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The Best of What They Said and I Read week ending 4/23/2017

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.

I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.


 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance – May, 2017 – Calendar

  • “Friday, May 5 – The best time to list your home for sale is no longer in March but in early May, say researchers at Zillow.  Since 2012, sellers who listed during the first two weeks on May netted a price that was one percentage point higher than the annual average, and homes sold nearly 20 days faster.”

  The Wall Street Journal – April 7, 2017 – Overheard

  • “Conversations about poop will never be the same.”  So says Synergy Pharmaceuticals in launching its Poop Troop cast of emoji characters depicting an array of 14 different bowel movements. That a drug company focused on gastrointestinal disorders could even come up with that many emojis is kind of like the old claim that Eskimos have 50 words for snow.  Synergy says the Poop Troop will “allow people to better express the physical and emotional impact of chronic idiopathic constipation.”  The Poop Troop features characters like a distraught Clogged Chris, an angry Plugged-Up Paulie and a gleeful Mr. Smooth…”   

 Barron’s – April 22, 2017 – Another Year of Double-Digit Gains by Leslie P. Norton

  • “Tell us about your Death by Amazon index, which you started in 2012.”
  • “Walters: We created it to track the performance of companies most affected by the rise of Amazon. com. It includes 54 retailers with a limited online presence. We didn’t include retailers with original products. So Gap isn’t in the index, but Bed Bath & Beyond is, as a retailer selling other labels as middleman. The catalyst was our survey work, which showed more and more U.S. consumers going to Amazon and not to traditional retailers, and Amazon Prime membership taking off.”
  • “Hickey: The weakness has picked up in the past 18 months. The more people there are on Amazon Prime, the less incentive to shop in a bricks-and-mortar retailer. Why go out and pay extra for something when you can get the same thing online and not deal with the hassle? Many retailers’ sales are Amazonable, as we call it. If you sell anything that can be sold on Amazon, you have a problem. Since February 2012, Amazon is up 390%, the S&P 1500 is up 75%, and Bespoke’s Death by Amazon index is up 25%. Death by Amazon is just one of our research pieces. Like retailers, a lot of consumer-products companies could face margin pressure as [their brands] lose their cachet.”

 Barron’s – April 22, 2017 – The Burt Reynolds Stock Market by Kopin Tan

  • “But there are signs of wavering conviction—OK, hedging. Investors have flocked en masse to bonds—sending yields on 10-year Treasuries to the lowest levels since the election—and to gold, which is up 12% this year. Having hoovered up cyclical stocks just after the November vote, stock buyers are turning to defensive sectors and an increasingly narrow brigade of big, familiar tech issues to lead the advance. Through mid-April, just 10 stocks, including and Facebook, had accounted for half the S&P 500’s gain this year, reports Fundstrat Global Advisors.”
  • “On Monday, Burt Reynolds will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to promote his latest film, Dog Years, about an aging movie star whose best years are behind him. But if this marketing gig turns to be a metaphor for our bull run, you can actually say—just this once—that they did ring a bell near the stock-market top.” 

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