Ed’s Daily Notes for March 10th   Leave a comment

It will be a light week ahead for economic reports, with Friday’s U.S. Producer Price Index being the “biggie”. As for earnings, it is also a light week, with today’s report from Carnival Corporation (CCL) being the largest of the week. Expect unusual news events or technicals to drive markets this week.

Bloomberg: Stocks Tumble With Commodities as China Data Spur Concern

The world markets are off to a bad start this week:

Emerging-market stocks tumbled, led by shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai, copper headed for its lowest close since June as weaker-than-estimated Chinese trade and inflation data stoked concern over the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy. Gold fell.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 1 percent by 8:16 a.m. in London, as China’s CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) closed at a five-year low. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.2 percent and futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.3 percent. Copper fell 1.4 percent, heading for its biggest two-day loss since May and leading commodities lower. China’s yuan weakened as the central bank lowered its fixing by the most since July 2012 versus the dollar. Gold retreated 0.5 percent.

Industrial metals are falling as expanding stockpiles in China, the biggest consumer, add to a raft of data that signify a broad slowdown. The country’s lawmakers are meeting to set economic policy amid growing credit risks that saw the country’s first onshore bond default last week. Better-than-estimated U.S. payrolls figures on March 7 bolstered the case for continued reductions in Federal Reserve stimulus.

CBS New York: Daylight Saving Time Can Be A Danger To Your Health

Awake yet? If not, you’ll appreciate this:

…Daylight Saving Time may have serious health implications for some, making it a difficult, even potentially dangerous change…

“Our body has a natural circadian rhythm which is almost an internal clock that regulates our 24-hour cycle. It regulates our sleep-wake cycle and that can be disturbed fairly easily,” said neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Samton.

According to Samton, even moving the clocks just one hour may mean disrupted sleep patterns, and more, for some people.

“Most of our mental fog, that lack of mental clarity is from [decrease] of sleep,” Samton explained.

…Dr. Eric Cohen says there are even more serious health considerations beyond losing sleep.

“There have been studies that have shown there are more workplace accidents, more driving accidents after the switch to Daylight Saving Time. There’s even studies that show there are more heart attacks right afterward. So there does seem to be some very real implications for this,” Cohen said.

Yes, let’s blame our sleepy Monday morning on DST, like we are NEVER tired on Mondays usually…

In all seriousness, I would be delighted to end this DST crap. Then again, I am usually in bed before 8 pm, and up before 4 am. DST doesn’t help me a bit.

Digital Trends: Samsung may put an augmented reality keyboard on your fingers

One of the reasons I haven’t rushed out to get Google Glass (aside from the price) has been solved by Samsung:

Samsung-AR-keyboard

Next time someone sends you a text message, think about what it would be like to respond with an augmented reality keyboard on your fingers. If this sounds like a good idea to you, then you’ll be happy to know that Samsung might be working on that for its rumored Google Glass competitor, dubbed as Galaxy Glass.

The patent, which is now public, was filed last August at the World Intellectual Property Organization and South Korea’s Korean Intellectual Property Office.

According to the patent, Samsung believes that voice control enabled for smart glasses allows for limited functionality, since loud environments won’t allow words to be heard clearly and soft environments don’t allow for any amount of privacy. In addition, any projector-based keyboards carry several drawbacks, one of them being the high cost of such a system.

As seen in the pictures, Samsung’s solution is an augmented reality keyboard. Keys would be mapped onto the fingers of your hand “according to predetermined criteria,” which presumably includes what orientation your hand is in. You would then be able to “type” out letters by using your thumb to press on different areas of your fingers.

Fox News: Snowden claims he raised concerns about NSA internally 10 times before leaking documents

One of the big arguments against Ed Snowden has been that he should have raised his concerns through channels. Now we get his response:

Ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he tried more than 10 times to go through official channels to alert someone about government spying programs, but nobody listened.

According to The Washington Post, Snowden claimed in European Parliament testimony that he reported policy or legal issues about the NSA to more than 10 officials, but as a contractor he had no legal avenue to pursue the matter.

“As an employee of a private company rather than a direct employee of the U.S. government, I was not protected by U.S. whistle-blower laws, and I would not have been protected from retaliation and legal sanction for revealing classified information about lawbreaking in accordance with the recommended process,” Snowden said in his testimony.

…Snowden described the reactions he received when telling his coworkers his concerns.

“The first were well-meaning but hushed warnings not to ‘rock the boat,’ for fear of the sort of retaliation that befell former NSA whistle-blowers like Wiebe, Binney, and Drake,” he said, according to the Post, adding that the other responses were suggestions that he, “let the issue be someone else’s problem.”

Snowden testified, “there was a unanimous desire to avoid being associated with such a complaint in any form.”

The NSA disputes his account, previously telling The Washington Post that, “after extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention.”

I tend to believe him on this point, mainly because the responses he describes are typical of the bureaucratic mentality.

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Posted March 10, 2014 by edmcgon in Economy, Federal Reserve, Market Analysis, News, Technology

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