Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sears Is Out of Fashion

If Kim Kardashian couldn't help Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD  ) turn its retail operations around, what makes it think singer Adam Levine, or rapper-turned-American Idol judge Nikki Minaj, will do any better? The diminished stature of the once-venerable retailer is simply taken down yet another notch as it slaps a new pop icon face across its banner.

Sears is developing a new business unit called Shop Your Way Brands that focuses on entertainment-driven fashion and lifestyle brands, and the Levine-Minaj tag team duo represent the first two also-rans to populate the stage. I'm just not sure the "authentic personal style of iconic artists" is exactly what the typical Sears shopper is looking for.

Levine's t-shirt and jeans might carry over, but exactly how that differentiates what Sears offers from the clothes found at Target and Wal-Mart is beyond me. And the big curves of Minaj seems to have already been tried with the Karadashian line, though perhaps the pink hair might be a new draw.

It's easy to understand why Sears might want to hitch its wagon to celebrities, as revenues at the retailer continue to ebb away, dropping more than 4% in 2012, and down 25% since 2007, the last year it recorded a gain. The ShopYourWay social shopping experience drove over half of its revenues at Sears and Kmart in the fourth quarter and for all of last year. But its half of a quickly dwindling pie. In contrast, Wal-Mart sales grew 4% in the fourth quarter, to $127 billion while Target's sales were almost 7% higher, and neither had to rely upon pop stars to achieve the growth.

It's true that every retailer has a stable of personalities it relies upon, though more often than not, they're related to true fashion designers rather than the latest popular reality TV star. But Sears is making an art form out of trying any new shtick to see if it can reverse course and, by this point, you'd think it would realize it's making some horrible choices.

At this point, I'd be willing to bet J.C. Penney has a better shot at making a viable comeback than does Sears. Perhaps it was done tongue-in-cheek, but a blog yesterday speculated about the chances of Sears buying out Penney, though it concluded adding yet another wounded retailer to its mix of dying brands would probably not serve anyone's interests.

From Christmas in July to being your quick cash-for-gold broker,  financial gimmicks like total return swaps to calving off divisions like Orchard Supply and Sears Hometown, the retailer has thrown a lot at the wall over the years to try and return value to shareholders, but hardly anything has worked.

Despite what it heralds as a new entertainment-driven fashion business, Sears isn't singing any new tune that shoppers -- or investors, for that matter -- are likely to want to hear.

J.C. Penney's stock cratered under Ron Johnson's leadership, but could new CEO Mike Ullman present the opportunity investors have been waiting for? If you're wondering whether J.C. Penney is a buy today, you're invited to claim a copy of The Motley Fool's must-read report on the company. Learn everything you need to know about JCP's turnaround -- or lack thereof. Simply click here now for instant access.

Unemployment Continue To Cripple 4 States

Unemployment in the United States dropped to 6.7% in February, well below the 10% level it reached at the worst of the Great Recession. While the figure is not as low as economist would like, it represents a rebound which, along with housing and consumer spending, has indicated a modest recovery. However, the unemployment rate has stayed above 8% in four states, and that number may not improve in the near future.

The jobless rates in California, Illinois, Nevada, and Rhode Island were higher than 8% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a matter of fact, the figure was 9% in Rhode Island. The reasons for the high numbers and the lack of recovery vary from state to state.

Rhode Island relied on manufacturing and the financial industry for its prosperity. Some of the big banks which were based in Providence haves left or were bought by larger financial companies. The manufacturing sector was hurt as many jobs left the state for areas where costs were based on better efficiency. None of the jobs lost because of these trends is likely to be replaced soon.

California’s jobless rate is based to some extent on extremely high joblessness in the Central Valley, well inland from Los Angeles and San Francisco. While tech jobs have caused a rebound in the area around San Francisco, the downturn in agriculture jobs has left the unemployment rate above 10% in several inland cities which include Riverside and Fresno.

In Nevada, the collapse of the real estate market and the construction jobs which went with it plunged home prices by well over a third in some parts of the state. People who relied on the value of their homes for their net worth lost all of that equity in some cases. The recession also dented traffic to the casinos in Las Vegas.

Illinois stands as a reminder that heavy industry manufacturing jobs are gone and will probably not return. It is part of the crescent of states where car, steel and auto parts companies drove the economies, including Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Some large cities in these areas have still not recovered. The best known of these is Detroit, which has been forced into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Best Penny Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Unemployment in these four states will almost certainly stay higher than in the balance of the country, and the jobs the four states have lost may never come back

Friday, March 28, 2014

6 Ways to Freshen Up Your Finances

Hanging dollar bills on clothes-line Alamy Spring has arrived, and so has the inevitable seasonal cleaning duties. In addition to packing away the winter clothes, washing windows and cleaning out the fridge, spring is the perfect time to evaluate your financial situation and tidy up your budget, bank accounts, debts and investments. Here are six ways to spruce up your finances: 1. Refresh your budget. If you've been promoted, transitioned from two incomes to one or are starting a family, this is the perfect time to revisit your household budget. Consider using online personal finance tools to help you set a budget and keep track of your accounts. You'll see where your money is going and can adjust spending where needed to help you attain your financial goals. 2. Pay off holiday debt once and for all. Clear up your credit lines, and pay off the purchases you made over the holiday season. Put yourself on a stricter debt payoff plan specifically to pay off the debt you accumulated over the holidays. Cleaning up this debt quickly will put you in a much better financial position for the rest of the year. It's easy to fall back in to debt, so put a plan in place while you're at it to maintain a zero balance. 3. De-clutter your countertops and go paperless. A good way to cut down on clutter is to opt for electronic bill payments. It decreases the amount of print mail and can even help prevent identity theft. Secure your online bill payment with strong passwords that you change on a regular basis. Signing up for a vendor's online automatic pay system (helpful for fixed-payment bills such as cable and Internet) allows you to set up payments as "recurring" so the bills are automatically paid. This can help you avoid forgetting to pay a bill, and it keeps countertops paper-free. 4. Clean up your credit score. Boosting your credit score is always important, but before you do, it's imperative to learn about your credit history and the various accounts that affect it. To make sure your credit report is free of errors, get a free credit report (you're entitled to one free copy from the three credit bureaus every year). Check for any errors or accounts listed that aren't yours. Companies do make mistakes, and it's your responsibility to make corrections when you catch them, so your credit score isn't accidentally lowered. 5. Set up an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected surprises. A car repair, illness or unemployment can catch you and your family off guard and leave you financially stranded. When the unexpected happens, it's important to have a stash of cash set aside in an emergency fund. At a minimum, it should hold three months worth of your living expenses. If you pay $2,000 a month to cover the basics such as housing, utilities and food, then put aside $6,000 in your emergency fund. If you have dependents, your emergency fund should consist of six months of your living expenses. 6. Dust off your financial statements. Review your bank and credit card statements as well as bills to make sure you're not being charged fees you don't recognize or paying for subscriptions or services you never use. This is also a great time to look at your insurance policies. Some personal finance tools expose fees that are often hidden on statements or buried in the fine print to help you eliminate unnecessary fees and save more money. Whether it's putting money aside to pay down debt, planning for the future or just getting organized, the changing season is a great time to change up your financial habits.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014

On the face of it, figuring out how a bank makes money is a pretty straightforward affair. A bank earns a spread on the money it lends out from the money it takes in as a deposit. The net interest margin (NIM), which most banks report quarterly, represents this spread, which is simply the difference between what it earns on loans versus what it pays out as interest on deposits. This, of course, gets much more complicated given the dizzying array of credit products and interest rates used to determine the rate eventually charged for loans. Below is an overview of how a bank determines the interest rate for consumers and business loans.

It All Starts with Interest Rate Policy
Banks are generally free to determine the interest rate they will pay for deposits and charge for loans, but they must take the competition into account, as well as the market levels for numerous interest rates and Fed policies. The United States Federal Reserve influences interest rates by setting certain rates, stipulating bank reserve requirements, and buying and selling ��isk-free��(a term used to indicate that these are among the safest bonds in existence) U.S. Treasury and agency securities to impact the deposits that banks hold at the Fed. This is referred to as monetary policy and is intended to influence economic activity as well as the health and safety of the overall banking system. Most market-based countries employ a similar type of monetary policy in their economies.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Gold Resource Corporation (GORO)

Gold Resource Corporation engages in the exploration for and production of gold and silver in Mexico. The company also explores for copper, lead, and zinc. It holds interest in the El Aguila project comprising 10 mining concessions aggregating approximately 20,055 hectares located in the State of Oaxaca. The company also holds interests in the El Rey property covering approximately 2,773 hectares; Las Margaritas property that covers an area of approximately 925 hectares; Alta Gracia property comprising approximately 5,175 hectares; El Chamizo property; Solaga property that include 2 mining concessions totaling 618 hectares; and El Fuego property covering approximately 2,554 hectares. Gold Resource Corporation was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Gold Resource (NYSE: GORO) dropped 20.90% to $6.44. Gold Resource shares have dropped 63.35% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.18% in the same period.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We continue to recommend Newmont, [Coeur Mining (CDE)] and [Gold Resource Corp. (GORO)] as large cap, silver and small cap picks, respectively.

    Sterne Agee’s comments come one day after Ned Davis Research upgraded the gold sector to Neutral from Underweight. “…gold miners look to be finally bottoming,” John Laforge and Waren Pies wrote, though they say it’s too early to know if a new uptrend has begun.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Gold and silver miner Gold Resource (NYSEMKT: GORO  ) announced yesterday its June monthly distribution of $0.03 per share, the same rate it's paid for the past two months after it cut the payout in half from $0.06 per share due to precious metal price volatility.�

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Lazard LTD. (LAZ)

Lazard Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm. The company�s Financial Advisory segment offers various advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic matters, as well as on restructurings, capital structure, capital raising, and other financial matters. Its Asset Management segment provides investment solutions and investment management services in equity and fixed income strategies; and alternative investments and private equity funds. The company serves corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships, and individual clients. It operates from 42 cities across 27 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central and South Americas. Lazard Ltd. was founded in 1848 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Value investor John Rogers (Trades, Portfolio) recommends JM Smucker (SJM), Bally Tech (BYI) and Lazard (LAZ).
    Also check out: John Rogers Undervalued Stocks John Rogers Top Growth Companies John Rogers High Yield stocks, and Stocks that John Rogers keeps buying
    Currently 0.00/512345

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes)

Best Tech Stocks To Buy For 2014: Legacy Oil + Gas Inc (LEGPF.PK)

Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. (Legacy) is engaged in exploration, exploitation and development drilling for oil and natural gas reserves. Legacy's wholly owned subsidiary, Legacy Oil & Gas ND, Inc., holds properties and operates in the State of North Dakota. Its Southeast Saskatchewan properties are located in an area ranging from approximately 130 to 290 kilometers southeast of the city of Regina, Saskatchewan. Legacy has an average working interest of approximately 75% in 24,576 gross (18,647 net) acres of undeveloped land at Taylorton. It has an average working interest of approximately 70% in 32,959 gross (22,938 net) acres of undeveloped land in the Viewfield Bakken play with properties at Stoughton, Heward and Star Valley. On January 1, 2011, it amalgamated with its wholly owned subsidiaries Legacy VRI Ltd. and Legacy TV Ltd. In April 2013, it closed the acquisition of Villanova Oil Corp. (Villanova) and the acquisition of light oil assets. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Value Digger]

    To open up new Cardium opportunities, Manitok is also expanding to the Southern Alberta Foothills, where it plans to drill the first well of the farm-in with Legacy Oil & Gas (LEGPF.PK) before year end. Legacy Oil has a 99% average working interest in the Farm-in Lands prior to Manitok earning. Manitok will pay 100% of the cost to drill, complete and equip one horizontal Cardium oil well in order to earn 70% of Legacy's working interest, in a small block of land within the Farm-in Lands. If Manitok drills, completes and equips 3 horizontal Cardium oil wells at 100% of the cost, it will earn the entire 70% of working interest in Legacy's Farm-in Lands.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Synopsys Inc (SNPS)

Synopsys, Inc., incorporated in 1986, is engaged in providing technology solutions used to develop electronics and electronic systems. It supplies the electronic design automation (EDA) software that engineers use to design, create prototypes for and test integrated circuits, also known as chips. It also supplies software and hardware used to develop the systems that incorporate integrated circuits and the software that runs on those integrated circuits. Its intellectual property (IP) products are pre-designed circuits that engineers use as components of larger chip designs rather than redesigning those circuits themselves. It also provides technical services to support its solutions and it help its customers develop chips and electronic systems. Its products and services are organized into four groups: Core EDA (which includes the Galaxy Design Platform, the Discovery Verification Platform and its Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) design products); IP and System-Level Solutions; Manufacturing Solutions and Professional Services. In July 2012, it acquired Ciranova. In October 2012, it acquired EVE. On November 30, 2012, the Company acquired SpringSoft. In February 2014, Synopsys Inc completed the acquisition of Target Compiler Technologies.

On September 2, 2010, the Company acquired Virage Logic Corporation. In October 2010, the Company acquired Optical Research Associates. In September 2011, the Company acquired nSys Design Systems Private Limited (nSys). In October 2011, the Company acquired Extreme DA. In January 2012, the Company acquired ExpertIO, Inc. In February 2012, the Company acquired Magma Design Automation Inc.

Core EDA products

The Company offers a number of Core EDA products to address the process. Its Core EDA products fall into the suites, which included the Galaxy Design Platform, which includes tools to design an integrated circuit; the Discovery Verification Platform, which includes tools to verify that an integrated circuit behaves! as intended, and the FPGA design products. Its Galaxy Design Platform provides its customers with a single, integrated chip design solution, which includes individual products and incorporates common libraries and consistent timing, delay calculation and constraints throughout the design process. The platform allows designers the flexibility to integrate internally-developed and third-party tools. With this advanced functionality, common foundation and flexibility, its Galaxy Design Platform reduces design times; decrease integration costs and minimize the risks inherent in advanced, integrated circuit designs. Its products span both digital and analog/mixed-signal designs.

The products included in the Galaxy Design Platform are the IC Compiler physical design solution, Design Compiler logic synthesis product, Galaxy Custom Designer physical design solution for analog/mixed-signal designs, PrimeTime/PrimeTime SI timing analysis products, StarRC product for extraction, and the Hercules and IC Validator physical verification product family. The Lynx Design System is a production-ready chip implementation environment that combines a Galaxy-based design flow, graphical user interface (GUI)-based runtime automation, design metrics capture and reporting, and utilities that automate the configuration of pre-validated foundry data. The Lynx Design System helps customers improve their productivity and optimally deploy Synopsys tools and methodologies.

The Company�� Discovery Verification Platform is an integrated portfolio of functional, analog/mixed-signal, formal and low-power verification products. The platform includes its simulation and verification products and design-for-verification methodologies, and provides a consistent control environment to help improve the speed, breadth and accuracy of its customers��verification efforts. The Discovery Verification Platform�� components support industry standards and span both digital and analog/mixed-signal designs. The principa! l product! s included in the Discovery Verification Platform are the VCS comprehensive RTL verification solution, Formality formal verification sign-off solution, NanoSim FastSPICE circuit simulation and analysis product, high-speed interface module (HSIM) hierarchical FastSPICE circuit simulation and analysis product, HSPICE circuit simulator, and CustomSim circuit simulation solution. FPGAs are chips that can be customized or programmed to perform a specific function after they are manufactured.

Intellectual Property (IP) and System-Level Solutions

Synopsys is a provider of high-quality, silicon-proven IP solutions for system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The broad DesignWare IP portfolio includes high quality solutions for widely used interfaces such as universal serial bus (USB), PCI Express, double data rate (DDR), Ethernet, serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI). In addition, Synopsys offers analog IP for high-definition video, analog-to-digital data conversion and audio. With its recent acquisition of Virage Logic Corporation, we added embedded memories, including static random access memory (SRAMs) and non-volatile memory, logic libraries, embedded test and repair IP and configurable processor cores, to its IP portfolio.

Synopsys has a portfolio of tools, models and services for the system-level design of SoCs. Primary system-level products include Platform Architect for architectural optimization, SPW and System Studio for algorithm design, Processor Designer for custom processor design, and Synphony Model and C Compiler for High Level Synthesis. In addition to these tools for the system-level design of SoCs, its portfolio includes prototyping tools for hardware verification, software development and hardware-software integration. With FPGA-based prototyping systems (HAPS), designers can speed embedded software development by three to six months with near real runtime speeds and real world interfaces, such as its pre-t! ested Des! ignWare IP components. The HAPS hardware systems are a modular, scalable and accurate way to model a chip. Its virtual prototyping solutions enable software engineers to start SoC and application software up to twelve months before traditional methods.

Manufacturing Solutions

The Company�� Manufacturing Solutions products and technologies address this problem by introducing manufacturability and yield considerations early in the design process, thereby improving yields. Some of its Manufacturing Solutions address mask-making and yield enhancement of very small-geometry integrated circuits, as well as high-level modeling of physical effects within the integrated circuit. Its Manufacturing Solutions include the Technology-CAD (TCAD) device modeling products, Proteus OPC optical proximity correction (OPC) products, CATS mask data preparation product and yield management solutions, including odyssey and recipe manager and editor (RME), and yield explorer.

Professional Services and Training

Synopsys provides consulting and design services that address all phases of the SoC development process. These services assist Synopsys customers with new tool and methodology adoption, chip architecture and specification development, functional and low power design and verification, and physical implementation and signoff. It also provides a range of expert training and workshops on its latest tools and methodologies.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Anna Prior]

    Synopsys Inc.'s(SNPS) fiscal fourth-quarter profit nearly doubled on a top-line increase driven by growth in the company’s time-based license revenue. However, the company’s guidance for the current quarter came in below Wall Street expectations.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Tractebel Energia SA (TBLE3)

Tractebel Energia SA (Tractebel Energia) is a Brazil-based company involved in the energy sector. The Company is engaged in the generation and sale of electric power generated by its assets or acquired through near and long-term agreements. In addition, it provides online customer services to its customers. Tractebel Energia operates power plants in the Brazilian states of Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goias, Ceara, Piaui, Minas Gerais, Tocantins and Maranhao. The Company generates energy through hydroelectric power plants, thermoelectric plants, small hydroelectric power plants, wind farms and biomass fired power plants. The Company is controlled by GDF SUEZ Energy Latin America Participacoes Ltda. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Patricia Lara]

    The state-run water company�� market value rose to a record $11.1 billion at the end of last month, narrowing the gap to generator Tractebel Energia SA (TBLE3) to about $360.7 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That�� down from $1 billion at the end of last year and $3.89 billion at the start of 2012.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Ambassadors Group Inc. (EPAX)

Ambassadors Group, Inc. provides educational travel experiences and online education research materials worldwide. Its Ambassador Programs and Other segment offers educational travel services to students and professionals. The company�s BookRags segment provides online research in the form of book summaries, critical essays, study guides, lesson plans, film summaries, biographies, literary criticisms, and references to encyclopedia articles. It offers People to People Ambassador Programs for the development and conducting of programs to grade school and high school students; and for the development, marketing, and operation of programs for professionals, college students, and athletes. The company also provides People to People Student Ambassador Programs, which offer educational opportunities for grade school, middle school, and high school students to visit foreign destinations to learn about the history, government, economy, and culture of such countries, as well as pr ovides educational and entertaining travel experience. In addition, it offers People to People Sports Ambassador Programs; and People to People Leadership Summit and World Leadership Forum Programs that provide domestic travel experiences for grade school, middle school, and high school students emphasizing leadership, community involvement, and government education. The company also offers People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs, which provide professionals to travel abroad to meet and exchange ideas with foreign citizens. In addition, it offers Discovery Student Adventures, a teacher recruited student travel program that provides opportunities for grade school, middle school, and high school students to visit destinations emphasizing adventure and scientific exploration. Further, the company operates, an educational Website. Ambassadors Group, Inc. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Spokane, Washington.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By CRWE]

    Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:EPAX), a leading provider of educational travel experiences, reported that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share, which will be paid on June 7, 2012 to all common shareholders of record on May 24, 2012.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: BlackRock Muniyield Michigan Quality Fund II Inc (MYM)

BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Quality Fund II, Inc. (the Fund), formerly BlackRock MuniYield Michigan Insured Fund II, Inc., is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund seeks to provide shareholders with as high a level of current income exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes as is consistent with its investment policies and prudent investment management by investing primarily in a portfolio of long-term municipal obligations the interest on which, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, is exempt from federal and Michigan income taxes.

The Fund�� allocation in long-term investments include transportation, hospital, lease revenue, sales tax, education and housing. BlackRock Advisors, LLC is the manager of the Fund.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    But now that markets have had time to react, a number of different opinions are surfacing about how important Detroit's bankruptcy is:

    Investment manager BlackRock said early this week that its analysts "anticipate the impact of the event will be much smaller than its size might indicate," calling Detroit "an idiosyncratic situation" and saying that therefore its analysts "do not anticipate a widespread systemic effect." UBS noted that "precedents that do exist would appear to favor holders of [general-obligation municipal] bonds backed by an unlimited property tax" in its argument that the bankruptcy shouldn't create big problems, also noting that muni-bond insurance companies cover almost 90% of Detroit's debt. Citigroup notes that "the magnitude of Detroit's economic and financial problems dwarfs those of any other large local government in the U.S. by a wide amount" in arguing that muni-bond yields aren't likely to rise too far. Taking the other side of the argument, muni-bond specialist Nuveen Asset Management believes that "municipal investors should now view all Michigan general-obligation bonds as having no greater standing than any other form of municipal obligations," reversing the general understanding that general-obligation bonds backed by broad powers to tax are inherently more secure than bonds with more limited sources of revenue backing them. Indeed, Michigan-specific muni-bond funds took much more serious hits over the week than the broad muni-bond market, with BlackRock MuniYield Michigan (NYSE: MYM  ) falling almost 5% since last Thursday and Nuveen Michigan Quality Income (NYSE: NUM  ) posting about a 4% loss. Analyst Meredith Whitney went a step further, predicting a wave of municipal bankruptcies resulting from Detroit's action. Yet after having cried wolf in late 2010 and having proven to be wrong in her expected 12-month timeline for massive defaults, Whitney has had her credibility questioned by many ex

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Healthcare Trust Of America Inc (HTA)

Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., incorporated on April 20, 2006, is a self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company�� primary business consists of acquiring, owning and operating its portfolio of medical office buildings and other healthcare-related facilities. Its portfolio is primarily concentrated within the United States metropolitan areas and located primarily on or adjacent to (within a 0.25 mile) the campuses of healthcare systems. As of December 31, 2012, the Company�� portfolio, including both the operating properties and those classified as held for sale, consisted of 214 medical office buildings and 24 other healthcare-related facilities, as well as two other real estate-related assets. As of December 31, 2012, the portfolio also consisted of approximately 10.9 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) with an average occupancy rate of 91%. On December 26, 2012, the Company acquired an on-campus medical office buildings (MOB) in Dallas, Texas. In September 2013, Healthcare Trust of America Inc acquired six on-campus medical office buildings located in South Florida.

During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company completed five new portfolio acquisitions and expanded one of its existing portfolios through the purchase of an additional medical office building. As of December 31, 2012, the Company�� total portfolio of properties maintained an average occupancy rate of approximately 91%. The Company's portfolio is diversified geographically, across 24 states. As of December 31, 2012, including both the Company�� operating properties and four buildings classified as held for sale, the Company had made 77 geographically diverse portfolio acquisitions, 63 of which are medical office properties, 12 of which are healthcare-related facilities (including four quality healthcare-related office properties), and two of which are other real estate-related assets.

The Company�� properties are primarily located on or adjacent to the cam! puses of healthcare systems in the United States, including Adventist Health Systems, Ascension Health, Banner Health System, Catholic Healthcare Partners, Catholic Healthcare West, Community Health Systems, HCA, Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. As of December 31, 2012, approximately 74% of the Company�� portfolio, based on GLA, is located on or adjacent to the campuses of such healthcare systems. In addition, approximately 40% of the Company�� off-campus portfolio is anchored by a healthcare system.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Finally, we looked at medical office REIT Healthcare Trust of America (HTA), where four insiders bought a total of $344,000 worth of shares after the stock crashed to its lowest level since January. Of note to us was Chairman and CEO Scott Peters, who bought 13,000 shares for $137,000 and CFO Kellie Pruitt, who bought 5,000 shares for $51,400. In addition to the stock low, InsiderScore notes that insiders made similar purchases in June.

  • [By Brad Thomas]

    For current investors, I still think the recent 10% price reduction still represents a premium valuation - of mispriced risk - and I would consider a rotation into a more risk-aligned healthcare REIT like Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) yielding 4.82% or Ventas, Inc. (VTR) yielding 3.47%. (See my HTA article here and my VTR article here).

  • [By Brad Thomas]

    He has undeniably delivered for his investors. In the space of 18 months, Mr. Schorsch has executed three transactions. He helped with the roadshow for Healthcare Trust of America (HTA), a non-traded REIT for which he served as broker-dealer and raised nearly $1 billion. He also listed American Realty Capital Trust (ARCT) for public trading and merged ARCT III with his own American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP). The three deals netted investors internal rates of return of 11%, 14% and 33%, respectively, according to company data. In the meantime, publicly traded shares of ARCP have increased 60% - to $16, from $10 - since last July.

  • [By Brad Thomas]

    REITs mentioned: (VTR), (OHI), (O), (DLR), (HCP), (HTA), (KIM), (FRT), (SPG), and (SKT).

    Note: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. As I have no knowledge of individual investor circumstances, goals, and/or portfolio concentration or diversification, readers are expected to complete their own due diligence before purchasing any stocks mentioned or recommended.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Amarin Corporation PLC(AMRN)

Amarin Corporation Plc, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing treatments for cardiovascular diseases. Its lead product candidate includes AMR101, a prescription grade omega-3 fatty acid, which is in second Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of high triglyceride levels in statin-treated patients who have mixed dyslipidemia. The company, formerly known as Ethical Holdings plc, was founded in 1989 and is based in Dublin, Ireland.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    Finally, Passport Capital's biggest closed stock positions included HollyFrontier�and eBay. Other closed positions of interest include Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN  ) and Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD  ) . Amarin stock has fallen roughly in half over the past year. The company is a late-stage cardiovascular-focused biotech enterprise, with a promising (and FDA-approved) drug to lower triglycerides, fish-oil-based Vascepa. It needs a big partner for Vascepa, though, and one likely suitor recently bought a competitor instead. Meanwhile, the FDA has scheduled an October meeting about the drug, for which Amarin is seeking expanded approval.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Stocks on the Move: Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) is down 21.4% at $4.25. SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) is up 23% at $47.16 on a higher forecast for 2014. Amarin Corp. plc (NASDAQ: AMRN) is down 20.1% at $5.09.

10 Best Safest Stocks To Buy For 2014: Dean Foods Company(DF)

Dean Foods Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and beverage company in the United States. It operates in two segments, Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar and WhiteWave-Alpro. The Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment manufactures, markets, and distributes various branded and private label dairy case products, including cream, ice cream mix, and ice cream novelties; creamers and other extended shelf life fluids; yogurt, cottage cheeses, sour creams, and dairy-based dips; fruit juices, fruit-flavored drinks, iced teas, and water; half-and-half and whipping creams; and items for resale, such as butter, cheese, eggs, and milk shakes. This segment sells its dairy case products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions, and governmental entities. The WhiteWave-Alpro segment manufactures, develops, markets, and sells various branded dairy and dairy-related products, such as milk and other dairy products; organic dairy products; plant-based beverages, such as soy, almond, and coconut milks; and soy food products, coffee creamers, and creamers and fluid dairy products. It also provides branded soy-based beverages and food products in Europe under the Alpro and Provamel brands. This segment sells its products to various customers, including grocery stores, club stores, natural foods stores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, drug stores, and foodservice outlets. The company was formerly known as Suiza Foods Corporation and changed its name to Dean Foods Company on December 21, 2001 as a result of merger between the former Dean Foods Company and Suiza Foods Corporation. Dean Foods Company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The milk producers are pushing the health aspects of their argument in that kids drinking more milk would be healthier. As the largest dairy producer, Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) , notes, while about half the sugar in flavored milk is from naturally occurring lactose, all the sugar in soda is added sugar. Of course soda is facing falling consumption levels, too, these days.

  • [By Pendulum]

    Best In Class Food Companies:

    Coca-Cola (KO)Pepsico (PEP)Mondelez (MDLZ)Kraft Foods (KRFT)General Mills (GIS)Kellogg (K)ConAgra Foods (CAG)Hershey (HSY)J.M. Smucker (SJM)McCormick (MKC)Dean Foods (DF)

    A few comments about this analysis:

  • [By Michael Lewis]

    Dairy pure-play Dean Foods (NYSE: DF  ) is flirting with its 52-week high after an encouraging earnings report released earlier this week. As it so often goes in special situations, investors deemed the company relatively uninteresting after a high profile spin-off of plant-based food segment WhiteWave (NYSE: WWAV  ) and divestiture of Morningstar -- purveyor of staples such as International Creamer. Skeptics cited declining milk consumption and heavy debt as detractors to the stock, but, post spin-off, Dean Foods is a cash-generating, inexpensive pick in an otherwise difficult sector. With the recent earnings report in mind, let's take a closer look.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Garmin reverses course as shares head north

Garmin International, the GPS navigation systems marketer once written off as competition from free smartphone apps threatened its core automotive business, continues to head higher on Wall Street.

Shares closed up 1.7% to $55.36 after touching six year highs earlier Wednesday, when Citigroup analyst Jeremy David issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $65 price target. Shares are now 70% from a 52-week high.

David sees continued gains on the promise of Garmin's new wearable Vivofit fitness bands. Priced at $130 to $170, Vivofits track calories, heart rate, distance and other health-related activities. The fitness band tracking market is competitive, with Fitbit, Jawbone and Fuelband competing for market share and computer chip giant Intel entering the market with the recent purchase of wrist-worn device maker Basis Science. Still, David believes Garmin is positioned to boost market share.

"We believe Garmin can become a top 2 player in the activity monitor market over the next six months,'' David says in a research note, noting a Fitbit recall of the Force fitness monitor creates a near-term opportunity.

"We believe retailers are likely to position Garmin's Vivofit as a substitute to Fitbit's Force," David says.

Garmin peaked at about $123 a share in September 2007 before bottoming below $15 in 2008, as sales of its ubiquitous navigation devices lost out to smart phone apps. Garmin has been making a comeback on stronger earnings and the rollout of new products, including cameras, aviation altimeters, electronic dog collars, fish locators and golf course mappers.

Gains in fitness, outdoor, marine and aviation sales helped offset a 3% decline in 2013 automotive sales, which still accounted for nearly half overall 2013 revenue.

Some stock analysts have been raising their price targets since mid-February, when CEO Cliff Pemble said 2014 results would be buoyed by the diversified products. Earlier this month, the company won a patent infringement case with Paci! ng Technologies.

Tweet Strauss@gbstrauss.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Enzon Pharmaceuticals Just Went from Good to Great (ENZN)

With just a quick glance at the company's recent news (or lack thereof), Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ENZN) doesn't look like anything all that special... or even trade-worthy. It only takes a brief look at the chart of ENZN, however, to conclude this stock - lack of new or not - has just become something trade-worthy, because the rest of the market has clearly started to fall back in love with it; there's no telling at what price the love affair could end.

For those not familiar, ENZN is a biopharma stock. Specifically, Enzon Pharmaceuticals drives revenue by collecting royalties on sales of drugs that were/are developed on its PEGylation platform. There are seven such drugs right now, though only three of the seven make up the lion's share of the company's total revenue. Still, compared to other small cap biotech stocks of its ilk and size, three revenue-bearing products is enviable, and revenue is relatively reliable. Perhaps more important, the company has been profitable for the past three quarters, even if sales have tapered off a bit. For perspective, Enzon - a $55 million outfit - drove $34.5 million in sales for the past four quarters, and turned $18.15 million of it into a profit. Not bad.

That's not the reason a newcomer would want to step into ENZN today, however. No, the reason a trader might be interested in taking on a position in Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. today is primarily the fact that this chart, after working on a rebound for months, is finally above key 200-day moving average line, clinching a buy signal. It's the most credible evidence we've seen yet that the stock has shrugged of months of weakness and is back in a bullish mode.

The daily chart of Enzon below tells the tale. After a couple of tries - and thanks to being able to use the 20-day moving average line (blue) as a springboard, ENZN punched through the 200-day moving average line (green) on Friday; there's nothing else left to hold it down. Better still, it made the move on very high volume, suggesting there's a lot of participation in the rally.

Best Low Price Stocks To Buy Right Now

To really put the reversal in perspective though, only a weekly chart of Enzon will do. It's here we can see that the floor at $0.89 was drawn (mentally) long ago. The stock just had to brush it for a third time a couple of months ago - and even dip a bit under it to really slough off the weak holders - before being able to begin the bigger recovery process. Since then, we've seen a ton of volume behind the recovery rally... enough to say that ENZN has the interest it needs to keep chugging.

What's most interesting about the beginning of a major rebound is that there hasn't been any news from, or even really about, the company in months. There's something going on though; nothing in the market happens on accident. Most likely, someone (or enough someones) know something or are certain enough about something that the news driving the current rally will materialize sooner or later. For speculators of small cap stocks, however, the time to act is now, because ENZN is rolling now.

Besides, the revenue and earnings numbers make sense. You could almost make the case that Enzon Pharmaceuticals, with a trailing P/E of 3.3 and a price/sales ratio of 1.4, is a value play.

For more trading ideas and insights like these, be sure to sign up for the free SmallCap Network newsletter. You'll get stock picks, market calls, and more, every day. Here's what you've missed recently.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crossovers, trucks beating cars in sales

DETROIT -- Trucks continue to outsell cars and that could be a good sign.

So far this year, cars account for 47.4% of U.S. sales, according to data from WardsAuto. Analyst Haig Stoddard forecasts light trucks will outsell cars for the foreseeable future.

"Going forward, if cars can stay below 50%, it's a good economic barometer," Stoddard said.

Pickup sales continue to rebound with the housing industry.

"As long as the economy keeps growing, pickups will be strong," Stoddard said.

And a seemingly insatiable appetite for crossovers is a sign that consumers have disposable income and are upgrading their purchase. Conversely cars tend to be the most affordable body style and get the best gas mileage, so their sales reflect a weaker economy or high gas prices.

The fallen status of cars represents a structural shift in the industry but perhaps not an ominous one.

Analysts say car sales are not declining because the offerings are poor. The consensus is today's cars — including the lineups from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler which are heavily weighted on trucks and utility vehicles — are the strongest and most competitive in years. Gone are the days when small cars from the Detroit Three were loss leaders to lure buyers to the brand in the hopes they would replace them with profitable models. And once Chrysler introduces a new 200, the domestics will all have credible midsize cars on the market.

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"We're always one gas shock away from people moving back to cars," said Erich Merkle, U.S. sales analyst for Ford.

When gas prices were high, small-car sales seemed unstoppable and accounted for almost 20% of the market in 2012. They fell to 19% last year and will dip another tenth of a percentage point this year, Stoddard forecasts. The shine has come off the segment because of lower gas prices.

The other upside to the current sales tr! end is that light trucks deliver the most profit, and Detroit's automakers are best poised to reap the benefits if they remain disciplined about keeping stocks in line so incentives don't undercut the bottom line.

Cars have historically outsold trucks. They accounted for 80% of the market in 1980. Then in 2001, the world tilted and light trucks (pickups and SUVs) broke the 50% barrier, capturing 51.2% of sales as urban cowboys bought pickups with no intention of putting them to work.

When the recession hit in 2008, affordability tilted the scale back in favor of cars. With signs of economic improvement in 2010, trucks were back on top. A spike in gas prices in 2011 gave cars a temporary edge before trucks once again regained dominance.

Automakers have worked to diversify their portfolios. Japanese automakers have added pickups, Detroit automakers have improved their cars. Everyone added crossovers of all sizes.

Further smoothing things out is the global nature of the auto industry. Ford, for example, is not as concerned when sales of the Focus dip in the U.S. because it is the top nameplate globally and enjoying savings from the huge economies of scale. And automakers have invested heavily in plants that make multiple vehicle types to quickly change the mix to meet changes in demand.

Even still, in the billion-dollar guessing game of forecasting buyers' auto tastes, automakers pore over data to understand what consumers are buying and why so they can better allocate limited resources to develop future products that will be a sales hit.

Weather has played havoc with U.S. auto sales so far this year, but buyers' preference for pickups, SUVs and crossovers over cars seems to be more than seasonal.

The F-Series pickups continue to be the best-selling vehicles in the U.S., but Jim Farley, Ford's head of global sales, said annual sales of about 700,000 pickups pales beside the 1.2 million utility vehicles that Ford sold globally last year.

All automakers continu! e to intr! oduce new crossovers, especially small ones. The number of nameplates has grown from 180 in 2000 to 370 today, Farley said. One in five vehicles sold around the world in 2018 will be an SUV or crossover, accounting for 14 million in global sales, forecasts IHS Automotive.

In the U.S., crossovers are at record market share of 25.5% and forecast to end the year with 27% of total light-duty vehicle sales, Stoddard said. Add traditional SUVs and these functional vehicles account for more than a third of U.S. sales.

Conversely, pickup sales have been on the decline this year and the segment represents less than 12% of the industry, down from about 12.3% at this time last year, said Merkle.

Midsize cars are taking an even bigger hit, with so many midsize crossovers to choose from. Midsize cars peaked at 21.6% of the market in 2012 but fell to 20% last year and are forecast to end the year at 19.5%, according to WardsAuto. Ford's Merkle said it appears sales are leveling off after several months of decline.

Large cars have remained steady at only 2% of the market, Stoddard said.

"I don't think cars are losing their luster," said Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive Consulting.

Smaller cars tend to be cyclical and influenced by economic factors, fuel prices, even housing starts, which creates more commuters. They are also seasonal. "Dodging potholes and getting through snow is not conducive to small car sales," Robinet said.



Top selling vehicles in the U.S. in February and their year-to-date increase/decrease

Detroit Free Press

1. Ford F-Series pickup, up 1% from a year ago.

2. Chevrolet Silverado pickup, down 15%.

3. Nissan Altima midsize car, up 9%.

4. Ram pickups, up 24%.

5. Toyota Camry midsize car, down 17%.

6. Toyota Corolla compact car/Matrix compact hatchback, up 1%.

7. Honda Accord midsize car, down 13%.

8. Ford Fusion midsize car, down 11%.

9. Ford Escape co! mpact cro! ssover, down 3%.

10. Chevrolet Cruze compact car, up 19%.

Five crossovers, four cars and one pickup round out the top 20.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Best Casino Companies For 2014

Best Casino Companies For 2014: MGM Resorts International(MGM)

MGM Resorts International, through its subsidiaries, primarily owns and operates casino resorts in the United States. The company?s resorts offer gaming, hotel, dining, entertainment, retail, and other resort amenities. It also owns and operates golf courses and a golf club. As of December 31, 2010, the company owned and operated 15 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi, and Michigan; and has 50% investments in 4 other casino resorts in Nevada, Illinois, and Macau. In addition, MGM Resorts International has an agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates a casino resort in Connecticut, to carry the ?MGM Grand? brand name. The company was formerly known as MGM MIRAGE and changed its name to MGM Resorts International in June 2010. MGM Resorts International was founded in 1986 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    Analysts at Ascendiant Capital initiated coverage of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) with a Buy rating and $33 price target. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $28.74 before reversing gains and closing the day at $28.31, down 0.28 percent.

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Sand Corp's successful resort operations have not only assigned it a narrow moat rating, but also positively positions the firm to receive casino licenses in countries like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, where gambling will be legalized in the near future. In fact, the company benefits from its market share in the Singapore duopoly, through the Marina Bay Sands resort venue. With 34% gaming taxes, compared to Macao's 39%, the Singapore operation is the company's fastest growing business segment, and will continue to drive excessive EBITDA margins of 53.6% until 2018, when the casino license expires. Additionally, the firm's market share in Asia sets it apart from ! competitors like MGM Resorts International (MGM) or Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. (MCRI)

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Friday, March 21, 2014

NHTSA performance on GM to get official audit

The federal Department of Transportation's inspector general's office will conduct an official audit of the performance of DOT's National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in the General Motors switch recall.

NHTSA has been the target of criticism from safety activists and some members of Congress for its handling of the GM recall. In particular, it has been questioned for having investigated early crashes and, according to GM's timelime, meeting with GM in 2007 on the results, but not forcing a recall at that time.

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Earlier this month, safety activist and former NHTSA head Joan Claybrook charged that the safety agency "failed to carry out the law" when it didn't force GM to fix the problem back then.

Claybrook asked in letters to the Secretary of Transportation and to the Department of Transportation inspector general that they launch an an investigation of "the failure of" NHTSA "to require the recall" earlier.

While an audit falls short of a full investigation, it will scrutinize the actions of the safety agency, which also has its own internal probe underway.

NHTSA said in a statement Friday that it is "constantly looking for ways to improve its efforts to better identify and remedy safety defects, including a due diligence review already underway regarding the recent GM recall.

"However, in response to various questions raised by Members of Congress, the Department of Transportation asked our Inspector General's Office to conduct an audit to provide a single, comprehensive review of NHTSA's work in this case. In the meantime, we remain focused on ensuring GM addresses its recall as quickly as possible for consumers and continuing our own aggressive investigation regarding the timing of their recall."

GM recalled 1.62 million cars worldwide last month because faulty ignition switches can shut off power to the front airbags.! GM says it knows of 31 crashes and 13 deaths linked to the fault. The recalled cars are the 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-07 Saturn Ion, 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 10 Gold Companies To Buy For 2014

Top 10 Gold Companies To Buy For 2014: NEW GOLD INC.(NGD)

New Gold Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, extraction, processing, and reclamation of mineral properties. The company primarily explore for gold, silver, and copper deposits. Its operating properties include the Mesquite gold mine in the United States; the Cerro San Pedro gold-silver mine in Mexico; and the Peak gold-copper mine in Australia. The company also has development projects, including the New Afton gold, silver, and copper project in Canada; and a 30% interest in the El Morro copper-gold project in Chile. The company was formerly known as DRC Resources Corporation and changed its name to New Gold Inc. in June 2005. New Gold Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

Advisors' Opinion:

    New Gold Inc. (NSYEMKT: NGD) completed its takeover of Rainy River Resources back in October. New Gold got 4 million ounces in a good jurisdiction (Ontario) and paid less than book value.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    January is nearing an end, and that means one thing: Gold miners will start announcing earnings. New Gold (NGD) will get things started on Feb 6, followed by Kinross Gold (KGC) on Feb. 12 and Goldcorp (GG) and Barrick Gold (ABX) on Feb. 13.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Hamed singles out Goldcorp (GG) and Yamana Gold (AUY) as two companies that have strong production growth, falling costs, declining capital obligations and less debt than competitors. New Gold (NGD), meanwhile, should have the lowest all-on costs in the group at $731 an ounce, but its capital spending is likely to notes, Hamed says. Hamed rates Goldcorp and Yamana Overweight, while New Gold is rated Equal Weight.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:! 014.html

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hot Medical Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Hot Medical Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Elite Pharmaceuticals Inc (ELTP)

Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Elite), incorporated on October 1, 1997, is a specialty pharmaceutical company principally engaged in the development and manufactures of oral, controlled-release products, using technology and the development and manufacture of generic pharmaceuticals. Elite has four products: Phentermine 37.5 milligram tablets, Methadone 10 milligram tablets, Lodrane D Immediate Release capsules and Hydromorphone Hydrochloride 8 milligram tablets. During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2012 (Fiscal 2011), the Company manufactured and sold Lodrane 24 and Lodrane 24D (the Lodrane Extended Release Products).

The Company has a pipeline of additional generic drug candidates under active development, including, without limitation, ELI-154, a once-a-day oxycodone product and ELI-216, an abuse resistant oxycodone product which utilizes the Company's propriety formulation for abuse resistant products utilizing the pharmacological approach (Elite's A buse Resistant Technology). ECR Pharmaceuticals (ECR), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hi-Tech Pharmacal, Inc. and the owner and marketer of the Lodrane Extended Release Products. Elite also purchased from Mikah Pharma LLC, an approved Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Naltrexone 50 milligram tablets.

For ELI-154, Elite has developed a once-daily oxycodone formulation using its technology. An investigational new drug application (IND) has been filed and Elite has completed two pharmacokinetic studies in healthy subjects that compared blood levels of oxycodone from dosing ELI-154 and the twice-a-day product that is on the market, OxyContin marketed in the United States by Purdue Pharma LP. ELI-216 utilizes the Company's abuse-deterrent technology that is based on a pharmacological approach. ELI-216 is a combination of a narcotic agonist, ox! ycodone hydrochloride, in a sustained-release formulation intended for use in patients with moderate to severe chronic pain, and an antagonist, naltrexone hydrochloride, formulat! ed to deter abuse of the drug. Products utilizing the pharmacological approach to deter abuse such as Suboxone, a product marketed in the United States by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Embeda, a product marketed in the United States by Pfizer, have been approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). ELI-216 demonstrates a euphoria-blocking effect when the product is crushed. Elite has developed ELI-154 and ELI-216 and retains the rights to these products.

The Company competes with Collegium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Purdue Pharma LP, Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Durect Corporation, Mylan Laboratories, Inc., Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Alkermes, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., Aptalis Pharma, Impax Laboratories, Inc., and Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Judging from the company it's keeping Green Automotive Co. (OTCMKTS:GACR) may have just made its way into the upper echelon of small cap stock opportunities. The electric car company joins Elite Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCBB:ELTP), Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB:AMBS), and only three other companies as's "Best 6 Stocks" for January of 2014. As one of the top information resources for investors - particularly in terms of information regarding small and micro cap stocks - being named among the site's top pick is an accolade for AMBS, ELTP, and GACR. Even more impressive is that Green Automotive Co. was the only consumer-goods name among those six. Amarantus Bioscience Holdings and Elite Pharmaceuticals are biotechnology names... an industry that can and often does attract a lot of attention just by the nature of the business. The other three names making the "Best 6" list were an energy explorer, a power-management technology manufacture! r, and pr! esc ription/medical food producer. For an electric car manufacturer to make the list speaks quite highly of GACR.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Exactly one month ago today I penned some bullish thoughts on Elite Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCBB:ELTP). If you're familiar with the company - or a regular reader of this site - then you may know why that sounds a little "off." See, at the time, ELTP shares were falling rather quickly, giving up all the gains they had made just a few days before. Almost needless to say, my premise was not a well received one. Let's just say I received some "colorful disagreements" by being optimistic about the biopharma company.

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, ELTP has shed (-8.01%) down -0.009 at $.101 with 4,629,899 shares in play thus far (ref. google finance Delayed: 1:00PM EDT September 16, 2013).

    Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc. previously reported the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ended June 30, 2013. Manufacturing and profit split revenues comprised almost all of Elite’s quarterly revenues and totaled $717k for the quarter, an increase of 41% from the prior year. This growth is attributed to the launch of two new products during the quarter, Phentermine 15mg and 30mg capsules, combined with strong year-on-year growth of the Elite’s Hydromorphone 8mg tablets and contract manufactured Methadone 10mg product lines.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Best Stocks To Buy Right Now

Best Stocks To Buy Right Now: 3M Company(MMM)

3M Company, together with subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company?s Industrial and Transportation segment offers tapes, coated and non-woven abrasives, adhesives, specialty materials, filtration products, energy control products, closure systems for personal hygiene products, acoustic systems products, and components and products that are used in the manufacture, repair, and maintenance of automotive, marine, aircraft, and specialty vehicles. Its Health Care segment provides medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, inhalation and transdermal drug delivery systems, dental and orthodontic products, health information systems, and food safety products. The company?s Display and Graphics offers optical film solutions for LCD electronic displays; computer screen filters; reflective sheeting for transportation safety; commercial graphics sheeting and systems; and mobile interactive solutions, includin g mobile display technology, visual systems products, and computer privacy filters. The company?s Consumer and Office segment provides office supply products, stationery products, construction and home improvement products, home care products, protective material products, certain consumer retail personal safety products, and consumer health care products. Its Safety, Security and Protection Services segment offers personal protection products, safety and security products, cleaning and protection products for commercial establishments, track and trace solutions, and roofing granules for asphalt shingles. The company?s Electro and Communications segment provides packaging and interconnection devices; fluids that are used in the manufacture of computer chips, and for cooling electronics and lubricating computer hard disk drives; high-temperature and display tapes; insulating materials, including tapes ! and resins; and related items. The company was founded in 1902 and is base d in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Yes, according to the folks at Morgan Stanley, who think the falling price of copper could hit General Electric (GE), and 3M (MMM), too.

    Bloomberg News

    As we all know by now, copper has fallen recently on concerns about China’s economic strength–its dropped 7% in March through Friday’s close and is down 12% this year. On first glance, that would appear to be good news for General Electric, 3M and Lennox International, which purchase a lot of copper, so would benefit from lower prices.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of General Electric dropped 1.6% to $25.34 today, while 3M (MMM) fell 1.3% to $130.81 and Danaher (DHR) declined 1.8% to $74.43. Shares of the Gap dipped 0.1% to $41.27, while Wal-Mart finished off 0.8% at $74.93.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    After last week’s record high, the S&P 500 looked poised for a breakout. Then reality took over, as Russian troops landed in Ukraine, world markets shuddered, and U.S. stocks followed suit thanks to drops in 3M (MMM), Visa (V) and Walt Disney (DIS).

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    As for 3M (MMM), I actually love this company. It's a great conglomerate that operates in many sectors, performs well, has been around forever, and is seeing gains in good places. While it struggles in emerging markets, it came in with a 4.5% organic growth in the EMEA region.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

An Easy Way to Make the IRS Contribute to Your Retirement

Top Financial Stocks To Buy Right Now

C5D9FG Worried about the taxes retirement couple paperwork man; woman; depressed; depression; utility; bills; bill; gas; electri Alamy Saving for retirement is tough, especially for those who have trouble making ends meet on a modest salary. But the federal government wants to help with a tax credit that's worth as much as $2,000 to eligible taxpayers who make contributions to qualifying retirement accounts. How the Savers Credit Works The Savers Credit is designed to help taxpayers below certain income limits reduce their tax bills or boost their refunds when they save for retirement. The credit applies to the first $2,000 you contribute to a retirement account, or $4,000 for joint filers. With a maximum credit amount of 50 percent, that means that singles can get a credit of as much as $1,000, while joint filers can collect up to $2,000. Just about every type of retirement account is eligible, including Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) plans, but also the 403(b) plans for school employees and those who work for tax-exempt organizations, as well as 457 plans for state and local government employees. The Technical Details The credit is available to single taxpayers with incomes up to $29,500 for contributions made for the 2013 tax year, and joint filers with incomes as high as $59,000. For tax year 2014, the eligibility thresholds rise by $500 for single filers and $1,000 for joint filers. The amount of the match depends on where your income falls within these limits. For single filers making up to $17,750 and joint filers with income up to $35,500, the Savers Credit will give you 50 cents for every $1 you contribute to a retirement plan or IRA. If you're single and earn between $17,750 and $19,250, or file jointly with income between $35,500 and $38,500, then you'll only get a 20 percent match on your contributions. And those above the upper end of that range who still qualify for the credit get a 10 percent match. For the 2014 tax year, each of those breakpoints goes up by $250 and $500 respectively for singles and joint-filing taxpayers. How the Savers Credit Works With Other Tax Benefits In addition, the Savers Credit doesn't take away any tax benefits of contributing to a retirement account. For instance, if you use a traditional IRA or 401(k) as your retirement-savings vehicle, then you'll still be entitled to the ordinary deduction for the amount you contribute on your tax return. It's not too late to take advantage of the Savers Credit for 2013. You have until April 15 to make an IRA contribution for the 2013 tax year, and if you do, you can claim the Savers Credit on the 2013 tax return that you're about to file. For 401(k) contributions and other employer plans, however, money needs to go in on or before Dec. 31 in order to qualify for a particular year's Savers Credit. The only problem with the Savers Credit is that it's a nonrefundable credit. That means if your tax liability is less than the amount of your entitled Savers Credit, you won't get the full credit. You also can't carry any unused credit forward to future years; if you can't use it all in that particular year, you lose what you don't use. Despite that shortcoming, the Savers Credit is still useful. By putting some extra money in your pocket, the IRS will make it worth your while to start putting money into a retirement account today. For more on the Savers Credit, check this page on the IRS website.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Top China Companies To Buy For 2014

Top China Companies To Buy For 2014: International Ltd.(CTRP) International, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides travel services for hotel accommodations, airline tickets, and packaged tours in the People?s Republic of China. It also sells independent leisure travelers bundled package-tour products, which include transportation and accommodation, as well as guided tours covering various domestic and international destinations. In addition, the company offers Internet-related advertising, aviation casualty insurance, and air-ticket delivery services. Further, it sells Property Management System, a hotel information software; travel guidebooks, which provide information for independent travelers; and VIP membership cards that allow cardholders to receive discounts from various restaurants, clubs, and bars. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People?s Republic of China.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Shutterstock/Andrey Burmakin Folks are turning to the Internet more and more in planning business trips and personal getaways -- and investors are cashing in on the trend. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) soared 18 percent last week after posting better than expected quarterly results. Revenue climbing 4 percent and profitability clocking in at 5 cents a share may not seem very impressive, but analysts were settling for the volatile travel portal to merely break even on flattish revenue growth. Strength in its hotel bookings were more than enough to offset weakness in airline reservations. Orbitz Worldwide's larger and faster-growing peers (PCLN) and Expedia (EXPE) went along for the ride, climbing 7 percent and 4 percent respectively. They both went on to hit new all-time highs. Seeing an industry laggard start to grow profitably again -- and Orbitz Worldwide is calling for modest co! ntinued growth into 2014 -- was enough to get the market behind the popular providers of lodging, air travel, car rental, cruise and vacation package reservations. This isn't just a one-week phenomenon. Priceline and Expedia shares have soared 174 percent and 171 percent since the end of 2011. Orbitz Worldwide has also more than doubled in that time, and it's up a whopping 223 percent since the start of 2013. The Ins and Outs of Inn Outings Orbitz Worldwide's report would have been better if it wasn't held back by an 11 percent decline in airline ticket sales. Priceline and Expedia are growing their airfare sales, but modestly, compared to their hotel reservations. This isn't a surprise. Airlines have done a good job of marketing directly to passengers. There are a lot of people on frequent flyer programs, so they often head directly to an air carrier's website when it's time to book a trip. Pricing is also pretty competitive between airlines. There may not be a lot of carriers offering the desired route, but they are quick to respond to what rivals are doing. Th

  • [By Yiannis Mostrous] International (CTRP)

    With a 48% market share, holds the crown as China's leading online travel agency, offering a one-stop shop for booking hotels, flights, and packaged tours.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Friday, March 14, 2014

3D NAND: Are You Ready for a Boom?

The 3D NAND industry is poised to take off. In a research report issued last month, TechNavio said that the rising flash-storage needs at practical price points will compel enterprise clients to increasingly adopt 3D NAND drives. This will expand the 3D NAND industry by compound annual rate of 180.7% between 2013-2018, the report says. Let's understand why we're shifting to 3D NAND, and how you can profit from it. 

Why 3D NAND?
The manufacturing cost of flash memory is directly proportional to its die size. Since the introduction of flash memory, manufacturers have been shrinking their fabrication process. This allows more transistors to be crammed in the same die area, thereby increasing chip density at practically no extra cost.

But the laws of physics are playing a spoiler. We're nearing a scaling limit, which essentially means that memory manufacturers can't shrink their fabrication process any further without a trade-off with economic feasibility. In simple terms, there isn't much room to increase the chip density of planar NAND modules.

Toshiba explained the possibilities of 3D NAND technology back in 2007. These flash modules are comprised of vertically stacked NAND strings, which save precious die area and allow more transistors to be stuffed in. Consequently, this boosts the chip density at practical price points. 

Prime beneficiaries
Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) understood the potential of 3D NAND technology, and it began the mass production of its V-NAND drives in July last year. 

In its presentation, the consumer tech goods giant explained that its 40nm 3D NAND process had an equivalent lithography of 10nm planar NAND modules. Crossbar estimates that using 20nm 3D NAND process will produce an equivalent lithography of 5nm planar NAND, thereby allowing Samsung to breach the scaling limit. 

Considering that Samsung has a technological head start, it will be able to debug known issues with 3D NAND drives before any of its competitors. This, in turn, will contribute in improving its V-NAND fabrication yields and result in gains from economies of scale.

SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK  ) is another formidable competitor here. The pure-play flash-memory manufacturer is working with Toshiba to introduce its own iteration of 3D NAND modules, known as BiCS. As per the agreement, about 49% of the total NAND output goes to SanDisk. 

According to TrendForce, BiCS modules have already gone through their rigorous testing and sampling phase. And to mass-produce these modules, Toshiba is expanding its Fab-5. The research firm estimates that the manufacturing facility will commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2014. 

An indifferent peer
Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC  ) , however, seems to be unaffected by this 3D NAND mania. Though the memory giant manufactures planar NAND drives, it has no intention of venturing into the 3D NAND space -- at least not yet. The company is betting on helium-filled hard drives to capture the enterprise-scale storage industry. 

This indifferent approach will create an entry barrier for Western Digital later on.

IHS estimates that 3D NAND market share is poised to surge from less than 1% currently to 49.8% in 2016. Western Digital will miss out on this explosive growth.  Plus, Western Digital will have to compete fiercely to dislodge established 3D NAND products from Samsung and SanDisk later on. Moreover, as the price per gigabyte falls with the maturing 3D NAND industry, enterprise clients will increasingly adopt flash drives. This, in turn, will harm Western Digital's hard-drive business.

Therefore, it is vitally important for Western Digital to enter into the 3D NAND segment.

Foolish final thoughts
The prospects of 3D NAND definitely look good on paper. Actual growth, however, will depend on how well these chips perform against the 2D NAND chips. Investors might want to keep a close eye on upcoming benchmarks and adjust their portfolios accordingly.

Three ways to profit from the shift to the cloud
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hot Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2015

Hot Biotech Stocks To Buy For 2015: StemCells Inc (STEM)

StemCells, Inc. (StemCells), incorporated in August 1988, is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics and related tools and technologies for academia and industry. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing stem and progenitor cells as the basis for therapeutics and therapies, and cells and related tools and technologies to enable stem cell-based research and drug discovery and development. The Company's primary research and development efforts are focused on identifying and developing stem and progenitor cells as potential therapeutic agents. The Company has two therapeutic product development programs, including its CNS Program, which is developing applications for HuCNS-SC cells, its human neural stem cell product candidate, and its Liver Program, which is characterizing the Company's human liver cells as a therapeutic product.

CNS Program

The Company in its CNS Program, is in cli nical development with its HuCNS-SC cells for a range of disorders of the central nervous system. The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord and eye. In February 2012, the Company had completed a Phase I clinical trial in Pelizeaus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), a fatal myelination disorder in the brain.

The Company's CNS Program is focused on developing clinical applications, in which transplanting HuCNS-SC cells protect or restore organ function of the patient before such function is irreversibly damaged or lost due to disease progression. The Company's initial target indications are PMD, and more generally, diseases in which deficient myelination plays a central role, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury, disorders in which retinal degeneration plays a central role, such as age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. The Company'! s product candidate, HuCNS-SC cells, is a purified and expanded composition of normal human neural stem cells. Its HuCNS-SC cells can be directly transp! lanted.

Liver Program

Liver stem or progenitor cells offer an alternative treatment for liver diseases. A liver cellular therapy or cell-based therapeutic provide or support liver function in patients with liver disease. The Company held a portfolio of issued and allowed patents in the liver field, which cover the isolation and use of both hLEC cells and the isolated subset, as well as the composition of the cells themselves.

The Company's range of cell culture products, which are sold under the SC Proven brand, includes iSTEM, GS1-R, GS2-M, RHB-A, RHB-Basal, NDiff N2, and NDiff N2B27. Its iSTEM is a serum-free, feeder-free medium that maintains mouse embryonic stem cells in their pluripotent ground state by using selective small molecule inhibitors to block the pathways, which induce differentiation. RHB-A is a defined, serum-free culture medium for the selective culture of human and mouse neural stem cells and their maintenance a nd expansion as adherent cell populations. RHB-Basal is a defined, serum-free basal medium. When supplemented with specific growth factors, this media is formulated for the propagation and differentiation of adherent neural stem cells. RHB-Basal can also be tailored to specific-cell type requirements by the addition of customer preferred supplements.

The Company's NDiff N2 is a defined serum-free scell culture supplement for the derivation, maintenance, expansion and/or differentiation of human and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and tissue-derived neural stem cells supplement. Its NDiff N2-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N2. Its NDiff N2B27 is a defined, serum-free medium for the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells to neural cell types. NDiff N27-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N27. Its GS1-R ! is a seru! m-free media formulation shown to enable the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent rat embryonic stem cells without the add! ition of ! cytokines or growth factors. Its GS2-M is a defined, serum- and feeder-free medium for the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent mouse iPS cells.

The Company also markets a number of antibody reagents for use in cell detection, isolation and characterization. These reagents are also under the SC Proven brand and it includes STEM24, STEM101, STEM121 and STEM123. Its STEM24 is a human antibody that recognizes human CD24, also known as heat stable antigen (HSA), a glycoprotein expressed on the surface of many human cell types, including immature human hematopoietic cells, peripheral blood lymphocytes, erythrocytes and many human carcinomas. Its CD24 is also a marker of human neural differentiation. Its STEM101 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes the Ku80 protein found in human nuclei. Its STEM121 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes a cytoplasmic protein of human cells. Its STEM123 is a human-specific mouse an tibody that recognizes human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP).

The Company's Other products marketed under SC Proven include total cell genomic DNA (gDNA), RNA and protein lysate reagents purified from homogenous stem cell populations for intra-comparative studies, such as Epigenetic fingerprinting, Southern, Western and Northern blots, PCR, RT-PCR and microarrays. This range of purified stem cell line lysates includes mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells propagated in SC Proven 2i inhibitor-based GS2-M media and mouse ES cell-derived and fetal tissue-derived neural stem (NS) cells propagated in SC Proven RHB-A media.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Udovich]

    The results of a recent Pew Center Poll regarding attitudes towards abortion and various forms of stem cell research could be a good sign for the stem cell industry along! with sma! ll cap stem cell stocks like StemCells Inc (NASDAQ: STEM), NeoStem Inc (NASDAQ: NBS), Neuralstem, Inc (NYSEMKT: CUR), International Stem Cell Corp (OTCMKTS: ISCO) and BioRestorative Therapies (OTCBB: BRTX). Basically, Americans think that having an abortion is a moral issue with 49% of American adults believing abortion is morally wrong, 23% view it not as a moral issue and and 15% view it as morally acceptable. However and when Americans were asked about issues surrounding human embryos, such as stem cell research or in vitro fertilization, as a matter of morality, their views were different.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    When an investor thinks of spinal-related stem cell stocks, usually a name like Neuralstem, Inc (NYSEMKT: CUR) or StemCells Inc (NASDAQ: STEM) comes to mind. And well they should. STEM has logged some amazing breakthroughs in the field of spinal cord repair, while CUR has done the same. Not all back problems are spinal cord related though. In fact, most back problems - and therefore the most opportunity - are bone and disc related problems. That's where a young gun like BioRestorative Therapies (OTCBB: BRTX) can step in and make stem cell waves. BRTX has developed an approach to rejuvenate and revive failing spinal discs, potentially ending pain for millions of back-pain sufferers, and circumventing expensive spinal surgeries that are in increasing burden on insurance companies.

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015

Top Blue Chip Stocks To Buy For 2015: Apple Inc.(AAPL)

Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Analysts at Pacific Crest upgraded Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) from "sector perform" to "outperform." The target price for Apple is set to $635.

    Apple's shares gained 0.60% to $534.12 in pre-market trading.

  • [By Douglas A. McIntyre]

    Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has created a five day, five night iTunes music festival which will run for the five days of SXSW. It will run from March 11 to March 15.  The event will be free to iTune users.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Getty Images/Bloomberg/Gianluca Colla Companies can make brilliant moves, but there are also times when things don't work out q! uite as planned. From a CEO busted for spying on a larger rival to a satellite television provider raising the bar, here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders in the business world. DISH Network (DISH) -- Winner In a deal with bigger implications than you may initially think, Disney (DIS) is giving DISH Network rights to stream live and on-demand shows from ABC, Disney and ESPN. This is a truly mobile service, opening the door for DISH to begin offering a standalone Web-based service. A lot of bigger companies than DISH have tried to talk major networks and broadcasters into similar arrangements, only to be shot down. DISH succeeded because it had a bargaining chip in its ad-skipping Hopper DVR technology. DISH agreed that users of the streaming service wouldn't be able to zap through the commercials for newer Disney shows. Modell's Sporting Goods -- Loser Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) is filing a complaint in a New Jersey court after it caught Mitchell Modell -- CEO of rival Modell's -- spying on it. The lawsuit claims that Modell posed as a Dick's executive to gain access to private areas and learn business techniques at Dick's. If the allegations hold up, Modell's behavior was at the very least unethical, not to mention ironic -- a sporting goods chain's helmsman resorting to such unsportsmanlike conduct. Wouldn't it have been easier to just hire a Dick's executive? Zillow (Z) -- Winner Speaking of the right way to pry away information from a competitor, Zillow announced on Wednesday night that it was bringing on a key executive from parent Move (MOVE). A new position of chief industry development officer is being created for Errol Samuelson, who previously served as president of and Move's chief strategy officer. The beautiful thing about prying away a key employee from another

  • source from Top Stocks Blog:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

John Mauldin's Outside the Box - Notes to the FOMC

Top 10 Canadian Stocks To Buy For 2015

Notes to the FOMC

John Mauldin

February 19, 2014

Janet Yellen, the new Fed chair, has her admirers and her detractors. One unabashed admirer is my good friend David Zervos, Jefferies' chief market strategist, who during the past several months has taken to hollering "Dammit Janet, I love you!" He was at it again yesterday:

Last week was certainly a week for the lovers. Q's broke to new cyclical highs, spoos moved to within just a few points of all time record highs, and Friday was St. Valentine's day! It was all about LOVE, LOVE and LOVE! But for those folks still hiding out in the HATER camp – those who probably spent Friday evening watching Blue Valentine, War of the Roses or Scenes from Marriage – last week must have felt more like a St Valentine's day massacre. These folks, and their econometrically deceitful overlay charts of 1927-1929 vs 2012-2014, were shredded by our new goddess of pleasure, beauty, love and of course easy money – Janet "Aphrodite" Yellen. She gave the haters a taste of the Hippolyos treatment!! And once again it was a triumph of love over hate!!

Janet delivered the perfect message for markets. Her focus on underemployment was unquestionable. Her commitment to eradicate joblessness via the power of monetary policy was also unwavering. And for anyone who thought she would be hawkish, or even middle of the road, this speech was a wake up call. The reality is that we are dealing with a die-hard Keynesian dove! It's really not that complicated.

That said some folks seem to think the rally was mostly a function of the data. Weak ISM, payrolls, retail sales and IP were apparently the drivers of a 5 percent rally off the lows. Pullease!! That is preposterous. The reality is the market was jittery (and downright freaky) into the Fed chairmanship transition. Risk was pared back by folks who began to incorrectly price in a surprise from Janet! And leverage induced illiquidity created an overshoot to the downside. Weak hands sold, and all the usual haters came out of their bunkers to once again warn of impending doom. But as per the norm, their day in the sun was short-lived. The dust has settled and the haters lost again! Love is in the air my friends, and we owe a great deal of thanks to our new goddess of easy money. Dammit Janet, I love you! Good luck trading.

Take note of this phrase: "the new Goddess of Easy Money." It is now in the lexicon. I wonder how many virgins will be sacrificed to this new deity. (Just kidding, Janet!)

Now, David is not above having a bit of fun in his always-entertaining commentaries, but for a somewhat more substantial take on the opening of the Yellen era, I suggest we turn to John Hussman (Trades, Portfolio). I wouldn't call John a Yellen detractor, exactly, but he is certainly inclined to take the Fed down a notch or three. Check out these zingers:

While we all would like to see greater job creation and economic growth, there is little demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship between the Fed's actions and the outcomes it seeks, other than provoking speculation in risk-assets by depriving investors of safe yield….

[T]he "dual mandate" of the Federal Reserve is much like charging the National Weather Service to balance the frequency of sunshine versus rainfall….

The FOMC should be slow to conclude that monetary policy is what ended the credit crisis…. The philosophy seems to be "If an unprecedented amount of ineffective intervention is not sufficient, one must always do more."

At present, U.S. equity valuations are about double their norms, based on historically reliable measures.

The primary beneficiary of QE has been equity prices, where valuations are strenuously elevated. QE essentially robs the elderly and risk-averse of income, and encourages a speculative reach for yield.

I think John would agree with me that the current economic theory driving our monetary policy is both inadequate and outdated. Is it any wonder that he concludes that monetary policy as it is practiced today is simply part of the problem? It is as if we are trying to fly a 747 using the knowledge and skills we learned while driving a car, and all the while looking in the rearview mirror. (Do those things have rearview mirrors?)

Continue reading here.

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