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 http://www.jhuapl.edu/

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.