Monthly Archives: January 2012
When it comes to how Americans view President Obama going into the new year, there appears to be very little spirit of Auld Lang Syne. Instead, according to the new Washington Whispers poll, many voters aren’t forgetting what they dislike about Obama and want him out office.
In our New Year’s poll, when asked what news event they fear most about 2012, Americans by a margin of two-to-one said Obama’s reelection. Only 16 percent said they fear the Democrat won’t win a second term, while 33 percent said they fear four more years.
Next to Obama’s reelection, 31 percent of Americans said they feared higher taxes, which may be proof that the president’s focus on the payroll tax cut has hit paydirt.
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Author: James Picerno · January 5th, 2012
The so-called January effect for the stock market (S&P 500) looks quite weak when measured on a monthly basis, and it doesn’t offer much more encouragement as a signal for the 1-year-ahead return horizon either.
To understand why, let’s compute average returns for each month for the past 20 years. Next, let’s plot those monthly average returns against the average of subsequent 1-year returns, measured from the end of the month in question. The result is the chart below.
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5:56 PM, Jan 9, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama’s first chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once sat on the board of troubled federal mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Bill Daley, the president’s chief of staff whose departure was announced today, was previously a top executive at financial firm J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. So of course there should be little surprise that Obama’s latest chief of staff, announced today by the president himself, also has deep ties to the financial industry himself.
From 2006-2008, Jack Lew was chief operating officer of Citibank’s alternative investments division. And it was his division that made billions of dollars betting “U.S. homeowners would not be able to make their mortgage payments,” as the Huffington Post reported.
The piece also reported: “Lew made millions at Citi, including a bonus of nearly $950,000 in 2009 just a few months after the bank received billions of dollars in a taxpayer rescue, according to disclosure forms filed with the federal government. The bank is still partly owned by taxpayers.”
Of course, one should not begrudge Lew his personal, professional, and financial successes. But one might wonder what kind of message the president is sending with this appointment.
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From the University of Florida
Global warming caused by greenhouse gases delays natural patterns of glaciation, researchers say
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are disrupting normal patterns of glaciation, according to a study co-authored by a University of Florida researcher and published online Jan. 8 in Nature Geoscience.
The Earth’s current warm period that began about 11,000 years ago should give way to another ice age within about 1,500 years, according to accepted astronomical models. However, current levels of carbon dioxide are trapping too much heat in the atmosphere to allow the Earth to cool as it has in its prehistoric past in response to changes in Earth’s orbital pattern. The research team, a collaboration among University College London, University of Cambridge and UF, said their data indicate that the next ice age will likely be delayed by tens of thousands of years.
That may sound like good news, but it probably isn’t, said Jim Channell, distinguished professor of geology at UF and co-author.
“Ice sheets like those in western Antarctica are already destabilized by global warming,” said Channell. “When they eventually slough off and become a part of the ocean’s volume, it will have a dramatic effect on sea level.” Ice sheets will continue to melt until the next phase of cooling begins in earnest.
The study looks at the prehistoric climate-change drivers of the past to project the onset of the next ice age. Using astronomical models that show Earth’s orbital pattern with all of its fluctuations and wobbles over the last several million years, astronomers can calculate the amount of solar heat that has reached the Earth’s atmosphere during past glacial and interglacial periods.
“We know from past records that Earth’s orbital characteristics during our present interglacial period are a dead ringer for orbital characteristics in an interglacial period 780,000 years ago,” said Channell. The pattern suggests that our current period of warmth should be ending within about 1,500 years.
However, there is a much higher concentration of greenhouse gases trapping the sun’s heat in the Earth’s atmosphere now than there was in at least the last several million years, he said. So the cooling that would naturally occur due to changes in the Earth’s orbital characteristics are unable to turn the temperature tide.
Over the past million years, the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels, as recorded in ice core samples, have never reached more than 280 parts per million in the atmosphere. “We are now at 390 parts per million,” Channell said. The sudden spike has occurred in the last 150 years.
For millions of years, carbon dioxide levels have ebbed and flowed between ice ages. Orbital patterns initiate periods of warming that cause ocean circulation to change. The changes cause carbon dioxide-rich water in the deep ocean to well up toward the surface where the carbon dioxide is released as a gas back into the atmosphere. The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide then drives further warming and eventually the orbital pattern shifts again and decreases the amount of solar heat that reaches the Earth.
“The problem is that now we have added to the total amount of CO2 cycling through the system by burning fossil fuels,” said Channell. “The cooling forces can’t keep up.”
Channell said that the study, funded by the National Science Foundation in the U.S, and the Research Council of Norway and the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom, brings to the forefront the importance of atmospheric carbon dioxide because it shows the dramatic effect that it is having on a natural cycle that has controlled our Earth’s climate for millions of years.
“We haven’t seen this high concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for several million years,” Channell said. “All bets are off.”Comments »
Cirrus Logic raises Q3 rev guidance above consensus; sees Q4 revs above consensus (16.97 +0.47)
Co announced estimated net revenue based on preliminary unaudited financial results for the third fiscal quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2011, of approximately $122 million (vs $105.08 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate). Previously, the company anticipated revenue to be between $102 million and $108 million. Revenue from audio products is estimated at $105 million and revenue from energy products is expected to be approximately $17 million. The company expects gross margin to be approximately 54 percent and combined R&D and SG&A expenses are estimated to be approximately $600,000 above the upper end of guidance, due primarily to additional product development expenses. At this early stage in the March quarter, the company is currently expecting revenue of approximately $105 million (vs $98.49 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate), which represents year over year revenue growth of approximately 15 percent. “Q3 was a great quarter for Cirrus Logic, and we are particularly pleased that the last few weeks of the quarter were much stronger than we had anticipated, indicating that demand remains robust following the holiday season.”
Juniper Networks lowers guidance for Q4
Co lowers guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.26-$0.28 vs. Capital IQ consensus of $0.34, and vs. prior guidance of $0.32-$0.36; sees revenue of $1.11-$1.12 bln vs. consensus of $1.19 bln, and vs. prior guidance of $1.16-$1.22 bln. Non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be below the company’s prior outlook of 21% to 23% due to lower than expected Non-GAAP gross margins which were impacted by reduced revenue. Co states, “Although the company’s results are not yet finalized, fourth quarter performance is below the company’s previous outlook primarily due to weaker than expected router demand from service providers. While this was not limited to any single geography, a significant portion of the impact was from US service providers. In addition, product book-to-bill was approximately 1.