Friday, December 30, 2011

Ecology Bulletin:Gray Wolf Detected in California

In what some see as a hopeful sign of a recovering environment,and others see as an alarming incident,scientists have detected the first gray wolf known to be present in California since 1924,when the last one was shot.The wolf was tracked with a GPS collar as it drifted a few miles south of the border from neighboring Oregon.
This may have happened before with a wolf that wasn't collared.If history be any guide,it may well happen again.
The biologists declined to give the wolf's exact location.It is known to have wandered 300 miles on this latest trek,but as it is an endangered species in California,its security is paramount.Ranchers throughout the West view the gray wolf with hostility as a threat to their livestock.
Wolves reintroduced themselves into Oregon in 1999.The wolves may have originated in Yellowstone National Park and Idaho,where they were reintroduced by biologists in 1995.These wolves had been trapped for that purpose in Alberta,Canada.

LA Mom, 22, Missing After Trip To Neighborhood Drug Store « CBS Los Angeles

LA Mom, 22, Missing After Trip To Neighborhood Drug Store « CBS Los Angeles

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jay Jordan Named To "Masters of the Market"

John W. "Jay" Jordan II has been named to CNBC's "Masters of the Market" list on the channel's "Squawk Box" program.Mr.Jordan is Chairman and Managing Principal of The Jordan Company,a private equity firm that buys and builds businesses in the mid-cap range of 200 million-2 billion dollars.
Mr.Jordan said of the Euro debt crisis and the Chinese banking crisis that these things could turn around on a dime.We're very,very cautious about the future.We have historically focused on great businesses with great managers.
It is frightening.We could be the next Greece down the road.We try to have a global perspective,being invested in 68 operations in 30 countries.We are primarily U.S.-based.
The European Central Bank's got to print some euros and save the Euro-zone.We have got to control spending.At some point,the one-percenters have got to contribute more to the pie.
Mr.Jordan is also the Chairman of the Notre Dame University Investment Committee.We at Notre Dame are long term thinkers,looking out 15-20 years.We move into the asset classes we feel are most robust about 10 years out:energy,water,food and agriculture,Mr.Jordan revealed.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Asian Markets Open For Business

For workaholics worldwide,several Asian markets opened for business Monday morning with mixed results.The Japanese Nikkei rose 1.06;Shanghai was down 0.28;Korea's KOSPI dropped 0.53;and the Thailand SET edged 0.17 higher.Australia,Singapore and Hong Kong remained closed for Boxing Day,the day after Christmas.
Gold and silver were flat in early Asian trading.
In FX trading,the Korean won rose on optimism about the global economic recovery.
Rubber was at a two week high on the U.S. demand outlook.Shanghai copper dropped for the first time in a week and Chinese rubber is expected to grow more slowly on the Chinese demand outlook.Japan's Hitachi Construction Machinery predicted Chinese first half 2012 sales would be disappointing.
Chinese President Hu Jintao met Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Beijing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Slightly High WBC Count:Why You Shouldn't Worry

If someone's white blood cell count is a little high,it often causes considerable fear,according to the anecdotal literature.Your doctor may not seem too worried,however.Why such an aggravating response?What if it's leukemia?
It could be a form of leukemia at a very early stage,of course,but it almost certainly isn't.Leukemia is a rare disorder.About 43,000 Americans were estimated to be diagnosed with it in 2010,for example.Even if it is leukemia,it likely isn't a highly dangerous type or acute phase.If it were,you would be so sick,the symptoms would be more prominent.You would need to be hospitalized.Your blood markers would be quite abnormal,not just a little.
What you probably have is a little cold virus or other infection passing through your system.The doctor has likely seen this many times.That's why,in the absence of other indications,there is little urgency.In that typical family practice,there have probably been few leukemia diagnoses in a given year.That's how rare the dread disease is.So don't worry.Follow your doctor's lead.Get a follow up blood test as recommended.You are almost certainly going to be O.K.
According to the most recent calculation,the five year survival rate for leukemia across the board was about 55% as of 2006.It's definitely a major problem for those relatively few who are ultimately diagnosed with it.They need all the treatment and other support they can get.
About 20% of people with leukemia are walking around undiagnosed,the American Cancer Society estimates.It's because they have few if any symptoms yet or the similarity of their symptoms to those of other diseases.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hyundai Heavy Busy In Africa

South Korean industrial titan Hyundai Heavy Industries has won an approximately 900 million dollar contract to build two offshore gas platforms in Nigeria.The deal is with a U.S. integrated oil company such as Exxon Mobil or Chevron,a person familiar with the matter disclosed.
Hyundai Heavy will carry out the entire project,from engineering,procurement,construction and installation to commissioning of the offshore platforms.
Hyundai Heavy was founded in 1972.It leads the world in shipbuilding tonnage,and is also active in the engineering and building of industrial plants;engines and machinery;construction equipment;electrical systems;and green energy.
The Hyundai Spirit is defined as Creative Wisdom;Positive Thinking;and Unwavering Drive.
iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund(EWY)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Safeway Hiring In Maryland

Safeway needs workers for a new store in Montgomery County,Maryland.All positions are open at the store in Olney.Link your future to the Safeway Team.Apply online at
You may also apply at the Employment Kiosk in your local Safeway.Please reference Store 2797.
Safeway workers in Maryland are represented by the United Food&Commercial Workers International Union.Their current contract with Safeway expires at the end of March,2012.UFCW is calling for early negotiations,but Safeway has so far declined the request.
Safeway:Your Future Starts Now.
Safeway Inc.(SWY)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Madison Avenue Shocker:Nation Horrified By Sensational Accident

Americans have been digesting the horrible mishap that claimed the life of 41-year old advertising executive Suzanne Hart on Wednesday.Ms.Hart,who worked for noted Madison Avenue's Young&Rubicam,Inc.-also called Y&R-was crushed to death when the elevator she was entering shot upward for no apparent reason.
It is common to fantasize about being stuck in an elevator;being crushed by one,however,isn't a possibility one normally contemplates.Eyewitnesses were taken to the hospital for psychological screening after they saw and heard the horrific event.Frankly,just hearing about it is enough to give many the creeps in a big way.
The elevator in question has a long history of violations.
Y&R,a marketing and communications company,employs 6500 people at 186 offices in 90 countries.It is owned by British advert titan WPP PLC.

Officials Say Maintenance Work Was Done Hours B - Flash Player Installation

Officials Say Maintenance Work Was Done Hours B - Flash Player Installation

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wells Fargo Retail Banking Jobs

Wells Fargo has a need for tellers.There are openings for this basic retail banking position at multiple locations.For example,tellers are now being hired in Greater Central Maryland and Western Baltimore;Charles County;and Greater Prince Georges County,Maryland.Many banking careers have begun at the teller level.
The San Francisco-based company provides a full range of financial services,from banking and insurance to investments and commercial finance.It has 1.3 trillion dollars in assets and more than 270,000 team members across more than 80 lines of business.Noted investor Warren Buffett owns a substantial part of the company.
For more information or to apply,visit and select Careers.
Wells Fargo&Co.(WFC)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chinese Trade Suffers From Euro Crisis-and how this could affect you

Chinese exports are slowing down and its trade surplus is shrinking,newly released figures show.China's export growth fell to 13.8% in November-the least growth since December 2009.Its trade surplus dropped to 14.5 billion dollars,down from 17 billion in October and below the estimate. This is a result of slowing demand from China's European trading partners because of the current debt crisis,as well as a hesitant U.S. consumer from the weak employment picture.
China is observing its 10th anniversary of joining the World Trade Organisation.President Hu Jintao said China will not deliberately pursue a trade surplus.China has fulfilled its promises to the World Trade Organisation.We will work hard for a balance of payments.China has some unbalanced and unsustainable elements that have to be improved,Mr.Hu admitted,responding to European and U.S. criticism.
As for the slowdown in export growth,Chinese officials said China may continue cutting bank reserve requirements in order to stimulate growth by encouraging lending.China must keep growing at a robust pace to provide jobs for its rapidly urbanising population.
A slowdown in China could have negative implications for the many large U.S. multinational corporations,such as Ford Motor,General Motors,General Electric and Wal-Mart,who rely on China for a portion of their own growth now.A deterioration in business conditions in China may hinder the U.S. economy in consequence of globalism.
iShares Trust FTSE/Xinhua China 25 index(FXI)

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Successful Partnership:GlaxoSmithKline and Human Genome Sciences

British pharma titan GlaxoSmithKline is building on research carried out by Rockville,Maryland biotech firm Human Genome Sciences.Two of GSK's pipeline projects are based on HGS technology.
Darapladib is an inhibitor of the Lp-PLA2 enzyme,which is believed to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.It is a potentially important new treatment for prevention of cardiovascular events.The candidate drug discovered by GSK using an HGS technology is in a Phase 3 trial for efficacy and safety of treatment.
Albiglutide is a biological product created by HGS and licensed by GSK IN 2004.It is designed to act throughout the body to help maintain blood glucose levels and control appetite.This potential long term treatment for type 2 diabetes is also in a Phase 3 trial.
HGS has a substantial financial interest in both of these GSK products which its research has had a formative influence on.
GlaxoSmithKline and Human Genome Sciences are also co-owners and developers of Benlysta,the first new lupus treatment approved in the U.S. in 50 years.
GlaxoSmithKline(GSK),Human Genome Sciences(HGSI)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Experts: Inside the Tough Job Search-plus who is hiring now

The Labor Department posted a November jobs gain of 120,000-below the 125,000 estimate.At this point in our recovery,it's a disappointing number,said John Allison,Professor at Wake Forest School of Business and former CEO of BB&T.It's not a bad number,but at this point in the cycle we ought to be creating more jobs.
Businesses are concerned about Europe,rising taxes and regulations.Businesses create jobs through innovation,which is hindered by regulation,Mr.Allison pointed out.
It's very expensive to hire and fire,adds Jeanne Branthover of Boyden Global Executive Search.It's also very expensive to hire and wait for new workers to add value.That's why it's those who are already working who are being hired.
If things are better,they are ready to expand hiring.Plans are already in place so they are ready to immediately pull the trigger if things keep looking up,Ms.Branthover revealed.
Among large companies who are hiring now in spite of these factors are Wells Fargo(10,000+ jobs);Sears Holdings(1,000+);and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney(1,000+).
Branch Banking and Trust(BBT)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BHP Shares Rise On Gillard Policy Win

Shares of natural resource firm BHP Billiton rose Monday morning on news that the Australian Labour Party is lifting its ban on the export of uranium to India.Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the move will help the Australian economy by tapping into India's demand for energy.Her critics pointed out that India hasn't yet signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Japanese shares also rose on optimism that the Euro debt crisis is being seriously addressed.Jesper Koll,Head of Japanese Equity Research at JP Morgan Japan,described Japan as the forgotten angel.It is showing good job creation,wage growth and policy decisions.Goldman Sachs agreed,saying Japanese profits could rise significantly in 2012.
Mr.Koll is a longtime resident of Japan and has many years of experience analysing its economy.
BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP),iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund(EWJ),JP Morgan Chase(JPM),Goldman Sachs(GS)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Novartis Honored By Fortune Magazine

Swiss health care firm Novartis was honored by Fortune magazine as its Most Admired pharmaceutical company for 2011.It recieved an overall score of 7.02,folowed by Merck at 6.80 and Johnson&Johnson at 6.72.Last year,Novartis came in third.
The rank was decided by a survey of pharmaceutical executives,directors and analysts.They used nine criteria such as investment value and social responsibility.
Novartis is the world's third-largest pharmaceutical firm by sales.
One of its leading products is Gleevec(imatinib),a pill for patients with certain forms of chronic myeloid leukemia(CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors(GIST).Gleevec is also approved in the U.S.,EU and Japan for a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia(ALL) and other blood disorders.It has helped many patients stay in remission for several years.
Novartis also owns the OTC brands Theraflu and Comtrex.The company has an assistance program for uninsured or underinsured patients.
Novartis AG(NVS)

Monday, November 28, 2011

What HP Needs From Meg Whitman

Despite beating estimates for both sales and profit,Hewlett-Packard posted an outlook for 2012 below what they were looking for.The pc business was down 2% in Q3,and printing was off about 10%.It looks like the company is resetting the bar,says analyst Aaron Rakers,CFA,Managing Director at Stifel Nicolaus.A lot of downward revisions have already been baked into the stock,and people are hopeful for upward revisions now.
Under new CEO Meg Whitman,the company is keeping the pc business and its economies of scale,leveraging the volume of what the pc business brings.Job One for Meg Whitman is resetting expectations.She must also bring cohesiveness to HP's management team.
Mr.Rakers is neutral on the stock.In order to upgrade it,he needs to feel comfort with the various competitive dynamics across HP's business segments.
Meg Whitman replaced Leo Apotheker in the top job at the firm.She had been CEO of eBay and a candidate in the 2010 California governor's race.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Applied Physics Lab Jobs and Culture

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab has 141 openings in the Baltimore/Washington Metro Region.Engineers and scientists comprise 68% of the Lab's workforce of 4700.They solve complex research,engineering and analytical problems in the areas of national security and space exploration that pose a critical challenge to the United States.
Current openings at APL include Systems Test and Evaluation Engineer;Sr. Maintenance Worker;Conference Facility Administrator;and RF and Mixed-Signal Engineer.
Some of the Lab's Business Areas are Air and Missile Defense;Civilian Space;Homeland Protection;Undersea Warfare;and Research and Exploratory Development for agencies such as NASA,the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency.
You may apply online at
APL:Enhancing National Security through Science and Technology

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Concerning Marker:What High WBC Means

High white blood cell counts can indicate a number of things.They may signal:
reaction to a drug;
bone marrow disease;
immune system disorder.
Typical causes of high WBC include leukemia;measles;rheumatoid arthritis;stress;and tuberculosis.The number of serious possibilities make further medical attention imperative for the patient with a high WBC.
The normal white blood cell values as expressed in lab results are between 4.0 and 11.0.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Continuing Repercussions of Bangkok Flooding

The recent flooding of the Thai capital,Bangkok,is having a number of ripple effects.Honda Motor,for instance,is scaling back production at six U.S. plants through December.This is because the flood has caused parts shortages.
Thailand's GDP for Q3 was up 3.5%-below estimates.The Bank of Thailand has cut its growth forecast for all of 2011 to 1.5% on account of the flooding,which killed around 600 people.More than 14,000 businesses have been hampered by the disaster.
There has been criticism of the Thai government under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the flooding.The response was too slow;indeed,there was no preparation for the disaster,the critics complain.
Honda Motor Company(HMC)

Stratford University Jobs

Stratford University in Woodbridge,Virginia has a number of openings for both administrative and faculty positions.
Administrative:Director of Admissions;Campus Director;Student Account Specialist;Director of Career Services
Adjunct Faculty:Mathematics;Science;Computer Information Systems(PhD);Ethics;Accounting(CPA);Culinary Arts;Baking and Pastry;Hospitality Management
To apply,email resumes to
Stratford is a for-profit institution of vocational education.Visit

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Philanthropy Today:CareFirst Backs Nutrition Support for the Critically Ill

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield,the largest health insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region,has awarded a 450,000 dollar grant to provide home-delivered entrees,groceries and nutrition counseling to the critically ill through the Food&Friends organization's Groceries-to-Go program.The three year grant will assist clients of the program,who include those with cancer,HIV/AIDS,and other life-challenging illnesses.
With CareFirst's grant,Food&Friends,for the first time in its history,will be able to deliver fresh produce to patients on a regular,year-round basis.
A huge ceremonial check was presented at a special event in which CareFirst employee volunteers prepared and packaged food for the patients in the Food&Friends kitchen.Among those attending the occasion were Washington,D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray;Prince George's County,Maryland County Executive Rushern L. Baker,III;and CareFirst Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs Maria Harris Tildon.Craig Shniderman,Executive Director of Food&Friends,accepted the check on behalf of the charity.
CareFirst's Ms.Tildon said supporting Food&Friends is part of CareFirst's regional efforts to promote wellness and enhance access to health care and social services for some of our region's most vulnerable populations.It is the largest corporate operating gift ever received by Food&Friends.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a non-profit health plan company under statutory regulation.It serves 3.3 million residents of D.C.,Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Your grocery bill is getting higher, and higher

Your grocery bill is getting higher, and higher

Monday, November 14, 2011

NFIB:Small Business Optimism Below Average

The National Federation of Independent Business' Optimism Index came in at 90.2 for October,up 1.3 from September.This was below the year to date average of 91.1,and only a little better than the average since January 2009 of 89.1.The gain was mainly the result of less negative views about prospects for real sales and business conditions,NFIB said.
Basically we've gone nowhere since the recession ended,according to Bill Dunkelberg,NFIB Chief Economist.We're thinking the economy will be worse three years from now than better.Sales expectations are still low.I expect it to continue that way for some time.
We've gone through a big period of inventory and staff reduction.We're kind of set for the relatively weak level of consumer spending that we have to deal with.It is a demand problem.Until that changes,we're not gonna be doing any hiring.Consumer sentiment is the worst since 1980.
The NFIB Optimism Index usually leads the market a little bit,Mr.Dunkelberg observed.
Small business generated 65% of net new jobs over the past 17 years,the Small Business Administration claims.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Microsoft Jobs and Culture

Microsoft is currently hiring in Chevy Chase,Maryland.They need Software Development Engineers;Software Development Engineers in Test;Development Leads and Test Leads.For details and to apply for these positions visit
They also need Solutions Specialists.For this one,visit
There are multiple openings for each category at all levels,e.g.,Principal,Senior and Lead.
Microsoft Mid Atlantic District:Washington,DC
5400 Wisconsin Avenue,Suite 700
Chevy Chase,MD 20815
Microsoft has been designated a Great Place To Work in the World's Best Multinational Workplaces 2011.They are committed long term to the mission of helping their customers realize their full potential.They continually evolve the company to be in the best position to accelerate new technologies as they emerge and to better serve their customers,who use the software to find creative solutions
to business problems,develop breakthrough ideas,and stay connected to what's important to them-and Microsoft strives to do the same.
A globally diverse and inclusive workplace is integral to Microsoft's vision,strategy and business success.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

After Open Heart Surgery:Six Months On The Path

At the six month way point on my surgical path,many judicious thoughts occur to me.The giddy waves of promotion are sternly resisted in these quarters.
The medical secretary wants to know how the conventional heart valve surgery patient is doing.The patient says he is almost better.In fact,this may be as well as it will be possible to be,given all that has happened to me.I have been hit by a surgical truck,after all.
The after affects are still with me.Optical migraines are not as frequent,but these visual disturbances continue to flash from time to time.The large incision itself does still sting a bit on most days.It has fully healed at the top,but the bottom of the scar remains prominent,along with the chest drain scars.
You may think that minimally invasive surgery,including the robotic approach,will soon be available to all.Though widely available now,it may not be suitable for all.The most seriously ill patients could require the traditional big incision.Perhaps it still provides the most comprehensive access to the heart.
A tiny leak from the repaired valve might seem inconsequential.Given the laws of physics,though,even a small post-surgical leak must be monitored closely for the rest of a patient's life.Any leakage from anything tends to worsen over time.
The new anticoagulant drug Pradaxa is being heavily promoted on television,but hasn't been approved for patients with significant heart valve disease.At least four deaths in New Zealand are being attributed to the medication.As well,it is many times more expensive than the old standby Warfarin.In addition,no antidote for the new blood-thinner is currently available,while there are several for Warfarin.Plainly,Pradaxa has not had the benefit of an extensive history.
With such considerations,I have been dealing with some of the issues of these medical times.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Commercial Space Ambition:Boeing Aims For 2015 Date

Although some in the media portrayed the end of the space shuttle program as the end of U.S. manned space flight period,that is far from the case,if recent events mean anything.For example,Boeing has just signed a lease for an old space shuttle hangar at Kennedy Space Center,which Space Florida,a state economic development agency,is developing into a commercial spaceport.
Boeing will use the hangar space to construct its shuttle successor candidate,the CST-100,in hopes of being selected by NASA for International Space Station ferry service.The company says the new capsule will be ready by 2015.Within the next few months,it plans to begin remodeling the hangar for its own purposes.
The CST-100 is a large Apollo-type capsule that can carry up to seven astronauts or a combination of crew and cargo into Low Earth Orbit.It is compatible with a number of launch systems,including the Atlas V rocket.As well as ISS program use,it is also intended to ferry astronauts and cargo to a commercial space lab owned by Bigelow Aerospace.Unless Boeing wins a NASA contract,however,the CST-100 will be shelved.
Boeing says it designed,built and operated human and robotic space vehicles and their supporting hardware in the past,such as for the Gemini,Apollo,Skylab,Space Shuttle and ISS programs.Given this superb heritage,you have to believe the storied aerospace firm has the edge in building one of the space shuttle's successor vehicles for NASA's astronaut corps.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Target Jobs and Culture

Target is NOW HIRING in Northern Virginia and elsewhere.Target's culture is energetic and inclusive.It is community-focused and one of the world's most powerful brands.Expect a lot from a Target career.At Target,you need a cheerful and helpful guest service attitude,friendly and upbeat.
To apply,visit and select the appropriate location and other parameters.You may also apply in person at the Employment Kiosks near the front of every Target store.Target also has a presence in India.
Target offers full benefits to salaried employees and Target merchandise discount and flexible scheduling to seasonal team members.
In Northern Virginia,there are hourly position openings in Burke,Reston,Fairlakes,Chantilly,Gainesville,Leesburg,Sterling and Sterling West in areas such as Overnight Logistics,Sales Floor,Front End,Supervisory and Food.
Target:Expect the Best.
Target Corporation(TGT)

Friday, November 4, 2011

NFL Legend Dies Frustrated With His Own Body

NFL legend Bubba Smith,who died August 3 at his Los Angeles home,was apparently dissatisfied with his weight.According to the Los Angeles County Coroner,Smith had high levels of the diet drug phentermine in his system.This,along with poor cardiovascular health in the form of high blood pressure and clogged blood vessels,contributed to his death at age 66,found by a caretaker.
At 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds,Smith was one of the original NFL big men.He played for the Baltimore Colts from 1967-72,helping them win Super Bowl V over the Dallas Cowboys in 1971.He was an all-star in the Pro Bowl in 1970 and 71.Smith later played for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers,retiring with a knee injury in 1976.
Following football,the gentle giant of Baltimore was very successful in Hollywood,excelling in the "Police Academy" film series as Officer Moses Hightower.He also appeared in popular T.V. series such as "Charlie's Angels" and "Married With Children."
I personally encountered Smith at the Baltimore Colts training camp in Westminster,Maryland when he signed autographs for my younger brother and myself.He was sitting alone outside one of the campus buildings in casual clothes and black horn-rimmed glasses.With his goatee and glasses,he looked more like a professor to me than a star athlete.Going over his photos,note that he kept his facial hair in various styles at different points in his life-including cleanshaven.
Smith had indeed received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Michigan State,where he was an All-American football star.
Bubba,you will always be warmly remembered by your many sports and cinema fans.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Advantage View:High Risk and Havens

Not every analyst was swayed by the easy cheer so prevalent on the trading floors in recent days.The news out of Europe clearly is driving the market,said Jeremy Zirin,Chief Equity Strategist at UBS Financial Services.I think the market will continue to be driven by the news flow out of Europe.We're actually not that inexpensive.The rally that we've seen has really evaporated some of that cheapness.
I expect S&P 1100-1250 range-bound conditions.I think the risk-reward after the rally is to the downside.You want to have a more cautious disposition:staples,utilities,telcos,and tech with its high cash balances and emerging markets exposure.
The catalyst for a breakout would have to be a resolution in Europe and a resumption of strong U.S. growth.It seems unlikely given the uncertainty of our own fiscal policy-let alone Europe.The outlook is increasingly uncertain.Some multinationals are starting to see one of the problems is business uncertainty and market uncertainty.It's very difficult to make multi-year investments in capital goods or in labor when you can't be sure of the landscape.
On the surface,this earnings season looks similar to the past 6-8 quarters.What's really different is,forward-looking estimates are being cut at a dizzying rate.Below the surface,it's deteriorating,Mr.Zirin cogently observed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Honda Troubled By Thai Flood

Honda Motor shares fell on Monday as the company announced its Thailand plant may be closed for six months.Honda needs to replace equipment that was damaged by the recent flooding in the outskirts of Bangkok.The plant produces the Civic and Accord models.
The center of Bangkok is generally dry,protected by a wall of hundreds of thousands of sandbags that guide the waters to the Thai delta.The wall has prompted bitter criticism by residents of the northern reaches of the city,whose homes have been flooded,while those living just inside the wall are dry.Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pointed out that they had no choice but to protect the city center.Thailand's international image would suffer if the capital city were allowed to be flooded.She called for patience for 2-3 more days.These are very critical days in the disaster,the Prime Minister added.
About 400 people have died as a result of the flooding.The total financial losses so far are about 30 billion dollars.The Bank of Thailand is lowering its Gross Domestic Product growth estimate for the country from 4.2 to 2.6% because of the flooding.Industrial and agricultural exports will take a hit.
Toyota Motor has had to close three plants in Eastern Thailand because of a disruption of parts delivery caused by the flood.
In Bangkok,it was 84F on Monday under clear skies.The wind was NE at 7 mph,and the humidity was 62%.Good weather for the next several days should help with the flooding situation.
Honda Motor Company,Ltd.(HMC),Toyota Motor Corporation(TM)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Health Care Struggle Over New Hampshire's Poor

Several thousand New Hampshire Medicaid patients find themselves without health care providers.The non-profit health system which had been caring for them has rebelled decisively against state cuts to their reimbursement for treating the indigent patients.
When the disenfranchised patients end up in the emergency room,however,the cost of treating them will be much higher than it is now.That is the most expensive form of health care.
The situation in New Hampshire is perhaps occurring elsewhere under the radar.If not,it may well soon be happening.It just points up the dysfunction in the health care system today.

Lakes Region hospital cuts 3,500 Medicaid patients from rolls | New Hampshire NEWS12

Lakes Region hospital cuts 3,500 Medicaid patients from rolls | New Hampshire NEWS12

Monday, October 24, 2011

IBM's Chances of Reaching Its Goal

IBM beat on Q3 earnings,logging earnings per share of 3.28 versus an estimate of 3.22;on revenue,Big Blue was at 26.2 billion dollars,versus an estimate of 26.3.The company raised its full year guidance from 13.25 to 13.35 per share.It's pretty much in line with what we were expecting,said analyst Joe Foresi of Janney Montgomery Scott.
On services,IBM had some pretty positive revenue.About 50% of their revenue comes from the services business.It consists of long term,annuity type contracts.
They do a lot of work in the emerging markets,which should help balance any loss in Europe.Given the size of IBM,it's more of a tanker than a speed boat.There's cautious optimism in their guidance.
We have a price target for them of 199.00.If you look over the short term,there will be swings up and down;but over the long term,the fundamentals are certainly there for their 20.00 earnings per share goal within five years,in Joe Foresi's opinion.
IBM's shares fell sharply following its report release,on traders' fears that a global recession could hamper its profitability.
International Business Machines(IBM)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rice Crop Hindered By Flooding

The UN is warning that flooding in Southeast Asia may result in food shortages.Rice paddies have been devastated in Thailand,Cambodia and Laos.In Thailand and Cambodia,12.5% of the rice has been lost.Thailand,the world's largest rice exporter,may lose up to 25% of its harvest.These losses may cause a 17% price increase.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand is closed today,Monday,for the Chulalongkorn Holiday,which honors the death of a revered king.
In South Korea,the Pohang Iron and Steel Company,or POSCO,has reported a 75% drop in profits.This is because of both less demand and lower steel prices.POSCO is the world's third biggest steel producer.
Taiwan's Yani Tseng won the inaugural LPGA Taiwan Championship on Sunday,shooting a six under par 66 at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Yang Mei.It was Tseng's seventh LPGA Tour win of the season as she was cheered on by a large crowd of supporters in her native land.She donated 100,000 dollars of her prize to Taiwan junior golf.
In Bangkok on Monday,it was 88F under scattered clouds.The wind was NE at 6 mph,and the humidity was 58%.

Retailers Ramp Up Seasonal Hiring

Macy's continues seasonal hiring at its Tysons Corner,Virginia store and other locations.Apply online at or visit the website to find Holiday Hiring Events in your area.
Macy's is hiring 78,000 seasonal workers.That is up 4% from last year.
Macy's:Discover the Magic
JC Penney is also hiring at multiple locations.Apply online at
JC Penney:Every Day Matters

Thursday, October 20, 2011

MedImmune Licenses Pfizer Cancer Care Candidate

MedImmune has licensed a Pfizer CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody,tremelimumab,for exploration in a number of potential cancer treatments.Under the agreement,Pfizer will retain the rights to use tremelimumab with specified types of combination therapies while MedImmune assumes global development rights of the antibody.
The acquisition for MedImmune's oncology pipeline exemplifies MedImmune's continued commitment to embracing this new era of cancer care,according to Dr.Bahija
Jallal,PhD,Executive Vice President of Research and Development.
CTLA-4 is a protein that has an important role in regulating the immune system.There is growing interest in potential therapeutic benefits of blocking this protein with antibodies such as Pfizer's tremelimumab,as a means of inhibiting immune system tolerance of carcinogenic tumors,thus providing a potential new immunotherapy for cancer patients.
MedImmune is a division of London-based pharma titan AstraZeneca.The Gaithersburg,Maryland biotech firm has a staff of around 3500 workers worldwide.MedImmune is the inventor of the iconic FluMist vaccine,as well as pediatric respiratory therapy Synagis.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Inside Google's Good Quarter

Google beat its earnings consensus by 11%.Sales rose 37%,and they remain the search market leader.Android search is growing.Google+ has 40 million users.The company continued its robust hiring,generating controversy with the expense of adding 8.2% to its headcount.
According to analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray,the core search business is doing well.The display business is also still doing well.Our price target's gonna be going up.There is some risk in terms of Europe,but the growth in Android is positive for our price target.Android handsets were a huge drive for clicks.
You've got to give them credit:a 13 year-old company hitting those metrics.There could be some big surprises with the MMI acquisition affecting capital expenditures,but there are broader positives for the advertising business,Mr.Munster indicated.

Chase Hiring Event

Chase is holding a Special Career Event in the risk management sector.There will be access to hiring managers and on-the-spot interviews on October 27 from 12PM-7PM at
Chase Center on the Wilmington,North Carolina Riverfront.They seek experienced professionals in Finance,Information Technology,Operations,Risk,Analytics and Marketing.
RSVP by October 20 to
Chase:Opportunity is knocking at Chase.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BHP Billiton Shopping in Brazil

Australian natural resource megafirm BHP Billiton is considering a three billion dollar U.S. bid for Brazilian miner Ferrous Resources do Brasil LTDA.BHP already has an extensive iron ore portfolio.Mid-tier miner stocks were doing well Monday morning in Sydney in response to this merger and acquisition prospect.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.11% early Monday,bolstered by hopeful news out of Europe as the G20 finance ministers promised to have a plan for the Euro debt crisis finalised in a week.
The New Zealand services sector grew more slowly than expected in September.
The dollar/yen was flat on Monday morning,while the euro/dollar fell.
At the Canton Fair in China,the world's largest trade expo,exporters pleaded for the U.S. to stop demanding that the Chinese currency,the yuan,appreciate further.It is at the breaking point for exporters now,one vendor remarked.Any further appreciation would mean no more cheap goods for U.S. retailers and a lot less sales for Chinese suppliers.Everyone would be hurt.
South Korean golfer Na Yeon Choi,soon to turn 24,won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.Taiwan's Yani Tseng,22,the world number one in the Rolex rankings,finished second.It was Choi's fifth career victory on the LPGA Tour,and the 100th win by a woman of Korean descent on the Tour,Choi pointed out.
It was 63F in Sydney on Monday under partly cloudy skies.The wind was S at 16 mph,and the humdity was 48%.
BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Cost of Dental Delay

Broken teeth are invitations to infection and poor digestion,but replacing a lost crown or filling is also a serious monetary cost of delaying routine dental care.The problems can mount up,necessitating several procedures that could have been minimized in both time and expense,had they been dealt with when they first appeared.
Inflation results in higher appointment costs-even those with dental insurance can face a substantial co-pay;as well,time lost is money lost,with one big filling replacement taking up to an hour or more.The intricacy of the procedures seems to have increased over the years as well,in my experience.Doing the job up to modern dental standards requires more time away from the business of the day.
Going around with broken teeth is an unnatural and unhealthy state of affairs that is better taken care of sooner rather than later,both from the health and the financial point of view.

What To Do About a Lost Filling or Crown

What To Do About a Lost Filling or Crown

Monday, October 10, 2011

Exxon Mobil's Access Challenge

Demand has certainly been sluggish,off 2-2.5%,Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson observed.Globally,demand is about where we expected it to be.Part of what we're seeing is,the supply fundamentals are very strong now.
Our move into XTO Energy was recognition on our part of how significant unconventional resources are.We have to go out,have access to acreage and drill so we can support the economy.We spend in operating costs over a billion dollars a day.
Two-thirds of the remaining oil and 40% of natural gas lies under federal land we have no access to.The key issue is,the government controls access.
All we're looking for is tax treatment that's equal across all industries.Loopholes and subsidies are patches to fix a defect in the tax system.Let's clean all that up.
I'm not as optimistic as I was six months ago.I think the economy is gonna be sluggish in this country.Globally,we're gonna have positive growth,but it's not gonna be as robust as we had hoped.
Other governments also control access to resources.The difference is,they ask how can we get this drilling done,Rex Tillerson remarked bitterly.
Exxon Mobil recently signed an agreement with Russian oil titan Rosneft on a joint venture for exploration and production in Russia and globally.The Strategic Cooperation Agreement was signed on August 30 in Sochi,Russia in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Mr.Tillerson.The two companies have been working together for at least 15 years.
Exxon Mobil(XOM)

Debate Over Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Gets Rowdy at Washington, D, Hearing

Debate Over Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Gets Rowdy at Washington, D, Hearing

Sunday, October 9, 2011

China Continues Energy Shopping Spree

The Shanghai market reopened this morning,Monday,after the Golden Week holiday.Taiwan's market was closed for National Day,however,and Japan's markets were shuttered for Sports Day.
Sinopec,China's largest oil refiner,is purchasing Canadian firm Daylight Energy for 2.2 billion dollars Canadian.Daylight owns extensive shale gas properties,as well as oil sands and conventional oil prospects.
It is the latest in a series of Chinese acquisitions of Canadian energy assets.Sinopec also bought a 45% stake in Syncrude for 4.5 billion,while another Chinese energy firm,Cnooc,is purchasing OPTI Canada for 2.1 billion.China is aggressively seeking energy assets globally with its huge foreign currency reserves.
Canada is America's biggest oil and refined oil supplier-a fact many Americans may be ignorant of.
Over the Golden Week holiday,air travel in China fell to 8.2%,but retail sales rose 18%.China has cut fuel prices for the first time this year to rein in inflation.
In Beijing on Monday,it was 64F under clear skies.The wind was NE at 4 mph,and the humidity was 45%.
Taiwan's Yani Tseng,the world number one in the Rolex rankings,won the LPGA HanaBank Championship at the Ocean Course of the Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon,South Korea on Sunday.Korean Na Yeon Choi,the HanaBank winner from 2009-10,came in second.
Sinopec(SHI),Daylight Energy(TSX:DAY)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Primatene Mist Doughnut Hole

Dear Readers,
Many of you have shown interest in a post about Primatene Mist that I published some time ago.I wanted to update you on the situation so that you can take the necessary measures to safeguard your health.Primatene Mist is the only asthma inhaler presently available over the counter.
Unfortunately,in accordance with FDA rules,Primatene Mist,as currently formulated with a CFC that damages the earth's protective ozone layer,must be removed from U.S. shelves by December 31,2011.The product's maker,Armstrong Pharmaceuticals,is arranging to produce a non-CFC form of the asthma inhaler,but will have to submit it for FDA approval.That means there will probably be a doughnut hole period when you will not be able to purchase this popular asthma medication in the U.S.How long this will last is anyone's guess.
In the meantime,patients will have to obtain a prescription for another inhaler.Yes,a prescription will perhaps be more expensive-especially unwelcome in these troubled economic times.At this point,the medication is still being advertised for online purchase.
Andrew Taylor

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference Board:Where The Arrow Points

The Conference Board says that economic indicators point to continued weak growth through fall and winter.The Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators increased 0.3 in August following a 0.6 increase in July and a 0.3 increase in June.
According to CB economist Ataman Ozyildrim,the August increase was driven by components measuring financial and monetary conditions which offset substantially weaker components measuring expectations.The growth trend in the LEI has moderated and positive and negative contributors to the index have been roughly balanced.The indicators point to rising risks and volatility,and increasing concerns about the health of the expansion.
Ken Goldstein,another CB economist,said there is growing risk that sustained weak confidence could put downward pressure on demand and business activity,causing the economy to potentially dip into recession.While the chance of that happening remains below 50/50,the odds have certainly increased in recent months.
The Conference Board is a global,non-profit,independent business membership and research organization working in the public interest.It strives to provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Typhoon Bears Down on East Asia

Typhoon Nalgae has killed three people in the Philippines.Now the storm is heading across the South China Sea to Hainan Island,China and Vietnam.
Chinese financial markets are closed all week for the Golden Week holiday.China's non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index came in at 59.3,up from 57.6 the previous month,indicating growth in the service sector.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index was down 1.75 Monday morning,following the U.S. markets' lead on Friday.It has lost 18% on the year.The euro/dollar fell in early Asian trading,and the dollar/yen rose.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was verbally attacked by hackers,who broke into her Twitter account.The hackers questioned her competence to lead.If she can't protect her Twitter account,they asked,how can she protect Thailand?She was sworn in as Thailand's 28th prime minister on August 10.
The Bank of Japan's Tankan business sentiment index showed flat to improved business confidence.
Korean American golfer Kevin Na won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.Na shot a fourth round 23 under par 65.It was his first PGA Tour win.
In Tokyo on Monday,it was 66F under scattered clouds.The wind was North at 14 mph,and the humidity was 37%.

Next Day Blinds Jobs

Next Day Blinds,a leading custom window treatments provider,has openings at its Northern Virginia and Maryland showrooms for Showroom Design Consultants to provide window treatment design solutions for customers.Paid training,uncapped performance based structure and full benefits are offered.Attend the Career Fair on Monday,October 3 from 10am to 3pm at
Next Day Blinds Corporate Office
8251 Preston Court
Jessup,MD 20794
If unable to attend,please submit resumes to
or fax to 240-568-8812
Next Day Blinds:Exactly right.Completely you.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Warning:Even Slightly High Blood Pressure Is Dangerous

A new study by the University of California San Diego shows a substantially greater risk of stroke for many people who have pre-hypertension,a precursor condition to hypertension,or high blood pressure.The study considered 12 previous studies covering more than 500,000 patients.
Pre-hypertension is a blood pressure greater than 120/80,but less than 140/90,which is hypertension proper.Until this new study was published in the journal Neurology,the amount of risk pre-hypertension posed was unclear.For those younger than 65,the study shows,even a slightly high blood pressure of 121/81 increases stroke risk by 22%.A blood pressure of from 130-139/80-89 increased stroke risk nearly 80%.In general,those with a blood pressure of 120-139/80-89,the range for pre-hypertension,had a 55% greater risk of having a stroke than the rest of the population.
The data for those over 65 did not yield the same result-probably because their stroke risk is determined by other factors,such as other medical conditions they may have.
It is also now believed that patients with pre-diabetes,the precursor condition to diabetes,in which the blood sugar is only somewhat elevated,also may be experiencing significant health impacts.It seems that chronic disease is more of a continuum than was previously understood.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Boeing 787:Signed,Sealed and Delivered-At Last

After a ponderous three year delay caused by everything from supplier issues to design flaws,Boeing has finally delivered the first 787 Dreamliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways.A collective sigh of relief may well have sounded around the world's airline headquarters as some 500 Boeing employees,many of them carrying umbrellas on the rain-soaked runway of Washington state's Everett Field,walked the state-of-the-art aircraft to All Nippon executives in a dramatic transfer ceremony.Boeing hailed the event as the beginning of a new era in commercial aviation.
The Dreamliner is Boeing's first new civilian aircraft on the market in 16 years.It will make its first commercial flight on October 26 on a route from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
The sleek airliner is the first to be partially fabricated from carbon fiber composite material.The lightweight mesh of carbon fiber and epoxy makes the 787 20% more cost effective to fly,cutting back markedly on the amount of fuel needed.Modular construction reduces the assembly time from months to a matter of days.The plane's components are produced by a global network of contractors.
The Dreamliner,which features larger luggage bins and windows,as well as soft blue lighting,is the best-selling new jet in history.Despite the delays,Boeing has 821 orders for the plane on its books.This will ensure the jobs of thousands of workers for decades to come.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Australia/New Zealand Weathering Crisis

Wayne Swan,the Australian Treasurer,has been attending the international meetings in Washington.He reports a mood of sober realism as the Euro debt crisis was discussed.The global economy is in a dangerous phase.Australia's fundamentals are rock-solid,however,Mr.Swan pointed out.
Hong Kong's Swire Properties,Ltd.,a division of Swire Group,is looking towards an eventual initial public offering.There's a long way to go before we can say we have a listing,according to CEO Martin Cubbon.In the medium term,there's no fund-raising needed.There is a great deal of uncertainty around the world.Swire develops and manages commercial,retail and residential real estate.
The New Zealand trade deficit was 641 million dollars in August.The New Zealand dollar held to declines because of this.Nonetheless,the Treasury and Reserve Bank remain optimistic about the economy.
It was 66F in Sydney on Monday under partly cloudy skies.The wind was Southeast at 18 mph,and the humidity was 52%.

Owens Corning Sales Jobs

Owens Corning Basement Finishing Systems is hiring for D.C. area sales positions.They offer qualified leads,excellent training and 70k+ potential.Send resume to or call Curt Nichols at 248-568-2185.
Owens Corning:Innovations for living.

Friday, September 23, 2011

East Coast Suffers Mosquito Attacks

At a baseball game in Philadelphia tonight,the players were greatly bothered by mosquitoes.The Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals were swatting at the bugs more than they were swatting the baseball.
It has been noted that mosquitoes will hang around a backyard deck in Northern Maryland.When a human sits down on the deck,they attack the poor soul.Asian Tiger mosquitoes,which carry dengue fever,yellow fever,St.Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus,have been observed among them.
The white-striped Asian Tiger mosquito spread to the U.S. in 1985.They were found in a shipment of tires in Houston,Texas.They subsequently spread up the East Coast as far north as Maine.
These parasites usually attack in the day,resting in the morning and at night.They will bite birds and other mammals besides humans.This makes them a bridge vector for pathogens,transmitting them from species to species.
The Asian Tiger mosquitoes originated in South East Asia,but have now adapted to cooler climates.Their eggs can overwinter,and even adults can survive winter if they find a warmer hiding place.
Besides blood,they drink plant nectars.
Some municipalities have embarked on spraying programs to protect the public health.

Elderly Whitestone Man Blames West Nile Virus On Abandoned Property

Elderly Whitestone Man Blames West Nile Virus On Abandoned Property

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thoughts of a Hedge Fund Pioneer

The macro environment is so bad everywhere,observes Julian Robertson,founder of the old hedge fund Tiger Management Group.Our political leadership is doing nothing.Europe is just in a state of financial collapse.I think we're in plenty of trouble,and we really have to watch ourselves carefully.
The weak currencies in Europe are still good shorts.They carry a lot of risk with them.We're very long the Norwegian krone.We think that's a wonderful currency.The Canadian dollar is from a very well-run country.
Apple is worth 3-4 times what it's selling for.Google is very attractive.There's a big dichotomy between the macro and stock prices.
Basically,Washington is not really trying to lead;they are trying to continue to exist.
Master Card and Visa are very appealing.The risk of any credit loss is taken by the banks,not the credit cards.I think they will continue to grow rapidly in the 20% range for some time to come.There's a need for credit in the world,Mr.Robertson noted.
The billionaire Julian R. Robertson,Jr.,KNZM(Hon),started one of the first hedge funds in 1980.He has an honorary knighthood from New Zealand,where his family owns several lodges.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

China Home Prices Still Rising

In spite of the government's best efforts to rein them in,new home prices in China continue to rise.A report shows new home prices are up in 67 of 70 cities.Developers are not cooperating with Beijing;nor are certain local officials.They are perhaps waiting to see how things will play out.
All the same,Peter Churchouse of Portwood Capital says we're already seeing a decline in secondary home prices.He expects to see this in new homes in the back half of the year.
The Japanese stock market is closed today,Monday,for Respect For the Aged Day.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were down on renewed Euro debt fears as European finance ministers failed to come up with concrete measures at a weekend meeting.The euro dollar was also lower,and the dollar yen was higher.New Zealand economists see slower growth ahead because of a delay in rebuilding following recent earthquakes.
At least 18 people died in a 6.9 earthquake on the Indian-Nepalese border in the Himalayas.India sent five military aircraft to assist the residents there.Kathmandu,Nepal reported extensive damage.
At the BMW Championship near Chicago,English golfer Justin Rose took the title,while Australians John Senden and Geoff Ogilvy were second and third on the leader board,respectively.
It was 72F in Shanghai on Monday under mostly cloudy skies.Winds were W at 22 mph,and the humidity was 60%.

Macy's Seasonal Jobs

Macy's,the iconic department store,is now hiring for the holidays.Macy's:View our job opportunities on and apply online today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grateful Patient Helps New Doctors

Five USC Keck School of Medicine graduates who are going into the primary care field have been awarded scholarships of 25,000 dollars each.The scholarships were provided by Carlton and Nancy Spencer.Mr.Spencer has wanted to assist primary care residents since he was diagnosed with a heart condition by his primary care physician,himself a Keck School alumnus,a few years ago and referred for emergency open heart surgery.
Primary care residents typically have a mountain of medical school debt to pay off with only modest earnings.Elizabeth Ortega,one of the recipients and a family medicine resident,said it's amazing.The scholarship just makes such a big difference.Other recipients include three other family medicine residents,as well as an internal medicine resident.
These are the first Keck School scholarships designated for certain primary care residencies.Primary care is seeing a growing shortfall of doctors as medical school graduates gravitate toward the more lucrative fields,at least partially in consequence of the need to retire their student loans.
The average cost of a medical degree,including room and board,has been estimated to be on the order of 150-300,000 dollars.
Founded in 1885,Keck is the oldest medical school in Southern California.It is located on the USC Health Sciences Campus,which is just east of downtown Los Angeles,and has an enrollment of 1200 students.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life on the Financial Plateau

Stephen Wood,PhD,Chief Market Strategist at Russell Investments,thinks it could be an O.K. year.Earnings estimates are gonna decelerate,but the S&P 500 index is doing real well in terms of earnings per share.A 13% gain for the year will be predominantly based on earnings.From a corporate perspective,the U.S. looks relatively healthy.
The consumer is not dead;just deleveraging.Just lean into the consumer a little bit.Consumers saving is something we've seen for some time.
We've recovered and kind of plateaued out.It's not a recession,but it's not gonna be strong growth,either.Look at what's happened to the Treasury in the U.S.
Ultimately,we've got a long time to solve the problems-and they can be solved,which isn't necessarily the case in Europe.The collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15,2008 really caught everyone by surprise.In Europe,it's not gonna be that startling.The question is,who's gonna be the one who gets hit,in Dr.Wood's view.
As its purpose,Russell Investments improves financial security for people.Founded in 1936,it has 163.4 billion dollars in assets under management for individuals,institutions and financial professionals.It also creates performance benchmarks in the form of the Russell indexes.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yingluck's First Foreign Trip

The new Thai Prime Minister,Yingluck Shinawatra,is making her first foreign trip in office.She is visiting Cambodia,Laos and Indonesia.Among other things,she is seeking resolution of a border dispute with Cambodia that has resulted in military clashes.
Markets were closed in Taiwan,Shanghai and South Korea on Monday for the Mid-Autumn festival.Hong Kong's stock exchange will close for this on Tuesday.
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke gave his first talk to Chinese students on Friday at Beijing's Foreign Studies University.He said there's room for China and the U.S. to be partners.Both countries have shared interests and are not in a zero sum competition.We can and must achieve security and prosperity together.
Ambassador Locke,who is of Chinese descent,had formerly been Commerce Secretary in the Obama cabinet.A student remarked that his having a yellow face doesn't matter;it's what he says that matters.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars are down to one month lows on Euro debt crisis fears.Job advertisements in New Zealand fell 1.9% in August,and Australia's corporate bond risk has risen to its highest level since 2009.
Taiwanese golfer Yani Tseng won the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship on Sunday.The world number one was defending her title at the LPGA event.
In Bangkok,it was 82F on Monday under mostly cloudy skies.Winds were S at 12 mph,and the humidty was 94%.

Talbots Outlet Jobs

Talbots is hiring for its newest outlet store at Potomac Mills.They need Store Management;Lead Sales Associates;and Part Time Sales Associates.Come to their Open House at
Potomac Mills Residence Inn by Marriott
14301 Crossing Place
Woodbridge,Virginia 22192
on Wednesday,September 14
from 10am to 7pm
and Thursday,September 15
from 8:30am to 4pm
If unable to attend,apply online at or email resumes to
Talbots:We have designs on you

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee Costs Mount

Already cash-strapped and tired states now find themselves dealing with further multiple costs as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee beleaguered the Mid-Atlantic region.Hurricane Irene had tested the area severely,which now must battle record flooding from Lee's five days of nearly continuous rainfall.
At least two people were swept away to their deaths by high water in Virginia,one of them a twelve year-old boy.Pennsylvania's death toll rose to five by Friday as the Susquehanna River closed at least 178 roads in the worst flooding since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett described a clear public health emergency in his state as sewage plants were swamped and rendered inoperable.The flood waters could contain all sorts of dangers,from the raw sewage to manifold debris and diesel fuel.
The Susquehanna River drains lands from New York state to Maryland,flowing eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.It is estimated that T.S. Lee has dropped some 2.4 trillion gallons of rain water on the Susquehanna basin.
Other states have also recorded various difficulties on account of the endless rain.Pompton Lakes,New Jersey had to condemn 22 homes that have been inundated repeatedly by Hurricane Irene and T.S. Lee.A car dealer in Upper Marlboro,Maryland counted a loss of five million dollars of inventory ruined by chaotic waters.
The sun has not been seen for so long,the region's residents may not recognize it when it finally does return.
Update:As of Saturday,September 10,the long-gone sun had indeed returned to the Mid-Atlantic skies.All the same,it should be noted that some of T.S. Lee's energy is still present in the atmosphere.This may result in isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms for the next several days.In consequence,flash flooding could result,even though the region's waterways have begun the receding process.Setbacks may occur,given the historic drenching that has been sustained.
Towards the middle and end of the new week,the jet stream is expected to dip dramatically,bringing the possibility of a record-breaking cold front to the lower 48.Colorado already has seen the first snow of the season,a dusting that fell on the Arapahoe basin.

8-Year-Old Boy Killed In Floodwaters, Death Total At 5 - Pennsylvania News Story - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

8-Year-Old Boy Killed In Floodwaters, Death Total At 5 - Pennsylvania News Story - WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

Monday, September 5, 2011

TD Bank Grinds Higher

Although TD Bank has posted profits that are up 23%,CEO Ed Clark feels that the environment has soured.For instance,there is the Durbin amendment that we have to absorb.
The Durbin amendment restricts the fees that big banks operating in the U.S. can charge merchants for processing transactions made with their debit cards.The fees would be reduced from about 44 cents per swipe to 21 cents per swipe,resulting in a revenue loss to the banks of more than 16.1 billion dollars.The amendment is slated to go into force in October.
Tough environments actually widen the difference between excellent franchises and not so excellent franchises.We run this very simple model with longer hours;seven days a week;and spectacular service:you just relentlessly take market share that way.Our mortgage book is up 39% in the U.S.
On the other hand,there are a whole lot of political changes that,over time,will grind the banking system down;that,over time,will prevent banks from giving strong support to the economy.If you impose a form of tax-we're quite committed to the U.S.,but we shouldn't underestimate the grind that we're feeling right now.
TD Bank isn't focused on mergers and acquisitions.Taking market share has to be the core of your business strategy,but you add little parts you need by acquisition,Mr.Clark explained.
Toronto-Dominion Bank(TD)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gillard Holds On To PM Post

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is unpopular with the electorate,but she still commands the loyalty of her Labour Party.Labour MPs have just given their backing for her to remain in office.
Gillard wants to get the controversial carbon tax legislation through Parliament.She has been in office since June,2010.In her favor,the Australian services industry has reported growth for the first time in four months.
According to a Bank of New Zealand survey,New Zealand business confidence has risen in September.
China's service sector Purchasing Managers Index has fallen from 59.6 in July to 57.6 in August,indicating continuing but slower growth in the sector.
Three Chinese companies are buying most of Bank of America's stake in China Construction Bank.They are joined by Singapore and Qatar sovereign wealth funds in the acquisition.
In Sydney,it was 68F on Monday under clear skies.Winds were W at 6 mph,while the humidity was 60%.

Professional and General Positions

The Washington Post is holding a Mega Career Fair on Tuesday,September 13 from 10am-3pm at
Dulles Expo and Conference Center
4320 Chantilly Shopping Center
Chantilly,VA 20153
The Professional and General Pavilion at the fair is for all levels of experience.Positions available range from Passenger Service Agents to B2B Sales,as well as Managerial,Administrative and Professional Positions.Some of the employers attending will be Air Wisconsin Airlines;Allstate;Liberty Mutual;Miller's Office Products,Inc.;Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation;and Transportation Security Administration.
For more information,visit

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Surfers Beware:Tropical Storm Katia's Atlantic Journey

The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Katia is continuing to chart its course across the Atlantic Ocean,and is expected to affect the Lesser Antilles by Friday with swells that cause hazardous surf and rip current conditions.
Realistically,some surfers seek out such exciting conditions.
The storm,which was briefly a hurricane on Thursday,is heading N/NW at 16 mph/26 kmh .This course is expected to continue with slowing forward speed over the next 48 hours.Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph with higher gusts.In the next 24 hours or so,Katia is expected to become a hurricane again.Its winds are extending outward up to 140 miles/220 km from the center.
Katia is located about 830 miles/1335 km E of the Leeward Islands.
Its ultimate destination is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile,Tropical Depression 13 has caused Exxon Mobil and BP to evacuate oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico,while Chevron and Shell have evacuated non-essential personnel from theirs.Oil prices headed up a little when this news broke.
A tropical storm warning is posted from Pascagoula,Mississippi to Sabine Pass,Texas.
Update:Katia became a hurricane again on Friday.It currently has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph/120 kmh.The storm is moving NW at 12 mph/19 kmh.It is a category 1 hurricane,but could begin strengthening on Sunday.
Katia's hurricane force winds extend up to 35 miles/55 km from the center;tropical storm force winds extend up to 175 miles/1280 km.Hazardous surf and swells may affect the Lesser Antilles over the weekend,the National Hurricane Center said.
Tropical Depression 13 is now Tropical Storm Lee,and has caused the shutdown of 139 oil rigs,or 27% of manned platforms,in the Gulf of Mexico.This results in the loss of 48% of oil production and 33% of natural gas production in the Gulf.Remnants of
T.S. Lee could eventually make their way into the Northeast next week,as indeed Hurricane Katia could as well,should it continue on its current path.For now,though,New Orleans and Mississippi are gravely concerned about Lee's slow and rainy effects on them this holiday weekend.
Update 2:The remnants of T.S. Lee could reach the Mid-Atlantic region by Wednesday evening,bringing the potential for 5-10 inches of rain to the already-waterlogged area.It has sustained winds of 50 mph and is hugging the coast of Southern Louisiana,just barely moving at a speed of only 2 mph.Tropical storm warnings are posted from Dustin,Florida to Sabine Pass,Texas,but tourists are still wandering around New Orleans on this last holiday weekend of the summer.
Near the Leeward Islands,Katia has weakened to a tropical storm again,with winds about 70 mph/112.65 kmh.Another round of strengthening is expected to occur.The storm continues to head slowly toward the Mid-Atlantic region,but such weather will often veer eastward at the last minute,taking it on a track away from the east coast.

Farms Struggle to Assess Damage Caused by Tropical Storm Irene - WNYC Culture

Farms Struggle to Assess Damage Caused by Tropical Storm Irene - WNYC Culture

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hewlett-Packard and The Rise of Big Data

Untold amounts of information,or big data,is cascading into corporate storage every day.Big data is a pretty dramatic change for the software industry,according to Ann Winblad of the venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.Ninety percent of the world's data has been produced in the last two years.All of the companies have to find ways to process and organize big data.
Hewlett-Packard is getting into the business by paying 10.3 billion dollars for big data specialist Autonomy Corp,PLC.These big data experts are high gross margin businesses.Facebook is big data.These are big stakes,to own this software stack.
The most robust area for venture capital was software.Where there are changes,innovators come to the rescue of the incumbents.Without new tools,you cannot use big data.We're funding a number of start-ups that are developing tools to use this data,and there is a strong market for them,Ms.Winblad ascertained.
Autonomy,the HP acquisition target,is a British-listed firm that was founded in 1996.It offers an infrastructure platform for understanding human-friendly data.Its meaning-based computing recognizes patterns and concepts in email,documents,videos,phone calls,and so on,with applications in such fields as governance and marketing.Eighty percent of such data went unused in the past.
In the U.S.,Autonomy Corp,PLC trades on the over the counter pink sheets under the ticker symbol AUTNF.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sinopec Excels in First Half

Asian shares opened mostly higher on Monday,as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's recent remarks on the U.S. economy and the Fed's capacity for aiding it were viewed favorably.China's Sinopec,Asia's biggest oil refiner,posted record profits for the first half of 2011.This was even though they aren't allowed by the government to pass rising costs on to consumers,showing the company's great skill in managing expenses.
China has raised reserve requirements on banks again.The expansion of controls may drain a further 140 billion dollars from the banking system over the next six months.This is on top of previous measures that lifted reserve requirements to a record 21.5% as China attempts to rein in inflation and its trade surplus.
Cathay Pacific has accepted a new 777 airliner from Boeing and has 35 more of them on order.The Hong Kong airline is upgrading its business class with private alcoves that offer more table space and a flat bed for side-sleepers.Cathay says it has gotten fantastic feedback on the new accommodations.
South Korean golfers Hee-Won Han,Na Yeon Choi and Jiyai Shin shared sixth place with Korean American Jenny Shin at the CN Canadian Women's Open in Mirabel,Quebec.American Brittany Lincicome won the event.Jessica Shepley was recognised for lowest score by a Canadian,finishing at one under par.
In Shanghai Monday morning,it was 86F under mostly cloudy skies.Winds were E at 9 mph,and the humidity was 66%.


ALDI,one of the largest food retailers in the world,is holding a hiring event for cashiers,shift managers and manager trainees on September 6 from 6-9am and 4-7pm at
UMUC at Marriott Conference Center
3501 University Drive
Hyattsville,MD 20783
Capital Marriott
1325 2nd Street,NE
Washington,DC 20002
visit for more information
ALDI:Are you made for ALDI?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Costly and Profitable Weekend Ahead

Insurance companies active in the eastern states are bracing for a round of natural fury from Hurricane Irene.As well,parts of the retail sector in the region could suffer from a relatively rare direct hit from this type of storm on the big cities of the northeast,as people shelter in place instead of shopping at malls and department stores or are even evacuated.Ocean City,Maryland and other eastern beach resorts are already evacuating guests and closing to new visitors.It's the first time since Hurricane Gloria in the 1980s that Ocean City was evacuated.
Some stores,however,such as hardware and food retailers,will benefit as citizens augment emergency supplies.One New York City woman bought 100 dollars worth of batteries.Bottled water and milk were other top sellers there.Home Depot ran out of flashlights.Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended preparing go bags,which contain your medications,important documents and so on,should you face evacuation.
Hospitals are topping off generators with fuel,and citizens are also filling up their tanks,even as refineries may have to close.A spike in gas prices could result.
Home Depot prepositions containers full of disaster-related products at its distribution centers.When needed,they are simply rolled into semis for transport to the affected areas.Disaster operations are directed in consultation with district managers from a war room of sorts,complete with big screen newscast monitors.There are Home Depot staff members who are dedicated to disaster retailing.
Some 200 miles west of Ocean City,along the Blue Ridge Mountains,there was a good deal of rain Saturday evening,but little wind.Power went down several times for an instant,requiring the annoying resetting of digital clocks-except for one with a battery backup.The most striking visual of the day had been the rapidly moving low, dark clouds,showing that there was considerable energy aloft.There weren't any sirens going off,but there was just enough of a touch of weather history to make it an unusual-feeling day.
Home Depot(HD),Lowe's(LOW)

Hurricane Irene Forecast For Tristate Area

Hurricane Irene Forecast For Tristate Area

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Big Shift:Hewlett-Packard's Bet

CEO Leo Apotheker(pronounced "Ahpotayker")is moving Hewlett-Packard to an IBM model of software and services,says Scott Kessler,head of tech research at Standard&Poor's.It's gonna be uphill.It's gonna be very difficult to sell the pc business.Can they really be competitive in software?
HP is saying they don't want to be in pcs,tablets or smartphones.They are selling the Web OS operating system.HP is known at its core for its printer business.It's really gonna be a challenge to unload that.
This really is a sea change in tech.Google is getting into hardware,while HP is leaving it.These moves will have impacts for years to come,although attention has been focused on the financial markets recently,Mr.Kessler observed.
Carly Fiorina,who led HP from 1999-2005,thinks the current board has a lot of diverse experience and luminaries from the Silicon Valley.The board made a serious and substantial decision about the future.HP is a company with a very deep core competency in managing complexity.
HP is the largest tech company in the world,with more than 100,000 employees.The CEO is never the company;he is the leader of the company.It's all about the people and the systems and the culture of the company.Preparing a company for the future sometimes requires making a big bet.HP has been buying software companies.This isn't a totally new development,but they're making a big bet on unstructured data.
It's up to the people at HP to explain this and make it work.Anytime the stock drops like that,it places pressure on people-there's no question.They are doubling down in the enterprise space,former CEO Carly Fiorina pointed out.
UBS has cut its rating on HP from buy to neutral,lowering its price target to 26.00.
Hewlett-Packard(HPQ),International Business Machines(IBM)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Safeway Jobs

Safeway is hiring for its new stores in Olney and Bethesda,Maryland.All positions are open.Apply online at
Please reference Store 2848 for Bethesda and 2797 for Olney.
Safeway:Your Future Starts Now.Link your future to the Safeway Team.

China Construction Bank Reports

Asia's stock markets were modestly up Monday morning,perhaps feeling that last week's selling was overdone.Donald Williams of Platypus Asset Management in Sydney said he thinks this will be a consolidation week.Traders will be watching the Federal Reserve's annual conference in Jackson Hole,Wyoming for signs the Fed will implement a third round of quantitative easing,supporting the markets by purchasing more bonds.
We're not looking for a major rally;it's more likely that we trade sideways.The outlook for most companies is the murkiest since 2008.It'll take another 2-3 months to figure out what's ahead.
We're just adding to existing positions.We haven't changed to being more defensive,Mr.Williams noted.
China Construction Bank reported record earnings for the first half of the year.Credit demand was strong and there was a 14.5 billion dollar increase in net income,up 31%.
South Korean golfer Na Yeon Choi lost to Sweden's Suzann Pettersen in a playoff at the Safeway Classic in Oregon.They had both finished in regulation at six under par.
In Sydney,it was 61F on Monday under partly cloudy skies.Winds were SE at 14mph,and the humidity was 59%.
iShares Trust FTSE/Xinhua China 25 index(FXI)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pfizer Cancer Therapies Move Forward in Europe

The European Medicines Agency has accepted Pfizer's regulatory submissions for review of two investigational compounds.One of them,crizotinib,targets a form of advanced non-small cell lung cancer(NSCLC);the other,bosutinib,is aimed at newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia.Both compounds are believed to inhibit signaling in cancer cells that allows them to grow,survive and reproduce.
Pfizer Oncology says its pipeline is focused on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical applications across a wide range of cancers.It has biologics and small molecules in clinical development and more than 100 clinical trials underway.
With its wide array of research partners,ranging from individual researchers to academic institutions,Pfizer Oncology strives to deliver the right drug for each patient at the right time to cure or control cancer.
Pfizer is listed on the London and New York stock exchanges under the ticker symbols PFZ and PFE,respectively.CEO Ian Read heads the New York-based company.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baltimore Financial Firm Stays True

This is an exceptional opportunity for equity investing,so long as you have a long term horizon,according to Legg Mason CEO Mark Fetting.Is this the time to sell your house-in the midst of the storm?Stay true to a strategy over the long haul.
The downgrade was really a catalyst,a rollback of expectations.That's what corrections are about.We're moving into a show-me period.There are still fundamentals that tell me we're not in a recession.
Gold is more of a factor now as an alternate currency.This sends a signal of lower for longer without needed changes.Let's show that we can lead constructively.That's what the markets want,Mr.Fetting observed.
His colleague Wayne Lin said they're waiting for a little more rationality in the market.You typically see a large spike in volatility,followed by a slow comeback.It's an issue of having a discipline and a very good sense of what your investment time frame is.Building a position over time makes sense at this point.
Treasuries do not adjust with inflation,except for TIPS,or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.Equities adjust upwards with their returns and dividends,the portfolio manager Wayne Lin pointed out.
Legg Mason,Inc. is a conglomerate of branded asset manager affiliates,each with a specialized expertise.They are supervised and supported by the Baltimore,Maryland world headquarters.
Legg Mason(LM)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Japan's Recovery Powers Markets

Japan's GDP was stronger than expected,sending markets up across the APAC region on Monday,with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rising 1.03.The GDP figure was -1.3,showing a faster recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami than had been imagined.Societe Generale described it as a V-shaped recovery from the disaster.By September,industrial production will have fully recovered.Supply chain disruptions are easing as parts manufacturers pick up the pace.
Things are not quite as rosy in China.Daiwa Capital has cut its growth target for China and raised the inflation outlook.In Hong Kong,apartment sellers have cut their asking price as the 70% surge comes to an end.Daiwa Capital also says the Hong Kong economy is halfway into a recession.Chinese equity mutual funds are reducing their stock allocations.
New U.S. ambassador to Beijing Gary Locke,who is of Chinese descent,said his priority was to increase understanding and cooperation between the two countries.If U.S. and Chinese businesses and scientists work together,they can solve not only U.S. and Chinese problems,but those of the whole world,Ambassador Locke said upon his arrival with his family in the Chinese capital.
In Hong Kong,it was 90F under scattered clouds Monday morning.The wind was W at 10 mph,and the humidity was 66%.

SAIC Hiring Blitz

Science Applications International Corporation is holding a hiring blitz on Wednesday,August 24.The event will be held at
Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle,N.W.
Washington,D.C. 20005
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
They are looking for IT professionals,including
ADEX System Engineer
Data Center Migration Manager
IT Security Analysts,Leads,Metrics Engineers and Specialists
Oracle 11g DBA and SQL Systems Developer
Senior Applications Engineer
Senior .net Developer
and many others.
For more information and to apply,visit and search Req. ID 205662
SAIC:Smart people solving hard problems.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Light Exercise Can Protect Ageing Brains

Seniors don't have to be a vigorous athlete in order to reap significant cognitive benefits,a new University of Colorado Boulder study suggests.The study,lead by Research Associate Ruth Barrientos,shows that rats in late middle age which ran just over a half kilometer a week-just over a third of a mile-were profoundly less susceptible to memory loss associated with immunological challenges such as bacterial infection.The rats had been infected with E.coli bacteria.
Previous research with humans has shown the protective power of exercise against cognitive decline such as dementia.It has also uncovered a correlation between immune system challenges and dementia.
Microglia,the brain's immune cells,tend to overreact with age,releasing too many inflammatory molecules called cytokines,which may result in cognitive impairment when the body faces infection or even surgery.
Cytokines are small protein molecules that transmit messages between cells.In the process,they can regulate inflammatory responses.
A little exercise,however,may be effective therapy for an ageing brain with unruly cytokines,according to the CU Boulder study.The study has been published in the current issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Monday, August 8, 2011

AIG Conveys Its Renewal

The current market madness may be obscuring our vision.Investors need to remember that most large companies are doing very well.They have tons of cash on their balance sheets.There has been a remarkable resurgence in the corporate sector.AIG is a case in point.
AIG has actually turned the corner and our crisis is over,says CEO Robert Benmosche (pronounced Benmoshay).It is actually a strong,independent company.I'm looking at what is good and right in this country.
We provide guarantees for our customers,and that is going very well.Our fixed annuity sales have gone up dramatically.People are looking for more guarantees around their future.
I believe it's a very different world than 2008.People are trying to figure out what's gonna happen tomorrow.We've got to talk about what's positive.What's jeopardized is people being afraid to invest in their businesses.
You've got to add to the retirement age.These entitlement programs are for later in life;not for 20 years of life.
I think this is a great quarter for us.I don't think this is a long sort of trough.France has changed its retirement age.If that happens,the debt won't be as bad,Mr.Benmosche believes.
AIG is a multinational insurance and investment firm.Active in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions,it has 96,000 employees.The New York-based company was badly damaged by the financial crisis,and received much federal aid.
American International Group(AIG)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Asia This Day:Firm Support for U.S. Treasuries

Asian markets fell Monday morning from 1-3% in reaction to the downgrade of U.S. credit.Singapore dropped 3.36%,and Hong Kong lost 2.95%.Nonetheless,Asian investors stood by U.S. bonds.Following an emergency meeting,South Korean officials reaffirmed their support for U.S. Treasury bonds.
Taiwan said the downgrade would have no direct or immediate impact.Hong Kong was sticking to its previous policies.Japan said it had not lost trust in Treasuries.Russia said U.S. Treasuries were reliable and it would not be reviewing its investment policy.
UBS said 70% of its clients indicated they would hold onto their U.S. bonds;30% would even increase their holdings.
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said Australia faces the challenges from a position of strength.Prime Minister Julia Gillard reassured the nation that Australia could handle the current instability.After all,Australia was the only developed country that did not go into recession during the 2008 financial crisis.
France questioned Standard&Poor's judgement in imposing the downgrade.All the same,U.S. stock futures were down precipitously Sunday evening,warning of a volatile Monday session ahead.
Singapore saw mostly cloudy conditions Monday morning.It was 86F,with winds S at 5 mph.The humidity was 70%.
Australian Adam Scott won the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio on Sunday.It was the 31-year old's eighth career victory on the PGA Tour.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Who Owns St.Joseph Aspirin

St.Joseph Aspirin is a brand owned by Ilex Consumer Products Group,a subsidiary of private equity firm Ilex Capital Group.The longtime children's aspirin product received a new lease on life when research showed that a low dose aspirin regimen has numerous benefits for cardiovascular health,reducing stroke and heart attack risk,and even lessening the damage from a heart attack in progress.
More recently,it has been ascertained that an 81 mg aspirin regimen may help prevent colon cancer as well.Some people are allergic to aspirin.Others with sensitive stomachs may develop bleeding ulcers from taking aspirin.These are rare complications,however.The low dose aspirin regimen,with its minimal cost and multiple benefits,has become one of the most widely recommended in family medicine.
Ilex Consumer Products also owns the Calgon and Gourmet Dining brands.
Based in Annapolis,Maryland,Ilex Capital Group has client service offices in Baltimore and London.Private equity firms such as Ilex normally seek to optimize a brand until it is ready to sell or list for a substantial profit.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Portfolio Management:Leaning To Learning

Though we don't know what will happen tomorrow,we do know what happened today.We are not in a bear market,which is defined as a 20% drop or more;we are in a market correction.We are not in another recession,either;the economy is still growing,although slowly.Corporate earnings have been very good for Q2,with most firms exceeding estimates.These are the fundamental facts.Forget the knee-jerk hysteria of the sell programs that went off today.A good employment report or a supportive gesture from a central bank could set us back on the right track to a healthy market as soon as tomorrow morning.
Until that happens,we need not be sick ourselves because panic was in the financial streets on a given day.We are still the thoughtful people we were when we woke up on the morning of a sell-off.We know that,historically,those who run with the herd at such a time have always lost out in the end.
That doesn't mean it's time to buy.We could be headed for another bear market and recession.In that case,some buying on the way back up would be in order.It just isn't at that point yet.There's a lot to be said for just parking new money in cash for now until the situation is clarified over the next few days and weeks.It may not be exciting,but it is a durable plan.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Symantec's Promising Outlook

Software titan Symantec is forecasting higher profits and sales in its future.It has a steady chart and steadily improving revenues,points out Joel Fishbein,a senior analyst and managing director at Lazard Capital Markets.
The growth of Symantec's deferred revenues has been impressive.Quarter after quarter,more are signing up for its services.That suggests more success in coming quarters.
Mr.Fishbein has a buy rating on Symantec.The company has done a phenomenal job of focusing on the right areas.It has the most comprehensive portfolio of security technologies.
As a big enterprise services firm,one weakness it has is in the consumer market.Symantec will be focusing on the mobile market to address that.It's really hard to develop security on all of the platforms,so the company buys acquisitions that are growing faster than Symantec itself,Mr.Fishbein observed.
Symantec was founded by Gary Hendrix in 1982.A multinational corporation based in Mountain View,California,the company's Norton antivirus and data management products generate much of its revenue.
FBR Capital Markets,a prominent investment bank and asset manager,has upgraded Symantec's rating to outperform from market perform.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Asia This Day:Japan Rebounds Strongly

The earnings reports coming form Japan are very good,says Jesper Koll of JP Morgan Chase.Corporate Japan is recovering very nicely.For April-June,it is very likely there was a sharp increase in aggregate earnings,a very steep recovery in overall sales.You could see 10-15% up in aggregate terms,Mr.Koll believes.
In Thailand,we're definitely seeing a return of foreign buying after the election,Andrew Yates of Asia Plus,the RBS partner in Thailand,indicated.It seems to be business as usual.The foreign flows are very strong.
We continue to like the banks.People are also looking at property and consumer plays.The SET property index is up 12% since the election.The single biggest concern is inflation.The Bank of Thailand has been pushing up rates,but the current 4% of inflation isn't too bad,in Mr.Yates'opinion.
Golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan won the RICOH Women's British Open in Carnustie,Scotland on Sunday.
Most Asian shares were higher Monday morning in relief at the U.S. debt ceiling agreement.In Taipei,it was 90F under scattered clouds.Winds were N at 5 mph,and the humidity was 59%.

Walmart Jobs

Walmart is hiring for its new Fairfax,Virginia supercenter.Openings are in grocery,front end,pharmacy,receiving,sales associates and overnight supervisors.Over 73% of Walmart managers began as hourly Associates.Competitive wages and possibly benefits are offered for these flexible schedule positions.
To apply to America's largest employer,visit the hiring kiosks at
Walmart Store #5880
11217 B-Lee Highway
Fairfax,VA 22030
or go to and specify Site #5880.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

After Open Heart Surgery:Searching For Right Words

It was amazing to me that,even when I was in the hospital and unable to post for a while,people were still visiting the blog.That was most appreciated.
"A form of PTSD," or post-traumatic stress disorder,is what occurs to me when I try to characterize the post-operative feelings of open heart surgery patients.Many of them sustain long term physical and psychological impacts from the drastic and complex procedure which they have undergone.To be sure,most of them are glad to be alive,given the seriousness of their health problems.They have a second chance now,imperfect as it may be for a number of them.
In my own case,the valve repair was not totally effective.With some degree of emotion,I lay there one night realizing I was not perfectly whole.The diseased valve is still mildly defective,leaking a little blood.It had been nearly destroyed by illness,so that result wasn't too surprising for me.Sometimes the lesions are so severe,it isn't possible to fully reconstitute the valve,though making it strong enough to last at least as long as an artificial replacement.
The emotional aspect of the procedure cannot be overstated.A heightened sense of fragility is a permanent reminder to the patient of everything they've gone through,and,indeed,may be encountering again in their future years.
The sheer length of recovery is in itself remarkable.The incision alone may take up to a year to fully heal.It may itch and sting a bit until that time,and bears careful attention by both the patient and medical team.
For possibly years into the future,the patient,according to the anecdotal literature,may experience ocular migraines,or visual disturbances with or without headaches.Vertigo and lightheadedness may also be felt sporadically for a long duration of time.The exact causes of this are not well-understood.Usually further testing doesn't explain such continuing discomfort.That is why "a form of PTSD" may be an apt description of the elusive phenomena.
Eventually,most patients will resume the full range of their activities,but it must be emphasized that this may take far longer than anyone had envisioned.As well,their souls may be tinged with blue from time to time as they reflect upon their most unusual pathway through the busy world.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Advantage View:Where the Opportunity Is

Earnings have been very healthy on the back of cost-cutting,according to Steve Barry,co-chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.We see a market with stocks reacting individually.There's only so much you can do on the cost side.You've got to get some revenue growth.
I think you have to look beyond our borders.The U.S. is maybe half to a little more of our company's global results.The middle class of the emerging markets can help drive growth globally.
We see an improvement on the credit side of financials.We're in a world where investors want confirmation,rather than what may happen.Financials look to us to be very opportunistic here.That anticipatory dynamic is core to what we do.Financials are enterprises that behave and adapt,Mr.Barry believes.
Bob Albertson,a principal and chief strategist at Sandler O'Neill Partners,L.P., also likes the financials.He would go into banking.You're seeing accelerating signs of loan growth to businesses.It's a magnetic attraction to see that.The financial sector hasn't participated in the rally.
At the end of the day,credit demand is picking up.The excess capital is overflowing,and the banks don't know what to do with it,Mr.Albertson points out.
Goldman Sachs(GS),iShares Dow Jones U.S. Financial Sector Index Fund(IYF),iShares S&P Global Financials Sector Index Fund(IXG)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Asia This Day:Vietnam Prices Soar

Vietnam's inflation is up 22.16%,the highest in the region.Vietnam says it is unlikely it will meet its 17% inflation target.Food and transport costs are up,and raising interest rates didn't help restrain inflation.In Asia generally,higher oil and food expenses,coupled with a tight labor market,are driving inflation higher.
Korean electronics titan Samsung is the global smart phone leader,according to the latest research.The company has sold up to 21 million smart phones,with Apple coming in second and Nokia third.Samsung's Android-based phones are extremely popular.
Australia's Cadel Evans has won the Tour de France cycling event.At 34,he is the oldest winner of the race since 1923.
The New Zealand dollar,the kiwi,is near a record high on concern over the U.S. debt problem.Asian shares were modestly lower this morning,Monday,for the same reason.
In Ho Chi Minh City Saigon,it was 84F under partly cloudy skies.The humidity was 74%,with winds SW at 9 mph.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jake Gittlen Memorial Tournament Underway Soon

The 42nd annual Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament will soon be underway at the Hershey Country Club in Pennsylvania.The tournament tees off on Saturday,August 13 and features the top amateur golfers in central Pennsylvania as they compete for local golf's biggest title.It will be played on the East Course this year,which was formerly the site of the Nationwide Tour's Hershey Open.
The tournament was first held in 1970 as a memorial to cancer victim Jake Gittlen by his son Warren,former captain of the Penn State golf team.It has raised over 14 million dollars to date and is the signature fundraiser for the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation.Northwestern Mutual is this year's tournament sponsor.
The research foundation raises more than 830,000 dollars a year in support of oncology studies at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.The scientists there are working on diverse topics,including carcinogenesis;immunotherapy;metastasis;genetic instability;and gene regulation.
Once again,Giant Food Stores is a major patron of the foundation.The company has raised more than 5.8 million dollars for the foundation since 1982.It is a division of Dutch food retailer Ahold.
Attractive,hand-made bracelets in support of the foundation may be purchased for 10.00 each by emailing
Koninklijke Ahold NV ADR(AHONY)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Goldman Misses,Yet Improves

The profit miss recently reported by Goldman Sachs is quite instructive.It shows how conservative Goldman has become in the wake of the financial crisis.Not only is Goldman averse to monetary losses;it also doesn't want any more egg on its face.The company took quite a drubbing in Congress and in the media for its business practices leading up to the crisis.
As well,the decrease in compensation for its employees reflects this new conservatism on the part of the iconic Wall Street firm.The luster may be off this storied company to a certain extent,but it can only gain in the long run with these new practices leading to a more secure and stable future.
Goldman Sachs(GS)

Goldman profit misses estimates; 1,000 jobs to be cut

Goldman profit misses estimates; 1,000 jobs to be cut

Monday, July 18, 2011

Backstopping With Gold and Cash

The European debt discussion has been going on since the beginning of last year,says Abhay Deshpande,a portfolio manager at First Eagle Investment Management.European authorities keep finding ways to prevent its stopping.In the end,practical people will come to the conclusion-probably after the summer-that the European Central Bank needs to get directly involved.
We have 20% cash in case there's another Lehman-type meltdown.That means 17% commercial paper;some Treasury bills;and the bonds of well-financed governments.It's unpleasant,but if we can't find anything,we tend to default to cash.
Gold bullion is our number one holding.It acts somewhat as a hedge against the declining purchasing power around the world.One of the lessons we learned from the financial crisis is that sometimes we get it wrong,Mr.Deshpande admitted.
First Eagle Investment Management,LLC serves corporations,foundations,endowments,major retirement funds and individuals.Its staff of 156 has 60 billion dollars under management worldwide.With a lineage dating back to nineteenth century Germany,it emphasizes risk management and long term,value-oriented investing.
Commercial paper is an unsecured money market instrument sold by large banks and other firms.It is often contained in bond and money market funds.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Asia This Day:Gold's Second Half Outlook

Samsung is going shopping.The Korean electronics titan is looking to acquire medical device makers.It wants to challenge the likes of GE and Siemens in the industry.
Asians are shopping for gold.India and China are bidding up the price of the precious metal.
Both gold jewelry and bullion are in demand,the latter as security in uncertain economic times.The Indian middle class will continue lifting sales in the second half at the Mumbai bazaar.The wedding season in August will contribute to the increase.
China's property controls have slowed growth in the big cities.Now Beijing is imposing such measures in the smaller ones.According to the Xinhua news agency,Q2 residential land price appreciation slowed.Credit Suisse believes that home inventories are so high,owners will have to cut prices.
Asian shares were mixed Monday morning.Hong Kong,Tokyo and Singapore stocks rose,while Shanghai,Seoul and Sydney issues retreated.
Hong Kong saw scattered clouds Monday.It was 82F,with the humidity at 84%.Winds were W at 8 mph,and thunderstorms were in the forecast.