News Summary: February 29 - March 4

News for the Week of 2/29/2016 – 3/4/2016

by David Abuaf, CFA

Investment Manager, RJFS


Government / Political / Economic

1.     Rubio and Cruz have released partial federal tax returns, putting pressure on Trump to do the same.

·       Carson has withdrawn from the race, “[I no longer see] a political path forward]”

2.     The Syrian regime and its allies stepped up airstrikes on rebel-held areas after a one-day lull in violence, despite the truce!

3.     Iranian moderates led in races for seats representing Tehran in the first vote since the nuclear deal.

4.     Swiss voters rejected a plan to deport foreign residents convicted of crimes.

5.     Argentina agreed in principle to a $4.65B settlement with four hedge funds over defaulted bonds.

6.     Some GOP politicians and officials say they won’t back Trump in the general election if he wins the party nomination.

7.     Iran’s first election since the landmark nuclear deal left moderate politicians stronger than at any point in the past decade.

8.     Kerry accused the Syrian regime of delaying aid deliveries and called on all sides to abide by the cease-fire.

9.     Tens of thousands of Pakistanis attended the funeral of a man who killed a politician he accused of blasphemy.

10.  The UN set tough sanctions on North Korea aimed at halting nuclear and missile funding and pressuring the regime to resume talks.

11.  In a recent Supreme Court gun control case, Voisine v United States, for the FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS, Clarence Thomas asked a question!


General Markets / Economic

1.     Forecasters are saying that the apartment boom may be cooling off as single-family home construction ticks up.

2.     China told trading partners at the G-20 summit that it has no intention of devaluing the yuan.

3.     China’s CB cut reserve requirements, freeing banks to lend more despite risks to the yuan.

·       This is the very problem with China. Read #2 and then #3. China has no intention of devaluing the yuan. Then China decides to lower the reserve requirement, thus having a higher supply of yuan. The two decisions contradict each other! A higher supply of yuan, means less demand and a LOWER or devalued currency!

4.     Japan issued 10 year bonds with negative yields (you pay them to hold the bond).


Company News

1.     The FCC is probing cable companies to see if contract provisions discourage media firms from running programs on the Internet.

2.     Valeant said its CEO returned from medical leave to lead the drug firm, which moved to split its chief executive and chairman roles.

3.     Apple won a ruling in a NY drug case over whether it can be forced to help investigators extract data from a locked phone.

4.     Honeywell abandoned its $90B offer for United Technologies.

·       Just last week I mocked Honeywell’s Chief Counsel in these very pages for thinking this could ever go through. Not even one week later and they abandoned their plans!

5.     Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy’s co-founder, died in a car crash a day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.


Interesting Stories

1.     You are not dreaming: Cat mysteries, a subgenre of cozy mysteries (detective stories typically set in small towns and intended as clean, gentle fun, with minimal sex, violence and profanity) is undergoing quite the internal struggle! Authors are starting to be more and more vociferous about whether the cats should be able to talk, or not!

2.     Whoa JetBlue! As a social experiment, JB wanted to see if 150 passengers could decide, UNANIMOUSLY, on a FREE round trip to one of 20 locations. It was a 6 hour flight, in those 6 hours, the entire plane needed to decide, unanimously, on what location they wanted to take a vacation. If everyone decided on the same place, it was free by JB, otherwise, nobody went. They chose Costa Rica over Turks & Caicos.

3.     Want an idea how warm winter was? 1) a new NASA study of tree rings shows that a recent Middle East drought was the region’s worst in 900 years 2) researchers say that this was the warmest February on record (it was in the 50’s for like 7 days in Chicago!) 3) Anchorage, Alaska had to ship in snow for the Iditarod dogsled race!

4.     NASA announced Monday that it’s spending $20m to develop a new, quieter, supersonic jet that does not cause noisy sonic booms.





This information is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments discussed and has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.  This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein.