John Ransom - Hope and Change Assault Our Pocketbook, Still
Posted: 6/12/2014 2:30:00 PM EST

Retail sales and jobless claims continue to defy economists who have been telling us that the economy is improving. "Retail sales gained 0.3 percent in May," writes CSMonitor, "lower than economists had expected. Jobless claims also rose last week, according to the Labor Department. But experts continue to have faith in the economy."

Interesting choice of words, "faith" is.

Faith is defined as being belief that is not based on proof.

Good that the liberal social scientists who call themselves economists-- the experts in this case-- at least now are admitting that they really don't have a fact-based science but a religion...based on faith.

From CSMonitor:

In another report, the Labor Department stated initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 for the week ended June 7, according to the report.

Though retail sales were less than expected and jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, experts believe the economy strengthening.

Hope they are right. But count on them changing their tune.

It'll be something expected, like weather, that will betray their faith.

It will never be that they are just wrong.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Hillary's New Book Moved to the Fiction Section
Posted: 6/11/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

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

Now the White House is blaming Hagel for the Bergdahl fiasco. The only person who is going to survive this administration mostly unscarred is Joe Biden; because, let’s face it, we all know that he never has any idea of what’s going on. (Fox News)

Code Pink held a rally in support of Bowe Bergdahl… Of course, “rally” is a strong word. Less than 2 dozen people showed up. The non-rally was held in DC, meaning that former Gitmo detainees were not able to attend. (And that’s too bad… It would have boosted their attendance by 50 percent.) (Daily Caller)

Hillary says that she won’t turn over her Benghazi notes, adding that lawmakers should simply read her book. (Wow… She’s getting pretty desperate to sell her latest piece of fiction, isn’t she?) (Daily Caller)

California’s teacher-tenure laws were deemed unconstitutional by a court. Naturally, unions are furious with the ruling. After all, tenured teachers pay union dues. Kids don’t. Guess which group the unions care about more… (CNN)

The wave of young illegal immigrants coming across the border is getting out of hand. I know deportation of kids is a touchy subject because no-one wants to “break up families”… But, in this case, we’d actually be reuniting kids with their parents. So, c’mon Liberals! Let’s bring families together, and ramp up deportation! (Judicial Watch)

John Ransom - Cantor Canned!
Posted: 6/11/2014 3:15:00 PM EST

Like most everyone else, I didn't see the Eric Cantor loss on my radar, although my radar is a little dim.

But I'm not sure that it really means that the Tea Party is BACK. I think it means that the GOP base is less than pleased with Republicans acting like Democrats. Not to discount the Tea Party, but rather to make the point that the Tea Party really is the GOP base.

It never left.

Hopefully, establishment Republicans understand that better now. There is no conceivable way for the GOP to be successful by alienating this important base.

As my colleague in Colorado, Bob Schaffer, used to say: You don't get elected as Republican by acting like a Democrat.

If you support immigration reform that has no penalties for people who break the law, you just say so. There is room for that in the other Party. But I think we have heard clearly from the GOP base that really we have to get serious about enforcing laws that we pass from immigration laws to Obamacare.

As a party, it does no good complaining about extra legal maneuvers from Obama, when the only real objection the GOP has is that Obama's the one doing it.

The easiest way to create a tyranny is this country is to pass laws and then selectively enforce them, and then encourage people to break the laws. In this way, DC gets to be the ultimate arbiter of who goes to jail for tax fraud and who gets to be Secretary of Treasury. Or who gets to stay in this country--illegally-- and who doesn't.

What do you call a law that everyone ignores?

The law.

Still... no matter what Obama might do with his pen and his phone.

Michael Schaus - In Other News: Eric Holder Wants to Focus on "Empowering" New Generation of Attorneys
Posted: 6/10/2014 4:13:00 PM EST

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

Charlie Rangel apparently felt it was perfectly OK to use his i-pad during a recent primary debate. He then went on some rant about his opponent being Dominican… Let’s be honest: If he was in your family, everybody at the Thanksgiving Day table would be concerned that he wasn’t taking his medication regularly. (Breitbart)

Edward Snowden is involved in talks about a possible plea deal with the US. Apparently the former Soviet Republic isn’t the bastion of freedom and limited government that he was lead to believe. (Yeah… He had problems with the NSA, so he ran to Vladimir Putin. And this isn’t working out? Really?) (Freebeacon)

Eric Holder explained that providing young illegal immigrants with taxpayer-funded legal counsel is necessary to “empower new generations of attorneys”… Shakespeare wanted to kill all the lawyers, Eric Holder is giving them job security. I understand it’s impractical (not immoral) to kill all the lawyers… But could we maybe start by firing a few? Maybe someone in the DOJ? (CNS News)

Shockingly, the Antarctic ice sheet is not melting because of SUV’s and coal powered electricity. The fact that it has been melting for roughly 20,000 years should have been our first clue that it was not global warming. But the fact that it has a giant volcano underneath it should have been a dead give-away. (Al Gore was unavailable for comment.) (Breitbart)

Flashback audio of the day: Barack Obama said that Bush only thinks he won the presidency… Yeah. There were also a lot of people who wondered why so many people named “chad” live in Florida. (Daily Caller)

John Ransom - GE Bets on Solar, But I Don't Bet on GE
Posted: 6/10/2014 3:35:00 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: Molson Coors

Molson hits new highs—Yahoo Finance

Molson Coors (TAP) is making all-time highs today. The growth - up 26% so far this year - is in part due to increased international sales and also helped by an improving employment picture here at home. When Americans have disposable income they use it to buy beer. It's as simple as that. Molson Coors, the second largest beer company in North America has had a better year than their top 15 competitors worldwide. The next round is on you Molson Coors.

Symbol: TAP

Trailing PE: 19; Forward PE: 17

PEG: 2.10

Dividend: 2.30%

Estimate Trend: Up

Ransom Note Trendline: Hold Molson Coors

TAP Chart

TAP data by YCharts

Stock number two: eHealth

Why Young Sign-Ups Aren't A Healthy Sign--Investor's Business Daily

But Internet-based eHealth (EHTH), which in May released data on ObamaCare plan applications over the prior six months, seemed to offer great news: 42% of enrollees were in the key young-adult demographic.

A Risk Pool Of Their Own

Yet a closer analysis explains why the eHealth enrollment data, rather than cause for celebration, reflect a largely missed opportunity in the near term and a likely cause of regret in years to come. The reason: 14% of eHealth enrollees opted for catastrophic coverage, including close to half of 18- to 29-year-olds. Under ObamaCare, catastrophic plans cover a younger and healthier risk pool that is separate from the main pool comprising bronze, silver, gold and platinum policyholders.

Symbol: EHTH

Trailing PE: NA; Forward PE: 85

PEG: 20.66

Dividend: NA

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: If Anything is Still Holy in the World Avoid EHealth

SPLS Chart

SPLS data by YCharts

Stock number three: General Electric Company

The Dow Hits Another Record As United Technologies, General Electric Rise--Motley Fool

One of the things that has helped drive industrial stocks like General Electric and United Technologies is their focus on the highest-potential areas in their vast conglomerate businesses. For instance, General Electric has no shortage of industries it could seek to dominate, but for the most part, it has chosen to concentrate on the opportunities in the energy arena to define its future. Today, for instance, General Electric said that it had invested in a Japanese photovoltaic solar-power project, with 32 megawatts of capacity expected to begin producing power in early 2016.

Symbol: GE

Trailing PE: 22; Forward PE: 15

PEG: 1.89

Dividend: 3.30%

Estimate Trend: Flat

Ransom Note Trendline: Avoid GE

GE Chart

GE data by YCharts

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.

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