Friday, May 27, 2016

Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors Says S&P 500 to 2300 by Year End on Bond Catch-up Trade

Makes some historical sense at least.
The strategist marshals some historical stats to make his point.
He points out that since 1985, high-yield bonds have posted double-digit gains in 15 separate years. In 14 of those 15 years, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) has risen more than 10 percent; in the remaining year, 1992, stocks rose 8 percent. 
Sounds like a rally coming up unless the FED smashes it with their stupid rate rises.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Facinating how stock ownership has changed over the years

This is one very interesting chart.
Of the $22.8 trillion in stock outstanding (not including US ownership of foreign stock and stock owned by "pass-through entities" such as exchange-traded funds), retirement accounts owned roughly 37%, the most of any type of holder.
One this that has been a night-and-day change is taxable investment accounts aka brokerage accounts
Rosenthal and Austin's main focus was the precipitous decline of taxable investment accounts. In 50 years, the amount of stock owned by individual investors and funds outside retirement and nontaxable accounts such as 529 college-savings plans has dropped off a cliff — to about 25% in 2015 from over 80% in 1965.
I think this reflects some of the apprehension of owning stocks directly. It is much easier to buy a mutual fund or an S&P500 Index Fund then it is picking ones own stocks. This would be bad news for ETrade and other brokers. Luckily they are more diversified and provide different kinds of services all at once.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sports Authority to Close all Stores: Dick's Sporting Goods Come to Hawaii! You will be the Market Leader on Landing

It seems that instead of some sort of debt work-out Sports Authority is closing everything.
Sports Authority, the once-mighty sporting goods chain that filed for bankruptcy protection in March, now plans to close all its 450 remaining stores, where going-out-of-business sales will start before Memorial Day.

A group of liquidators that offered the winning bid for the debt-ridden company’s assets at Monday’s bankruptcy auction will sell off remaining merchandise in going-out-of-business sales at stores not already in the process of closing, according to a filing in bankruptcy court in Delaware.
So that means the entire Hawaii market is open to a big box sporting goods retailer. I know many people buy things at Sports Authority because whenever I went there I noticed quite a few people even during weekdays. I know I have bought several bulky things that I would never buy online like weight lifting weights and gym bags. Quite a bit of their merchandise will probably be safe from Amazon because who is going to buy a gun safe or running shoes online?

So if Dick's sporting goods was smart they would just take over the leases at those Sports Authority's and thus take over the Hawaii market in one shot. I know Dick's are a pretty good retailer because I owned their stock a few years ago and I researched them fairly well. 

In fact they might be a good stock to get back into because they have very few competitors left and that Amazon-proof nature I talked about above. They recently guided downward because of Sports Authority cratering and offering those fire-sale prices. But that is a couple quarter overhang at best.    

Super Crossover Planned for December for Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow

I'm hoping it is called Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The CW announced that its four DC Comics superhero shows will come together for a special crossover episode in December.
CW President Mark Pedowitz alluded to the idea of the universes of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and the newly acquired Supergirl coming together in a crossover which he called "our biggest ever."
"Just imagine what our superhero crossover episode is going to look like come December," he said.
Have them face the Anti-monitor and Barry has to give his life to save the universe. It would be a great cliffhanger and a way to bring all the universes together into one. Then have Flash be the search for Barry to see if they can bring him back from the dead.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Great No One Vetted Bernie Sanders' Wife Running Burlington College into the Groud?

This is the kind of thing that should have been done months ago.
Burlington College said its financial troubles are linked to Jane Sanders’ 2010 purchase of 32 acres of lakefront property, part of a botched expansion. The college was placed on academic probation in 2014 by its accrediting agency and faced cash-flow problems due to the imminent loss of a line of credit, the Washington Post’s Nick Anderson reports. To survive, the school has tried to sell land but it wasn’t enough to remain solvent.
I feel bad for the kids going to that college. They probably had no say in buying lakefront property to expand the college and they now have to scramble due to this woman's mismanagement. Of course with every endeavor by the wives/husbands of the well connected we have some cronyism.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in January that, when Jane Sanders was president, the college also enrolled students at a woodworking school run by her daughter and spent more than half a million dollars on the endeavor, which ended not long after she left.
Whats $500k among relatives?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lying Pastor that Claimed Whole Foods Put a Slur on a Cake Should Be Fired from the Church of Open Doors

This is the work of a sociopath pure and simple.

Jordan Brown, an openly gay pastor at Austin's Church of Open Doors, is now reversing those claims — and dropping a lawsuit he filed against Whole Foods — after the company threatened a countersuit, The New York Times reports.

In a statement on Monday, Brown said:

The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story. I want to apologize to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company's commitment to its values, and especially the bakery associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions.

He cast aspersions on that company and probably almost got some bakery associate fired for reasons unknown. Did he think Whole Foods would just settle out of court and he would get a big check? Was he trying to promote some strange personal brand against hated Whole Foods? In any case when someone perpetrates fraud like this there should be some sort of consequences. Since it is a church they will probably forgive him but it is still pretty crappy behavior.

$15 Minimum Wage Vaulting Fast Food into 2.0 Era

Well here comes the robots to replace pricey humans.
McDonald's is striding into the 21st century with the rollout of the "Create Your Taste" touchscreen kiosks, on which custom burgers can be built as well as full-menu ordering.
The kiosks are incredibly convenient and improve order accuracy, to which I can personally attest.

Panera Bread has fully committed to the kiosk craze as well.

The company's "Panera 2.0" initiative is in full swing. About 50% of company-owned stores already have the technology installed, and the remaining locations expect to have kiosks in place by the end of the year.

Combining the kiosks with Panera's "MyPanera" rewards membership is an added bonus.
"Beyond shorter lines and improved accuracy, customers love the fact that they can save those modifications as favorites or order from their history," says Blaine Hurst, Panera Chief Transformation & Growth Officer.
I would love to view what I have ordered from McDonalds or Panera (if they finally came to Hawaii) in the past as well. Dominoes lets you save favorites on what you ordered so you can re-order something very easily. In any case that Kiosk will replace a counter person taking your order from here on in. Which is good for people that like tech but bad for that counter person. I think the era of the so called McJob is almost dead.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Applebee Moves to Wood Fired Grills? Might Seperate them from the Pack

I have never eaten at Applebee's but I do know some people who have and they do not have a good opinion of the place. So I guess that is why they are doing a $40 million revamp.
"You’re going to see it and hear it," Julia Stewart, the chairman and CEO of Applebee’s parent company DineEquity, Inc., told Business Insider. "You’re going to literally smell it when you’re in the parking lot, and then you're going to walk in and see it on the menu, and then you're going to have a food server talk about it in a very excited way."
I like the idea of smelling the wood fire in the parking lot but I'm not sure about the food server talking about it in a very excited way. In any case I know BBQ places have been packed whenever I travel to the Mainland. Like the entire parking lot is full with people waiting like out the door. So this can be a good idea as long as the food is fairly tasty. Right now the food doesn't even look appetizing in the commercial. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Rich Find Thrift and Nordstrom feels the Pain

I guess Rich People are just like us.
The declines confirm a terrifying new reality for high-end retailers: Wealthy shoppers are reining in spending and, along with the rest of American consumers, refusing to pay full price for anything.

While sales are plunging in Nordstrom's full-price business, comparable sales for the company's off-price brands, including Nordstrom Rack — which sells steeply discounting clothes and accessories — grew 4.6%.

Morgan Stanley analysts said the "surprising" bifurcation between Nordstrom's low-end and high-end businesses should be a warning sign for all luxury retailers.
"We think retailers exposed to the high-end consumer are most at risk to a further sales step-down in 2016," the analysts wrote.

I wonder why the wealthy are becoming more thrifty? Is it because they have shifted buying clothes and such to cars and houses and more expensive things? Or is there just a spending malaise out there that no one is talking about? 

I mean the country seems to be drifting toward a place where we will be led either by a orange con-man or the crooked wife of a sexual predator. Maybe rich people are keeping their powder dry because they don't know which way to turn going forward. Will higher taxes be around the corner or will it be economic isolationism? 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trump Former Butler Needs to be Arrested: Threatens Presidents Life

Um they should arrest this crazy person asap.
Mother Jones revealed   Thursday that Anthony Senecal, Trump’s former butler, has authored several hateful — and vulgar — Facebook rants against Barack Obama, accusing the president of being a Muslim and a “kenyan fraud,” among other things, and calling for him to be killed. 

Monday, May 02, 2016

Millennial's Having Buyers Remorse About College: Um Go to a State School

I would have buyers remorse as well seeing how bad college loans are with their usurious rates.
In fact, 57% of millennial graduates regret taking out as many loans as they did, and 36% even said that they would not have gone to college if they knew how much it was going to cost them, according to a survey by Citizens Bank.

Most State Schools cost a fairly reasonable amount. For instance Florida State tuition costs $6,507 for in-state. If the kid takes a "Malia Obama gap year" they will be all set to establish residency and and pay quite a bit less than that insane out of state cost. 

It might be possible to pay off that loan in a few years rather than 20+ years if the kid went to some small and private college. I'll pick Beloit out of a hat whose tuition is $42,500. You can go to Florida State for 6 years or Auburn for 4 for that exact same amount of money. I'm sure the education is very good at Beloit but is it really good enough to go into debt for decades more to pay it all off?

The state school also allows you to have one of the most fun things about college which is have a rooting interest for the rest of your life. I love seeing those old-timers with their Michigan shirts or someone shouting "War Eagle" at you from a moving car. That shared experience of going to somewhere with a good football or basketball team is very hard to beat.

Earth-sized Planets found just 40 Light Years Away

Pretty close indeed.
An international team of astronomers has discovered three Earth-sized exoplanets, all orbiting the same star just 40 light-years from us, the 16-nation intergovernmental research organization ESO reported on Monday.

The scientists have deemed all three planets potentially habitable, an exciting turn in the hunt for "exoplanets," a term for planets that orbit a star other than our sun.
And it could bring us closer to finding extraterrestrial life.
Too bad we couldn't beam some radio waves toward them and see if they pick it up or not. In fact they might just be getting Happy Days and All in the Family if our transceivers were pointed toward them. 

Japan Enters the Stealth Age with Mitsubishi X-2

Watch out Red China Japan might be trying to close the warplane gap.
Previously called the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X), X-2 took off from Nagoya Airport and flew for 26 minutes to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force base in Gifu. Japan’s Ministry of Defense unveiled the X-2 on Jan. 28.

Overseeing the project is the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, or ATLA, a branch of the Defense Ministry that incorporated the older Technical Research and Development Institute. Together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, they have overseen the aircraft’s development since 2009.
It is interesting that Japan is developing its own fighter in this day and age. I guess that US pivot toward the Pacific is a smart move because it looks like things are going to get interesting out here in the coming decades.