John Ransom - Is GM Part of the Obama Curse?
Posted: 6/10/2014 2:35:00 PM EST

Obamacare, stimulus, IRS, budget, foreign policy, green jobs, student loans: the list of things screwed up by Obama is lengthy and growing longer.

Perhaps it's not just incompetence. Perhaps, like the Ancient Mariner, Obama is cursed.

As a colleague put it: Obama is like the other plague not mentioned specifically in the Bible.

General Motors, which benefited perhaps more than any other entity from Obama's largess--by being bailed out-- announced that they expect the death tally to go higher as a result of their ignition switch fiasco.

From the New York Times:

General Motors’ chief executive, Mary T. Barra, said Tuesday that the number of deaths and accidents linked to defective ignition switches could increase when an independent compensation plan is completed.

Speaking to reporters before the automaker’s annual meeting, Ms. Barra said that Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer who specializes in victim compensation, would “independently determine” how many people died or were seriously injured in millions of small cars with faulty ignition switches.

The company was aware for years that these ignition switches were faulty but, kind of like the VA, ignored the problem even though it was killing people.

Does anyone else see the pattern?

Prior to the scandal GM stock had climbed to almost $42. But the defective ignition switch problem has knocked the stock back down again.

It's another in a series of missteps that's continuing the GM moniker of Government Motors.

GM has been a public relations disaster since turning to the government for money, and stiffing shareholders in a deal that was a big warm hug to the United Auto Workers. From their ill advised reliance on the Chevy Volt to re-brand the entire GM line, to their fake announcements that taxpayers have been paid off, the company has gone from one lie to the next.

And just shows that anything Obama touches is doomed, doomed I tell you!

Too bad Democrats don't come standard with ignition switches.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: The NSA is Really Just Jealous of Google
Posted: 6/9/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

One Gitmo detainee is being released because he took up Yoga. Another is being released because he “has a positive attitude”. Another is being released because he’s planning to build a Milk and Honey Farm. (What the heck is that?) It’s nice to see that the world will soon have an influx of happy, productive, well-adjusted terrorists… (NY Post)

Since the NSA scandal broke open, other nations don’t trust American companies that much… In completely unrelated news: Google is developing a new software that will remotely access your camera, microphone and Bluetooth in an effort to let other people know whether or not you’re around. (Full body chills.) (Androidpolice)

According to a new study, 70 percent of college graduates are not financially self-sufficient. That’s right: 70 percent depend on their parents, friends, or credit cards to keep from financially drowning… This is what happens when people borrow $30,000 for a degree in anthropological feminism (I’m just assuming this is really a thing). (Yahoo Finance)

Wow… This is a shock: After Obama granted de-facto amnesty to young illegal immigrants, the border was soon overrun by… wait for it... young illegal immigrants. And, of course, the President has promised to provide these young immigrants with legal counsel. Because, ya know, federal immigration laws are really more like guidelines anyway. (NY Times)

More Democrats are giving up on Obama… Or depending on how you view it, they’re finally realizing that he’s just fulfilling his campaign pledge: “Hope and Change.” Here they are, in Barack Obama's second term, hoping for change. Well played, Mr. Obama. Well played. (National Journal)

John Ransom - Buy on Rumor, Sell on News
Posted: 6/9/2014 3:25:00 PM EST

Welcome to John Ransom’s Stocks in the News where the headlines meet the trendlines.

Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.

Stock number one: Hittite Microwave Corporation

Analog Devices Bids $2B for Hittite Microwave—The Street.com

Semiconductor company Analog Devices (ADI_) said Monday it would acquire rival Hittite Microwave (HITT_) in a $2 billion deal that would boost its radio frequency and signal conversion chip offerings. Terms of the deal call for Analog to pay $78 per share for Chelmsford, Mass.-based Hittite, a premium of 28.8% over the target's $60.56 Friday close.

Symbol: HITT

Trailing PE: 35; Forward PE: 23

PEG: 0.08

Dividend: 1.00

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Sell Hittite

HITT Chart

HITT data by YCharts

Stock number two: Staples, Inc.

Business Interiors by Staples and Metropolis Magazine Announce Second Annual Workplace of the Future Design Competition--Business Wire

Students, emerging designers and industry professionals can architect their vision for the workplace of the future in a competition hosted by Business Interiors by Staples, the furniture and interior design division of Staples Advantage, and Metropolis, the magazine of architecture, culture and design. The second annual contest, Workplace of the Future 2.0, starts July 1, 2014 with a call for entries that invites architects and designers to submit concepts that depict how the workplace will change in the next 10-15 years.

Symbol: SPLS

Trailing PE: NA; Forward PE: 11

PEG: -9.72

Dividend: NA (Div Cut)

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Sell Staples

SPLS Chart

SPLS data by YCharts

Stock number three: Pilgrim's Pride Corporation

Tyson knocks Pilgrim's out of Hillshire bidding with new offer--Fly on the Wall

Shares of food processor and distributor Hillshire Brands (HSH) are rising after Tyson Foods (TSN) submitted an increased offer to acquire the company, prompting rival Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) to withdraw its own takeover proposal. WHAT'S NEW: Tyson submitted a unilaterally binding offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Hillshire for a price of $63 per share in cash.

Symbol: PPC

Trailing PE: 11; Forward PE: 15

PEG: 1.57

Dividend: NA

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Avoid Pilgrim’s Pride

PPC Chart

PPC data by YCharts

John Ransom - Ron Fino Confirms Bergdahl Ransom
Posted: 6/9/2014 3:20:00 PM EST

As I said just now on the radio, former undercover FBI agent Ron Fino today told me that a high level source in the intelligence community has confirmed that a ransom was paid by the Obama administration for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"I have learned from high level intelligence sources," says Fino, "that a ransom was also paid in getting Sgt Bergdahl released. I am sure it was not direct [payment] but via a Qatar operation."

Speculation about a ransom has been rampant since the release of Bergdahl.

Today our own Guy Benson wrote:

Now the Washington Free Beacon hastracked down a senior US intelligence official who effectively endorses the idea as not just plausible, but likely -- a conclusion buttressed by his extensive experience dealing with the Haqqani network.

You can contact Fino by going to RonaldFino.com

John Ransom - A New Reason to Ridicule Liberals, the Media, Obama and the Left
Posted: 6/9/2014 2:10:00 PM EST

Yahoo Finance, that liberal trove of sell-side broker/dealer propaganda-- and shill for the Obama administration-- is running a "story" today in which a left wing think tank says that Walmart should give raises to all their employees rather than buy back stock and increase dividends.

From Yahoo Finance:

Walmart spent $6.6 billion on buybacks in 2013 and another $3 billion on dividends just for Walton family members; Demos senior policy analyst Amy Traub says the money would've been better spent giving Walmart workers a raise.

Traub recently co-authored a report that concluded if Walmart and other major retailers raised the average salary of their full-time employees to $25,000 per year "it would lift 437,000 women and their families out of poverty and create more than 100,000 new jobs in addition."

Ignoring the fact that it's the administration's own fiscal and tax policies that are responsible for companies engaging in balance sheet arbitrage, like stock buy backs and dividend increases, to return value to shareholders, I'm wondering how any business media outlet keeps its credibility by lending a platform to ideas like this.

The purpose of a corporation, like Walmart, in a real and legal sense, is to return value to shareholders, not to engage in liberal social engineering. It's especially ridiculous to suggest this type of corporate policy when the administration's own policies are largely to blame for the hiring strike going on by capital in the country.

That a business outlet like Yahoo Finance would think that they are serving readership by propagating anti-business policies that are quite honestly at odds with maximizing shareholder value, just shows how little you can trust the establishment media today.

They little know who their readers and they little care.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: We’re Losing the War on Poverty… Can we do a Prisoner Swap?
Posted: 6/6/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

We seem to be losing the war on poverty… Maybe we should do a prisoner swap. I bet we have at least five liberal politicians we could release from DC. (CNS News)

The New York City council has officially demanded that Walmart stop donating millions of dollars to charities in the NYC area, because they are afraid the company might try to open a store in the city… Because, everyone knows how dangerous it is for a corporation to donate millions of dollars to local charities while offering affordable goods and services to low income families. (NY Post)

The White House is now trying to explain away Susan Rice’s most recent Sunday show fibs and half-truths. Initially, they wanted to blame everything on some obscure YouTube video. (Breitbart)

If you have never seen Barack Obama do an effective and masculine workout, go ahead and watch this video… You still will not see him do an effective or masculine workout, but you’ll suddenly realize why you've never seen it:

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Eric Holder Might Have a Future In California Politics
Posted: 6/5/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Here are some other highlights and headlines that I noticed over at Ransom Notes Radio:

Despite being an anti-gun politician who is being investigated for illegal arms-trafficking, California Democrat Leland Yee still won almost 300,000 votes. It makes you wonder if Eric Holder has a political future on the West coast. (LA Weekly)

A California bill would mandate that sexual partners receive verbal, or written, permission from their partner before sex. (Wait… I thought liberals wanted government out of the bedroom.) I’m surprised that documentation of consent doesn’t have to be notarized and filed at the county recorder’s office. (Breitbart)

In New York, a Common Core test is under fire for not being rigorous enough. Apparently students who get merely 1/3 of the answers correct can still get a passing grade… I don’t know about you, but I think that 25% is way too low of a threshold. (Daily Caller)

Chiquita Banana spent $800,000 to block legislation that would allow 9/11 victims to sue companies that fund terrorists. Who would have guessed that a banana company from Columbia might have a sordid history in the world of international terrorism? (Fox News Latino)

I mean, seriously: five terrorists for one lousy deserter? Apparently the White House realized that their terrorist to POW ratio was off, which is why they are thinking about releasing another terrorist from Gitmo. (Fox News)

John Ransom - Apple Flying
Posted: 6/5/2014 3:18:00 PM EST

Welcome to John Ransom’s Stocks in the News where the headlines meet the trendlines.

Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.

Stock number one: Amazon.com Inc.

Amazon gains on June event—MarketWatch

Amazon.com AMZN +6.25%shares advanced 6.8% after the company’s announcement of an event on June 18 to launch a new device prompted speculation that it may unveil a smartphone that would put it in direct competition with Apple Inc. AAPL +0.31%and Samsung Electronics Co. KR:005930 -0.88% .

Symbol: AMZN

Trailing PE: 509; Forward PE: 100

PEG: 6.09

Dividend: NA

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Avoid Amazon

AMZN Chart

AMZN data by YCharts

Stock number two: Apple

Apple iWatch expected to debut with iPhone 6 this fall--Investor's Business Daily

iWatch is likely to be unveiled with the iPhone 6 in September, reports an analyst attending a major tech show in Taiwan currently underway.

Wearable technology is the major theme at Computex Taipei, where analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald said information he collected "highlighted that initial production of certain iWatch components is scheduled to begin later this month," with plans for a sharp acceleration into fall.

Symbol: AAPL

Trailing PE: 15; Forward PE: 13

PEG: 0.96

Dividend: 2.10%

Estimate Trend: Up

Ransom Note Trendline: Buy Apple

AAPL Chart

AAPL data by YCharts

Stock number three: Whole Foods Market, Inc

Whole Foods advances after analyst initiates with $48 target--Fly on the Wall

Shares of Whole Foods (WFM) are climbing after research firm Imperial Capital initiated coverage of the shares with an Outperform rating, saying that the recent decline in the stock has created an attractive entry point. WHAT'S NEW: Whole Foods is continuing to gain market share, and its profits can grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% over the next three years, Imperial analyst Mitchell Pinheiro wrote in a note to investors last night.

Symbol: WFM

Trailing PE: 26; Forward PE: 23

PEG: 1.82

Dividend: 1.30

Estimate Trend: Up

Ransom Note Trendline: Avoid Whole Foods

WFM Chart

WFM data by YCharts

John Ransom - New Time 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for June 5th, 2014
Posted: 6/5/2014 9:15:00 AM EST

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John Ransom - Wow! Look at the Economy the Dems Brought Us!
Posted: 6/5/2014 9:14:00 AM EST

A big miss on private payroll estimates, followed by rising unemployment claims, tell a very different story than the 4% GDP growth that economists were bragging on in the first quarter.

From CNBC:

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 for the week ended May 31, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The prior week's claims were revised to show 4,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless aid rising to 310,000 last week.

Despite signs that the economy was in trouble in the first quarter, economists were saying “never mind, things are really beginning to heat up.”

And low and behold, these same economists are trotting out their excuse why hiring isn't as good as 4% GDP growth would indicate.

From USAToday:

The current numbers are now close to levels seen in the years before the recession. From 2004 through 2006. the average for weekly unemployment claims was about 329,000, according to Labor Department data and Haver Analytics.

GDP growth was very uneven from 2004 to 2006 but we were creating enough jobs to keep unemployment at full employment with high labor participation rates.

Today, most economists have been revising their GDP estimates upwards, with some even making the claim that GDP growth for 2014 will come in at about 4% annually.

Instead Quarter One 2014 came in at a 1% contraction, making it the worse quarter since the first quarter of 2011.

People need to remember that most of the economists polled for survey estimates are folks who work for financial services firms that make a living on convincing you that the market will never go down, the economy is never bad and mostly what you need to do is buy now.

People also need to remember that those same financial service firms that have that sell-side bias sponsor most shows in the money media -- at CNBC and Bloomberg, for example.

In fairness however, the market does generally go up. Buying now is usually a good bet as long as you can hold forever.