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Archive for November, 2014

30 November
Comments Off on Biggest Movers in Financial Stocks Now – EVV ALL RQI WLP

Biggest Movers in Financial Stocks Now – EVV ALL RQI WLP

Financial stocks finished flat today on Wall Street.

More broadly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2%, the Nasdaq increased 0.5% and the Samp;P 500 was down 0.2%.

Some of the biggest gainers among financial stocks include:

  • Eaton Vance Limited Duration (EVV): EVV stock is up 1.0% today.
  • Allstate Corp (ALL): ALL stock is up 0.9% today.
  • Cohen amp; Steers Quality Income Realty Fund Inc (RQI): RQI stock is up 0.9%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has increased.
  • Wellpoint Health Networks Inc (WLP): WLP stock is up 0.8% today.
  • Balckrock Build America Trust (BBN): BBN stock is up 0.8%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has increased.
  • ING Clarion Global Real Estate (IGR): IGR stock is up 0.8% today.
  • AON Plc (AON): AON stock is up 0.8% today.
  • Fidelity National Information Services (FIS): FIS stock is up 0.7%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has increased.
  • Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group Inc (MTU): MTU stock is up 0.7% today.
  • Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Global Dividend (ETG): ETG stock is up 0.6%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has increased.

Some of the biggest losers among financial stocks include:

  • International Bancshares Corp (IBOC): IBOC stock is down 5.1% today.
  • Bok Financial Corp (BOKF): BOKF stock is down 4.2% today.
  • Bank of The Ozarks (OZRK): OZRK stock is down 4.1% today.
  • Prosperity Bancshares (PB): PB stock is down 3.8% today.
  • Altisource Portfolio Solutions SA (ASPS): ASPS stock is down 3.4%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has decreased.
  • Iberiabank Corp (IBKC): IBKC stock is down 3.3% today.
  • Svb Financial Group (SIVB): SIVB stock is down 3.2%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has decreased.
  • UMB Financial Corp (UMBF): UMBF stock is down 3.2%, marking the third consecutive day the stock has decreased.
  • Bancorpsouth Inc (BXS): BXS stock is down 3.1% today.
  • Park National Corp (PRK): PRK stock is down 3.0% today.

For more information on the best stocks to buy right now, check out the latest commentary on InvestorPlace.com.

And for more on the hot stocks moving most on Wall Street right now, check out our archive of daily market movers by sector here.

Editors Note: Returns for the fastest-moving stocks listed here are based on share prices 20 minutes prior to publication of this story.

30 November
Comments Off on WEALTH HEALTH: Even a good investing app is a bad choice

WEALTH HEALTH: Even a good investing app is a bad choice

Im all in favor of people picking up a penny, but I think youd be a little bit nuts to try it in the middle of a NASCAR racetrack where the cars are racing by you at breakneck speed.

So when Fidelity Investments this weekrecently released a study showing that nearly 70 percent of frequent users of mobile financial apps believe that their mobile trading apps give them a competitive advantage, it gave me images of overconfident investors thinking theyre about to become rich when, in reality, theyre about to become roadkill.

Its no secret that I am not a big fan of trading apps. While Im all in favor of mobile tools for managing accounts, paying bills, avoiding late fees and more, I worry that giving people the ability to trade on a moments notice is only going to convince them that its a good thing to do.

The Fidelity study findings:

  • 69 percent of those who trade with their mobile apps say they feel it gives them an advantage over investors who do not.
  • 41 percent of frequent users of financial apps report a return-on-investment of more than 20 percent on their total investable assets in the past 12 months, whereas only 22 percent of less frequent users report similar returns.
  • More than half of respondents are performing sophisticated investing tasks on their mobile apps, from technical analysis and charting to fundamental research, scouring analyst reports and, of course, trading.
  • More than half placed their first mobile trade in the past 12 months, which hints that mobile trading is just getting off the launching pad. Velia Carboni, senior vice president for Personal and Workplace Investing, a unit of Fidelity, said that mobile trades at the firm increased by more than 40 percent in the last year, and our survey found that more than one third of mobile traders make trade decisions on the spur of the moment, capitalizing on investing opportunities from their screen, anywhere.

I will concede that if you use an app correctly and it brings to your attention a host of stocks that you investigate, and generates quality leads, its helping.

If it leads you to mindless trades, however, its not, and that is the problem.

So lets read between the lines of the survey results to see where there might be trouble.

For starters, frequent app users should be confident in their tools or they shouldnt use them. Alas, the group being surveyed probably excludes people who have given up.

Of those who have stepped up trading through apps, the competitive edge they see is an issue because they see the competition as people who dont use devices as much.

30 November
Comments Off on Friday Financial Five – November 28th, 2014

Friday Financial Five – November 28th, 2014

Recent data releases slightly negative

Its a busy time for the economic calendar, with some slightly negative indications looking forward. GDP for the third quarter will be revised upward to 3.9, but the fourth quarter isnt expected to be as strong. Consumer confidence took an unexpected dip, dropping from 94.1 to 88.7 based on a less than optimistic employment outlook. Initial filings for unemployment benefits topped 300,000 for the first time in over 2 months, but that may also be a result of the holidays approaching. For those interested in the scheduled release of economic data, Bloomberg provides a helpful calendar.

Possible tax deal in the works

Congress is discussing an extensive tax deal to address many expiring provisions for individuals and businesses. Business owners would again be able to write off certain expenses and research credits would become a permanent part of the code. The deal, as currently constructed, doesnt address the Earned Income Credit and the child tax credit, which both expire at the end of 2017. According to the IRS commissioner, an agreement will have to be in place soon for tax refunds to be processed in a timely manner next year.

GAO offers guidance on multimillion dollar IRAs

Large IRA accounts are very much on the governments radar, the thought being the IRS never intended for huge sums of money to be sheltered from taxation. The Government Accountability Office presented guidance to the IRS on ways to crack down, including a limit on the amount that can be accumulated and still receive preferential tax treatment. The report, using 2011 numbers, estimates roughly nine thousand IRA holders with assets above $5 million and a thousand people with $10 million or more. The large majority of people with IRAs, over 42 million, have $1 million or less in their account.

Continued strength in the rental market

The Wall Street Journal released details on the state of the rental market, which has exceeded the recovery of single family home construction. The building of multi-family housing with five or more units is at the strongest 12 month pace since 1989. An amazing 93 percent of multi-unit new construction is being built as rental units. Meanwhile, the building of single family homes is keeping pace or nominally higher than last year.

HUD issues new reverse mortgage details

Effective March 15, 2015, there will be further changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or reverse mortgage. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees the program, continues to tinker with the financial assessment requirements at it tries to get a grasp on the proper way to underwrite this type of loan. Despite changes implemented in the beginning of 2014, its apparent that HUD is still paying more in claims than anticipated. The new financial assessment process may mean the mortgage company sets aside a higher portion of the loan for property taxes and insurance.

Dan Forbes is a regular contributor on financial issues. He is a CFP Board Ambassador. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at dforbes@forbesplanning.com.

30 November
Comments Off on Top 5 Dragon Age: Inquisition Companions

Top 5 Dragon Age: Inquisition Companions

It is no secret that Dragon Age: Inquisition is a pretty solid entry into BioWares Dragon Age series. Many could attribute its reception to its vast open areas, engaging combat, or its deep lore. But something must be said of its cast of some of the most amazing characters to ever grace a video game. What makes it even more worthy of recognition is the fact that these amazing characters can be your companions throughout your journey.

The only sad part is that you cant bring all of them with you at once.  Three at a time is the limit, so choices must be made. Fortunately enough, you have just stumbled upon a list of the 5 most awesome of these companions. This list is in no particular order and instead focuses on what makes each of these well-crafted characters so magnificent.

There are some minor spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

Cassandra Pentaghast

For those of you who arent new to Dragon Age, you are probably already familiar with Cassandra. Her tough, to the point attitude, and her strong beliefs make her a standout character. She also happens to be your very first companion in Dragon Age: Inquisition after finding you, the only survivor of the breach.

You first meet her as you sit in chains during the interrogation by Cassandra and Leliana. She was the right hand of the divine who had just tragically lost her life and is now consumed with a need to find out exactly what part you played in the events. After this initial introduction is when her character really opens up and you begin to realize just how amazing Cassandra truly is.

She is tough, that is clear, but she is also honor bound. She may disagree with some of your decisions but she builds her faith in you and will follow you into the harshest of battles and let no one speak ill of you. As the Thedas she knew slowly changes so to does her character and her views of the world. When in doubt of recent events, you can always count on Cassandra to put things into perspective and renew your conviction.

She is also a surprising source of entertainment when paired with the right companions. Her exchanges with Varric paint an interesting relationship between two characters that would normally be at each others throats.  Pairing her with some of the sillier companions shows just how mean she can truly be in such a great way. Hearing her question the intelligence of Sera at any given opportunity will almost always bring a smile to your face.

Cassandras contribution to combat is nothing to scoff at, as well. She is a seasoned warrior and it shows as you enter the fray. Her ability to not only draw the attention of your enemies but to also quickly put them to rest makes her a truly worthy addition to any party.

30 November
Comments Off on Morals take a seat in driverless-vehicle technology

Morals take a seat in driverless-vehicle technology

For now, Google is focused on mastering the most common driving scenarios, programming the cars to drive defensively in hopes of avoiding the rare instances when an accident is truly unavoidable.

People are philosophizing about it, but the question about real-world capability and real-world events that can affect us, we really havent studied that issue, said Ron Medford, director of safety for Googles self-driving car project.

One of those philosophers is Patrick Lin, a professor who directs the ethics and emerging sciences group at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo.

This is one of the most profoundly serious decisions we can make. Program a machine that can foreseeably lead to someones death, Lin said. When we make programming decisions, we expect those to be as right as we can be.

What right looks like may differ from company to company, but according to Lin, automakers have a duty to show that they have wrestled with these complex questions and publicly reveal the answers they reach.

Technological advances will only add to the complexity. Especially when in-car sensors become so acute that they can, for example, differentiate between a motorcyclist wearing a helmet and a companion riding without one. If a collision is inevitable, should the car hit the person with a helmet because the injury risk might be less? But that would penalize the person who took extra precautions.

Lin said he has discussed the ethics of driverless cars with Google as well as automakers such as Tesla, Nissan and BMW. As far as he knows, only BMW has formed an internal group to study the issue.

Many automakers remain skeptical that cars will operate completely without drivers, at least not in the next five to 10 years.

Uwe Higgen, head of BMWs group technology office in Silicon Valley, said the automaker has brought together specialists in technology, ethics, social impact and the law to discuss a range of issues related to cars that do increasingly more driving instead of people.

This is a constant process going forward, Higgen said.

To some, the fundamental moral question doesnt ask about rare and catastrophic accidents but rather how to balance appropriate caution over introducing the technology against its potential to save lives. After all, more than 30,000 people die in traffic accidents each year in the United States.

No one has a good answer for how safe is safe enough, said Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor who has written extensively on self-driving cars. (The cars) are going to crash, and that is something that the companies need to accept and the public needs to accept.

And what about government regulators how will they react to crashes, especially those that are particularly gruesome or the result of a decision that a person would be unlikely to make? Just four states have passed any rules governing self-driving cars on public roads, and the federal government appears to be in no hurry to regulate them.

In California, the department of motor vehicles is discussing ethical questions with companies but isnt writing rules.

Thats a natural question that would come up, and it does come up, said Bernard Soriano, the departments point man on driverless cars, of how cars should decide between a series of bad choices. There will have to be some sort of explanation.

29 November
Comments Off on UPSC invites applications for various posts

UPSC invites applications for various posts

Union Public of Service Commission invites online recruitment applications for the following posts:

(I) Assistant Directors (Aircraft Engineering) in Directorate General of Civil Aviation: 11

Details of the Post:

This is a permanent General Central Service, Group A, Gazetted Post with a Pay Scale of Rs.15,600-39,100 (PB-3) + Rs. 6,600 (Grade Pay)(TE Rs. 45,954/-Approx.) + TA and HRA as admissible.

Educational Qualifications and Experience

Candidate applying for the post should have at least Second Class Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from a recognized University or equivalent with a Four years experience in Aeronautical Research, Development, Design.

(II) Assistant Professors (Geography) in National Defence Academy: 2

Details of the Post: This is a permanent Group A, Gazetted, Non-Ministerial post. Physically Challenged Persons with disability viz. Blindness or Low Vision ie Blind (B) or Partially Blind (PB) or Orthopedically Handicapped/ Locomotor Disability/Cerebral Palsy with Both Legs Affected but not Arms (BL) or One Leg Affected (Right or Left) (OL) or One Arm Affected(Right or Left) (OA) are eligible to apply.

The Pay Scale is Rs. 15,600-39,100 (PB-3) + Rs. 6,000 (Academic Grade Pay) (TE Rs. 44,712/- Approx.) + TA and HRA as admissible.

Educational Qualifications:

Good academic record as defined by the concerned university with at least 55% or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed at the Masters Degree level in Geography from an Indian University or an equivalent degree from an accredited Foreign University.

(III) Assistant Professors (Mathematics) in National Defence Academy: 2

Details of the Post:

The posts are permanent with a Pay Scale of Rs.15,600-39,100 (PB-3) + Rs. 6,000 (Academic Grade Pay) (TE Rs. 44,712 in Grade iv). Physically Challenged Persons with disability viz. Orthopedically Handicapped/Locomotor Disability/Cerebral Palsy with One Leg Affected (Right or Left) (OL) or One Arm Affected (Right or Left) (OA) are eligible to apply.

Duties for the appointed person: Legislative Drafting, Scrutiny of Statutory Rules and Orders etc.

(IV) Assistant Law Officer in Law Commission of India, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law amp; Justice: 1

Details of the post:

The post is permanent Group A, Gazetted with a Pay Scale of Rs. 15,600-39,100 (PB-3) +Rs. 6,600 (Grade Pay) (TE Rs. 45,954/-Approx.) + TA and HRA as admissible, Indian Legal Service Cadre of Law Officers in the Law Commission of India.

Required Qualification

He should hold a degree in Law from a recognised University or equivalent and he has been a member of a State Judicial Service for a period of not less than seven years or has held a superior post in the Legal Department of a State for a period of not less than seven years.

Age Limit: Not less than 40 years.

Duties for the person appointed: Rendering general Secretariat assistance to officers in the Law Commission of India in handling reference relating to Law amp; Research work and other works assigned by the Senior Officers in the relevant field.

(V) Assistant Legislative Counsel (Grade-IV of Indian Legal Service) in Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice: 4

Details of the post: Out of the four posts one post is reserved for person with physical disability. The post is group A gazetted with a Pay scale in a range of Rs. 15,600-39,100 (PB-3) + Rs. 6,600 (Grade Pay) (TE Rs. 45,954/-Approx.) + TA and HRA as admissible, Grade-IV of Indian Legal Service. The upper age limit is 40 years.

(VI) Assistant Director, Grade-II (Metal Finishing) in Office of the Development Commissioner, New Delhi, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: 1

The post is gazetted Non-Ministerial with a Pay Scale of Rs. 9,300-34,800 (PB-2) + Rs. 4,600 (Grade Pay) (TE Rs. 28,773/-Approx.) + TA and HRA as admissible, General Central Service, Group B.

Essential Qualifications and Experience

Masters Degree in Chemistry or Industrial Chemistry/Degree in Chemical Technology or Chemical Engineering from a recognized University / Institute or equivalent with around two years of experience in supervisory capacity in a technical/industrial unit involved in metal electroplating.

Duties: To visit micro, small and medium enterprises and advise their supervisory staff and workers about different problems, suggest improved techniques of Production.

How to Apply

Candidates are advised to apply only Online against the Online Recruitment Application (ORA) website http://www.upsconline.nic.in. Candidates who want to apply for more than one post should apply separately for each post and pay the fee for each post in the prescribed manner.

Dates to Remember:

Last Date for submission of online application: December 11, 2014

Last date for printing completely submitted form: December 12, 2014

29 November
Comments Off on Long-time companions adopted into new homes

Long-time companions adopted into new homes

PETERBOROUGH – The Humane Society has found homes for two dogs they had hoped to keep together.

Jenna and Jamie came into the shelter on Sept. 27 when their loving, but elderly, owner could no longer care for them. They were very well taken care of and are house trained.

Jenna is an Bichon Frise Poodle mix who is nine years old and the bigger of the two. Jamie is a Maltese Poodle who is 10 years old. They are senior dogs but still have so much to give to a human companion.

The dogs have been adopted into two homes that already have pets, so the duo did find a happy ending.

If you are interested in adopting other pets at the shelter, call 705-745-4722, ext. 200.

29 November
Comments Off on Aged care: canine companions

Aged care: canine companions

Aged care: canine companions

27 November 2014 , 6:57 PM by Rebecca McLaren

One of the major drawbacks of going into an aged care home is not being able to take your pets with you

And its a shame because we all know the benefits an animal companion can bring.

Fortunately, the Delta Society has come up with a compromise of sorts

Daphne Thorogood is the Townsville co-ordinator for the Delta Therapy Dogs.

29 November
Comments Off on Long-time companions need a new shared home

Long-time companions need a new shared home

PETERBOROUGH – The Humane Society has found homes for two dogs they had hoped to keep together.

Jenna and Jamie came into the shelter on Sept. 27 when their loving, but elderly, owner could no longer care for them. They were very well taken care of and are house trained.

Jenna is an Bichon Frise Poodle mix who is nine years old and the bigger of the two. Jamie is a Maltese Poodle who is 10 years old. They are senior dogs but still have so much to give to a human companion.

The dogs have been adopted into two homes that already have pets, so the duo did find a happy ending.

If you are interested in adopting other pets at the shelter, call 705-745-4722, ext. 200.

29 November
Comments Off on Skype-powered group chats coming to Office Online

Skype-powered group chats coming to Office Online

Microsoft is upping its chat game for real-time co-authoring in Office Online.

Office Online users will see a dedicated chat button appear inside Microsoft PowerPoint and Word in the coming weeks. Just click that button while you’re collaboratively editing a file to start chatting with everyone working on the document. As an added bonus, Microsoft says you’ll be able to continue any chats started in Office Online on Skype on the desktop or your smartphone after you’ve closed the file.

Why this matters: Microsoft is working hard to make its services into cross-platform tools and that means Office needs to be a suite of top-flight web apps. The lack of in-document chat was a glaring omission from Office Online and it’s good to see this feature coming soon to PowerPoint and Word. But offering an in-document chat app isn’t enough. The real test will be how well chat works–not how easy it is to start it.

The problem with Office Online chat

Truth be told, Microsoft has allowed you to chat with one other person inside its online web apps for quite some time, as we noted in March. Getting it to work, however, was a little tricky. First, you had to initiate a chat inside the main dashboard of OneDrive. Then, if you opened a document, your chat window would follow you there.

Chatting with multiple people, however, wasn’t an option.

Another problem with previous iterations of Office chat is that you had to have your collaborators as Skype contacts before you could chat with them. That may not be a problem for the most part, but it’s not hard to imagine a situation where you’ll want to work with someone on a document who is not on your Skype list.

Google Docs does not require a Google Chat or Hangouts connection before having an in-document chat with someone. Heres hoping Office Online will do the same. Well know for certain as the feature starts rolling out in the always ambiguous coming weeks.