Take Your Talents to Vegas for Yahoo Sports National Draft Day

yahoosports:

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By Clifton Ma, Head of Fantasy Sports

It’s baaaaaaack!  On Saturday, August 23 Yahoo Sports and Fantasy Football fans around the country will be celebrating National Draft Day.  This season, we’re taking things to the next level.  Vegas baby!  

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Yahoo Sports will be hosting a National Draft Day party from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, where everyone (subject to availability) will be treated like a VIP.  Wrangle your friends and come down to The Joint on August 23 to host your Fantasy Football draft.  In our fantasy package, we’ll be offering discounted room rates, access to Hard Rock Hotel’s exclusive clubs, a Fantasy workshop with our experts, and other fun swag including:

  • Discounted room accommodations

  • Draft Prep 101 session with Brad Evans, Yahoo Sports Columnist and host of Fantasy Football Live on Friday, August 22

  • Entry into $10,000 Blackjack Tournament on Friday, August 22 (limited to first 100 participants)

  • Access for two into the Ultimate Fantasy Football Draft Party inside Hard Rock Hotel’s legendary concert venue, The Joint, on Saturday, August 23 at 11 a.m.

  • VIP passes for REHAB, the original dayclub pool party

  • VIP passes for Body English Nightclub

  • Fantasy Football Draft Kit from Yahoo Sports

  • More details available here

We’ll also host a special edition of Fantasy Football Live with Brad Evans, Shaun King and others. They’ll also be available for in-person coaching — who are this years sleepers? When should you take this year’s top rookies?  Which kind of draft is better, snake or auction?  In the words of Brad Evans, “Bull-rush me!”  

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If you can’t make it out to Vegas, no worries.  National Draft Day is NATIONAL.  For all those that host their Fantasy Football drafts on Yahoo Sports on August 23, you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win your own trip to Las Vegas

Don’t forget, smack talk early and often and we’ll see you in Vegas.  

Passing this along for the sports fanatics among you.

Pre-Gaming Tonight’s Twitter Earnings

philpearlman:

image

Tonight, Twitter (TWTR) reports second quarter 2014 earnings and it should be fun watching the company spawn new metrics and spin old ones in order to frame its investment story as effectively as possible.

Everyone will be watching.

Before the numbers hit the tape, and for those obsessed, here’s a sampling of some of the smartest pre-game analysis.

Here’s How Twitter Could Fix Its Growth Problem (Aaron Pressman)

Twitter Q2 Earnings Preview (Dan Nathan)

Why Hedge Funds May Not Care About Twitter’s Revenue (Estimize)

Twitter Won’t Unveil New Growth Metrics for Q2 Earnings (Peter Kafka)

Twitter’s CEO Under Pressure (Jim Edwards)

How to Play Twitter’s Earnings #Volatility (Steven M. Sears)

Third Party Data Supports Our Model’s MAU Estimates (Bob Peck)

Twitter Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call 5PM ET (Twitter IR)

10 things you should know about Ace Greenberg

welcometokindergarten:

ace

Alan C. Greenberg at his desk at Bear Stearns in 1980, two years after he became chief executive. Photo credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

I was down on the floor of the NYSE on Friday as news broke of the passing of Alan “Ace” Greenberg, the former Chairman of Bear Stearns and one of the most illustrious Wall Street personalities of all time. The legendary trader-turned-executive got his first gig at Bear as a clerk and rose through the ranks thanks to his trading prowess (big risks, quick losses), personality (the trademark bow tie, magic tricks, memorable memos) and counter-cultural style (an emphasis on hustle over heredity when hiring).

I’ve known some people who were close to Ace over the years and will be at the big memorial service they’re having in New York on Monday. I’ve also gotten to hear lots of great Ace stories over the years. The financial media has dredged up some interesting anecdotes as they memorialized him this weekend as well. Below, I collect a few interesting ones that I think are good food for thought for investors and other finance industry professionals.

1. Ace arrived on The Street from Oklahoma City in 1949 as a former college football player from the University of Missouri. He was 21, had no experience with financial markets (his father sold clothing) but he got a job assisting a Bear Stearns partner that paid $135 a month. He spent his lunch breaks hanging around watching the traders in the arbitrage department and eventually they brought him on to their desk.

2. His first day as a clerk on the arbitrage desk was so disorienting and hectic that one partner remembered Ace getting nauseous and rushing to the bathroom. That didn’t last long. Ace’s “nerves of steel” and unwillingness to let losses run helped him steadily rise through the ranks at Bear. He eventually became the Chief Executive in 1978, but never left the trading desk. And while the bow tie was ever-present, a suit jacket was a rarity – Greenberg was there to get work done, not to preen like they did at the “white shoe” firms down the street.

3. Ace did keep a small office – tiny some said – for private phone calls and meetings. The defining feature of this little office was “a photograph of a huge African antelope stretched out dead. Above the carcass of the animal crouches Mr. Greenberg holding a bow and arrow, expressionless as always.” Ace’s penchant for an eat-what-you-kill culture became the prototype for Wall Street culture as the 1980′s bull market got underway. His primary compensation rule was that salaries should be kept extremely low but partnership profits should be huge. Ace wanted his brokers to live and die on their own commission and his traders to get paid on their profits. This kept incentives aligned toward success and weeded out laziness.

4. Speaking of partnership, Ace Greenberg told the Wall Street Journal in 1982 that this was the secret to Bear’s success. He said “I believe in partners. Employees can leave; partners can’t.” Ace took other steps to keep it so that “nobody can afford for anything to go wrong here,” including a rule that partners had to wait six years upon departing the firm before being able to withdraw their entire stake in the company. In addition, while the firm allowed its partners to make outside investments and build up stakes in other endeavors, if they grew too large relative to their ownership in Bear, Greenberg made them pony up more dough to keep the firm as important to them, financially speaking. Partnership at Bear was not for life (KKR was founded in 1976 by a few breakaway leveraged finance execs) but it may as well have been. Greenberg’s predecessor atop the firm, a 35-year Bear veteran named Cy Lewis, had famously collapsed and died at his own retirement dinner in 1978.

5. Greenberg hired the hungriest, most determined kids from all the five boroughs of New York City and beyond. This was in distinction to the white shoe firms like Morgan Stanley who would only interview WASPs from acceptable backgrounds and with strong family connections. Bear hired Jews and Italians from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx – an utterly unheard of faux-pas in respectable banking circles at the time. He didn’t care what their daddies did for a living or who they knew – he wanted hustlers who could think on the fly, take big risks and be street-smart enough to cut those losses quickly in order to survive. Culturally speaking, it worked. Ace called his employees the P.S.D.’s – Poor, Smart and Determined. Some amazingly talented people came out of this system over the ensuing decades, many of whom went on to build huge firms and fortunes of their own.

6. Ace saw the writing on the wall and smartly diversified the firm toward both retail brokerage and securities clearing for smaller firms ahead of the negotiated commission rule in 1975. Prior to this rule, commissions were fixed at a uniformly high level, thus ensuring fat profit margins for the brokerages who had NYSE membership. Once negotiation was permitted, margins shrank and competition got tougher. Bear’s foray into these other areas kept the firm growing and thriving: they had over 100 smaller broker-dealers using them for custody and clearing services along with eight retail brokerage branches around the world staffed by over 300 reps by the early 1980′s.

7.  In September of 1985, “the secret” got out that Bear was considering a public offering. The tightly-controlled partnership would be raising badly needed capital for its continued expansion. If Bear wanted to play with the big boys, there was no other option. At that time, Bear was coming off of a fantastic year in which its profitability was head-and-shoulders above its competitor firms. But it was still considered a scrappy upstart, Bear was only the 11th largest investment house on The Street. Greenberg’s excitement at the time was tempered by his acknowledgment that the old partnership structure would be tested. ”If it weren’t for that problem of continuity and our need for capital, we probably wouldn’t be doing this…the main goal of management now is to make this work just like the partnership.” Bear was 62 years old at the time and was one of the first of the old-line investment houses to IPO. It was the beginning of the end of the risk-obsessed partnership culture and Bear was at the Vanguard of the movement toward corporate enormity on The Street. 

8. The 1980′s and 1990′s were boom-times for Bear. Ace Greenberg was one of the highest-profile financiers of the era, having become the stockbroker to the stars (Donald Trump! The Sultan of Brunei!) and having spawned a trading culture like no other. Bear was the firm to go to for creative financings and for higher-risk business that the other shops turned their noses up at. This reputation would eventually get the firm in trouble as their clearing relationships with some of the most notorious penny-stock boiler rooms were laid bare by regulators and the press. Bear would be named (and disciplined) as an enabler of rip-off artists and manipulators from the lowest-rung of the industry – small, scroungy firms like DH Blair and AR Barron that used their implied Bear Stearns affiliation to rob the public.

9. One of Greenberg’s early hires, a fellow bridge-playing high-stakes trader named James Cayne, would become a lifelong friend and consigliere to him. Cayne would eventually succeed him in the early 1990′s as the CEO of Bear. This relationship would ultimately sour as Greenberg, who’d become executive chairman, never really loosened his grip on the day-to-day operations of the firm.

10. While Ace Greenberg had built Bear Stearns into one of the most powerful financial firms in history, his legacy will forever be tarnished by how it all ended – a blow-up in the credit crisis followed by the ignominious buy-out / bail-out from JPMorgan, backed by the federal government, at just ten bucks a share. As the executive chairman during both the boom and the bust, Ace went to his grave bearing the bulk of the responsibility for his firm’s failure alongside his old partner Jimmy Cayne. Although Greenberg’s post-collapse autobiography attempted to paint their relationship as strained toward the end, explaining how Cayne had attempted to keep him out of the loop, the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs lost will never be forgotten.

                                                        ***

After we had made some remarks about Ace Greenberg’s passing on Friday, NYSE stalwart and legendary trader in his own right, Art Cashin, came over to the Post 9 set we do the show from. I leaned back and Art whispered that Ace’s final trade may have been the best one he had ever made – the sale of all but 15,000 shares of his Bear Stearns stake at prices above $100 before the crisis spiraled out of control. Mr. Greenberg may not have had control over the amount of risk the firm had taken under Jimmy Cayne’s stewardship, but he certainly wasn’t going to abandon the “small losses” ethos that had guided him throughout a 65-year career on one of the meanest streets in America.

Alan “Ace” Greenberg was a true giant of American capitalism and one of the most important players in the history of Wall Street and a true original. As everyone from Warren Buffett to Jamie Dimon to T. Boone Pickens mourns his passing, we are consoled by the terrific lessons his successes and failures can offer us all in our future endeavors.

Read Also:

Tough Pit Boss (Wall Street Journal) 

Former Bear Stearns Executive Alan ‘Ace’ Greenberg Dies (Wall Street Journal)

Remembering Ace Greenberg, Through Good Times and Bad (DealBook)

Alan C. Greenberg, 86, Dies; Led Bear Stearns in Good Times and Bad (New York Times)

yahoofinancecontributors:

jlfmi:

Nasdaq 100: Narrowest 52-Week High In History
There have been no shortage of complaints surrounding the participation, reasons and quality of the recent leg of the cyclical equity rally. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the “most hated” rally in history given the fact that equity allocations among various investor groups are closer to historical highs than levels indicating apathy. Nor would we take exception to the “reason” (i.e., Fed intervention) behind the rally. Frankly, we have no idea why stocks are rallying. And to be completely honest, neither we nor anyone else ever really knows the “reasons” behind any rally. All we know, and all we care about, is that stocks are rallying.
We do, however, feel analysis into the quality of a rally is legitimate. The behavior of breadth in terms of advance/decline issues and volume as well as new highs/lows can give clues as to the sustainability of an advance. At the very least, this can be important when considering whether or not to commit a significant amount of longer-term capital into stocks. For example, when the broad equity indices are making new highs with fewer relative advancing stocks and new individual stock highs (i.e., divergences), the rally’s days could be numbered.
While such divergences in “quality” can last for awhile, at a certain point they reach an extreme and threaten the rally. The Nasdaq 100 has reached that point. While the $NDX is at a 52-week high, the quality of the new high has never been more narrow, at least when measured by the total number of Nasdaq stocks also at new highs. The $NDX new high on July 18 was accompanied by just 39 total Nasdaq new highs. That is the lowest number in the history of the Nasdaq 100 (back to 1990). On a % basis, only a handful of days from late 1998 saw a smaller number than the 1.45% of total Nasdaq stocks at new highs on July 18. The $NDX then was coming off of a significant correction and was in the early stages of the epic breadth divergence that persisted until the mega-cap tech stock bubble burst in 2000.
There have been only 3 other readings in history that even approach the current one. One came in the fall of 2009 while the Nasdaq 100 was emerging from the cyclical market low. The other two occurred in March 2000 and September 2007 immediately preceding the past two cyclical tops. This is a genuine concern regarding the sustainability of this rally.

Great post Dana!
High-res

yahoofinancecontributors:

jlfmi:

Nasdaq 100: Narrowest 52-Week High In History

There have been no shortage of complaints surrounding the participation, reasons and quality of the recent leg of the cyclical equity rally. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the “most hated” rally in history given the fact that equity allocations among various investor groups are closer to historical highs than levels indicating apathy. Nor would we take exception to the “reason” (i.e., Fed intervention) behind the rally. Frankly, we have no idea why stocks are rallying. And to be completely honest, neither we nor anyone else ever really knows the “reasons” behind any rally. All we know, and all we care about, is that stocks are rallying.

We do, however, feel analysis into the quality of a rally is legitimate. The behavior of breadth in terms of advance/decline issues and volume as well as new highs/lows can give clues as to the sustainability of an advance. At the very least, this can be important when considering whether or not to commit a significant amount of longer-term capital into stocks. For example, when the broad equity indices are making new highs with fewer relative advancing stocks and new individual stock highs (i.e., divergences), the rally’s days could be numbered.

While such divergences in “quality” can last for awhile, at a certain point they reach an extreme and threaten the rally. The Nasdaq 100 has reached that point. While the $NDX is at a 52-week high, the quality of the new high has never been more narrow, at least when measured by the total number of Nasdaq stocks also at new highs. The $NDX new high on July 18 was accompanied by just 39 total Nasdaq new highs. That is the lowest number in the history of the Nasdaq 100 (back to 1990). On a % basis, only a handful of days from late 1998 saw a smaller number than the 1.45% of total Nasdaq stocks at new highs on July 18. The $NDX then was coming off of a significant correction and was in the early stages of the epic breadth divergence that persisted until the mega-cap tech stock bubble burst in 2000.

There have been only 3 other readings in history that even approach the current one. One came in the fall of 2009 while the Nasdaq 100 was emerging from the cyclical market low. The other two occurred in March 2000 and September 2007 immediately preceding the past two cyclical tops. This is a genuine concern regarding the sustainability of this rally.

Great post Dana!

Has the Fed Doomed Buy and Hold?

charliebilello:

In December 2008, the Federal Reserve embarked upon the most expansionary monetary policy in U.S. history. In an unprecedented action, the Fed moved its Federal Funds Target Rate to a range of 0% to 0.25% and began its first ever “Asset Purchase Program,” better known as Quantitative Easing (QE)….

Say Bilello five times real fast… ;)

Fed May Help Open Crack In Correction Door

chrisciovacco:


Debate About First Rate Hike Loomsimage

Even if you follow the markets from a distance, you know the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policies have played a big role in the stock market’s recent gains. Markets get jittery when the expression “first rate hike” starts to make the rounds. The…

So much wisdome coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week.

This weekend, we’ll be posting a smattering of the best of the best, including this one from Chris.

kimblecharting:

Small Caps (Russell 2000) does this for the first time in 13-years.
The top line represents the Russell 2000/SPY ratio. A 6-year support broke at (1), soon after that the S&P 500 broke below a multi-year support line at (2), which was followed by softness.
Now the Russell 2000/SPY ratio is breaking a 13-year support line of late.
Should investors “approach the markets with caution” due to this breakdown? Will it be different this time?

Such eagle eye coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week.
This weekend, we’ll be posting a sampling of the best of the best, including this one from Chris Kimble, Chart Freak. High-res

kimblecharting:

Small Caps (Russell 2000) does this for the first time in 13-years.

The top line represents the Russell 2000/SPY ratio. A 6-year support broke at (1), soon after that the S&P 500 broke below a multi-year support line at (2), which was followed by softness.

Now the Russell 2000/SPY ratio is breaking a 13-year support line of late.

Should investors “approach the markets with caution” due to this breakdown? Will it be different this time?

Such eagle eye coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week.

This weekend, we’ll be posting a sampling of the best of the best, including this one from Chris Kimble, Chart Freak.

http://jeffhirsch.tumblr.com/post/92856237048/biotechs-yearend-rally-starts-in-august-based

jeffhirsch:

Biotech’s Yearend Rally Starts in August

Based upon the NYSE ARCA Biotechnology Index (BTK), biotech shares have enjoyed average gains of 29.1%, 16.4% and 28.0% over the last 5, 10 and 15-year periods respectively from the beginning of August through the beginning of March. iShares NASDAQ…

So much goodness coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week launched this week.

This weekend, we’ll be posting a sampling of the best of the best, including this one from Jeff.

sl-50:

The Most Visited Web Site In China Is Up 8000% Since Its IPO
Chinese search engine, Baidu crushed estimates again and its stock is trading at new all-time highs near $220 this morning.
BIDU IPO-ed in 2005 at $27 per share, which is 2.70 on a split-adjusted basis. They had a 10:1 split in 2010. It was considered the hottest IPO of the year. BIDU gained 350% on its first trading day, finishing at $112.5 (12.25 split-adjusted).
Over the past decade, BIDU never looked cheap. It was trading at a high P/E multiple all-the way from 2.70 to 220. Don’t be afraid to pay up for high-growth stocks with great potential. In many cases, they are expensive for a reason. Over time, earnings could more than catch up with people’s expectations and justify high valuations.
This is exactly what happened with Baidu. In the quarter before its IPO, it earned $8 million. In its latest 2014 quarter, Baidu earned $571 million.
The market is a voting machine in the short-term and a weighing machine in the long-term. Valuation matters in the end only if earnings don’t catch up, you plan to hold forever and you don’t have an exit strategy. If price gets you in a trade or investment, price should get you out. If you don’t know why you are in the trade, you won’t know when to exit.

So much good stuff coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week.
This weekend, we’ll be posting a smattering of the best of the best, including this one from Ivan. High-res

sl-50:

The Most Visited Web Site In China Is Up 8000% Since Its IPO

Chinese search engine, Baidu crushed estimates again and its stock is trading at new all-time highs near $220 this morning.

BIDU IPO-ed in 2005 at $27 per share, which is 2.70 on a split-adjusted basis. They had a 10:1 split in 2010. It was considered the hottest IPO of the year. BIDU gained 350% on its first trading day, finishing at $112.5 (12.25 split-adjusted).

Over the past decade, BIDU never looked cheap. It was trading at a high P/E multiple all-the way from 2.70 to 220. Don’t be afraid to pay up for high-growth stocks with great potential. In many cases, they are expensive for a reason. Over time, earnings could more than catch up with people’s expectations and justify high valuations.

This is exactly what happened with Baidu. In the quarter before its IPO, it earned $8 million. In its latest 2014 quarter, Baidu earned $571 million.

The market is a voting machine in the short-term and a weighing machine in the long-term. Valuation matters in the end only if earnings don’t catch up, you plan to hold forever and you don’t have an exit strategy. If price gets you in a trade or investment, price should get you out. If you don’t know why you are in the trade, you won’t know when to exit.

So much good stuff coming from the brand new Yahoo Finance Contributors this week.

This weekend, we’ll be posting a smattering of the best of the best, including this one from Ivan.