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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Today’s Money Flows

                                                          (in millions) 
Michael Kors Holdings          KORS    NYSE       47.11       +31.1       1.84 
UltraPro Short S&P 500         SPXU    ARCA        9.41       +30.0      11.06 
Bank Of America                BAC     NYSE        9.57       +27.9       1.41 
iPath SP 500 VIX Mid Tm        VXZ     ARCA       49.85       +14.0      17.47 
Citigroup                      C       NYSE       37.10       +12.2       1.37 
Google                         GOOG    NASD      644.57       +12.1       1.21 
Microsoft                      MSFT    NASD       31.90       +11.2       1.68 
Intel                          INTC    NASD       27.79       +11.1       2.18 
ExxonMobil                     XOM     NYSE       85.33       +10.9       1.93 
Atmel                          ATML    NASD       10.47       +10.8       8.49 
IBM                            IBM     NYSE      204.91       +10.3       1.50 
SPDR S&P 500                   SPY     ARCA      139.00       +10.3       1.08 
Home Depot                     HD      NYSE       49.17        +9.0       2.26 
CF Ind Hldgs                   CF      NYSE      184.82        +8.2       1.58 
Apple                          AAPL    NASD      598.75        +8.1       1.02 
Goldman Sachs                  GS      NYSE      125.71        +8.1       1.28 
Coca-Cola                      KO      NYSE       71.51        +8.0       2.52 
Vipshop Holdings ADS           VIPS    NYSE        5.94        +7.4       6.58 
Whiting USA Trust II           WHZ     NYSE       23.00        +6.6       1.64 
Chevron                        CVX     NYSE      105.63        +6.5       1.45 

                                                          (in millions) 
PwrShrs QQQ Tr Series 1        QQQ     NASD       66.77       -16.7       0.53 
JPMorgan Chase                 JPM     NYSE       44.78       -16.5       0.59 
McDonald's                     MCD     NYSE       95.44       -10.2       0.58 
Wal-Mart Stores                WMT     NYSE       60.65        -9.9       0.35 
pricelinecom                   PCLN    NASD      714.09        -9.5       0.82 
Baidu                          BIDU    NASD      142.70        -8.0       0.87 
Procter & Gamble               PG      NYSE       67.39        -7.8       0.41 
General Electric               GE      NYSE       19.78        -7.7       0.50 
Oracle                         ORCL    NASD       28.73        -7.6       0.62 
iShrs Russell 2000             IWM     ARCA       81.71        -7.5       0.79 
Qualcomm                       QCOM    NASD       65.83        -7.5       0.55 
AT&T                           T       NYSE       31.61        -6.7       0.51 
Discover Fnl Svcs              DFS     NYSE       32.48        -6.7       0.45 
lululemon athletica            LULU    NASD       75.20        -6.6       0.65 
Darling Intl                   DAR     NYSE       17.69        -6.6       0.04 
Freeport McMoran               FCX     NYSE       38.23        -6.0       0.76 
Wells Fargo                    WFC     NYSE       33.47        -6.0       0.62 
ConocoPhillips                 COP     NYSE       75.92        -5.7       0.58 
Pfizer                         PFE     NYSE       21.82        -5.6       0.38 
iShs Tr S&P Glbl Engy Sec      IXC     ARCA       39.80        -5.1       0.02

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52 Week Highs and Lows


New Highs 17 

COMPANY                       SYMBOL      HIGH                VOLUME 
-------                       ------      ----                ------ 
Accenture PLC A               ACN         64.48            1,325,390 
Bt Group                      BT          37.05               99,226 
Church & Dwight               CHD         49.39               55,602 
Constellation Brands A        STZ         23.45              128,829 
Dick's Sporting Goods         DKS         49.97              591,811 
Dollar General                DG          47.49              504,866 
El Paso Corp                  EP          29.79              504,767 
ExactTarget Inc               ET          25.70              210,778 
FleetCor Technologies         FLT         39.28                3,773 
GSE Holding                   GSE         13.98                9,743 
Gap Inc                       GPS         26.43              454,758 
InterXion Holding             INXN        17.25               53,915 
Kinder Morgan                 KMI         37.70               96,924 
Mead Johnson Nutrition        MJN         82.74               87,863 
Philip Morris Intl            PM          87.15              448,298 
Sturm Ruger                   RGR         48.66              114,880 
Western Gas Partners LP       WES         47.63               13,850 

New Lows 3 

COMPANY                       SYMBOL      LOW                 VOLUME 
-------                       ------      ----                ------ 
Ferrellgas                    FGP         14.28               64,181 
India Fund Inc. Wd            IFN/WD      19.00                  100 
RadioShack                    RSH         6.41               326,274


New Highs 31 

COMPANY                       SYMBOL      HIGH                VOLUME 
-------                       ------      ----                ------ 
Alexion Pharm                 ALXN        94.90              188,684 
Annapolis Bancorp             ANNB        6.34                   100 
BBC Capital Trust II 8.5%     BBXT        31.61                  229 
Benihana                      BNHN        13.43                5,399 
Carmike Cinemas               CKEC        13.05               12,376 
Charter Communications        CHTR        65.32               77,005 
Comcast A Sp                  CMCSK       29.59              167,731 
Conn's                        CONN        16.00               42,291 
Cost Plus                     CPWM        18.56              537,226 
Discovery Comm C              DISCK       46.30               35,124 
First California Finl Grp     FCAL        5.50                25,433 
Firsthand Tech Value Fd       SVVC        34.22                8,603 
Infinity Pharmaceuticals      INFI        11.59               16,060 
Intel                         INTC        27.99            3,721,471 
Madison Square Garden         MSG         33.80               24,318 
Mattel Inc                    MAT         33.80              205,343 
Medidata Solutions Inc        MDSO        27.24               98,181 
Monster Beverage              MNST        61.19               65,431 
Nautilus Marine Acqn          NMAR        9.88                   200 
NewLink Genetics              NLNK        10.85                6,539 
Oritani Fincl                 ORIT        14.38               40,533 
Peet's Coffee & Tea           PEET        74.00               47,888 
pricelinecom                  PCLN        717.17             207,830 
Santarus                      SNTS        5.45                55,472 
Snyders-Lance                 LNCE        24.69               14,035 
Spectranetics                 SPNC        10.48               23,417 
Starbucks                     SBUX        55.50            1,002,341 
Ubiquiti Networks             UBNT        29.46               35,447 
United-Guardian               UG          17.80                  400 
Verisk Analytics Inc          VRSK        46.39               98,415 
Zumiez                        ZUMZ        35.95               27,150 

New Lows 10 

COMPANY                       SYMBOL      LOW                 VOLUME 
-------                       ------      ----                ------ 
Anthera Pharmaceuticals       ANTH        2.35               113,877 
Apricus Biosciences           APRI        2.88                16,028 
KIT digital Inc               KITD        6.00             2,909,380 
Layne Christensen Co          LAYN        19.75              202,168 
Mannatech                     MTEX        3.14                 3,891 
Plug Power                    PLUG        1.30             1,304,885 
Primo Water                   PRMW        1.91                49,898 
Sunshine Heart                SSH         8.51                 2,307 
US Auto Parts Ntwk            PRTS        3.49                 5,580 
Vocus                         VOCS        12.15               55,761

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Most Active Options Trades

ANR        3/23/12          16.0000         274            0.0600      dn 0.1600 
AAPL       3/23/12         605.0000         218            0.4600      dn 0.5800 
AAPL       3/23/12         600.0000         127            1.7500      dn 0.7400 
BAC        4/21/12          12.0000          94            0.0400      dn 0.0100 
BAC        5/19/12           9.0000          90            1.0200      dn 0.0100 
AAPL       4/21/12         600.0000          86           20.5000      dn 0.4000 
BAC        5/19/12          12.0000          82            0.1100      up 0.0000 
GOOG       3/23/12         650.0000          80            0.6500      dn 0.4000 
AAPL       3/23/12         610.0000          80            0.1600      dn 0.3400 
MU         4/21/12           9.0000          80            0.2400      dn 0.1400 

ANR        3/23/12          16.0000         277            0.2100      dn 0.0200 
AAPL       3/23/12         595.0000         111            0.7400      dn 0.6700 
GLD        3/23/12         160.0000         107            0.0900      dn 0.6600 
AAPL       3/23/12         600.0000          88            2.5800      dn 1.0200 
X          4/21/12          27.0000          68            0.5000      dn 0.0600 
DHI        4/21/12          15.0000          63            0.6000      up 0.1900 
X          4/21/12          29.0000          61            1.2800      up 0.0300 
IBM        3/23/12         205.0000          60            0.1100      dn 0.3600 
FCX        3/30/12          38.0000          53            0.6500      dn 0.0100 
IBM        3/30/12         200.0000          50            0.3000      dn 0.0500 

   CALLS      PUTS           TOTAL 
   7926       11697          19623
AAPL       3/23/12         600.0000        2966            1.6600      dn 1.0600 
AMZN       3/23/12         195.0000        2563            1.1000      up 0.6700 
NKE        4/21/12         115.0000        2448            0.3400      dn 1.5500 
AAPL       3/23/12         605.0000        2025            0.4500      dn 0.5000 
GS         3/30/12         130.0000        1323            0.8000      up 0.0900 
BAC        4/21/12          11.0000        1159            0.1100      dn 0.0100 
GS         4/21/12         135.0000        1004            1.6700      up 0.3300 
BIDU       3/23/12         145.0000         969            0.2800      dn 0.3000 
NKE        4/21/12         120.0000         903            0.1000      dn 0.6500 
BAC        3/30/12          10.0000         833            0.1000      dn 0.0100 

LYV        7/21/12           7.5000        1761            0.6500      up 0.0500 
AAPL       3/23/12         595.0000        1609            0.6800      dn 0.6700 
AAPL       3/23/12         600.0000        1406            2.5400      dn 0.7600 
DELL       4/21/12          15.0000        1240            0.0700      up 0.0200 
CHK        4/21/12          23.0000         840            0.4200      dn 0.0400 
AAPL       3/23/12         590.0000         816            0.1900      dn 0.3100 
KITD       7/21/12          10.0000         784            4.6000      up 2.0500 
JAG        4/21/12           5.0000         782            0.3500      dn 0.0500 
WFC        7/21/12          30.0000         712            0.9400      dn 0.0200 
KITD       4/21/12           7.5000         585            1.4000      up 1.1000 

  CALLS      PUTS           TOTAL 
 226756     160514         387270

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Clear and Present Danger in Corporate America


“The nation’s largest banks, with combined holdings equal to half of the U.S. economy, represent a “clear and present danger” and must be broken up.

This alarmist conclusion is not the work of a consumer advocate or a liberal critic of Wall Street. No, this assessment comes out of Dallas, Texas, and the local arm of the Federal Reserve.
In its 2011 annual report, the Dallas Fed notes that more than half of the banking industry’s assets belong to just five institutions, those often referred to as “too big to fail” (TBTF). Furthermore, the 10 top banks account for 61% of commercial banking assets, and ‘their combined assets equate to half of our nation’s GDP.”
Written by Harvey Rosenblum, executive vice president and director of research for the Dallas Fed, and approved by Dallas Fed president Richard W. Fisher, the report points out that “The term TBTF disguised the fact that commercial banks holding roughly one-third of the assets in the banking system did essentially fail, surviving only with extraordinary government assistance.” Too big to fail perverts the concept of capitalism in the United States because Capitalism requires the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. Hard work and good decisions should be rewarded. Perhaps more important, bad decisions should lead to failure—openly and publicly.”
The report goes on to warn, “TBTF institutions were at the center of the financial crisis and the sluggish recovery that followed. If allowed to remain unchecked, these entities will continue posing a clear and present danger to the U.S. economy.
“As a nation, we face a distinct choice. We can perpetuate TBTF, with its inequities and dangers, or we can end it. Eliminating TBTF won’t be easy, but the vitality of our capitalist system and the long-term prosperity it produces hang in the balance.”
The big five banks and bank holding companies are JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs.”

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Big Brobama is Watching and Collecting


WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. intelligence community will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been called for by members of Congress who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period….”

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State of the Nation: Disconnect Between Main Street and Pennsylvania Ave


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Louisiana farmer Don Johnson sees leading Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as clueless about business outside of privileged circles.

That goes for President Barack Obama, too, said the 64-year-old farmer of soybeans, corn and wheat. Johnson, a Republican, said Newt Gingrich is the only candidate making any sense heading into the state’s primary this weekend.

Counties with highest, lowest income inequality

East Carroll Parish, La. 0.645
Edwards County, Texas 0.626
New York  County, N.Y. 0.601
Mineral County, Colo. 0.598
Pitkin County, Colo. 0.591
Allendale County, S.C. 0.582
Greene County, Ga. 0.564
Randolph County, Ga. 0.558
Sioux County, N.D. 0.556
Franklin County, Miss. 0.555
Manassas Park, Va. 0.339
Blaine County, Neb. 0.337
Kendall County, Ill. 0.332
Craig County, Va. 0.327
Bath County, Va. 0.326
Logan County, Neb. 0.314
San Juan County, Colo. 0.313
McPherson County, Neb. 0.311
Kalawao County, Hawaii 0.304
Loving County, Texas 0.207

* Estimated, The Gini index measures income inequality, and varies between zero and one. A value of one indicates perfect inequality – only one household has any income. A value of zero indicates perfect equality – all households have equal income.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010 American Community Survey

“Most of them are living in a make-believe world. People have to work for a paycheck every day, every week — they don’t understand that, they don’t feel the pain,” Johnson said. “Newt is probably the smartest. He can go toe-to-toe with Obama as far as explaining the issues.”

Millions of Americans remain underemployed and unemployed following a recession that widened economic divides in the U.S. Hoping to win support, Romney and Santorum are both touting the American dream of economic mobility, while criticizing Obama for, they claim, encouraging class warfare.

Both of the leading remaining Republican candidates support cutting taxes and regulations, aiming to woo constituents who want to do better for themselves and their kids, and are worried that government spending and rules are out of control. While the conservative candidates don’t overtly raise the issue of income equality in the same way Obama does, the Republicans in their policies and rhetoric aim to appeal to voters with those concerns.

“In just about every speech they give examples of small businesses trying to do something and being blocked by government regulations,” said Lawrence Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “The Republicans are not whistling Dixie here – they are sinking their teeth into very public angst about government being too large.”



There is income inequality in America, there always has been, and hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be. Why? Because people rise to different levels of success based on what they contribute to society





Rick Santorum



After winning the Illinois Republican primary on Tuesday, Romney spoke about the American dream, opportunity and economic freedom.

“Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in lifting people out of poverty,” Romney said. “But today, Americans who want to start a new business or launch a new venture don’t see promise and opportunity. They see government standing in their way.”

To strengthen the economy, Romney has said that if elected he would work on free-trade agreements, move to cut certain Obama-administration regulations, and order a sanction on China for unfair-trade practices, among other actions. Regarding Social Security, he has suggested raising the eligibility age as an option.

Looking longer term, his economic plan also supports lower tax rates on a broader base “so that taxation becomes an instrument for promoting economic growth.” Romney also supports cutting corporate tax rates.

Meanwhile, Santorum has said he would toss Obama administration regulations with an economic burden of more than $100 million, negotiate free-trade agreements, and cut means-tested entitlement programs by 10%, among other actions. He would also lower personal income and corporate tax rates.

The country needs “a renewed focus on creating opportunity,” Santorum wrote in a January South Carolina newspaper column.

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Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent

“(Reuters) – The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

“They’re keeping the soup warm but they are not cooking it,” a U.S. administration official said.

Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran’s nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.

That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had “high confidence” that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

Current and former U.S. officials say they are confident that Iran has no secret uranium-enrichment site outside the purview of U.N. nuclear inspections.

They also have confidence that any Iranian move toward building a functional nuclear weapon would be detected long before a bomb was made….”

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Obama Elects Jim Yong Kim as World Bank President

“The prospect of the World Bank being led by someone from outside the U.S. for the first time seemed nearer on Friday, as several African nations backed Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the job.

Per-Anders Pettersson | Getty Images
World Bank building in Washington, DC.

“The endorsement is in line with the belief that the appointment of the leadership of the World Bank and its sister institution, theInternational Monetary Fund[cnbc explains] , should be merit-based, open and transparent,” the leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Angola said in a statement.

If Okonjo-Iweala defies expectations and gets the job, she will be the first African to lead the organization, as well as the first woman.

The process of deciding who will be the next World Bank president will be — like the election of the next Pope — difficult to follow unless you’re one of the privileged few in the room.

In every previous election, the U.S. president’s nominee has been a shoo-in, but this time around the emerging economies are mounting a determined challenge. Given that the Bank’s remit is to lend to developing economies, an appointment from the emerging markets might make sense. However, the U.S., as the largest contributor to the Bank, controls 16.41 percent of the votes, and the winning candidate needs 85 percent.

Nominations for the presidency close on Friday, with growing rumblings that this may be the first time a woman, or someone from outside the U.S., leads the fund….”

Full article

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U.S. Equity Preview: WTSLA, SCS, NKE, MU, COV. CPWM, & ACN


Accenture Plc (ACN) : The world’s second-largest technology-consulting company raised its full-year earnings forecast to at least $3.82 a share, beating analysts’ average projection of $3.80.

Cost Plus Inc. (CPWM) : The seller of international- themed food and casual furnishings forecast first-quarter revenue of at least $210 million, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $205.8 million.

Covidien Plc (COV) : The maker of surgical products and drugs agreed to buy closely held Newport Medical Instruments Inc., which makes ventilators, for $108 million. The Dublin- based company said it sees no material effect on sales and earnings in 2012.

Micron Technology Inc. (MU) : The largest U.S. maker of computer memory reported a third consecutive loss after sluggish demand for personal computers dragged down chip prices.

Nike Inc. (NKE) : The world’s largest sporting-goods company reported third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales gained in North America.

Steelcase Inc. (SCS) : The maker of office furniture forecast first-quarter earnings of no more than 12 cents a share, falling short of the average analyst estimate of 16 cents.

Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA) : The apparel chain for teenage girls forecast first-quarter earnings of no more than 4 cents a share, missing the average analyst estimate by 2 cents.

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Upgrades and Downgrades This Morning


Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) Cut to Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) Raised to Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE: CVH) Raised to Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST) Started as Buy at ThinkEquity.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) Raised to Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs; named Bull of the Day at Zacks.

Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM) Cut to Underperform as Bear of the Day at Zacks.

HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE: HFC) named as value stock of the day at Zacks.

Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) Raised to Outperform at Baird.

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) Cut to Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) Cut to Hold at Auriga.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) Started as Underperform at Needham.


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