Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bloomberg Markets Magazine - January 2011

Bloomberg Markets is the best kept secret in the financial industry. Learn what many Hedge Fund and Portfolio Managers already know. Bloomberg Markets is the must have guide to what's happening now, and what will happen in global finance.

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Hugh Hendry December Commentary: Must Read

The Eclectica Fund - Manager Commentary - December 2010

Distressed Homes in U.S. Sell at Biggest Discount in Five Years

U.S. homes in the foreclosure process sold for about 32 percent less than non-distressed properties in the third quarter, the biggest discount in five years, as buyer demand slumped, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

The average discount for bank-owned real estate, residences in default or those scheduled for auction rose from 29 percent a year earlier, RealtyTrac said in a report today. A quarter of all U.S. transactions involved those types of homes, according to the Irvine, California-based data seller.

Sales of foreclosure properties plunged 31 percent as the end of a buyer tax credit reduced purchases overall, RealtyTrac said. The decline came before loan servicers including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. halted some home seizures amid claims that employees processed thousands of documents without verifying them, a practice known as robo-signing. (more)

Art Cashin On Corriente's "Enormous China Bubble"

Some time in January, we presented an extended analysis by Mark Hart's Corriente Fund in which the successful hedge manager presented a comprehensive case for the Chinese bubble. Today, about a year later, and after China is finally on the verge of realy pulling in the liquidity avalanche, tired of importing Bernanke's rampant inflation, Art Cashin looks at the very same Mark Hart in his market commentary: "Several readers asked if I had more details on Mark Hart’s bearish call on China. I pulled up a couple of articles, most notably the U.K. Telegraph. Mr. Hart manages Corriente Advisors. He set up a bearish sub-prime fund in 2006 and a bearish European debt fund in 2007. The anomalies he sees in China are somewhat familiar: Excess floor space exceeds 3.3 billion square meters and there are still 200m being built this year; The price to rent ratio is 39.4 times versus 22.8 times in America before the housing crises; Banks are hiding their exposure in Local Investment Vehicles; On a Sovereign level, China’s debt to GDP comes out at 107%, five times published numbers; China has consumed just 65% of the cement it has produced in the last six years; There are 200m tons of excess steel capacity, more than the EU and Japan’s total production this year. According to the articles, Mr. Hart has been growing bearish on China for months. Several other successful hedge fund managers are also said to be making negative bets on China. It certainly bears watching." We would like to help Art, and provide with a redux of what we posted back in January that summarizes Corriente's outlook. (more)

HES Radio: World Financial Report

The World Financial Report brings you timely information on the worlds most exciting markets like oil, precious metals, currencies, commodities and hard money markets like very rare color diamonds and collectibles. The World Financial Report makes predictions and gives investment advice and has been very successful in identifying trends in the marketplace.

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3 Tech Stocks That Could Jump +20% to +40% in No Time

While staying focused on your best long-term ideas, it also helps to boost your portfolio by looking for stocks with a chance for quick moderate gains. And in the tech sector, we've seen all kinds of headline-induced winners in the past six months, thanks to M&A activity, robust quarterly results and other catalysts. [Catalyst Investing Secrets Revealed]

Here are three more names that could be quick risers during the next few months.

1. Motorola (NYSE: MOT)
This former tech stalwart has been on the mend after a disastrous few years. This $25 stock in 2007 fell below $5 in early 2009, but is now back up above $7.50. Yet by January, shares could hit $9 or even $10 -- good for +15% to +30% gains. Here's why…

More than a year ago, Motorola announced that it would cut itself into two pieces, with one focusing on enterprise products and the other focused on mobility products, which I discussed here. (more)

6 Top Stocks for December

Top Stock to Buy: Caterpillar (CAT)

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)‎ manufactures construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. This blue chip has been in a bull market since the stock market bottomed in March 2009. The advance from its bear market low at $22 has been very orderly — defined by the stock’s ability to stay above its 200-day moving average and bullish support line.

In September, CAT broke from a triple-top and began a new march north. Any further weakness could be used as a buying opportunity. S&P has a “four-star buy” rating on CAT with a 12-month price target of $95, which matches our technical target. (more)

Bloomberg Businessweek - 6-12 December 2010

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Dotcom Bubble 2.0 Are we headed for another hangover?

Remember that crazy dotcom bubble in the late 1990s and the huge bust that followed? It looks like we’re about to sit through the same movie all over again.

That’s what Fred Wilson, a well-known venture capitalist, has been saying lately. Wilson, who runs Union Square Ventures, a New York–based VC firm, says he sees “storm clouds” on the horizon, and he worries that we might be headed toward another disaster. “When I look at where we are right now, it reminds me so much of 1999 and frankly it scares me,” Wilson wrote recently on his blog. The 49-year-old venture capitalist’s fear is understandable. In 1996 he cofounded a New York venture fund called Flatiron Partners, which did booming business investing in Internet companies—until the bubble collapsed, wiping out a bunch of its portfolio companies. Wilson and his partner pretty much shut down Flatiron in 2001, while still helping to manage some of its portfolio companies that had survived.

Undaunted, Wilson and a different partner launched Union Square Ventures in 2005, and he’s riding high once more, with smart investments in some of the hottest new companies on the Web, including Twitter, Foursquare, and Zynga. Nonetheless, Wilson has grown nervous in recent months. He says too many investors are pouring money into Web-based startups, driving valuations to ridiculous heights. In days gone by, the rule of thumb was that a company with two or three employees would be valued at $5 million or less. But “today in the early-stage market we’re seeing two- and three-person teams that are getting $30 million, $40 million, $50 million valuations, and I think that’s not right,” Wilson said onstage at a Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last month. (more)

Red Alert: Hong Kong Experiences Fake Gold Scam - Passes Acid Test

Stocks pull higher after payrolls data questioned

(MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks on Friday climbed for a third day to end the week higher as Wall Street offered a subdued reaction to disappointing November jobs data that had some expressing doubt and forecasting an upward revision.

“The jobs number was surprising, and I’m wondering if next month we get a revision. I mean retail losses in November? You have to take it with a grain of salt,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, of the Labor Department’s report.

The report showed payrolls growth of 39,000 last month, far fewer than the 155,000 gain predicted by analysts surveyed by MarketWatch. Read more on jobs report.

The major indexes ended higher for the week, with the Nasdaq Composite Index nearing a three-year high, thanks largely to rallies on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday, the indexes meandered mostly lower most of the session before turning higher late in the day. (more)

The Economist - December 4th 2010

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