Takes brains to turn data & information into knowledge

A recent post really hit the nail on the head in describing a future scenario where the overwhelming quantity of data and information will require well-educated people to analyze, interpret and make plans (knowledge).  It is easy, I think, to infer that those markets (geographies, countries, cities, etc) that are heavily investing into education, training and innovation around mathematics, science and computer science will be the economic, innovation and thought leaders of the future.

Sadly, most of us in the USA watch as our education programs wither from underfunding and especially the under appreciation of teaching as a serious, high-paying profession.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4192307

Customer orientation

A recent article which I am assuming is accurate at least at the root highlighted a view of ‘Orientation’ by companies.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kroger-threatens-to-ban-visa-cards/

Now … I find the ‘corporate profit orientation’ above that of the customer.  Would not a retailer want to provide convenient and customer choice modes of payment?  I get it the op costs could be higher with different vendors, but would you rather have happy, loyal customers?

Swings: WELL & HBAN = looking long; UA = short again

Three stocks floated across my desk this weekend for possible actions next week

  1. WELL (Welltower)
    • I lost 200 shares this month due to an open Call sell at $60.  Still own more than that, but …
    • The senior healthcare housing market is a tough segment right now
    • WELL is my top selection amongst the group – above OHI and VTR for sure imho
    • Earnings call was interesting – especially the specific questions (in the QA) and management’s characterization of ‘bouncing around the bottom’
    • The situation appears as if management is positive looking forward (tough times, we’re bouncing at the bottom and we’re making the right plans), but analysts are highly skeptical
    • If stock drops below $60 without a varying narrative, I will look to add more
    • Earnings call https://seekingalpha.com/article/4191416 
  2. UA (Under Armour)
  3. HBAN (Huntington Bancshares)
    • I owned Oct 15 calls – sold most of them
    • There were some interesting points management brought out in the earnings call and this post highlights them well
    • This could be a decent EOY ’18 swing trade, but i would like an entry point below $15.25 – if the current breakout above RL2 continues — too late (want a short pullback before opening additional positions)
    • https://seekingalpha.com/article/4191622

Important Start to Q2 Earnings – Important to Watch

these folks are the best at talking about data w/out emotion or agenda.  their forthcoming posts on S&P earnings are a must read.   My bias is that Q2 earnings reports (earnings, revenue and forecasts) will be underwhelming and Q3 even more negative unless something changes.  Financial engineering and government stimulus and debt financing (private and public) can only march on for so long … As result, i bought SPY October puts at 275 adn 278 (way down now, but i will be patient)

http://fundamentalis.com/?p=7957

BRK – a sign of the times

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/warren-buffetts-berkshire-stock-set-for-biggest-gain-in-7-years-analyst-cheers-buyback-policy-change-2018-07-18

Berkshire just changed their corporate policy wrt stock buybacks … they WILL now be able to buy their own stock.  This is an important sign of the times … good values are REALLY hard to find.  Here’s a JPM analyst take:  “J.P. Morgan analyst Sarah DeWitt said the new repurchase policy is “a major positive catalyst” for the stock, since it gives Buffett and Munger more flexibility to spend excess cash of about $86 billion, which has been a large drag on returns, “particularly given Berkshire has not been able to find attractively valued acquisitions in an expensive market.”

Caution to those of you looking for long-term good value purchases at this point …