Home / 2011 / May

Monthly Archives: May 2011

” Grotesque Abdication of Responsibility “

An op ed piece by Paul Krugman on unemployment….

“Unemployment is a terrible scourge across much of the Western world. Almost 14 million Americans are jobless, and millions more are stuck with part-time work or jobs that fail to use their skills. Some European countries have it even worse: 21 percent of Spanish workers are unemployed.

Nor is the situation showing rapid improvement. This is a continuing tragedy, and in a rational world bringing an end to this tragedy would be our top economic priority.

Yet a strange thing has happened to policy discussion: on both sides of the Atlantic, a consensus has emerged among movers and shakers that nothing can or should be done about jobs. Instead of a determination to do something about the ongoing suffering and economic waste, one sees a proliferation of excuses for inaction, garbed in the language of wisdom and responsibility.

So someone needs to say the obvious: inventing reasons not to put the unemployed back to work is neither wise nor responsible. It is, instead, a grotesque abdication of responsibility.”

Full article

Comments »

Today’s Winners/Losers

No. Ticker % Change
1 YONG 45.60
2 AGYS 42.68
3 CV 40.87
4 FCEL 25.34
5 SQNS 22.55
6 HEAT 15.65
7 MERU 14.49
8 GOLF 13.18
9 NBIX 12.28
10 KBX 11.90
11 FTLK 11.86
12 GIFI 11.85
13 FTWR 11.18
14 AXK 11.11
15 ASH 10.81
16 AMAG 10.18
17 TZOO 9.85
18 GBE 9.84
19 SOQ 9.56
20 STVI 9.45
21 NAFC 9.42
22 BAA 9.25
23 LXRX 9.03
24 SATC 8.91
25 NBG 8.85
No. Ticker % Change
1 HNHI.OB -40.81
2 NOK -14.21
3 PT -13.66
4 CBLI -13.62
5 RLD -12.75
6 MPET -12.02
7 CEU -11.76
8 CBPO -10.93
9 URG -10.56
10 YMI -10.53
11 DEXO -8.91
12 UEC -8.79
13 GSL -8.24
14 URZ -8.21
15 LLEN -8.16
16 SPU -7.83
17 FMAR -7.50
18 CXZ -7.45
19 DDSS -7.11
20 SMCG -6.59
21 SINO -6.49
22 CVOL -6.45
23 URRE -6.44
24 PLM -6.42
25 BRIS -6.34

Comments »

Saudi Arabia Gains More Power in Squashing Democracy by Inviting More Memebers into the GCC

“Under the guise of combating instability in the Middle East and countering Iranian influence, the royal family of Saudi Arabia has taken military and diplomatic steps to reduce the likelihood of more democratic revolutions gaining power in the region.

Having observed the fall of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, and threats to others in Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, Saudi leaders are determined to limit the outbreak of more anti-monarchy revolutions in the region, for fear such developments might embolden political opponents at home to rise up.”

Full article

Comments »

Terra Firma

“HOMEWOOD (KDKA) – People in one Pittsburgh neighborhood opened a fire hydrant to keep cool on Monday, which caused a landslide and knocked out power.

According to firefighters, people on Brushton Avenue in Homewood left the hydrant open for several hours.

The water saturated the hillside and caused it to give way.

A fence that once ran along the sidewalk is now about 10 feet below it.

A tree fell into power lines, which knocked out power to nearby homes.

Several traffic lights on Frankstown Avenue were also affected and showed green in all directions.

Mohler Street below the slide is currently closed.”

Full article

Comments »

Limosine Liberals Fo’ Shore {SIC}

“Limousines, the very symbol of wealth and excess, are usually the domain of corporate executives and the rich. But the number of limos owned by Uncle Sam increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration, according to an analysis of records by iWatch News.

Most of the increase was recorded in Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Obama administration officials said most of the increase reflects an enhanced effort to protect diplomats and other government officials in a dangerous world. But a watchdog group says the abundance of limos sends the wrong message in the midst of a budget crisis. The increase in limos comes to light on the heels of an executive order from President Obama last week that charges agencies to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets.”

Full article

Comments »

Confidence Builds on No Worries Over Debt Crisis

“Until recently, bankers were seriously concerned about the possibility that the United States would break its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and default. Now they’re OK with it.

Analysts such as Chris Whalen argued against raising the debt ceiling, which is under discussion among lawmakers at present.

Bank of America’s Jeffrey Rosenberg has become less concerned as has hedge funder Stan Druckenmiller, bond guru Jeff Gundlach and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Now, Citi analyst Steven Englander is joining the chorus.

In the short-term, markets would react to a default.

“Two months ago there was a virtual consensus that a debt ceiling breach would be an unmitigated disaster for U.S. asset markets,” Englander says, according to Business Insider.

“Confidence in Treasurys as the ultimate safe haven would be destroyed and there would very likely be spillovers into other asset markets.”

Yet the fallout would clear.

“A breach of the debt ceiling would magnificently concentrate the minds of Congress and the administration to reach a speedy deal on longer-term fiscal consolidation. In this view, if brinksmanship or even a few days delay in receiving a payment were the cost of long-term reform, it would be worth it. Longer-term attractiveness of Treasurys might even be enhanced if the deficit were put on a sustainable course.”

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, however, says default is unthinkable and adds that Congress must raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default.”

Full article

Comments »

Consumer confidence Falls: Prior 66, Market Expects 66.5, Actual 65.4

“U.S. consumer confidence slid in May as consumers turned more pessimistic on the outlook for the labor market and inflation worries rose, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.

Getty Images

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 60.8 from a revised 66.0 in April. The reading was below economists’ forecasts for 66.5.

April was originally reported as 65.4. The expectations index tumbled to 75.2 from 83.2, while the present situation index edged down to 39.3 from 40.2.

Consumers’ labor market assessment was less favorable. The proportion of those who said jobs were hard to get rose to 43.9 percent from 42.4 percent the month before, although the “jobs plentiful” category also rose to 5.6 percent from 5.1 percent.

Consumers were also more negative on their view of the labor market for the next six months. Those expecting more jobs in the coming months decreased to 15.9 percent from 17.8 percent, and those expecting fewer jobs rose to 20.8 percent from 18.7 percent.

Consumers’ expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months rose to 6.6 from 6.3 percent.”

Full article

Comments »

Upgrades and Downgrades This Morning


GS – Goldman Sachs upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan

MOTR – Motricity upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital Markets

GD – General Dynamics upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Suntrust

AL – Air Lease initiated with Outperform at Credit Suisse

BPZ – BPZ Energy upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Suntrust

POT / MOS – Potash and Mosaic (MOS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Citigroup

FST – Forest Oil upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies

TOL – Toll Brothers upgraded to Outperform from Market perform at JMP Securities

SFSF – SuccessFactors tgt raised to $45 from $40 at Deutsche Bank

APC – Anadarko Petro upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo

EBAY – eBay upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity

NVDA – NVIDIA resumed with a Buy at Auriga

FIRE – Sourcefire initiated with a Buy at Citigroup

VPRT – Vistaprint: Recent weakness creates buying opportunity; LNKD and SCOR data are culprits – Oppenheimer

CER – Cerner added to Top Picks List at FBR Capital

BRCM – Broadcom upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capita

QCOM – Qualcomm: Snapdragon Android 3.0 Wins, smartphone position for stronger 2H – Sterne Agee

TASR – TASER downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan

NETL – NetLogic target raised to $49 at Stifel Nicolaus

AEZS – Aeterna Zentaris initiated with a Buy at Needham

TZOO – Travelzoo upgraded to Outperform at Morgan Keegan


GSK – GlaxoSmithKline downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman

WEC – Wisconsin Energy downgraded to Hold at Argus

MDT – Medtronic downgraded to Sell at Argus

Comments »

Gaping Up and Down This Morning

Gaping Up

CV +35.1%, LDK +5.4%, SI +5.3%, TAN +6.6%, SAP +3.2%, DB +3.1%, OPTR +4% RCL +2.7%, RIG +2.5%, RDS.A +2.3%, MT +2.3%, BP +2.2%, POT +2.2%, RDN +4.4%, MDCO +3.9%, STO +3.9%, BBVA +3.4%, CCL +1.9%, BHP +1.4%, SLV +1.8%, MDCO +3.9%, STD +1.7%, +1.3%, CDTI +6.5%, BBL +1.4%, AACEO +2.8%, RDS.A +2.6%, E +2.5%, TOT +2.6%, RIG +2.5%, BP +1.9%, LDK +5.4%, YGE +4.7%, JASO +2.3%, TSL +2.2%, SOL +2.1%, CSIQ +1.9%,

Gaping Down

IRE -6%, BPAX -5.2%

Comments »

Social Media Bubble or Not ?

“Valuations of social media companies are starting to remind us of 1999. But are they overvalued?

Now that Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, LinkedIn’s IPO valued the company at $8.9 billion after its first day of trading, and Facebook’s estimated value is pushing $100 billion, you might be starting to wonder if buying into user numbers rather than revenue is a good idea.

Social media site G+, a community of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics, put together this detailed infographic that lays it all out in front of you. Take a look at these valuations and let us know in the comments if you think this is getting out of hand:…..”

Full article

Comments »

Goldman Expects $5 Gas For The Summer

“The forecast for the summer driving season: Hit the road early. Not to beat the traffic, but to beat the higher gas prices expected in mid-July.

Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball is proclaiming that oil will soon soar to $135 a barrel, and likely have service stations jacking up fuel prices to $5 a gallon in New York just like the summer of 2008 that preceded the recession.

Indeed, analysts say Goldman and the other oil trading giant that also has the might to move prices, JPMorgan Chase, have already placed their energy bets for the summer. JPMorgan predicts oil hitting $130 a barrel in the coming weeks.”

Full article

Comments »

Intel Plans a New Future for Tablets Taking on Apple and Looking for 40% of All PCs to be Tablets

“TAIPEI/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intel unveiled a new category of laptops that it says will include the best features of tablets as the world’s top chipmaker struggles to find its footing in the exploding market for mobile gadgets.

Netbook pioneer Asustek showed its first new PC in Intel’s “Ultrabook” class, the UX series, on Monday at the Computex computer show in Taipei. Intel said models made by other manufacturers would go on sale by Christmas and cost under $1,000.

Ultrabooks will be svelte and lightweight but still pack high-performance processors. They should account for 40 percent of laptop sales to consumers by the end of next year, Tom Kilroy, a senior vice president at Intel, told Reuters in an interview in San Francisco.

“We’re shooting for ultra responsive. You’ll have always-on, always-connected, much more responsive devices, similar to what you would see with a tablet today such as an iPad,” he said.

In Taipei on Tuesday, Intel’s vice president Mooly Eden called the Ultrabook a “different category” from the tablet and notebook, hoping that it would appeal to a different category of consumers.

“There’ll be some confusion if you look at the fold factor; when you open it you’ll see a PC but if you’re on the go, just fold it and suddenly it’s a tablet. Is it a PC? Is it a tablet? I think it doesn’t matter,” Eden told a media conference.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel is eager to make laptops more attractive to consumers who are increasingly captivated by Apple’s iPad and other mobile gadgets.”

Full article

Comments »

Copper Analysis From Barclays Capital Sees The Bull Market Intact for Copper Prices

“Copper’s bull market is intact and the three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange may rally to an all-time high should an initial target price be surpassed, according to a technical analysis from Barclays Capital.

“The bull trend remains undamaged,” Dhiren Sarin, Asian chief technical strategist, said in an interview. The price may gain to $9,945 per metric ton in the next three months and, if that’s broken, it may climb to $10,300, Sarin said. Copper’s record is $10,190, set Feb. 15, and it traded at $9,147 today.

The upper panel of the attached chart shows copper has been forming a so-called summer base when traced against a three-year trend line that connects the metal’s lows, Sarin said. The lower panel shows the metal’s so-called Z score, which tracks how many standard deviations the price is away from the average. Z scores of -2 show that the price may be bottoming, Sarin said.

Three-month copper has fallen 10 percent since setting the record and it’s on course for a third monthly decline in May. The metal, used in wiring and pipes, rallied 30 percent last year and more than doubled in 2009.

“For the time being, a range is likely as the market is above its lows from the final quarter of 2010,” he said. Copper touched a low of $7,920 on Nov. 17. “The idea is that copper should base in the summer and we get an upside move on the one- to-three-month horizon.”

Full article

Comments »

Japan Helps Out Asian Markets as Production Rebounds

“Japanese stocks climbed the most in two months as the yen fell amid optimism the European Union will do more to ease the region’s debt crisis and a report showed Japan’s industrial production is set to rebound.

Mazda Motor Corp., the Japanese carmaker most dependant on European sales, gained 1.5 percent as the euro rose against the yen, boosting the value of repatriated earnings. Sony Corp. (6758), which gets 70 percent of sales overseas, climbed 1.9 percent amid speculation the EU will offer further aid to Greece. Fanuc Corp., a maker of industrial robots, rose 1.8 percent after a Trade Ministry report showed factory production may recover from March’s earthquake disaster as soon as next month.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 2 percent to 9,693.73 at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo, the steepest gain since March 30. The broader Topix index added 1.8 percent to 838.48, paring a decline of 1.6 percent for the month.”

Full article

Comments »