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  • New York cities win right to ban fracking  [View news story]
    What you call "irony", I call "cause and effect".
    Jun 30, 2014. 01:43 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Notes from Goldman's annual meeting  [View news story]
    King Rat,

    Can you give some examples of these blue staters bringing their overregulation to Texas? I really don't see Texas in danger of turning purple anytime soon.

    Colorado is a better example of the migration of progressivism. Texas, however, seems to be insulated by the fact that many die-hard liberals from California would consider it sacrilege to move to the poster-child state of the GOP. The people that move to TX from out West tend to subscribe to a more moderate political ideology.

    I'm not saying it could never happen -- I just think it might be a little too early to go and contact a real estate agent in Melbourne.
    May 16, 2014. 10:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U-turn on GSE mortgage policy  [View news story]
    You know what I think would be irresponsible, Mel? Relaxing your loan standards to the point of not requiring documentation (to say nothing of the inflated debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios), guaranteeing all principal and interest on the mortgages you securitize for a mere 15 basis points, leveraging your book to the hilt by holding only .45% of the mortgage amount you've guaranteed, indiscriminately devouring market share to the point that you account for nearly half of all non-prime mortgage originations, pouring over $1 trillion into the purchase non-prime loans in the span of two years (artificially inflating the bloated market even further), and holding all those non-prime loans on your balance sheet with a capital ratio of 2.5%.

    I think that would be very irresponsible.
    May 14, 2014. 09:14 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Small caps paint scary technical picture  [View news story]
    A similar head-and-shoulders pattern is being formed in the Nasdaq.
    May 8, 2014. 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On the hour  [View news story]
    Also worrisome: the head-and-shoulders that has been forming in the Nasdaq since mid-December. If we break through neckline support (~4,000 on the Composite / ~3,450 on the Nasdaq 100), it could get real ugly, real quickly.
    May 7, 2014. 01:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Johnson & Johnson declares $0.70 dividend  [View news story]
    The 3-year compounded annual growth rate is only 6.92%. 6.1% is a little low, but it's not a deal breaker for me. In other areas, the company looks very strong.
    Apr 24, 2014. 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Under Armour lower after cautious earnings call  [View news story]
    Dead on, montpellier. Sometimes, financial pundits can really seem to grasp at straws to explain a market move (CNBC is much worse at this). Kinda makes me wish that, from time to time, they would just shrug and go, "the stock's down and we don't know why."

    Occasionally, there's no fundamental reason. Occasionally, it's just market psychology and money flows.
    Apr 24, 2014. 12:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Under Armour lower after cautious earnings call  [View news story]
    Buyers are exhausted here, so when the profit-takers sell on the news there's no one waiting in the wing to bid up the price. This is a market-wide problem. Most with cash are staying on the sideline until we break out to new highs. Say what you will about technical analysis, but the potential head-and-shoulders that's being marked out in the Nasdaq has a lot of people skittish.

    Also, to put things in perspective, UA's up almost 80% in the last 12 months. Even the best stocks need to take a breather after a long bull run.
    Apr 24, 2014. 12:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Altria's Q1  [View news story]
    toxophun -

    That 2.5% figure is calculated on a year-over-year basis, so it's comparing sales from Q1 2014 to sales from Q1 2013. Smokable product volume is not falling at a rate of 10% a year.

    While the number of US smokers are decreasing, MO's earnings report indicates that they actually increased market share, both in cigarettes and cigars. Cigarettes increased from 50.5% to 50.7% of the market, and cigars increased from 28.1% to 28.4%.

    Furthermore, it's worth noting that smokeless product volume increased 5.9% Y/Y.
    Apr 24, 2014. 11:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Starbucks closing in on taking 10% stake in SodaStream  [View news story]
    That doesn't mean 1.6M unique shares were traded every day. For example: if I buy 100 shares in the morning and sell those same shares before the close, I have increased the daily volume by 200.

    The more daily turnover there is in a stock, the greater the discrepancy between daily volume and the number of unique shares traded. Given the proliferation of algorithmic trading and SODA's popularity with day traders, it is safe to say that the daily volume is much larger than the number shares available per day.
    Apr 23, 2014. 11:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Champions Ranking: Part 1, The Heavyweights  [View article]
    Really strong article. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.
    Apr 16, 2014. 12:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Futures slip, gold gains after Ukraine vote  [View news story]

    I cannot find any source indicating the Crimean parliament declared independence before this invasion. The first mention I could find of parliament declaring independence occurred on March 6th, a full week after armed troops had surrounded airports, military bases, and government buildings in Crimea.

    Furthermore, I don't know how you can consider the parliament of Crimea legitimate. The vote to hold a referendum was held in a closed-door session, in which cell phones were prohibited, overseen by a group of 50 armed soldiers. Additionally, "some Crimean legislators who were registered as present have said they did not come near the building" ( As the Time article aptly notes: "in any case, those who did arrive could hardly have voted their conscience while pro-Russian gunmen stood in the wings with rocket launchers."

    Clearly, anything coming from the Crimean parliament has been provided under extreme duress. It seems like a, uh, mischaracterization to claim that these are the actions of a freely-elected government.
    Mar 17, 2014. 01:31 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Futures slip, gold gains after Ukraine vote  [View news story]

    I agree, the analogy is not perfect. Still, I feel like your points of contention are little more than the splitting of hairs.

    Yes, Austria had never been a part of the country of Germany. But Austria was part of the German Confederation until 1866, and, before that, a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The cultural ties were there. In fact, following WWI there was a movement within Austria that pushed for a unified German-Austrian state.

    Yes, unlike this situation, the Austrian referendum was called to prevent annexation. They say the devil's in the details, but please tell me how the details make these situations wholly unalike: 1) to invade a country and "oversee" the voting in response to the government calling a referendum, vs. 2) to invade a country, have armed men take the parliament, hold a closed-door session where parliament members are forced to surrender all cell phones to these armed men, have that parliament arrive at the conclusion they want a referendum, and then "oversee" the voting.

    I really don't understand how you can determine with such confidence that this is what the Crimean people want. I would love for you to explain that to me. I can site the 99%+ pro-German results of the Austrian referendum, yet we both agree that the majority of Austrians did not favor annexation.

    Your point about there being losses all around is well taken. But being a student of history, I think you would agree that sometimes it is important for a collation of countries to take a stand against a global aggressor. Sure, we can hope that this is that last we ever hear out of Putin's Russia and do nothing more that condemn the man's actions. But, at the risk of overusing the Hitler analogy, you must appreciate how a similar line of thinking lead to the failed policy of appeasement, propagated by a war-shy West in the late 1930s.
    Mar 16, 2014. 11:35 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Futures slip, gold gains after Ukraine vote  [View news story]
    I wonder: if the internet had existed 80 years ago, would some people get on Seeking Alpha and claim that the Anschluss was "not that big of a deal" and opine that Hitler had a claim to "a region that has historically been part of [Germany] and whose population overwhelmingly identify as [German]."

    As to your claim that the US and Russia with suffer equally: Russia is the US's 20th largest trading partner, while the US is Russia's 5th biggest trading partner (source: Additionally, Russia will lose the EU, a region responsible for half of their total exports.

    China may be playing both sides. But if push comes to shove and China is forced to pick a side, they will undoubtedly side with the US. China owns $1.317 trillion of US government debt - their interests are considerably intertwined with the interests of the US (source:
    Mar 16, 2014. 10:06 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett takes bond holdings to lowest in over a decade  [View news story]
    The reason deals have been sparse the last couple years is because the money supply is so high. This lowers the cost of capital and allows borrowers to pick from a wide array of options. The pricing power is in the hands of the borrower, not the lender. This is why Buffet says, "investment opportunities currently available will likely generate considerably lower yields."
    Mar 6, 2014. 04:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment