Thursday, October 26, 2017

Observations and Sample of Recent Trades: BDCL, FENY, SZEVY


U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly rebound in September: Reuters; Existing-Home Sales Inch 0.7 Percent Higher in September | (consensus estimate was for a -1%)

New home sales rebounded in September, rising to an annualized rate of 667,000. New Home Sales.pdf


Market Commentary and Household Investing Statistics

Appetite for U.S. stocks in 2018 looks mixed, with valuations bloated: Goldman - MarketWatch

Stock market risks are beginning to run too high - MarketWatch

Has the Canadian dollar topped out? - MarketWatch

The number of Americans that directly own bonds fell even further in 2016 - MarketWatch

What Types of Financial Assets Do People Hold? St. Louis Fed Study (direct ownership of corporate and mortgage bonds at 1.2%; individual stocks at 13.9%; 6.5% in CDs; 8.6% in Savings Bonds; household owned retirement accounts at 52.1%)

Americans are still terrible at investing, annual study once again shows - MarketWatch


European Central Bank

The ECB has decided to continue its bond buying program at €60 per month through December and then at €30B through September 2018. Purchases could be extend beyond September 2018 "if necessary". Monetary policy decisions

The ECB's deposit rate was left unchanged at -.4% which will remain unchanged "for an extend period" and beyond the end of its asset buying program. Official interest rates

The ECB will also continue reinvesting the proceeds from maturing securities well beyond the end of its massive QE program. 

The ECB is one of several foreign CBs that are continuing extremely abnormal monetary policies well beyond the need for them. These policies now have a twofold purpose: (1) to engage in trade wars through currency manipulation and (2) to manipulate interest rates to  abnormally levels consistent only with an ongoing and intractable Depression. 

Most individuals who are able to save do not invest in risk assets. Since 2007, those savers have received nominal interest rates well below the inflation rate creating a significant negative real rate of return before taxes. 

The ECB's action today will continue to restrain the upward movement in U.S. rates.      

The Euro is sliding in value against the USD this morning, down almost 1%: 

EUR to USD Exchange Rate - Bloomberg Markets


Trump and North Korea

Breakdown in North Korea Talks Sounds Alarms on Capitol Hill - NBC News

North Korea official: Take hydrogen bomb threat 'literally' - CNN 

US moves third carrier group to western Pacific ahead of Trump's Asia tour amid North Korea tensions | The Independent


President Trump Praises the "Elevation" of "President" Xi Jinping of China

Xi Jinping consolidated and increased his power at the recent Communist Party Congress. China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought,’ Elevating Leader to Mao-Like Status - The New York Times 

An authoritarian leader has acquired more authoritarian power. 

Trump congratulated Xi Jinping on becoming more of an authoritarian: 

Trump frequently praises authoritarian leaders while criticizing leaders of Western Democracies. 


Trump and Senator Corker (R-TN):

I voted for Corker, viewing him as a sane and honest republican. In that sense, he is a dying breed in the modern day GDP. 

Corker: “I would recommend that (Trump) based on recent history and just interactions leave well enough alone” on the tax debate. “I think that’s the best way for us to have success.”

I would agree with that observation. Whenever Trump opens his mouth, it makes it harder for the GOP to pass legislation, something that was observed during the Obamacare repeal and replace failure.   

Trump Response: Instantly in Attack Mode with Personal Insults

Corker Response (first major GOP politician to call Trump a pathological liar which is obviously the case):  

Trump Response: 

Corker's Response: 

“He’s obviously not going to rise to the occasion as president. I think at the end of the day, when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, just the name-calling ― I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for. And that’s regretful.”

"I don't know why he lowers himself to such a low, low standard and is debasing our country". 

Corker also stated that he would convene the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as its Chairman to examine the ways Donald "purposely has been breaking down relationships around the world", adding that it is "unfortunate that our nation finds itself in this place".

Corker is respected among most Tennessee republicans, many of whom will not vote for Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn as his replacement. If  Marsha is the GOP's candidate for Corker's seat, and the Democrats have  either Phil Bredesen (former two term Governor and Mayor of Nashville) or  Andy Berke (current Mayor of Chattanooga) running against her, then Corker's senate seat is in play. Bredesen was the last Democrat to win a statewide election (2006) Both Berke and Bredesen are intelligent, centrist Democrats. Bredesen would receive considerable support, as a very successful entrepreneur and business friendly Democrat, from the traditional republican segment of the GOP, as he did when he ran for governor twice. He would be the candidate to split up the GOP vote in Tennessee. I voted for him twice and for Bill Haslam (R), his successor.  


Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Trump:  

Senator Jeff Flake stated on the same day as Corker's remark that he would not run for re-election, noting that republicans would not tolerate an animal like Trump if he was a Democrat which goes without saying of course. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Torches Trump After Announcing His Retirement- Bloomberg

Flake called Trump a danger to Democracy. Jeff Flake announces he won't seek re-election to Senate - CNN I would agree that Trump is attempting to undermine institutions necessary to a proper functioning Democracy and has clear and dominant authoritarian impulses. The problem is that millions support him in those efforts. 

Trump Falsely Denounces Jeff Flake by Calling Him a ... Democrat? - The New York Times 

Trump on Flake: 'I assumed he was a Democrat' | TheHill

Flake has a lifetime rating of 93.07 from the America Conservative Union. The American Conservative Union Federal Legislative Ratings Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has a 9.15 lifetime rating. Senator Schumer has a 4.83 lifetime rating from that organization. Flake's voting record is consistent with the most "conservative" GOP Senate and House members. A blue dog Democrat, Jim Cooper, has a 21.79 rating.  

Flake was behind Kelli Ward in polls, who is part of the Bannon wing and yet another Trump Clone. 

The 2018 Arizona senate election is in play for the Democrats whose candidate will probably be Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona's 9th congressional district, a competitive district. She is a centrist Democrat who has voted with Trump about 50% of the time which is high for a Democrat. 

Arizona is not as far along as Nevada in switching from a Red to Blue state. 

Paul Ryan relegated the comments made by Corker and Flake as a "twitter dispute", just something to ignore that means nothing. 

That though was echoed by other republicans. 

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called its a "People Magazine saga". 

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) dismissed the mischaracterizations of Trump's integrity.  

Senator James E. Risch (R-ID) characterized the comments made be Corker and Flake as "personality driven". 

Republicans know that the GOP has been remade in Trump's image. Any criticism directed at Donald, no matter how justified, has to be dismissed as gossip suitable for publication in the National Inquirer.  

As G.O.P. Bends Toward Trump, Critics Either Give In or Give UP: MSN

Even if a republican votes 100% with what Donald wants, as most have, criticizing the Donald in any way will result in a barrage of false, angry and disparaging tweets intended to sabotage the republican's primary reelection chances in a Trump controlled GOP. In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it - The Washington Post  


CBO says Alexander-Murray bill to patch up Obamacare would save $3.8 billion over a decade - MarketWatch

Roy Moore (R-AL) Says Gay Marriage Ruling Is 'Even Worse' Than 1857 Pro-Slavery Decision (I suspect those kind of comments will help Roy in Alabama. The Democrat candidate has a hope and a prayer.)

Trump's wingman Steve Bannon gave a speech to the True Believers, where the mere mention of John McCain's name brought out a chorus of boo birds with one person shouting out "hang him". Bannon's mention of Sen. John McCain, George W. Bush draws boos at California GOP convention - LA Times

The White House Panicked After Trump Lied About Calling Soldiers’ Families | Vanity FairPentagon Document Contradicts Trump’s Gold Star Claims

Trump says insurers made fortune off Obamacare. They didn't. | PolitiFact 

Trump is incapable of telling the truth about anything. 

It is unfortunate for the nation's future that this Demagogue is admired and respected as a truth teller by close to 40% of the U.S. voting age population. He still has 80% support among republicans. Those voters will blame "establishment" republicans for any and all policy failures rather than the pathetic Presidential leadership that is revealed almost daily to them. 

Trump has now transformed the GOP into his own image. The movement away from a true conservative ideology has been ongoing for several decades and has now been completed. 

The conservatives lost. 

Trump, Bannon, Limbaugh, Colter, Steve Miller, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones and Roy Moore are now the Heart and Soul of that party. 

Those individuals have far more in common with bomb throwing anarchists than conservatism. 

I suspect that the end result will be a major crack up in the GOP coalition that will provide an opportunity for Democrats to take back control over Congress and the Presidency by 2020, provided they actually relearn how to appeal to white working class voters, which remains questionable. 

The Democrats have a tendency to self immolate by turning away from a Centrist/Moderate/Fact Based and Sane Party to what real liberals would admit is far left (e.g. Bernie who just announced that he was running for re-election as an independent after pledging in 2015 to run as a Democrat) 

I mentioned "real liberal" in the prior sentence. In the modern day GOP, anyone who is not a reactionary, is viewed as a liberal elitist which includes true conservatives rather than reactionaries masquerading as such, moderates and the real liberals or roughly about 50% of the adult population.  


Trump, His Lap Dog Devin Nunes and a 2010 Uranium Deal: Divert Attention Back to Hillary 


Nunes (R-CA) and DeSantis (R-FL) are launching this investigation into an event occurring during Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State simply to divert attention away from Trump's Russia investigation: 

Launch probes! Congressional GOPers try desperately to take focus off Trump-CNN 

This is a complex matter that Donald and other republicans routinely  twisted and over-simplified, though the entire transaction does have an aroma to it like so many events connected to Bill and Hillary. FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow | TheHill-Article Fact Checked here: What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium | PolitiFact   

The deal which was subject to U.S. government approval involved a Russian company attempting to buy a 51% stake in a uranium mining company based in Canada, Uranium One, that also owned uranium mining assets located in the U.S. 

The Department of State was one of nine governmental agencies that signed off on this stock deal. The approval from all nine agencies occurred in October 2010. The person in charge of the approval at the State Department has stated that Clinton had no involvement. 

There is no export license for the uranium mined in the U.SDoes Russia Really Own 20% Of The US’ Uranium Reserves? | So what is the point?  

The one U.S. project in operation and owned indirectly by the Russian company is located at the Willow Creek mine in Wyoming. That mine is operated by a U.S. subsidiary and is subject to U.S. law. The percentage of U.S. uranium production is around 11%. 

U.S. nuclear power plants only purchase about 8% of their needs from mines located in the U.S. The remainder comes from other countries including Canada and Russia. Niger is a top exporter List of countries by uranium production

The assertions made by Trump and other republicans about this deal have constantly been rated as false by the fact checkers and are IMO meant to deceive and to manipulate those who are easily manipulated. 

The facts behind Trump’s repeated claim about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Russian uranium deal - The Washington Post

No 'Veto Power' for Clinton on Uranium Deal -

I would say at this point that this seven year old matter is being resurrected again by the GOP to divert attention away from Donald and back to Hillary and Bill. 


1. Income Replacement Strategy: Small Purchases of Risky and Higher Yielding Securities to Supplement Cash Flow in a World with low Bond/CD yields:

A. Bought 40 BDCL at $17.08 -Roth IRA

Quote: 2xLeveraged Long E-TRACS Linked to Wells Fargo Business Development Co. Index (BDCL) 

I bought shortly after the last ex dividend date. 

BDC stocks have continued to slide this purchase, and the leveraged nature of this ETF magnifies that slide. 

The yield is about 17.79% at my  $17.08 purchase price using the past four quarterly distributions as a proxy ($3.0385 per share):

The dividend amount is trending down due to BDC dividend cuts. 

The index components can be found at the sponsor's website. I just took a snapshot of the holdings that are weighted at more than 1%:

The general idea for this security is to sell after collecting one or more quarterly distributions at a profit or to hold longer and to accept a total return 1/2 or greater than the dividend yield.  

This product is an ETN, a senior unsecured note issued by UBS. The buyer assumes the credit risk of the issuer, the increased risk associated with leverage and the risk of the index being tracked by the ETN. Other risks are summarized by the sponsor under the "Key Considerations" tab. I would classify the product as highly risky.    

It is difficult to generate a profit in the shares due to the size of the dividends and the frequent poor performance of several BDCs included in the index. 

I did manage to sell BDCL shares bought in 2016 profitably: Update For Portfolio Positioning And Management As Of 8/21/16 - South Gent | Seeking Alpha: Item # A.2. Sold 40 BDCL at $18.44 (Total Return: $102.98 or 12.07%-holding period 43 days) 

I also discuss in that post selling ARCC, the largest component in the index tracked by BDCL.  

A major drag on the index's performance has been PSEC, one of the worst externally managed BDCs that is heavily weighted in the index as shown above. PSEC's net asset value per share appears to be in a terminal decline and shareholders have suffered several dividend cuts including the latest one that reduced the monthly rate to $.06 from $.0833 effective for the September 2017 payment. Prospect Capital Corporation (PSEC) Dividend History Note that the first cut occurred when PSEC went from a $.41 quarterly rate to a $.10 monthly rate in early 2010. After raising the monthly distribution gradually to a high of $.110625, the rate was cut again to $.0833 in early 2015.  

Notwithstanding my disdain for PSEC and its management, I have been able to successfully trade the stock for a total return in excess of the dividend yield. I do not currently have a position, but would take a look at below $6. My consider to sell and purchase points have declined steadily over the past several years as the dividend gets cut and then cut again, and net asset value per share moves toward zero.    

The general goal for BDCL is to harvest at some point a 10% or higher annualized total return, which means that I can take a loss on the shares and still achieve that objective. The best case scenario will probably be to s
ell the shares at whatever profit was available after collecting one or more dividend payments. 

While I view this security as too risky for my Roth IRA, a 40 share purchase is okay given the minimal exposure. The distributions are not tax advantaged which makes placement in the IRA better than a taxable account for those in a high tax bracket, when the inquiry is limited to a tax issue rather than a risk issue. 

I view all of the double leveraged ETNs as risky and this one has risk on steroids due to the out-of-favor and problematic BDC sector.  

The increases in the 3 month Libor rate is a positive for BDCs. Their loan coupons are frequently tied to a spread over the Libor rate. 

The competitive landscape and the long term downward trend in interest rates have resulted overall in less favorable interest rates for them however. To generate more yield, many of them have taken on riskier loans.

Net asset values per share have been trending down for most BDCs. 

Their loan default risk is far higher than banks would generally tolerate in loans to their commercial customers. 

For example, in Triangle Capital's (TCAP) second quarter earnings report, the ratio of non-accrual loans to total loans stood at 5.4%. Triangle Capital Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results, Announces $30 Million Expansion of Senior Credit Facility and Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend of $0.45 Per Share NYSE:TCAP  

During the second quarter, a $17.7M investment in Community Intervention Services was placed on non-accrual. Page 2 Q2 2017 Results-Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha And TCAP's 5.4% non-accrual rate is during a period of economic growth. The number will likely significantly increase during a recession. I am expecting a dividend cut from TCAP. This BDC is internally managed. 

I do not currently own any BDC stocks.

2. Short Term Bond/CD Ladder Basket Strategy

A. Bought 1 Comenity Bank 1.7% CD (monthly interest) Maturing on 10/23/19 (2 year CD)

B. Bought 2 Whitney Bank 1.2% CDs Maturing on 1/25/18 (3 month CD)

C. Bought 1 Whitney Bank 1.75% CD (semi-annual interest) Maturing on 10/25/19 (2 year CD):

Holding Company: Hancock Holding Co. (HBHC)

HBHC Key Statistics 

In this account, I had 1 Bank of China .9% CD mature on the same day, which was a 9 month CD with interest paid at maturing. The proceeds were reallocated into a higher yielding CD with a longer maturity that pays semi-annually. This creates a slither of an uptick in 2018 income compared to 2017. 

$4K Inflow into Short Term Bond/CD Ladder Basket Strategy 

3. Intermediate Term/Bond CD Ladder Basket

A. Bought 2 AT & T 2.85% SU Bonds Maturing on 2/14/23

FINRA Page: Bond Detail (prospectus linked)

Issuer:  AT&T Inc.
T Analyst Estimates

Credit Ratings: 

Moody's at Baa1
Moody's assigns Baa1 to AT&T's new notes; ratings remain on review for downgrade
S & P at BBB+
Fitch at A- 
Fitch Rates AT&T's Sr. Unsecured Note Offering 'A-'; Remains on Rating Watch Negative

Bought at a Total Cost of 99.701: 

YTM Then at 2.91%
Current Yield at 2.86%

I had a $2K CD mature on Friday 10/13/17, a 3 month CD with a 1.2% coupon. I decided to use the proceeds on Monday 10/16 to buy this bond rather than another CD with a 1+% coupon. There is no issue for me about my financial ability to hold any bond until maturity. 

B. Sold 1 Citigroup 3.4% SU Bond Maturing on 5/1/26

Profit Snapshot: +$19.35

Finra Page: Bond Detail

Issuer: Citigroup Inc.  (C)

C Analyst Estimates
2017 Second Quarter Earnings Report

Credit Ratings: 

Moody's at Baa1
S & P at BBB+

Sold at 101.180

YTM Then at 3.24%
Current Yield at 3.36%
Net at 101.08 (after $1 brokerage commission)

Bought at a total cost of 99.145

Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item # 1.E. (7/29/17 Post) 
YTM Then at 3.513%
Current Yield at 3.43%

I shorten my maturity by over two years compared to the identically rated AT & T bond, pare some while sacrificing .33% in YTM by selling this 2026 Citigroup SU Bond. 

C. Sold 1 ERP 2.85% SU Note Maturing on 11/1/2026-ROTH IRA

Profit: +$24.97

FINRA Page: Bond Detail
Issuer: Operating Entity for Equity Residential (EQR)

Sold at 97.973

YTM Then at 3.109%
Current Yield at 2.91%  
Net at 97.773 (after $2 Vanguard brokerage commission) 

Bought at a Total of 94.611

Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item # 1.D. 
YTM then at 3.507%
Current Yield at 3.01%

Again, I am shorting the weighted average duration of my corporate bond portfolio without sacrificing much in yield and generating small profits and some interest payments in the process. 

I previously sold the same bond in another account at 97.034, realizing a $22.73 gain. Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item # 3.B.

My consider to repurchase is less than 92.  

D. Sold 2 Eversource 3.35% SU Bonds Maturing on 3/15/2026

Profit Snapshot: +$29.98

FINRA Page: Bond Detail

Sold at 100.6

YTM Then at 3.266%
Current Yield at 3.33%

Bought at a Total Cost of 99.051

Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item 1.A. 
YTM Then at 3.474%
Current Yield at 3.38%

My consider to repurchase price would be less than 96. 

$2K Outflow from Intermediate Term Bond/CD Ladder Basket Strategy

4. Eliminated FENY:

A. Sold 60+ Shares at $18.83 (a commission free ETF for Fidelity customers)

Profit Snapshot: +$127.78

Quote: Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF 

This ETF is commission free for all Fidelity customers, which makes small purchases cost effective. My largest purchase, a 50 share lot, was made last June when I noted what I viewed as some technical strength in this sector: Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item #1.A. Bought 50 FENY at $17.85  

I do not have much conviction that the recent rally in oil stocks will hold or continue upward. 

I sold this ETF in 2014, prior to the crash in crude oil prices, at $27.81Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item # 5 (8/16/2014)

I still view energy stocks to be a bear market. 

Two oil service companies pointed to a slowdown in U.S. activity. Schlumberger, Baker Hughes warn of North America slowdown: Reuters 

Sponsor's webpage: FENY | ETF Snapshot - Fidelity

Expense Ratio: = .084%

5. Eliminated ORI

A. Sold 50 at $19.67

Profit Snapshot: +$88.47

South Gent's Comment Blog # 5: Bought 50 ORI at $17.86 

Quote: Old Republic International Corp. 

I still own 2 ORI SU bonds. Stocks, Bonds & Politics: Item # 2.C. Bought 2 ORI 3.875% SU Bonds Maturing in 2026. 

ORI was the last insurance stock in my portfolio. 

I was surprised by ORI's projected losses from the hurricanes.  Old Republic Announces Third Quarter Special Charges ("pretax operating charges aggregating $150.0 million (or $97.5 million after tax and $0.33 per diluted share) in its consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017.  These charges stem from: (a) estimated General Insurance claim provisions ($20.0 million) associated with a current evaluation of exposures from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and (b) additional claim and related expense provisions ($130.0 million) applicable to the final settlements and probable dispositions of all known litigated and other claim costs incurred by the Company's run-off Financial Indemnity business during the Great Recession years and their aftermath.")

6. Annual European Stock Dividend Capture Strategy

A. Bought Back 100 SZEVY-Used Commission Free Trade


USD Priced ADR: Suez S.A. ADR (pink sheet exchange)

Euro Priced Ordinary Shares Traded in Paris: Suez S.A. (France) 

1 ADR = .5 Ordinary Share

The slide in the EURO today will cause this ADR to underperform the ordinary shares priced in Euros. 

The ordinary shares are trading up €.15 this morning as of 10 A.M. 

Suez provides drinking water, waste treatment and waste management services. Website 

The stock will be a holding in a global Water ETF. PowerShares Global Water ETF (PIO)(weighted at 3.41% as of 10/20/17); Guggenheim S&P Global Water Index ETF (CGW)(weighted at 3.4% as of 10/20/17).  

The preceding snapshot shows a $2.72 fee which is a tax collected by France on stock purchases only.  


Dividend Tax Issue

Since Suez was first listed for trading in 2009, it has paid an annual dividend of €.65 per share. Dividends This dividend is paid in May. The ADR rate would be €.325 per ADR share since 1 ADR = .5 ordinary shares.

I bought this stock in my Fidelity account since Fidelity has in the past  has asserted my right as a U.S. citizen to a 15% withholding rate on dividends paid by corporations domiciled in France. 

Other brokers fail to make that "relief at source" filing, and consequently their customers will have a 30% tax withheld. The 30% is applied to citizens of countries who do not have a tax treaty with France. The U.S. does of course, but the broker has to assert U.S. citizenship status for their customers before the money arrives here. 

Whenever a U.S. citizen signs a new brokerage account application, there is a question about U.S. citizenship which has to be answered truthfully under penalties of perjury. That is apparently sufficient for the broker to claim tax treaty rights, provided they are not lazy in doing so. Of my brokers, and excluding dividends paid by Canadian corporations where all of my brokers assert treaty rights, only Fidelity and Vanguard secure the tax treaty withholding rate based on my historical sample-so far at least. I can not buy online a pink sheet listed stock at Vanguard.   

The dividend yield will depend in part on the currency conversion rate. 

EUR / USD Currency Chart

The more serious currency conversion issue is how changes impact the price of the USD priced ADR. 

A rise in the EUR/USD after purchase will result in the ADR outperforming the ordinary share, and a decline in the Euro will result in the ordinary shares priced in Euros outperforming the ADR. The decline in the Euro/USD conversion rate will pass through into the ADR price 


5 Year Comparison Chart: ADR (USD) vs. Ordinary Shares (EUR)(through date of purchase):

Blue Line EURO Priced Shares

Black Line USD Priced Shares

As of  10/20/17 and Unadjusted for the Dividends:

EURO Priced Shares +83.82%
USD Priced ADR +68.52%
Suez S.A. Interactive Charts - MarketWatch

You can see from this chart that the Euro and USD priced shares were performing about the same until January 2015 when they started to diverge. That would indicate that the EUR/USD conversion rate was relatively stable and both prices were consequently moving just with the up and down movement of the ordinary share price. 

What happened in January 2015. The ECB announced a Jihad against the Euro. Mario did not call it a Jihad against the Euro's value, but that was what the ECB was doing nonetheless. ECB announces expanded asset purchase programme

Starting in May 2017, the Euro began a rally in value against the USD and that resulted in the ADR outperforming the ordinary shares priced in Euros:

The ordinary shares have flatlined in price since the autumn of 2014.


I will just add a few comments to my most recent discussion. Item # 5 Bought 50 SZEVY at $7.24 (1/15/17 Post)-Sold SZEVY at $9.23 (profit= $97.48)(owned in IB account/sold after discovering that IB was not asserting tax treaty citizenship rights for their customers)

Earnings for the first half continued a sluggish trend: 

The company confirmed its prior 2017 sluggish forecast when reporting results for the first half: 

Note that this forecast excludes the recently completed GE Water acquisition: SUEZ finalizes the acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies - SUEZ 

Suez now owns 70% of GE Water. I am hoping that this acquisition will enable Suez to break out of its recent earnings lethargy.   

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. Biotech stocks have accelerated their decline today. I have been noting in comments that the worm turned in early October:

    iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF
    -$7.16 -2.23%
    Last Updated: Oct 26, 2017 1:41 p.m. EDT

    Celgene is leading the decliners among the larger companies:

    $96.545 -$23.024 -19.26%
    Last Updated: Oct 26, 2017 at 1:41 p.m. EDT

    The small clinical stage company stocks have been plastered hard over the past several days and are for the most part down today.

    NEOS is up 37+% on an unfriendly takeover offer.

  2. Per my recent discussions regarding CVS and WBA:

  3. cvs makes bid for aetna; is this desperation or brilliance? thanks sam

    1. Sam: It sounds more like desperation.

      CVS may have had a plan about expanding into health insurance that was gathering dust and recent events caused the company to blow the dust off.

      I view the pharmacy benefit business as one in need of modernization that cuts out middleman and streamlines distribution to the retail customer. Retail drugstores are not price competitive and PBM's unnecessarily drive up drug costs.

      I have no interest in the stock. That is just my opinion.

  4. Trump declared total that the opioid crisis was a public health emergency. There was a nice photo op for his speech. This declaration gets immediate access to $54,000 (!!!!) for opioid addiction treatment.

    "Declaring an emergency under the Public Health Services Act gives the Health and Human Services secretary wide discretion to respond by accessing the Public Health Emergency Fund, which only has about $57,000 left"

    The GOP's budget bill passed today in the House calls for $1.8 trillion in healthcare spending cuts including $483B in Medicare and another $1 trillion in cuts to mystery programs that they want to gut or eliminate.

    The GOP's repeal and replace plans, and Trump's recent executive order permitting certain organizations to offer skinny healthcare plans, both provide the means to exclude substance abuse treatment from coverage.

    So what is the reality? Trump's show in front of the cameras or the fact that nothing has changed and may get much worse from a funding and coverage perspective?

  5. sounds awful


  6. I have published a new post: