first_imgShare5Tweet13Share5Email23 SharesMaxPixel. Creative Commons 0. Public domain.October 15, 2017; San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press) and the Connecticut Mirror.Although not in the national news as much as some states, Connecticut faces many challenges. These include the fact that the state has the nation’s largest income gap and the nation’s largest achievement gap. Yet another complication is a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s education funding system to be unconstitutional.Most states run on a July–June fiscal year. Passing budgets late is not unusual. For example, as of this past July 2nd, 11 states had not passed budgets. But today, Connecticut is the only state that has not enacted a budget. As such, it operates under the authority of a gubernatorial executive order, updated on August 18th to restore $40 million to services and programs provided by nonprofit organizations.The state missed a key deadline on October 1st, when the executive order zeroed out education funding for 85 school districts and significantly reduced aid to 54 districts. With no county governments, Connecticut’s structure forces its 169 self-governing cities and towns to compete for state aid to supplement property taxes. The continuing standoff has widespread implications as the state’s financial crisis worsens. For example, an approved state budget includes the funding Hartford needs to avoid bankruptcy in the coming weeks. As just reported by the Connecticut Mirror, the “budget fight threatens credit for a third of [Connecticut] municipalities.”Susan Haigh’s reporting for the Associated Press provided an update on the state budget process as of Sunday, October 15th.For the past week, Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been holed up in the state Capitol, without Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, combing line-by-line through budget documents. They said they have been discussing ways to not only cover a projected $3.5 billion deficit in a roughly $40 billion two-year budget, but to make lasting fiscal changes in hopes of stopping what’s become a cycle of budget crises in one of the nation’s wealthiest states.On Monday, October 16th, Malloy offered his fourth budget proposal for the new biennium asking the state’s General Assembly to reduce tax increases by accepting even deeper cuts to town aid, education and social services. Malloy presented his first budget on February 8th, followed by revised two-year plans on May 15th and September 8th. Malloy continues to insist that the state meet its pension obligations, according to Haigh’s reporting.The governor, who expressed frustration Thursday over the slowness of the process, has warned that he’s willing to veto another budget, even a bipartisan one, if he believes it includes “gimmicks” to cover the red ink, such as reducing payments to state employee pension funds.NPQ reported several days after the Connecticut fiscal year began on July 1st on what nonprofits might expect with no state budget. Haigh provides an update on how the governor’s executive order reduced funding for “social service programs, such as day services to people with developmental disabilities and initiatives serving people leaving prison.”The Connecticut Mirror offers perhaps the best daily update on the budget process and the consequences of the impasse. Malloy’s signature prison reform “Second Chance Society” legislation is a national model for reducing penalties for drug possession and helping people charged with nonviolent crimes to apply for parole. Despite this exemplary commitment, the state’s Department of Correction lost 4.5 percent in this fiscal year’s first-quarter funding.Jeff Grant, the executive director of Family ReEntry, which helps inmates leaving prison and their families, said his agency escaped specific cuts this month but said its non-residential behavioral health programs were cut last year and services to former inmates are diminishing across the state.He said he has seen hundreds of former inmates, including himself, who were helped by mental health and addiction counselors as well as housing and employment placements provided by state-funded non-profits.“When I came out, I went to court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling, which I did do in state here. Thank god it was available for me,” Grant said. “With the opioid epidemic that’s going on now and the cutbacks of a lot of these services, there are a lot of sick and suffering people out there. I had an opioid addiction. I’m clean and sober 15 years this week actually, but I don’t know what would have happened without the programs.”As the state moves into its fourth month without a budget, the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance provides tools and on its website homepage to help people urge the state’s 187 legislators to pass a budget soon that protects nonprofit programs and services.—Jim SchafferShare5Tweet13Share5Email23 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgThe Viu OTT service has launched in India and Malaysia. The streaming service is run by PCCW and launched in the Hong Kong telco’s domestic Hong Kong market, and in Singapore, earlier this year.The Indian version of Viu will have international and Bollywood content and music videos, and has licensing deals with distributors including Sony, BBC Worldwide and CBS.There will also be an original local talkshow What the Duck, a ten episode cricket-themed series fronted by local celeb Vikram Sathaye.The basic Viu service is free, and there is also a premium version, which is ad-free and has a wider selection of content. Samsung mobile phone owners in India can access a free three-month trial of the service.In Malysia, Viu will offer Korean drama from major broadcasters SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M, as well as Chinese, Bollywood, Tamil, Indonesian and Malaysian programmes.Janice Lee, managing director of PCCW Media Group said: “Viu has been very well-received in Hong Kong and Singapore and it consistently tops the charts in free app downloads.“The quick deployment and launch of Viu in Malaysia and India following hot on the heels of our Singapore launch in mid-January bears testament to our commitment to become the pre-eminent provider of mobile video entertainment service in Asia.”PCCW said an Indonesian launch for Viu is also in the offing.last_img read more

first_imgEricsson has announced plans to establish a new broadcast and media services facility in northwest England.The new operations will be housed at MediaCityUK in Salford, where the BBC and ITV each have offices and production facilities, and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017.Ericsson said it will deliver playout and media management services for clients like the BBC from the new site – which strengthens its TV and media presence in the UK.“Every day people across the UK watch television programs prepared, managed and broadcast by Ericsson. TV and media remains a key priority for Ericsson and an important part of our ongoing growth strategy and this move really underlines our ongoing commitment to the industry and the UK,” said Ericsson’s head of broadcast and media services, Thorsten Sauer.“Our broadcast and media hubs in London and Salford will provide our clients with world-class facilities, ultimate resilience and leading edge technology both now and in the future, all delivered by our talented teams.”At the same time Ericsson extended its lease at Broadcast Centre, London and said that this will house a new creative studio and Ericsson’s creative agency Red Bee.last_img read more

first_imgPolish pay TV outfit nc+ is likely to launch an OTT TV service this year – possibly before the summer – according to Polish press reports.According to Rzeczpospolita, citing nc+ president Manuel Rougeron, the OTT TV offering will focus on homegrown productions, including a second season of crime series Belfer.He said nc+ had no plans to collaborate with rival SVOD players such as Netflix and Showmax.Netflix last year moved to localize its service in Poland and has struck a partnership with service provider T-Mobile to allow the latter’s customers to pay for Netflix through their accounts. South Africa-based, Naspers-owned SVOD service Showmax announced that it was launching a service in Poland in February.Nc+ marketing chief Jacek Balicki has meanwhile told Polish press that the pay TV operator now has 366,000 customers for its nc+ Go TV Everywhere service, adding that the bulk of users were watching linear channels rather than on-demand content.Nc_+ ended last year with 2.12 million customers, flat year-on-year. Revenues amounted to €492 million.last_img read more

first_imgSpanish public broadcaster RTVE plans to develop a DVB-T2 multiplex for 4K UHD content, building on an existing experimental mux to cover 80% of the country’s population from 2020.Pere Vila, director of innovation, technology and systems, RTVE, speaking at the MIPCOM event in Cannes, said that RTVE is operating an experimental DVB-T2 multiplex in a number of cities with 4K content available. He said the goal is to have a multiplex up and running in Spain’s main cities, covering about 80% of the population. This will hopefully kick off in 2020 to coincide with the second digital dividend associated with T2 migration, he said.French media regulator the CSA earlier this year unveiled details of a similar plan to take advantage of DVB-T2 migration in France, creating a new multi-city multiplex that could be used to launch UHD services.Vila said that RTVE is also making content available in 4K, with and without HDR, via HbbTV.RTVE is starting to convert its existing library of content shot in 35mm to 4K to preserve it for its archive, and is also preparing its storage facilities to handle 4K content. “We are changing the standards to store content in 4K,” he said.Vila said that a considerable amount of content had been shot in 35mm, both films and series. He said that the broadcaster wanted to convert an hour of content each week to 4K and to make it available via HbbTV.“It is important to preserve our content in the best format available,” he said.The broadcaster recently broadcast the Relevo Solemne de la Guardia Real – the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace in Madrid – in HDR via the Hispasat satellite position, which Vila said was one of the first HDR broadcasts in Europe.Vila said that RTVE also plans to produce a film about La Reina Sofia museum this year, along with films about Segovia, Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela, and other World heritage cities in Spain, and a performance of Parsifal, to be filmed in both HDR10 and Dolby HDR.last_img read more

first_imgFormer Twitter and BBC executive Dan Biddle is joining Facebook’s EMEA team as strategic partnerships manager for broadcast, production and film.Dan BiddleIn a Tweet, Biddle was he was “looking forward to working with the most creative people in media to made video as social and impactful as possible”.Biddle has most recently been working as head of brand social media for the UK at online food delivery outfit Deliveroo, having departed Twitter in February 2017.At Twitter, Biddle was director of strategic innovation at the time of his departure. He joined the company in 2012 as head of UK broadcast partnerships providing the main point of contact and support for UK broadcasters and producers making social content.He had previously worked as editorial lead for BBC Vision’s social media activities.The latest appointment comes after Facebook appointed the head of BuzzFeed Studio, Matthew Henick as had of global video content and planning.last_img read more

first_imgSky News has teamed up with AWS Elemental to use new cloud-based machine learning technology to enhance its coverage of the upcoming UK royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.Sky News will use machine learning and media services to name guests as they enter St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and enrich the video content with facts about the attendees.Sky News is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and two AWS technology partners, GrayMeta and UI Centric. As guests make their way into the chapel, AWS will capture live video and send it to cloud-based AWS Elemental Media Services for multiscreen viewing optimisation.An on-demand video asset, including catch-up functionality, will also be generated. In parallel, Sky is combining the GrayMeta data analysis platform with the Amazon Rekognition video and image analysis service for real-time identification of guests and tagging with related information.Sky News is using the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network to unify the content for distribution to viewers. UI Centric has designed and developed the front-end application and video player to enhance the experience and user interface accessed by Sky News viewers.Video content from the application will also be made available on-demand after the event.David Gibbs, Director of Digital News and Sports Products said: “Sky continuously searches for ways to innovate and bring better coverage to its customers. This new functionality allows Royal Wedding viewers greater insight into one of the biggest live events of the year, wherever they are. We’re excited by the software’s potential and ability to give audiences new ways of consuming content”.last_img read more

first_imgBBC News is launching a weekly news programme on Facebook Watch.Set to launch later this year, Cut Through The Noise will be the social media platform’s first funded non-US news programme.It is to focus on a different issue each week and will be set in BBC News’ Washington bureau or elsewhere in the field.It is to use both vertical videos and the Facebook Live function.The partnership comes months after Facebook launched a news section on Watch, with shows such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper Full Circle, Fox News’ Fox News Update and ABC News’ On Location.Facebook Watch rolled out internationally last month, a year after it debuted in the US.The platform has reached 50 million viewers per month in the US, and the total time spent on the platform has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018, according to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video.Jim Egan, chief exec of BBC Global News, said: “Social media is an important source of news and information for many Americans, so we are always looking for new ways of bringing our audiences high-quality, nonpartisan news coverage they can trust from around the world.”Campbell Brown, head of global news partnerships for Facebook, said: “Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook. As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers, and they will receive marketing support in News Feed.”last_img read more

first_imgBarclays has doubled its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) investment fund for UK TV producers to £200 million (€225 million), after reporting “exceptional demand”.BBC drama, Black Earth RisingBarclays Corporate Banking said that it has already paid out more than £100 million to production companies in the 18 months since its initial £100m fund has been active.To date it has backed projects including Drama Republic’s BBC and Netflix co-production Black Earth Rising, towards which Barclays contributed £17.5 million. It has also supported Lime Pictures’ teen drama, Free Rein, which is available on Netflix, and funded a series of Octonauts specials, the pre-school animation series from Silvergate Media.“We’re seeing more and more SVOD activity and an increasing need for tailored financing that meets the specific needs of both the production company and the subscription service,” said Lorraine Ruckstuhl, head of media at Barclays Corporate Banking.“With more SVOD platforms on the way and a growing focus on original content, demand is set to increase further and finance providers will have to keep innovating to meet changing funding requirements.”Barclays is offering a range of funding products to support UK TV production – from individual project-based loans, to receivable purchases and wider multi-project funding facilities for larger production companies.The initial £100m fund was launched in March 2017 to respond to the changes in how original programming is financed due to the rise of subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.Barclays identified that payment from subscription services is often spread over a longer term than when content is delivered to a broadcaster. The idea of its fund was to help companies to borrow over a longer period, helping them develop more ideas and new programming, benefitting both producer and distributor.Drama Republic’s financial controller, Denis Wray, said: “Barclays understands the financial challenges associated with high-end drama production financed in large part by an SVOD licence.“For Black Earth Rising, the borrowing profile was steep and the repayment tail was longer than the UK industry was used to. As partners, Barclays are supportive of their producers, aware of the risks and challenges that we navigate on a daily basis, knowledgeable, ready to listen and available to help when required.”last_img read more

first_imgInvesting in original content can be a step-change for international channels. It can also help build local brand loyalty.Content strategies vary hugely between international pay-TV channel providers. The extent to which thematic channel providers plunge into the world of original production can depend on their audience reach and resources. For a number of high-profile content brands, original content is a key part of their proposition.“We’re fortunate to have access to a great amount of content produced by the BBC. But  we also access content from indie producers and other UK networks,” says Dean Possenniskie, general manager and senior vice-president EMEA, BBC Worldwide. Despite this model, Possenniskie sees opportunities to develop some local content based on existing formats. “We see opportunities to produce local content, but we’ll be quite selective about formats and it’s very important we ensure the same level of quality as what’s being produced in the UK.”Original content is also key for music channel provider MTV. “It’s important to develop our own content – it’s a differentiator and ensures we retain rights across all platforms,” says Bhavneet Singh, managing director and executive vice-president, emerging markets, MTV Networks International. Key MTV-owned franchises including Pimp My Ride, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Daily Show are, says Singh, at the heart of its brands.According to Phil Lawrie, commercial director, Al Jazeera there’s been a significant shift to own-produced output in the last year for its documentary channel. “One of the upsides of this is that it gives us more wholly-owned product with which to develop our programme sales business,” he says.For some genres, such as news, original content is a sine qua non. “Our logic of production obeys the very nature of our media. France 24 is a strong alternative in the global environment  of international news channels, with its own-produced magazines, reports and debates proposing a French perspective on world news, says Philippe Rouxel, vice-president, worldwide distribution, France 24. “Today more than three quarters of our programming consists of in-house production.”For channel providers that have based their business on acquired content, a move into original production is something to be treated with a certain amount of caution. “Own-produced content is something that Chello Zone has introduced in recent years, with the development of original content,” says Louise Cottrell, vice-president, affiliate sales, Chello Zone. Nevertheless, she says, Chello Zone continues primarily to acquire its programming and has also worked in partnership with programme producers.Local programmingWhile kids channels, for example, often rely on tried and tested shows with broad international appeal, local production is also felt to be important. “It is important to root yourself in local markets so that the channel is relevant to the target audience. At KidsCo, our strategy is to mix the very best programming from around the world with locally commissioned content,” says Paul Robinson, managing director of international kids channel KidsCo.It’s a similar story at A&E Television Networks. “Developing own-produced content is essential to our strategy – whether referring to our US channels or those in German-speaking Europe,” says Sean Cohan, senior vice-president, international.For Niall Curran, chief operating officer of Chello Zone’s parent company Chellomedia, the mix will vary with genre, with cooking and lifestyle channels typically having the highest proportion of own-produced content. “Even in a channel that might be 90% acquired content, having a local flavour going into the acquisition process and even a small proportion of local own-produced content can make for a different viewing experience,” he says.HBO Central Europe, with its strong regional focus, has some of the most ambitious plans for local content production. “In a world crammed with digital media, I do believe major brands are required to maintain exclusive content, be that own-produced or not,” says Linda Jensen, CEO. “We are lucky to have so much fantastic product produced by HBO in the US, and have increased our local product output in key markets to include stand-up comedy, documentary and co-productions.” HBO Central Europe is also moving into fiction production. “We do have some local fiction projects in their very early stages, and plan to produce tent-pole local productions – series, mini-series, sitcom – for our larger, core markets. Given central Europe’s numerous small nations, creating large volume for the small markets will be economically challenging, but we plan to jump in and see how it goes,” says Jensen.last_img read more

first_imgSaid Mr Eastwood: “Johnson has coasted into Downing street on a wave of Brexit bluff and bluster. “It won’t be long until he crashes into the rocky reality that the European Union will not sacrifice the interests of Ireland to appease a man who has lied and slandered its institutions in an effort to secure power.“All parties in the North must now set our combined efforts to resisting the impulse of this administration to drive off the Brexit cliff edge. “The fragile complexities of political and economic relationships across this island cannot be placed on the altar of British nativism. “Our struggle for peace and economic normalisation has been too long and too hard to be sacrificed for this,” added the Foyle MLA.Eastwood calls on parties to resist Johnson’s hard Brexit was last modified: July 23rd, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said that the election of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party is a worrying step toward a hard no-deal Brexit and a hard border in Ireland.Johnson received 92,153 votes compared to Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656 votes from the Tory Party membership.He will be installed as British Minister tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24, following Theresa May’s last Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. ShareTweet BORIS JOHNSONBREXITcolum eastwoodConservative Party leaderEastwood calls on parties to resist Johnson’s hard BrexitSDLPlast_img read more

first_img FeaturedLocal NewsNewsWatchPolitical NewsState News Justice Calls for Special Session Relating to Removal of Supreme Court Justice(s) By Tyler BarkerJun 25, 2018, 17:44 pm 446 0 Facebook Mail CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice issued a proclamation today calling for the West Virginia Legislature to convene in special session at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.The special session call allows the Legislature to consider matters relating to the removal of one or more Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and legislation authorizing and appropriating the expenditure of public funds to pay the expenses for the Extraordinary Session.This comes after Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry was arrested last week on multiple fraud charges.You can view the governor’s full proclamation below. Linkedin Home NewsWatch Featured Justice Calls for Special Session Relating to Removal of Supreme Court Justice(s) Tumblr Previous PostLocal Counties Receive Grant to Strengthen Economy Google+ Next PostEmergency Crews Dispatched to Single Vehicle Rollover Pinterest Twitter Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.comlast_img read more

first_img“I couldn’t believe that was in the donation pile. I said, ‘I can’t donate that shirt. I have to make something,’” Grant recalled.Carli Grant said it took her a few hours to make a halter-style dress for Amelia, and after her husband saw the finished product, he suggested she start a business that offers to make sentimental clothing for others.In July, Josh Grant shared the story behind the dress with Reddit users — and they loved the idea. National NewsNewsWatch One mom made a dress for her daughter out of the shirt her husband wore the day she was born By Daniella HankeyAug 10, 2018, 04:51 am 486 0 Now, the Grants have launched their website, The venture is new, but Carli Grant said she’s received 10 orders thus far.Grant can make shirts, dresses and rompers for the kids out of garments once owned by other family members.Prices are originally $59.99 but the site has sales running periodically. Facebook Carli Grant, 25, said she started sewing clothing for her children while pregnant with her son, who is now 3 months old. When shopping at the fabric store became costly, she started using garments that her family wasn’t wearing anymore.And one day, she came across Josh’s black and red-checkered shirt. Linkedin Home NewsWatch National News One mom made a dress for her daughter out of the shirt her husband wore the day she was born Tumblr (ABC NEWS)- Through her custom clothing service, one New Hampshire mom is preserving memories in the most unique way — and it all started with her husband’s button-down shirt.Carli Grant launched Refashioned Memories a few weeks ago after she made an adorable dress for her 2-year-old daughter Amelia out of the shirt dad Josh Grant wore on the day the toddler was born.“[My husband’s shirt] is ingrained in my head only because I told him to pack his hospital bag and he refused so he wore that shirt for two days,” Grant told “Good Morning America.”center_img Google+ Next PostTen-year-old Kyra putting smiles on faces in her community Pinterest Mail Previous PostExpectation to check work email after hours is hurting our health and relationships Twitter Daniella Hankeylast_img read more

first_img Daniella Hankey Pinterest Google+ Linkedin CrimeWatch NewsNewsWatchState News Police: mail stolen, replaced with llama pictures in Charleston neighborhood By Daniella HankeyOct 06, 2018, 10:06 am 498 0 Facebook Previous PostWest Virginia Stay Undefeated Despite Turnovers CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH)- Neighbors in the Fort Hill area of Charleston need your help after reports of suspicious activity in and around their mailboxes. The alleged thieves are not only stealing mail but are leaving something else in its place: laminated pictures of llamas.The llama picture was a far cry from the bank statement Staci Tinney was expecting Monday afternoon, among other pieces of mail.“What was disturbing is we were home at the time,” Tinney said.She reviewed the security cameras on her property and noticed a black pick-up truck in the surveillance footage.“A woman was hanging out of the passenger’s side of the truck, and she had opened my mailbox, was removing things from my mailbox, and looked like she was putting something in my mailbox,” Tinney said.Tinney soon found out other neighbors on Hayes avenue and Sheridan Circle reported missing mail and packages that same day. She also learned that the laminated llama was not an isolated incident.“While the police were here, the truck was down at the park & ride at the same time. Someone told them the police were looking for them, and they left — but not before showing them a picture of a llama and saying they were handing out wedding invitations,” Tinney said. “We don’t know anybody who knows a llama personally and definitely no one who gave us blank pictures of a llama as a wedding invitation.”All joking aside, Tinney said this isn’t the first time her home has been a target of theft or vandalism.“They stole my garbage from the trash can at the house, not at the road, and we knew that was for identity theft,” Tinney said.Until they find out who is responsible for the stolen mail and packages, Tinney wants her neighbors to be on the lookout and take extra precautions.“It’s a black truck – an older model Chevy Silverado,” Tinney said. “I think everyone should get cameras.”Tampering with mail is a federal offense. Charleston police are investigating these incidents and said no arrests have been made. If you have any information, call its detective division at 304-348-6460. Twitter Home NewsWatch CrimeWatch News Police: mail stolen, replaced with llama pictures in Charleston neighborhood Mail Next PostDad dressing his toddler son in Disney characters is your pre-Halloween dose of cuteness Tumblrlast_img read more

first_imgHome NewsWatch CrimeWatch News Fayette County Sheriff’s Department Investigating Death Of A Pet Next PostMan Arrested After Making Threats Inside A Church Twitter FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY)- The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department needs the public’s help in regards to the death of a pet in the Mossy Area of Fayette County that occured around July 3.Deputies responded to a residence in Mossy on July 5 after receiving complaint that a couple returned home from vacation to find one of their dogs was deceased from an apparent gun shot wound.The owner of the dog stated that a friend was caring for their two dogs while they were camping and on July 3 when he called for the dogs to come out from their shelter, only one dog came out. When he went inside to look for the other dog, he found it deceased. These dogs were fenced and not at largeThe owner of the dog is offering a $1,000 reward for any information regarding the death of their beloved pet.If you have any information regarding this incident, contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department at 304-574-3590, or through our Facebook page “Fayette County Sheriff’s Department,” or you can contact Crime Stoppers of West Virginia at 304-255-STOP. This incident remains under investigation by Deputy M.A. Sifers of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department. CrimeWatch NewsFeaturedNewsWatch Fayette County Sheriff’s Department Investigating Death Of A Pet By Yazmin RodriguezJul 19, 2019, 10:35 am 564 0 Mail Google+ Tumblr Pinterest Linkedin Previous PostApplications being accepted for W.Va. state park deer hunts Facebook Yazmin Rodriguez Yazmin Rodriguez is currently the morning and noon anchor for WOAY. She was born in Newark, New Jersey then later headed down to the Jersey shore where she received her bachelor’s degree in television and radio from Monmouth University.last_img read more

first_imgWhen will JPMorgan et al allow the precious metals to rally…and how far will they be allowed to run? Gold trading in both price and volume was virtually dead yesterday.  The high, such as it was, came shortly after the London open…and the low, such as it was, came at 2:00 p.m. in electronic trading in New York.  All in all, there was about a twelve dollar price spread between the Wednesday high and low price ticks. Gold closed at $1,606.70 spot…down $6.10 on the day.  Once roll-over were subtracted out of the gross volume, net volume was only around 88,000…which falls into the ‘fumes and vapours’ category.  Nothing to see here. The silver stocks finished mixed as well, but most of the ones that make up Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index didn’t do particularly well…and it closed down 0.73%. I have slightly fewer stories for your reading ‘pleasure’ today…and I hope you can find the time to spend on the ones that most interest you. That it is JPMorgan as the likely concentrated short candidate in all four [precious metals] is deeply troubling. Why is any U.S. bank so heavily involved on the short side of any metals market, to say nothing of why is our most systemically important bank probably the one big precious metals short? It’s hard not to reach the conclusion that JPMorgan has been anointed by some entity within the U.S. Government to tamp down any price rally in any precious metal market. This also explains why the CFTC has stood by in allowing the silver manipulation to spread to other markets, violating its most important mission of preventing manipulation. Instead, it appears the CFTC is sanctioning an ever-expanding price manipulation scheme. As such, they appear as crooked as JPMorgan. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…20 March 2013 So…here we sit…waiting for the next shoe to drop.  How bad will the Cyprus resolution be when it’s finally decided upon?  When will JPMorgan et al allow the precious metals to rally…and how far will they be allowed to run?  Questions with no answers…and as I said in yesterday’s column…the situation remains “fluid”. Tomorrow we get the all-important Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of trading on Tuesday.  There may be a slight improvement in silver’s Commercial net short position, as “da boyz” have been keeping silver under the $29 mark for about the last month.  Gold has rallied a bit over it’s 20-day moving average, so I’d guess that JPMorgan et al were gong short, or selling long positions into this rally in order to cap it…especially on Sunday night on the Cyprus news.  That situation may also apply to silver, but it’s not as visible on the chart. Here are the 6-month charts for both metals, so you can see where the current situation stands as of the close of trading yesterday. The gold stocks opened in slightly negative territory and chopped around either side of unchanged in a very tight range all day.  The HUI finished the trading day just about where it started…down a tiny 0.10%. (Click on image to enlarge) Don’t ever forget that these charts are courtesy of a paint job by JPMorgan et al…as there’s nothing free-market about them. Like Wednesday, Far East and early London trading were quiet in both price and volume…and the dollar index is flat…but jumped back above the 83.00 mark shortly after 9:00 a.m. GMT.  The calm before the storm perhaps?  Beats me…but we are certainly ‘locked and loaded’ for a big move to the upside from a Commitment of Traders standpoint…and it all depends on what JPMorgan is allowed to do. See you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement The dollar index opened in the Far East at 83.04…and more or less traded sideways until 10:00 a.m. in London.  It was all downhill until shortly after the London p.m. gold fix…and the low price print at that point was 82.58.  From there the dollar rallied into the New York close…and finished the day at 82.87…down 17 basis points on the day. Once again there was no correlation between the dollar index move and the goings-on in the precious metal markets. (Click on image to enlarge) Well, the Cyprus issue hasn’t gone away…and if the situation wasn’t so serious, one could almost relegate it to farce…as you just couldn’t make this scenario up if you tried.  I think the situation was pretty much summed up in these three paragraphs below from a piece out of The Guardian on Tuesday evening GMT… “There are really only two plausible scenarios: somebody – be it Europe or the IMF – gives Cyprus more money, in which case there is a chance that the crisis can be contained. Or Germany and the other hard-line eurozone countries can insist that the deal is non-negotiable. In which case, the banks in Cyprus will go bust, risking widespread turmoil.” “Given the precarious eurozone economy and the enfeebled state of European banks, cutting Cyprus a better deal looks like the safer option. The package could be restructured so that only deposits in excess of €100,000 (£85,000) are taxed, the preferred option of Christine Lagarde at the IMF. Sparing those with savings of less than €100,000 from any pain would require the bigger depositors to pay a 15.5% tax to find the €5.8bn demanded of Cyprus. Alternatively, Europe could easily find the extra €5.8bn itself.” “The problem is that both options will cause political problems. Putin will bridle at suggestions that Russian citizens – who make up a large proportion of the €100,000 depositors – should be singled out. And Merkel could expect an almighty domestic backlash if she backtracked from the tough stance she adopted at the weekend.” “But the alternative is to let the banks in Cyprus go bust as soon as they are reopened after the extended bank holiday and hope that it really is a “special case”. That looks like an awfully big gamble.” Yes, it’s a monstrous gamble, dear reader…so place your bets. (Click on image to enlarge) (Click on image to enlarge) The CME Daily Delivery Report was a yawner, as only 2 gold and 14 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Friday. There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and the U.S. Mint had nothing to say for itself, either. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, they reported receiving 300,318 troy ounces of silver and shipped 881,541 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here. Since yesterday was the 20th of the month…and it fell on a week day…The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated its Internet site with February’s data.  That data showed that they purchased another 200,000 ounces of gold for their official reserves…and here is Nick Laird’s most excellent chart showing the change. Officially reported Russian gold reserves are now 31.4 million troy ounces. It was pretty much the same story in silver…and any differences were minor.  Silver’s one attempt to break through the $29 spot price mark occurred just before, or at, the London silver fix.  From that high, the price dipped about twenty cents by 11:00 a.m. in New York before trading more or less sideways in the 5:15 p.m. electronic close. Silver closed the Wednesday trading session at $28.82 spot…down 9 cents from Tuesday.  Gross volume was only 28,500 contracts.  Nothing to see here, either. As for platinum and palladium yesterday, both gained back almost every dollar they ‘lost’ on Tuesday.  Beats me what’s going on there. Canada’s Golden Tollbooths There is a special tollbooth located 8 hours north of Toronto near a gold mine. And every time a mining truck passes by, it must pay a toll: For each 100 ounces of gold carried, 4 of these must be paid to the tollbooth. Over $6,600. Every single time. What’s better, there’s another one of these “golden tollbooths” located 20 miles east … and still another one 100 miles farther. All told, about seventy of these special tollbooths exist in the world today. And one company owns over half of them. Now this company—who has already banked $600 million on a single one of these tollbooth deals—is willing to split the profits with us… Click here to read the full story.last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue.*  Europe sets the tone *  More housing numbers *  Italian bonds *  Sweden still shiningAnd, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Cyprus is open for business…Good day.and welcome to Thursday morning. The finish line for this week is finally in sight and it can’t get here soon enough. It’s been a busy week, to say the least, for the markets as well as the trade desk here at EverBank. I guess time flies when you’re having fun, but his back and forth movement looks more like a ping pong match than anything else. Since the market sentiment changes as often as the dinner special at your favorite restaurant, I’ve at least had something to talk about for the most part.The tone was already set yesterday during the European trading session and there wasn’t anything to stand in its way, so the Cyprus and related debt problems ruled the roost. As I mentioned yesterday, it was a quiet day for US economic data. The weekly mortgage app numbers showed a pickup from the previous week, but nobody really cares about that report so we can skip right over it. So, that leaves us with the February pending home sales to pull apart and inspect. On the surface, the results didn’t turn out as well as originally estimated.There were fewer contracts signed to buy previously owned homes in February as the figure fell 0.4% compared to January. The current index still remains near a several year high, but we did see a tapering effect last month. I saw a couple of explanations for the February fall which included tighter supply and lending criteria. It looks like those who can’t satisfy the still fairly stringent terms, of which the down payment seems to be causing the most difficulty, aren’t getting approved. In other words, we might see a prospective buyer, who can’t come up with the 20% down payment or whatever sum satisfies the current standards, get turned away.Conversely, those who have sufficient access to credit are seeing a more limited supply in the market than was the case several months ago. As I touched on yesterday, the recent rise in property prices may encourage those on the fence to put their home on the market in the upcoming spring/summer selling season. I found this interesting. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes priced at least $500k have led the percentage gains in activity. In fact, that segment increased 10.2% year over year in February, compared to a 12.8% loss on those priced below $100k and a 6.8% gain on those priced between $100k and $250k.Anyway, just thought I would share that bit of info. Traditionally speaking, pending home sales are seen as a leading indicator since it counts the contract signing ahead of the actual transaction, which closings are usually 30 to 60 days out. I heard someone on the radio say that only new construction can assist in relieving the inventory shortage with a rise of 50% needed to alleviate the situation. I get the whole if you build it, they will come scenario but let’s be realistic here. There is plenty of real estate that currently exists, so I don’t see where ramping up new construction by 50% is going to solve the issue.How many people are still upside down on their homes and basically landlocked. I’m sure there is still a fair number of those who can’t sell their home even if they wanted without first coming up with a good chunk of change. Sales of existing homes accounted for 93% of the housing market last year. Anyway, today will mark the last data prints until next week. Since its Thursday, we get the usual jobless numbers but we’re supposed to see some associated revisions. Also, the final revision to 4th quarter GDP will be out first thing, so let’s see if we get anything that forgot to get counted.Aside from the housing numbers, we saw several regional Fed presidents offer some thoughts, but nothing that rocked any boats. The majority of the members are still in favor of the Fed’s bond buying program and most see no reason to scale things down. We’ve only seen a handful highlight potential risks associated with balance sheet expansion that seems to have no end. The bigger it becomes, the more difficult it will be to unwind in a smooth and timely manner. Since policy makers are usually late to the game, my concern remains that the plug doesn’t get pulled until it’s too late.As I mentioned earlier and moving on to Europe, the damage had been done before the US trading session even began. The Italian bond auction really stirred the hornets’ nest and got traders moving around. It wasn’t a failed auction by any means, but demand came in lower than in the past, so that sent yields higher. Remember, higher yields make it more difficult to service the debt, i.e. bonds, so runaway yields can really put these peripheral nations in a bind. Anyway, yields increased to the highest levels this year but no resolution to their election does not help the situation.We also saw an economic confidence report for the eurozone in March fall more than forecast as the collective economy is expected to remain in negative territory at least until the second half of the year. The Spanish government also announced that its budget deficit last year will be more than originally forecast, which at this point they say is 6.98% of GDP. Spanish officials and the EU aren’t seeing eye to eye on how taxes are accounted. I think this illustrates the point I was making about yields. The Spanish interest liability increased 15% last year, and the cost of debt servicing accounted for 30% of tax revenue.All eyes will be firmly fixed on Cyprus as banks re-open today. Policy makers definitely have their hands full with trying to manage several things at one time. Their main goal is to prevent the flight of money out of banks and ultimately out of the country. This is a unique scenario as account holders have no incentive to keep funds in Cypriot banks when they can hold the same euros elsewhere that doesn’t contain the same risk. In other words, the euro is the euro no matter if it’s held in Cyprus or in Germany.The government limited daily withdrawals to 300 euros, restricted out of country transfers, banned check cashing, and prohibited the breaking of CDs all in an effort to prevent a run on banks. These control measures will be kept under a microscope and constantly monitored. Again, why would you voluntarily keep money in Cyprus. These same concerns were raised in the other bailout countries, but the ECB has a vested interest in this whole thing because they will be the ones throwing more money at the problem if we see some serious dysfunction. Depending how this goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those calling for the euro collapse to start coming out of the woodwork.Moving on to the currency market, the dollar obviously was on top with all of the euro drama unfolding. The currencies yesterday were virtually identical when I compared their levels as I was heading out the door last night to those when I first fired up the screens. Since we didn’t have any market moving data in the US, currency traders were content leaving things alone until they get a better idea of how Cyprus will unfold. It was another range bound day, with the only currency in positive territory being the Brazilian real.Holding the real takes an iron stomach as the central bank and government seem to be right around the corner constantly plotting something. This time, they intervened in the currency market to halt the daily declines that we saw all week long. It was just over two weeks ago they stepped in to weaken the currency from closing in on a one year high. Fitch said today that a continued and more prolonged slowdown in Brazil combined with an expansionary fiscal stance may hinder government debt reduction. They currently rate Brazil at two notches just above investment grade.The Swedish krone couldn’t escape the gravitational pull of the euro even though a consumer confidence report exceeded expectations. Retail sales also beat forecasts in February, so the better economic data as of late continues to justify the calls that interest rates will remain on hold for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the list of countries taking steps to devalue their currency or those who are on the verge of additional expansionary policy is very long, so any nation bucking the trend will get some positive press.All of the other currencies were within 0.50% losses on the day. Gold ended the day in positive territory as it was able to climb out of its hole in early trading. With all of the stuff going on, gold should be trading much higher, but it is what it is. Speaking of gold and metals, I found the following yesterday that I wanted to share.I was reading the 5 Min. Forecast from the folks over at Agora, and I saw that EverBank got the following mention: “Nice to know of this option,” a reader writes of EverBank’s gold IRA offering. “Question? I read to hold up to, say, 15% of your portfolio in gold/metals. If you’re investing for wealth preservation, why wouldn’t I pump that number up?” The 5 responded with: Nothing’s stopping you; everyone’s mileage will vary. Our Byron King says at least 10%, more if it helps you sleep at night. Marc Faber says 20%.” So, as you can see, we’re not the only ones banging on the diversification drum.They also provided some interesting points about the impending crisis in the student loan market. In January and February alone, banks wrote off $3 billion in student debt, according to figures out yesterday from the credit reporting firm Equifax, which is a 36% increase from a year ago. Of the 40 million student borrowers out there, 17% are more than 90 days in arrears, according to a New York Fed report last month. The cost of earning a bachelor’s degree has grown 5.2% per year, every year for the last decade, says the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.“By some measures,” says The Wall Street Journal, “nearly half of employed college graduates are in jobs that don’t traditionally require a college degree.” And they’re liable to stay stuck there, if a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research is to be believed. It suggests that demand for college-level occupations peaked as a share of the workforce way back in 2000. Yet the supply of graduates kept growing in the decade that followed. It’s Mike again. The 5 is a good, quick read so if you haven’t yet, check it out I came in this morning, I was expecting to see a continuation of the dollar strength from yesterday, but we’re seeing a relative calm so far this morning. In fact, the euro is up slightly and trading just over 1.28. The capital controls in Cyprus are expected to be in place for 7 day, but they did serve the purpose on day one. Transfers abroad are limited to 5,000 euros per month, but the goal of policy makers is to lift restrictions as soon as possible. We’ll see what direction the US trading session will take us, but investors have been on the sidelines so far this morning.Then there was this. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, unemployment sends food stamp use to a record high. Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are still increasing, despite the end of the recession and signs that economic recovery is gathering momentum. As of December, a record 47.8 million Americans were receiving food stamps, a 70% increase compared with 2008.To recap.The trading tone for the day was set in the European trading session and didn’t waver as the day progressed. It was a quiet day for US economic data, but February pending home sales declined just a bit. Lack of supply and tight lending standards are to blame according to the experts. The Italian bond auction results came in lower than anticipated so yields were on the rise. We also saw a eurozone confidence report come in lower than expected, so the euro was sold. All eyes will be on Cyprus today as banks re-open and restrictions are put in place. Why would anyone keep money on deposit in Cyprus voluntarily. The Brazilian real strengthened on central bank intervention and Sweden continues to paint a brighter picture.Currencies today 3/28/13. American Style: A$ $1.0420, kiwi .8374, C$ $.9843, euro 1.2802, sterling 1.5134, Swiss $1.0490. European Style: rand 9.2269, krone 5.8624, SEK 6.5211, forint 237.99, zloty 3.2703, koruna 20.1350, RUB 31.0083, yen 94.19, sing 1.2418, HKD 7.7641, INR 54.2750, China 6.2742, pesos 12.3429, BRL 2.0110, Dollar Index 83.11, Oil $96.76, 10-year 1.85%, Silver $28.70, Gold $1,602.50, and Platinum $1,583.00.That’s it for today.The Sweet 16 starts tonight so hopefully your team has made the cut so far. Unfortunately, the Missouri Tigers couldn’t put together a win for the second year in a row, but at least SLU made it interesting. I still have a couple of dogs in the hunt as far as my bracket is concerned, so I’ll have to take solace with that fact. Other than that, it’s all work and no play for me as we finish out the week. I hit the snooze button an extra time of two this morning so I need to get the show on the road. Until tomorrow, Have a Great Day!Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Confidence to a six year high *  Lots of data *  China removes excess *  It’s already been a year And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A lot to think about… Good day.and welcome to not only a Monday morning but also the last week in July. As Chris mentioned on Friday, I’ll be back behind the wheel this week but it’s still tough to believe the dog days of summer are upon us. It’s shaping up to be a busy week in all respects as we’re shorthanded on the desk so the phones will be busy but we also have a lot of digest data wise which could translate into some choppy times ahead. With that said, let’s jump right in and take a look. Friday turned out to be a quiet day as economic data was hard to come by and most investors had already thrown in the towel for the weekend. Not only that, but this week is going to be a big one as we have quite a few heavy hitting reports that should steal the spot light and give the talking heads plenty to debate. Friday started off with the dollar slightly down and held firmly in the 81 handle. It was a mixed bag of nuts for currency returns on Friday, but most traded within a fairly tight range. If we take a look at the only bit of data, the final revision to the July U. of Michigan confidence report did get adjusted to the upside by posting a reading of 85.1. This was higher than the initial estimate of 84 and climbed to the highest level in six years, which comes of no surprise given the strength of the stock market and a housing market showing some life. As we’ve said many times in the past, these confidence reports are heavily influenced by the stock market, so the headline number can get skewed from time to time. Since that’s often the case, I usually like to pull the layers back and see the reports within the report. While the index of current conditions rose to a six year high, the index of expectations six months out were a bit lower on prospects of higher borrowing costs. Other than that, most of the component reports were positive since consumers feel more wealthy as a result of higher home and stock prices. As a point of reference, the index is inching closer to the average of 89, which was last seen in the five years leading up to the recession. On the flip side, the gauge averaged 64.2 during the recession. The sheer volume of data this week compared to last week is night and day. Just to give you an idea, it only took one page to list all of the economic data last week, but it takes three pages to view everything for this week. I guess you can say triple the action should triple the fun. Anyway, we kick it all off this morning nice and slow with June’s pending home sales and the Dallas area manufacturing report. Again, the housing market has been burning brighter lately so I don’t expect much, but the experts are calling for somewhat of a moderation on pending sales. As for the Dallas Fed report, it’s supposed to fall in line with most of the other regions and show some expansion. Jumping ahead and highlighting some reports to look for, we’ll see the July employment numbers (both ADP and the all important national change in nonfarm payrolls), the first reading of second quarter GDP, the FOMC meeting, the July national manufacturing number, as well as June’s factory orders. There are a bunch more so I just wanted to give you a taste, but we’ll take a look at all of them as they arrive. As always, we have the unforeseen wildcards if any of the Fed heads decide to offer their opinions but it’s going to be a data dominant week. I found some comments from the IMF last week that said the Fed will need to effectively communicate its strategy to exit from the massive monetary stimulus while avoiding excessive volatility in interest rates. I think they were referring to the last FOMC meeting when Bernanke initially sounded hawkish as far as the stimulus policy is concerned but had to later back off a bit since treasury yields shot through the roof. In other words, think first about what’s going to come out of your mouth and say what you mean. I also saw some words from an analyst at BNY Mellon that has summed up the past several weeks fairly nice. Samarjit Shankar said that we find ourselves in an environment where subpar numbers in US activity and inflation are being viewed as a positive for risk appetite as they further postpone an eventual withdrawal of liquidity by the way of the Fed’s tapering of its asset purchase program. Hence, a co-existence once again of a general drift lower in US Treasury yields and the slight rebound in risk assets for now. As I mentioned earlier, the dollar finished both the day and the week lower on anticipation the Fed will emphasize its intent on keeping interest rates low for quite some time. In fact, the dollar index fell to the lowest level in over a month and was really pushed lower after the minutes of the Fed’s June meeting were released on July 10. The big winner on Friday was the Japanese yen as it finished the day up over 1% and was really the only currency that showed any life. Chris already talked about this, but the higher inflation number in Japan is what had investors jumping for joy. Once the dust began to settle, some analysts are hesitant about getting too excited as a big part of the increase was due to a 9.8% gain in utility costs, namely electricity, and a 6.4% rise in gas prices. Higher wages have yet to become a factor and will be needed to fuel a consumption led recovery. In the end, I think the market is barking up the wrong tree as it pertains to a moderation of stimulus at any point in the foreseeable future. At the end of the day, the yen did rise into the 97 handle but settled into mid 98. The Australian dollar was in second place but was only up a fraction of a percent. There wasn’t anything new so it was merely trading counter to the US dollar. I saw where the markets are pricing in a 70% chance that we’ll see a rate cut next month but what happens if they don’t. There are so many that are on the same side of the trade, that a pause by the RBA could send the Aussie quite a bit higher. With that said, its a big if. By contrast, the New Zealand central bank is expected to keep rates on hold until mid 2014, at which point we could see a rate hike. While we’re in Asia, let’s hit on China. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced plans to cut excess production capacity to help ease into a more sustainable economic growth structure, which includes a reduction in the cement, steel, copper, and aluminum industries. While growth has been a concern, it’s still moving along at a 7.5% clip, but the government has said it will act if it gets close to or dips below the line in the sand of 7%. We’ve seen many reports over the years all but calling for a collapse in the Chinese economy, but we’ve yet to see it and I don’t think that we will. A moderation such as what we have seen, yes. But an all out collapse, I just don’t see it. Jumping over to Europe, we had July consumer confidence in France, the eurozone’s second largest economy, increase from record lows as the near term outlook showed some improvement. With that said, unemployment running at record highs and austerity measures still in place will keep a lid on this for quite a while. We also had the one year anniversary of Draghi’s pledge to do whatever it takes, which really turned the tide for not only the currency but also the debt market. Bond yields have come down so much over the past year and has gone a long way in preventing a boiling over effect. Don’t get me wrong here. There is still a lot to worry about in Europe, but Draghi did his job by keeping the wheels on the track. I saw where Axel Merk, of Merk investments, said the euro has the potential to rise to 1.40 this year and 1.50 next year on the basis where ECB monetary policy is tighter than the Fed. In any event, the cries for a breakup of the euro have been thrown to the back of the closet and the euro has risen about 10% since last year. As I came in this morning, everything is trading right around where I left them on Friday afternoon. The dollar is pointing ever so slightly downward so far this morning with most of the currencies sitting right on the breakeven mark. Gold and silver have slight gains so far and the yen broke back into the 97 handle. Other than that, we’ll see what today’s data will bring us but as I mentioned, there is a lot for the markets to digest this week so we might need to tighten up the seat belts. For What It’s Worth. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that a much-discussed second haircut for Greek debt isn’t going to happen. “One thing is clear: There will be no second debt haircut for Athens,” he said. The eurozone will provide help as long as Greece fulfills obligations to narrow its budget deficit, he said. To recap.Economic data was few and far between last week, but we’re packed to the brim this week. We did see the U. of Michigan confidence report rise to a six year high in July since the equity markets have been en fuego. All eyes will be focused on the FOMC meeting and the July jobs numbers to fix the odds for tapering in September. It was quiet last week, but we could see some rough waters this week with all of the data. The dollar fell to the lowest level in over a month and the yen broke into the 97 handle on thoughts additional stimulus might not be needed. China is trying to remove capacity and its already been a year since Draghi declared Whatever It Takes. Currencies today 7/29/13. American Style: A$ .9245, kiwi .8077, C$ .9733, euro 1.3277, sterling 1.5377, Swiss $1.0780, . European Style: rand 9.8298, krone 5.9195, SEK 6.4594, forint 224.42, zloty 3.1857, koruna 19.5139, RUB 32.7854, yen 97.89, sing 1.2668, HKD 7.7570, INR 59.42, China 6.1705, pesos 12.6967, BRL 2.2562, Dollar Index 81.62, Oil $104.84, 10-year 2.55%, Silver $20.10, Platinum $1,435.15, Palladium $728.95, and Gold. $1,334.79 That’s it for today.I hope you had a chance to enjoy your weekend. It was an unbelievable weekend weather wise here in St. Louis with sunny skies and highs in the low 80s. I guess if it was like this all year round, the cost of living would be twice as much. I spent most of my weekend working and taking care of my little girl, but I did manage to get outside and take the dog for a run. The Cards didn’t have a very good weekend as they got swept by the Braves, but there’s no time to sulk since we follow that up with a big series with the Pirates. Like I mentioned, Ty is out all week so we’ll be functioning with a man down. With that said, I need to get this show on the road. Until tomorrow, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

first_imgOlympiacos Piraeus improved its playoffs options in Top 16 Group F by downing Zalgiris Kaunas 74-59 at home on Friday. Olympiacos improved to 5-6 while Zalgiris dropped to 2-9 and is mathematically out of chances to make the playoffs. Georgios Printezis led the winners with 17 points. Kostas Papanikolaou added 11 while Othello Hunter pulled down 11 rebounds for Olympiacos. Ian Vougioukas had 14 points for Zalgiris while Paulius Jankunas added 12. Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis shined early to give Olympiacos a 14-8 lead but a 0-7 run that Brock Motum capped with a reverse layup gave Zalgiris a 14-15 lead after 10 minutes. Daniel Hackett rescued the Reds early in the second quarter and got plenty of help from Papanikolaou and Printezis to give Olympiacos a 39-30 lead at halftime. Back-to-back three-pointers by Ioannis Papapetrou and Printezis broke the game open, 53-35, midway through the third quarter. Olympiacos kept a 58-41 lead after 30 minutes on a buzzer-beating layup by Dimitrios Agravanis and kept a safe margin throughout the fourth quarter to seal a well-deserved win all before the final buzzer.First quarter: Zalgiris shakes off slow startPrintezis got Olympiacos going with a layup and improved Renaldas Seibutis’s five-meter jumper with an off-balance layup-plus-free throw for a 5-2 lead. The guests struggled to find the way to the basket and entered the foul penalty in the games third minute . Vassilis Spanoulis took over with a driving layup, Vougioukas and Nikola Milutinov traded free throws and Edgaras Ulanovas kept the guests within 9-6. Milutinov dunked and Spanoulis matched Vougioukas’s foul shots with another driving basket, good for a 13-8 Olympiacos lead. Printezis split foul shots before a three-pointer by Kaspars Vecvagars got Zalgiris within 14-11. As Olympiacos started to miss shots around the basket, a mid-range jumper by Jankunas brought the guests even closer, 14-13. A reverse layup by Brock Botum capped a 0-7 run and gave Zalgiris its first lead, 14-15, at the end of the first quarter.Second quarter: Olympiacos uses late run to take offHackett hit free throws to open the second quarter and punished the guests’ zone defense with a bomb from downtown, good for a 19-15 Olympiacos lead. D.J. Strawberry took over with a fastbreak layup that Vougioukas matched with free throws. Olivier Hanlan shined with a big driving basket for Zalgiris that Strawberry bettered with a bomb from downtown. Jerome Randle hit free throws and Jankunas buried his trademark mid-range jumper to make Olympiacos call timeout at 24-23. Milutinov made free throws and Randle split his before an inside basket by Papanikolaou restored a 28-24 Olympiacos lead. Marty Pocius, Papanikolaou and Ulanovas did not miss from the foul line and a dunk by Hakim Warrick gave the Reds some fresh air at 32-28. Papanikolaou shined with a fastbreak reverse layup but Vougioukas kept Zalgiris within 34-30. Papanikolaou sank a corner triple before a layup by Printezis boosted Olympiacos’s lead to 39-30 at halftime.Third quarter: Olympiacos improves defense, extends leadSpanoulis banked in a close shot immediately after the break and Papanikolaou added a tip-in to give Olympiacos a 43-30 margin. Jankunas nailed a mid-range jumper that Printezis erased with a jump hook. Vangelis Mantzaris buried a one-handed jumper in the lane, forcing Zalgiris to call timeout at 47-32. Jankunas kept pacing the guests with free throws and Vougioukas kept his team within 47-35. Papapetrou struck from downtown and Printezis also hit one from beyond the arc to break the game open, 53-35. Vougioukas scored in the low post but Milutinov kept Olympiacos way ahead, 56-37. Motum tried to change things for Zalgiris with a fastbreak layup and Martynas Sajus added a tip-in for the guests, but a buzzer-beating layup by Agravanis restored a 58-41 Olympiacos margin after 30 minutes.Fourth quarter: Reds seal outcome earlyHackett hit a stop-and-pop jumper early in the fourth quarter and soon added a driving layup that made Zalgiris call timeout at 62-43. Jankunas took over with an acrobatic basket and a jump hook by Vougioukas kept Zalgiris within 62-45. A layup by Jankunas forced Olympiacos to stop the game at 62-47. Printezis stepped up for Olympiacos with a three-pointer and Darius Johnson-Odom bettered Hanlan’s driving basket with his own shot from downtown that sealed the outcome, 68-49, with under 6 minutes left. Motum joined the three-point shootout and free throws by Lukas Lekavicius brought Zalgiris a bit closer, 68-54. Spanoulis banked in a driving shot and Johnson-Odom provided a highlight with a huge block on Lekavicius. By the time Printezis hit free throws, everything was said and done, as Olympiacos had cruised to a well-deserved home win.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more