Welcome to March! Ed’s Daily Notes for March 3rd   Leave a comment

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Death_of_Caesar_-_Walters_37884(hat tip to Wikipedia for the pic)

Is it ironic that the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting will start 3 days after the “ides of March”? We’ll find out…

The big event this week will be the U.S. Employment Report on Friday. With earnings season pretty much over (the big earnings report this week will be Costco on Thursday), the markets will be left to technicals and crystal ball gazers until we get the Employment Report. As we saw Friday, the U.S. markets are ignoring world events like the Ukraine. Bring on the next Cold War, we don’t care!

New York Times: Buffett Hints at More Heinz-Like Deals in Annual Letter

Here comes Warren…

…Mr. Buffett, in Berkshire’s annual report released on Saturday, highlighted the large deals that his company made last year, including the acquisition of H. J. Heinz — and strongly hinted at how future big purchases might take place.

“With the Heinz purchase, moreover, we created a partnership template that may be used by Berkshire in future acquisitions of size,” Mr. Buffett said. Last year, Berkshire’s energy subsidiary, MidAmerican Energy, bought NV Energy for $5.6 billion. “NV Energy will not be MidAmerican’s last major acquisition,” he said.

Jeff Matthews, a hedge fund manager who has written books on Berkshire, said he detected a strong desire to make more acquisitions.

“I think it’s way more than a hint,” Mr. Matthews said in an email. “He clearly sees more deals at MidAmerican.”

Could Berkshire be moving more heavily into the energy sector? Keep your eye on energy stocks.

The Independent: Apple’s Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making a profit

He leads a company that some would consider the epitome of ruthless global capitalism. But Apple chief executive Tim Cook has shocked some in the US with an impassioned attack on the single-minded pursuit of profit – and a direct appeal to climate-change deniers not to buy shares in his firm.

Eyewitnesses said Cook, who succeeded Steve Jobs as boss of the technology giant in 2011, was visibly angry as he took on a group of right-wing investors during a question-and-answer session at a shareholders’ meeting.

Responding to calls from the National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a conservative think tank and investor, for Apple to refrain from putting money in green energy projects that were not profitable, he shot back that Apple did “a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive”. The chief executive added: “We want to leave the world better than we found it.”

Addressing he NCPPR representative directly, he said: “If you want me to do things only for ROI [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

Cook, who is generally known for his level-headed demeanour, also insisted that he places more importance on helping people and the environment than on pure profit, saying: “When we work on making our devices accessible to the blind, I don’t consider bloody ROI.”

Mr. Cook, if ROI isn’t that important to you, than why do you refuse to reduce your profit margins in order to compete in Emerging Markets with the rest of the smartphone manufacturers?

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Posted March 3, 2014 by edmcgon in Economy, Federal Reserve, Market Analysis, News

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