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Unleash The Hounds. Alibaba Frenzy Month To Begin

When Jack Ma founded the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba in 1999, one of his stated goals was to build a company that will last for at least 102 years so that it would span from the 20th to the 22nd centuries. Now with products, technology and marketing -- what Alibaba has done is a great combination of all three.

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba ($BABA) is expected to begin an eagerly awaited roadshow for what could be the largest ever IPO early in the week of September 8, and its shares could list as soon as September 18 or 19, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Expected to raise about $20bn when it lists on the NYSE rivaling the Agricultural Bank of China’s $22.1bn IPO from July 2010, currently the largest on record.

Alibaba’s ability to make a transition to mobile has been a focus of analysts and investors as China’s tech…

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Admin

Top Mobile Apps

Google certainly looks to be dominating the mobile playing field.  Good for Google or does this just open the door to fresh startups and current disruptors to look to take market share?  (more below)

Top 25 Mobile Apps by Unique Visitors

Some key questions to be answered in this area include:

  • How fast has mobile app usage been growing?
  • How often are people using apps on each device?
  • What percentage of time are consumers spending on their top apps?
  • How do iOS users differ from Android users demographically and behaviorally?
  • Which mobile app content categories are we spending most of our time consuming?
  • How do the top apps compare in different age segments?

Download the full report at…

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Admin

Beware Old Man Winter (again?)

If the Old Farmers Almanac is even semi accurate, it looks as though it's going to be another nasty Winter - colder than last year (!) ahead thanks to the sun's activity.  According to this video (below) this forecast is nothing to shake a stick at as allegedly they have an 80% accuracy but only time will tell. 

Of course, the folks back home in Chicago will immediately roll their eyes and sigh in pure disgust and they have the right to after the "polar vortex" that rolled through the area last January.  Not only were schools shut and streets impassable but even expressways, covered with salt as fast as they could spread it, froze and brought commuters and semis to a stand still.  Supplies were cutoff across the nation and insurers definitely had to have felt the pain.

Seems I relocated to Texas…

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Admin

Airlines Woes? Icelandic Volcano To Erupt Again?

No, not the one from April 2010 whose name no one could pronounce (Eyjafjallajokull) however a larger one (Bardarbunga) may now be heating up (pardon the pun).

In what the Meteorological Office describes as an "intense earthquake swarm," scientists registered some 2,600 earthquakes between early Saturday morning and Monday evening.

And after the strongest earthquake since 1996 was measured in the area early Monday, an orange aviation alert was posted (2nd highest alert) by Icelandic authorities -- indicating "heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption."

In 2010 the…

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Admin

Shipping Rates Increase; $BDI Wedge Breakout

Having felt that BDI had bottomed and recommended accumulation here, here and here it appears that $BDI came back and tested prior breakout support.  Certainly a not unexpected move.  Now, breaking out of a falling wedge, I would imaging that lower area to be tested once more where I will add further to my position in the belief that the bottom is still in and they're finally able to increase rates.

  • Drybulk shipping rates…

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Admin

Airfare Wars To Heat Up?

As the WSJ highlights, The U.S. airline industry's newfound health is breeding something not seen in years: a flock of startups.

Two fledgling carriers already have taken off. One is a reincarnation of the old People Express Airlines, a discounter that folded in 1987. The other is a French all-business-class carrier, plying the Paris-to-Newark, N.J., route.…

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Admin

Sadly Consumers (and Wall Street) Haven't Learned

Americans lust for things they cannot afford continues as credit usage has rebounded since the height of the credit crisis however, with the Fed's current zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), the ongoing use of credit is not necessarily a thing for concern.

After all, if you were able to refinance your home from 6% down to 3%, that's a good thing, right?  Ditto for your credit cards which may have been 9.9% prior to 2008 and now down at much lower levels.  Indeed ZIRP has aided corporations and individuals to grab historic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to restructure existing debt and issue new debt for acquisitions for almost nothing.

In that respect, I guess Obama's statement "we're much better off than we were" would ring true here.

What does bother…

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Admin

Coming Soon: Instant Click To Buy

For Twitter and Facebook, the two principal combatants in the world of social media, e-commerce is emerging as the newest battleground.  One would think that Amazon's June unveiling of it's Fire phone should be pushing the transition even faster.

Twitter announced on Thursday that it had agreed to acquire CardSpring, a mobile payments infrastructure company that allows merchants to offer deals to consumers that can be loaded onto to their credit cards. When the card is used to pay at the store, the coupon is automatically applied.…

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Admin

Obama Approves Sonic Cannon For Oil Exploration

The Obama administration has approved the use of sonic cannons to explore for oil and gas off the Eastern Shore using seismic survey ships which tow airguns that emit underwater explosions over thousands of miles along the coast.  These blast results would transform into a survey of the seabed floor to reveal potential drill sites.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday formally approved guidelines for using air cannons along the Eastern seaboard in the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Delaware.  Energy companies could buy new oil and gas…

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Admin

If you're one of the many waiting for Alibaba's IPO, you may wish to take a look at the latest recommendation from U.S. regulators when it comes to investing in Chinese names.

In May 2014, Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce website, filed for a U.S.-based initial public offering (IPO) in what is expected to be one of the largest in U.S. history. The highly anticipated IPO will be just one in a recent wave of Chinese Internet companies launching IPOs in the United States. The trend has raised some misgivings among U.S. regulators about the corporate structures of these companies. To bypass Chinese government restrictions on foreign investment in the Internet sector, Chinese Internet companies use a complex and highly risky mechanism known as a Variable Interest Entity (VIE).

Read the…

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Admin

Solar Shingles; An Idea To Catch On

Like anything else, it will take more widespread usage and increased competition for pricing to drop, but I would install these in a heartbeat if/when the cost became more reasonable.  idk about anyone else but my utility bill is ridiculous at this point.

Dawn Kurry of Biz Journals writes Solar shingles system comes online in Cary North Carolina. Don Hyatt is the first person in the research triangle, and maybe in the whole state, to install the new DOW solar shingles on his home.

Don Hyatt says people have been stopping by his house to admire the shiny new roof.
"I've been waiting for them to become available in North Carolina," Hyatt says. "It's not like solar…

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Admin

At its E3 press conference, Sony just announced that the PlayStation TV game console (known as the PlayStation Vita TV abroad) is coming to the United States and Canada this fall.

The PlayStation TV will come by itself for $99 (you’ll have to bring your own controller) or in a $139 bundle that comes with a DualShock Controller, a memory card to store downloaded games on, and a copy of the Lego Movie video game.

The console will be compatible with many of the games currently available on the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s portable game console. Those will be for available for download on the PlayStation store.

PlayStation TV owners will also be able to log in to…

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Admin

Trade War Brewing With China

From a chart point of view, there's a definite divergence in performance in U.S. solar stocks vs. their Chinese competitors.   Forget the cold war; is a trade war heating up with China?  Charts don't lie - people do.  Full disclosure StockBuz recommended long FSLR in 2013.

The United States slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products from China on Tuesday after the Commerce department ruled they were produced using Chinese government subsidies, potentially inflaming trade tensions between the two countries.

The U.S. arm of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG filed a petition…

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Admin

BDI Shipping Index Update

The chart says it all.  I will be adding to my shipping drawer stock $NAT here.  Maybe the shipping index truly has been an indicator of true global (low) demand coupled with an oversupply of ships and heavy debt but charts do not lie.  People do.  Funds should be adding to their positions down at this test of prior breakout support.  We may build a long base, which is healthy.  Add at the lows.  I will still hold my (alert) stop comfortably below the 2012 low (not by a few pennies either).  They may even try to shake out weak hands by taking out that low before reversing however I'm undaunted.  Come on, bring it.  I'll buy more at these prices as global economies begin to heal and M&A should pick up in this beaten up sector.…

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Admin

Seasonal Demand Trades June 2014

Seasonal demand is just what it sounds like.  What seasons certain things see higher demand such as natural gas for A/C and heating or gold for jewelry manufacturing and sales.  With that in mind I thought I'd flip through our Seasonal Charts for hints of possible trades here and in the months approaching.  My unscientific belief has been that larger players begin to buy long futures contracts before the season hits so I begin to watch for divergences and support in charts.  Click on the charts below for a better view.  Let's take a look:…

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Admin

David Einhorn’s Comments at the Greenlight Re (GLRE) Investor Day on May 20th 2014

  • Bernanke was predictable, but the new chairwoman is less predictable.
  • It has been 5 yrs into the recovery. Corporate profits have increased a lot and continue to grow. Current earnings expectations are high at a double-digit growth rate. Q1 numbers are showing the economy growing at  ~1%.
  • The fund is fully invested at 114% long and 66% short. It has increased its net long book from 35 to 50%.
  • Largest longs are Alpha Bank, Apple, gold, Marvel, Micron, and Oil States International.
  • Longs are cash-rich tech companies and businesses benefiting from structural changes. Shorts include secular decliners, momentum stocks, and iron ore related companies. Macro…

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Admin

The Securities and Exchange Commission has touched off a major bureaucratic scuffle with its fellow financial regulators by proposing to, in the words of one Democratic aide, “rip the heart out of Dodd-Frank.” The SEC, following the wishes of one of its Republican commissioners, has initiated a turf war over which agency gets to monitor a key corner of the financial system.

At issue are so-called asset managers, companies like BlackRock, Fidelity and Pimco, who manage investments on behalf of individuals and groups through mutual funds and other vehicles. Asset management firms collectively control an astonishing $53 trillion in investor funds.

Historically, the SEC has regulated asset managers. But under Dodd-Frank, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a newly created super-regulator, can designate “systemically…

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Admin

The Stockmarket Rumor Mill

  • Rumor today that Icahn will reveal a substantial stake in TWTR.  No reaction in shares
  • Rumor Bill Ackman will announce a short position in the company has Apollo Education (APOL) quickly off 6.5% in late-morning action.

More on APOL.  In the 80's and 90's online education was all the rage and names like APOL were a momentum stock, ramping with hopes of future growth.   Then the bloom began to fade as the market came to accept high drop out rates and defaulted student loans.  They obviously still persist today.  I have no idea if Ackman will unveil a short position and if so, just what his thesis will be BUT from a chartist point of view, it would seem every time the months upper Bollinger Band was pierced, a sell off ensued.  While…

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Admin

What's Recovering Is The High End Of Housing

Sadly wage growth......is not growing so does anyone see a resolution to this "underwater" problem other than time?   From Forbes:

A total of 9.7 million American households still have “underwater” mortgages, meaning they owe more on the home than it is currently worth. Homes in the lowest price tier are most affected, according to data released today from Zillow.

Thirty percent of homes in the bottom price tier are in negative equity, while only 18.1% of homes in the middle tier and 10.7% in top tier are underwater, according to Zillow’s Negative Equity Report.…

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Admin

Macau Could See Further Slowing

Meanwhile MGM and other casino names are showing signs of head-and-shoulders tops.  Full disclosure I am long LVS as a long standing drawer pick and short MGM here. (click chart to enlarge)

Macau is the growth engine for the global casino industry, and revenue growth for casinos there seems to be slowing, Wells Fargo said in a report.

That could affect sales and earnings for world's largest casino company, Las Vegas Sands (LVS), and rivals Wynn Resorts (…

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