Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Insiders have one word for investors: SELL - 9 times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones -

Insiders have one word for investors: SELL - 9 times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones - 

Insiders were nine times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones last week, according to the Vickers Weekly Insider report by Argus Research.

That's the highest level of insider selling since March 2012.
And it comes just as individual investors are starting to return to the stock market.
After yanking more than $150 billion out of U.S. stocks last year, individual investors have been on a buying spree in 2013, with $17 billion flowing back in, according to the latest data from the Investment Company Institute.

With the Dow flirting with 14,000 and just 200 odd points away from a new all-time high, have individual investors missed out on the rally?
"In the past, this level of insider selling has been indicative of a coming downturn or at least a plateau in the market," said David Coleman, insider trading analyst at Argus Research.
The last time the Vickers index hit a level above nine was mid-March of last year. That was just before stocks closed out their best first quarter in more than a decade.
Shortly thereafter, the Dow, which had just topped 13,000, slipped below that mark and largely stayed there until late July, when stocks rallied back with a vengeance on hope for more stimulus from central bankers in Europe and the United States.
In 2011, insiders also rapidly sold out of stocks just a few weeks before S&P downgraded the credit rating of the United States.

Insider selling isn't the only technical indicator flashing "sell."
Last week's CFTC Commitment of Traders report showed a big swing from bearish (or neutral) to bullish and that's typically an indicator of a coming plateau, or drop in the market, said Ari Wald, a technical strategist at PrinceRidge.
In the span of two months, the percentage of bullish traders jumped to 55% from 37%.
"It usually means that a lot of bullish bets have already been in place," said Wald. "It doesn't mean the market will fall apart but it looks like time to take a more neutral approach."
CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index has also seen a big swing. The index has been in extreme greed over the past week, hitting a record high of 94 (the index only goes to 100). It has since backed off a little, but is still in extreme greed. Just a couple of months ago, it was deep into fear, hovering around 27 in mid November.
If Wald's predictions are true, that big swing may be yet another sign that a change is coming.  


Jay Leno Turns Obama-Clinton ‘60 Minutes’ Interview Into Cialis Commercial -

Jay Leno Turns Obama-Clinton ‘60 Minutes’ Interview Into Cialis Commercial -

Study: Americans Spend Up To 80 Percent Of Internet Time ‘Cyberloafing’ -

Study: Americans Spend Up To 80 Percent Of Internet Time ‘Cyberloafing’ - 

A new trend called “cyberloafing” is making its way into places of work throughout the nation – and in a big way.

According to Newswise, the average worker spends 60 to 80 percent of his or her time Internet time at the office engaging in tasks that have nothing to do with their jobs.

The study that found out about the inefficiency of the American work force was conducted by a researcher at Kansas State University. Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of accounting at KSU, reportedly teamed up with John Pearson, an associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University, to look into the matter.

And when they investigated, they found that all employees – old and young alike – are deviating from work tasks during the day at alarming rates.

“Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook,” Ugrin was quoted as saying.

Younger employees were especially prone to deviating from work-related activity, most frequently to check social networking sites during work hours, Newswise learned.

“We found that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior,” Ugrin observed. “Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care.”

Researchers also noted that the looming threat of managerial reprimand and the perceived presence of “Big Brother” could negatively affect office morale. However, without consequences, employers allegedly may not get anything out of their staff.

Ugrin pondered, “We don’t want to make everyone at work upset because the corporate office is watching over their employees’ shoulders … but what if workers are wasting all of their time online? Where’s the balance?”


Connecticut couple named 'longest married' in US - 81 YEARS -

Connecticut  couple named 'longest married' in US - 81 YEARS - 

John and Ann Betar of Connecticut have been married so long they're getting national recognition.

The Fairfield spouses, who tied the knot more than 80 years ago, have been named the 2013 "longest married couple" in the United States by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a group in San Bernardino, Calif., dedicated to improving Christian marriages.

The Betars will be presented with the honor and gifts at their granddaughter's home in Fairfield on Saturday.

"It is truly an honor and a privilege to recognize John and Ann Betar for their commitment to marriage," said Ron and Judy Pekny, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We are looking forward to personally recognizing them on Feb. 9th in their hometown of Fairfield," they added. The Peknys serve with Fr. Rocky Grimard, as the U.S. leadership for the marriage enrichment movement. Fr. Grimard will also be at the presentation.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter says the longest married couple is based on nominations, so there may be others who have been married longer.

John is 101 years old and Ann is 97. The two grew up as neighbors in Bridgeport and got married on Nov. 25, 1932. They have five children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

The Betars lived across the street from each other and John used to drive Ann to school in his Ford Roadster.  Ann was supposed to marry someone else in a marriage pre-arranged by her father, but the two eloped and went off to Harrison, N.Y. to get married.   John has been quoted as saying, "some people said it would never last. We showed them."

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20977202/conn-couple-named-longest-married-in-us

Monopoly fans vote to add cat, toss iron tokens -

Monopoly fans vote to add cat, toss iron tokens - 

Scottie dog has a new nemesis in Monopoly after fans voted in an online contest to add a new cat token to the property trading game, replacing the iron, toy maker Hasbro Inc. announced Wednesday.
The results were announced after the shoe, wheelbarrow and iron were neck and neck in the final hours of voting that sparked passionate efforts by fans to save their favorite tokens and businesses eager to capitalize on publicity surrounding pieces that represent their products.
The vote on Facebook closed just before midnight on Tuesday, marking the first time that fans have had a say on which of the eight tokens to add and which one to toss. The pieces identify the players and have changed quite a lot since Parker Brothers bought the game from its original designer in 1935.
Rhode Island-based Hasbro announced the new piece Wednesday morning.
Other pieces that contested for a spot on Monopoly included a robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar.
Fans from more than 120 countries voted.
"We put five new tokens out for our fans to vote on and there were a lot of fans of the many different tokens, but I think there were a lot of cat lovers in the world that reached out and voted for the cat to be the new token for Monopoly," said Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president for Hasbro gaming marketing.
The online contest to change the tokens was sparked by chatter on Facebook, where Monopoly has more than 10 million fans. The initiative was intended to ensure that a game created nearly eight decades ago remains relevant and engaging to fans today.
"Tokens are always a key part of the Monopoly game ... and our fans are very passionate about their tokens, about which token they use while they play," Berkowitz said.
Monopoly's iconic tokens originated when the niece of game creator Charles Darrow suggested using charms from her charm bracelet for tokens. The game is based on the streets of Atlantic City, N.J., and has sold more than 275 million units worldwide.
To make the game relevant to fans abroad, the names are changed to well-known streets in when it is introduced to a new country.
The eight tokens are an iron, racecar, Scottie dog, a shoe, thimble, top hat, wheelbarrow and battleship. Most of the pieces were introduced with the first Parker Brothers iteration of the game in 1935, and the Scottie dog and wheelbarrow were added in the early 1950s.
The social-media buzz created by the Save Your Token Campaign attracted numerous companies that pushed to protect specific tokens that reflect their products.
That includes garden tool maker Ames True Temper Inc. of Camp Hill, Penn., that spoke out in favor of the wheelbarrow and created a series of online videos that support the tool and online shoe retailer Zappos which pushed to save the shoe, Berkowitz said.
"We've even had some companies like Jolly Time Pop Corn reach out and petition to have a popcorn token added to the game, even though that's not one of the new five tokens," he said.
Versions of Monopoly with the new token will come out later this year.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/06/monopoly-fans-vote-to-add-cat-toss-iron-tokens/?intcmp=features

Library Gives Free Pole Dancing Lessons To Help Boost Attendance -

Library Gives Free Pole Dancing Lessons To Help Boost Attendance - 

If you’re looking to get fit locally while feeling sexy, you can solicit Cleveland Exotic Dance. In Scotland, you can go to the library.

The Mayfield Library of Dalkeith, Modlothian, decided to offer a free pole-dancing course to draw attendance, according to STV Edinburgh.

“The pole fitness session is a fun and interesting way of encouraging more people into our libraries, trying out all the services on offer and ultimately borrowing more books,” Midlothian Council member Bob Constable told STV.

The class, led by professional dancer Nikki Clark, was offered as part of a celebration called “Love Your Library Day,” the station learned.

Constable noted, “”Love Your Library Day’ is a marvelous opportunity for us all to celebrate the hugely important role libraries play in the heart of our local community.”

Read more -