Monday, December 31, 2012

Asia This Day:Chinese Manufacturing Looks Good;India Warns of Risk

The HSBC China Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.5 in December,up from 50.5 in November.It climbed at the fatsest pace since May 2011,and more than expected.A reading over 50 indicates growth in the sector.The Australian dollar extended this year's gain on the China PMI data.
India cut its coal imports by 13% in November.The SENSEX stock-index futures fell when the Royal Bank of India warned of rising risks to the economy in light of the grim outlook for global growth.
Japan's Nikkei stock index has risen 23% in 2012.It is the index's first annual rise in three years.
In early New Year's Eve trading,the Nikkei was up 0.70%.Hong Kong's Heng Seng index was virtually flat,down by 0.04%,while Australia's ASX 200 index fell 0.48%.
HSBC Holdings PLC(HBC)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Health Uncle:What Is Acid Reflux Disease

Normally,a valve at the top of your stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter,or LES,closes when food passes through it,preventing stomach acid from escaping.In acid reflux disease,or gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD),the valve doesn't close completely or opens too often.
This faulty valve is most commonly caused by hiatil hernia,which is a displacement of part of the stomach above the diaphragm,or by a number of habits,such as eating big meals;lying down ,bending at the waist,or lying on your back after eating;eating bedtime snacks;eating citrus,tomato,chocolate,mint,garlic,onions,spicy and fatty food;drinking alcohol,soda,coffee or tea;smoking;pregnancy;taking aspirin,ibuprofen or blood pressure medication.Age is also a predsiposing factor in developing GERD.
The main symptoms of GERD are heartburn and/or regurgitation of acid into your throat or mouth,leaving a sour or bitter taste for several hours.If these happen twice or more weekly or are severe,you likely have GERD.Another common symptom of  GERD is dysphagia,a feeling of fullness in the throat when you swallow food.
If left untreated,GERD may eventually damage your esophagus.
Your physician may order tests such as endoscopy,a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end that is passed down your throat as far as your stomach so your upper digestive tract may be examined.
If over the counter antacids such as Rolaids or Mylanta don't work,in addition to dietary changes,other medications may be suggested or prescribed,such as Prilosec or Zantac.
In the worst cases,a surgery called fundoplication is available.This involves creating an artificial valve using the top of your stomach.It is a last resort.
Do not mix medications such as different antacids or antacids with other types of GERD medicines on your own.Consult your physician if you have severe GERD that doesn't respond to basic treatment with an antacid or if there is a question about what you have.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Shop Talk:Christmas Eve

In observance of Christmas Eve,the normal business post for Monday nights will not be published.
Northern Maryland received about 2 inches of snow Monday afternoon and evening,ensuring a relatively rare White Christmas-considered highly desirable by many Americans.More wintry weather is expected for Christmas night through Wednesday night.
Liberty Mountain Resort in Southcentral Pennsylvania had been making snow Sunday night,and Monday's natural snow will greatly enhance the opening of their ski trails.
Christmas Eve highway traffic was light to moderate.
Retailers reported brisk bargain hunting on the final day of the shopping season.
Happy Christmas,dear readers,if you are celebrating.Russia will celebrate Christmas on January 7.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Asia This Day:Billabong Gets New Bid;Putin in India

Major central banks have been injecting liquidity into the market.We think we're gonna see major buying of the Australian dollar,driving it up to 1.11,said Todd Elmer of Citigroup.
Billabong International has received a takeover bid of  A527 million dollars/US554 million from Sycamore Partners and Paul Naude.The Australian apparel group had cut its earnings forecast by up to 49% on weaker than expected holiday sales and restructuring costs.
Australian Minister of Trade Craig Emerson said the country's budget surplus should return by 2014.Although it would be unlikely,a surplus could possibly happen as early as 2013 if household spending continues to improve.There are good signs in car sales,the housing market and the retail industry.
The Labour government had originally promised to achieve a budget surplus in 2013,but has just revised the pledge to 2014,based on a shortfall in tax revenue because of global economic weakness,lower commodity prices and a higher Australian dollar.
The ASX 200 index closed at 4635.20,up 0.25% in shortened Christmas Eve trading.Australian stocks are at their highest valuation in 17 months,but trading volume was extremely light-off 70% in the pre-holiday session.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a one day trip to India.India is Russia's leading arms customer and Mr.Putin will sign 7 billion dollars in arms deals on his visit,including outright purchases and joint development plans.The Nifty Fifty stock index rose 0.48% in early Monday trading.
iShares Australia Index Fund(EWA),iShares Nifty 50 Index Fund(INDY)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Is It Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

The seasonal influenza season began in October and peaks in January and February.If you haven't gotten yours yet,it's still worthwhile to do so.I got mine on Tuesday,and by Thursday most of the minimal soreness at the injection site had disappeared.
The shot is on average about 60% effective at preventing the potentially deadly disease in a given person.Between 1976-2006,the number of flu-related deaths ranged from 3,000-49,000 a year in the US,according to the CDC.
Even when it doesn't prevent the flu,the vaccine tends to lessen the severity of the symptoms.It is recommended for everyone age 6 months and up.The shot protects against 3 strains of flu,selected annually.
Besides the coventional injection,there are tiny needle and inhalable FluMist versions.The FluMist version is for those up to age 49.There is also a super version for those 65 and up,to make up for their weaker immune systems
Many pharmacies are administering the shot,along with doctor's offices.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Should You Be Holding Intel Shares

Many analysts have downgraded Intel,but First Eagle Funds is long the stock.Our crystal ball is foggy at best at First Eagle,admits Matthew McLennan,CFA,portfolio manager of Global,Overseas and US Value Funds at First Eagle.With regards to Intel,this is a business that's priced for a fade,not growth.We have some buffer in the capital structure strength and the receding of AMD.
This is a business that's always been cyclical.One thing's for sure:Intel has unparalleled manufacturing facilities.We're very conservative investors.Whilst there are pressures in the PC market,some of these companies have a position in services as well.The yields on these securities are returning twice what Treasuries are.
Intel,Microsoft and Cisco have an entire services infrastructure built around them.
Matthew McClennan was born in Papua New Guinea and grew up in Queensland,Australia.He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with first class honours from the University of Queensland.He had formerly been employed with Goldman Sachs.
Intel(INTC),Microsoft(MSFT),Cisco Systems(CSCO),Advanced Micro Devices(AMD)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Asia This Day:Japan's New Prime Minister;Has China Turned The Corner

Shinzo Abe(pronounced ah-bay) has been elected the new Prime Minister of Japan.His LDP Party has a 61% majority in Parliament;with a partner,the LDP will have a 68% majority.Mr.Abe had served as Prime Minister three years ago.
The question now is how they use that majority,said Mohammed Apabhai of Citi Global Markets Asia.The priority at the moment is actually controlling deflation and getting growth back on track.Reflation trades include insurers,banks and real estate.
Abe will restore nuclear power to provide affordable energy to the Japanese economy.Only two of Japan's nuclear reactors are currently on line,down to public outrage after last year's tsunami and nuclear accident.Japan's debt to GDP ratio is 237%,the highest in the world.
It's undeniable that China has really turned the corner.There's a lot of scepticism about that from clients internationally.The upside in the rest of Asia is actually a lot higher.
The Chinese Politburo will keep policy stable with adjustments as needed,accepting slower growth.It will fully deepen reforms and firmly promote opening up,the Xinhua news agency reported.
China has submitted documentation on its territorial dispute with Japan in the South China Sea to the United Nations.
Indian investors are awaiting the Royal Bank of India interest rate decision.The Nifty Fifty futures index was down 0.08%.
Australia is in talks with Sri Lanka to curb people smuggling.
The Nikkei index was up a strong 1.54% on Abe's election,while the MSCI Asia Pacific index was up by only 0.04% in early Monday trading.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Commentary:No Time To Be Cutting Defence

If America goes over the fiscal cliff,a massive 1.2 trillion dollar across the board spending cut will go into force on January 1,along with tax increases.The  Department of Defense will take a disproportionate hit of about 500 million dollars,on top of 478 million dollars in cuts it is already sustaining.That's almost a trillion dollars wrung out of the defence budget.
Considering all the threats in the world today,these huge reductions could not be more ill-timed.North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile this week points this up.Eventually,this could become a nuclear warhead delivery system capable of reaching the Pacific Northwest.The technology may also be shared with Iran,which is developing its own nuclear programme.
An uncertain number of US troops will remain in Afghanistan following the official withdrawal of 2014.
In Africa and in Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula,al-Qaida militants are quite active,holding territory and staging attacks.
Both Iran and al-Qaida are active in Syria,currently wracked by civil war.
China is roiling the waters of the South China Sea with its territorial ambitions and remains a threat to Taiwan.The US has just begun repositioning its forces to be more present in the Pacific,but this new policy would be hindered by the looming budget cuts.
Thus one of the biggest threats to global security is the current inability of Congress and the President to reach a budgetary agreement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Canada Approves Foreign Energy Takeovers

The Canadian government has approved the controversial 15.1 billion dollar takeover of oil and gas firm Nexen by China's state-owned offshore oil company CNOOC.Restrictions were placed on any future foreign deals,however.
To be blunt,said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,Canadians have not spent years reducing the ownership of sectors of the economy by our own governments,only to see them bought and controlled by foreign governments instead.Foreign state control of oil sands assets has reached the point at which further foreign state control would not be of net benefit to Canada.
From now on,state-owned enterprises may only own minority stakes in Canadian enterprises,except in exceptional circumstances.
What we are doing here is preventing a situation which I see developing and have been worried about for a while now,where in the name of an open,globally competitive economy,we could see the transformation of our economy into a state-run economy-just a state-run economy not run by our own government.
Besides the CNOOC deal,Canada also approved the takeover of gas company Progress Energy Resources by Malaysia's state-owned firm Petronas for 5.3 billion dollars.
The CNOOC deal is the Chinese firm's largest offshore acquisition ever.CNOOC is also asking the US government to review its bid for Nexen's Gulf of Mexico assets.
Canada needs about 657 billion dollars of investment in the natural resources sector in the next decade.There were no Canadian bidders for Nexen.
CNOOC made significant commitments on transparency,employment and capital investments in exchange for government approval of the deal.
Nexen,Inc.(NXY),CNOOC Ltd(CEO),Petronas Gas Bhd(KUL:PETGAS)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Asia This Day:Chinese Investors Make Biggest Ever US Purchase;Tensions Mount With Vietnam

In an historic move,an investing consortium has made the biggest ever US purchase by Chinese investors.The Chinese group has acquired an 80.1% stake in AIG's International Lease Finance Corporation subsidiary,which is a plane-leasing operation,for 4.23 billion dollars.
IFLC is China's largest aircraft lessor,with a 30% market share.The sale is part of AIG CEO Robert Benmosche's plan to reduce the company's debt and refocus on its insurance business.The firm will be concentrating on its global property-casualty insurance and domestic life insurance lines.
Japan's GDP numbers show the country remains mired in a recession.The Nikkei stock index fell 0.5% in response.
China's November export figures rose 2.9%,which was less than expected,while Australia's iron ore exports rose on Chinese demand.
Indian stock futures were up on policy reform expectations.
Vietnamese marched in the streets to protest Chinese claims on territory in the South China Sea.Vietnam had charged that  two Chinese ships harassed and damaged one of its oil and gas survey vessels in the South China Sea,cutting its cables.The incident occurred  off Vietnam's central coast in the last week of November.The Vietnamese foreign ministry said China must respect Vietnam's sovereignty and immediately stop all these wrong actions,and make sure they are not repeated.
Asian shares were mostly higher in early Monday trading,with the MSCI Asia Pacific index up 0.33%.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vitamin D May Help Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

A new study shows a relationship between vitamin D intake and pancreatic cancer risk.The study appeared in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.It suggests that those with an adequate amount of vitamin D in their diets or supplements have a lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
The sixteen-year study surveyed more than 122,000 adults.Those who ingested 150-299 units of vitamin D a day had a 22% lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer than those who got less.People age 70 or younger should get 600 units a day;those over 70 should get 800 units,according to the Institute of Medicine.
A leading supplement for those 50+,Centrum Silver(R),has 500 units of vitamin D in it.
Among natural sources of vitamin D are oily fish such as salmon and tuna;eggs;fortified milk,orange juice and cereal;and at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight a day.The elderly may need to supplement these natural means of getting vitamin D in consultation with their physician.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff:What We Need Now

If nothing is done by the President and Congress,big tax increases and spending cuts will take effect January 1-the fiscal cliff.It would be a crash course in fiscal reform that could cause another US recession and disrupt the global economy.
We need to do a down payment and make a bridge to the Grand Bargain,according to David Walker,former Comptroller General of the United States during the Clinton and Bush administrations.We do need to broaden the tax rate and lower the top marginal rate to 25%.
The Grand Bargain would include comprehensive tax reform and entitlements reform.
Here's what we need:to avoid the fiscal cliff with a down payment for credibility.Think about limiting deductions for the wealthy to charitable contributions alone if you really need to.The administration and Republicans are not gonna agree on a Grand Bargain.That cannot be done in a lame duck,hurried fashion.
I'm concerned that the wings are starting to mobilise,the far left and far right.Ultimately,we've got to get debt to GDP down to reasonable levels and keep it there.
David M. Walker,61, is a CPA and was US Comptroller General from 1998-2008.From 2008-10,he was head of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.In 2010,he founded the Comeback America Initiative to promote fiscal responsibility.
A frequent chat show guest,Mr.Walker is author of the bestselling book "Comeback America:Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Asia This Day:Sharp Unloads Plants;Vietnam Worried About China

Japanese electronics titan Sharp is proceeding with restructuring plans.The company had said it was facing a material possibility of liquidation,with a record four year loss.Three of its TV factories were finally sold to Apple outsourcer FoxConn,the Sankei newspaper quoted sources as saying.
The assembly plants in China,Malaysia and Mexico went for approximately 667 million dollars.Sharp had sought approval for the sale from its banks on September 26.The company is also shedding 10,000 jobs as part of its survival strategy.
Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said that economic force should not be applied to settle China's teritorial disputes with its Southeast Asian neighbours.There has been talk within ASEAN that,in accordance with international law,the normal process of commerce and economic relations would be better than using trade sanctions.
Vietnam plans to meet with other Southeast Asian nations to discuss how to resolve territorial disputes with China,which has threatened to intercept their ships in the South China Sea.
Asian markets were up in Monday morning trading,hitting a seven-month high on good manufacturing and service sector reports out of China,which suggest that the five-year plan growth rate of 7% will be exceeded.New factory orders continued to pick up.
India's manufacturing hit a five-month high,according to its Purchasing Managers Index.Oil prices were also up to a nearly two-year high on the Chinese data.China consumes 11% of the world's oil supply.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 0.44%.

Friday, November 30, 2012

MasterCard Conducts Holiday Campaign For SU2C

MasterCard(R) is conducting its Click And Be Generous(TM) campaign to aid Stand Up To Cancer(TM).Between now and December 31,for any online purchase made with a debit or credit MasterCard,MC will donate 1 cent to SU2C up to 2,000,000 dollars.This includes bill payments.So far,MC has donated about 600,000 dollars to the charity through this campaign.
In a TV promo,actor and SU2C ambassador Ty Burrell surprised a woman who had unknowingly contributed to the fundraiser by using her MasterCard.Burrell is best known for his role as Phil Dunphy in the ABC sitcom "Modern Family,"winning an Emmy Award for it in 2011.
SU2C is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.Funds raised are dedicated to accelerating groundbreaking research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.By rallying the entertainment industry,the program raises awareness and builds broad public support for the effort.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big Oil and Gas Deal:CNOOC Accedes To Government Requests

It looks as though a major Canadian natural resources firm will soon be in Chinese hands.State-controlled CNOOC,China's largest offshore oil and gas company,has agreed to key conditions for government approval of its planned 15.1 billion dollar takeover of Canadian energy firm Nexen.The requests were submitted by Alberta Premier Alison Redford in October,according to sources familiar with the matter.Positive sentiment about the deal has also been coming out of the Canadian capital,Ottawa.
CNOOC will reportedly tow the line and accept  management and employment conditions.At least 50% of Nexen's board and management slots must be filled by Canadians once the acquisition is completed.Matters related to capital spending requirements and CNOOC's state enterprise status remain under negotiation.
Nexen is an upstream energy company that explores and develops major oil and gas basins globally.It has projects in the UK North Sea;offshore West Africa;the Gulf of Mexico;and Western Canada.The company is active in both conventional and unconventional resources,including shale and oil sands.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Asia This Day:The Bangladesh Factory Fire;China's Big Auto Show

A garment factory belonging to the subsidiary of  the Tuba Group,a company that does business with Walmart,Carrefour and IKEA,burned to the ground near Dhaka,the capital of Bangladesh,killing at least 124 overtime workers.The eight storey building had no emergency exits or firescapes.
Thousands of onlookers,including family members,were restrained by police and soldiers.
The fire started in the first floor warehouse,a fire service official said.It then raced up the walls,trapping the workers,many of whom were burned beyond recognition.They had been making garments such as t-shirts,polo shirts and fleece jackets.
Several workers who escaped to the roof were rescued.Twelve who jumped out of windows died in hospital.
A Walmart spokesman said it was unclear whether the factory,which had been cited for safety violations,was still doing work for the world's largest retailer.In 2011,Walmart ceased doing business with 49 of Bangladesh's estimated 4500 garment factories because of fire safety violations.It was working with its suppliers to phase out production from such high risk buildings.
Bangladesh is located on the Bay of Bengal,between India and Myanmar.It is the world's largest clothing exporter.
The Guangzhou Auto Show is being held in China this week.China is the world's largest car market.Some 18.5 million cars were sold in China in 2011.Sales are expected to grow about 7% this year.
Volkswagen expects to become the world's largest automaker through its Chinese business,much of which is conducted with Chinese partners.While it will produce 1 million cars in Germany this year,VW will roll 2.7 million vehicles off its Chinese assembly lines.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Business in Brief:Tim Geithner;Best Business Schools

The majority of businessmen have learned to give and take,according to Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack.Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had the world on his shoulders.He'll be respected.
He did an outstanding job with the Chinese executives that visited him.I thought he was superb in the way he handled that.He didn't preach.
I think there would be a position for him on Wall Street.
AT and T will invest 14 billion dollars in broadband networks.It is also raising its dividend.Tech is the best-positioned sector under President Barack Obama,BMO Capital Markets believes.
With regard to the fiscal cliff negotiations,Professor John Cochrane of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business said the chance of another one year extension seems high to me,given how far apart we are in the basics.It needs real political leadership.That's roughly what happened in the 1980s.
Let's hope they can do it,lowering tax rates while eliminating deductions.That is tremendously pro-growth.The whole trick is to get this chaos out of our tax code.To focus on starting a business rather than consulting a tax lawyer-that would be pro-growth.
The Booth School of Business is rated the best this year by Businessweek magazine.Harvard Business School came in second,while the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business got third.
Morgan Stanley(MS),AT and T(T)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Asia This Day:Obama in Southeast Asia;Woodside Petroleum

President Barack Obama has arrived in Southeast Asia.He visited Myanmar today,Monday,the first sitting US president to do so.Later,he will attend the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh,Cambodia.The President is expected to seek trade opportunities in the region;the ASEAN leaders will be discussing territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea,as well as human rights,at the summit.
The President went to Myanmar,formerly known as Burma,to encourage the country's transition to democracy from military dictatorship.He will also be the first sitting US president to visit Cambodia.
Australia's Woodside Petroleum is also working in Myanmar.CEO Peter J. Coleman said we see Mynamar as holding a lot of promise for the future.We expect to be drilling maybe sometime around 2014.
Woodside Petroleum is Australia's largest dedicated oil and gas firm.It is a world leader in liquified natural gas production.Mr.Coleman,who has a BEng and an MBA,had served 27 years with Exxon Mobil before assuming his current leadership role.
The IEA says world energy demand will increase by one third by 2035.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 1.15% in early Monday trading,and Asian currencies were up on optimism the US will avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd(ASX:WPL)

Friday, November 16, 2012

After Open Heart Surgery:The Road Widens Out

Eighteen months after a signature event of my life,the surgical stopping of my heart so a valve repair could be made,the road is widening out.Although the facts of what occurred are permanently emblazoned on my soul,we have reached a medical plateau.There is no longer any need to intensively monitor my progress.I have joined the ranks of the majority of valve repair patients.Now only a yearly assessment of my heart's inner workings is required.
Things have gotten so quiet in there,there are quite frankly better things for my medical team to do with their time,patients who are much sicker than I for them to attend to.That being said,there are still a few reminders of what happened to me.Of course my daily medication regimen is one of them.I am permanently attached to the pharmacy now.A lot of the success may be attributed to the stress that has been relieved by these cardiovascular drugs.My blood vessels are widened to the point where my heart doesn't have to work very hard to pump blood.This helps facilitate the longevity of the valve repair.
Externally,the extensive chest scars are all but invisible now.I can still feel a stinging sensation every day,though,from the wire permanently embedded in my chest.This wire held my sternum together while it healed from being split during surgery.
There are also occasional optical migraines in the form of mild visual disturbances.These have the appearance of meteorites.How appropriate,since the entire experience of major surgery made me feel like an astronaut.It was truly a strange new frontier for me.
Emotionally,there is a freaking out process when the evaluation approaches.You may have to stay in hospital if they find something weird going on in there.Take your scripture with you just in case.
My heart had started to enlarge.I was on the narrow road to heart failure.Now I am on a wide path-for how long I cannot say,but it certainly is more refreshing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Outlook For Gold

Central banks turned net purchasers of gold in 2010,and that trend has continued,said Natalie Dempster of the World Gold Council.Stimulative policies are pushing investors into gold,along with the fiscal cliff.Concerns over credit have stopped the trend of investing in eurobonds.
Strong economic growth has been underpinning jewelry and central bank gold reserves demand from countries such asThailand and Russia.It's really been very broad-based.
At the moment,gold is a very good inflation hedge.It's a much better diversifier than other commodities because they are linked to industrial applications.
Monday New York gold closed at 1728.80 an ounce.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Asia This Day:Fiscal Cliff Troubles Australia;Tokyo Nuclear Protest

Tens of thousands clogged Tokyo Monday as they protested Japan's restarting of reactors in the wake of 2011's tsunami and nuclear disaster.Two of the country's fifty reactors are back on line at the Ohi plant.
Japan's GDP came in lower than expected at -3.5 versus the -3.4 estimate,on falling exports to a slowing China and Chinese protests against Japan's territorial claims.Consumer spending has also dropped,further shrinking the Japanese economy.The Nikkei was down 61.04 after the lunch break Monday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 0.30% in early Monday trading,while India's Nifty Fifty and Sensex indexes rose about 0.20%.A big wireless spectrum auction is being conducted by the Indian government.
Toyota  Motors will be doubling its capacity in Indonesia,building a new engine plant there.
Australian treasurer Wayne Swan has been warning about the results of the fiscal cliff,a combination of  US tax increases and spending cuts of some 800 billion dollars that will apply on January 1.Without action by Congress,there would be a severe blow to the fragile global economy.The world can't afford the continuation of this gridlock in Washington.Mr.Swan has met with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to express his concern.
Gold is at a near three-week high on the fiscal cliff worry.
China's trade surplus came in at 32 billion dollars in October,a rise of 11.6%.Copper imports were down to their lowest level in 15 months,dropping 18%.Australian mining shares have declined because of the Chinese slowdown.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Weather Channel:Winter Storm Brutus-Really?

Is The Weather Channel embarked on a serious effort or a publicity stunt by naming winter storms this season?So far,no one else is acknowledging the practice or the names.
The National Weather Service has forbidden its employees from using TWC names for winter weather systems.In a statement,the NWS said it has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services.A winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another,and storms can weaken and redevelop,making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins.While the NWS does not name winter storms,we do rate major winter storms after the fact.
TWC competitor AccuWeather complained that we are concerned about the lack of strict criteria with naming winter storms.TWC lists its criteria as being event that involves snow and ice and/or extreme temperatures or wind;2.that significantly affects travel;3.and that the network thinks people need to know about.
TWC winter weather expert Tom Niziol said that an organized system of naming winter storms will raise public awareness of the weather system and make it easier to track its progress and plan ahead.If we can hashtag a storm with a name,that leads to a one-stop shop to exchange information about a storm.
He predicts 6-8 named winter weather events for the season.They have already named two storms,however,and it's only November-not even winter yet.
In Germany,naming storms has gone even further.There,people and companies pay for naming rights to weather systems.The Weather Channel's naming venture may seem more fiasco than forecasting to many observers.It will be interesting to see if the iconoclastic project makes them more the subject of ridicule than enhances their credibility as a leader in the field of meteorology.
The Weather Channel is co-owned by NBC Universal;Bain Capital;and The Blackstone Group,L.P.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pfizer's New Rheumatoid Arthritis Pill Approved

Pfizer's new rheumatoid arthritis(RA) drug XELJANZ(R) has gotten FDA approval for adults with moderate to severe RA who had a poor response to methotrexate.It is the first RA treatment approved in a new class of medicines called JAK inhibitors,and the first new oral disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug(DMARD) approved in more than 10 years.
The new pill was approved for a 5mg twice daily dosage.It may be used alone or in combination with methotrexate or other non-biologic DMARDs.
Xeljanz is a second-line medication,meaning that pre-treatment with a biologic is not required.It is an important new option that could potentially change the way rheumatologists treat this serious autoimmune disease,according to Pfizer CEO Ian Read.The discovery and development of Xeljanz by Pfizer scientists reflects our commitment to R and D innovation and our dedication to bringing important and meaningful medications to patients.
Xeljanz is specifically designed to inhibit JAK pathways,which are signaling pathways within the cell that play an important role in RA inflammation.Many patients do not adequately respond to,or are intolerant of,currently available RA treatments,said Stanley Cohen,MD,study investigator.Xeljanz significantly reduced the signs and symptoms of RA and improved physical function.
Possible side affects include increased risk of certain infections and cancers,as the drug changes the way the immune system works.

Monday, November 5, 2012

General Electric:Viewpoint Today

It just is today the most resilient economic system on earth,GE CEO Jeff Immelt said of the United States.The stakes are so darn high for the country and for all of us.Nervous laughter is a bad strategy.
We're asking for the same territorial system that our global competitors have.We're kind of like the last American company that competes in the fields that we're in.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been consistent to his word.It's not bad to have one person in power who's been more or less consistent since 2007.
If the fiscal cliff happens,that's a failure of governance-and it shouldn't happen,Mr.Immelt added.
Jeff Immelt,56,has been leading GE,the world's third largest company,since September 7,2001.He has been named to Barron's "World's Best CEOs" list three times.Mr.Immelt is also head of the President's Jobs Council.
General Electric(GE)

Asia This Day:FoxConn Upgraded;India Has A Plan

FoxConn International has been upgraded to a buy from neutral at Ciitigroup on its iPhone work for Apple.The price target was raised to 5.80 a share.FoxConn International has reportedly begun making the iPhone's metal casing and is expected to gain new business from companies launching their own cell phone models in 2013.
FCI is a subsidiary of Taiwan's FoxConn Technology Group.Another subsidiary,Hon Hai Precision Industry,has been making iPhone casings for some time.
The Australian service sector index shrank for the ninth straight month in October.
Meanwhile,an Australian court has ruled that Standard and Poor's and ABN AMRO Group misled investors with deceptive debt ratings,and were negligent toward the investors.ABN had shoved the ratings through S and P.As a result of the ruling,local councils now have legal recourse to recover some of their lost funds.
India understands that 5.5% GDP growth is not enough,says Ajay Kapur,Head of Equity Strategy,Asia at Deutsche Bank.We like India.It's an economy that grows at night while the government is asleep,some wag said.All you need is a little bit of that policy shift,and I think we're beginning to see that.
India's Nifty Fifty and Sensex indexes were up about 0.10% in early Monday trading.Good earnings reports were expected from Tech Mahindra and Cipla,while Crompton Greaves reported profits that were below estimates.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Congress Party have reached agreement on an overhaul plan for the economy.
FoxConn International Holdings Ltd(FXCNF)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Children's Bodies Recovered;Hurricane Sandy Telethon Tomorrow

The bodies of two New York brothers who went missing during Hurricane Sandy's onslaught were recovered Friday in a Staten Island marsh.The boys,ages two and four,were swept away from their mother's arms by the storm surge.The bodies of two elderly people were found nearby.
Many people were still missing three days after the storm slammed into the East Coast.The US death toll was at 88 as of sunset Friday.
This is why the evacuation orders were issued,said FEMA director Craig Fugate.The storm surge can literally destroy homes;it's not just a matter of water flowing through the streets.
The first search was for the injured and the trapped;the next will be to go back and look for those still missing,Mr.Fugate explained.
Five million people were still off the electric grid as of sunset.Temperatures will be below normal for several days,dipping to freezing or below at night.It could be weeks before all of the power is back on.FEMA is marshaling utility equipment and crews in the West and flying them to the East using military assets,Mr.Fugate added.
Relief efforts have been bitterly criticised by frustrated victims of the disaster.They felt a sense of abandonment.Search and rescue was the first priority,Mr.Fugate stated;getting assistance in was next.Nine million dollars have already been approved for those who lack flood insurance and the resources to rebuild.
Friday at 8pm Eastern,a relief telethon will be broadcast live on the networks of NBC Universal and on"Hurricane Sandy:Coming Together" will be carried by NBC;Bravo;CNBC;E!;G4;MSNBC;Style;Syfy;The Weather Channel;and USA.The Weather Channel will also rebroadcast the event at 11pm Eastern.
The one hour broadcast will be hosted by Matt Lauer and feature appearances by Sting;Christina Aguilera;Bruce Springsteen;Jon Bon Jovi;Billy Joel and others.It will benefit the American Red Cross efforts to provide food,water,shelter and counseling to Sandy victims.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shop Talk:Hurricane Sandy Impacts

The US markets will be closed again Tuesday.There will be a strong effort to reopen on Wednesday.
This blog is on battery power.The newsreel feature should continue to operate 24/7 as normal.It is in the right hand column.Thank you for your patience at this difficult time.
First responders are being run ragged.Sirens blew all day.One can imagine the water rescues that are taking place,as well as downed wires and fallen trees on cars.Signing off for now.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Asia This Day:Chinese Oil Majors Strong;Julia Gillard's GDP Vision

Sinopec Corporation beat earnings estimates on its refining business.The company,an integrated oil and petrochemical firm,is China's largest refiner and had Q3 net income of 2.93 billion dollars,versus an estimate of 2.27 billion.
Petrochemical prices rebounded,and demand for petrochemicals will continue to rise.
Sinopec's profit growth was up 12.4%.It was upgraded to outperform at Sanford C Bernstein.
CNOOC Ltd.,China's largest oil and gas producer,had much stronger product growth in Q3 and this will continue into 2013.The Canadian government must make a decision on the CNOOC-Nexen merger by mid-November.We think it's gonna go through,said  Bernstein's Neil Beveridge.It's in Canada's interest to have good business ties with China.We like both CNOOC and Sinopec.
Nexen,Inc. is an oil and gas exploration and  production firm with operations in the UK North Sea;offshore West Africa;the Gulf of Mexico;and Western Canada.
Australia is aiming to raise its GDP per capita to 73,000 dollars per person and reach the global top ten of that measure.It is currently number 13 on the GDP per capita list.
Austarlia wants to boost the Asian component of its GDP to one-third.It would like to give every student the chance to learn an Asian language.It's a vision,the increasingly popular Prime Minister Julia Gillard said;it's gonna take some time to deliver.
Sinopec Corporation(SNP),CNOOC Ltd.(CEO),iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund(EWA)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Menaces East;Louisville Bests Cincinnati

Hurricane Sandy is only a category 1 storm,yet the fact that it is merging with another storm makes it a major threat to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.The monster storm may lash the most densely populated part of the nation with tropical storm force winds,rain and even snow up to 400 miles inland for a sustained period of time,computer models agree.
Heavy snow may occur in the Appalachian Mountains as cold air from a non-tropical system approaching from the West meets Sandy's tropical moisture.Some 50 million people are preparing for a long siege of flooding rains,high winds,power outages and heavy wet snow.
States of Emergency have been declared in several states,enabling governors to call up the National Guard to assist in recovery efforts.All computer models agree that high pressure over Eastern Canada will block Sandy as it moves up the East Coast,causing it to veer westward over the major cities and on to the Appalachians.
First responders and power companies are fueling trucks and gathering parts and gear to deal with expected maelstrom from the superstorm.
In Big East Conference college football,the Louisville Cardinals slipped past the Cincinnati Bearcats in Louisville Friday night  by a 34-31 score on John Wallace's overtime field goal.The Cardinals won the Keg of Nails trophy for the first time in five years,lifting them to an 8-0 record on the season.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blue365 Heart Rate Monitor Discount

Members of a BlueCross BlueShield health plan that participates in the Blue365 discount program can now get a fitness heart rate monitor at a substantial discount.Blue365 provides discounts on health products and services to many BC/BS members.Check your health plan's website for more information.
For a limited time,Polar(R) is offering its FT4 monitor at a 20 dollar discount.It lists at 99.95,but Blue365 members can get one for 79.95 with free shipping.The FT4 allows you to check your heart rate and target activity levels;calories burned;and more.It comes in purple,orange,bronze,and silver textile colors.
Other deals are in the categories of Fitness;Healthy Eating;Living;Personal Care;and Wellness.
Blue365 helps members safeguard and improve their health,while matching vendors with customers.
Polar(R):Listen To Your Body

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Investment Trends:Homebuilding On The Mend

We're a little more than halfway back in homebuilding,according to Joseph McAlinden,Chief Investment Officer at Catalpa Capital Advisors.We've been under-building.The data that we see show that the shadow inventory calculations are actually coming down.The inventory will come to market,but we're gonna have a shortage,and prices will continue going up.
The play could very well be financials and companies such as Home Depot that support homebuilding.For the year as a whole,several million people who are now underwater on their mortgages will actually come back above water.
The National Association of Homebuilders says buyer traffic is rocketing.That means construction workers will buy big pickup trucks and other products,helping the economy as a whole,Mr.McAlinden pointed out.
Joseph McAlinden,CFA,has more than 40 years experience in the investment industry.He has a BA  in Economics from Rutgers University.A frequent guest on business television,Mr.McAlinden previously worked at Morgan Stanley,Dillon Read and Argus Research.
Home Depot(HD),Lowes(LOW)

Monday, October 22, 2012

APL Science and Engineering Jobs

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab has 160 openings in the DC Metro Region.The Lab needs professionals for positions at its Laurel,Maryland headquarters such as Photonics Engineer;Software Engineer;Combat Systems Engineer/Analyst;Experimental Biomechanics and Injury Science;Junior Information Systems Analyst/Software;and Communications Security(COMSEC) Alternate.
The Lab is a non-profit research and development organization that enhances national security through science and technology.A major government contractor,it serves agencies such as the Department of Defense,NASA and others at its advanced facilities.
APL projects range from the Air and Missile Defense;National Security Space;Civil Space; and Undersea Warfare,to the Cyber Operations fields.For more information,visit

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shop Talk:Thunderstorms Could Harm Autumn Leaves

Dear Readers,
A strong line of thunderstorms crossed the Mid-Atlantic region tonight.Tomorrow,we will see how many of the autumn leaves were lost.This could harm tourism and deprive residents of their own recreation.
In any event,I posted a National Geographic article on a German national park,Saxon Switzerland National Park,just in case.You can appreciate that at least,if your autumn leaves have fallen off.
Andrew Taylor

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Should You Buy International Paper Shares

International Paper is a cash flow story,said CEO John Faraci.We just invested 100 million dollars in a West Virginia factory.The dividend isn't at the expense of other things.We've repositioned all our businesses.We're quite confident in our cash flow even in a tough environment.
We've got positions in paper and packaging in the emerging markets.
I think we'll have an agreement on the budget in at the 11th hour and the 59th minute because everyone knows what the fiscal cliff would mean.The economy is going sideways.We're seeing the US basically flat.
Our business is actually up in Russia and Eastern Europe.
China feels to us like 2-3% growth.Brazil is like the US.I do think China will come back,though,the International Paper CEO John Faraci indicated.
International Paper shares closed up 0.79 at 37.59 in Monday trading.
International Paper(IP)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Asia This Day:Can SoftBank Save Sprint

As early as today,Monday,Japan's SoftBank,a telecom titan,is expected to announce a deal to purchase American counterpart Sprint Nextel.SoftBank will reportedly offer about 20 billion dollars for a 70% stake in Sprint.
Some analysts are sceptical SoftBank can reverse Sprint's decline.It has lost 7.5 million customers over the past five years.
The deal is unlikely to face official opposition.Indeed,regulators will probably welcome increased competition in a space currently dominated by AT and T and Verizon.
Moody's has downgraded Sony's credit rating to Baa.The rating agency has also reduced the Japanese electronics and entertainment firm's outlook to negative.
China's inflation is well in hand.According to this morning's report,consumer prices rose 1.9%,in line with estimates and below the government target rate of about 4%.Wholesale prices dropped for the eight straight month,down 3.36%.
Australian home loan approvals were up in August more than forecast,rising 1.68%.They had fallen in July.
Asian shares fell slightly in early Monday trading.The MSCI Asia-Pacific index was down 1.27% on concern about the Euro debt crisis.
Sprint Nextel(S),SoftBank(SFTBF)

Friday, October 12, 2012

MedImmune Joins Forces With Cancer Vaccine Collaborative

The structure of cancer research can be complex,even as the disease itself is.As a case in point,consider that MedImmune,the biotech division of British pharmaceutical titan AstraZeneca,has agreed to contribute three of its monoclonal antibodies to a research effort of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative,or CVC.The CVC is in turn a project sponsored by a philanthropic organisation called the Cancer Research Institute and also by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.The CVC is a network of clinical immunologists and oncologists with expertise in immunotherapy programs.
MedImmune's three antibodies will be incorporated into the CVC's portfolio of cutting edge clinical research and development,which utilises the expertise of its global network of clinicians and scientists to identify new immunotherapy combinations and launch clinical trials that help to bring the new treatments to cancer patients faster.
MedImmune's antibodies will be combined with other primary agents available to the CVC or accessed through additional partnerships to develop a more powerful generation of smarter immunotherapy drugs to better manage cancer patients' disease over the long term.Such combinations enable scientists to attack a particular cancer on multiple fronts,increasing the effectiveness of immune system response to cancer.
A monoclonal antibody is a protein produced from a single cell clone that can bind to substances such as tumor cells or other proteins,thus stimulating a person's immune system,modifying its regulatory checkpoints to make it more effective in responding to cancer.MedImmune intends to continue its research on these antibodies on an individual basis while the CVC combination studies proceed.
No financial terms of the joint effort with the CVC were revealed.
MedImmune employs about 3500 people worldwide.Its headquarters are in Gaithersburg,Maryland.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Should You Buy Citigroup Shares

Citigroup has a competitive advantage,in the view of David Konrad,CFA,Managing Director at Keefe,Bruyette and Woods.They will be able to sell Citi Holdings,their troubled assets,and are doing well at this time of growing trade finance.Citi is improving its Basel III captial ratio.
The drag of Citi Holdings will decline each year,easing significantly over the next few years.The bad bank will take five years to entirely dissolve.In about two years,Citi Holdings will be less than 10% of Citigroup.
The stock will rally 33%.We do a lot of stress models,and we think the capital is there.The transparency has gotten better over the past year.KBW has upgraded Citigroup to outperform,with a price target of 44 dollars.
Keefe,Bruyette and Woods is a full service boutique investment bank.Its specialty is the financial services sector.
Citigroup closed at 34.78 on Monday.
Citigroup(C),Keefe Bruyette and Woods(KBW)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Asia This Day:More Trouble At Foxconn;Chinese Stocks Cheap

The Southern European shock has had a very sizable global impact,according to Stephen King,HSBC Group Chief Economist.We're not seeing the same kind of China boost this time around.HSBC predicts 8.6% China growth,with global growth at 2.2% for 2012.
The number of Australian help wanted ads were down for the sixth straight month,says ANZ Bank.
Japanese markets are closed today for Fitness Day,while Chinese markets reopened after a week-long holiday.Chinese stocks are the cheapest they've been since 1997.Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.70 in Monday morning trading.
At a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou,China,workers returned to their jobs today after 3-4,000 walked off Friday,closing down two shifts.They had gotten upset when quality control said they were scratching too many Apple iPhone 5 casings.This follows a riot the week before at another Foxconn plant in Taiyuan that also makes iPhone 5 casings.
The Zhengzhou workers complained that new quality standards  for iPhone casings were beyond the limit of their vision.A ruckus broke out over the issue resulting in property damage,injury and hospitalisation.

Friday, October 5, 2012

SU2C Grant Funds Promising USC Cancer Research

A grant awarded three years ago by Stand Up To Cancer,a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation,is having a positive effect on research at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Norris Cancer Hospital,Los Angeles.Five Dream Teams of researchers received the initial funding from S^2C.
We've made great progress.We could be looking at some major breakthroughs,said Peter Jones,PhD,DSc,Director of USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Distinguished Professor at the Keck School of Medicine.
The researchers have been studying epigenetic therapy and cancer management in cancers of the lung,breast,colon and blood.Epigenetic research examines the way genes are switched on and off,and how this results in cancer.
The S^2C grant is being shared with the Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center,Baltimore.It has brought together clinicians and basic scientists for the first time at USC,providing a framework for thinking collaboratively about how to bring lab discoveries to the clinical setting.
The USC research has yielded promising new approaches in clinical trials that combine epigenetic therapy with immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy for a better patient response to treatment.
Founded in 2008,Stand Up To Cancer has awarded 109 million dollars for 33 grants,funding 350 scientists.It aims to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who Sings on the Internet Explorer 9 Commercial

The song is called "Too Close."It is performed by the British singer songwriter Alex Clare,27.Clare,a London native and resident,says he is a big Stevie Wonder fan.He had dated the late Amy Winehouse for a year.
Clare's most successful track to date,"Too Close" is from his debut album "The Lateness of the Hour,"which was released in July 2011.Thanks to its use in the IE9 commercial,the song reached #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100,and #4 on the UK Singles Chart.It is available on YouTube.
Described as being visually stunning,IE9 was released by Microsoft on March 14,2011.The web browser is characterised by hardware accelerated graphics and video,as well as high fidelity printing and enhanced security.It is not compatible with Windows XP.
PC World magazine ranked IE9 #19 on its Best Products of 2011 list.
Future versions of IE will only be supported on Windows 7 and later,and not on Windows Vista.
The slogan for IE9 is "Fast is now beautiful."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tasmanian Devil Pictures - Animal Wallpapers - National Geographic

Tasmanian Devil Pictures - Animal Wallpapers - National Geographic

Asia This Day:Manufacturing Declines Across Region

Manufacturing is in decline across the Asia-Pacific region,according to the latest data.In Japan,the Tankan index of large manufacturer sentiment fell to -3 from -1,the Bank of Japan reported,and there was a second straight decline of industrial production in August.
HSBC's purchasing mangers' index showed 11 straight months of manufacturing decline in China,while the official Chinese PMI charted the second straight monthly drop on diminished internal and external demand.In South Korea,exports fell 1.8% in September.
Australia is also slowing down,with its manufacturing index slipping 1.2 to 44.1,meaning contraction,in a seventh straight month of decline.China's economic growth is at a 22-year low.The European debt crisis and fears about the US economy are crimping Asian business activity.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific index fell 0.28% in early Monday trading.Markets in Hong Kong,Shanghai and Seoul were closed for holidays.
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 18th Party Congress on November 8.At that time,new leaders Xi Jingping and Li Keqiang will take office as President and Premier,respectively.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Health Uncle:What Is Prehypertension-and what should be done about it

Prehypertension is now considered to be an early stage of hypertension,or high blood pressure.In a person with prehypertension,harm may already be being done to their bodies.People with prehypertension,defined as blood pressure from 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic,have no symptoms,yet have twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as those with lower blood pressure.They are already at an increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
Prehypertension has a number of possible causes,such as atherosclerosis;sleep apnea;kidney disease;and thyroid disease.Risk factors for the condition include being overweight;of the male sex;having a family history of high blood pressure;a sedentary lifestyle;high sodium or low potassium intake;tobacco use;alcoholism;and having high cholesterol or diabetes.
Prehypertension with diabetes,kidney or cardiovascular disease may be treated with blood pressure medications.Lifestyle changes alone are typically prescribed for the other patients with prehypertension.Low fat/high fiber diets;more exercise;giving up tobacco;and limiting alcohol are recommended to reduce blood pressure.
In the case of prehypertension,what was once glossed over is now seen as requiring a plan of action to alleviate both the present and future risk of cardiovascular events.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Should You Invest in Housing

I think housing has turned around,said Rebecca Patterson,Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at Bessemer Trust.There's a slow improvement in consumer wealth.
We're being very selective on the financials that we own right now.We're gonna be judicious in what we own.It's definitely less than what we had in the past.
We don't want to get over-excited about housing.There's a good trend to play there,but it's not easy money,Ms.Patterson cautioned.
Consider the homebuilders;home improvement firms;financials;and mortgage-backed securities,or MBS.MBS can have structural flow support longer than was expected.
Rebecca Patterson has an MBA from New York University;an MA in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies;and a BS in Journalism from the University of Florida.She had been a journalist covering economics and financials for the Associated Press and Dow Jones,parent company of The Wall Street Journal.
KB Home(KBH),Toll Brothers(TOL)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Violent Unrest Rocks Chinese iPhone Factory-Apple contractor reacts

Eyewitness photos reviewed by this blog show that a violent incident took place Sunday night and early Monday morning at a Foxconn plant in Northern China that makes the back casing of Apple's iPhone 5.The photos were posted to the Internet and depict a disturbing scene.Windows of a factory building were smashed.A gatehouse was overturned and the iron gate was smashed.A vehicle's windshield was busted.Helmeted riot police faced off with a large crowd of workers.The long line of riot police was supplemented by security personnel in camouflage fatigues.Hundreds of male workers milled about in a courtyard or parking lot outside the plant.
Apple contractor Foxconn said the incident began at its Taiyuan factory dormitory over a worker fight.A source with knowledge of the situation,however,pointed out that the ruckus actually began when security guards beat a worker up.The undercover source revealed that the factory is known for its harsh management and practically compulsory overtime work.
The riot erupted when about 2,000 workers protested security guards striking a worker at 10 pm local time.At the factory,there has been an unprecedented ramping up of  Apple iPhone 5 production.Foxconn said it is still investigating the incident.Spokesman Louis Woo said our decision is to take a day off for that particular plant today.There had been previous trouble at the Taiyuan factory.
Apple declined to comment on the story,The Wall Street Journal reported.
Apple Computer(AAPL)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pfizer Leukemia Pill Approved

Pfizer,the world's largest pharmaceutical company,has announced FDA approval of its new oral medication BOSULIF(R) for adults previously treated for chronic myelogenous leukemia,or CML,with the Philadelphia chromosome abnormality.There will be an estimated 5400 cases of CML diagnosed in 2012,resulting in 610 deaths.
Bosulif is described as an important new addition to the CML treatment landscape by a Pfizer lead investigator,Jorge Cortes,MD,professor of medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Care Center in Houston and Chief,CML Section,Department of Leukemia.Bosulif is one of a series of CML drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors that inhibit production of the tyrosine kinase enzyme by the bone marrow.They are based on a better understanding of the molecular basis of CML.
In clinical trials,about 55% of patients previously treated with other CML drugs returned to normal blood counts within the first 48 weeks of treatment with Bosulif,with a major response to treatment of at least 18 months.Novartis' GLEEVEC(R) is one of the main first line treatments for CML.
Up to 26,000 Americans are living with CML today.An unmet need remains for many CML patients,Dr.Cortes pointed out.Bosulif offers a distinct adverse event profile and a convenient once-daily dosing regimen,said Marc Rothenberg,MD,Pfizer vice president of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs.
Although it cannot be described as being a cure,Bosulif is indeed another step forward in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Pfizer(PFE),Novartis AG(NVS)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Should You Buy Activision and Electronic Arts Shares

Mike Olson,analyst at Piper Jaffray,points out that those gaming consoles are getting old.They are even being sold on Craigslist.With the stocks' valuations where they are,they may look interesting.Both Electronic Arts and Activision are within 15% of their low valuation.
We can see over the horizon that new consoles are coming in holiday 2013.From 6-18 months after the launch of a new console,they significantly beat the market.Piper Jaffray has a buy rating on both stocks.
Among Activision's games are Skylanders Cloud Patrol(TM);the upcoming Call of Duty(R):Modern Warfare 5(R);and World of Warcraft:Mists of Panderia(TM).Electronic Arts publishes titles such as Battlefield 3;SimCity;and FIFA 13.
Activision Blizzard(ATVI),Electronic Arts(EA)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Academic Positions,Hong Kong

The City University of Hong Kong is conducting a worldwide talent search for 100 scholars over the next 2 years.The University is seeking to fill openings in the following disciplines:science;engineering;business;social sciences;humanities;law;creative media;energy;environment;and other strategic growth areas in life sciences.There are also opportunities to teach and conduct research in collaboration with the University's scholars for periods of 1 month to 1 year.
City University is ranked 95th in world university rankings,and 12th in Asia.
A senior delegation from the University led by President Way Kuo will make a presentation of City University's vision for the future on October 2,2012 from 5:30-7:30 pm at
The Dupont Circle Hotel
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington,DC 20036
To register,and to make an appointment to meet the delegation,please email

Friday, September 14, 2012

The US Embassy Crisis:Friday Prayers Regarded Warily

Today's Friday prayers in the Islamic world will not be routine.First,what the imams say at the prayers will be closely monitored.Inflammatory anti-US rhetoric could send enraged mobs into the streets outside US embassy compounds.Even if such messages are not spread by Muslim clergy,the period after Friday prayers is a traditional time for large protests in the Muslim world.US officials are gravely concerned about the safety of US citizens who may be doing business at US embassies on Friday.
As well,the controversy over an offensive anti-Islam video posted on YouTube will possibly encourage the rise of  homegrown radical groups and plots,or bring an increased risk of terrorist attacks within the US by foreigners.
Senator John McCain,R-Arizona,said we are seeing an effort to stir up trouble against the US using this bogus film.Egypt is of vital importance.These are very difficult times.This virus is probably going to spread through the Arab world.
We have to be very careful and measured in our response.Egypt has gone from a staunch ally to a country seeking its own way.Its going through a significant transformation.It's in our interest to have a working relationship with them,given their importance in the Arab world.
Libya is a weak government,but the Libyan people want us and are grateful to us.They voted for moderates,not Islamists.They do have porous borders.They need technical assistance.
The political ticktock is not something I'm paying attention at at this time of the sacrifice of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other brave Americans,Senator McCain added.Chris Stevens' life was under threat every single hour of every day.
Besides Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens,killed in the Benghazi consulate rocket attack were US Air Force veteran and computer expert Sean Smith;former US Navy SEAL and security specialist Glen Doherty;and his security colleague Tyrone Woods,also a former SEAL.
Ansar al-Sharia,the Enforcers of Islamic Law,is one of the main militant  groups suspected to be behind the attack,despite their denial of complicity in the incident.Ansar al-Sharia has links to al-Qaida.
Anti-American protests have occurred in 11 countries from Casablanca,Morocco to Kashmir,India.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Critical View:Does The Market Have It Right

The corporate bonds aren't telling us things are as as good as the market has been,according to Adam Parker,PhD,Chief US Equity Strategist and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley.Our house call is that there won't be any QE3 by the Fed until after the November election.People are more aggressive because of the pain train higher thing.
The year end view is a framework.You have to be tactical with the low and volatile growth and extreme ten year Treasurys.I haven't found somebody who's bearish on earnings yet.Deflation is a real risk.At some point,you'll run out of band-aids.
If the revised estimates are right,the earnings expectations are too high.About half of US companies get margin expansion on average;the analysts are saying 86%.
What matters is the fiscal cliff.I am more worried than the market.You still have very close to no economic growth next year.People could be in a different mindset in three months than they are now,Dr.Parker pointed out.
Adam Parker got his doctorate in Statistics from Boston University.He was named to Institutional Investor's All-American Team in Portfolio Strategy and Quantitative Research in 2009 and 2010.
QE3 would be the Federal Reserve's third asset purchasing program to buck the market up.
Morgan Stanley(MS)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Asia This Day:Optimism About China,Japan Airlines

Japan Ailrlines' 663 billion yen initial public offering has priced at the top of its range,3.790 yen a share.The relisting of JAL shares will take place September 19.The airline is retiring its entire fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft and has 47 new planes on order.
Japan's Q2 GDP growth was only up 0.7%,missing the government's estimate by more than half.Morgan Stanley has cut its global growth forecast for 2012 to 3.2%.
India's rupee is trading at a 2 week high on optimism about further Federal Reserve stimulus action.
IMF President Christine Lagarde said China is rebalancing its economy.Its growth is still about 8%.China's 2013 growth will be better than 2012,Ms.Lagarde predicted.
In the UAE,Abu Dhabi shares rose 1.01 on Sunday,their best day in six months.The MSCI Asia Pacific index was flat in Monday morning trading.
Dariusz Kowalczyk,Senior Economist at Credit Agricole,is long on Chinese stocks.He said I am sure they are doing the right thing in China,monitoring growth.They have the goal of stabilising house prices.The Q4 GDP growth will rebound.Housing construction is rebounding now.
South Korea's Jiyai Shin and America's Paula Creamer engaged in an epic playoff on Sunday at the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg,Virginia.Neither LPGA golfer has won since 2010.Their abilities were so evenly matched,they had to retire for the evening after eight playoff holes failed to resolve the final round.Play will resume at 9am Eastern today.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Federal Rules Impel SAIC To Split Itself Up

Federal conflict of interest rules are forcing SAIC,the former Science Applications International Corporation,to divide into two separate companies.The rules make it harder for a company that combines services and solutions functions as SAIC does to compete for contracts.Under the leadership of new CEO General John P. Jumper,US Air Force retired,the IT-oriented research group will spin off its 4 billion dollar a year services business from the larger 7 billion a year solutions business.
The services business will provide systems engineering and technical assistance,plus financial analysis and program office support.The solutions business will offer science and technology for national security,engineering and health projects such as communications,intelligence,logistics and electronic warfare initiatives.
SAIC was founded by a small group of scientists led by physicist J. Robert Beyster,PhD in 1969.The FORTUNE 500 company addresses complex and critical technology-related needs such as cancer research at its SAIC-Frederick subsidiary in Maryland.SAIC-Frederick develops and applies advanced technologies to translational research,accelerating the delivery of new cancer and AIDS treatments.The activity supports the National Institutes of Health's Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research,employing nanotechnology,genomics and biomedical imagery in both basic and applied research.
SAIC employs about 40,000 people at locations from Virginia to Saudi Arabia,Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Should You Buy Hewlett-Packard Shares

Hewlett-Packard reported mixed Q2 results,beating estimates on earnings,or profit,but missing estimates on revenue,or sales.The PC group was particularly weak on revenue.They have to transform their business model,said David Pearl,Chief Investment Officer at Epoch Investments.It wants to look a little more like IBM.
The stock is very cheap,but they have a lot of transformation to do in their business.It's gonna be a multi-year process.
Shaw Wu,Senior Research Analyst at Sterne Agee,said we like this stock.We have a buy rating on it.They're actually very profitable.We think they're in the best position for a turnaround.They have about a 30% exposure to the PC market.Our price target for the stock is 33.00.
HP CEO Meg Whitman indicated they may sell some of their smaller businesses.They will defend their PC business by bringing down prices through bringing down the cost of making them.
HP is competing with China's Lenovo in the PC space.
Shaw Wu was recently ranked #2 for stock picking and #3 for accuracy by StarMine.He has a BS in Finance and Information Systems from New York University's Stern School of Business.Sterne Agee is a brokerage,advisory and trust company with offices nationwide.It was founded in 1901.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Professional and General Positions-September 2012

The Washington Post is holding a Mega Career Fair,including the Professional and General Positions Career Fair which is open to all levels and experience.It will be held on Tuesday,September 11,2012 from 10am to 3pm at
Dulles Expo and Conference Center
4368 Chantilly Shopping Center
Chantilly,VA 20153
Employers attending will include Cox Communications;Farmers Insurance;ING Financial Partners;LSG Sky Chefs;The Ross Companies;Total Wine&More;Transportation Security Administration;and others.Free seminars will be provided by Anointed Words.
Those unable to attend may submit resumes to

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pfizer To Take Prescription Nexium Over the Counter-and possibly other drugs as well

British pharmaceutical titan AstraZeneca has sold Pfizer,the world's largest pharma company,the over the counter rights to its prescription heartburn treatment Nexium.Pfizer will pay Astra 250 million dollars up front.After that,Astra is eligible for milestone and royalty payments for product launches and sales of Nexium and any other Astra product Pfizer may take over the counter.
Pfizer projects a 2014 date for commercialising Nexium in the US,pending FDA approval,with other markets to follow.Nexium is currently prescribed for gastroesophageal reflex disease,or GERD,a severe form of heartburn that can damage the esophagus.
Tory Zook,Executive Vice President at Astra,said this agreement will help AstraZeneca realise the substantial,long term value of this brand and potentially other brands in our portfolio.Pfizer CEO Ian Read added that Pfizer Consumer Healthcare will have the opportunity to help more consumers better manage their health,while extending the value of certain important pharmaceutical brands.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer have also signed an agreement giving Pfizer right of first refusal for OTC rights to Rhinocort Aqua,a pump spray which is now prescribed for hayfever and house dust mite allergy,or non-infectious rhinitis.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Honeywell Advances Aircraft Communication

Honeywell International is advancing the way planes communicate with each other,resulting in advantages for both the public and the planet.Honeywell's Aerospace division has developed new pilot software.It enables what are essentially automatic text messages between aircraft.The messages are sent to each aircraft from other aircraft to give a more accurate picture of where everyone is.
Bob Witwer,Vice President of Aerospace Advanced Technology,explained that means that distances between planes can be shortened with a very high degree of safety.The software gives a better sense of situational awareness.The development was made possible by the discovery of communications technology that can do this data exchange,as well as the achievement of raw computing power that enables us to collate all the data.
The FAA has been very strong in this case.It is the first in many improvements that will help aircraft get there faster;save fuel;and protect the environment with lower emissions.We are very confident in this technology,Mr.Witwer said.
Honeywell International has its headquarters in Morristown,New Jersey,and other facilities around the globe.Its operating segments include Aerospace;Automation and Control Solutions;Performance Materials and Technologies;and Transportation Systems.
Honeywell International(HON)

Asia This Day:Billabong Struggles With Tough Conditions

Australian clothing retailer Billabong has suffered its first fiscal year loss since going public in 2001.The group reported the net loss of 275.6 million dollars,and a revenue decline of 7.6%,on Monday.At the same time,it claimed a net profit ex-items of 33.5 million on global sales of 1.55 billion.
The group had hired Goldman Sachs to analyse its situation.Among its problems were poor sales in Europe and Australia;online competition for its brick and mortar stores;and rising raw materials costs.At its height,it operated about 700 stores worldwide.
CEO Laura Inman said that,at an underlying trading level,the Group remains profitable.As previously flagged to the market,the Group's results have been adversely impacted by various significant and exceptional items.In response,the Group has endeavoured to adopt a conservative position,implementing initiatives that will target both cost savings and revenue growth.
Billabong has sold part of its Nixon accessories brand;closed 58 underperforming stores;and reduced costs.It has also identified a further 82 non-performing stores for closure in FY 13.Cost savings of about 30 million are expected to be realised in 2013 from initiatives implemented in 2012.
The Group intends to simplify its business;leverage its Billabong brand;realise the strategic potential of retail;continue to expand Billabong's global e-commerce platform;and globalise and integrate the supply chain.The current challenging trading conditions are expected to continue in FY 13.
There will be no final dividend for FY 12,and none are expected to be paid for the first half of FY 13.Billabong had sold a 48.5% stake of its Nixon brand to Trilantic Partners,plus a further 3% to management,in order to stabilise its balance sheet and fend off an unsolicited bid by TPG Partners.
Billabong produces and markets sportswear and casual clothing,including surfwear,outerwear and accessories.
Billabong International Ltd(ASX:BBG),Goldman Sachs(GS)

Friday, August 24, 2012

MasterCard Steps Up For Cancer Research

From now to September 28,2012,MasterCard is contributing to Stand Up To Cancer when you spend 10 dollars or more for a meal on your MasterCard(R).MasterCard will donate one cent whenever you do so-up to 4 million dollars.Only signature transactions apply,not PIN-based transactions.
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation(EIF),a 501(C)(3)tax-exempt organization.Its goal is to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research,in order to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives.Visit to support the cause.
Dine and be generous.S^2C(TM)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Economy Disappointing,But Not In Recession-the view from Barclays Capital

Recent economic reports serve to refute the notion that the US is in a recession,according to Dean Maki,PhD,Chief US Economist at investment bank Barclays Capital.We believe Q3 will be stronger than Q2.Profits were by and large flat in Q2.That's really disappointed people.
We think people have to trim their expectations.They have to hire,and that cuts into profit growth.That's where we are right now.It could be a rocky road,in our view,within Europe.Ultimately,we do think they will put a handle on things.
Our view is that the Federal Reserve will not launch QE3 in September.With a significant rise in gas prices, spending will be crimped in coming months.Housing is one of the pieces we find we're most sure of in terms of a recovery.We think it will continue.
Dr.Maki has a PhD in economics from Stanford University.The Minnesota native worked as a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve with former Chairman Alan Greenspan.
QE3 would be a further effort by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the US economy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

IBM Is Hiring

IBM has some questions for job seekers.Can you identify trends?Can you think strategically?Are you an innovator?Are you ready to make the world work smarter?Are you an IBMer?
IBM Global Business Services is holding an Invitational Hiring Event on Friday,September 7 from 10am to 4pm in Arlington,Virginia.For a list of openings and to apply to attend,please visit
International Business Machines(IBM)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Community Involved:The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation

The 43d annual Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament will be this Saturday and Sunday at the Hershey Country Club.The tournament was started in 1970 by Warren Gittlen as a tribute to his late father Jake,who died of cancer that year.The fundraising event supports the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center,a world class laboratory that was instrumental in the development of the Gardasil(R) vaccine that prevents human papillomavirus,the leading cause of cervical cancer and also linked to head and neck cancer.The vaccine was initially for young women only,but it is now recommended for boys as well.
Brixton Albert,a native of Lititz,PA,is the defending champion in this important event on the region's golf calendar.Giant Food Stores is again supporting the tournament and the Foundation,along with vendor partners such as PepsiCo;General Mills;Kellogg's;Nestle;and Kimberly-Clark.Shopping at Giant Food Stores and purchasing vendor products supports the Foundation.The food retailer is part of Amsterdam-based Koninklijke Ahold AV.Giant has raised more than 5 million dollars for the Foundation since 1982,and is its main source of funding.
The research lab is currently working on such things as vaccine development,early cancer detection and finding new cancer therapies.
Hershey Country Club is located at 1000 East Derry Road,Hershey PA 17033.
Koninklijke Ahold NV(AHOMY)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Should You Buy Disney Shares

Walt Disney beat the Q2 profit estimate,earning 1.01 per share versus the 0.93 estimate,but missed on sales,racking up 11.1 billion dollars versus the 11.3 billion estimate.It found a lot of studio success with "The Avengers" film.Media Networks and Entertainment and Theme Parks provided most of the income.Media Networks rose 3%,while Theme Parks gained 9%,and the Studio division was flat overall.
Disney's new CarsLand park was well-received.Worldwide TV was driven by higher sales in international markets-the hot places to sell properties.ESPN charges pay TV operators more than anyone else does.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said every one of our businesses were up nicely year over year.The consumer is still flocking to valuable,good product.Spending is up nicely from a year ago.Visibility is still somewhat lacking in advertising.Generally speaking,there is not much visibility in the ad market.ABC had a modest decrease in advertising for the quarter.
Resort spending is up nicely.We have huge strength in ESPN.The Disney Channel has been on fire,in the number one position.We actually see a relatively strong environment for our channels' franchise fees.
We're relatively consumer-facing and global.Europe is troubling us the most.Our businesses in Asia have been quite strong-the Tokyo and Hong Kong theme parks.People are willing to step up for the cruise ship business and expanded parks.We started to ween ourselves off deep discounts.There's still some room to increase prices based on good,fresh product.
It would be fair to view the environment with some degree of caution,but with our product,our outlook is generally favorable.The world is more complex and competitive than ever before.We've got to have a culture of innovation and a strong infrastructure.We've got to figure out a way to get the government moving forward.That's vital for our business.Corporate taxes have to be looked at carefully,Mr.Iger urged.
Walt Disney Company(DIS)

Asia This Day:Australian Miner Looking Bright

Newcrest Mining reported solid Q2 earnings.The Australian gold miner realised a profit of 1.18 billion dollars American,or 1.12 billion Australian,for an increase of 23% on the year.The success was based on higher gold prices.It also raised its output target for 2013.Two new projects are nearing completion in New South Wales and Papua New Guinea.
Japan announced disappointing GDP growth for Q2.It grew 1.4%,versus an estimate of 2.3.The Euro debt crisis;a higher yen value;a sharp fall in private consumption because of less government spending post-tsunami/nuclear disaster;and the end of subsidies for fuel-efficient cars are being blamed for the weak growth.Hong Kong and Singapore have cut their growth forecasts in the bargain as the global slowdown reaches Asia.
Australia's BlueScope Steel is selling 50% of its coated steel business in the US and  Southeast Asia to Japan's Nippon Steel.BlueScope,Australia's largest steelmaker,will get 440 million dollars in the transaction,while Nippon will gain greater access to US and Southeast Asian building markets.The total value of the joint venture is 1.36 billion dollars American,or about 1.29 billion Australian.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index was virtually flat in early Monday trading,down just 0.02%.
Newcrest Mining Ltd.(ASX:NCM),BlueScope Steel Ltd. (ASX:BSL)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympics Commentary:Driving Them Usain

Usain Bolt,one of the most colourful and successful athletes of all time,has no intention of hanging up his track shoes just yet.Indeed,the superstar sprinter said he intends to defend his titles in Rio de Janeiro in four years' time.Bolt,who became the first athlete in history to win the 100 and 200 meter sprints in back to back Olympics on Thursday evening,wants to cement his legacy even further.
Making history is something he's quite self-conscious of.Plenty of ego runs through his veins.At the same time,he said he is keenly aware of his fans as he competes and wants to satisfy them.Their energy powers me,Bolt confided.It is my pleasure to please them,he put it succinctly.He's been compared to the American boxer and fellow Olympian Muhammad Ali,with the blustery statements and clowning around.
The humourous grandstanding is Bolt's way of dealing with the stress of his position.It allows him to realise his gift without losing his mind.For that,he can certainly be forgiven.
Bolt's egotism may also be intimidating to his opponents.It can have strategic value.Such brilliant individuals as Usain Bolt enhance the Olympics in the popular imagination,ensuring their continuance for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Should You Buy JC Penney Shares

Brian Nagel,CFA,Managing Director at Oppenheimer,said we launched coverage of JC Penney with an outperform rating.Many of the concerns about the company are already priced into the stock.As I look out,I think JC Penney is headed in the right direction.
Over the next few years,I see earnings of 3-5 dollars a share.They're finding a new store format that's gonna resonate with consumers in this environment.Their balance sheet will buy them some time as they do this.We've given the stock a price target of 30 dollars.
The Q2 results,which will be reported on Friday,will be messy.I think this is another transitional quarter as their turnaround begins to take hold,Mr.Nagel added.
Mr.Nagel is a Senior Analyst in Hardlines and Broadlines Retail.He has a BSBA from Creighton University.Oppenheimer is a full line brokerage,investment banking and wealth management firm.
JC Penney(JCP),Oppenheimer(OPY)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Asia This Day:Asian Earnings Vaguely Disappoint

More than half of Asian firms have reported disappointing Q2 earnings so far.Of the companies in the MSCI Asia-Pacific index,54% disappointed,as compared with 50% in Q1.Nonetheless,Asian shares rose decisively in early Monday trading,cheered by an uptick in US hiring and hopeful sounds from Greece.
In the Chinese technology sector,Alicia Yap of Barclays said Baidu is definitely a buy because of its market dominance.She also likes NetEase,Inc.Tencent's margins are of concern to her.In general,large customers are being cautious with their pocketbooks.
At the London Olympics Sunday,China still led the medals count,with 61 total and 30 gold;the US stayed second with 60 total and 28 gold;Great Britain ranked third with 37 total and 16 gold;Russia held fourth with 37 total and 4 gold;and Japan came in fifth at 27 total and 2 gold.Jamaica's Usain Bolt retained his 100 meter sprint title;Sanya Richards-Ross became the second US woman in history to take the gold in the 400 meter race.
Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa secured the gold in the women's vault final with a steady showing,upsetting media favorite McKayla Maroney of Team USA,who was awarded silver when she landed on her backside.Maria Paseka won the bronze medal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Who Makes Desenex Foot Powder-and is it any good

Desenex(R) is an antifungal agent made by Novartis Consumer Health,a division of Swiss pharmaceutical titan Novartis.It consists of undecylenic acid/zinc undecylenate,as well as talc and fragrance.Undecylenic acid/zinc undecylenate is a clinically validated antifungal agent for the treatment and cure of superficial fungus infections of the skin,including athlete's foot,jock itch and ringworm.It is not for treatment of the nails or hairy areas.
Desenex is not recommended for children under two,pregnant women or diabetics and others with blood vessel problems without first consulting a physician.It is also available in spray powder and cream forms.In my experience,it is a fast-acting,effective over the counter medication when used according to directions.
Other Novartis Consumer Health brands include Bufferin;Theraflu;and Doan's.
Novartis AG(NVS)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Sings on the Acura ILX Commercial

In this ad,an office worker gets up from his desk at the end of the day and heads through the office out to the parking garage.He drives off in his Acura ILX,the fun part of his life after a day of responsibility.The snappy song in the background is "Hit Me Down Sonny" by the English duo The Ting Tings.The Ting Tings hail from Salford,Greater Manchester.They formed in 2007.The song is from their second album,"Sounds From Nowheresville."(C)2011 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited.
The Ting Tings are comprised of Jules de Martino,about 43,and vocalist Katie White,about 29.Katie grew up on a farm.The Ting Tings are named after her former shop colleague.They won Best UK Video for "Shut Up and Let Me Go"at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008.As well,they were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Asia This Day:Australian Fund Exec Urges Spending Restraint

Ripple effects from the slowdown of growth in China and Europe will be felt in the Australian mining sector.The CEO of Australian Foundation Investment Company,Ross Barker,urged mining companies to curb their spending on infrastructure projects while commodity prices fall in the difficult global environment.That is obviously something we would encourage,because we don't want to spend large amounts of money and not get good returns,Mr.Barker told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.There is much more economic growth to feed through China and other emerging economies,but on the other hand,the period of huge cash flows from very high commodity prices will be coming to an end.There are still an enormously large number of mining projects in train.The big question for intermediate to long term investors is,how many of them will actually get up,the Australian fund executive asked.
AFI has a market capitalisation of some 4.7 billion dollars Australian,or 4.5 billion American.It owns shares of big miners BHP Billiton and RioTinto.
Asian shares rose in early Monday trading on renewed confidence in the resolution of Europe's debt crisis,and Australian shares were no exception.Japan's falling industrial production number was brushed aside by investors.
At the London Olympics,China led the medals count with 12 total and 6 gold.The U.S. was second with 11 total and 3 gold,while Italy was third with 7 total and 2 gold.
Australian Foundation Investment Company,Ltd.(ASX:AFI)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Good News:Mabel Pantaleon Found

Mabel Pantaleon,the New York actress whose disappearance five days ago was splashed all over the media,has been found at JFK airport.Ms.Pantaleon,who turns 31 in October,was picked up by Port Authority Police when she attempted to buy a plane ticket and her name popped up on a watch list.
She was unharmed and taken to the psychiatric emergency room at Jamaica Hospital at 9:20 pm.
Her mother,Sylvia,said everything is over,thank God.She's O.K. and she is in the hospital.Thank God for everything.
Ms.Pantaleon,a former beauty pageant contestant and nursing student,suffers from manic depression and reportedly had been angry with her family when she left their apartment Sunday morning.Her mother thought she had gone off her medication.
The whole city and country was worried about her-even the whole world.We're so glad that she's back.

Missing Person:New York Actress Mabel Pantaleon

Mabel Pantaleon,30,an actress who has appeared on "Dexter" and "Mystery ER," has gone missing since Sunday morning.Ms.Pantaleon is 5 foot 7 and weighs 157 pounds.She has brown eyes and black hair.Last seen at her Harlem apartment on W.157th St. in Upper Manhattan,she was wearing a red shirt with the word "Drake" on the front,police said.She may be driving a silver 2004 Toyota Camry.
Described as being in good physical condition,the former nursing student at New York City College of Technology has a history of mental illness in the form of  manic depression.Anyone who knows where she is is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
About 5.7 million Americans are thought to suffer from manic depression,or bipolar disorder,which is characterized by alternating high and low moods,mania and clinical depression.Patients may exhibit disturbed thinking,with distorted perception and social impairment.A number of medications are prescribed to stabilize the moods and relieve the depression.The illness has genetic underpinnings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shop Talk:Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament 2012

Dear Readers,
Many of you are looking for news about this tournament.I understand it will be held the third weekend in August this year.The tournament will be held at its customary location,the Hershey Country Club.As always,it will benefit the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.There are no plans to abandon this Central Pennsylvania tradition.
Brixton Albert won last year's tournament.
Andrew Taylor

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scrutinising Microsoft:Is The Future Promising

In its recent report to shareholders,Microsoft beat on the earnings estimate,but missed on revenue.The company will begin a new product cycle in October with the release of Windows 8.Brendan Barnacle of Pacific Crest Securities said we are a little concerned about the hype around Windows 8,so we might take a little off the table.
Microsoft experienced a net loss of 492 million dollars-the first in its 26 year history as a public corporation.That was mainly from a writedown it took in connection with its 2007 acquisition of online display ad company aQuantive,however.Excluding that,earnings were 0.73,versus the estimate of 0.62 a share.Microsoft's 2012 fiscal year revenue,or sales,was a record 743 billion dollars.
On 10-26,Microsoft will release its first tablet computer,the Surface.PC users on Windows 7,Vista or Windows XP will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for the price of 40.00 until the end of January 2013.
The online services division,including the Bing search engine,lost about 472 million on the quarter.Revenue for the Windows PC division was down 58 million versus the year ago quarter.
The company's enterprise segment was up 7% as businesses placed multiyear orders for Office 15 and database software.This enterprise business helped make up for consumers deferring purchases until Windows 8 comes out or buying competitors' products.The deferred revenue number was pretty good,said Mr.Barnacle of Pacific Crest Securities.This number gives you an indication of future growth,so that's encouraging.He rates Microsoft as "sector perform."Given all that we know about the weakness in PCs,it's not surprising that the sales numbers came in a little light,particularly on the Windows side.
The company's revenue in Entertainment and Devices,including the Xbox gaming console,rose an outstanding 20% to 1.78 billion dollars.Sales and marketing costs were cut 3.5% to 3.78 billion.
All in all,the company has a good deal to look forward to as it gears up for the Windows 8 release and the Surface tablet,continuing to serve its enterprise customers and Xbox denizens in the meantime.It's doing a reasonable job for a mature corporation navigating the highly competitive environment it finds itself in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Asia This Day:China's Biggest Brokerage Gets Even Bigger

Citic Securities,China's largest brokerage firm,is buying Credit Agricole's CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets unit for a total of 1.25 billion dollars.CLSA is considered a jewel of an asset with its strong balance sheet.Describing itself as Asia's leading independent brokerage and investment group,it advises on stock sales and mergers and has a private equity arm,CLSA Capital Partners.Citic already owns 19.9% of CLSA.
An advisor to the People's Bank of China,Song Guoqing,said the country could see even weaker growth in Q3 than had been forecast.It may come in at 7.4%,rather than the close to 8% consensus estimate because of exports being crimped by the European crisis.This statement,along with a Der Spiegel article saying the IMF may withhold further aid for Greece,causing its insolvency by September,and German Vice Chancellor Phillip Roesler saying there can be no further payments to Greece if conditions are not met,and that a Greek exit from the Euro-zone no longer inspires terror,caused the MSCI Asia Pacific index to fall 1.47% in early Monday trading.
Tropical Storm Vicente is approaching Hong Kong.Warnings were issued about the storm,which is expected to hit China as a typhoon on July 24.
Meanwhile,Apple and Samsung have gone to trial in Sydney.They filed suits against each other for patent infringement.
iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund(AAXJ)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cleanliness From Sweden:Molnycke Health Care Profile

Molnycke Health Care AB is a Swedish firm that makes wound care and infection prevention supplies,as well as operating room products.Based in Gothenburg,it has about 7,000 workers.The company has sales offices in 30 countries,as well as factories and distribution centers in 9 countries globally.It is expanding from its big European presence into North America and the Asia-Pacific Region.
One of Molnycke's most popular products is its anti-bacterial skin cleanser Hibiclens.It is used by patients and OR staff as a pre-surgical wash.The product is also useful for infection prevention at home.It is effective against dangerous staphylococcus bacteria found on the skin.Hibiclens is available at CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies in the U.S. in 15-packs.
Molnycke Health Care is privately held.
CVS Caremark(CVS),Rite Aid Corporation(RAD)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Farm Facts:Fear in the Grocery Aisles As Drought Deepens

Another heat wave is scorching farms from the Midwest to the East,prolonging a devastating and historic drought.Sentiment is cracking out there,said Ann Duignan,analyst at JP Morgan Chase.Only 40% of crops are in good condition.Farmers will probably take big losses and not spend.You can't switch crops this late.We are in a very,very serious situation as far as grain is concerned.We are likely to continue to see food prices increase.
Farming practices themselves have changed.Farms are becoming larger and adding technology like GPS and auto-steer.Now four people are running a 3,000 acre farm.
Soybeans are also in a squeeze.China's consumption of soybeans is way up.It's the urbanisation of their diet.Chinese consumers want more protein.
Forty percent of our corn crop goes into ethanol for a gasoline additive now.Ethanol drives all crop prices up because farmers planting the corn it is made from means less acreage for other crops,resulting in another scarcity factor.
Food prices are expected to rise markedly by autumn.The worst harvest since 1973 is projected.Cattle feed,ethanol and corn syrup may become more expensive from the drought.One third of the corn crop is in trouble.Corn prices impact 75% of the items in a grocery store.
Cattle is already being sold early because forage is scarce and farmers can't afford to buy feed.Corn and soybean prices were sharply up on Monday.
Archer Daniels Midland(ADM),Safeway(SWY)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Law Enforcement Jobs:University Police

The University of Maryland in Baltimore,the Founding Campus,is recruiting for University Police Officers I,II.Deliver quality crime control services that support the University's mission of education,research,and service.Join a department of 43 sworn officers and 69 security officers,along with administrative staff.All UM Police Officers are fully commissioned and certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission.
Level I requires HS diploma or GED
Level II requires HS diploma or GED+MD Police Training Commission
Excellent benefits are offered.Interested candidates may visit their website and apply online at

Friday, July 13, 2012

Health Uncle:What Are Moles-and when they should be evaluated

Moles are concentrations of melanocytes,the cells that give your skin its color.They may be flat or raised.Normal moles are evenly shaped and colored.A mole with irregular borders;a size greater than a pencil eraser;an uneven shape;or more than one color or shade is atypical.Any mole that has changed,looks weird or suddenly appeared if you are over 40,should  be examined by a health professional as soon as possible.In rare cases,moles can be precancerous or cancerous.
Cancerous moles are called malignant melanomas.They are a kind of tumor of the skin.Some melanomas metastasize slowly;but others can spread rapidly to other organs,often with fatal consequences.Young people can get and die from malignant melanomas.
Melanomas are diagnosed by biopsy.The suspicious mole is normally removed in a doctor's office.Mole removal is one of the most common surgeries.It only takes about ten minutes and is done under local anesthesia.The tissue will be sent to a lab for analysis.If the mole is cancerous,it must be staged,or assessed to see if it has spread.If it is superficial,no further treatment is required.If it has spread,an oncologist,or cancer specialist,will draw up a treatment plan following tests to definitively stage the cancer.Treatment of these more advanced melanomas may involve more surgery,radiation and chemotherapy of various types,depending on the patient's situation.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation and heredity are significant factors that predispose to developing malignant melanomas.If any moles are worrying you,don't hesitate to have them examined.Remember,they don't have to be grotesque to be dangerous.