Thursday, April 28, 2011

Commentary:Overwrought Weather Warnings Blanket Region

There seem to be more alerts and warnings of every sort now than in the past.One can hardly get through a day without being sternly advised about some risk or other.
Thursday morning in the Washington,D.C. area was a case in point.Every five minutes,radio and television broadcasts were interrupted with tornado warnings,many of them redundant.Thunderstorms were under minute scrutiny for signs of rotation,and the least bit of it set off a hyperactive alert apparatus.By noon,you could have been excused for being a jangle of nerves.
Repeated alert sirens and loud taped warnings over a public address system in an outlying town gave a distinct impression of impending doom.In fact,not one tornado materialized there.If you had heeded the advice given,you would have sat in a windowless corner from 4:30 am to noon.
Try that on for cardiovascular or mental health.
The rotation detected in the storms was strictly in the upper levels.It was a potential for materializing,not an actual event.As well,one whole big county was lumped together,when the suspect rotation was confined to only portions of it.A high level of anxiety was produced in a region where killer tornadoes are almost never encountered,if ever encountered at all.Thankfully,the region carried on Thursday and the work of the nation proceeded.
Ironically,in areas typically hardest hit by severe storms,in the deep South and Midwest,they were perhaps not warned vigorously enough today.Hundreds died and more than a thousand were injured by tornadoes and straight line winds.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Intel Logs Strong Quarter

Intel beat Wall Street estimates for both earnings and revenue in Q1.Indeed,the Q1 revenue of 12.80 billion dollars was an all-time record for Intel.The chip maker admitted,however,that its projection for Q2 might be adversely affected by disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake.
Guy Richard,an analyst at Piper Jaffray,felt that Intel's enterprise business was quite good.It was a blowout quarter,much stronger than he expected.
On the other hand,to date,Intel has had little traction in the tablet market.They are behind in getting people to write to their processor and getting people to integrate their product,Mr.Richard observed.
Piper Jaffray,founded in 1895,is a leading middle market investment bank and asset management firm.Based in Minneapolis,it has offices across the U.S.,as well as in London and Hong Kong.
Intel(INTC),Piper Jaffray(PJC)

JP Morgan's U.S. Outlook

We've already hit the 2011 low,according to JP Morgan's chief U.S. equity strategist Thomas H. Lee.By year's end,he expects to see the S&P at 1425.He likes the materials,industrial and energy sectors.Avoid stocks sensitive to oil prices.There will be moderate to severe disruption to supply chains in tech because of the Japan disaster.
Near term,Q1 earnings are really gonna be a support for markets.Markets may be troubled from June to September,rangebound because of the expiration of the Federal Reserve's QE 2 support program.The housing market will improve,however,driving the S&P higher by the end of 2011.
Equity market rallies are really driven by corporate profit recoveries.Investors are buying the dips because they're under-exposed.In the financial sector,we've seen improvement in credit trends,but not demand,Mr.Lee added.
In addition to his JP Morgan post,Thomas H. Lee is Chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Partners,L.P.A 1965 Harvard graduate,he is a trustee of Rockefeller and Brandeis Universities.Mr. Lee is also a director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
JP Morgan Chase(JPM)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Asia This Day

Some Asian markets are closed today,Monday.Australia and New Zealand are observing Anzac Day,and Hong Kong is marking Easter Monday.Of those which are open,the Nikkei was up 0.48,while the Korean Kospi rose 0.30 and the Singapore MSCI futures were virtually flat,edging up 0.05.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was working on the holiday,visiting Korea in search of a trade deal.She said the partnership between the two countries was full of promise and potential.She also toured the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
Tension flared on the border between Thailand and Cambodia.Ten soldiers have been killed since Friday in the territorial dispute,which started three years ago over ownership of several temples in the area.
A number of earnings reports will be issued this week.Big Chinese banks,tech companies,REITs,Panasonic,Canon and Honda are among those reporting in China and Japan.
The Hong Kong morning dawned clear at 79 degrees F.The humidity was 61% and winds were W at 4 mph.
Canon(CAJ),Honda Motor(HMC),Panasonic(PC),iShares FTSE Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Public Health:A Region Faces Cancer Together

An innovative medical/media partnership has formed in central Pennsylvania.Its goal is to educate the public about cancer,bringing in-depth information and resources to bear on this chronic disease.
Facing Cancer Together launched this month.It is an interactive,community education partnership of WellSpan Health,PinnacleHealth,Lancaster General Health and WITF Public Media,Harrisburg.Research-based,the project aims to improve knowledge and change behaviors about cancer.
Through original productions for television,radio and print,as well as interactive web resources,the project will inspire and guide honest conversations about the many aspects of the illness for patients,caregivers and survivors.
Facing Cancer Together will also invite other regional cancer care organizations to participate.It is designed to evolve over the nine months of the initiative based on audience needs and feedback.
Dr.Ronald Hempling,M.D.,director of oncology services for WellSpan Health,said they are excited to be a partner in this project which will highlight the depth of services available in the region.
WellSpan Health is an integrated health care system for the people of southcentral Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.Anchored by York and Gettysburg Hospitals,it includes many physician practices and outpatient facilities.Pinnacle Health and Lancaster General Health are similar organizations in greater Harrisburg and Lancaster,respectively.
The project's comprehensive website is at It takes a few minutes to load.There is also a Facebook page for it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Google Criticized For Spendthrift Ways

Google had good sales in Q1,but its earnings,or profitability,missed estimates.Paid clicks were up 18% for the quarter.The company took on an increase in operating expenses,however,as it invested in many initiatives,generating employee and advertising costs.
Google has long been known for its prolific hiring.Critics assert it is spending too much money.
It's very important for new CEO Larry Page,the company's co-founder,to assert his leadership now,says Joel Abramowicz,senior vice president and tech analyst at Blaylock Robert Van,who has a hold rating on the stock.They're in a very strong position in the coupon area.They already have a sales force in place.
They're a phenomenal software company with great understanding,but it's a very complex business model.It's hard to correlate their platforms as to productivity,Mr.Abramowicz feels.
Eric Schmidt recently turned over the executive reins at Google to Mr.Page,who co-founded the company with fellow Stanford University scholar Sergei Brin.The mega-firm was incorporated in 1998 and was publicly listed in 2004.More than a million servers are involved in Google's operations.
The stock tumbled on disappointment with the Q1 earnings report.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Steve Roach:A Rare Dissent

Not everyone is carefree about the current investing environment.Steve Roach,senior lecturer at Yale University and non-executive chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia,has a number of concerns.The history of post-crisis periods is clear:weak and fragile recoveries.The risk of relapse is real.Consider:1.sovereign debt;2.100 dollar oil;3.unrest in the Middle East;and 4.a U.S. consumer in need of major balance sheet repair.
The markets have dismissed the relapse possibility.Do so at your own risk.The Fed has got the U.S. economy on steroids.The risk is when we withdraw Quantitative Easing 2,you've got a weak labor market.How do you sustain an economy on that basis?
Cash flow isn't enough to get companies to go out,expand and hire.Those decisions are based on expectations of future demand.We can't stand in the way of balance sheet repair.
We're creating a whole new generation of zombie consumers,over-indebted and savings-short,Mr.Roach warns.He is a frequent guest on business television.
Founded in 1935,Morgan Stanley is a financial brain trust with offices worldwide,and offers a full scope of financial services to business,institutions and individuals.More than 45,000 people work for the mega-firm.
Morgan Stanley(MS)

Consulting Jobs

Booz Allen Hamilton has 401 openings in the D.C. Metro Region,and other openings elsewhere.These are for positions such as SharePoint Administrator,Business Process Analyst and Systems Analyst.Booz Allen is a global leader in strategy and technology consulting,providing solutions to international corporations and government clients worldwide.CONSULTANTS TO THE WORLD-working with clients to deliver results today that endure tomorrow.Visit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheap Diabetes Drug May Help Cancer Patients

Metformin,an inexpensive and commonly prescribed diabetes drug,may hold promise as part of a treatment regimen for certain cancer patients,including breast cancer sufferers,a new study suggests.
The Anglo-American team of researchers was led by Professor Michael Lisanti of the University of Manchester,who said they have showed that the food cancer cells consume is crucial to how well a patient does and what treatment they need.If cancer cells are consuming high energy foods,ketone and lactate,this makes a tumor more aggressive and harder to treat.However,patients could benefit from metformin,which cuts off this fuel supply.There is much work to do,but a test to identify these patients could be an important new way of tailoring treatments to a patient's needs,across a wide range of cancers.
The research team,from the Breakthrough Cancer Research Unit at the University of Manchester and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelpia,found that breast cancer patients whose cancer cells consumed high energy foods were more likely to suffer recurring and metastatic,or spreading,cancers.These patients were identified by a certain gene signature.This signature may show which individuals could benefit from taking metformin,the generic diabetes medication.
Anthony Howell,another University of Manchester professor and director of the Breakthrough Cancer Research Unit,thinks the study marks another step towards personalised medicine,as it shows the best way to treat individual cancer patients.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trading Kingdom:CME Group Focused On Growth

Craig Donahue,CEO of CME Group,a family of four designated contracts markets,is a believer in consolidation of markets.Most of us are operating globally,he says.We have 150 countries trading on our platform.
The CME Group maintains trading floors in New York and Chicago,where the old open outcry trades are still performed alongside silent electronic ones.Stock and commodities futures and options,as well as foreign currencies,or forex,change hands at great speeds and big volumes.These trades both build portfolios and manage risk.
We are very focused on our core business.We have really great,compelling growth opportunities in our core business.We have been very focused on globalization for years.Consolidation and efficiencies are obviously important to investors and the industry.
We have such a large amount of customers in Europe and in Asia.We really believe in our growth opportunities as a company.We're continuing to really build out our platform.We're already operating different regulated entities.We're regulated in Europe.It's not really a barrier.
The idea of hedging and transferring risk is still relatively new.We innovate new products all the time to meet those needs.The futures and derivatives markets have been more global for 15 years.It's prone to more growth.People have global demand for forex,commodities,energy products.
We're focused on the emerging markets and see opportunities there.We'll continue to see strong growth.Commodities,forex,metals still have strong growth opportunities.We still have a large number of exchanges in the emerging markets not open to mergers and acquisitions.
Mr.Donahue is not a believer that we've seen the end of M&A in the financial markets.
CME Group consists of the CME,COMEX,CBOT and NYMEX exchanges,utilizing the Globex electronic trading platform.The acronyms stand for Chicago Mercantile Exchange,Commodities Exchange,Chicago Board of Trade,New York Mercantile Exchange.These complex markets are now more accessible to retail investors,as exchange traded funds provide easier access to their financial instruments.
CME Group(CME)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Texas Instruments' Big Analog Move

Texas Instruments is to acquire National Semiconductor for 6.5 billion dollars,or 25.00 a share.Funded with a combination of cash and debt,the deal is expected to close in 6-9 months.
For Texas Instruments,this is a bolstering of its analog chip business,moving away from the less profitable wireless business and toward touch and power management applications.
According to Nick Calamos of Calamos Imvestments,you really need to have scale to compete globally.It's a volume monetization type of business.You need to push out hundreds of millions of these chips.They are staking their future on analog.
Calamos Investments offers services to both individuals and institutions,with specialties in risk management and alternative investment strategies.Originated in 1977,it markets both open and closed-end funds and separately-managed accounts,employing a proprietary security evaluation system.
Texas Instruments(TXN),National Semiconductor(NSM)

Asia This Day

Today,Monday,marks the one month anniversary of the Japan earthquake.Toyota Motor plants there have been closed since then,plagued by parts shortages.The company hopes to reopen all 18 plants by next Monday.
Japanese automaker stocks were down about 2% in early Monday trading,pressured by a Citigroup downgrade of them on lost earnings due to the quake.The broadly based Topix index was down 0.14 on this concern,and the Nikkei 225 was off 0.48.Chinese and Australia/New Zealand markets opened higher.
BHP Billiton is reportedly interested in acquiring Woodside Petroleum for around 50 billion dollars,with an initial purchase of 24 billion.Woodside has liquified natural gas assets on Australia's North West Shelf.
In Chinese energy news,Fu Chengyu is moving from energy majors CNOOC to Sinopec.At CNOOC,Mr.Fu oversaw considerable growth.He has much experience in oil and gas exploration,which is a deficiency at Sinopec,as well as in mergers and acquisitions.
Hong Kong awoke to clear conditions and temperatures in the upper 70s F.
CNOOC Ltd.(CEO),Sinopec(SHI),BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Biotech Together:MedImmune Finds French Research Partners

MedImmune,the biotech division of pharma titan AstraZeneca,has been selected as a strategic research partner by Inserm,the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.The three-year collaboration seeks to advance research in oncology,respiratory,inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
The research aims to move discoveries from bench to bedside,helping patients with unmet medical needs through exploring disease mechanisms and potential candidate drugs.
Also involved in the research is the private subsidiary of Inserm,Inserm Transfert.Inserm Transfert manages research projects,supporting studies from the preclincal to the postmarketing,and providing seed financing for biotech projects.
Inserm has 10 strategic research partners and 500 collaborators in total.It is closely associated with university hospital personnel and foreign research scientists.
Inserm's CEO,Professor Andre Syrota,said they are confident they will benefit from MedImmune's strong support of their efforts to foster discovery of new targets in therapy areas with high unmet medical needs.
MedImmune is based in Gaithersburg,Maryland.It is perhaps best known for its FluMist vaccine product.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why the Market is Rising

The market is rising because the Fed and Bank of Japan are printing money,according to Jim Bianco of Bianco Research.The Fed is probably looking for a reason for Quantitative Easing 3.The tipping point is when the liquidity manifests itself as inflation.
Wages are going up in China.It's coming.It's all gonna eventually lead to higher inflation expectations-probably late this year or early next year.Input costs,raw material costs are definitely gonna start to be a problem.
The economy is better than last summer.Has it progressed enough to support a 30% rise in stocks?Not entirely.Maybe a third or a half is attributable to QE2.That's a 15% correction in the market,Mr.Bianco estimates.
Quantitative easing is the Federal Reserve program of buying U.S. Treasury securities or other assets in order to bolster the economy by keeping interest rates low.

The New Financial Rules

There are 300-500 new rules that enact financial legislation that were written without regulators,points out Robert Albertson,chief strategist at Sandler O'Neill.It's starting to get clearer as implementation begins.There's a lot that has to go on till this is sorted out.By this summer,it will be visible.
In banking,you've got loan growth again.It's meager and sluggish,mirroring the overall recovery.There are still a lot of sick banks.They are small banks,Mr.Albertson explained.
The federal program for encouraging small business lending isn't working well.Bankers say there aren't enough applicants for the loans.As well,they require a lot of paperwork,which means the banks would have to hire additional staff,decreasing the profitability of the program.
Sandler O'Neill is an independent,full service investment banking firm.It has been advising financial companies for more than 20 years.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Microsoft Jobs

Microsoft Corporation is hiring for its Chevy Chase,Maryland location.Needed are Software Development Engineers and Software Development Engineers in Test,icluding Lead,Senior and Principal levels.They will develop computer software applications,systems or services.
Multiple openings are available at various levels for each of the categories.To view complete requirements and to apply,visit or
Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer,supporting workplace diversity.

Saturday, April 2, 2011