Bitcoin Jumps 11+% Higher

 Earlier reports that the Chinese would be clamping down on the Crypto currency seems to be unfounded as new speculation by the Chinese seems to be going in the opposite direction resulting in a new all time high for bitcoin. See more below:

Bitcoin price rose to a new all-time high on Thursday due to increasing investor interest in the cryptocurrency. The price of bitcoin jumped 11.28 percent to $5,375.72 during Thursday’s session, according to data from CoinDesk. The new record surpassed its previous high of $5,013.91 on September 2nd. The recent rally in Bitcoin brings its market capitalization to about 89 billion. Bitcoin is the biggest digital currency by market cap, accounting for over 54 percent of the total cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin was up about 23 percent this month and has gained over 430 percent year-to-date. Chineseinvestors.com, Inc. (OTC: CIIX), Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOP), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK), Global Arena Holding Inc. (OTC: GAHC)

Speculation that China may resume cryptocurrency trading and increasing trading volumes in other Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea boosted bitcoin prices. According to a report from Cryptocoinnews.com, the Chinese government is considering licensing exchanges for cryptocurrencies. Last month, the world’s second largest economy banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and shut down operation of cryptocurrency exchanges, which caused a bitcoin price drop to a low of $2,980 in mid-September. “Speculators are bullish on bitcoin’s value with the anticipation of China’s reintegration with global crypto markets,” Aurelien Menant, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin, said in a CNBC report on Thursday.

Chineseinvestors.com, Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) announced earlier this week that, “the Company has launched the first cryptocurrency daily video newscast in the Chinese language, entitled Bitcoin Multimillionaire, broadcast from the NYSE. The video newscast covers timely information and analysis regarding all aspects of the emerging digital currency world, including specific cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, industry trends, price movement, blockchain technology, and sector-related stocks and ETFs listed on major exchanges and the OTC market.”

“Many Chinese investors are seeking information and education related to the cryptocurrency sector,” says Warren Wang, Founder and CEO of CIIX. “Moreover, in response to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and ICOs, governments around the world, including but not limited to, the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland are weighing in and/or enacting regulatory policies regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs. In the United States, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recently announced that it is considering a new trading operation dedicated to bitcoin and other digital currencies.”

In addition, CIIX also has plans to launch a new cryptocurrency website under the domain name newcoin168.com to serve Chinese cryptocurrency investors. The site, expected to launch next month, will endeavor to be a leader in digital media and cryptocurrency and blockchain technology education providing straightforward explanations of cryptocurrency basics, trading guidelines, real-time market commentary and analysis regarding currency mining, blockchain technology, industry hotspots, sector-related stock trends and ETFs, and other strategies and opportunities to capitalize on the bitcoin market.

“After the recent launch of our Bitcoin Multimillionaire daily video newscast, the Company has decided to further expand its presence in the digital currency sector,” says Wang. “Similar to U.S. stocks, as the price of digital currency, such as Bitcoin, continues to increase, Chinese people all over the world are taking notice and seeking access to timely information regarding market trends, news, and analysis. We look forward to being the premier source for this information.”

Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) is a publicly-quoted security that is solely invested in and originating value from the price of bitcoin. The BIT exposes the value and price movement of bitcoin to investors through a traditional investment vehicle, without requiring the purchase, storing and safekeeping of bitcoins. The Bitcoin Investment Trust tracks the bitcoin market price, fees and expenses.

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOP) leverages its expertise and network to build and support blockchain technology companies. Recently, the company announced it has made a strategic investment in Coinsquare Ltd., one of Canada’s leading exchanges for trading digital currencies. This investment into a blockchain-focused company is indicative of similar opportunities Riot Blockchain plans to pursue, including possible acquisitions of businesses serving the blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain protocols offer a secure way to store and relay information without the need for middlemen. It uses a decentralized and encrypted ledger that offers a secure, efficient, verifiable, and permanent way of storing records and other information. Blockchain protocols are the backbone of numerous digital cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) is the first major retailer to accept multiple cryptocurrencies as payment. On August 8, 2017, the company announced an integration with ShapeShift, the world’s leading instant digital asset exchange, that allows customers to use all the major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and the new Bitcoin Cash, to buy online from Overstock’s selection of nearly 4 million products, including, furniture, accessories, bedding, décor, rugs, DIY, and more. ShapeShift allows digital currencies to be easily converted between different coin types in a matter of seconds, all without any account setup or personal data required. Instead, the funds are sent to a specific address, with the blockchain record of the transaction acting as both the order and the receipt.

Global Arena Holding Inc. (OTC: GAHC) is a holding and technology development company. The company is focused on acquiring technologies, patents and companies having the ability to leverage the blockchain crypto technology. GAHC incorporated GAHI Acquisition Corp. to be the merger subsidiary for the acquisition of Blockchain Technologies Corporation (“BTC”). Currently, GAHC and BTC have entered into an acquisition arrangement where BTC will merge with GAHI Acquisition Corp. BTC is a technology company which leverages the underlying crypto technology of Bitcoin [Blockchain], acting as a seed accelerator. BTC currently features a number of innovative startups utilizing the Blockchain and operating within the crypto technology field.

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Playstation Pulls Sony Out of a Deep Hole

It’s been roughly three years since Sony went through some really rough times. There were massive layoffs, consolidations and overall general upheaval throughout the entire company. The company was beginning to look like it was destined to end up in full blown bankruptcy but the top brass had a viable plan and turned it around big time and a lot of that success is owed to the gaming sector, specifically Playstation.

Back in 2014, Sony (NYSE:SNE) unveiled its reorganization plan, which included sale of a number of its assets, spinning off its businesses, laying off staff, and focusing on increasing profitability of its major divisions. Since that time, the company with its CEO Kaz Hirai achieved extraordinary results, as the stock more than doubled, and revenue started to grow.

In the latest quarter, Sony finally had a positive operating income of $843 million and a net income of $250 million. As expected, game & network services division was one of the best performers during the fiscal quarter and improved its sales by 21%. And, as the G&NS division continues to be one of the biggest drivers of Sony’s growth, it’s important to understand how the company plans to use it to improve its overall business performance.

The G&NS division mostly consists of products from the PlayStation family like PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, VR, and others. And, as the gaming industry continues to increase in value and is predicted to grow at ~6% annually, Sony has a real chance to establish even a stronger foothold there and continue to dominate the hardware sector of a console market.

Recently, Sony announced two major news. First was about the sales of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro that together reached 60 million units shipped worldwide. This is an important milestone for the company, which released its first 8th generation console only a few years back in 2013, and considering the current rate of growth, the management believes that it can sell another 18 million units by April 2018, which is going to make the company an even more attractive investment.

The second news was about the sales of PlayStation VR that reached 1 million units shipped worldwide in only half a year since its launch. Considering that virtual technology is still a novelty in today’s world, the fact that Sony successfully tested it and sold in such a great amount for entertainment purposes shows us that there’s a big demand for innovation in this space, and Sony should use this fact in its favor going forward.

See more on Playstation

 

How to Cash in on the Apple Haters

Apple’s secret service must have been nearby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a thousand different ways to make money in the markets and one way is just to buy and hold for the long term and just hold on through all the ups and downs. A lot of Apple fans do just that but what if you could increase  your returns by making money on all the Apple haters out there. Right now the stock seems to be meandering a bit and some investors are about ready to move on to something else.

If you are an Apple bull or a buy and hold forever type, consider selling OTM naked puts on Apple stock to increase overall yield – and make money from Apple bears in the process. Apple’s soft quarter and declining product sales, should be an Apple put seller’s dream come true. With the WWDC behind us, Apple stock has remained sideways. Some commentary suggest that many analysts and observers simply weren’t wowed enough to warrant a spike in Apple’s valuation.

There’s a difference between being bearish on a stock and going out and shorting the stock. One either chooses to not add to his position or puts money in other vehicles to generate alpha, while the latter believes the stock will go down so much that he can generate the most alpha by betting against it. Apple Bears are not terribly skeptical or cynical of Apple’s current business model and potential growth, but they do see it slowing down and have calculated that the recent spike in Apple’s stock will subside and fall from its current 52-week highs.

 It’s important to note that when Pacific Crest downgraded the stock this week, Andy Hargreaves only estimated that it would drop $10, or less than 10% from Apple’s current price. Similarly, while not an outright Apple Bear, I do see the price stagnating or declining from its current levels if no major acquisitions or shifts away from the dependency on the iPhone occur.

Key points are:

  • Decline in iPhone sales and no longer #1 in smartphone market share.
  • Decline in iPad sales and global decline in tablet demand.
  • Apple Watch has yet to definitively prove to be the next flagship product.
  • While Services growth is impressive, will it grow enough to offset declining sales in Apple’s main business – selling iPhones.

Learn more about cashing in with Apple

Some of the experts were predicting that the market would be going through a correction in the first month of the new year and now you have the opportunity to add to your portfolio at some bargain prices.

After the worst start in history for U.S. stocks, everyone will be searching for meaning. One strategy has worked for almost seven years, but what about now?

Is it time to “buy the dip?”

Prior Theme Recap

In my last WTWA, I predicted that the start of a new year would focus attention on one of the several different “January effects.” This proved to be a secondary consideration. Instead, news from China rippled around the world, pressuring U.S. trading before Monday’s opening. The China story continued through Thursday. Even a strong employment report on Friday could not reverse the selling pressure. There are some still debating the seasonal effects, but it was a minor theme last week. You can see the sad story for stocks from Doug Short’s weekly chart. (With the ever-increasing effects from foreign markets, you should also add Doug’s World Markets Weekend Update to your reading list).

Jeff Miller

 

 

 

 

Best Choice for Dividend Safety in Large Cap Oil

There’s a clear winner for dividend safety, longevity and steady increases in the big oil sector.This company has grown its dividend at  an average rate of over 7% every year for the last 20 years and it also has been able to increase that dividend no matter what the price of oil has been.

In this article, I will be searching for the one large oil company that has the safest dividend. With oil prices continuing to fall towards the $30 level, it is important to see how much flexibility companies have when it comes to their ability to continue paying their dividend. I will be using a similar process as I used for an article I wrote last month after Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) cut its dividend to determine which major oil company has the safest dividend.

Screening Process

I used the FinViz stock screener to find my initial list of companies that are profitable and have outperformed the global energy sector ETF (NYSEARCA:IXC).

Screen Criteria

  • Industry: Major Integrated Oil & Gas, Independent Oil & Gas
  • Dividend Yield: Positive
  • PE: >1 [Profitable]
  • Market Cap: > $10 billion

Screen Results & Elimination

After running the screen, I found fourteen companies that met these criteria.

Eliminations

Now that I had my initial list of large oil companies, I looked at the dividend history of each company and eliminated those companies that have had a dividend cut after the top in oil in 2008. In addition, I also excluded EPD because it is an MLP and I already covered it in my article on MLPs. Like with my MLP article I eliminated any remaining stocks that have underperformed the global energy market over the last year, as represented by the iShares Global Energy ETF [IXC].

Read more from Brad Kenagy

 

 

 

Disney Stock About to go Warp Speed?

Many of us believe that Disney stock prices are too low considering the overall success of the company and the great success of the recent Star Wars movie, with at least two more movies in the works.

 In just 20 days, Star Wars has the No. 1 domestic box office haul ever. It has not even launched in China yet, the No. 2 market worldwide. The success of Star Wars is not only going to drive merchandise significantly higher this year, but also demand for the original films, and also in Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) theme parks. And to put the icing on the cake: Disney has another two Star Wars films lined up for future years, all of which are likely to be equally lucrative blockbusters.

Let’s look deeper into the media world: DIS also has the Marvel Universe, and a dominant kids production that pumps out at least one or two blockbusters each year. With the new Captain America movie later this year, and sequels to Star Wars, DIS is all set to dominate the top of best movies ever for the next five years to come, with several billion dollar movies from its top franchises over this span.

As explained, this continued success feeds into a theme park business that gains pricing power every year, and maintains its popularity. It also gives the company leverage over media outlets that want to distribute its content, allowing DIS to charge partners whatever it wants.

Last but not least, DIS has ESPN. While ESPN has had its fair share of problems, and likely overpaid for rights with the NBA ($1 billion), it is now a leaner company (job cuts) that continues to be the worldwide leader in sports. So yes, DIS had a speed bump with ESPN and subscriptions, but fact is that the NFL, NBA, and NCAA basketball and football continue to grow in popularity year-after-year, and that bodes well for the long-term direction of ESPN, and DIS.

 

Read more from Brian Nichols

 

Profitable Tech Trends for the New Year

You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see the future profits in this sector, it’s already here and getting bigger.

Prognostication is a humbling business. Last year at this time Mark Anderson, a tech futurist type and CEO of the Strategic News Service, predicted that Amazon (AMZN) would have a tough time in 2015, citing e-book squabbles, drone expenditures and the Fire phone flop. Oops.

All Amazon did was blow the doors off in 2105, with the stock up over 120% in a flat market. What’s up with that, Mark? “I thought Jeff [Bezos] was making too many mistakes, and that the shareholders and or customers would take it out on him,” he wrote to me in an email. “But AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been throwing off so much cash that nothing else mattered — even though the NY Times story came out and harmed the company’s reputation, and even though the Harvard Business Review dropped him from first place to near last based on some of these flaws. So, the world did indeed catch on to Jeff’s issues, but cloud computing saved the day.”

Fair enough Mark, and good for you for owning up to your miss. (And by the way, Mark had some good calls too.)

With that cautionary tell in mind, I set out to make some calls of my own, putting out three big tech trends for 2016. These aren’t the “holy-crow-I-never-even-thought-about-that” variety. Rather, they’re existing trends that I think will either hit the mainstream, become part of the public conversation, or have mega implications for investors in 2016. So here goes:

—VR. (If you have to ask what that means, you are officially behind the eight ball.) VR stands for virtual reality, of course, and yes, it’s those goofy headsets that zoom you into another world, and yes, you’ve been hearing about them for a few years now. But the point is that 2016 is the year these puppies will actually roll out to the general public. Even more significantly, VR really looks to be a major, incipient, platform battleground in the world of Tech. To wit: Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) are debuting VR products next year. So, too, is HTC, which may be a Hail Mary for that company. Google (GOOGL) has already introduced Google Cardboard, a low-end VR offering and has also invested in a stealth VR company with the ultimate VC-bait name: “Magic Leap.” But maybe Facebook (FB) will plant the biggest stake in the ground with a product from its Oculus Rift subsidiary, which Zuck & Co. bought for $2 billion in 2014. How big a deal is this? In a recent interview I did with Facebook’s head of sales, Carolyn Everson, she talked about how the company operates with mobile as its primary platform today but then went on to characterize Oculus thusly: “We think that can be the next operating system for the future.” Wow! No small thing there. (If you want to see how enamored Zuck himself is of Oculus, check out this Vanity Fair piece.) Still early days here. Oculus will only work on high-end PCs (which is weird), and the audience is all about gamers for now. But 2016 is merely year one. What the VR biz looks like in 2026, no one knows, but it will be big.

 

See more of the future

A lot of us start out investing in different Mutual Funds for retirement because we feel that we need to be more aggressive in building up our portfolio.  Now that retirement is just around the corner or maybe it’s already arrived, it may be time to move that portfolio into something more stable.  Here’s a couple ideas to do that .

In a previous article, I discussed various ways that investors can accumulate their nest egg. One strategy includes putting a portion in one or a few attractively valued dividend growth stocks every single month and reinvesting dividends selectively. The other strategy involved investing in index funds, using tax advantaged accounts such as 401(k) for example.

Traditional vehicles for saving such as index funds and target-date funds work well when you accumulate your nest egg, but could present a challenge if you try to live off them. Many retirees prefer to have a stable and growing source of income, which maintains purchasing power over time, and is not dependent on the manic-depressive swings in stock prices. Therefore, investing in dividend growth stocks is the ideal way to generate income from your nest egg in retirement, due to the stability of dividend income. Therefore, if someone were to accumulate their nest egg in other items such as index funds, but wanted to convert to dividend investing, there are two ways that they can achieve that.

The strategies outlined in this article also work for situations where you have a lump sum amount, and you are thinking of investing it.

The first strategy involves selling all funds in your portfolio, and using the proceeds immediately to create a diversified portfolio of quality dividend-paying stocks.

This strategy is quick and easy to achieve, as it involves just a few steps. If you want to make the conversion all at once and not have to worry about how to invest the amounts for months, this is likely the best deal for you. If you could find 20-30 quality dividend-paying companies, which are also attractively valued, and your money is spread in several sectors, you could be done with this exercise in one day. After that, the only thing to worry about would be to monitor the investments, decide what to do with dividend income, and enjoy life.

 

Read more on Dividend investing

Startup Business Rules to Live By

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are 38 rules to live by to make your journey into the business world a little easier.

I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) is all about.

At my age, 38, I’m not claiming to know everything, nor to be an expert in anything, for that matter, but I do believe I’ve learned a few things. As I approach my 40s, I thought I’d share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I’ve earned–and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don’t beg for investment dollars. Someone’s paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever, ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn’t do sh*t. It’s good for the ego, though.
  8. Some people care only about people whom they think are popular. They’ll acknowledge you only when you appear to be more connected than they are. Get rid of these people.
  9. Some people like you only for what you can do for them. Pay them no mind.
  10. Accelerators are good only for funding and meeting new friends. Is that what 6 to 8 percent equity is worth to you?
  11. Take a job if you have to. You will not lose your will to be an entrepreneur for doing so.
  12. Take huge risks in your 20s. Take calculated risks in your 30s.
  13. If you have an idea that keeps you up at night, do something with it. If not, it will always be only a dream.
  14. It’s OK to be driven by money at first. Once you have it, you’ll find your true motivation.
  15. Nontechies: If your tech co-founder says it’s going to take three months or more, she’s lying.
  16. If your tech co-founder says she can’t use existing code, cut ties immediately.
  17. If your nontech co-founder says he can’t sell X until you build Y, he’s making excuses for not working.
  18. Sales are everything. Nothing else matters. Nothing.
  19. Learn something new every day. One thing at least.
  20. Write. Even if you don’t publish it.
  21. Marketing isn’t luck. It’s hustle.

 

See more from Dana

 

Zacks Bull of the Day 8-17-15

This Bull of the Day is in the Health and diet category that’s been pushing past all expectations and is now considered a strong buy. Check out Tracey Ryniec’s  post below

Nutrisystem, Inc. is on the right side of the health and wellness debate. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) just raised full year guidance for the second time this year.

Nutrisystem is famous for weight loss programs including Nutrisystem My Way, its 28-day food delivery program. Feeding on the healthy food frenzy sweeping the nation, the company’s meal choices including 100 foods which do not contain artificial preservatives or flavors.

Plans can also be customized for specialized diets, including those with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Another Beat and Raise

On July 29, Nutrisystem reported its second quarter results and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents. Earnings were $0.41 compared to the consensus of $0.37.

Revenue rose 17% to $130.3 million as both direct and retail channels remained strong. Diret rose 15% year over year while retail grew 43%.

Gross profit margin jumped 80 basis points to 52%.

Full Year Guidance Raised

Very few companies are beating and raising this year in tough market conditions, but momentum from early in the year continued. It raised full year guidance for the second quarter in a row.

Earnings are now expected to be in the range of $0.87 to $0.97 up from its previous guidance of $0.81 to $0.91. Guidance is now up sharply from earlier in the year when the company was only looking for $0.73 to $0.83.

Zacks Bull of the Day

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