Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Employers Seek Military Background

A military-friendly job fair will be held next Friday,April 9,from 10am-2pm at
Martin's Crosswinds
7400 Greenway Center Drive
The employers include Lockheed Martin,Unisys,Allstate Insurance,the National Security Agency,Transportation Security Administration and many others.The event is free and open to veterans from all ranks and services.It is sponsored by MOAA and Competitive Edge Services,Inc.For more information,visit www.CorporateGray.com

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coach Gets An Upgrade

Luxury retailer Coach,which offers a line of fine leather goods,received an upgrade from JP Morgan.The old investment firm raised Coach from hold to buy,also increasing its price target for the stock from 35 to 40 dollars.JP Morgan cited Coach's improving margins and increased square footage.
As the affluent's portfolios rebound from the financial crisis,they are returning to the stores.Another member of the group that is benefiting is department store chain Saks.Others to watch for include department store Nordstrom and jeweler Tiffany.

Special Access:With the President

It can't be business as usual when we have troops sweating out another holiday in a hostile environment.Well aware of this,President Barack Obama tricked the media by seemingly helicoptering to Camp David for the weekend on Friday,then secretly flying back to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.From there,He flew to Afghanistan on Air Force One-a 16-hour trip,completely fooling his observers.Looking none the worse for wear,the young leader arrived at Bagram Air Base just north of the Afghan capital,Kabul,late at night,flying down to Kabul by helicopter,where he received an official welcome from President Hamid Karzai and an honor guard.President Karzai only learned of Mr.Obama's visit an hour before he landed.Following a brief consultation with Mr.Karzai,President Obama went back to Bagram for an event with U.S. troops and a meeting with military commanders.
Attired in his black leather aviator jacket with an embroidered presidential seal and a name tag,the President greeted an excited crowd of about 2500 military personnel,plus a handful of civilian workers.I have no greater honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief,the President told the troops.My main job here today is to say thank you on behalf of the entire American people.Everybody back home is proud of you,is grateful to you.You miss your kids,your spouses,your friends.Your services are absolutely essential to American safety and security.We did not choose this war.We were attacked viciously on 9-11.This is the region where the perpetrators,al-Qaida,still base their leadership.We are gonna disrupt,defeat and destroy al-Qaida and its allies.
Our strategy creates a military mission,but also a civilian effort for the Afghan people.More troops are on the way.We'll continue to work with Congress to make sure you have the equipment you need,the helicopters and armored vehicles.Our troops have pushed the Taliban out of Marjah.Pakistan is mounting major offensives.The al-Qaida and Taliban leadership are hunkered down.We are gonna keep them on the run.Together with our partners,we're gonna prevail.I am absolutely certain of that.We're gonna keep to improving your pay and benefits and family support,the post-9-11 GI Bill and the biggest VA budget in 30 years.
You've met your responsibilities.That's why you inspire me.All of you represent the virtues that America so desperately needs right now.I've seen your courage and your heroism,your tenacity and determination in our wounded warriors' incredible dedication,focus and pride.Each one of you is part of an unbroken line.They offer fear;and you offer hope.So long as there are folks like you,I am confident our nation will endure,the President assured the troops at Bagram Air Base.He had begun his speech at about 11:11 pm and finished around 11:44,including shaking hands as a live band played all the service anthems.He also visited a mess hall,speaking with a number of troops one-on-one.After a 6-hour mission,he was back aboard Air Force One for a red eye flight back to Andrews,having bucked up the troops as the Easter and Passover holidays approach,and improved his ties with the Afghan leaders and people.

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Catheter Developed

A new prototype for a device that both clears blood vessels of blockage and precisely delivers anti-blockage medication or live cells to the site,has been developed by Atlanta Catheter Therapies.The Occlusion Perfusion Catheter follows the guide wire used by the de-bulking catheter to deliver therapy to the treatment site.
Re-blocking of blood vessels,or restinosis,is a major problem in cardiovascular medicine.Restinosis occurs when smooth muscle cells migrate to the blood vessels and proliferate there,having been stirred up by the catheterization procedure itself,which amounts to a controlled injury to blood vessel walls.More surgery is then indicated,costing the health care system an estimated 475 billion dollars a year.Effectively delivering anti-blockage therapy has been a significant dilemma to this point.
ACT specializes in the development of new technology for catheterization procedures.It brings the new device to the human trials stage.At that time,the work is licensed or sold to a strategic partner.The company is led by CEO Paul Fitzpatrick.Mr.Fitzpatrick joined the firm on March 12.He has 24 years of experience in the entrepreneurial health care field,including start-ups,turn-arounds and integration.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Big Job Fair Saturday

The sixth annual Mega Job Fair and Entrepreneurship Expo "Envision Your Success" will be held in Fairfax,Virginia on Saturday March 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.The fair will be held at
Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax,VA 22035
There is free admission and parking,and pre-registration is not required.Participating employers are from various industries.The event is sponsored by Fairfax County Government,the SkillsSource Group and the Business Development Assistance Group.For more information,visit www.fairfaxmegajobfair.com

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Templeton Global Finds Value

Gary Motyl,Chief Investment Officer at the Templeton Global Equity Group,says they find value in virtually every country and industry.They're not really finding over-valuation to any great degree.The emerging markets are being quite astute.You have to give them credit.Templeton has a fair amount of exposure to both Chinese and Indian stocks.
In total,Mr.Motyl believes,things are back on track for the global economy.He thinks the recent pullback in Europe does give one an opportunity.They like BP,regarding it as a great total return stock.BP has a strong balance sheet,with a good management team setting themselves up for the next 5-10 years.Templeton also likes Sanofi Aventis,a pharmaceutical company that has positioned itself to be a primary player in the diabetes market.There will be a great demand for those products,Mr.Motyl observed.

CNBC Regular May Run

Don Peebles,a real estate magnate who is a frequent guest on CNBC,is apparently contemplating running for mayor of Washington,D.C.,where he was born and served as a Congressional page in the 1970s,beginning a lifelong interest in government.Mr.Peebles,a regular on the "Squawk On The Street" early morning broadcast,is reportedly consulting with media and campaign advisors to assess his chances of unseating incumbent Adrian Fenty,who has come to be seen as aloof and divisive by many.Mr.Peebles has a home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of the District,commuting between there and Miami,Florida,where his main business interests are located.Married and the father of two,Mr.Peebles,who is 50 years old, began his career in the real estate appraisal line,eventually serving on the District's tax appeals board under controversial Mayor Marion Barry,who continues to serve on the city council.
By 1986,Don Peebles had gone into commercial real estate development in the District,moving on to Florida when he came under intense criticism for cronyism with regard to a 48 million dollar deal he entered into with the Barry administration.He gravitated to city government in Miami Beach as well,jointly developing oceanfront and luxury property there with the municipality.
The primary election is on September 14.Mr.Peebles says he is prepared to spend 8 million of his own money on his prospective candidacy.He is believed to be worth around 350 million dollars.Mr.Peebles was a supporter of the Obama presidential campaign,which he discussed on his CNBC appearances.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Women Having More Strokes

Women aged 35-64 are about three times more likely than men of that age to have a stroke,says a new study by researchers at USC's Keck School of Medicine.They found that women had better blood pressure,homocysteine and triglyceride levels than men.On the other hand,61.9% of the women had abdominal obesity-a known stroke risk factor for women-while 50% of the men in the study did.Other stroke risk factors for women are elevated homocysteine-an amino acid-in the blood,as well as a history of heart attacks and diabetes mellitus.
Amytis Towfighi,principal investigator of the study,an assistant professor of neurology at Keck,said further investigation is needed to understand this sex disparity in mid-life stroke prevalence,which has apparently sharpened in recent years,judging by the results of an earlier study.Better management of coronary artery disease,diabetes and abdominal obesity may help middle-aged women to avoid strokes.
The study was presented at a February conference of the American Stroke Association in San Antonio,Texas.The Keck School of Medicine is a world leader in medical research and education,as well as clinical practice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Luxury Car Dealer Hiring

Penske Automotive is hiring for its new Chantilly,Virginia dealerships,which are to open in early April.Audi of Chantilly and Mercedes Benz of Chantilly need Salespeople,Service Advisors and Technicians(all skill levels domestic/import).A full benefit package is offered,including a 401K with a generous match and lots of incentives.Those interested should email resumes to Bert O'Neal boneal@penskeautomotive.com or Roger Kaiser rkaiser@penskeautomotive.com

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ballmer's Search View

Steve Ballmer,CEO of Microsoft,expressed his vision of the search world at the recent SMX event in Santa Clara,California.Google got to search first,Mr.Ballmer admitted.There's a value to incumbency.The truth is,we do have an ambition to grow.I guarantee you,search is gonna be an ever-growing share of Microsoft's profits.
The dynamics of business model competition are fascinating,Mr.Ballmer believes.There are a whole set of innovations still to come around business models.We've got seven or eight big businesses,plus a lot of our customers.I'm generally working on things that are in an intersection.We've got great people actually driving the search team.They have really improved,and there's always a new frontier.
We have a great partnership with Twitter.Whether we need to own the company or not I think is less clear.I'm more of a consumer than an author when it comes to the real time type of service such as Twitter.Facebook wants to be an independent company.A great collaboration would be best both for the searcher and for us,Mr.Ballmer said,wearing a burgundy sweatshirt over his blue button down.
We've got a lot of great stuff in the user experience.We've got to consolidate and drive taking action.We want to make sure we take care of the breadth of our experience in different countries over the next couple of years.The biggest opportunity in search is really helping people get done what they're trying to get done.It shouldn't be that hard to call up data.I'd like data assembled for me.We're all gonna have to go further and further down that path,the Microsoft CEO observed.

A TCW Assessment

Scepticism about the permanence of recent market gains abounds.Strategist Komal Sri Kumar of TCW doesn't believe the fundamentals are there.Banks are not lending,and unemployment is high.There is still quite a bit of downside coming.This is not a market for the common person to buy and hold,in Mr.Kumar's view.
The fact that the earnings are coming from financials is negative for the overall economy.They are from proprietary trading,not commercial lending.The flow of funds data show that loans are being written off;borrowers are not paying them,Mr.Kumar observed.
Indeed,a lot of the market's upswing is attributable to the performance of only one financial stock-namely,Citigroup.Citi will report its earnings next month,a moment of vulnerablity for equities based on what we have seen so far.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Amazing Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in a number of ways.They can lower harmful fatty acids and lessen the risk of arrhythmia,or irregular heartbeat,which can be deadly,as well as plaque build-up in the arteries.They can also possibly counteract cancer,arthritis and diabetes,and may enhance brain function.
Omega-3 can lower the risk of death for heart attack patients by up to 30%.It may even reduce the skin inflammation that promotes wrinkles.You can take Omega-3 in pill form or get it naturally from fish-especially cold water fish such as sardines,mackerel or salmon,as well as shellfish-walnuts,canola oil,flaxseed and olive oil.Two servings a week are recommended for those who do not have heart disease;daily consumption is advised for those who do.
It is possible to take too much Omega-3.Bleeding may result.As always,consult your doctor before altering your diet in a significant way.I am not responsible for the misjudgement of readers with regard to this topic or any other matter.Professional medical advice is needed to ensure your well-being.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Intelligence Community Career Fair

The U.S. Intelligence Community,an integrated network of agencies working for national security,is holding a virtual career fair on Tuesday,March 16 from 10a.m.-8p.m. ET.They seek a culturally diverse,technically savvy workforce of U.S. citizens in a number of fields.At the fair,you may explore careers,chat with recruiters and apply for openings in fields including Cybersecurity/Information Assurance,Foreign Languages,Law Enforcement and many others.Among agencies on hand will be the Central Intelligence Agency,FBI and National Security Agency.Those interested may register at www.ICVirtualFair.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Citigroup's Continued Appeal

Citigroup continues to be seen as an attractive holding by many investors.By one measure,65% had a positive reaction to the firm.CEO Vikram Pandit says they've scaled back on proprietary trading,or trading that banks do for their own profit,and support the idea of a regulator who will impose capital requirements.We need global coordination on regulation and derivatives transparency.U.S. consumer credit remains an issue,in Mr.Pandit's opinion.
Citigroup is now focused on being a bank,not a financial supermarket,Mr.Pandit said.We're only as big as what is required to serve our clients in a competitive market.Citi still owes the U.S. government 25 billion dollars.The bank,which gets most of its deposits overseas,will only issue 15 billion dollars of debt this year,versus 85 billion in 2009,Vikram Pandit noted.The company has been shedding non-core holdings in an attempt to emerge from near-catastrophic damage brought on by amassing toxic assets.Since the market low of last March 8,Citigroup shares have risen from 1.05 to 3.56,as of the opening bell this morning.

BlackRock Viewpoint

Consumers spent a little more money last month,feeling a little better about the jobs they hold,notes Bob Doll,Vice-President and Chief Equity Strategist at BlackRock.We're seeing an improvement in business conditions,improving revenue and will add some jobs soon,but we've got to get past the tightening concerns,the Greek problem.There are more bad debts out there,and that means a sub par recovery.It will be slower than normal:two steps forward,and one step back.
The economy and markets can handle small rate increases.There are political worries,but manufacturing is doing pretty well and inflation is contained.We need to see some job growth.That would be the next step in a normal recovery.The rising price of oil is a sign of global economic recovery.
I've been impressed by the recent mergers and acquisitions,and I think there are a bunch more to come.It will spread lots of different places.I think we'll see continued mixed data,but leaning to the positive.My view is that European growth will be slow.They've got some punching to do to get out of the mess,Mr.Doll believes.
BlackRock,which acquired Barclays' iShares funds,has more than a trillion dollars under management.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Budget Jeopardizes Student Health

In Frederick County,Maryland,school health rooms are staffed by health technicians,and these are supervised by registered nurses.Today,when an RN leaves her position,she is not being replaced for budgetary reasons.That means the RN's job must be done by the remaining nurses.RNs have gone from supervising two schools each to supervising three to four schools.As well,five schools lack a full-time health technician.When an HT isn't there,a school administrator mans the health room,rather than someone trained in the health culture.Such is the situation in this economic downturn as described by Dr.Barbara Brookmyer,Chief Public Health Officer,as she addressed a recent Board of Education meeting.She pointed out how serious this was for diabetic children,who need ongoing help with medication,glucose monitoring and so on.
BOE member Daryl F. Boffman said he was appalled that society has come to this point.Board President Kathryn B. Groth noted that some schools aren't close to an ambulance,so it could take some time for a professional emergency response.Dr.Brookmyer,who was supported by several of the school health staff who also attended the meeting,pleaded for the BOE to raise the issue with the County Commissioners,who control the purse strings.It was a scene undoubtedly being played out across the cash-strapped country,if not the developed world.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What BlackRock Sees

The tone of regulators in the U.S. and Europe is pretty consistent:a more secure banking system with more capital,according to Laurence Fink,CEO of BlackRock,the world's largest money manager.In Europe,they're talking about Basel III,with lots of capital,and it's similar in the U.S.Most certainly banks are more reluctant to lend, because they're not certain about capital requirements in the future.Corporations are not hiring;not building factories;and not buying equipment.Huge pools of money are sitting in banks and corporations.This is the problem we're seeing today in our economy.They're seeing what the new regulations will be.
BlackRock is seeing increased appetite for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.We're seeing renewed interest in equities,as opposed to fixed income.We're not concerned about our competition at all,Mr.Fink insisted.The etf market needs a lot of liquidity and research.It is our belief the etf market will continue to grow from both institutions and individual investors.
There's a healing in commercial real estate going on,Mr.Fink believes,but not fast enough.He's not terribly worried about it,although some of the regional banks will be destabilized.The Federal Reserve is aware of this.
Mr.Fink is one of the more forthright executives in the financial industry.His colleague at BlackRock,Bob Doll,follows the same path of openness.

Monday, March 1, 2010

El Tiempo Latino Openings

El Tiempo Latino,a publication of The Washington Post,has multiple openings in bilingual sales.These positions have offer high earnings potential and excellent benefits.They are for organized,self-motivated,energetic team players with excellent people skills.Those interested may submit resumes to kris@eltiempolatino.com

Special Access:With the Central Banker

Ben Bernanke,Chairman of the Federal Reserve,testified before the House Financial Services Committee last week,strongly defending the Fed's role in supervising the largest financial institutions.He also reflected on the current economic situation,including inflation and the structural deficit.We're not expecting inflation to rise in the near or medium term,Mr.Bernanke said.Employers are seeing slow wage growth and strong productivity gains.Unit labor costs are falling and there is weak demand,discouraging price increases.It's conceivable long term debt could directly or indirectly affect the economy by causing a loss of confidence.
The Federal Reserve still retains 1.25 trillion dollars of mortgage-backed securities.We think our holding them will keep mortgage rates down,even though we are ending new purchases.The very high vacancy rates in rental properties are keeping rents down.
Stripping the Fed of supervisory authority,in light of the recent crisis,would be a grave mistake.Large institutions need to be seen as a whole,the wide range of activites of a complex international financial firm.The Fed has a range of multidisciplinary skills for consolidated oversight.The Fed is the one institution with the full breadth of skills.The Fed of course made errors,but we were hardly alone in that respect.
We've learned that regulations need to be tougher;we have changed our approach to one of tougher risk assessment.We've increased capital requirements and scrutiny of executive compensation.You have to be careful not to restrict hedging activity,which involves securities purchases.We would implement regulations as part of our overall risk assessment of the company,whether the company has adequate management capabilities to manage those risks.A lack of strong controls would be grounds for the supervisor to require changes or elimination of those activities.If you can get market discipline to bear on firms,that would help the regulators,Mr.Bernanke told the committee.
Ben Bernanke was recently reappointed and confirmed for another four-year term as Chairman,despite distrust of the Fed by some members of Congress.Congress feared disrupting financial markets by denying his reappointment,among other considerations.