Rare Steve Jobs Interviews on NeXT Computers (1986, 1990)

Watch this rare interview with Steve Jobs in 1990 on the future of computing (hat tip Finance Trends). He was at NeXT Computer at this time after getting fired from Apple in 1985. Apple bought NeXT in 1996. During the interview Jobs discusses the transitions between spreadsheets, desktop publishing and interpersonal computing (human-to-human communication). Watch the 50 minute interview after the jump via PBS NOVA. UPDATE: I embedded another Steve Jobs interview in a 1986 documentary titled "Entrepreneurs" by John Nathan, where Jobs talks about NeXT..

Groupon Sold Off Another 15%; Put Options, Implied Volatility Spike As GRPN Trades Below IPO Price

GRPN from IPO (FreeStockCharts.com)
Groupon is now trading below its $20 IPO price after closing at $16.88 yesterday (11/23), down 15.50% . On 11/22 it closed at 20.07, down 14.75% (previous post: Groupon Lost 14.8% Yesterday, Social Media Stocks Destroyed In November). I think GRPN's options put a spell on the stock when they arrived at the CBOE on 11/14/2011. The December GRPN 22-25 puts sold off initially when GRPN traded between 23-26.9, but then rose 102%-191% when GRPN broke down and hit a low of $16.71 yesterday (chart of Dec 23 put below). GRPN's implied volatility spiked to 123% from 80% initially (ivolatility chart below).

Groupon only offered 5.5% (35 million) of its total outstanding shares, so there is a tight float. A week before the options started trading, all of the "available" shares were used to short the stock (borrow-and-sell). I also read that due to the tiny float, brokers initially charged "an annual rate of 90 percent to 100 percent last week to borrow Groupon's stock." Then, according to Crain's Chicago Business, "the premium to borrow such shares fell from more than 90% to about 30% early this week, opening the door for short sales." It was interesting to see how it all panned out, especially after reading multiple blog posts recently on the best ways to own or short the stock. You can see that $23-$23.30 was the line in the sand and then the IPO price. Watch that steep descending channel (downtrend) and overhead resistance level (looks like $18) to see when the trend changes. By the way, Morningstar analyst Rick Summer believes Groupon is worth $8 per share. He was featured on Fox Business on 11/6, watch the video below.

Intense Euro Linkfest, Charts (Banks, Economy, Bond Yields, EUR/USD) - 11/23/2011

So much is going on in Europe right now that it's hard to keep track. Here's a linkfest on the fly with a few charts (EUR/USD, 10-year German Bund yield). The 10-year German Bund yield is at 2.06%, up 7.56%, and EUR/USD is at 1.34027, down 0.46%. It was below 1.34 earlier this morning. Read the articles below and also see Eurozone PMI charts.

EUR/USD (FreeStockCharts.com)

HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI Falls to 48, Output Index Falls to 46.7 (Most Since March 2009)

*see more charts on the release
Stocks in Asia are lower after weak (preliminary) Chinese manufacturing data was released. The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) fell to 48 in November from 51 in October, and the Flash China Manufacturing Output Index fell to 46.7 in November from 51.4 in October. Under 50 = contraction. The release said both indicators were at 32-month lows, and it opened with the headline "Chinese manufacturers report sharpest fall in output since March 2009". This is the preliminary November PMI release. The final data is published on December 1. As you can see from the PMI and Production charts, the trend is down and both are below the 2010 lows.

More from the press release at Markit Economics.
Source: MarkitEconomics.com
"Commenting on the Flash China Manufacturing PMI survey, Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said: “The dipping headline manufacturing PMI implies that IP growth is likely to slow further to 11-12% y-o-y in the coming months, as domestic demand cools and external demand is set to weaken despite the still resilient new export orders. That said, as inflation is likely to decelerate at a faster than expected pace, it will leave more room for Beijing to step up selective easing measures, which should gradually filter through to keep China on track for a soft-landing.”"

See PMI releases for Germany, France and the Eurozone as well.

Groupon Lost 14.8% Yesterday, Social Media Stocks Destroyed In November (GRPN, LNKD, P, OPEN, Z)

Groupon (GRPN) closed at $20.07 yesterday, down 14.89% and near its IPO price of $20. When GRPN started trading on 11/4/2011, it initially popped to about $30 and then lost about a third of its value. Since 11/4, Groupon (GRPN) is down 23%, Pandora (P) is down 22.14%, LinkedIn (LNKD) is down 16.61%. Google only lost 2.71%, OpenTable lost 18.74% and Zillow got destroyed, down 29.39%. The S&P lost 5.2%, QQQ lost 5.67% and PNQI, the PowerShares Nasdaq Internet Portfolio, lost 8.38%. So, these recent IPOs/social internet companies (less Google, because of Google+?) did worse than the market and internet index on the second wave down. I found out there's a Global Social Media ETF (SOCL) run by GlobelXFunds. According to Morningstar, "SOCL holds 26 social networking, file sharing, and web-based media companies from all around the globe." I would have added Angie's List to the chart but I couldn't due to a limit.





Courtesy StockCharts.com

Spanish 3-Month and 6-Month Bill Yields Spike at Auction, Both Over 5% (Chart)

Spain 3M T-bill Auction (Bloomberg)
At an auction today, the average yield on the Spanish 3-month T-bill spiked to 5.11%, up 122% from 2.29% at the previous auction on 10/25/2011. And the average yield on the Spanish 6-month T-bill spiked to 5.227%, up 58% from 3.30% at the previous auction. Click the links for quotes and charts at Bloomberg.com. Spain is getting squeezed.

Spanish Yield Curve Inverts Most Since 1994 - Zero Hedge
Spain pays more than Greece to borrow - FT
EURO GOVT-Spain bill yields soar, pressuring periphery - Reuters
Spanish yields spike as crisis exits blocked - Reuters
Spain's Borrowing Costs Skyrocket - WSJ
Spanish Government Bonds Decline After Bill Auctions; Belgian Debt Slides - Bloomberg
Germany Sees No ‘Bazooka’ in Crisis as Spain Yields Surge - BusinessWeek
Spain pays 5.1% for three month money - FT Alphaville
Spain Requests Data Providers Change Reference Bond Price - WSJ(?)

Moody's Warns France, CDS Hits New High, Fitch Warns U.S. 'Super Committee'

Credit rating agencies released updates on France and the United States recently. Fitch said, if the U.S. 'Super Committee' fails to reach an agreement on deficit reduction measures, it would "most likely" result in a "revision of the rating outlook to Negative."
"Fitch Ratings-London/New York-21 November 2011: In Fitch's August 16 statement, when it affirmed the US 'AAA' sovereign ratings with a Stable Outlook, the agency commented that it would update its US economic and fiscal projections in light of the work of the 'Super Committee'. Fitch also commented that failure by the Super Committee to reach agreement would likely result in a negative rating action -- most likely a revision of the rating Outlook to Negative, which would indicate a greater than 50% chance of a downgrade over a two-year horizon. Less likely would be a one-notch downgrade.

The announcement today that the Super Committee was unable to reach agreement on at least USD1.2 trillion of deficit-reduction measures underscores the challenge of securing the political consensus on how to reduce the federal budget deficit and place US public finances on a sustainable path over the medium-term. Fitch now expects to conclude its review of the US sovereign rating by the end of November." (Source: Fitch)

However, since no agreement would still force $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts, both Moody's and S&P said it wouldn't affect the U.S.'s credit rating. But if the deficit reduction plan happens to change, that could be the catalyst for more downgrades (read more at Bloomberg). Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, believes "2012 is shaping up to be a very, very tough year. And in large part it's because the Super Committee decided to punt" (Fox Business). More on this in another post. The "payroll tax holiday" expires at the end of the year and emergency unemployment insurance expires on 1/3/2012.

Interesting MF Global Commercials, Trustee Says $1.2 Billion Missing

I found interesting MF Global commercials on Youtube. They had creative ad agencies. First, some news updates: MF Global Revelations Keep Getting Worse -pdf (by Janet Tavakoli of Tavakoli Structured Finance via jca)MF Global trustee says $1.2B or more missing (AP); Insight: Farm belt rage over MF Global could chill markets (Reuters).

Russia Ups Ante with Caspian Neighbors by Moving Offshore - Guest Post

Source: kvitlauk (Flickr)
Guest post by John C. K Daly of OilPrice.com

Russia Ups Ante with Caspian Neighbors by Moving Offshore

On 16 November in Astrakhan Lukoil president, Vagit Alekperov told journalists that his company will spend over $16 billion over the next decade to develop the country's Caspian offshore Korchagin and Filanovskii oil and natural gas fields in the Caspian, at the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Astrakhan Region.

An equitable division of the Caspian's offshore resources have bedeviled the region since the December 1991 implosion of the USSR, putting the Soviet Union's previous cozy arrangements with the Shah's Iran "into the dustbin of history," to quote Leon Trotsky.

Before the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Union and Iran effectively divided the inland sea amongst themselves, according to the terms of the 1940 Soviet-Iranian treaty, which replaced the 1921 Treaty of Friendship between the two countries, which awarded each signatory an "exclusive right of fishing in its coastal waters up to a limit of 10 nautical miles." The treaty further declared that the "parties hold the Caspian to belong to Iran and to the Soviet Union."

Since 1991 three new nations have arisen in the Caspian basin to contest this bilateral arrangement - Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. For the past two decades the five nations have wrangled about how to divide the Caspian offshore waters, and little has been achieved.

Crude Oil Analysis for the Week of November 21, 2011 - Guest Post

Light Crude Oil (StockCharts.com)
Guest post by Oilprice.com (I added a chart of light crude oil (WTI) with simple technical analysis. It bounced off the 200dma today)

Crude Oil Analysis for the Week of November 21, 2011

January Crude Oil futures succumbed to selling pressure last week, reaching a high at $103.37 and forming a closing price reversal top. Once confirmed, this pattern often leads to a minimum 50% correction of the most recent rally. Although a sell-off is likely, it doesn't mean the trend has changed to down. What this pattern may be doing is giving long traders a reason to take profits before a correction takes place. Aggressive counter-trend traders may be interested in the short-side.

Based on the main range from the May top at $115.22 to the October bottom at $75.36, crude oil exceeded a major retracement zone at $95.29 to $99.99. Selling pressure, however, was strong enough to push the market back inside of this zone, re-establishing its importance as a potential resistance zone. In addition, downtrending Gann angle resistance and uptrending Gann angle support formed a cluster of prices with the retracement zone to identify a possible topping area.

This week the retracement zone stays intact, but one Gann angle drops down to $100.72 and the other moves up to $103.36. Since the contract closed under both of these angles, it begins the week in a weak position. In addition, taking out $96.70 will confirm the weekly top and a trade through $95.29 will put the market on the bearish side of the retracement zone.

Going forward, the short-term range is $75.36 to $103.37. This range formed a retracement zone at $89.37 to $86.06. Uptrending Gann angle support from the recent bottom moves up to $89.36. This creates a support cluster and possible downside target at $89.37 to $89.36. If the closing price reversal is confirmed then traders should look for a possible break into this support cluster over the near-term.

E-Mini S&P Testing 50DMA, Deficit Reduction Committee Tries To Strike Deal (Video, Charts)

Here is overnight chart action for the December E-Mini S&P 500 Future and December E-mini Nasdaq Future. ES is testing the 50 day moving average and NQ is below the 50 and 200 again after failing to break above the 2011 high. NQ also pierced through the 2007 high again (support). The U.S. deficit reduction "super committee" failed to strike a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the budget. They vote on Wednesday. Keep an eye on the credit ratings agencies to see what they think of this (BusinessWeek: U.S. Bond Risk Rises as Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Budget Cuts). Watch the NEDN video below for more information. Also, keep an eye on European government bond yields.

E-mini S&P 500 December 2011 Future (optionsxpress)

E-mini Nasdaq December 2011 Future (optionsxpress)