Monitronics International.
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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"

 

 

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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.

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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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