Some news, notes and stories wrapping-up Tuesday and trending towards Wednesday...
Weak Moves of the Week:
These events may or may not have occurred this week, but they've been identified as 'weak' this week...
President Barak Obama: Attempting to intimidate members of the Supreme Court and questioning their powers was a weak move by the President. His argument for doing so was even weaker. The people may not have elected the Justices, but the people didn't have a vote on the health care bill either. In fact, when the people did have a chance to vote on it, they ended up putting a Republican in the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat - an event that few ever thought would be possible. Nominees for the Supreme Court are appointed and vetted through our elected officials, just like laws are vetted and implemented by our elected officials. To criticize the Judicial branch because they are not elected is also criticizing the ability of the same government for implementing laws without bringing the vote to the people.
The move probably did little to nudge the Court in Mr. Obama's favor, and even more probably irritated them. If there is any group of people that will not be intimidated by a sitting President, it's these guys - after all, quite a few of them were playing judge somewhere while the President was still playing Batman & Robin in his underoos.
A poor judgement call by a usually smooth-talking President.
Rick Santorum: It's been a little over a week now that Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has all but wrapped-up the primary season, and Tuesday's electoral successes put an exclamation point on that theory, but Rick Santorum continues to trudge on. It's time for Republicans to start rallying around their man instead of beating each other in public forums all the time. To Romney's credit, however, at least his focus is now directed towards the sitting President and his policies instead of being forced to concentrate on tearing down members of his own party. The fact that Mr. Santorum is still taking pot-shots and refusing to bow out gracefully is a weak move, and could end up damaging his own party's chances at winning in November - but then again, that's not too bad a proposition for someone who may be campaigning for 2016.
Sarah Palin: Weak move by Sarah Palin for letting NBC use her for ratings to compete against Katie Couric on 'Good Morning America'. For the way the 'Today Show', Matt Lauer and NBC in general has slandered her in coverage, she shouldn't have come to their ratings rescue. You would have thought, too, that Lauer would have toned down the smugness a bit - after all, grabbing Palin to compete with Couric was a sign by his bosses that they know Lauer couldn't compete with his former co-host on his own accord, so they brought in a hired gun. On the other hand, maybe that's why Palin agreed to be there, because she knew by her being there, that it was a not-so-subtle slight towards Lauer, and she beat Couric in the ratings to boot.
General Services Administration: Weak move by the little-known GSA for spending nearly a million of taxpayer bucks on a lavish conference in Las Vegas. Doesn't look like much in the big picture of government dollars, but there's no doubt that a million dollars could go a long way to giving the little guy - somewhere - a boost. Even weaker move, however, by our politicians who act aghast by this, as if we're to believe that they're not all spending our dollars to boost their own lifestyles on a daily basis. We're the fools because we keep voting them in, but the wool's not over the eyes anymore and voters are getting itchy trigger fingers just like a penny stock trader on amphetamines. Everyone's vulnerable at every election cycle these days.
Mario Manningham: Weak move believing that you're more than the team and bailing to the West Coast to follow the money.
Keith Olbermann: We could say weak move for Olbermann letting his ego spoil another good deal for him with Current TV, but the really weak move was splitting up The Big Show team all those years ago. That was the heyday of Sportscenter.
NBC News: Very weak move by NBC news for not only editing the Zimmerman 911 call tape in a way that would fuel racial flames around the country, but even weaker for not owning up to it until now. Without any doubt, ethics has disappeared from journalism. In fact, journalism itself is dead; today it's called verbal blogging.
VFC: Weak move by VFC for misidentifying the Knicks' win over Orlando last week as a win over Miami. Still a nice win for a revived Knicks team, but Orlando is a far cry from Miami. At the end of the day, I guess everything south of Exit 7 is just all the same anyway.
The New York Mets: This list could go on forever, but the weakest move this weak by the team is being surprised that there's a bunch of tickets going unsold for the home opener at Citi Field. I think on the Wilpons are surprised about this one. After all, it's only been a week now since they pulled their head out of their wallets, probably shocked to learn that Carlos Beltran and Frankie Rodriguez were gone and that St. Louis won the World Series last year.
Rumor has it Big Fred showed up at camp, looked at Ruben Tejada at short and said, "Wow, Jose cut his hair!"
Welcome back to baseball, Mr. Wilpon.
Let's see what's up in the stock market...
Illumina Inc. (ILMN): The Illumina story keeps getting more interesting. If nothing else it's like a good episode of 'Days of Our Lives'. In failing to attract the attention of the Illumina board regarding the most recent buyout offer, Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) has again appealed to Illumina shareholders during the early morning on Wednesday and asked them to take matters into their own hands at the upcoming meeting of shareholders and vote in favor of the offer.
"The best way for you, as a shareholder, to obtain value certainty today for your shares is to vote for engagement. Tender your shares into our offer and vote for Roche's independent director nominees and other proposals at the 2012 Illumina Annual Meeting to be held on 18 April 2012," noted Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan in the letter.
Investors have already made bank with the share price having doubled since the earnings-miss lows of last year.
Celsius Holdings (CELH): Celsius Holdings banked another close at forty five cents, although no news or volume was behind the increase in price. Even with a few higher closes mixed into the trading pattern over the past couple of weeks, most of the volume has taken place at lower levels. With a new PR company on board, investors will be be waiting to see if a turnaround is in store. Earnings have stabilized over the past few quarters, so signs of growth will have to emerge if higher share prices are to be sustained. Still one to watch.
Implant Sciences (IMSC): Trading volume for shares of Implant Sciences has been significantly higher this week, when compared to last, and a close that matched the highs of 2012 was an encouraging sign as the company adds numerous new members to its executive team. It was also a volatile trading day on Tuesday, with intra-day price lows hitting sixty four cents before shares recovered to close at seventy two, more than seven percent higher than the previous days close.
The holy grail for this company's explosives and narcotics-detecting technology would be a contract with the Transportation Security Administration in the United States, although its products are already being sold to numerous countries and agencis around the globe.
One big contract could be all this one needs to take off. The new hirings could be an indication that company is expected more business or potential customers, so it could be one to at least keep on the watch list and maybe pick up a few shares on the dips.
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS) pushing three bucks after last week's positive partnership news...Headlines calling Apple (AAPL) a potential trillion-dollar company - yup, I said "trillion"...Agenus Inc. (AGEN) holds seven bucks...Siga Technologies (SIGA) down seven percent - recent volatility would put this one back in the buy zone if it drops much further...Pharmacyclics (PCYC) STILL trading higher, pushing thirty with a market cap of two billion - very impressive since nothing in the pipeline is beyond Phase II...Cytosorbents (CTSO) quietly hitting buy territory again; this one generally moves quick when news hits...Green plays Capstone Turbine (CPST) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) hanging in and approaching buy territory, respectively, in my opinion...Yahoo (YHOO) and Facebook engaged in a patent war...Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) down another 12%...Happy Trading.
Dislcosure: Long SIGA, FCEL, CPST, CTSO, CELH, IMSC.
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