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Spencer Knight

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  • San Bernardino has voted to become the third California city to file for bankruptcy in the last month, after officials reported the city faced an imminent financial crisis. San Bernardino hopes to restructure its finances while in Ch. 9 protection, but a concerned muni bond market may have other plans. (also: Stockton and Mammoth Lakes)  [View news story]
    It's California. The rich cities get richer and the poor cities get poorer. It's becoming more difficult to move up the ladder in today's society regardless of intelligence or work ethic. It is almost as if a class system is developing. Of course this has a whole lot to do with the unemployment rate in California and the U.S. as a whole.

    What CA city is next to file? One of the many small cities in East LA such as Compton is my guess. Stockton and San Bern are definitely two of the more scummy cities in the country and I am expecting this pattern to continue. Mammoth was a fluke due to a lawsuit.
    Jul 11, 2012. 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stock Market Complacency On Verge Of Collapse [View article]
    I don't know what frustrates me more. Ridiculously bullish articles that tout a big rally is on the way or ridiculously bearish articles that tout a market collapse. Both have no real base. The market will stagnate from here until the tonnage of problems are either understood or go away. JK outlines a number of these above. Expect to see fluctuations between 1400 and 1280 (S&P 500) and 13,000 and 12,200 (DJIA). With that said it is pretty clear when to buy and sell equities.
    Jul 6, 2012. 07:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More from Hilsenrath: Markets may not have to wait until the end of July FOMC meeting as Bernanke may "lay down his own markers" in Congressional testimony on July 17 and 18. The Fed may be interested in switching asset purchases to MBS as some research says it would be more effective at lowering a broad range of interest rates than buying Treasurys. (previous)  [View news story]
    There's a novel idea. Let's do everything we can to suppress interest rates even though businesses are satisfied with the status quo. It only hurts investors, but I guess the job of policy makers is to hurt the populace as much as they can. Nobody really wants to retire before 80 anyways.
    Jul 6, 2012. 04:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today's Pharma Buzz: Avon Files Interesting 8k, Amarin And Vivus Approach FDA Approvals [View article]
    If ARNA jumps to 20 on a Qnexa CRL then ARNA will be the easiest short in the business. The company has zero marketing skills or experience and there's no proof the populace will even warm up to a weight loss drug considering most people can lose weight via diet and consistent exercise. I am sure most doctors would much rather have a patient diet and exercise instead of taking a drug. Except the ones that get paid illegally to force patients to take drugs, but then again those aren't real doctors.

    Point is Qnexa gets approval and Belviq has some competition. Not to worry though VVUS has about as much marketing experience as ARNA. There'sl a reason a big name healthcare firm hasn't stepped in to partner with or buy these two out...
    Jul 6, 2012. 03:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More structural than cyclical is S&P's view of weak Wall Street earnings. Return on equity at the major investment banks - usually 15% in okay times - was just 7% in 2011. Goldman Sachs - legendary for killing it no matter what - earned just 3.7% ROE vs. 32.7% in 2007. Regulations, higher capital requirements, and toxic attitudes attitudes towards the TBTFs are all weighing.  [View news story]
    This is a long term buy signal. If it is clear that IBs are struggling with profits right now, think about where the stocks will be when profits improve or surpass previous levels. Don't expect to double money in a couple years though. Buy and hold isn't dead just yet...
    Jul 6, 2012. 01:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June ADP Jobs Report: +176K vs. +136K prior (revised from 133K) and expectations of 95K.  [View news story]
    Well, last summer the stock market was controlled by the U.S. debt crisis and possibility of default by Greece. Sometimes other issues are more important to the stock market than U.S. jobs. In other words that one week had zero correlation with that stock market.

    If you are not investing now you are going to lose tons of money over the next 1-2 years.
    Jul 5, 2012. 12:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Eurozone unemployment rose in May to a record 11.1%, up from April's 11.0%. Spain's rate climbs to 24.6%. Greece clocked in at 21.9%. (PR .pdf)  [View news story]
    It seems everybody is forgetting one key fact here. Europe is heading for a major recession. Nothing can change that. Recapitalizing the banks won't change that. It's simple business cycles. Nothing more than that. Everybody can keep crying about all these doom and gloom topics but the truth is a recession is coming for what's known as the EU. It's as simple as that.

    The U.S. had its recession and now we will expand. I know everybody can't fathom America doing well but it will happen in the wake of a European recession. Expect the EU data to get much worse before it gets better.
    Jul 2, 2012. 07:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia: Patent Portfolio Valuation Range Too Great To Make Nokia A Compelling Buy [View article]
    That statement is terrific. It shows how stocks are most of the time arbitrary. Stock prices fluctuate based on false data or simple systematic weakness. The risk takers then buy low and end up making the money while your average American sits back and says, "it's not fair that person invested at the bottom and I waited until the top because I wanted proof the stock was a good buy." Then they cry that they can't win because everybody else has inside information and the markets are manipulated by the top dogs.
    Jul 1, 2012. 05:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has granted Apple (AAPL) a preliminary injunction on U.S. sales of Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy Nexus phone, which it co-developed with Google (GOOG). The ruling comes two days after a preliminary injunction was granted on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. A recent William Blair report claimed the Galaxy Nexus has been Verizon's #3 phone in June. An Apple patent covering unified voice and text search drew the injunction.  [View news story]
    Once AAPL eliminates the competition via injunctions they can charge twice as much for their products. One step closer to an AAPL monopoly.
    Jun 30, 2012. 03:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stockton makes it official, filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the largest U.S. municipality to ever do so. The city lists assets of over $1B and debt of $500M-$1B. Of 42 municipal bankruptcies since 1981, 10 have been filed in the last 4 years.  [View news story]
    Doesn't surprise me. Stockton is an absolutely terrible city.
    Jun 29, 2012. 12:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan's (JPM) trading loss could reach $9B, say people briefed on the situation, with red ink piling up as JPM moves faster than expected to exit its money-losing positions. Jamie Dimon was way off when he warned in May that the initial $2B loss could double in coming quarters. JPM will disclose more details in its July 13 earnings report.  [View news story]
    I like to think about what other banks are in this same situation. I am very confident that most banks are likely in this same situation. Although until the losses are realized they don't have to disclose them. To be honest I say this is another big indication that the big banks are are staffed with terrible traders.
    Jun 28, 2012. 11:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: 386K vs. 385K consensus (prior week revised to 392K from 387K). Continuing claims -15K at 3.31M.  [View news story]
    I always find it funny how people say oh millions are gonna drop off the unemployment list. Ok then eventually the entire country will be living on the streets or dead. People are working jobs and not reporting the income or not reporting the job. I don't see an uptick in homeless folks and I'm in CA, so unless there's been some mass deaths then where are all the people going? Are they just vanishing into the woods?

    US will be fine. It's a simple business cycle. We had our recession and now time to expand. Europe on the other hand is a different story.
    Jun 28, 2012. 11:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Republican and Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress are discussing proposals that would put off having to worry about the "fiscal cliff" until after the election. They're considering a bill that would delay automatic spending cuts from January until March, Bloomberg reports, as well as extend the George Bush tax cuts and fund the government for the same period.  [View news story]
    Who wants to work anyways, its the Summer. Everyone should go out and vacation. Just tell your employer if Congress can do it why can't I? It's only fair right? How these lazy people get these jobs are beside me. I guess all it takes its cheating on your college exams to maintain a high GPA and then you are set.
    Jun 26, 2012. 12:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Consumer Confidence: It's the 4th decline in a row for the index, which now stands at its lowest level since January (expectations at lowest level since November). "The failure of Bernanke's 'wealth effect,'" says Not Jim Cramer, noting the divergence since QE began between consumer confidence and stock prices.  [View news story]
    I don't think the average consumer knows or thinks any of that. They are just fearful from the last recession which saw massive lay offs and home losses. Nobody wants that to happen to them so they are preparing. That kind of thing won't be happening anytime soon, but at least they will be prepared...
    Jun 26, 2012. 12:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Mueller Co. Is An Unknown Micro Cap That Could Triple In 2012 [View article]
    Interesting stock. I am curious if you have a time horizon or PT on your MUEL position?
    Jun 24, 2012. 02:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment