Thursday, May 31, 2007
So it's agreed; U.S. growth was pathetic for the first quarter, rising at only a 0.6% annualized pace, the slowest growth in 4 years. "Housing continued to collapse, business investment was anemic, and the trade gap widened. Businesses, finding they'd stocked too many goods, pruned their inventories back sharply. Consumers, on the other hand, spent freely."
However...the numbers speak for themselves...for the month of May:
Not too shabby for a month whose mantra is Sell in May and Go Away.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
So, now it seems time for prices to come back to the (moving) average and correct its parabolic expansion. But with a mere 1.4% decline who's concerned? We should applaud the Federal Reserve for their masterful response with interest rate controls and sound fiscal tightening to prevent the housing bubble from splattering all over their faces.
Cool runnin' from now on, right? I mean so what if foreign lenders are funding our endless $600 billion annual trade deficits. So what that China has $1.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. So what that we consume 4% more than we produce? We can just sell off some of our assets to cover it, right (Dubai Ports, Unocal...Blackstone)?
It will all be OK....just keep buying, keep consuming, and keep taking your SOMA, it will all be OK.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
All the indices closed up today on mostly lower volume (particularly the DJIA). The S&p500 was up a mere 0.55% on strong volume. A mostly down week, with lots of M/A news, weeker than expected existing home sales, and an increased likelihood of interest rates remaining where they are. The indices are all above some solid Moving Averages and it seems things were set up for a stress-free 3-day weekend.
There was actually a Congressional Hearing on the matter on March 29, 2007 to discuss the magnitude and potential impacts of this problem. "Between 1947 and 2005, colony numbers nationwide declined by over 40%. These losses have occurred as a demand for pollination services has soared for a number of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops, most notably almonds." The honey bee has been partially domesticated for thousands of years to serve purposes for man. "Honey bees are in effect six-legged livestock that both manufacture agricultural commodities - honey and wax - and, more importantly, contribute agricultural services - pollination." Roughly 1/3 of the U.S. diet is comprised of plant-based foods that are pollinated by honey bees. "Although economists differ in calculating the exact dollar value of honey bee pollination to American agriculture, virtually all estimates are in the range of billions (emphasis added) of dollars...Among the most conspicuous demonstrable consequences of honey bee declines in agriculture are the rising costs of producing bees and hence rising costs of honey bee rentals, contributing in turn to rising prices for crops and reductions in consumer welfare. Honey bee declines can reduce crop quality as well as yield...Even before the advent of Colony Collapse Disorder, financial impacts of honey bee shortages have materialized; varroa mites are estimated to have increased honey bee colony rental fees by $30 million annually. Because bee pollination contributes to so many different sectors of the agricultural economy, including the beef and dairy industries (via pollination of clover and other hay and forage crops), disruption of the honey bee supply will likely reverberate across the entire country."
So, why are all the bees dying?
"Diseases carried by foreign bees are just one of the possible causes of colony collapse... Researchers and beekeepers have theorized that the disorder may stem from bee-eating varroa mites or from the pesticide used to kill the mites. Stress on the insects from field-to-field travel has been suggested, too, as have various pesticides and suppression of the bees' immune systems." Non-native farmed honey bees are more susceptible to stress from environmental sources than are organic, or feral honey bees. "Most people think beekeeping is all natural but in commercial operations the bees are treated much like livestock on factory farms." Essentially, left to their own devices, feral honey bees grow smaller and more aggressive compared to commercially bred bees. This agressiveness in turn could help the hive protect itself from the varroa mites thought to be contributing to the death of the colony. It appears that the stresses put on imported hives can be linked to the overall health of the colony. One of the operative hypotheses is that there are multiple and variable causes. If that's the case, that's a problem because we will need multiple and variable solutions."
Thursday, May 24, 2007
A later day sell-off brought all the indices into the moving averages they were extended from. Most momentus being the Nasdaq which came down to the 2513 support level established last month and closing below its 20-day MA. The Russell2000 deflated from its all-time highs and dropped back into the channel it was trading in over the previous 6 weeks and through its 20-day MA. The S&P500 came down to its 20-day MA (above average volume) after being over-extended and trying to reach into all-time high territory. Likewise the DJIA coming back into 10-day MA range with above average volume. Correction mode;
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Meanwhile, IBM has released its POWER6 microprocessor, which they claim is the world's fastest chip with twice the clock speed of their previous generation while consuming roughly the same amount of power. "The POWER6 chip, which operates at 4.7 gigahertz, will allow businesses to consolidate servers and handle substantially larger workloads, doubling the speed of the previous generation POWER5 chip while using the same amount of electricity for running and cooling. This means customers can use the new processor either to increase their performance by 100% or cut their power consumption in half. POWER6 also claims to be nearly three times faster than the latest HP Itanium processor that runs HP's server line." The Singularity is Near!
Other than that, I've been considering changing my blog name/address, but can't come up with a proper title. Any suggestions? If so, keep 'em rated PG.
Monday, May 21, 2007
"While the S&P 500 is flirting with the possibility of closing at a new all-time high, the Nasdaq is still about 50% below its record close of 5048 (March 10, 2000). Back then, the Tech sector accounted for about 30% of the total weighting on the S&P 500. Today, it is very influential, ranking second behind Financials, but it now accounts for just 15% of the broader market's weighting."
China Takeover and Corresponding with that, Blackstone Group
More M/A News, GS and TPG make an offer on AT
If MSFT pulls a "Jennifer Willbanks?"
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
A shipwreck off the coast of England yielded more than just a jump in share price (up 57%) for Oddysey Marine Exploration (OMR). Oddysey retrieved "half a million silver coins and hundreds of gold coins...from an Atlantic colonial-era shipwreck in the largest such find of its kind." The excavation produced around 17 tons of colonial-era silver and gold coins estimated to be worth $500 million. Now that's some booty.
The CSI 300 Index of stocks has soared 85% this year.
"The government can't just sit there and do nothing as deposits leave the banking system,'' said Dong Tao, chief Asia economist at Credit Suisse Group in Hong Kong. "If the hike can slow money flows into the stock market, that could provide less ammunition for speculators.''
"This is the single biggest move yet on the part of the Chinese government to calm the stock market and address fundamental problems in its economy,'' said Tomo Kinoshita, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura International Hong Kong Ltd. "The signal is unmistakable: the government wants to stop the stock market exuberance and stem excess liquidity.''
"The nation's trade surplus, which ballooned 74 percent last year to a record $177.5 billion, drove the country's foreign- exchange reserves to an all-time-high of $1.2 trillion, making it difficult for the government to slow growth."
"China's economy expanded 11.1 percent in the three months ended March 31, exceeding 10 percent for a fifth quarter."
Thursday, May 17, 2007
If anyone has ever actually read my blog they might have seen this post about some cool time pieces put out by Tokyoflash.com. Recently they added some new watches to their product line. Check 'em out, they're gettin' crazier and more creative. Pretty sweet. For a little help pricing them out - currency?
- 95% of the fresh water in the U.S. is underground. One-Fifth of U.S. irrigated land is fed from the Ogallala aquifer, which stretches from Texas to South Dakota. "It is being depleted at a rate of 12 billion cubic meters per year, amounting to a total depletion to date of a volume equal to the annual flow of 18 Colorado Rivers. Some estimates say it will dry up in as little as 25 years."
-The Middle East has only 1% of the world's available fresh water, which is shared among 5% of the world's population. The number of water-scarce countries in the Middle East and North Africa has risen from 3 in 1955, to 11 by 1990. Another 7 are anticipated to join the list by 2025.
-China has 20% of the world’s population but only 7% of water global resources. More than half of their 660 cities suffer from water shortages. 90% of cities’ groundwater and 75% of rivers and lakes are polluted. 30 cubic kilometers more water is being pumped to the surface each year by farmers than is replaced by rainfall. Also, the lower reaches of the Yellow River, which feeds China's most important farming region, run dry for at least 200 days every year.
So, with that said; Being that (drinkable) water is such a finite resource (I can just see it now, $67/barrel of water offered on the CBOT) Water infrastructure should hold big opportunity for investors. "In just a year and a half, PowerShares Water Resources (PHO) has become the flagship of the provider's 86 offerings" with $1.7 billion in assets. Claymore Securities and First Trust Advisors this week launched the Claymore S&P Global Water Index (CGW) and First Trust ISE Water Index (FIW). Also, check out some top water stocks and "Freakonomics Clean Water Holdings."
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The 2.3 percent annual increase in core prices, also less than forecast, suggests that surging fuel costs aren't triggering a broader jump in the cost of living. The report may reassure Federal Reserve officials, who are counting on slower growth to ease inflation.
"It's consistent with a gradual unwinding of inflation pressures,'' said Brian Bethune, an economist at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. "There's nothing in here to push the Fed one way or the other.'' Policy makers have kept their benchmark rate unchanged at 5.25 percent since August."
Monday, May 14, 2007
In summary of today's mild trading day; the Nasdaq and the Russell2000 both finished above their trendlines but below their 10EMA's (the Russell2000 actually closed below it's 20-day EMA as well). The S&P500 closed down from Friday's session but above it's 5 & 10-day EMA's. Meanwhile, the DJIA closed up (above it's 10 & 5-day EMA) after peeking into unseen territory with an all-time high on the open.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
I also enjoyed his post regarding Apple Inc. (AAPL). Especially the embedded link to Jeff Matthews and what he sees as Apple's secret weapon.
A very insightful post from Dr. Steenbarger.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Advanced Magnetics, Inc. (AMAG) had a jump outside of it's flag pattern that it had formed over the last two weeks. AMAG closed the day with a $1.37 gain (2.11%), and is down $0.57 after hours. "Advanced Magnetics, Inc. is a developer of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles used in pharmaceutical products. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of its nanoparticle technology for use in therapeutic iron compounds to treat anemia, as well as novel imaging agents to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular disease."
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Back in early March Alan Greenspan made some comments that shook up the markets (though when has he spoken where the markets didn't react?). He had predicted a one-in-three chance of a recession this year (2007). Today, however, he re-stated those odds up to 2-in-1. So that means, two months ago the odds of our Economy going into a recession were on par with choosing the right door on "Let's Make a Deal." Now (merely two months later) at a forum in Singapore, Mr. Greenspan has stated that the odds are now slimmer. By year-end, the odds are 2 to 1. Our recession chances are now equal to flipping a coin and getting heads.
p.s. hope you like my Let's Make a Deal Photoshop job.
-Record imports of consumer goods and food, feed and beverages.
-Although, exports rose 1.8%.
-U.S. exports to Canada, Germany & China set records
-Shipments to Japan were the highest since March '01.
-The U.S. also exported record amounts of advanced technology products such as computer, telecommunications, aerospace and electronic equipment.
-However, the U.S. trade deficit with China shrank 6.4% to $17.2 billion, as imports from that country were the lowest since May 2006.
-"Despite widening dramatically in March, the trade gap for the first quarter of the year totaled $180.7 billion, smaller than $191.6 billion in the same period last year when the annual deficit hit a record $765.3 billion."
Today, though taking no trades, I had a very nice day. First, I went to get some acunpuncture. Aside from last week's appointment it's been a while since I've gotten any treatments. I always leave in such a relaxed energy. These last two weeks were focused on the Liver (need to be cutting back on the wine a bit), eyes (being that I stare at a computer so much), spleen, and gallbladder (which can store toxins). So, I got a total of 11 needles today, 1 of which was in the 3rd eye (between the eyes on the forehead). I consider myself a sensitive person, so I feel a positive result from these treatments. A very nice altered state after the treatments. I also took home some cleansing herbs to help me slough the liver. I'm a big fan of Chinese medicine.
After my acupuncture my fiancee and I went to the local climbing gym (that recently opened up in town). I'm excited to be getting back into rock-climbing, my arms and fingers are needing the rehabilitation. fun fun fun
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
2:15 pm : "As expected, the Federal Reserve left the fed funds rate unchanged at 5.25% for a seventh straight time. With respect to the accompanying policy directive, there has been little change to the wording from the last statement but the Fed has asserted that "core inflation remains somewhat elevated."" The 10-year note is down to a 4.64% yield. market update
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Stocks and indexes dropped across the board today on the open. I think most people were expecting a pullback sometime this week, especially ahead of the Fed Meeting come Wednesday. However, momentum took an about-face across the board early afternoon and the correction is looking minimal. Setting things up for a stronger correction if shaky news comes out tomorrow afternoon.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I came across this article after I was checking out some of the statistics on the usage of SecondLife. "In March, 61 per cent of active Second Life residents were from Europe, compared to 16 per cent from the US and 13 per cent from Asia Pacific, according to research by comScore." Given the above snapshot (of U.S. dollars spent in the last 24 hours), if only 16% of active users are in the U.S. and in the last 24 hours over $1.4 million dollars was spent, what does that say about the revenue being generated for this virtual world entertainment company? I think we get the picture.
A bit more info from the above BusinessWeek article: 1.3 million people have loaded the software, which shows a 46% increase between January and March. "Second Life's own figures state it has more than six million residents and that 1.7 million have logged in during the last 60 days."
A Basic Account is free, but if you really want to disappear into the Matrix it'll cost ya $9.95/month for their Premium Account. Back in the day I use to play SimCity and would get completely engrossed playing it. NoLife...I mean...SecondLife....looks like it could be pretty addictive for people into that sort of thing.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
He's got something up his sleeve though, "We're as prepared as we've ever been to buy a big business outright.'' There's no deal that's too large for us to look at,'' said Whitney Tilson, a managing partner at New York-based T2 Partners LLC, which owns $30 million in Berkshire shares and options. "Let's say a $40 billion acquisition came along, he might need to raise $10 billion of additional cash.'' ...Interesting...
Friday, May 04, 2007
"Here are two companies that are having difficulties at the same thing," said Scott Kessler of Standard & Poor's. "With a merger, you get one company still having difficulties at doing that same thing."
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I've been waiting for one of these to come out since last year. Now it seems they're not expected for a couple of years yet. I wish I knew what's taking so long, the old VW TDI's use to get somewhere around 50 mpg. These Honda's are bringing in the 62mpg range with cleaner emissions than the older diesel engines.