Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who Sings on the Sandals Resorts Commercial

The song is called "Do It Again."It is performed by the relatively unknown singer-songwriter Lauryn Vyce(real name Lauren Vogel).This synth pop song is available on YouTube under the name Lauren Vogel.There are several of her other songs posted there as well.There is no video for "Do It Again,"just a still photo and the track itself.The song is also featured on the FitnessGlo album "Warm Up."Lauryn Vyce is from St.Louis,Missouri and attended Parkway North High School and Indiana University.She is currently building her career in Los Angeles.Her voice has a classic girl group quality that appeals to a growing fan base.A major label may eventually sign and promote her as deserved,but they are often behind the times. Sandals Resorts International is a privately held corporation offering resorts for both couples and families in the Caribbean.Based in Montego Bay,Jamaica,it was founded in 1981 by Jamaican businessman Gordon "Butch" Stewart.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Asia This Day:China,Japan,Australia

There's no doubt that we have to be relevant across the world,said Alex Malley,CEO of CPA Australia.In Australia at the moment,the politics are dramatic,but they're not good for the country.The whole world rests on integration with China.One of the sleeping giants is in agriculture and professional services for China.*Chinese industrial profits slipped from a 12.3% increase in May to an 11.1% increase in June.The causes include a slowdown in sales and rising materials costs.*Japanese consumer prices rose at their highest pace year over year since November 2008,a sign of inflation and economic recovery after two decades of deflation.*Asian markets will be responding this week to more Chinese and Japanese economic data,as well as a meeting of India's central bank.*China's move to a more consumer-based economy from rapid infrastructure development has repercussions for mining and mining services concerns.*China and the EU avoided a trade war Saturday by reaching a deal on imports of Chinese solar panels.*The MSCI Asia Pacific index was down 0.71% in early Monday trading.*CPA Australia has more than 144,000 members in 127 countries.It provides education,training,tech support and advocacy for its members,representing the accounting profession to all levels of government,regulators,academe,industry and the general public.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Birthday People:July 27,2013

Comedian Bill Engvall is 56;TV actress Indiana Evans is 23.The Australian starred in "Home and Away" and "Blue Lagoon:The Awakening."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Keck Medicine Acquires Verdugo Hills Hospital

Keck Medicine of USC has expanded with the acquisition of Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale,California.Effective July 16,the purchase integrates the 158-bed local hospital into the constellation of Keck Medicine world-class medical institutions,which include the Keck School of Medicine;Keck Hospital of USC;and USC Norris Cancer Hospital,as well as USC Care Medical Group and other assets. Verdugo Hills Hospital has served the Foothill communities of Los Angeles County for 40 years.It offers a primary stroke center;cardiac rehabilitation;diagnostic/imaging services;and a maternity department. According to Tom Jakiewicz,President of USC Health,this was the right move for both organisations,particularly in light of the changes that are transforming health care and how it's delivered.Bringing together these two very strong provider communities creates a unique opportunity for residents of the Foothill communities to receive exceptional patient care from the physicians they know and trust,and from those who bring additional medical expertise from one of the world's leading academic medical centers. The realities of health care reform are feeding a national trend of consolidation of health care providers into large networks,in a quest to achieve greater efficiency and better clinical outcomes for patients,with an eye to reducing costs. Len LaBella,CEO of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital,added that the affiliation enables us to provide key services and advantages that not only help us remain viable,but to thrive in a challenging health care environment that demands constant evolution. Cosmetic improvements such as new signage,better landscaping and refurbished interiors have already been achieved since the deal closed-the first of many steps of the integration.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Microsoft's Troubled Road

The declining PC business matters,according to Dan Niles,co-Chief Investment Officer at asset manager AlphaOne Capital Partners.Enterprise is still tied to the PC business.Microsoft missed estimates in all five revenue segments.The problem is,you're gonna have more tablets sold than PCs in Q4. Microsoft is a great cash flow business.It's a software company,but it's on the wrong side of the market.It has a good quarter mixed in here and there.Until they figure out how to have a strong smart phone and tablet,they're on the wrong side of a business transition. Google is in a good spot with Android.Eventually,this mobile transition will run its course.For Microsoft,you need stabilisation in the PC market.In 2-3 years from now,you might reconsider the stock. Mr.Niles,Senior Portfolio Manager of the AlphaOne Satori Fund,has a negative position in both Microsoft and Google. Microsoft is currently undergoing a restructuring,in an attempt to better navigate the shifting business landscape. Microsoft(MSFT),Google(GOOG)

Monday, July 22, 2013

What Bernanke's Testimony Means

The stock market is at all-time highs,but markets tend to seize on what they want to hear and run with it.A case in point is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress last week,which was assessed by Mohmamed El-Erian,CEO of leading asset manager PIMCO.This testimony is rather dovish,Mr.El-Erian said.Bernanke was saying that 1.The unemployment situation is unsatisfactory.2.Don't worry about inflation;it is too low.3.We have a number of instruments we can use. He's trying to strike a difficult balance between confidence and excessive risk-taking.The journey is full of ifs.The market extrapolates this to the destination.Markets are different from the Fed.They want to know where we are going,and when we're going to get there.1.The unaddressed cost and risk of unconventional policies.2.You've convinced other central banks to follow you,but does it make sense if everybody does it? The underlying economy is still fragile.The fundamentals with the technicals would call for lower yields from here.1.The real economy is weak.2.Banks have reduced risk exposure,so their ability to earn is less.It will be interesting to see how sustainable their earnings are. Mr.El-Erian,who formerly managed the Harvard endowment, is also co-Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO,along with founder Bill Gross.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Birthday People July 16,2013

Latin Musician Ruben Blades is 65. Spanish soccer player Sergio Busquets is 25. In memoriam:Miss Frances Horwich(1907-2001),host of "Ding Dong School" in the 1950s.

Ranting and Raving:Stop Complaining and Invest

The Bernanke economy is lifting the world,said CNBC's Jim Cramer.The most powerful financial figure in the world,he did it right.Stop bellyaching and go make some money.I've never been against making money;it helps. Without China,the metals complex is catching up.There has to be something going on.We are pumping oil bigger than the level of 1992.We are expanding refined products. I would argue that PCs are over.The industry's going away.I like Nokia.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants to do bold things with it.I think Nokia is a spectacular buy. Investing is part of America,and I welcome people back-even if it is through "Helicopter Ben" Bernanke. Boeing is a teflon stock.I do like that CEO McNerney said the battery is fixable.Don't bet against Boeing. I think Ballmer is back.He's better than ever.I'm looking to Microsoft's gaming division.I probably want to buy UPS right now.Maybe there are a lot of negatives,not many positives.I like that.I think it's gonna be recovering two days from now. There's a lot of excitement in the market,the popular CNBC market analyst Jim Cramer noted. He also likes Advanced Micro Devices on the gaming console trade and Celgene on its positive myeloma data. Nokia(NOK),Microsoft(MSFT),Boeing(BA),Advanced Micro Devices(AMD),Celgene(CELG)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Citi Likes Emerging Market Stocks

Citigroup predicts a nearly 27% upside to emerging markets stocks in the next year.Our main reasons for optimism:consensus is too bearish/underweight emerging markets,liquidity is ample,economic surprises are improving,earnings are outperforming developed markets,and valuations look cheap,Citi said in a note. The Federal Reserve program has propped up emerging market currencies,equities and bonds as it pumped liquidity into the financial markets. The emerging markets central banks' balance sheets should provide enough liquidity to take up the slack of a Fed withdrawal.In aggregate,the balance sheets of growth emerging markets central banks are still expanding by 6.1% on a year-on-year basis .A strong relationship exists between the growth rate of the asset side of central banks' balance sheets and price to book valuations.Expand the central banks' balance sheets and price to book valuations follow,the note goes on to say. Citi favours Asia over the Middle East and Latin America.It prefers China,South Korea and Taiwan in Asia. iShares China 25 Index Fund(FXI),iShares Emerging Markets Index Fund(EEM)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Birthday People July 12-13,2013

July 12 Comedian Bill Cosby is 76. July 13 Actor Harrison Ford,70. He began his film career working as a carpenter on the set of "Star Wars."

Philips,GRMC Sign Big Health Care Pact

Georgia Regents Medical Center and Koninklijke Philips NV have inked a 15 year,300 million dollar partnership agreement of unprecedented scope in the US.It promises to address current and future clinical,operational and equipment needs across GRMC's many facilities,at a fixed operational cost over the 15 year period. Four to six million GRMC patients in Georgia and South Carolina stand to benefit from the collaboration.It encompasses consulting services;advanced medical technologies;operational performance;planning and maintenance services. The goal is to deliver faster,more effective and cost-efficienr care from diagnostics to therapeutics,to inpatient and outpatient clinical services.The pact will cover all medical specialties and enhance medical research and clinical technology R&D for care delivery innovation. Philips will provide imaging systems;patient monitoring and clinical informatics;lighting and consumer products;as well as rapid access to new equipment and educational resources. Deborah DiSuizo,CEO of Philips Healthcare,said we are proud to embark on this transformational alliance,as we share the vision that we can create the future of healthcare by creatively and efeectively meeting the long term care needs of patients. Philips has entered similar but smaller scale agreements with hospitals in Europe,Asia,the Middle East and Africa that have proved successful in improving patient outcomes and controlling costs. Koninklijke Philips NV(PHG)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Coptic Priest Killed in Sinai Attack

Islamist militants killed a Coptic priest in Northern Sinai,Egypt on Saturday afternoon.The priest,Mina Aboud Sharween,39,was killed in a driveby shooting while walking in the provincial capital,El Arish,by attackers on a motorbike.
The extremists also sprayed four military checkpoints in the area with bullets.On Friday,they killed five police officers in El Arish.The rampage is seen as a response to the sacking of former president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian army last week when he failed to reach an accommodation with throngs of protestors in the Egyptian capital,Cairo.
Coptic Pope Tawadros II expressed his support for the military intervention and was present at the announcement of the move by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,commander of the Egyptian army.
There are some eight million Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt,as well as a small number of Greek Orthodox in the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa-perhaps 20,000.There have been sporadic violent clashes between Coptic Christian and Muslim Egyptians in recent years.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Birthday People July 5-6,2013

July 5
NBA basketball player Beno Udrih of the Orlando Magic is 31.
July 6
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is 91.
She was a Hollywood actress under the name Nancy Davis.

Huge Tree Kills Camp Counselor Near Yosemite

On July 3 a massive black oak tree fell on a counselor at a remote summer camp near Yosemite National Park,California,killing her instantly.Annais Rittenberg,21,was an art counselor at the Camp Tawonga,located on Stanislaus National Forest near the town of Groveland.She was an environmental studies student at UC Santa Cruz.
Four other adult staff members were hurt by the crashing tree,which was 53 inches in diameter and 72 feet tall.It snapped off at 32 feet,and the top 40 feet of it took down power lines when it fell on the camp staff gathered around a campfire at breakfast.The children were eating in a nearby dining hall and were uninjured.
US Forest Service rangers and firefighters cut the tree into pieces following the incident.Pacific Gas and Electric had inspected the trees in the area in December 2012,but found no problems at the time.There were no signs of decay or disease in the oak that fell,a Tuolumne County sherrif's office spokesman said,nor were there any weather concerns.
The injured staff are expected to fully recover.About 300 campers and 150 staff were in the heavily forested camp at the time of the tragic accident.It is so remote,there is no cell phone access to it,although there is email.
Ms.Rittenberg was also a popular DJ and world music director at the UC Santa Cruz radio station.She had traveled to South Africa,worked with injured animals and hiked to the summit of Mt.Lyell,the highest peak in Yosemite National Park.
This blog extends its sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birthday People July 3,2013

Talk show host Montel Williams is 57.
US Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is 73.
He ran for President twice.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Birthday People July 2,2013

Actress Lindsay Lohan is 27.
Female soccer player Alex Morgan is 24.
She plays on Team USA.

Should You Invest in Japan

Japan's Tankan survey has recorded a marked improvement in business confidence among large manufacturers.It went up to 4 in June from -8 in March.
According to Nicholas Weindling,a fund manager at JP Morgan Asset Management,this tallies with everything we're hearing from companies in the bottoms up survey we're doing.Hotels went up from 60 to 85 on rising prices per room.There is unprecedented demand for people to work in financial services.
It's all about looking to what Abenomics can achieve medium to long term.There are problems here,but there's a real sense of purpose.Everybody's moving in the same direction at the same time,which is different than before.
We see strong companies that are underappreciated just by virtue that they are located here in Japan.Banks,real estate,retail and services are big bets for us here.
Abenomics is the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.They include monetary and fiscal policies,as well as economic growth strategies,to encourage private investment in Japan.For instance,there is an inflation target of 2%,plus extensive quantitative easing,or bond buying,and limiting of the yen's appreciation,as well as a policy of increasing public investment.
iShares Japan Index Fund(EWJ)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Special Edition:Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg,the bloodiest on North American soil,the National Park Service held its main ceremony to mark the solemn occasion at the battlefield in Pennsylvania.A number of notables led the program held near Union General George G.Meade's headquarters.
Country singer Trace Adkins opened the observance with his a capella rendition of the national anthem.Master of ceremonies was former ABC newsman and "Good Morning America" host Charlie Gibson,who described himself as being a longtime history buff and student of the battle.More than 160,000 troops participated in the Gettysburg engagement,he pointed out.A testament to its impact is the fact that Amazon lists 9500 books about it.
One of the books is "Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by the ceremony's keynote speaker,historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.Goodwin said Lincoln stayed in the telegraph office during the battle,resting on the couch.Shortly after dawn on 4 July,he received the anxiously awaited telegram from General Meade that the battle had been successfully concluded.
An aide of the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson,Goodwin emphasised that the freedom legacy of the battle was still being worked out.It was an open-ended process,she said,citing President Johnson's civil rights and voting rights legislation,and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt's women's rights leadership,as examples of this unfolding.
Following Ms.Goodwin's remarks,a group of actors staged a dramatised recreation of eyewitness accounts of the battle backed by large screen images,which was quite effective,judging by the engrossed look in a little boy's eyes.
The audience then lit candles for a procession up to the Soldiers' National Cemetery,where the remains of many Union troops who died in the battle-and a few Confederate ones by mistake-are interred.Led by members of the US Army's Old Guard ceremonial regiment,the crowd of about a thousand people marched the short distance to the cemetery,where they visited the soldiers' graves,which were marked by luminaries in the form of candles in orange bags.
The battle occurred from July 1-3,1863.Just over 7,000 soldiers died,as well as civilian Jennie Wade,who was killed in her sister's house by a Confederate bullet while baking bread for Union forces.According to a recent estimate,some 700,000 troops were killed in the entire Civil War,which was from 1861-64.