Futures Market for Bitcoin Gives the Currency Staying Power, But May Hurt Price

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs

Futures contracts in the crypto-currency Bitcoin (CME:BRTI) are expected to begin trading on the CBOE on Dec. 10, after getting the green light last week from regulators. That gives the CBOE a week of exclusivity. The exchange operator's larger Chicago rival the CME has said its contracts will begin trading Dec. 18.

When the futures are offered, more investors will be given access to the crypto-currency. Institutional investors for one will now be able to build a position in Bitcoin through the use of futures trading.

Furthermore, retail and small investors will have a much easier time gaining access to the fast-growing asset class through the use of futures, but certainly, if Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds, which would use the futures, are approved. Instead of having to go through lesser-known crypto-currency exchanges and using credit cards to make purchases of Bitcoins, investors will simply be able to use their brokerage accounts and buy and sell futures contracts through the well respected and trustworthy CME.

More so, many believe that once the CME is offering Bitcoin futures, Exchange Traded Funds will be permitted to offer Bitcoin investments through the use of futures. Continue reading "Futures Market for Bitcoin Gives the Currency Staying Power, But May Hurt Price"

Disney's Pivot - Future Autonomy and Growth

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) just reported its full-year FY2017 numbers with its Q4 numbers falling short of analysts’ estimates, missing on both EPS and revenue coming in at $1.07 (missing by $0.08) and $12.78 billion (missing by $560 million), respectively. On an annual basis, EPS marginally decreased to $5.69 for FY2017 from $5.72 for FY2016. All financial metrics insignificantly decreased year-over-year with a slight increase in free cash flow. All operating segments insignificantly decreased year-over-year as well. However, Parks and Resorts were a bright spot for FY2017. Now with FY2017 in the books, FY2018 is off to a great start with strongholds in streaming (Hulu, BAMTech, Sling offerings), future inroads into other streaming initiatives with a Disney branded service to directly compete with Netflix (NFLX) and an ESPN streaming offering slated for release in 2018 and finally a record-breaking movie release with Thor: Ragnarok already surpassing $212 million domestically and $650 million worldwide on its way to possibly breaking the prestigious 1 billion dollar mark only after two weeks in release. I feel too much of an emphasis is being placed on ESPN as it weighs less on overall profits. Disney is evolving to address the deteriorating Media Networks business segment with initiatives put forth previously and doubling down during its recent conference call. Investors appear to be looking past this ESPN issue finally as seen in the price action of Disney stock after releasing a lukewarm earnings announcement. Disney has one of its biggest movie slates for FY2018 and a potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets to further drive growth. Disney offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity considering the growth, pipeline, Media Networks remediation plan, diversity of its portfolio, share repurchase program and dividend growth.

Disney’s New Growth Pivot - Streaming

ESPN remained at the forefront of investors’ minds, serving as the root cause of this streaming initiative as profits and revenue from the Media Networks division have stalled out over the past few years. Simply put, Disney is going all-in on a Disney branded streaming service come 2019. As investors digest the earnings report and fixate on the eroding Media Networks division, I think Disney is offering a long-term buying opportunity near ~$100 per share. This has been seen by the price movement in Disney stock post-earnings which saw a ~3% move to the upside despite the disappointing earnings announcement. Although ESPN makes up a disproportionate amount of the company’s revenue and income, all of its other franchises are posting robust growth hence Disney will be relying less on its ESPN franchise over the coming years. Disney’s perpetual stock slump and the roller coaster ride over the last two years has almost entirely been attributable to the decrease in ESPN subscribers and subsequent revenue slowdown at its Media Networks division. Continue reading "Disney's Pivot - Future Autonomy and Growth"

OPEC Appeases Russia To Stick With Deals

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies

The 173rd OPEC Meeting and 3rd non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting concluded with an agreement to extend the production cuts all the way through 2018. Saudi minister Khalid Al-Falih also implied that production in 2018 by Nigeria and Libya would not increase, based on information from those countries. In 2017, large increases by the pair undermined cuts made by others.

The official OPEC press release included two caveats, though not unusual but were obviously a concession to Russia, that the deals could be modified, depending on market conditions:

"In view of the uncertainties associated mainly with supply and, to some extent, demand growth it is intended that in June 2018, the opportunity of further adjustment actions will be considered based on prevailing market conditions and the progress achieved towards re-balancing of the oil market at that time."

"To support the extension of the mandate of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) composed of Algeria, Kuwait, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and two participating non-OPEC countries of the Russian Federation and Oman, chaired by Saudi Arabia, co-chaired by the Russian Federation, and assisted by the Joint Technical Committee at the OPEC Secretariat, to closely review the status of and conformity with the Declaration of Cooperation and report to the OPEC – non OPEC Conference."

Saudi minister Khalid Al-Falih

Initially, at the meeting a year ago, the oil ministers predicted that the glut would disappear within six months. Then at the May meeting, the Saudi minister predicted that the extension would "do the trick" of draining the glut "within six months."
Continue reading "OPEC Appeases Russia To Stick With Deals"

Gold Stocks Are Under Pressure Except For One

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals

Gold is under pressure after it couldn’t break above the previous major top and the gold stocks couldn’t escape the same fate. Last time I filtered the gold stocks by ROE and in this piece, I would like to make an update on their price performance for you.

To remind you, the top stock tickers are ABX (Barrick Gold), SBGL (Sibanye Gold), IAG (IAMGOLD), GSS (Golden Star) and HMY (Harmony Gold Mining).

Chart 1. Top Gold Stocks Vs. Gold: The Brightest Star Is The Golden Star

Gold vs. Gold Stocks
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com

Gold topped on the 8th of September at the $1357 level, and that’s where I have started the chart. Gold (black) lost more than 4% from that peak. Three of the five stocks lost more in price than gold did: HMY (green) fell for more than 13%, your favorite (see chart #3) ABX (red) dropped almost 21%, and the worst performer is IAG (purple) with -21% drop, which was the top gainer in the previous update. Continue reading "Gold Stocks Are Under Pressure Except For One"

Going Rogue

George Yacik - INO.com Contributor - Fed & Interest Rates

A couple of months ago I wrote about the incredible arrogance and chutzpah of the now-former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray.

“In a country loaded with way too many arrogant politicians and government officials who think they are above the law and normal standards of decency, Cordray has set the bar pretty low,” I wrote back then. “Few public officials have shown the level of contempt for legitimate questioning from Congress, the White House and the industries his agency oversees than Cordray has shown since he took over the CFPB, and it’s only gotten worse in the past few months as his tenure winds down.”

It turns out that I grossly underestimated just how devious and cynical he can be. Continue reading "Going Rogue"