Monday, May 30, 2011

Canadian Ideas:Trends in Agriculture

Corn production was overestimated,according to John Stephenson,senior vice-president and portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management.Look for higher corn and soybean prices.Corn is moving higher in the second half of the year;the U.S. is responsible for 65% of the corn trade.
The U.S. situation is extremely good for fertilizer producers.Farmers are planting so late in flooded fields.They're gonna have to refertilize-especially in the fall.
Eventually,supply will meet demand,but China looks to be an importer this year.Farmers are rushing to plant corn.
There's a very strong market for potash and nitrogen-based fertilizers.Within South America,Monsanto is doing incredibly well with its seed.China is also adopting this seed.
What happened in America in terms of the predominance of large-scale farming is also gonna happen in China,Mr.Stephenson predicts.
First Asset Investment Management is a Canadian firm that offers Toronto Stock Exchange-listed investment funds,mutual funds,principal-protected notes and flow-through limited partnerships.It has around 2.5 billion dollars under management.
PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund(DBA),PowerShares DB Commodity Fund(DBC),Monsanto(MON),Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan(POT)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Asia This Day

Asian markets were largely negative Monday morning,down slightly on concerns about a global manufacturing slowdown and forthcoming U.S. economic data,as well as local factors.
Only Singapore's Straits Times Index was up,gaining 0.24% because the government plans to build more government housing in light of considerable demand.
Honda Motors will halt stock buybacks in order to save cash,suffering from the recent earthquake and tsunami effects.
Hong Kong saw a pleasant morning at 82F under partly cloudy skies.Winds were E at 14mph,and the humidity was 58%.
Honda Motors(HMC)

Lockheed Martin Jobs

Lockheed Martin,the leading global security and IT firm,has openings in D.C.,Northern Virginia and Maryland for Engineering,Information Technology and Intelligence Analysis personnel.Lockheed is the largest provider of IT services,systems integration and training to the U.S. Government.Those selected may be subject to a security investigation and must be eligible to access classified information.
To chat with a virtual recruiter,visit the website at
Lockheed Martin:powered by innovation,guided by integrity.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fighting Disease:A Corporate/Academic Partnership

The University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and OpGen,Incorporated are to collaborate on a microbial database.To the untrained eye,OpGen's maps of genomic sequences look like colorful bar codes.To scientists,however,the maps enable rapid,accurate assembly and analysis of DNA sequence data of the whole genome.The OpGen maps advance the understanding of clinically relevant disease microorganisms.
OpGen and the University of Maryland Institute for Genomic Sciences have announced their collaboration in developing a database of high quality,finished and annotated microbial sequences.IGS will provide clinically characterized microbial samples and sequencing data,especially from the National Institutes of Health microbial genomic studies.OpGen will contribute the optical maps and sequence finishing technology.
This database will serve as an extraordinary set of reference organism templates to be used by the large number of resequencing efforts worldwide,said IGS director Claire Fraser-Liggett,PhD,who is also a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.Such databases inform microbiology research and clinical diagnostics,providing insight into microbial genome architecture in a more complete and accurate way.
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund(IBB)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Assessing LinkedIn's Value

The first of the social media titans to go public,LinkedIn has earnings coming very soon,says Walter Price of RCM Capital Management.It's not a crazy valuation.If we were just looking for a one day pop,it wouldn't be worth it.We'd like to build a position in the firm.
You just have to do your work,modeling the company.If it doesn't go for the right price,we're just not gonna buy it.You just have to read through the thick prospectuses.
LinkedIn is up to 100 million users.I think that's a real endorsement that it is a valuable product.The growth rate of the company is 100% a year.We think it'll continue to grow at a high rate,Mr.Price predicts.
RCM Capital Management is a global asset manager and a company of Allianz Global Investors.It seeks to deliver an information advantage to its clients from six international offices on four continents.
RCM's parent firm,Allianz,is a German multinational financial conglomerate that is especially prominent in the insurance industry.In the U.S.,Allianz trades on the over the counter pink sheets under the ticker symbol AZSEY.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Asia This Day

FoxConn,a major outsourcer for Apple,Hewlett-Packard and Sony,has suffered a tragic fire and explosion in Chengdu,China.Three workers were killed.All operations at that plant and similar plants were shut down.
Computers are assembled at the stricken facility.iPad and iPhone production may also be hindered by the blast in a dust duct there,which caused smoke to billow from the plant.
FoxConn is based in Taipei,Taiwan.It was plagued by a rash of worker suicides last year.
Elsewhere in Asia,Thailand's GDP growth has exceeded expectations.It grew 3.0% on the year.The growth is being attributed to very strong exports,as well as robust domestic demand.
Asian markets were lower today,Monday,on account of fears about European debt and a Chinese regulator's call for better risk management by banks.
Hong Kong saw a temperature of 73F under mostly cloudy skies,with thunderstorms in the forecast.

School Administrators Needed

Loudoun County,Virginia,a D.C. suburb,needs public school administrators.There are vacancies at all levels for Principals and Assistant Principals.The anticipated start date is July 1,2011.Please apply online at
You may also call 571-252-1100 for more information.
Let's put you in Loudoun.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

After Open Heart Surgery:An Appreciable Journey

For one who has had conventional,chest-splitting open heart surgery,expectations should be tempered by reality.This person is not going to be able to leap back into their previous life all at once.Healing from such a major intervention is a gradual,multi-dimensional process.
Visual disturbances are a signature event for many open heart patients.Whether attributable to the large number of medications being taken,the after-effects of anesthesia or being on the heart-lung machine for several hours,this can be one of the most disconcerting aspects of recovery.These patients may experience auras or silent migraines,which are bright spots,double vision,or a combination of visual effects-possibly for months.
Auras or silent migraines are often referred to as ocular migraines.Most often,they are not accompanied by headaches in the open heart patient.Such migraines without pain are also referred to as acephalgic migraines.The patient may be referred to a number of specialists,according to the anecdotal literature,but end up with little to show for it.
Another effect the open heart patient must accept is attacks of fatigue.Of a sudden,they feel an overwhelming need for a nap,which they are best advised to accede to.These fatigue episodes,like ocular migraines,may alarm the patient,but are signs that the wounded body needs to focus on regrouping itself,rather than on a slate of activities the patient may have planned for the day.
For an extended period,the main job of the open heart patient is the restoration of health in itself.Other considerations need to be set aside so the patient may be successfully reconstituted.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Xerox Delivering On B2B

With the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services last year,50% of Xerox's revenue is now from services,CEO Ursula Burns points out.Although we are still strong in tech,we deliver core back office services,and that should enable us to deliver to shareholders.
We have a good business mix,from small to large enterprise to government.In Japan,the good news is there's stability with Fuji Xerox.We've been able to deliver a strong first quarter there.There will be some supply constraints in the second quarter from the earthquake and tsunami.
In the U.S.,we see improvement.We definitely are seeing the look-up.There's a little more stability and positive help from the government.People are feeling the improvement of '09 and '10.
We are affected by the swings of the yen on our cost basis and by commodities.As long as our clients who are multinationals in the U.S. do more business,anything that allows them to be more confident allows us to add to our employment,Ms.Burns explained.
The company strives to free businesses to focus on their customers by providing its signature office equipment as well as document production,management and business process solutions.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Asia This Day

News from Japan dominated the opening hours of the first business day of this week.In M&A news,Toshiba is said to be close to acquiring Swiss smart meter firm Landis+Gyr.Landis+Gyr has outfitted tens of thousands of Danish homes with their energy management technology.
Japan's machinery orders were up 2.9% for the month of April and 6.8% on the year.This may be because Japanese companies are getting set to resume full operations following March 11th's earthquake and tsunami.
The Japanese government is asking banks to forgive Tokyo Electric Power's debt.Tepco,owner of the damaged nuclear plants,is critical to the Tokyo area and the national economy.
Mizuho Financial forecasts an 11% profit increase this year.
Elsewhere in Asia,Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew has resigned from the nation's cabinet after five decades,saying it was time for someone younger to take the reins.
In early Asia trading,Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 82.66,while the Korean Kospi declined 14.26 and the Australian ASX 200 dropped 64.70.
It was 82F in Hong Kong under mostly cloudy skies.The day had begun with fog and rain.
iShares Japan MSCI Index Fund(EWJ)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Back Home From Open Heart Surgery

I was discharged from the hospital Tuesday,having had the traditional chest-splitting for heart valve repair.I have an artificial annuloplasty ring in my heart now.
The first night at home was strange.I felt as though my bedroom was high off the ground,though it really wasn't.Everything was somehow altered.Then there were the firefly hallucinations.I still have them.
I also arrived home with a metallic taste in my mouth.That seemed to fade today when I ate some pastry,but then resurged.It is possibly caused by ACE inhibitor drugs such as ramipril,which lower blood pressure,as there are anecdotes to that effect on the Internet.The burning sensation from the breathing tube down my throat has receded permanently.
I am working hard to re-establish normalcy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Survived

I survived open heart surgery.I will be back to work as soon as possible.Indeed,I am using the health care system's wireless network.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Medical Leave

My medical leave is scheduled to begin on Friday,lasting for as much as 4-8 weeks of possibly reduced posting.I have a heart valve condition.In the meantime,the sites will remain open 24/7,staffed by my newsreel colleagues,CNBC and YouTube in the sidebar.
Hope to have you around,
Andrew Taylor

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ford Comes Recommended

Ford Motor Company has reported its Q1 earnings.Ford is without question the auto manufacturer that I want to own,says Gary Bradshaw of Hodges Capital Management.Their numbers are excellent and I think Ford will build on that momentum going forward.
I think we're still early in the cycle.Out a couple of years,we could see earnings at 3+.At that level,I think Ford is an excellent value.
I think there's a lot of pent-up demand for cars;you can't just drive them forever.Ford had great margins as well as revenue.Alan Mulally and his team have done a great job of being profitable.He's doing everything right at the moment.I think he is the best manager there is out there,Mr.Bradshaw concluded.
Ford had its best quarter since 1998.Profits were up 22%.CEO Alan Mulally said they're gonna add 7,000 new jobs over the next two years.When you have the strength of the product line,it shows the power of free cash flow.We have paid back 15 billion in debt the past year,Mr.Mulally pointed out.
Ford cautioned,however,that the cost of production and materials will go up again next year.That could crimp profit margins.
Ford Motor Company(F)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Ascent of Gold and Oil

Dominic Schnider,head of commodities research at UBS Wealth Management,explains that gold strength is driven by dollar weakness.I haven't seen any real signal of an attractive real interest rate.Precious metals will look really quite compelling.
UBS has a 12-month forecast for gold of 1650.00 an ounce.Gold is the right choice for investors.Silver will end in a bloodbath.
We're looking at probably 120.00 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude.To lower the price,we need to see less growth in demand given the structural supply problems that we have now.Oil at 120.00 is easily in the cards.We need to see deceleration of demand growth,Mr.Schnider emphasized.
Both oil and gold rose in Monday morning trading despite the death of Osama bin Laden.
Australian mining titan BHP Billiton Limited gives broad exposure to natural resource extraction.Kinross Gold,a Canadian miner,is currently considered one of the best values in the industry.
Union Bank of Switzerland(UBS),BHP Billiton Limited(BHP),Kinross Gold(KGC)

Unisys Job Fair

Unisys is holding a technical job fair for its Homeland Security unit.They seek U.S. citizens for Project Manager,Application Developer and Systems Engineer positions at their D.C. and Virginia offices.The global IT Services Company needs skilled developers and engineers such as Security Engineers,Adobe LiveCycle/Portal Developer and Machine Learning Developers/Modelers.The fair will be on Wednesday,May 4 at
Grand Hyatt Hotel
1000 H Street,NW
Washington,DC 20001
from 4pm to 7pm.
If unable to attend,please send resumes to with a subject heading:U.S. Homeland Jobs-May 4,2011.