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On December 12, U.S. President Elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to rail against Lockheed Martin for the perceived waste of its next-gen fighter jet program. In his tweet, Trump said:

News of the tweet consumed CNBC and other news outlets for much of the day, and Lockheed’s stock tumbled in the immediate…

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Bank EPS Lifted Ahead Of The Fed Rate Hike

The S&P 500 Financials sector has been a focus sector for the markets in recent weeks. This past week, the Federal Reserve Board increased the target range for the federal funds rate. Earnings for banks and other companies in the Financials sector are particularly sensitive to higher interest rates. In addition, this sector has recorded the largest increase in value (+22.2%) of all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 since the start of the fourth quarter (September 30). Given these developments, have analysts been increasing their 2017 EPS estimates for banks and other companies in the S&P 500 Financials sector over the past few months?

The answer is yes. In terms of EPS estimate revisions, 38 of the 63 companies (60%) in the…

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The Obamacare Post-Trump Dilemma

If you're like me, we're all wondering what is going to occur with ACA (Obamacare) once Donald Trump takes office and the charts from Healthcare (XLV) and Biotech (XBI) certainly reflect the concern.  With the proposed 21st Century Cures Act, due for Senate passage this week, be the $5Billion dollar "game changer"  the sector is waiting for...........or will we be waiting until Congress replaces the unpopular components of Obamacare to see an impact in stock price?

Repealing or replacing Obamacare is fraught with at least six major issues, but perhaps the most significant one is a lack of decisiveness within the Republican party itself. What would Obamacare be replaced with, and how would that change be implemented?

Interestingly, there are at least…

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Admin

The Future Is Here With Amazon Go

Imagine shopping with no lines and no check out?  All you need is a smart phone with the AMZN app and you're ready to go.  Welcome to Amazon Go.  The first Amazon Go store in Seattle sells ready-to-eat meals, snacks and locally-prepared bakery items but just imagine if this came to your local grocer?  Amazing what technology will bring.

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Admin

Amazon By the Numbers: Cyber Weekend Spending

Some may say that technical analysis is 'bunk' but it's just that which caused me to short AMZN.  Now you can say they're #1 when it comes to online sales but my question is, has their growth hit a plateau?  Trading at 170x p/e, anything is possible. (click chart to enlarge).  Talk is that MSFT is bringing the smart home to Windows. The feature will allow Cortana to be summoned on any Windows 10 PC lock screen.  It's expected to appear in Win 10 updates starting in 2017 and this software-only feature could trump AMZN Echo and GOOG Home due to the obvious convenience of screen access.  From an investor point of view, I would definitely take some off the table at this point and invest it in banks, industrials and insurers.  But let's take a look at sales.  No growth in…

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Admin

Thanksgiving Weekend E-Commerce Roundup

When Americans started celebrating Thanksgiving in the 19th century, it was about cherishing the blessings of the year, particularly the year’s harvest. These days however, it appears as if many people spend the holiday thinking about what they might need rather than what they already have.

Over the past few years, Thanksgiving weekend has grown to become a huge shopping extravaganza both on- and offline. Retailers try to outdo each other in offering the best Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals and consumers willingly jump at the chance to kick off their holiday shopping and snap up some bargains.

Not surprisingly, this year’s Thanksgiving weekend saw online shopping records shattered once again. According to…

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With “Black Friday” here, the performance of retailers will be a focus for the markets. As of today, which retailers in the S&P 500 are projected to see the highest and lowest year-over-year earnings growth for the fourth quarter? Which retailers in the index have seen the largest upward and downward revisions to earnings estimates for Q4 over the past two months?

In terms of year-over-year earnings growth, seven of the 13 retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report growth in earnings for the fourth quarter, led by the Internet & Direct Marketing Retail (23.6%), Food Distributors (14.3%), and Home Improvement Retail (13.8%) sub-industries. On the other hand, six of the 13 retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report declines in earnings, led by the Home Furnishing Retail (-16.0%), Hypermarkets & Super Centers (-13.5%), and Food Retail (-9.8%) sub-industries.

Revisions…

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Admin

Big Tech Lost A Boatload When Trump Killed TPP

The giant international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership died last week. It was supposed to be the largest regional trade deal in history.

The TPP itself was a massive 30-chapter lawbook that would have freed access to markets for things like car manufacturing, data storage, online commerce, intellectual property and medicines.

Hoards of technology and media companies supported the trade deal. Google…

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Industries Most At Risk In A Trade War With China

The U.S. and global economy has reacted in mixed fashion since the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States. One of the most significant potential fallouts though, is a trade war with China. Trump has spoken out against the current situation with China on a great number of occasions. Now he is in a position to potentially see through his pledges, some fear the emergence of a tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries. As the infographic below shows, the industries most endangered by any such war would be transportation and tech.…

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Admin

Repeal Of Obamacare Not A Simple Task

As the market partied this week, believing that Obamacare would be smashed and their premiums would revert back to lower levels, I sat and chuckled.  You're already spending money you haven't received in terms of lower premiums but there's always a price. Always. Already the "costs" of repealing ACA are being calculated and surprise surprise, it won't be free or easy.  In fact QZ ponders it will cost "us" Billions but let's examine the possibilities.  From…

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Admin

Alphabet's investment arm, Google Capital, has quietly made an investment in Snapchat parent company, Snap Inc. 

The investment was only revealed after Google Capital rebranded itself to CapitalG on Friday and added the Snapchat logo to its portfolio page. Business Insider confirmed that it is a portfolio company of the growth equity arm of Alphabet. Snap Inc did not immediately respond to comment. 

The two companies have had a cozy relationship. In 2013, it was rumored that Google once tried to buy Snapchat for $4 billion after it turned down a Facebook acquisition. To this day, Snapchat remains one of the…

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Admin

Get ready for the era of augmented humanity.

Global research powerhouse IDC says the next era of IT transformation will marry technology with biology to take the human mind and body to unprecedented levels of mental and physical capability.

That was one of the top worldwide IT predictions for 2017 as outlined Tuesday by Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC.

Gens dubbed IDC’s augmented humanity concept its new “fourth platform.” Over the past few years, IDC has been laying out its view of a “third platform” consisting of cloud, mobile, social and big data/analytics. As described by Gens on Tuesday, the fourth platform of augmented humanity pushes the current wearable…

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Admin

As U.K.-based banks wait to see what life will be like after Brexit, one word -- passporting -- will speak volumes. If Prime Minister Theresa May can maintain the passporting rights of City of London banks, the U.K. stands to retain its status as a hub of global finance. If not, hope isn’t lost, but the alternative to passporting requires an arduous approval process and provides no secure basis for long-term planning.

1. What is…

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Admin

The Leaders Of Online Retail

In a bid to improve its position in the ever-growing e-commerce market, Walmart announced today that it agreed to acquire Jet.com for approximately $3 billion in cash. Jet.com is a relatively young e-commerce startup that made a name for itself with an innovative pricing scheme that allows customers to reduce prices by, for example, ordering items from the same distribution center or by forgoing the ability to return items for free.

Walmart and other big-box retailers have struggled to break Amazon’s stranglehold on online retail in the United States, where the market leader’s internet sales exceeded the aggregate sales of its nine largest…

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Admin

Seven Ways To Trade The Brexit Vote

Next week will be a historical one for both the United Kingdom and the global economy. On June 23rd the British people will decide whether to leave or stay in the European Union. Polls have been mixed over the last couple months, but the latest out show momentum for leaving, which is scaring the markets.

Loss of British sovereignty is the fundamental reason for leaving the EU, as many supporters want to take back control of U.K. borders in order to curb immigration. Those that wish to stay in the EU say there are severe short-term economic consequences that would make trade difficult and slow the economy. Even President Obama recently said that if there is a Brexit, the U.K. would go to the “back of the queue” in American trade deals.

While debate and speculation is running rampant, markets are watching the British Pound closely. Last week U.S. indices tracked and moved with the Pound tick for tick, showing that traders are very concerned about the upcoming…

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Admin

Bankruptcy Mayhem In The Oil Patch

And the second half of the year is touted to be even worse. What stress is this placing on banks which hold their debt???. Oye!

Most investors are aware that there is significant carnage in the oil patch. Low energy prices caught overleveraged companies off guard, and it’s forced many of these companies to seek protection from their creditors through bankruptcy.

However, the pace of new bankruptcies is accelerating fast, and now bigger companies are being affected. This week’s chart shows that the 11 new bankruptcies in April 2016 carry a substantial debt load of nearly $15 billion – most of which is unsecured.

A quick look at the data, which we pulled from…

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Smartwatches Overtake Swiss Watches

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, compared with 7.9 million Swiss Watch shipments. It is the first time ever that smartwatches have outshipped Swiss watches on a global basis.

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We estimate global smartwatch shipments reached 8.1 million units in Q4 2015, rising a healthy 316 percent from 1.9 million in Q4 2014. Smartwatches are growing rapidly in North America, Western Europe…

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Admin

Gas Tanks, Air Bags And Other Auto Scandals

The recent Volkswagen scandal had me wondering about past auto manufacturer scandals and how their prices (individual or sector wide) were affected.  Here's a piece by ProPublica which brought back memories.  Especially the Pinto issue, which affected me as I learned to drive stick in a Pinto in the 1970s.  Boy, the mind reels!

The recent revelation that Volkswagen used software to make its diesel engines appear to be polluting less than they are is just one of a long list of scandals that have plagued the auto industry. Here is a selection of some of the best reporting on the subject.…

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Admin

High Speed Rail On Its Way To Las Vegas

Great news for LVS, MGM, WYNN, FLL, CZR and BYD.  High speed rail is on the way.  Imagine the increase in revenues long term as patrons will be able to get there, in the blink of an eye.

China Railway International USA CO., LTD. and XpressWest have agreed…

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