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Showing posts from 2018

US China G20-Summit

Market is up at opening based on "positive" talk about US-China meeting progress. I think it's BS! The best case senior is that China present to be losing and Trump find excuses to pretend to be winning. In reality both side pretended to meet and provide some stalling strategies. Then the real fire will be fired again back at home when they are not facing each other. I believe, in short term, the market has already priced in a negative meeting result. Unless the meeting is seriously turning negative, the market is about time to rebound for short term.

GDP 3.5% better than expect 2.5%

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US Trade Deficit Data Worsen

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An IT View of Human Evolution

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Gordon Moore, the guy who's ideas ultimately became "Moore's law", had a vision of a future back in 1965 where “integrated circuits [would] lead to such wonders as home computers … automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment.” This is great insight even back in 1965 realised today. If computing was the major trend from 60s to today, what will it be like from this point forward?

Bitcoin is not going to be your major currency anytime soon

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Don't bet on bitcoin ever replacing the dollar or other traditional currencies as everyday money. Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) just released a negative report ( pdf )on Bitcoin. The report's authors were unimpressed with many fundamental design aspect of the cryptocurrencies. He went on making a strong statement saying that processing cryptocurrencies payment can potentially "bring the internet to a halt". I am very much in agreement with the report and have written a post " Crypto Currencies are not doing what they are supposed to do " earlier. Basically I believe the issue of crypto currencies are: Unlimited supplies Consume too much energy Transaction too slow Transaction cost too high Most people that I know involved with crypto are attracts by the potential gain of the currencies. They mind it or trade it as investment or speculative commodities. I may be bias here but none of my friends in both investmen

Natural Gas Prices Move Above $3

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Natural Gas price moved up above $3 today. Due to a more bullish weather report and some pipeline explosion from Southern Star in Harvey County, Kansas. Natural Gas is a volatile commodity as you can see from the chart above. I don't trade them. In fact I don't call myself a trader. I just buy and hold mostly. Buy and holding something so volatile requires more than faith but reasons and strategic long term reasons. In the case of natural gas, I do find this sector a value play at this level from a rather long term perspective. I am quite bullish for long run for natural gas because it is the number one alternative to replace coal for power generation. It is a value play because major natural gas companies such as CHK, SWN and GPOR are all beaten up in such as sorrow stage. However, CHK just turn earning positive in recent quarters and has already rebounded more than 50%. The recent increase in oil price helped natural gas prices to stay afloat. As you know coal is not

What do we do when tech take up most of our jobs?

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It seems that no worker are safe this week, blue or white collar included. Amazon has decided that machines are better than humans in doing their pricing strategies. Microsoft is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores. Tesla is firing 9% of its workforce while emphasizing that production worker will NOT be impacted. Technology enabled automation is for sure eating our jobs. Hack it’s even eating the disruptor’s job positions. Yesterday I read an article arguing that AI is nowhere close to being here today to eat our jobs. I agree that AI is not yet matured enough but what’s rapidly erasing our jobs are not just AI. It’s plain old smart people using technologies to redesign processes. Take check out sensors taking away cashier’s job for example. Sensors and barcode scanner has been there for ages, it is not much of an AI. However, the whole DIY check out station design to let customer to guide customer to do the cashier’s task is simpl

The Secrets of Quantum Physics : Let There Be Life

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My physics is no more than high school grade. Quantum physics is only something as real as sci fi fiction. However, this one hour tv show from BBC is such an incredible one that it is easy to understand even for me. I was binge watching YouTube and I was suggested to watch it. It explains the latest theory of how quantum physics operates in biology. How bird migrates, how tadpole metamorphosis into frog, how we smell, how photosynthesis works so quickly and efficiently and even how mutation happens within DNA copied have all got to do with quantum physics! It seriously inflates my ego that now I can pretend I know a thing or two in physics and biology even in quantum physics level! A good one to share! Really!

China's New Silk Road

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Google Sheets for Stock and Portfolio Monitoring

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Google has recently redesigned the Google Finance site. They have not only disabled the portfolio function but also taken away the interactive chart function. By the look of the new site design, it is obviously not for the stock traders. It now emphasis news and contents. The charts are simple line charts only. The people in Google are obviously very smart people and I don't think they would have committed such large design error. On the other hand, I think it's more like a PR error as they have "misled" the market that this is an improvement but instead it's an "exit" from the portfolio and chart contents. If google has announced that they are existing it would have earned my respect cause I always think that stock quotation and charts are not advertising friendly content properties. Basically trader like me is simply not a good reader for advertisement filled contents. Anyway, since Yahoo does not look to me like it's going to be strong for lo

Another week of good unemployment data from US

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In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 226,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 231,000 to 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 221,500, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 222,500 to 222,250. Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal Source

The future of commerce is about speed

As Amazon pushes for delivery speed, major retailers face pressure to match the e-Commerce giant. Retailers are requiring highly sophisticated logistic and inventory management strategy to be competitive. For eCommerce business, one of the major cost is the expenses for returning the merchandise. So to reduce this return-shipping cost,  Prologis Inc. is building a multistory building warehouse in the downtown Seattle instead of building it in outskirt of the city. In doing so, they hope to provide better experience in products deliver to win more business while cutting the cost of shipping cost of returned merchandise. I guess one of the biggest factor in this strategy is to make sure the cost is kept down. It's another story where technologies will be a key element to make this strategy works. I can speculate that a whole school of technologies will be deployed: Building technologies : letting trucks to drive up to second floor to load and unload merchandise means that the bu

Bitcoin acceptance a strong catalyst for Square - Nomura Instinet

Despite of my negative opinion about current crypto currency technologies requiring too much energy to maintain the ledger, retailers of Square ($SQ) are increasingly willing to accept Bitcoin for payment. That makes Square a growth stock. I do expect the world is moving towards crypto with improving technologies in the future. My opinion is more about "overly done" in building the check and balance system to use every computer participated to maintain the ledger. While I am no expert about blockchain technologies and bitcoin, I believe that some kind of modification can evolve in the future. When that happen, the world of currency is going to have huge change! I obviously don't have a cryptal ball about the outcome of the future. However, there is no harm for payment platform to embrace the crypto currency for payment transaction. It's the next step of technology that a payment process cannot ignore.  What I am more careful with is to invest in Bitcoin as an ap

Crypto Currencies are not doing what they are supposed to do

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In today's news Google just joined Facebook to band Crypto related advertisements. Along with other news about crack down or regulation of ICO and Crypto Exchanges, it is even more clear that what the cryptocurrencies originally set out to do is simply NOT doing its job, at least not in its current form or will stay in a niche segment. The reasons why I think Crypto has a difficult job in doing what it's supposed to do is due to one simple factor: Open Source technologies. As long as crypto is based on open source technologies, it means that anyone can use it to create yet another crypto currency. That goes against the original objective of establishing a highly trust worthy and value protected limited supply currencies. Crypto is supposed to give the power back to the people where every transaction is to be completely transparent and nobody can lie to anybody. However, the very act that so many company can create crypto will create quality variations which lead to trust

China's Economy to Overtake Euro Zone This Year

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China’s gross domestic product is forecast to reach about $13.2 trillion in 2018, beating the $12.8 trillion combined total of the 19 countries that use the euro, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In 2017, the euro cohort edged China by less than $200 billion.  Read Full Story in Bloomberg

Japan's first woman to command a warship underscore megatrend

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Japan’s navy on Tuesday appointed the first woman to command a warship squadron as it tries to lure more females to make up for a lack of male recruits in an aging Japan. Source:  Reuters Even in the very much male dominate culture of Japan, the Japan's navy is trying to require more female to make up of under supplies of men for the navy. I believe that this is not just a trend of gender equality but also in technologies enabler for modern war fare or even commercial competitions less reliance on the human physical. As long as you have sounds mind, technologies can be leveraged to support and enable your strategies, no matter you are a man or woman.

Technologies will improve our living environment

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I focus my investment on technologies related companies. The reason for this focus is not just because tech has been one of the most most performing sector, but because I believe human development is all about some form of technologies improvement. From homosapiens to modern human, human has never been the strongest amongst the animal kingdom. Yet we rise to the top of the animal kingdom because we have been able to leverage technologies (as a tool) for enhanced productivity and to safe guard ourself from harmful factors from our environment. Not only that but we can do it in a mass scale. Human have been able to organise ourself in a team size of cities or nations which is is much larger than a pack of wolf. Now with internet as a communication tools, our coordination effort will be on a global scale. Our only challenge is ourself. Our population will grow to be too big to manage if we are not careful. We will be so over populated in a way that we will simply destroy our habitats

MegaTrend : Cutting the Cord

One of the key mega-trend in consumer consumption behaviour is cord-cutting. The next generation of consumers are technically capable enough to go through the boring details to setup their mobile phone, computer, and various online TV accounts so that they don't need to pay $100/mth to watch just a few channels and hundreds of other channels we may not even know exists. Frankly the folks in older generation is not stupid either. They did not want to pay for the bundled excess channels. However, they did not have internet but were stuck with cable in their era. They also did not have the knowledge to go through the complicated details of setting up their mobile and computer. If there is anything that is slowing down such trend is that there are not enough news and sports on non-cable channels. Netflix is all about TV Shows and movies only. There is no real authoritative media producing news contents on YouTube, Facebook or other internet TV channels. Whatever companies that has th

US Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claim

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US unemployment insurance claim suggest employment condition is great. Today's seasonally adjusted 222K new claims, down 7K from last week's revised figure, was below the Investing.com forecast of 230K. Source: SeekingAlpha

US Hosing Starts Jan 2018 beats market expectation

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US Housing Starts Jan 2018 at 1.326 million units (annualized). Better than the previous month's 1.192 mil and market views for 1.232 mil.

Household Debt Jumps as 2017 Marks the Fifth Consecutive Year of Annual Growth

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2017 Q4 US Household Debt increased $193 billion reaching a new height of $13.15 trillion. Increases breakdown as follows: Mortgage +1.6% Auto Loan +0.7% Credit Card +3.2% Student Loan 1.5%

Bitcoin is hanging on dangerous level

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I am not a bitcoin traders/miners/investors but just invest in plain old equities. Bitcoin volatility may impact equities. I need to place an watchful eye on it's development. Bitcoin is hanging at USD$8,524 level. It seems not able to penetrate 0.786 level. I believe that Bitcoin has failed on what it was originally set out to do. Considering the amount of energy it consumes in mining, trading and even just maintaining the global blockchain ledger, I say cryptical currencies need to evolve so that it can scale up without causing the Earth to die by over electricity consumption. The open source nature of Bitcoin allows forking to  unlimited alternative cryptocurrencies. The "limited supplies" may be true for Bitcoin but it's certainly not true for cryptocurrencies in general sense. Based on these fundamental factors, I believe that bitcoin really has not much use for investment or even asset storage purpose for ordinary people like me. Frankly the greedy side

Yields are hanging near short term high still.

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Despite yields are on the rise and it is generally expectation. Equities should be able easily hand 3% interest rate as long as yields does not change rapidly, which can create short term volatility to the equities market. Yields are at near short term high level (10yr @ 2.844% and 30yr @3.127%). Yield curve is quite steep still and no where near the flattening shape at the peek of 2007 before crash. US10Y @ 2.844%, US30Y @ 3.127% Source: TradingView.com US Yield Curve Source: Stockcharts.com

Oil prices are starting to pull inflation expectations lower.

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Source: Bloomberg

Cryptocurrencies Transaction Speeds Compared to Visa & Paypal

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The above picture shows how many transactions can be performed in one second. The larger the balloon, the faster the system and more transactions their payment network can process per second. It was surprising to see Ripple come in second and beat out PayPal by a whopping 1,307 transactions per second. This shows that Ripple may have the capability to be a viable payment solution on a much larger scale. Source: HowMuch.net

Current Market Correction is like 1987 or 1998

The current market correction appears to be more like 1987, or 1998, but unlike 2007 according to WSJ's Greg IP with similar factors in today:

India consumer prices rose 5.07 percent in Jan 2018 but expect to grow to 5.6 percent by Sep 2018.

Consumer prices rose 5.07 percent in January from a year earlier, the Statistics Ministry said in a statement in New Delhi on Monday, in line with the 5.1 percent Bloomberg consensus. However, the central bank forecasts the pace could pick up to as fast as 5.6 percent by September once the government begins spending for the year starting April 1. Source: Bloomberg

Bloomberg Mike McGlone believes Bitcoin May Pull toward $900.

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“Parabolically increasing supply is the primary limitation to cryptocurrency market-price appreciation,” McGlone said. “There’s strong gravitational pull toward $900, the average price since inception and the start of 2017.”

Bitcoin triggered equities correction

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Morgan Stanley Believes that the latest widespread correction has its root from Bitcoin correction. Source  Bloomberg

US Chapter 11 filings in Dec 2017 Largest Jump Since Financial Crisis

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Walfstreet.com believes that businesses are rushing to file chapter 11 before the end of the year and before the new tax cut.  The objective is to to take advantage of maximum write off of tax as expenses. Source: Wolfstreet.com

US Treasury 10-Year Yield Multi-Decade breakout.

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US Treasury 10-Year Yield has shoot up significantly. This chart from 13D Global Strategy & Research's tweet show a multi-decade downward trend on US Treasury 10-year yield. Equities market had gone through major correction every time the yield touched the top resistance of the down trend. And the 10-Year yield is touching the line now. Will 2018 be the year of overdue correction?

Toronto's Housing Recovery May Trail Vancouver's

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Toronto’s housing market drop is echoing Vancouver’s earlier plunge but Canada’s most populous city may not bounce back so quickly as new rules continue to tighten access to home loans. However, prices for apartments in the coastal city were up 26 percent year-over-year in December compared with 14 percent for Toronto. Bloomberg has a very informative interactive chart of property price annual increase rate. The picture above was a screen capture from Bloomberg. Read Original Article on Bloomberg.