Financial Review

Fluctuations

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 238 = 16,804 SPX – 26 = 1946 NAS – 71 = 4422 10 YR YLD – .10 = 2.40% OIL – .43 = 90.73 GOLD + 4.30 = 1214.00 SILV + .20 = 17.28 Yesterday, we talked about third quarter results. Most of the stock indices were down in September but still slightly positive for the third quarter. Today wiped out the third quarter gains. Why? Well, that’s always fun; the headlines offer a plethora of reasons, including “global worries” or maybe it’s a “market top” or “geopolitical hotspots” or “commodity crash” or maybe it’s just the start of a “rocky October”. I don’t claim to know why the markets dropped today, or any given day. I can read a chart, and I can identify patterns, but there are no guarantees. We follow macroeconomics and we analyze company P&Ls, but there are no guarantees. We do not get stuck in cheerleader mode like the talking heads on TV business shows, nor do we follow the perma-bears. Markets fluctuate; to paraphrase a line from J.P. Morgan, or maybe John Rockefeller. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.” That’s a quote from Warrant Buffet. We don’t yet know whether this is folly or a trend. We’ll just have to listen to the markets. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity dropped …

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Author Interviews

Itamar Simonson – Absolute Value

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:50 — 9.1MB) Listen to the Author Click the banner to buy the boook. Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information by Itamar Simonson & Emanuel Rosen Going against conventional marketing wisdom, Absolute Value reveals what really influences customers today and offers a new framework—the Influence Mix, a totally new way of thinking about consumer decision making and marketing, and about developing more effective business strategies. How people buy things has changed profoundly—yet the fundamental thinking about consumer decision-making and marketing has not. Most marketers still believe that they can shape consumers’ perception and drive their behavior. In this provocative book, Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen show why current mantras are losing their relevance. When consumers base their decisions on reviews from other users, easily accessed expert opinions, price comparison apps, and other emerging technologies, everything changes. Absolute Value answers the pressing questions of how to influence customers in this new age. Simonson and Rosen point out the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. Filled with deep analysis, case studies, and cutting-edge research, this forward-looking book provides a totally new way of thinking about marketing.

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Financial Review

Third Quarter Wrap

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 28 = 17,042 SPX – 5 = 1972 NAS – 12 = 4493 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.51% OIL – 3.14 = 91.43 GOLD – 6.30 = 1209.70 SILV – .49 = 17.07 We wrap up the third quarter of 2014. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3.4% year to date; and it is up about 11% from the lows of February. Ten of the 30 Dow stocks are up more than 10% year to date. Eight of the Dow stocks are in negative territory for the year, even after adding in divdends. The best performing Dow stocks are Intel (up 37% ytd) and Microsoft (up 28% ytd). The worst performing Dow stocks are Boeing (down 5% ytd) and United Technologies (down 6% ytd). The Dow lost 55 points, or 0.3%, for the month, and for the third quarter the Dow added 217 points or 1.3%. The S&P 500 dropped 31 points, or 1.5% in September, and added 12 points for the quarter; and that was good enough for the seventh consecutive quarterly gain, the best run for the S&P 500 since 1998. The Nasdaq Composite lost 87 points, or 1.8%, for the month, but added 85 points for the third quarter. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks lost 69 points, or 5.8% in September; and posted a loss of 98 points, or 8.1% for the third quarter. In other …

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Financial Review

Bring Your Umbrellas

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 41 = 17,071 SPX – 5 = 1977 NAS – 6 = 4505 10 YR YLD – .04 = 2.49% OIL + .59 = 92.61 GOLD – 4.40 = 1216.00 SILV – .20 = 17.56 Starting with economic data: Consumer spending accelerated in August. Consumer spending rose 0.5% last month after being unchanged in July. Growth in personal income ticked up 0.3%, in line with forecasts. Some of the strength in spending came from a decrease in the saving rate, which eased back from a 1-1/2-year high in July. One area where spending dipped – housing. The National Association of Realtors issued its index of pending home sales for August. Pending sales dropped 1% from an 11 month high in July. Signaling that upcoming closings of existing homes are likely to slow down, the index of pending home sales hit a seasonally adjusted 104.7 in August, compared with 105.8 in July. The Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation was up 1.5% in August from a year earlier, down slightly from the reading in July. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core prices also advanced 1.5% year over year. Price increases measured by the PCE index slowed to a 1% annual pace late last year before accelerating during the spring and then plateauing this summer. A separate measure also shows inflation is largely in check. The Labor Department’s consumer-price index rose 1.7% in August from a …

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Author Interviews

Thomas Davenport – Keeping Up With the Quants

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:49 — 9.1MB) Listen to the Author Click the banner to buy the book. Thomas Davenport and Jinho Kim – Keeping Up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics Why Everyone Needs Analytical Skills Welcome to the age of data. No matter your interests (sports, movies, politics), your industry (finance, marketing, technology, manufacturing), or the type of organization you work for (big company, nonprofit, small start-up)—your world is awash with data. As a successful manager today, you must be able to make sense of all this information. You need to be conversant with analytical terminology and methods and able to work with quantitative information. This book promises to become your “quantitative literacy” guide—helping you develop the analytical skills you need right now in order to summarize data, find the meaning in it, and extract its value. In Keeping Up with the Quants, authors, professors, and analytics experts Thomas Davenport and Jinho Kim offer practical tools to improve your understanding of data analytics and enhance your thinking and decision making. You’ll gain crucial skills, including: • How to formulate a hypothesis • How to gather and analyze relevant data • How to interpret and communicate analytical results • How to develop habits of quantitative thinking • How to deal effectively with the “quants” in your organization Big data and the analytics based on it promise to change virtually every industry and business function over the next decade. If you don’t …

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Author Interviews

David S. Rose – Angel Investing

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:49 — 9.1MB) Listen to the Author Click the banner to buy the book. David S. Rose – Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money and Having Fun Investing in Startups Every year in America, over 600,000 new businesses start up and hire their first employees. Many will fail, but some of them will become the legendary businesses of the future, transforming industries and making millions for the angel investors who helped fund them in their early days. Angel investing, once the exclusive province of multi-millionaire high-rollers, has now entered the mainstream, with more than $20 billion being invested annually by individual investors in the US alone. Contrary to popular belief, access to these high risk/high return investments—and success in startup investing—doesn’t have to be a matter of luck or connections. Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups shows how smart investors with the right strategy and a long-term perspective can achieve annual returns of 25 percent or more from a well-designed angel portfolio. Written by David S. Rose, the founder of Gust—the global platform that powers the world of organized professional angel investing—Angel Investing is a comprehensive, entertaining guide that walks readers through every step of the way to becoming a successful angel investor. It is illustrated with stories from among the 90+ companies in which David has invested during a 25 year career as one of the world’s most active business angels …

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Financial Review

Bond King Exits

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW + 167 = 17,113 SPX + 16 = 1982 NAS + 45 = 4512 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.53% OIL + .53 = 91.83 GOLD – 2.50 = 1220.40 SILV + .16 = 17.76 This week proved quite a roller coaster ride for the major indices. The Dow Industrial Average moved by at least 100 points in each of the five sessions, and finished the week down 1%. The S&P 500 climbed above its 50-day moving average today after dropping below the level yesterday for the first time since August. The S&P 500 was 1.4% lower on the week, and the Nasdaq lost 1.5% for the week. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies extended its September loss to 5.5 percent yesterday after dropping 6.1 percent in July. The Gross Domestic Product increased at a rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter, according to third and final revision on GDP; up from the earlier estimate of 4.2% growth, and up from 2.5% growth in the same period a year ago. It represents the fastest rate of growth since the last three months of 2011. Spending on personal consumption increased 2.5 percent in the second quarter, up from 1.2 percent in the first. Durable goods, such as cars, homes and electronics jumped 14.1 percent, compared with an increase of 3.2 percent in the last quarter. The latest revision of GDP growth for the second …

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Financial Review

The Failure of the Holder Doctrine

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 264 = 16,945 SPX – 32 = 1965 NAS – 88 = 4466 10 YR YLD – .06 = 2.51% OIL – .32 = 91.21 GOLD + 5.30 = 1222.90 SILV – .18 = 17.60 In economic news: For the week ending Sept. 20, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation were 293,000, up 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 281,000. For the comparable week of 2013, the figure was 316,000. Orders for durable goods dropped 18.2% in August; which sounds absolutely horrible until you put in in perspective; durable goods orders were up 22.5% in July. It sounds like the economists behind this report need to step away from the crack pipe, but the real reason for the volatility is airplane orders, which are for big expensive durable goods, and usually in big, expensive contracts. For example, Boeing took orders for 107 new planes in August, but that’s down from 324 orders in July. Stripping out the transportation sector, order rose 0.7%. Orders for core capital goods – a broader measure of business investment – climbed by 0.6% in August. Tomorrow the government will reveal the third of three regular estimates of growth in the period of April to June. The gain in GDP is likely to be raised to 4.7% from a prior estimate of 4.2%, mainly because fresh data show that consumers spent much more on health care than initially …

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Financial Review

War, Pay Phones, Small Business and Big Banks

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW + 154 = 17,210 SPX + 15 = 1998 NAS + 46 = 4555 10 YR YLD + .03 = 2.57% OIL + 1.18 = 92.80 GOLD – 6.30 = 1217.60 SILV – .11 = 17.78 President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly today. He condemned ISIS, and said there was no reasoning and no negotiation with their brand of evil. He said the US “will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death”; that coalition is now up to 40 countries. He urged Muslims to reject the ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda. He also announced a US warplanes hit ISIS vehicles and arms dumps in new air strikes in Iraq and Syria. ISIS continues to advance in Syria and aid agencies report some 130,000 Kurdish refugees have crossed into Turkey in the past few days. An Algerian jihadist group linked to ISIS has released a video which it says shows militants beheading a French tourist. The president’s speech also criticized Russia for the recent invasion of Ukraine. Today, NATO reports Russia has withdrawn a sizable number of its troops from eastern Ukraine, although some remain. Russian backed rebels in the region said they had begun pulling back their heavy artillery after Ukrainian troops did the same. For now, the cease fire appears to be holding. The stock market recovered after three days of losses; for the Dow Industrials it was two …

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Financial Review

War, Inversions, and Climate

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:16 — 6.1MB) Financial Review DOW – 116 = 17,055 SPX – 11 = 1982 NA – 19 = 4508 10 YR YLD – .03 = 2.53% OIL + .06 = 91.62 GOLD + 8.10 = 1223.90 SILV + .05 = 17.88 First up: war. You’ve probably heard by now that the US launched several airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Syria and, separately, in potentially averting an imminent threat to the homeland from an al Qaeda group called Khorasan. Many of the targets were in and around Raqqa, Syria, believed to be an ISIS stronghold. Several Arab nations took part in the US-led operation: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. A spokesman for the Pentagon said they are still assessing the effectiveness of the bombing campaign but the Pentagon believes they were “successful in hitting what we were aiming at.” The airstrikes against Khorasan was in response to threats, however officials so far have provided no details about the terrorists’ planned attack or the credibility of the intelligence they had on it. A Pentagon spokesman said “the individuals plotting and planning it were eliminated.” The Syrian government says the US told it of plans to carry out airstrikes. The State Department immediately denied that it gave prior notification. Reuters reports Iranian officials were informed of the airstrikes in advance, but not specific targets. Meanwhile, the Israeli military said that it had shot down a Syrian fighter jet that …

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