September 29th, 2011 Newsletter


Dear Friends,


I was with my inter-disciplinary professional  group for awhile yesterday working on a family business case we’re involve with and one of the persons in this group is  a lawyer who practices in Vancouver, and  who happens to be Jewish.  He brought cookies to the meeting and said we needed to wind up just after 4 PM because he had to be with family for Rosh Hashana.  We talked briefly about the night of festivities and  lots of food he would be enjoying with his family. 

I forgot to say last night Happy New Year to all my Jewish clients and friends.  May it be a wonderful year.  Reflection begins today followed by the day of atonement next week, Yom Kippur.

Curt Wahlberg wrote today a piece on hope for  a kinder world, something for us to reflect upon: 

Have you ever felt pushed around?  Or criticized?  Or maybe you’ve been on the other side of things and have been too pushy or critical.

My experience suggests that criticism and unkindness are a kind of contagion that affects people in different ways at different times.  Whether you’re the giver or the receiver, criticism, at the least, deprives you of your peace…..We can’t climb higher because of another’s fall.  Nor can we fall lower because of another’s climb.  So there’s no true basis for subjugating another or for feeling imposed upon…

Photos of the day 

September 29, 2011

A Jewish man blows a shofar, Ram’s horn, while others pray as they perform Tasklikh, a Rosh Hashanah ritual for casting sins upon the waters, in front of the Mediterranean sea in Ashdod, Israel. Ariel Schalit/AP.

The Long March II-F rocket, loaded with China’s unmanned space module Tiangong-1, lifts off from the launch pad in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province, China. Petar Kujundzic/Reuters.

Market Commentary:


By Kaitlyn Kiernan

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Canadian stocks advanced, rebounding from yesterday’s 2 percent drop, as financial companies and energy producers climbed after U.S. economic data eased concern that global growth will slow.

Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s No. 3 lender, rose 2.4 percent. Cenovus Energy Inc., the country’s fifth-biggest energy company, increased 3.4 percent as crude oil surged after the U.S. said the economy grew faster than previously estimated in the second quarter and jobless claims fell last week. Research In Motion Ltd. lost 3.2 percent, falling for a second day after Inc. announced a competing tablet computer.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index rose 100.45 points, or 0.9 percent, to 11,686.32, widening its advance this week to 1.9 percent.

In the U.S., “the underlying economic numbers were much better than expected, and the general mood is so pessimistic it’s not going to take much for there to be a rally in this market,” Terry Shaunessy, president of Shaunessy Investment Counsel in Calgary, said in a telephone interview. The firm manages about C$150 million ($146 million).

The S&P/TSX has fallen 7.5 percent in September, poised for a seven-month losing streak that’s the longest since 1984.

Energy and raw-materials companies, which make up 46 percent of Canadian stocks by market value, have declined on concern over demand as Europe struggled to contain its debt crisis. This month’s slump is also the biggest since October 2008.

The U.S. economy expanded at a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, Commerce Department figures showed, higher than 1 percent in the previous estimate. Jobless claims fell 37,000 last week to 391,000, the fewest since April, according to Labor Department data.

The S&P/TSX Financials Index advanced 1.8 percent, the most among 10 industries, as European lenders soared. Bank of Nova Scotia gained 2.4 percent to C$53.70. Manulife Financial Corp., North America’s fourth-biggest insurer, surged 5 percent to C$12.30. The company named Jacqui Allard president of Manulife Asset Management Canada. The Toronto-Dominion Bank, the country’s second-largest lender by assets, increased 2 percent to C$75.

Canadian energy companies advanced as crude oil gained 1.1 percent after the U.S. GDP report beat economists’ expectations.

New York futures are down 7.5 percent this month and have dropped 14 percent since the end of June, heading for the biggest quarterly loss since the last three months of 2008.

Cenovus Energy advanced 3.4 percent to C$33.22. Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s biggest oil and gas producer, jumped 2.4 percent to C$27.71. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the country’s second-biggest energy company by market value, rose 2.4 percent to C$31.52.

Natural gas pipeline operators pared the advance in energy group after the U.S. Energy Department said reported the biggest inventory gain in the heating fuel in more than two years. U.S. inventories rose 111 billion cubic feet, or 3.5 percent, to 3.312 trillion in the week ended Sept. 23, the department said. Stockpiles had been expected to rise 103 billion, the average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

 TransCanada Corp., the owner of the country’s largest pipeline system, erased 0.7 percent to C$42.42. Penn West Petroleum Ltd., a western Canadian energy producer, declined 1.8 percent to $15.72.

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd., a western Canadian oil and gas producer, lost 20 percent to C$6.59 after saying it suspended operations of is Conklin demonstration project after finding evidence of combustion gas migration.

Research In Motion fell 3.2 percent to C$21.94 after Collins Stewart said the BlackBerry maker might halt production of its PlayBook tablet. The company called the rumor “pure fiction” in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.


By Nikolaj Gammeltoft

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose, rebounding from a 1 percent decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as lower- than-estimated claims for unemployment benefits and helped offset losses by consumer and technology shares.

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. climbed at least 3 percent as European lenders soared after German lawmakers backed an enhanced euro-region rescue fund. General Electric Co. gained 2.7 percent, while Hewlett-Packard Co. added 2.5 percent as jobless claims fell more than forecast and the U.S. economy’s second-quarter expansion topped projections. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. slid 14 percent after the chipmaker cut its forecast.

The S&P 500 added 0.8 percent to 1,160.40 at 4 p.m. New York time after rallying as much as 2.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 143.08 points, or 1.3 percent, to 11,153.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 percent as Apple Inc. declined 1.6 percent, dropping for a fourth straight day.

“We got two excellent numbers,” Philip Orlando, the New York-based chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors Inc., said about the economic reports in a phone interview. His firm oversees about $350 billion. “It suggests that we are coming out of the soft patch and not spiraling into a double-dip recession.”

Two industries that have beaten the S&P 500 in the third quarter, computer and software makers as well as companies reliant on discretionary consumer spending, fell the most today.

The S&P 500 Information Technology Index lost 0.4 percent, bringing its two-day drop to 1.8 percent. Among its constituents, Apple, which rose 16 percent in the quarter, has dropped 5.5 percent since Sept. 20, while Google Inc., up 4.2 percent for the quarter, slid 2.2 percent in the last two days.

Among consumer stocks, Tiffany & Co. declined 6.9 percent today. Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell 7.3 percent, and Netflix Inc. tumbled 11 percent. Netflix, the movie rental service that has rallied 194 percent since March 9, 2009, plunged 57 percent in the third quarter, the second-biggest retreat in the S&P 500 behind Alpha Natural Resources Inc., which decreased 59 percent.

“They’re shooting the last bastions of outperformance, because consumer stocks have actually done really well,” said Dan Veru, who oversees $3.3 billion as chief investment officer at Fort Lee, New Jersey-based Palisade Capital Management LLC.

“They’re selling the winners that have exposure outside of the U.S.”

Stocks worldwide are headed for their worst quarterly performance since the end of 2008 on concern Europe’s debt crisis will trigger a global recession. The MSCI All-Country World Index has lost 16 percent this quarter and trades at 11.9 times reported earnings, near the lowest level since March 2009. The S&P 500 has lost 12 percent since the end of June.                       

Stock futures extended gains today as applications for jobless benefits dropped by 37,000 in the week ended Sept. 24 to 391,000, the fewest since April, Labor Department figures showed. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. An agency official said the data probably reflected a “slight mistiming” in the seasonal factors used to modify the figures.

A separate report showed the U.S. economy grew at a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, faster than estimated last month and helped by exports and spending on services.

“The U.S. economic data was better than expected,” Michael Gibbs, Memphis, Tennessee-based chief equity strategist at Morgan Keegan Inc., said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees about $70 billion in client assets. “The market wants Europe to show us, not tell us, what’s going to happen.”

Global equities climbed earlier as Germany’s lower house of parliament approved the expansion of the European bailout fund.

The bill’s passage by Europe’s biggest economy allows euro-area officials to weigh further measures to bolster Greece and stem investor concern that helped end the biggest three-day rally in 16 months for European stocks.

“Our markets have fairly well priced in all but the most draconian of scenarios,” Wilbur Ross, the billionaire chairman of private-equity firm WL Ross & Co., said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu.

“Unless something really calamitous happens” such as a default of a larger European country like Spain or Italy, “short of that, I think we’ve pretty well priced things in.”

The Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index of companies most-tied to the economy climbed 1.5 percent. The Dow Jones Transportation Average, also a proxy for the economy, added 2.1 percent. General Electric gained 2.7 percent to $15.86, and Hewlett- Packard advanced 2.5 percent to $23.78.                    

Financial stocks in the S&P 500 rallied 2.8 percent, the most among 10 industries. Bank of America climbed 3.1 percent to $6.35, while JPMorgan added 3 percent to $31.39.

Harleysville Group Inc. surged 87 percent to $58.96. The insurer agreed to be acquired by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the eighth-largest U.S. personal auto insurer, for $60 a share in cash.

Advanced Micro Devices sank 14 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $5.31. The second-largest maker of processors for personal computers reduced its forecasts for third-quarter sales and profitability, citing manufacturing glitches.

Netflix dropped 11 percent to $113.19 for the second- biggest loss in the S&P 500. The online and mail-order video service fell on concern about competition with Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The streaming business faces competition from Amazon, which unveiled a tablet computer yesterday that’s designed to work with its own video service. Microsoft plans to offer online pay television service from Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. through its Xbox Live service, people with knowledge of the situation said.

Have a wonderful evening everyone.

Be magnificent!

For me, nonviolence is not a mere philosophical principle.

It rules my life.  It is the rule and breadth of my life.

It is a matter not of the intellect but of the heart.


-Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

As ever,


I shut my eyes in order to see.

       -Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903