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Stocks, Sony & Cuba

Thu 18 December 2014

If any of you have been paying attention to the stock market you will know that it has been on a steady decline for the last week. The market has lost about 800 points on the Dow but yesterday there was a significant rally because of the Federal Reserve meeting. In the meeting they decided to keep interest rates low well into 2015 when the market expected rates may go up sooner rather than later. This caused a huge rally with a Dow Jones increase of over 250 points. That is significant and I'm pleased to report it continues to increase this morning.

I looked at the few mutual funds I have and noticed that two of them went down significantly while everything else was up. My mutual funds looked like the red line in the image when it should have looked like the green line. What happened was two mutual funds made a distribution of capital gains and dividends which reduce the value of each share in the fund. But in the end I now have more shares of each of the funds meaning I really didn't lose value as it initially appeared. This is not uncommon in the world of mutual funds. A fund will declare a dividend thus reducing the value per share without informing the owner that a dividend/capital gains was declared and now more shares were issued to compensate for the decline. I should know that by now but it still causes me to gasp.

Now I'm in the middle of installing an operating system on Walt's new Intel solid-state hard drive. I was mostly through with the installation when the screen turned black and gave me two choices either of which I understood. I selected a choice which caused the installation process to start all over again. It is installing now and hopefully I won't have the same problem again. Stay tuned. Update - I did get it installed properly.

By now you've heard about Sony's decision to not release the comedy about the North Korean dictator. North Korea hacked into the Sony system recovering private emails, Social Security numbers of every employee, future operating plans of Sony, and other most private information. As a result, Sony has made the decision not to release the movie at all. My personal view is that is the wrong decision - Sony should not allow that fat little dictator in North Korea to control their business. What company is next?

For a few weeks now I've been talking about the neighbor next door who lives in the upstairs apartment. I have seen no sign of activity although the porch light does stay on all night. I'm sure the guy that used to live there is gone although I never saw any furnishings or belongings removed from the apartment. It remains a mystery.

Emperor Obama decreed the United States will have normal relations with Cuba once again. There has been an embargo for about 50 years I think. I don't like the fact he simply waived his magic wand to do this but in all honesty I to believe there was time to make a change after 50 years. I do not believe they are the threat they used to be and I believe the citizens of Cuba will see an improvement in their standard of living. Because Russia is broke they can't afford to support Cuba any longer. Plus the Castro brothers are both old as dirt and should die soon. It is a great tourist destination with outstanding sportfishing, scuba diving, casinos, and a lot of cheap Cuban made products. Plus those who smoke cigars will be happy to legally be able to get them again.

Posted at 01:14 pm in Uncategorized