60 Minutes on the Explosion of Disability Enrollees

60 Minutes this past Sunday did a piece on a story that has been talked about in these pages for a long time – the rapid increase in disability enrollment since the recession half a decade ago.  It is quite remarkable that effectively 5% of the working population is now enrolled. [Apr 7, 2011: Nearly 1 in 20 Working Age Americans Are on Disability, a Doubling Versus 1990]  [Dec…

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WSJ's Hilsenrath on Janet Yellen

With the demise of Larry Summers, all eyes point to Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve head.  Frankly it is a bit surprising she was not the leading candidate all along.   Earlier this year, we posted a NY Times piece on the woman [Apr 25, 2013: NY Times Does Janet Yellen] from a more personal level and now we have one on the Fed whisperer himself, Jon Hilsenrath…

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The Most Overbought Point in 2013

Quite an explosive rally yesterday at the 2 PM mark, in fact about 70% of yesterday's gains came in a minute or so per Bespoke Investment; the power of algos.   Obviously the Fed, by surprising just about everyone with "no taper at all", lit another fire under the market but coming off a near vertical rally since late August it is still a bit surprising to see the…

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Launch of Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX)

Hanna Capital is proud to announce the launch of its flagship fund, the Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX).  Available through a variety of brokers as well as direct purchase, this no-load fund seeks capital appreciation.  See the fund's prospectus here. Distributor: Capital Investment Group, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC , 17 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603, (800) 773-3863.  There is no affiliation between Hanna Capital LLC, including its principals, and Capital Investment Group, Inc….

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Apr10

I ran a screen on Finviz for names that have held up the past week; generally when the market turns these will be amongst the best performers.  We have not really had a chance to run this sort of test in 2012 as the bears have only had 3 days at a time [Mar 30, 2012: Three Days and Out for Bears in 2012], so there have been no sustained downturns to ferret out the real strength.

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Apr10

Apple (AAPL) actually is down after that last flush of heavy selling in the past 30 minutes, a shocker in and of itself in 2012.  Still its a minor flesh wound of -0.3% at the moment.  Earlier in the morning the stock hit the magical $600B valuation, only the second company in U.S. history to do so – the other being Microsoft in 1999.  Ironically, as Apple teetered on the brink Microsoft actually gave the company a loan to survive, many eons ago.  Talk about full circle!

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Apr10

While the index I now call NASDAPPLELINE (Apple + Priceline) exists in a different universe at the moment, there is a lot of damage in the broader market outside those 2 stocks.  The Russell 2000 has (aside from 2 days in March) now given back all gains since late January.  A test of the March lows is close…

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Apr10

Gary Shilling has been more dour than most on the underlying economy the past 3-4 years, and that could be argued was a relatively good call.  Despite never before seen levels of federal government and central bank intervention, the economy continues to limp along at what I call a "meh" pace.  Normal recoveries sans massive intervention should have had some sustained periods of 4-5%+ type GDP growth; we're happy with 2-3% nowadays.  Gary's long U.S. Treasuries call has been against the grain, and mostly right the past few years, and he's had quite a few other prescient calls as well.  Shilling posted 2 articles on Bloomberg, stating the case for a recession in 2012 – which is now again an outlier view.  We'll look at part 1 today, and look at part 2 which focuses on the labor market tomorrow.

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Apr10

In case you missed it, word broke yesterday that Facebook was buying mobile photo sharing app company Instagram for a stunning $1 billion.  Some of the metrics under the surface are stunning – such as the 13 employees… many hired within the past 6 months, and the lifespan of under 2 years.  With no revenue.  The company had been valued at $500M based on a round of funding… last week!

All based on a simple premise – creating a very simple way to share photos via mobile devices.   Perhaps a crazy valuation but a fascinating story either way.

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