Black and White Program


Unexpectedly, new jobless claims drop

August 10th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, potentially indicating the economic condition of the country is improving. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the Labor Department stated. Many economists had projected claims to rise to 370,000. The data is reported following information released last week […]


Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rebounds

August 3rd, 2012 by Steven Barnes | Report

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may have rebounded from its fiscal mess and could end the fiscal year with about $3 billion in reserves, the result of premium increases and rising loan volume.  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has been overseeing the FHA, cited the turnaround during preparation of Senate confirmation […]

 (more→) Inc reports positive quarterly results

July 28th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

San Francisco based Inc reported positive quarterly results on Thursday, indicating growth and profit margins. Second-quarter revenue for the world’s largest internet retailer was $12.83 billion, up 29 percent from a year earlier. Separating out their <strong>product revenue</strong>, (its traditional online retail business), revenue grew 25 percent to $10.79 billion while <strong>services revenue</strong>, (online […]


Mortgage rates continue downward trend

July 26th, 2012 by John Eastman | Report

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropped last week, falling below 3.5%.  That level has not been seen since 60 years go. Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.49% from 3.53% last week. Rates on 15-year fixed mortgages  dipped to 2.80%. That’s below last week’s previous record of 2.83%. […]


Big Pharma acquisitions: Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline

July 23rd, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

Human Genome Sciences has agreed to be acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceutical firm, for $3.6 billion.  The deal involves cash and debt for U.S. based Human Genome Sciences.  Human Genome Sciences rejected an initial offer in April of 2012 as undervalued. The deal (increased approximately 10%) represents a premium of 99% to Human Genome’s […]


Recent IPO offerings: Wall Street testers?

July 19th, 2012 by John Eastman | Report

It’s been approximately 2 months since the initial public offering (IPO) of Facebook $FB.  Currently trading in the range of $29.00, (a steep fall from its $38.00 to $45.00 range at IPO), the $62 Billion Market Cap social media centric company dirtied the water for IPO’s, tech and otherwise. Viewed as excessive, overvalued, generally and […]


Visa, Mastercard settle class action case with retailers

July 17th, 2012 by Steven Barnes | Report

A host of banks and credit car providers, (13 all in total) the most prominent being Visa and MasterCard  have agreed to settle litigation filed against them and will pay a reported $7.25 billion to retailers who said the banks engaged in price-fixing on credit card transaction fees. The settlement is relevant to approximately 7 […]


Microsoft sells 50% stake in MSNBC.COM. New venture planned in fall of 2012.

July 15th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

Microsoft Corp reported that it has sold its 50% stake in news website MSNBC.COM to Comcast Corp. , the parent company of NBC. The deal as reported byNYTIMES.COM was reportedly for $300 Million. The joint venture, which began 16 years ago between Microsoft and NBC Universal, is expected to take over a year to adequately […]


Oracle’s appetite for Social Media

July 13th, 2012 by Kyle Rankin | Report

When one thinks of the name Oracle Corp. an association with social media is not typically made. But of late, Oracle, the world’s 3rd largest enterprise software provider, has been on an acquisition binge of social marketing and media firms. Its latest deal is with San Francisco-based social marketing firm Involver, a 5 year old […]


Facebook’s first earnings call as a public company

July 12th, 2012 by Steven Barnes | Report

Thursday, is Facebook Inc.’s much anticipated first earnings report as a public company.  With an IPO that generated a bit of controversy – to say the least – the social media marketing firm’s earnings report will be under the watchful eye of millions, including those critical of the firm. Questions over its online advertising business […]


Bristol-Myers starts tender offer for Amylin

July 12th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

On July 11, 2012 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company launched its tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of biotechnology company Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. Bristol-Myers said last month its offer, valid until August 7, 2012, would pay $31 per share for Amylin an estimated $5.3 billion. The total value of the transaction, which includes Amylin’s net debt […]


United Parcel Service reaches far for extensive growth

March 26th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

United Parcel Service, Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase Dutch firm TNT Express  for $6.85 billion (U.S.) (5.2 billion euros) extending its reach to become a powerful market presence in Europe and worldwide. The move will boost UPS’s worldwide revenue to an estimated $60 billion, up from $53 billion in 2011. According to […]


Who killed the monster?

March 10th, 2012 by Kyle Rankin | Report

At one time, Monster Worldwide Inc. the online recruiting service and arguably the world’s largest internet jobs board, was valued at approximately $7.5 billion (going back to 2006 market valuations). Its current valuation is closer to 1 billion. A current effort reported in multiple finance related news portals has Monster trying to be acquired by […]


Mortgage Relief Ver 2.0

February 7th, 2012 by John Eastman | Report

It is estimated that approximately 10 million homeowners are underwater with their home ownership – owing more money on their homes than the value. Throughout 2011 and early 2012, home prices have continued to fall, creating an end result of a large financial drag on the country’s household wealth and consumer spending. Essentially many families […]


Federal Reserve benchmark interest rate flat until 2014

January 27th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

The Federal Reserve said their benchmark interest rate would remain flat until at least 2014. Officials announced that they anticipate that unemployment will remain high and inflation “subdued”. “The Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement released in Washington today. “Economic conditions […]


Retail Sales Indications for 2012 not unlike 2011 period

January 20th, 2012 by Black and White Program Staff | Report

The National Retail Federation ( is projecting that U.S. retail sales, a general beacon for economic indicators, will rise 3.4 percent in 2012 as the economy is not expected to fully recover and unemployment is expected to remain in the high range, hovering around 8%. This represents a downward trend from an increase of 4.7 […]


FHFA’s plans for a foreclosure-to- rental program attract familiar players

January 9th, 2012 by John Eastman | Report

At present, the largest owner of foreclosed homes in the U.S. is the U.S. government, via its Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac  and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) agencies. The rental market is actually increasing in the U.S. due to the widespread number of foreclosures over the past 2-year period. This demand is rooted in the […]


Stem Cell Biotechs look for market uplift

January 9th, 2012 by Steven Barnes | Report

Stock prices in 2011 for biotechnology firms, specifically those dealing with stem cell and regenerative therapies, were severely depressed in 2011, falling to lows seemingly unrecoverable to their 52-week high. Even Dendreon Corporation $DNDN an elite amongst them with their PROVENGE, FDA approved prostate cancer drug, experienced a severe drop in stock price from a […]


Barnes & Noble: Game on. But what game?

January 6th, 2012 by John Eastman | Report

Amidst a positive holiday season in their brick and mortar stores, led by the Nook reader (which by some estimates now occupies 30% of the market for devices of its class), Barnes and Noble appears to be in continued flux for the last 2 years with the direction of the company unclear and uncertain. The […]


Big Pharma Slowly Enters Stem Cell Therapy Game

November 14th, 2011 by Brian Ganch | Report

Having been somewhat non-committal regarding stem cell research in the past, big pharma’s gradual investment in stem cell based biotechnologies indicates a significant, although slow paced, shift in attitude. Many apprehensions for these investments were due to an abundance of unproven clinical trial data and the ethical implications associated with this type of research. With […]


A dip in confidence, bad jobs stats, and playing chicken with the Chinese

June 17th, 2011 by John Eastman | Report

We read from a recent survey of CEO’s in the U.S. Business Roundtable that 51% of them project higher sales and plan to spend more capital in the next six months. This would seem to be positive news. However, their optimism regarding the economic climate and expansion for growth is less enthusiastic than from 3 […]


Cyber Attacks and Declarations of war

June 10th, 2011 by John Eastman | Report

Can a cyber-attack be considered equivalent to a traditional act of war for a country? The Obama administration is trying to develop policy to sort this issue out and have a rapid response to it that is not over reaching but is as effective as more traditional attack and war responses. Possible responses include economic […]


Accurate Radiation Syndrome

April 14th, 2011 by John Eastman | Report

The world has watched with great concern the news and information surrounding the largest recorded earthquake (magnitude 9.0 ) in Japanese history. As reported, the quake was the underlying factor in major tsunamis that ravaged the northern Japan coastlines and damaged three nuclear reactor facilities. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 240 km (150 miles) […]


Paper, Plastic, Google, EBay or ISIS please?

March 18th, 2011 by John Eastman | Report

Perhaps cash is on its way out, in which case, paying for groceries or goods at your local store will never be the same. Imagine your salesperson at the department store, waiter at your favorite restaurant, or clerk at the grocery asking you the above question at check out.  You won’t have to imagine for […]


Risk aversion, Faith, and Patience in Biotech investing

March 8th, 2011 by John Eastman | Report

Many investors, upon reading news headlines of potential cures for cancer, heart disease, blindness, or hearing of positive clinical trials, take the plunge into biotech stocks as the next big drug or therapy may be the holy grail of the industry.  Often, a damper of reality occurs in the form of an FDA delay, or […]


Is pain in the future for Eli Lilly Company?

November 10th, 2010 by John Eastman | Report

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY), the 10th largest pharmaceutical company in the world, recently obtained approval to sell the antidepressant drug, Cymbalta, as a pain killer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Cymbalta for remedies for arthritis and chronic lower back conditions. As with most drug firms, Lilly is playing the game of patent […]


Avoiding a rollercoaster in Stem Cell Research investments

November 8th, 2010 by John Eastman | Report

In early 2009, the Obama Administration lifted the ban for federal funding for certain types of embryonic stem-cell research that had originally been imposed by the Bush administration in 2001. The move indicated a boon for companies, federal funding, and respective stocks related to the stem cell industry.  Any company involved in embryonic stem-cell research […]


iphone Multitasking from Apple. What’s in, what’s not.

April 12th, 2010 by Steven Barnes | Report

In early April, Apple announced that its iPhone OS 4, in use for iPhone 3GS, iPad, and iPod Touch will support a limited form of multitasking.  This feature has been readily available on competing products from manufacturers for some time. To date, multitasking on PC and mobile device O/S (operating systems) enables applications to run […]


The G-20 Making the Protesters list

September 23rd, 2009 by Giles Howard | Report

An anonymous group of G-20 protesters calling themselves the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project published a list of local businesses, community organizations and research facilities that they’ve identified as “places where oppression and injustice exist on a daily basis.”  The Resistance Project is encouraging affinity groups and other organizations to select places on this list for […]


Google’s FastFlip: a new ray of hope for the newspapers?

September 21st, 2009 by Alex Kelley | Report

In mid-September, Google surprised its fans with a new service: FastFlip. A user already familiar with Google News will find a few similar elements, but FastFlip takes the experience to a new level, both on a desktop and on a mobile device, allowing users to “browse news like a magazine”. FastFlip attempts to lower the […]