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When Chips Can't Get Smaller. Enter Nanotechnoogy

Every year the silicon computer chip shrinks in size by half and doubles in power, enabling our devices to become more mobile and accessible. But what happens when our chips can't get any smaller? George Tulevski researches the unseen and untapped world of nanomaterials. His current work: developing chemical processes to compel billions of carbon nanotubes to assemble themselves into the patterns needed to build circuits, much the same way natural organisms build intricate, diverse and elegant structures. Could they hold the secret to the next generation of computing?

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Oligarch vs Drain The Swamp. Who Wins:

So the year begins and with it a new presidency. Everyone has ideas how best to invest your money. Simple indexing is the least expensive way to manage capital; no, smart beta is superior; this year we are told (once again) will be when active stock-picking makes its triumphant return.

Regardless of how you choose to allocate your assets, there is another way; a much better way; a method that cannot fail in its brilliance and simplicity. Go with the POTUS indexes.

Direct your attention to the relentless tweeting of the man who soon will be president. There is valuable information in those 140 characters that can move markets and alter perceptions of corporate fundamentals. This has real alpha-generating possibilities. Whoever is managing your favorite 401(k),…

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Admin

Luxury Brands Will Have To Work A Lot Harder In 2017

Last year was a bad one for many companies selling expensive fashion, handbags, and jewelry. For the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, the global market for personal luxury goods failed to grow, stalling at €249 billion (about $258 billion).  Will Trumps tax proposal send their sails soaring or will his proposed tariffs interfere?

The good news is that 2017 should see a return to growth, according to a Dec. 28 report on the global luxury market by management consulting firm Bain & Company, only it won’t look anything like the boom years from 2010 to 2015, when global sales of such goods jumped 45%, fueled by Chinese consumers with high-end appetites. The slowing of China’s economy and its government’s ongoing crackdown on…

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Admin

Amazons Patented Hovering Airship. The Future Is Here

Amazon’s aerial dreams aren’t limited to drone deliveries.

In April, Amazon was awarded a patent (unearthed by a CB Insights analyst on Dec. 28 ) for Zeppelin-like warehouses in the skies. Amazon wants to create an “airborne fulfillment center” (AFC) to hover at altitudes of around 45,000 feet and spit out delivery drones with customers’ orders.

The designs suggest that the AFC will either be supported by an airship or incorporated into one. “An airship, or dirigible, is a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft which can…

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The Trump Effect On Currencies

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Rhetoric has already had an impact on currencies in a big way

Targeting companies or entire nations on Twitter is an unprecedented and controversial method of communication for a President-elect – but one can’t argue with its effectiveness so far.

In today’s chart, we take a look at Donald Trump’s rather unconventional form of “monetary policy”, and how it has potentially influenced the U.S. dollar and five other major currencies since his election in November.

Ready, Aim, Tweet

A preview of President-elect Trump’s “America First” directive can already be seen on Twitter.

Trump’s infamous account, which is…

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Admin

S&P500 Earnings With Trump Over The Shoulder

Before I present the insight on expected earnings ahead, there is one point I wish to make; that being Trump.  If you're not following our President elect on Twitter, you should get with it now.  Some may say it's not "Presidential" to be on TWTR but our commander and chief does what he wishes, and he wishes to scare whomever he can.  At the very least, throw him up as a column on TweetDeck and watch the charts fly when he mentions a name. 

Now while AMZN and GM were formerly expecting good growth in 2017, you will notice that both are now on Trumps radar for taxation and import/export fees which explains their recent trading action.  There seems to be no love lost between AMZN owner Jeff Bezos.  Even Trumps …

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Admin

The Death Of Tradtional Retail vs The Size Of Amazon

The Extraordinary Size of Amazon in One Chart

The Extraordinary Size of Amazon in One Chart

It’s bigger than most brick and mortar retailers together

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

What has more value: all major publicly traded department stores in the United States, or Amazon?

Amazon takes the cake, and its no contest.

Add together the market caps of Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s, it amounts to a significant $297.8 billion:

Brick & Mortar Store 2016 Value ($B)
Total $297.8…

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Admin

Techs Year In Review 2016 With Trump In The Wings

The image was startling, but a look into what could be tech's immediate future.

After being ostracized by the tech industry for most of the election year, there sat venture capitalist Peter Thiel, beaming, to the left of President-elect Donald Trump at the Trump Tower Tech summit in mid-December.

Around him was a ring of glum-faced and pensive tech titans, including Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Silicon Valley's billionaire leaders had disavowed Trump during the campaign, throwing their weight behind rival Hillary Clinton. Only Thiel stumped for the real-estate mogul, and after the tech industry had turned on him for that and his…

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Wall Streets Top Picks For 2017 With Trump

We are into the homestretch of 2016, and the markets have seen strong upside this year, benefiting from the domestic economy's resilience and the election of Donald Trump.

With just four sessions to go, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been a up a solid 14.4 percent, the S&P 500 has risen 10.8 percent and the NASDAQ Composite is 9.1 percent higher — with all the three major averages trading off their all-time closing highs.

Among the ten S&P sectors, eight have been in the green. Old economy stocks such as energy, material, industrial, financial, utility and telecom are all up by double-digit percentages. Technology stocks are also up decently. However, the healthcare sector has taken a hit.

Though…

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Admin

Is The Fed About To Experience A Repeat Of 2016?

In the most recent Summary of Economic Projections, Fed officials penciled in three 25bp rate hikes for 2017. The reality, however, could be very different. We all remember how “four” became “one” in 2016. The median dots are neither a promise nor an official forecast. As 2016 progressed, forecasts associated with a lower path of SEP “dots” evolved as the consensus view of policymakers. Will the same happen this year? I don’t think so; it is hard to see the Fed on pause for another twelve months.

As a starting point, I think it best to assume the US economy is near full-employment. But the US economy was near full-employment at this time last year as well. I think the key difference between then and now is that then the after-effect of the oil price slide and dollar surge placed a drag on the US economy sufficient to ease hiring pressure. At the same time, labor force participation perked up, setting the stage for a flat unemployment rate for most of…

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Admin

It's Not What You Think. Market Myths Debunked

"A lie told often enough becomes the truth" - Vladimir Lenin

Imagine for a minute you lived centuries ago when people believed the earth was flat, or the earth revolved around the sun, or that planets were Gods, or that disease was angry spirits or supernatural powers. You'd have an explanation for everything ... only it would be wrong. And that "wrongness" would stand in the way of true understanding and true progress until they were discarded as falsehoods.

And so it is with the Stock Market. Let me explain.

First, let me be perfectly clear. I'm a statistician so I'm not referring to philosophical or political or gut feelings or anything other than Statistical Misrepresentations. Fact, not opinion.

I can hardly go a day without reading…

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Admin

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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Admin

The Run In Small Caps. Will It Continue In 2017

The stock market went on quite a tear in the 3+ weeks immediately following the election, with the month of November especially beneficial for small-cap stocks.

Before delving into what it all might mean for small-cap investors, here's a quick rundown to help contextualize just how dynamic a month it was:

  1. This was the best November in the history of the Russell 2000 Index. featuring its highest monthly return since October 2011 when small-caps were just emerging from a precipitous decline.
  2. The performance spread between…

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Admin

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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Admin

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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