Monday, November 29, 2010

Macy's Feels Optimistic

Macy's,one of the focal points for tracking holiday sales in the retail sector,is pleased with the season opening and has a positive outlook for the year.CEO Terry Lundgren cited about 7,000 people lined up outside the flagship Herald Square location on Black Friday at 4 am.They're very pleased so far.
Retail analyst Dana Telsey of the Telsey Advisory Group agrees that Macy's did well on Black Friday.It's certainly an encouraging start.
Macy's has had a very good year,Mr.Lundgren added.They opened three Bloomingdale's outlets in Q3.In 2010,they've opened six Macy's stores and closed one.They're making sure there's obvious value to the customer at every price point.
They have a lot more confidence based on the momentum so far this year.Sales are up 4-5%.Mr.Lundgren thinks that bodes well for the industry next year.
CNBC's Jim Cramer considers Macy's to be best in breed among department stores.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BlackRock Favors Cash Flow Companies

BlackRock,the world's largest money manager,is favoring companies with lots of free cash flow,according to Vice President Bob Doll.These are in the telecom,health care and energy sectors.You need diversification,but clearly you've got to focus on that free cash flow.
BlackRock did buy some six million shares of GM on the initial public offering,but they continue to hold a bigger position in Ford.Ford continues to pay down their debt and improve their margins.
The whole story is a cyclical one,Mr.Doll believes.He thinks there's more cyclical improvement coming.GM stock could rise into the low 40s.
General Motors(GM),Ford Motor Company(F)

CarMax Adds D.C. Staff

CarMax is adding staff at its D.C. stores.One of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For,they are offering a generous benefits package,including a car discount and tuition assistance.They are looking for Detailers,Technicians and Sales Consultants.
CarMax says it as an engaging workplace with opportunities for advancement,recognition and fun.You may apply online at

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Developing Shenzen:Chinese Health Care Workers Study USC Hospitals

A group of Chinese health care workers from Shenzen Sekou People's Hospital have been touring and working at USC's University Hospital and Norris Cancer Hospital in Los Angeles this month.Huang Yong Yue,CEO of the Chinese hospital,and a group of its researchers participated.
The researchers have been working at the USC Department of Radiology through a special exchange program,and took the hospitals tour along with Mr.Huang,who expressed admiration for the hospitals.The tour profiled operational practices at the USC hospitals,including the Patient Experience program.
Mr.Huang,the CEO of Shenzen Sekou People's Hospital,also garnered hospital administration insights from USC hospitals Operating Executive Scott Evans.Mr.Evans is,in addition,an adjunct faculty member of the USC School of Pharmacy and director of the School of Pharmacy's Acute Care Residency Program.
Shenzen,also known as Shenzhen,is a rapidly growing city of just over a million people in the Guangdong Province of Southern China.The metro area has a population of 8,615,000.
Shenzen is located just north of the Hong Kong border,some 40 kilometers north of Hong Kong Central,in the Pearl River Delta.
Since the late 1970s,the former fishing village has been developed into a Special Economic Zone with gleaming skyscrapers,an urban showplace with tens of billions of dollars of foreign investment.A major financial center,it is China's third busiest container port,after Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What GM Has To Do

GM has been reborn as a public company,exceeding its listing price of 33.00 a share last week.Behind the shares is a business model with a level playing field between union costs and management costs.
Each of GM's four regions has a different set of challenges and objectives,according to CEO Dan Akerson.The North American blueprint is how GM will address the European issues:reduce costs;match capacity with demand;offer the best vehicles.GM has a great auto portfolio in Europe.They hope to see profitability there in 2012.
The great car that GM has today is based on the resilience of the GM employee.GM has the resident expertise to provide the best cars you can buy.They have a pretty good balance sheet right now,in Dan Akerson's opinion.
Mr.Akerson wants to make GM more of a consumer marketing company.Their goal is to have zero debt on the balance sheet,and even pay down their entire pension liability to the extent possible.
GM is much more global than Ford.They have to have the ability to make a car unique for the particular market,Mr.Akerson feels.
General Motors(GM)

RiverFront Dividend Stock Suggestions

The market is reacting to a few reports.That's the way slow growth feels,says Doug Sandler of RiverFront Investment Group.We're actually getting better and better news underneath the surface.
Seek the selective quality now.Consistent dividend growth is more real than earnings.Dividend companies tend to be more stable.
Among these firms are McDonald's,American Express,Chevron and Lockheed Martin.
RiverFront Investment Group is located in Richmond,Virginia.Majority employee-owned,it provides asset management,investment advice and leading edge market insights by seasoned professionals.
McDonald's(MCD),American Express(AXP),Chevron(CVX),Lockheed Martin(LMT)

Microsoft Has Many Openings

Microsoft Corporation has several openings in Chevy Chase,Maryland and Reston,Virginia,as well as surrounding areas.They need
Software Engineers
Program Managers
Finance Managers
Premier Field Engineers
Systems/Operations Engineers
They have multiple openings at various levels.For details and to apply,visit
Microsoft is an EOE supporting workplace diversity.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Key Committee Recommends Lupus Drug Approval

On November 16,a key Food and Drug Administration committee recommended approval of Benlysta,the Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline drug for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus.
The Arthritis Advisory Committee,which made the recommendation,provides the FDA with independent expert advice on rheumatology drug products such as Benlysta.Its nonbinding recommendation normally carries a great deal of weight in the FDA's deliberations.
Benlysta is the first new treatment expressly for lupus in 50 years.The vote to recommend approval was hailed by patient advocates as a sign of hope.Benlysta is also the first in a new class of drugs,the BLys-specific inhibitors.
Since 2006,Human Genome and Glaxo have been developing Benlysta together,with Human Genome having lead responsibility for conducting Phase 3 trials.The companies will share equally in development costs,sales,marketing expenses and any profits pending final FDA approval.Analysts consider Benlysta a prospective blockbuster,worth billions of dollars.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder most common in black,Hispanic and Asian women.It causes the immune system to attack the body's own organs and tissues,resulting in effects ranging from joint pain to kidney damage.The disease is potentially life-threatening.Like another autoimmune disorder,multiple sclerosis,lupus is hard to diagnose and varies from patient to patient.
Human Genome is located in Rockville,Maryland,and Glaxo is based in London,England.
Human Genome Sciences(HGSI),GlaxoSmithKline(GSK)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

AIG At Its Core

Insurance titan AIG is going through a lot of restructuring.As they keep paying the government back for rescuing the company from the financial crisis,they have to keep accelerating the amortization,says CEO Robert Benmosche.
They'll be the largest property and casualty insurer,and one of the largest life and annuity firms.That's the core of the company.They're selling off a lot of smaller things.AIG can produce 6-8 billion dollars of profit once they complete the restructuring plan.
Now AIG is working on a liquidity plan.They want to have enough capital to withstand any future shock.They're gonna start showing that to the ratings agencies.
Right now there's a lot of capacity at AIG.They are well past their reputational issues.
Over the next couple of years,AIG won't be suffering from unrealistic prices.They think that they'll get all their issues behind them in Q4.You'll begin to see the company's earnings grow steadily over time,Mr.Benmosche believes.
AIG's global employees are returning the firm to its client-centered heritage.They are taking pride in restoring the company to a leadership position.
American International Group(AIG)

Intel and SanDisk Prospects

Intel is raising its dividend 15% to 0.18 a share.The semiconductor titan says it is on track for its best year ever,with strong cash flow.
Kim Caughey Forrest,an analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group,notes that companies hate to cut their dividends.Intel knows they can sustain this,so the increase is a good bullish signal for this stock.
They also really like SanDisk.SanDisk has a big footprint in the tablet arena.
Both companies are where the consumer is:at the laptop or the mobile end.
SanDisk is the leading manufacturer of flash memory cards for imaging,computing,mobile and gaming devices.Intel has also been expanding into the cyber security and mobile realms recently.

Property Management Open House

Associated Estates is holding a Career Fair Open House on Tuesday,November 16 from 9am to 7 pm.They are looking for experienced Property Managers and Leasing Consultants(sales or leasing experience)for positions in Silver Spring and Columbia,Maryland.Stop by and learn more about AE and its career opportunities at
Hampton Point Apts.
3340 Hampton Point Drive
Silver Spring,MD 20904
A comprehensive benefits package,including 401k,bonus and growth/advancement opportunities are offered.
If unable to attend,you may submit your resume to
EOE/drug and background screening

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ADHD Diagnoses Up Sharply

An alarming trend is revealed by new data just published in the Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.Diagnoses of children ages 4-17 with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder were up 21.8% between 2003 and 2007.
A neurobehavioral disorder that often persists into adulthood,ADHD is characterized by fidgeting,poor concentration,poor conversational skills and impatience.It is distinguished from normal childhood ebullience by its impairment of functioning in important social and academic settings,including family life.
According to the data,9.7% of children in the age group had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2007,as opposed to 7.8% in 2003.Most of the affected children had mild to moderate symptoms,and 66.3% were being medicated for the condition.
The increased prevalence was most pronounced in children of mixed race or Hispanic origin,as well as older teenagers and those for whom English is a second language.A study published in The Lancet in September presented evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder.
Medications commonly prescribed for the ailment include the stimulant methylphenidate and the non-stimulant atomoxetine.Dr.Mark Stein of the University of Illinois at Chicago says clinicians are unable to predict in advance who will or will not respond to a particular medication.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Examining Corning's Earnings

Glass titan Corning reported earnings per share of 0.51,versus an estimate of 0.52;on revenue of 1.6 billion dollars,versus an estimate of 1.614 billion.Chief Financial Officer Jim Flaws says all of their businesses other than display were up.The U.S. is the only worldwide T.V. demand that declined.Everywhere else is up 20-70%.
Corning's focus is driving down their manufacturing costs.They're not a high raw materials user.
Corning's display business volume was down because their customers were reducing inventory.Their Chinese growth isn't red hot,but demand there is quite strong.It's still excellent,Mr.Flaws noted.
Corning is a global leader in specialty glass and ceramics.They create and produce key components for consumer electronics,vehicle emissions control,telecom and life sciences.

When Employment Will Really Improve

Ethan Harris,chief North American economist at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch,thinks the best we can hope for is mid-2011.A pick-up in jobs is linked to clarity on tax and regulatory policy.He wouldn't expect agreement on those matters until the end of 2010 or January 2011.
The economy remains in a growth recession,and uncertainty is the enemy of growth.The Federal Reserve is using weaker and weaker tools,but it doesn't mean they're going to give up.
The market has been a bit overexcited about the election.If they just keep fighting with each other,that's not good for the economy.It's a bipartisan nastiness,Mr.Harris observed.
The economy added 151,000 jobs in October-the first increase since April,but the unemployment rate remains at 9.6%.At that rate of job creation,it will take seven years for the labor market to recover.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch(BAC)

Nursing Open House

Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring,Maryland is holding an open house.It begins on Saturday,November 13 at 10 AM and includes a nursing presentation,hospital tour,lunch and a chat with recruiters.Holy Cross is looking for experienced ER,Critical Care,OR,Med/Surg.,Maternal/Child Health Nurses,and Nurse Educator/Clinician.They offer advanced technology,on-site master's degree,tuition assistance,pension plan and other benefits.For details visit,click on "Careers" and then "Upcoming Events."
Holy Cross Hospital:It all comes together at Holy Cross.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Commentary:Couple Chucks Lotto Jackpot

A retired welder and retail worker have given away most of their 11.3 million dollar Canadian lottery winnings.Allen and Violet Large,of Nova Scotia,were appalled by panhandlers coming out of the woodwork when their good fortune became known.
As well,Mrs.Large,78,has recently undergone chemotherapy for her cancer.The great suffering of that disease tends to put things in the proper perspective.So does their rural lifestyle.
It wouldn't hurt financiers to contemplate the Larges now and again.The business world might benefit from such an exercise.Maybe it would help to prevent another financial crisis.
A 2-page list of charities,including hospitals,churches,the Red Cross and the fire department,were beneficiaries of the Larges' generosity.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't strive to better yourselves.A little bit of context leads to better health all round,that's all.The true texture of life is easily and sadly forgotten in the daily scrum.
We should be grateful for the Larges' big hearts,which were already well-known in their community.They can ennoble our own,however far away.