Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Observations and Sample Trades (VIVHY, ADX, HTGZ): January 24, 2017/Donald Trump and the Beginning of the End of the Progressive Era

Jim Rogers believes that investors need to sell stock when and if Trump starts a trade war. 

The market's valuation is moving quickly toward levels, even without that kind of folly, where I would start to reduce my stock allocation anyway. 

As noted in a prior comment, Trump reinforced his call for protectionist policies in his inaugural address, as he did throughout the campaign.  

This is what he said in that speech: 

"Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. "

Transcript And Analysis: President Trump's Inauguration Speech : NPR

AP fact check: Trump's inaugural speech | PBS NewsHour
President Trump’s Inaugural Address: FactCheck.org

The stock market clearly assigns a zero per cent chance to Trump initiating a protectionist policies that inevitably precipitate a trade war as other nations reciprocate. The Stocks Jocks, CEOs and money managers, mostly Trump supporters, see nothing but blue skies ahead. Economic nirvana is just around the corner.

The odds are clearly higher than zero that Trump will start a trade war and will cause significant disruptions in important U.S. industry sectors that may cause a recession or an economic slowdown.

IMO, adjustments need to be made to more clearly reflect the odds as being significantly higher than the market's belief that the Rational Man will finally ooze out of the Orange King as Byron Wein recently asserted here: Byron Wien: Trump Will Pivot to Moderate Stance - Barron's


Like the Sun King Louis XIV, the Orange King enjoys ornate palaces and allegedly a "string of" women other than his wife. The Sun King gave himself that title since he was never wrong, not even once in his 72 year reign. 

I wonder when Trump is going to initiate all of those libel suits against the women who claimed, prior to the election, that Trump made unwanted sexual advances. Donald Trump says he'll sue sexual misconduct accusers - CNNPolitics.com I would like to be a fly on the wall when his deposition is taken. Let me know when he files his lawsuits in case I miss the news.

Bear with me. I am going to show how this relates back to investing. 

I wonder whatever happened to that gold platted wastepaper basket that Denis Kozlowski bought with Tyco shareholder money. I bet it is in the Oval Office now. 

The Orange King likes gold so very much. Inside Donald's Mansion The color goes so well with his hair and makes that hairdo sparkle with radiance.  

Upon seeing the robust use of gold as a decoration inside Donald's home, the resemblance to the Sun King's Versailles Palace quickly came to mind. I could not help it. The comparison just immediately popped into my brain mush.  

Maybe gold is moving up some in price over the past few weeks as more investors realize that the White House, soon to be rebranded with a different name more  to Donald's liking, will be platted in 24K gold on both the exterior and the interior. 

The movement toward gold platted umbrella holders, waste paper baskets, refrigerators and toilets may then become such an inextricable part of the really powerful Trump movement that gold prices soar over $3K per ounce. 

I own some gold bullion, but view it as unlikely that I will plate my toilets with the stuff. Maybe some gold threads in my clothes or some 24K gold pant's zippers is doable or a gold plate on the top of my head where hair use to be. 


Perhaps someone needs to inform Jim Acosta to think twice before asking Trump a question again at a news conference, unless he wants to be shackled and chained and then taken to the soon to be built Washington Tower for future disposition. Trump shuts down CNN reporter  

Trump is not a First Amendment lover in practice, which is not unusual anymore in the U.S. Just ignore the lip service to the conservative values expressed in that Constitutional Amendment when a person's actions speak louder than the words.


One of the Orange King's first proclamations was to increase FHA insurance premiums for homeowners by about $500 per year. Trump already suspends Obama-era FHA mortgage insurance cut - MarketWatchFHA mortgage insurance premium cuts cancelled by President Trump - CBS News

That increase is part of his plan to make America Great Again and to do everything within his power to help the white voters with high school educations who are responsible for his ascension. 

("Trump did best among white voters without a college degree, beating Clinton by the enormous margin of 72 percent to 23 percent." CBS News)  

Do not be concerned about decreases in their disposable income that can no longer be spent to support a consumer led economy. 

Under Trump's current tax plan, there would be about $560 per year tax cut for a family earning $40-$50K, offsetting that other increase. 

There is a caveat however. 

About 8 million middle class families would suffer a tax increase: Trump would hike taxes for some in middle class (US Today)  

That statistic is dismissed of course as left-wing propaganda and lies circulated by the mainstream media and the non-partisan Tax Policy Center who ran the numbers. 

What Is Donald Trump's Tax Plan? An Analysis Of Whom It Will Benefit : NPR ("A single parent who's earning $75,000 and has two school-age children, they would face a tax increase of over $2,400") 

Somebody needs to up their contributions to our destitute Uncle Same to offset my meaningful tax cut after all. 

Might as well be a single parent with two small children to raise. 

To help out with expenses,  those two kids can get a job or two between 3:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M. every day just like in the old days. 

My maternal grandmother and grandfather had to quit after the 8th grade to help on the farm. Back to 1900, sound's like a good political slogan when honesty is used to coin it.    

Might as well repeal those pesky child labor laws just in case some liberal complains. 

We may soon have a anti-labor Labor Secretary who would fit just fine into late 19th and early 20th Century national labor policies and laws, so that repeal is only a tiny additional step to make. 

5 reasons the Senate must reject Andrew Puzder as Labor secretary | TheHill

Andrew Puzder’s shady history: Trump’s labor secretary nominee is a habitual violator of labor law - Salon.com

And, it may be possible to get rid of those laws even without congressional legislation. The Senate Democrats might prevent their repeal through a filibuster designed to further their creeping socialist agenda. 

When the Supreme Court is packed for the next two or three decades with members of the The Federalist Society, then the judicial ideology expressed in the 1918 Supreme Court decision in Hammer v. Dagenhart will likely be resurrected in substantial ways. That decision was decided by a 5 to 4 vote with Republicans providing 4 of the 5 votes. The other vote was a kindred spirit who was appointed by Woodrow Wilson. 

The Hammer decision and many others like it are consistent with the dominant historical theme of GOP constitutional law philosophy. That decision held that a federal child labor law was unconstitutional.  

The particular law in question was the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916. ("banned the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery that employed children under the age of 14, from any mine that employed children under the age of 16, and from any facility that had children under the age of 16 work at night or for more than 8 hours during the day.")

In the coming years, the Supreme Court will be gradually moving back toward the Lochner era in Constitutional jurisprudence and a far more narrower interpretation of the Constitution's Commerce Clause as a means to limit federal government power to promulgate laws and regulations. Both are part of long standing GOP legal dogma over the past 130+ years, which is one of the two dominant legal strains in U.S. Constitutional jurisprudence IMO. This kind of issue is explored in laymen's terms in Jeffrey Toobin's book titled The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (partial excerpt at CNN.com)

Progressives have been under the false impression that these issues were resolved 80+ years ago, but that is not the case.

The general idea is to have the Supreme Court do the heavy lifting by gradually pecking away at the constitutionality of all progressive legislation passed over the past 125 years. Inroads have already been made and will likely accelerate when Trump appoints his second Justice. Then the republican representatives can shrug their shoulders and say that they do not agree with every decision striking down a law on constitutional grounds, but what can Congress do about it.

Liberals are focusing on abortion (Roe v. Wade) and gay marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges) decisions that are likely to be reversed or gutted when one of the liberals pass away, which I view as likely within the next four years, and their replacement is appointed by Trump.

The repercussions go way beyond those topics and will have multi-decade impacts.

Most people do not have a clue of what may be in store in the not too distant future. Virtually all major social programs, civil rights legislation, environmental laws and labor laws are based on the Supreme Court's Commerce Clause decisions since the end of the Lochner Era. The odds of another Supreme Court justice dying.

Notable members of the Federalist Society include former Justice Antonin Scalia and the current Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. These people want to castrate the power of the federal government in the name of individual freedom and pursuant to a strict construction of the Constitution (strict construction is similar in many respects to arguing that States Rights was the real issue causing the Civil War rather than slavery-lipstick on the pig kind of deal)

I view it as likely that the next Justice will be among the 21 people recommended by this Society.

One potential candidate, Senator Mike Lee (R), believes that Social Security, Medicare and federal child labor laws are unconstitutional. Lee is a supporter of the 1918 Hammer decision. Utah Senator Questions Child Labor Law Constitutionality - YouTube (narrow reading of the Commerce Clause in line with Hammer)

As I have said many times over the years to deaf ears, the reactionary and wingnut forces in our society are far greater and stronger than the liberal/progressive ones. 

The threat to freedoms and even democracy are more likely to come from inside the U.S. than from external forces. The fundamental and conservative values that underpin a properly functioning democracy are already being undermined through voter suppression efforts, gerrymandering, widespread efforts to denigrate the free press, factually unsupported allegations about fraudulent voting and vote counting (
Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers), and growing antipathy toward religions that are not practiced by the majority. Those attacks on democratic principles are inconsistent with the True Conservative values embodied in the Bill of Rights and are undertaken by pseudo conservatives. 


67% of Trump Voters believe that the unemployment rate went up during the Obama Presidency.

41% of Trump Voters believe the stock market went up during Obama's Presidency, while 39.9% are certain that it went down and 19% have no idea

14% of Trump Voters believe that Hillary ran a child sex ring.

73% of Trump Voters believe George Soros is paying Trump protestors to protest


In Trump's speech to the CIA, he said that the U.S. should have taken Iraq's oil and may do so at a later time:

 "The old expression, “to the victor belong the spoils” -- you remember.  I always used to say, keep the oil.  I wasn’t a fan of Iraq.  I didn’t want to go into Iraq.  But I will tell you, when we were in, we got out wrong.  And I always said, in addition to that, keep the oil.  Now, I said it for economic reasons.  But if you think about it, Mike, if we kept the oil you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place.  So we should have kept the oil.  But okay.  (Laughter.)  Maybe you’ll have another chance.  But the fact is, should have kept the oil." 

Trump CIA speech transcript - CBS News

Typical reckless speech by President Trump.

Besides being clearly illegal under international law, which obviously does not bother Trump, those kind of statements place U.S. troops in the region at risk now. The potential danger is aggravated by having Exxon's CEO as the new Secretary of State.  

Trump brought his sycophants along for this speech to cheer and laugh at the appropriate times. Trump Reportedly Brought His Own Staff to Cheer During C.I.A. Speech | Vanity Fair    


1. Gold: Using a commission free trade, I added to my GLD position last Friday at $114.725.

Closing Price: $115.08 +$.28

Day's Range $114.32 to $115.76

GLD did break its 50 day SMA to the upside around 1/11/17, using a 1 year YF chart, and has been in an uptrend since 12/22/16: GLD Interactive Stock Chart

On 11/3/2016, I sold my then highest cost lot profitably at $124.2. I would consider selling my current highest cost lot in the $128 to $135 range.

I trade the precious metal ETFs. I use the PM ETFs PPLT, SLV and GLD primarily as short term hedges for what I would broadly describe as  chaotic conditions in major risk asset categories.

At the moment, I view the PM ETFs and gold mining stocks as a hedge for the Orange King doing something that causes significant economic dislocation and stock market instability worldwide.

I trade the long cycles through purchases and sales of bullion while maintaining a position through bull and bear cycles as a hedge against Financial Armageddon ushered into being through catastrophic and precipitous declines in the USD's value and a series of failed Treasury auctions.

I am only nibbling now.

A.  Bought 1 Statoil  1.2% Senior Unsecured Bond Maturing on 1/17/2018

FINRA Page: Bond Detail (prospectus linked at FINRA page)

Moody's Rating Aa3 as of 3/21/16 

YTM at Total Cost (99.878) = 1.325%

B. Bought 1 Stanley Black & Decker  1.622% Subordinated Unsecured Bond Maturing on 11/17/2018 (first junior bond purchase in this basket)

FINRA Page:  Bond Detail (prospectus linked at Finra Page)

Subordinated Debt Ratings: 

Moody's RatingBaa2 (11/07/2016)
Standard & Poor's RatingBBB+ (11/25/2013)
Fitch RatingBBB+ (01/05/2017)

YTM at Total Cost (99.882) = 1.688%%

C. Bought 2 Westpac 1.65% Senior Unsecured Bonds Maturing on 5/13/2019

FINRA Page: Bond Detail (prospectus linked at FINRA page)

Moody's RatingAa2 (08/18/2016)
Standard & Poor's Rating
Fitch RatingAA- (05/13/2016)

YTM at Total Cost (99.317) =1.954%

A. Bought (Roth IRA Account) 1 Consolidated Edison 2% Senior Unsecured Bond Maturing on 5/15/2021

FINRA Page: Bond Detail

Moody's RatingA3 (05/11/2016)
Standard & Poor's RatingBBB+ (05/11/2016)
Fitch RatingBBB+ (10/26/2016)

YTM at Total Cost (98.08) = 2.472%

Fitch Affirms ConEd & Subsidiaries at 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable-Report Dated 10/26/16

2016 Third Quarter Earnings Report

Based on my financial situation, I am highly unlikely to withdraw any funds from my Roth IRA accounts.

Those funds would be the last used to pay expenses since income is being generated tax free in them. This Consolidated Edison 2021 senior bond becomes a 4+ year tax free bond when owned in a Roth IRA.

{I will occasionally use this calculator to give me a precise reading on the time duration between two dates since I am now having trouble doing that in my head. Calculate Duration Between Two Dates – Results}

In the event that I need to withdraw from an IRA to pay expenses, the money better be there rather than in money heaven or be forced to sell stocks into a catastrophic bear market decline or during a long term secular bear market. I am more interested in the return of my money rather than the return on my money.

4. Contrarian and Income Strategies:

A. Bought 100 of Vivendi at $19.125 (commission free trade)

France charges a .2% transaction fee for stock purchases only.  Foreign Financial Transaction Fee Overview | Wells Fargo Advisors (.002 x. $1912.5= $3.83 plus another $1.91 in an unexplained fee included in the $5.74 fee amount shown in the preceding snapshot)

The two main Vivendi subsidiaries are the Universal Music Group ("UMG") and Canal + Group.

UMG is the "world leader in recorded music, music publishing and merchandising". Vivendi

Canal is a "leading pay-TV operator in France, and also serves markets in Africa, Poland and Vietnam. Canal through STUDIOCANAL is a "leading European player in production, sales and distribution of film and TV series".

I bought the USD priced ADR traded on the U.S. pink sheet exchange: Vivendi SA (VIVHY)

1 ADR = 1 Ordinary Share Priced in Euros

Ordinary Share Quote in Euros: Vivendi (VIV)

The ordinary shares were trading at €17.89 when I placed the trade. France's stock market was still open. I did a currency conversion of the ordinary share price into USDs prior to placing a limit order:

The EUR/USD exchange rate was up slightly.

While the Euro priced shares have outperformed the USD priced ADR over the past three years due to the decline in the EUR/USD exchange rate, the ordinary shares have declined as well in Euros:

VIV Stock Chart

VIV and VIVHY are in effect the same shares except the former is priced in Euros and the latter in USDs.

If the Euro/USD exchange rate declines further after my purchase, the underperformance of the ADR will continue. The buyer of VIVHY would want the Euro to gain in value against the USD. That will cause the USD priced ADR to outperform the shares priced in Euros and would also increase the dividend yield when the Euro sourced dividend is converted into USDs to pay the VIVHY owners.

Dividends: For 2012 through 2015, Vivendi has paid a €1 per share annual dividend: Dividend

At a €17.9 price per share, that would translate into about a 5.59% dividend yield before taxes.

My goal for this investment is to harvest one or more annual dividends and then sell the stock for whatever profit is available.

I have been able to claim foreign dividend tax payments as credits on my U.S. taxes. The rules are somewhat complex.

I bought this stock at Fidelity which has in the past filed relief at source claims for a 15% dividend withholding tax rate on dividends paid by France's corporations. Other brokers fail to make that claim and consequently 30% is withheld.

Credit Ratings: BBB by S & P and Baa2 by Moody's

Nine Month 2016 Financial Excerpt: 


Those numbers are self-explanatory.

5. Worried About Trump and Stock Market Valuations:  

A. Sold 100 of 400+ ADX at $12.98 

Quote: Adams Diversified Equity Fund Inc.  (ADX)

My last blog discussion of this unleveraged stock CEF was published last February: Item # 5. Reinitiated Position in Adams Express (NYSE: ADX): Bought 100 at $11.78+ at Update For CEF Basket Strategy As Of 2/26/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha

ADX at CEF Connect

ADAMS DIVERSIFIED EQUITY FUND, INC. - FORM N-30B - SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 (2016 3rd Quarter Report)

I own 206+ ADX shares in two taxable accounts. I sold 100 using a commission free trade.

Fidelity Account Position Before Pare:

I selected the highest cost 100 share lot to sell that was purchased on 11/22/16.

Profit: +$51.98

In addition to that profit, I received a $.84  per share year end distribution or $84 for 100 shares bringing the total return up to $135.98. That would equate to a 10.91% total return realized in two months.    

The 6.637 shares were bought with that dividend at a total cost of $12.71 per share.

Adams Diversified Equity Fund Declares Year-End Distribution; Exceeds Its Annual 6% Minimum

Prior ADX Round-TRIPs 2014 and 2015:

2015 ADX 467+ Shares +$1,983.24

2014 ADX 459 Shares +$786.65

Total = +$2,769.89 realized gains in 2014 and 2015

Given the high level of dividends, ADX needs to be evaluated on a total return basis which requires adding the original dividend values to the realized gain number. I also view it as personally important to periodically sell shares bought with dividends at a profit, which was done in the previous snapshots.  That enhances the value of the dividends.

The worst possible dividend reinvestment scenario is to reinvest the dividends to buy more shares, pay taxes on the dividends, and then have the company go bankrupt which has happened on a number of occasions.

6. Sold Two 76 Share Lots of the Exchange Traded Bond HTGZ Using Commission Free Trades:

Profit Snapshots: +$76.67

In both accounts, I originally owned 100 shares but the issuer redeemed 24 shares. Hercules Technology Growth Capital Announces Intention to Partially Redeem its 7.00% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2019 (Press Release Dated 2/17/15)

I discussed this bond recently: Stocks, Bonds & Politics -January 11, 2017

The issuer has stated its intention to redeem this bond: SEC Filed Press Release

The bond will be redeemed with the proceeds from a 4.375% convertible bond sold to institutional investors.

I do not have any commission free trades in the ROTH IRA account that holds 176 shares. I will simply allow the issuer to redeem those shares at their $25 par value plus accrued interest.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor but simply an individual investor who has been managing my own money since I was a teenager. In this post, I am acting solely as a financial journalist focusing on my own investments. The information contained in this post is not intended to be a complete description or summary of all available data relevant to making an investment decision. Instead, I am merely expressing some of the reasons underlying the purchase or sell of securities. Nothing in this post is intended to constitute investment or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or to sell. All investors need to perform their own due diligence before making any financial decision which requires at a minimum reading original source material available at the SEC and elsewhere. A failure to perform due diligence only increases what I call "error creep". Stocks, Bonds & Politics: ERROR CREEP and the INVESTING PROCESS Each investor needs to assess a potential investment taking into account their personal risk tolerances, goals and situational risks. I can only make that kind of assessment for myself and family members


  1. Northwest Healthcare REIT (NWH.UN:CA)(own 1200 units): This Canadian REIT is falling today after announcing a public trust unit offering. The REIT sold 7.43M trust units at C$10.3.


    My last post discussing a purchase can be found here:

    1. Added 100 NWN.UN at C$9.58:

    The current distribution is C$.06667 per month or C$.8 annually.

    Northwest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
    $10.14 Change -0.31 -2.97%
    Volume 451,260
    Jan 24, 2017, 11:38 a.m
    Div yield 7.89%
    Ex dividend date 1/27/17

  2. "Nike and other U.S. stocks threatened by a border tax, Goldman says"


  3. Canadian Dollar and Pipeline Stocks: Energy infrastructure stocks are receiving a lift today as Trump signed an Executive Order that advances the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines:


    JPMorgan Alerian MLP ETN (AMJ):
    $32.73 Change +0.77 +2.41%
    Volume 1.40m
    Jan 24, 2017 1:07 p.m.

    I own both AMJ and AMU and recently added to AMU at $18.9 as previously discussed my SA Comment Instablog # 7 (12-11-16 at 9:14 P.M.)


    One reason given for that add was Trump's becoming President. The stalled pipelines would be approved and environment issues relating to fracking would become irrelevant, as shown by Trump's nominee to head the EPA.


    The CAD/USD is also moving higher today:

    0.7597 (+0.54%)

    1. UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP ETN (AMU)
      $20.53 +0.44 (+2.19%)
      As of 1:13PM EST.


  4. Great blog post! Regarding Trump's shackling of journalists who challenge him, he may not need to build a new Tower. Most likely the GTMO detention camp will be available. I hope I'm wrong.

  5. Interestingly, there were major oil pipeline spills on the days Trump gave his speeches accepting the GOP nomination and taking the oath of office.

    You have to read Canadian or UK newspapers to be aware of those coincidences.

    Pipeline Oil Spill Last Friday 1/20/2017
    ( A pipeline in Stoughton leaked 200,000 litres of oil in an aboriginal community" last Friday, the day of Trump's inauguration)


    A Husky pipeline leak 225K litres of oil, 40% of which leaked into a river contaminating the drinking water for 70,000 people for months. The leak occurred on 7/21/16, the same day as Trump's speech to the GOP convention, accepting the GOP's nomination for President.


    The EPA is now under a gag order. All new grants and research projects have been halted.


    Trump's nominee for the EPA Administrator is clearly opposed to environmental regulations. As Oklahoma's attorney general, he complained to the EPA about any investigation into whether fracking was causing earthquakes in that state.

    The number of earthquakes over 3 on the richter magnitude scale have increased to 623 last year.


    The average number of earthquakes in Oklahoma between 1978 and 1999 over 3 on the magnitude scale was 1.6:


    Shortly before a major earthquake hit the state recently, weather radar showed Oklahoma's birds fleeing the state.

    " Caught on radar: Thousands of birds took flight minutes before Oklahoma earthquake"


  6. VIVENDI: The stock is down today after Barclay's downgraded its rating to underperform from equal weight. I do not have access to that report.

    Vivendi S.A. ADR
    $18.68 Change -$0.60 -3.09%
    Volume 125,794


    There are a number of analysts that provide ratings of this stock:


  7. I want one of those Dow 20,000 hats made in China or Vietnam.

    'It's made in Vietnam!' At inauguration, origin of red Trump hats shocks many

    The Bond Ghouls are starting to get unnerved again. I saw a million of them breathing into paper bags earlier today. That is no more a delusional statement than Trump's recent assertions that he is an environmentalist and has received numerous environmental awards.


    iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF
    $104.38 Change -0.59 -0.56%
    Volume 891,118
    Jan 25, 2017 2:00 p.m

    The rise in yields is taking the REIT sector down:

    Vanguard REIT ETF
    $83.20 Change -0.66 -0.79%
    Volume 2.12m
    Jan 25, 2017 2:01 p.m.


    The CAD continues to move higher against the USD which is a positive for me.

    CAD/USD 0.7643 +0.63%

    I suspect that there are 3 factors underlying the recent move up: (1) Trump does not appear to be targeting Canada in the NAFTA renegotiation and there is no reason to do so; (2) it is looking more likely that Canadian oil can be shipped into the U.S. through newly constructed pipelines; and (3) energy prices look like they are at least stable in the low 50s. The CAD started to go south in value when oil prices started to crater in mid-summer 2014. Another factor is that investors believe Trump will kick start U.S. GDP growth, which will also help the Canadian economy grow more, and currency traders have not been factoring much GDP or inflation growth in Northern Tennessee, currently known as Canada. I will rebrand that ice and snow covered land when I accumulate enough Canadian shares that I can do a tender offer for the entire country.

  8. PETX ( now own 130 shares, LT Small Cap Biotech): PETX and Elanco (LLY's animal health division) made Galliprant available to vets today:

    "Galliprant® (grapiprant tablets) Now Available for Canine Osteoarthritis"


    When I first purchased a 50 share lot, I discussed PETX's deal with LLY which included a $45M milestone payment paid to PETX after the FDA approved this compound.

    That $45M was received in the 2016 second quarter:


    Item # 2. Bought 50 PETX at $6.43:

    I later added 50 additional shares. The Lotto Ticket basket strategies allow me to go up to $1K out-of-pocket per stock, so I added 30 PETX this afternoon at $7.9.

    Even though PETX received 3 FDA approvals last year, which was outstanding for such a small company, I do not anticipate that the company will report a profit this year.

    Analysts expect another loss this year:

    The company has a large pipeline for such a small company and drug trials, even for animals, are expensive.


    There will be costs to launch all three approved compounds as well and only time will tell whether they are successful.

    It would be nice for LLY to make an offer. The market cap at $7.9 is only $292M.

  9. Link to White House Petition for Donald to release his tax returns:



  10. "EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff"


  11. "Old Republic Reports Results For The Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2016"


    Net income for the quarter was reported at $131.9M, up from $90.6M in the 2015 4th quarter. E.P.S. was reported at $.46, up from $.32.

    In my SA Comment Blog # 5, I discussed buying 50 shares at $17.86


    Old Republic International Corporation (ORI)
    $19.88+0.31 (+1.58%)
    As of 9:59AM EST.

    As discussed many times here and elsewhere, insurance companies generally benefit from rising rates. Premiums can be invested in higher yielding income securities that generate more income.

    When interest rates were rising between May 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, sectors viewed as beneficiaries of higher rates performed better than the S & P 500 which had a robust up year.

    The SPDR® S&P Insurance ETF (KIE) had a total return of 45.64% in 2013:


  12. Washington Trust (WASH)(own 50 shares as part of my regional bank basket strategy):

    $57.82 +3.67 (+6.78%)
    As of 10:48AM EST

    My average cost per share, which originates from a 100 share purchase at $15.26, is $15.34.

    3. Bought 100 Washington Trust Bancorp at $15.26


    "Washington Trust Reports Record Full-Year 2016 Earnings" (net income of $12.2 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 vs. $.62 in the 2015 4th quarter)


    My dividend yield is currently 9.65% based on my constant average cost per share and the current quarterly dividend of $.37 per share. WASH has been raising the dividend every year so that yield is continuing to rise.


  13. The Trade War is underway.

    "Trump Floats 20% Border Tax for Wall as Mexico Feud Deepens"


    Mexico does not pay that tax. It will be paid by the American consumers. If the 20% tariff can not be fully passed to U.S. consumers, then the profit of mostly U.S. companies will be reduced. I suspect that consumers will end up paying most of it and inflationary pressures will increase some.

    The True Believers will accept Trump's version that Mexico is paying for the wall through the tariff mechanism.

    Mexico will of course retaliate. Mexico is the second largest importer of U.S. products. Many of those products could be sourced from other countries at lower cost after Mexico slaps a 20% tariff on U.S. goods. The net effect will likely be a significant loss of U.S. jobs and higher U.S. inflation.

    Tariff wars are never a one way street.

  14. Trump Strategist Steve Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’


    The GOP's decade long strategy to acquire and maintain power, which has been largely successful, is convince their tribe members and others to ignore all information reported in the press other than those outlets approved by the party willing to pass along their version of events and history as propaganda organs. Bannon is just going a minor step further and is not masking his intent with smoke and mirrors.

    Bannon has many characteristics of a neo-Nazi.


    1. Trump's infamous tweet "Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to 'leak' into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?" takes on chilling irony in light of the unfolding spectacle. (The psychological term for this is projection.)

    2. Cathie: Trump IMO has an authoritarian personality that is fundamentally at odds with our Democracy and freedoms. He is by far and way the most potentially dangerous person to be elected President.

      I just left a comment to another post that I am in the process now of cutting back my stock allocation. Besides my usual valuation concerns, no financial need to take risks and a significant participation in the market's move since March 2009, I now believe strongly that the stock market participants have significantly mispriced the risk of a Trump presidency. I am not surprised since most of the participants are Trump supporters.

      I also believe that the Bond Ghouls are mispricing inflation risk. Inflationary pressures were building before Trump's elections and it is likely IMO that he will throw fuel on the fire (tax cuts, more spending and tariffs).

    3. South Gent,

      It seems that a short-term high quality bond ladder is the solution for the current environment of a stretched equity market, under-estimated inflation risk and some black swan events.

      How long do you think it would take for this to play out?

    4. Y: The short answer is that the measuring period is likely to be years rather than months.

      I am moving now toward $300K in the short term bond/CD basket.

      I will be content with a slow and modest increase in short term rates for years to come.

      I also have concerns that the pendulum will swing too far to the left in response to the Trump Presidency and what the GOP wants to do.

      So after Trump, we may end up with a real liberal Democrat that is in the wealth confiscation and transfer business, as the country swings in the polar opposite direction like someone perpetually drunk person.

  15. "Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd"


  16. Prior to reading to article linked below, I had written a sentence in my next post noting that the Trump Presidency as a 1984 feel to it, and more than just a little bit.

    " As America debates President Trump, Mexican border wall and ‘alternative facts,’ demand surges for George Orwell’s ‘1984’"


    Trump simply reflects the values of the GOP with less smoke and mirrors than other GOP politicians.

    I have voted for republicans in the past, including the current two U.S. Senators and the governor.

    I will not vote for another republican again. I am now in a state of being appalled on a daily basis. The nominees for several Department heads were so 19th Century. Trump's real slogan is not "Make America Great Again" but "Take America Back to 1900." The GOP has become a powerful reactionary and currently unstoppable force in the U.S.

    The party has gone off the deep end as far as I am concerned and no longer reflects in any meaningful way what I regard as American values.

  17. I would appreciate that anyone who has a question to ask it here whether than a PM sent through SeekingAlpha.

    I responded to a reader's question sent via a PM about the market's continued resilience to the upside as follows:


    I left a comment a few minutes ago that partially answers your questions:

    Markets can spiral upwards for long periods without justification. It was not long ago, for example, that crude oil went over $140 in a Recession!

    Parabolic price spikes without a fundamental underpinning will eventually collapse. There is no way to say in the present to know when or at what level. I gave an example in that prior comment of the Nikkei 250. I probably bailed in 1986 or so but the spike continued until 1989. I started to bail on the U.S. market in 1998.

    I have no need to capture the entire move. I am content, as I am now, of capturing most of it.

    Major economic disruptions are occurring more frequently since the Asian Contagion in 1997. Since then the markets have experienced robust up moves and two catastrophic declines. Prior to 2000-2002, there was a catastrophic price decline in 1974 and the other one in the past 100 years occurred in 1929-1932. The debt levels throughout the world have skyrocketed since the last recession, making the world's economic system more susceptible to major shocks with potentially devastating consequences.

    The GOP will not stand up to Trump. It may be over a year before significant infrastructure spending occurs. Tax cuts will act as a stimulus. There will be an exchange that allows far more pollution for economic growth. The deficit will continue to spiral upward as interest rates rise.

    I am describing in the preceding paragraph an adrenaline rush, something like drinking a pot of coffee. The ultimate effect will be a negative one, but everything looks and feels just great for awhile."

    end of quote

  18. GDP: The government estimates that there was 1.9% real GDP growth during the last quarter. The consensus estimate was for 2.2%. This was the government's first estimate for this quarter.


    "The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the third quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 2.2 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent"

    So core PCE inflation has now gone over 2% due in large part to the rise in energy prices, while core PCE inflation dropped like a rock.

    It is important to keep in mind when faced with boundless exuberance that the U.S. economy is so very large that it takes a considerable amount of stimulus to move the needle up.

    To the extent that stimulus substantially increases the government's debt, now at $19.95+ trillion, the ability of the government to spend more borrowed money will decrease over time as vastly greater amounts of spending and stimulus is needed to move the needle.

    The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It