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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Coal Expected To Make a Comeback

“One of the big trends in U.S. energy has been the transition from coal to gas (CTG) as natural gas prices tumbled.

However, this period of superlow natural gas prices turned after production temporarily peaked earlier this year.

Now electricity markets are finally reckoning with the rebound in gas prices and are switching back to coal, according to Morgan Stanley’s Hussein Allidina:

With gas trading above $3/mmBtu, price- sensitive gas demand in the power sector is likely already being curtailed. Until CTG switching is completely shut off (which is unlikely at prices below $4.20/mmBtu), natural gas demand will remain price elastic.

Here are his charts. With natgas prices above $3.50, switching should have already begun: ”

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A Judge Ruling Says $GOOG Can Not Block $MSFT Sales

Google Inc. (GOOG), which bought Motorola Mobility to gain leverage in the global legal battle over smartphone and tablet computer inventions, can’t use some of its patents to block sales of Microsoft Corp. products, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle said in a Nov. 30 opinion that, because Motorola Mobility pledged to license some patents on fair and reasonable terms, it can’t seek a court order to halt sales of products that use those inventions. The ruling applies to a group of Motorola Mobility patents that are deemed essential to industry standards for video decoding and Wi-Fi technologies.”

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IMF Endorses Capital Control Measures to Relieve Out of Control Interest Rates and Currency Fluctuations

“The International Monetary Fund endorsed nations’ use of capital control measures in certain circumstances, making official a shift in the works for almost three years that will guide the fund’s advice to member countries.

In a reversal of its historic support for unrestricted flows of money across borders, the Washington-based IMF said controls can be useful when countries have little room for economic policies such as lowering interest rates or when surging capital inflows threaten financial stability. Still, it said the measures should be targeted, temporary and not discriminate between residents and non-residents.”

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Market Update

Markets started off strong to the upside, but disappointing ISM data created an 80 point reversal in the DOW. Oil and gold managed to hold their gains, but are now succumbing to downside action.

Market update

World indices

3D heat map 

The story

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFZLq6R-ZtM 450 300]


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David McAlvany: Stocks Could Fall 25% from Peak Next Year

“Stocks could fall 25 percent from peak to trough next year, while gold and oil could post strong gains, said David McAlvany, CEO of the McAlvany Financial Group.

Even if Congress steers the country away from the year-end fiscal cliff, a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect early next year, stocks won’t have the fuel to extend 2012 gains.

Earnings have been cooling and won’t see upward support amid a time of building headwinds confronting the global economy in the form of the European debt crisis, a cooling China and fiscal issue in the United States.”

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Fortune: Another High-Tech Bubble Is Popping

“Listen closely and you can hear the sound of another high-tech bubble popping.

LivingSocial, an online coupon business, announced it is laying off about 400 employees, about 9 percent of its work force.

That shouldn’t be a surprise, according to Fortune. The hype and tons of investment that LivingSocial — and other online couponing outfits like Groupon — once drew never made sense in the first place.

The online couponers were once the darlings of the tech media world. Tech blogs gave Groupon a Crunchie award for the best social commerce app in 2010, and its CEO, Andrew Mason, was named the Crunchie CEO of the year.

Groupon’s fortunes quickly reverse. Mason was accused of violating the initial public offering (IPO) quiet period and approving improper accounting, Fortune reports, and some top executives quit. After skyrocketing, its stock dropped 80 percent.

Although its cash flow became positive for the first time, LivingSocial reported a $566 million loss last month and a $496 million charge on loss of value of acquisitions.

Early fans of online couponing companies failed to see the inherent flaws in the companies’ business models, according to Fortune. Consumers use the coupons get discounts — sometimes quite substantial ones — from local businesses, but rarely return to become loyal customers paying full price. And the barriers to entry are small. Anybody can jump into the business, and for a time it seemed like everyone did. ”

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Quantitative Management’s Keon: Volatility Awaits Markets, But Buying Opportunities Do Also

“Markets are due for some swings this week as fears of going over the fiscal cliff will mount as will uncertainty over the November jobs report, but bargains are out there, said Ed Keon, portfolio manager at Quantitative Management Associates.

Talks to steer the economy away from the fiscal cliff — a series of tax hikes and spending cuts due to strike at year-end — have stalled, with Democrats and Republican at odds over extending tax breaks on the wealthy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said failure to address the fiscal cliff could tip the economy into a recession next year.

Fiscal fears aside, the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday will release the November jobs report, revealing that Superstorm Sandy will have likely skewed the numbers, adding to the uncertainty considering the proximity of the cliff.

Get ready for a volatile week, Keon told CNBC.

“Sandy is beginning to influence the jobs data and many other sorts of data for the next couple of months … just at a time when the market is uncertain about the fiscal cliff, and the lingering uncertainties about Europe and China and elsewhere,” Keon said.

“Now we have these other uncertainties and the data is going to be less relevant than normal. We are just going to have to adjust.”  ”

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$AAPL Rises to the Call to Arms


“Your next Mac could be assembled in America. Apple is assembling at least some of the new, ultra-thin iMacs within the USA. The backside stamp containing the serial code and FCC logo generally says “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” But several owners of the new model quickly discovered their machine was made in the good ol’ US of A.

Apple long made its products in the US. Its Elk Grove, California complex opened in 1992 and retrofitted from a distribution center into a manufacturing plant in 1995. During the iMac’s heyday, it employed more than 1,500 people and pumped out computers seven days a week. The plant made its last computer in 2004 when then SVP of Worldwide Operations, Tim Cook, consolidated Apple’s manufacturing in what would be a successful move to maximize efficiency and margins.”

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Mobile Drives Adoption Of Social Media In 2012

“Research firm Nielsen and NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, todaypublished a comprehensive look at the state of social media ecosystem in 2012. Consumers now spend around 20 percent of their total time online using social networks via their personal computers, and 30 percent of their time online visiting social networking on mobile, the report found. In addition, time spent on social media in the U.S. across both platforms grew 37 percent to reach 121 billion minutes in July 2012, up from 88 billion minutes in July 2011.

Mobile devices are aiding in growing these numbers, with consumers’ time spent using social media mobile apps and mobile websites accounting for 63 percent of the year-over-year growth. Forty-six percent of social media users say they use their smartphone to access social media, and 16 percent say they use social media on a tablet.



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U.S. Eagle Gold Coins Sales Up Huge, Strongest Since 1999

“November sales of U.S. American Eagle gold coins are on track to be the best in 14 years as uncertainty surrounding the U.S. fiscal cliff and the election of President Obama led to safe haven buying. Buyers timing the market also increased coin sales by buying during sharp price movements that occurred in the beginning and end of November, coin dealers noted. Bullion dealers in the U.S. report an influx of high net worth individuals that are buying gold coins in volume and taking physical possession of their bullion. Month to date 131,000 ounces of American Eagles sold, that tripled last year’s November sales and is the strongest November since 1998, data from the U.S. Mint’s website shows. In October, the U.S. Mint sold 59,000 vs 50,000 ounces the previous year, while November marked its 2nd successive monthly rise. Coin banks have come in to buy the stock as the mint usually ends 2012 coin production in early December so it can begin minting the 2013 coins.”

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U.S. Maintains a Huge Advantage in the Shale Gas Industry

“Exporting the U.S. shale energy revolution overseas turns out to be far tougher than anyone expected—giving the U.S. a significant competitive advantage.

Shale oil and natural gas have rejuvenated the North American energy industry and boosted the economy by supplying companies and consumers with cheap fuel. There are huge shale deposits outside of North America that global energy companies and governments are eager to tap.

But oil companies are running into obstacles as they try to replicate the U.S. experience on other continents. The result is that significant overseas shale energy production could be a decade away.”

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Gapping Up and Down This Morning

Gapping up

SCMP +15.3%, SVU +4.2%, GEO +2.8%, RIG +1.7%, SAP +1.7%, NTLS +1.5%, TOT +1.2%,

ERIC +1.2%,  DECK +8.4%,  DELL +5.4%, GMCR +1.2%, IGT +3%,

Gapping down 

RIMM -3%, YHOO -2.8%, ETN -1.9%, CF -0.5%, QLGC -1.9%, RATE -1.7%, GFI -2.3%,

MYGN -5.1%, HMA -5.4%,

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