Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For Investors Only -- Earnings

CSX: profits drop 14%, blamed on harsh winter weather; raises dividend; earnings 40 cents/share; estimates only 37 cents; raises dividend 7% to 16 cents/share;

KO: meets expectations

YHOO: barely beats estimates; stock up almost 3% after-hours
Tomorrow, mostly banks, but also:
GOOG: after market close; expectations, $6.39

Kansas City Southern: after market close; expectations, 99 cents

Kinder Morgan (KMI): after market close; expectations, 33 cents

Yahoo!Financial shows TPLM reporting tomorrow, but it won't be (if I recall correctly)
Comment: so far, a good earnings season, though it is only beginning.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

For Investors Only -- ERF (Enerplus Resources)

Some headline stories from Yahoo!Finance / ERF:

Five Canadian oil and gas stocks with improving fundamentals, SeekingAlpha, one of the five:
Enerplus Resources, with a dividend rate of just under 5%, and a sold expansion plan with a reasonable balance sheet. SA author IAE Research makes the case for Enerplus in a recent article.
Can these opportunities fuel dividend growth at ERF? -- Motley Fool:
Enerplus has drilled just over 100 wells in the Bakken Shale so far. It estimates that it has about 145 wells left to drill in the future. While some of those wells will be necessary to offset the production declines of the wells already drilled in the Bakken, many of these future drilling locations represent an opportunity for production growth. However, there are two interesting opportunities beyond those 145 future drilling locations that could really fuel growth for Enerplus’ investors.
The first opportunity is that Enerplus is working on downspacing tests to determine how closely it can drill its wells. Many of its Bakken-focused peers, including Continental Resources and Kodiak Oil & Gas, are working on similar tests. So far these peers are finding that wells can be drilled much closer together and in some cases can be drilled just 600 feet apart. If this proves to be true on Enerplus’ acreage, it could add another 150 drilling locations. That would double the company’s drilling locations in the Bakken.

Enerplus’ second compelling opportunity in the Bakken is its potential to drill into the second and third benches of the Three Forks formation found below the Bakken
While it’s still delineating its acreage position for the potential of these two additional hydrocarbon producing zones, there is the opportunity that it will find these areas to be productive as well.
Both Continental Resources and Kodiak Oil & Gas have had success in the lower benches of the Three Forks formation.
The final opportunity that I find to be especially compelling is Enerplus’ 85,000 net acres of undeveloped land that’s prospective for the Duvernay Shale. Peers like Encana see the Durvernay being a simply massive resource as its fairway is nearly twice the size of the Eagle Ford Shale.
This potential bodes well for Enerplus as its acreage is located in close proximity to Encana’s. Further, core analysis from vertical tests showed that there’s a lot of hydrocarbons on Enerplus’ acreage. Because of this the current plan is to drill two horizontal wells this year, however, the company sees the potential for 300-400 horizontal wells on its acreage in the future. That’s pretty compelling upside potential that could fuel the dividend for years to come.
Is ERF's dividend at risk (Motley Fool)? --  safe for at least the next year --
Enerplus’s dividend, like Penn West’s, has been falling in recent years and while both payouts look to have bottomed, neither is expected to grow anytime soon. For Enerplus that means its $1.08 per share dividend rate from last year is about what investors can expect this year. However, a falling or static dividend is usually a sign of weakness for a company.
For Enerplus this weakness comes down to the fact that its adjusted payout ratio is just too high. The company continues to pay out more than 100% of its income. That said, its simplified payout ratio is improving as Enerplus grows its cash flow by improving its costs and being disciplined with its capital. That said, these two ratios need to continue improving as weakness here is a leading sign that the dividend is in danger.
None of these weaknesses suggest that Enerplus is doomed to fail. While its dividend isn’t as secure as it could be, it would appear to be safe for at least the next year.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. 

Active Rigs In North Dakota Plummeting; Ten (10) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Ten (10) Producing Wells Completed; KOG Wildrose Well Falls Short (IP); XTO With Five (5) Huge Wells (High IPs)

Active rigs:

Active Rigs183186206174108

If you haven't read the story being reported by Crescent Point Energy, you're missing a big story. This will eventually be seen in Divide County, and probably Burke County. Back on February 17, 2010, we discussed the Torquay. In Saskatchewan, Canada:
  • Formations: Bakken, Big Valley, Torquay (the Three Forks group)
Ten (10) new permits --
  • Operators: MRO (4), Hess (2), XTO (2), CLR Whiting
  • Fields: Van Hook (Mountrail), Cherry Creek (McKenzie), Winner (Williams), Charlson (McKenzie), Big Stick (Billings)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Ten (10) producing wells completed:
  • 24254, 1,800, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-93-7D-6-3H, Four Bears, t3/14; cum -- 
  • 24253, 1,719, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-93-7D-6-4H, Four Bears, t3/14; cum -
  • 25415, 1,509, XTO, Rolfsrud State 14X-36A, Sand Creek, t3/14; cum --
  • 25261, 2,274, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20F, Bear Den, t3/14; cum --
  • 25259, 3,112, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20E, Bear Den, t3/14; cum --
  • 25262, 2,682, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20B, Bear Den, t3/14; cum --
  • 25260, 2,432, XTO, Bully Federal 44X-20A, Bear Den, t3/14; cum --
  • 26371, 209, KOG, Wildrose 159-98-14-12-1-3H3, Big Stone, t2/14; cum --
  • 27244,  --, Whiting, Anderson 11-7H, Sanish, data pending,
  • 26433, 525, Whiting, Littlefield 41-12-3XH, Sanish, t4/14; cum --
Wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 22994, drl, Abraxas, Jore Federal 2-11-4,  North Fork, no production data,
  • 24662, 1,010, Whiting, Zalesky 11-17PH, North Creek, t10/13; cum 27K 2/14;
  • 25012, drl, WPX, FBIR 13-24HC, Van Hook, no production data,
  • 26174, drl, Hess, SC-5WX-152-99-0310H-1, Banks, no production data, 
Miscellaneous notes from the wells above:
  • 26174: Sundry forms not available. Hess experienced problems prior to beginning the cement job of the 7" casing. While trying to establish circulation prior to cement job, the well packed off and no circulation was achieved. The decision was made to pull out of hold, run WireLine and perforate the casing at 10,652-56'MD, Lodgetpole 10 - Lodgepole 11.
  • 24254: spud Aug 6; cease drilling Nov 22; middle Bakken; TD, 21,680; Lodgepole, False Bakken, Scallion, Upper Bakken, Middle Bakken all identified; no other recent sundry forms.
  • 25261: Three Forks; natural frack; highest gas at 3,226 units; 30 days drilling; no frack data;
  • 25262: middle Bakken; 11,279-foot lateral; natural frack; highest gas value of 1,953 units; 1 - 4' flare; 28 days drilling after re-entering; no frack data;
  • 25259: Three Forks; highest gas value was 3,194 units; 15 - 20' flare; 
  • 25260: middle Bakken, I believe; report only says "Bakken"; no geologist's report filed yet
  • 26371: geologist's report not filed yet;

Top Story For The Day? Spectacular Three Forks Wells In Canada Being Reported By Crescent Point; Remember The Warmists Telling Us Our Grandchildren Would Never See Snow Again? In Detroit, They're Seeing Lots Of Snow -- Snowiest Winter On Record -- Well, At Least In Past 133 Years (Since Standardized Observations Sites Established In US)


May 12, 2019: not much news coming out of the Torquay, across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Saskatchewan, back in 2017, interest in the Bakken was declining; Torquay increasing. 

May 9, 2014: 1Q14 earnings for Crescent Point

April 18, 2014: The Torquay in Manitoba. But the presentation includes the Torquay (Three Forks) across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as some information on corresponding Three Forks in northern North Dakota.

April 14, 2014: article in WSJ on Crescent Point operational update in the Torquay. Some data points:
  • Flat Lake area in Canada
  • one-mile-long laterals
  • EURs of 275,000 bbls
  • $3.35 million capital cost/well
  • the wells generate a return of approximately 300% and payouts of approximately seven months
Original Post
Eventually Divide County is going to see this, maybe Burke County in North Dakota. Look at these Crescent Point Energy wells. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. Payback in seven months. Finding and development cost of $12/boe. Wells costing less than $4 million.

Berry Petroleum message board is reporting:
CPG in the Q4CC said they are developing the Three Forks in Canada just across from ND with very high rates of return with their cemented liners. (Much less than 1 year payouts).

They also said that they were planning to water flood this play in the same that they are water flooding their core Bakken play where EURS are increased by 50% over primary.
CPG: Crescent Point Energy. From Fly On The Wall:
Crescent Point Energy announced a significant Torquay discovery in southeast Saskatchewan. Over the past 12 months, Crescent Point has delineated a Torquay discovery in its core Flat Lake area of southeast Saskatchewan.
This discovery is an extension of the Company's Three Forks resource play in North Dakota.
Crescent Point has more than 220 net sections of core-area Torquay land and 400 low-risk Torquay drilling locations on the Canadian side of the border.
To date, the company has drilled 36 horizontal wells targeting the Torquay Formation in its core Flat Lake area in Canada, growing net production from zero to approximately 5,100 boe/d in just 12 months. Crescent Point has identified 400 low-risk, high rate of return development drilling locations on these lands.
In 2013, the company added proved plus probable reserves of 11.2 mmboe at Flat Lake in the Torquay and Bakken Formations combined.
Finding and development costs were $11.46 per boe, excluding changes in future development capital, which represents a recycle ratio of 6.4 times per proved plus probable boe for this area.
At year-end 2013, the Company's independent reserve engineers booked Estimated Ultimate Recoveries, or EURs, on producing Torquay wells as high as 275,000 bbls per mile-long well.
The company's internal 275,000 bbl mile-long type well, which has a $3.35 million capital cost, generates rates of return of approximately 300% and payouts of approximately seven months. In 2014, Crescent Point expects to spend approximately $200M of its 2014 budget in Flat Lake, including drilling approximately 48 net wells. Crescent Point's total capital expenditures budget for 2014 remains unchanged at $1.75B.
Global Warming

Detroit's 133-year snowfall record falls. And not by a small amount -- double the average snowfall.
Wet snow falling late Monday night into tax deadline day Tuesday shattered Detroit's long-standing seasonal snowfall record.
As of early Tuesday morning, a total of 94.8 inches of snow had been measured in the 2013-14 season at Detroit's Metro Airport, topping the previous record snowiest season, 93.6 inches set in 1880-81. 
This is more than double their average seasonal snowfall of 44.1 inches.
And if the Kennedy clan can't get to Detroit before the snow melts, they can fly in on their personal jet to see the snowstorm predicted the eastern Dakotas and into northern Minnesota, Brainerd, Duluth, and points east

And it's not just snow: cold records are being set. KDLT is reporting: Sioux Falls and Aberdeen (SD) see all-time record cold temperatures --
The National Weather Service reports that both Sioux Falls and Aberdeen set record-low temperatures for April 15. The temperature dropped to 11 degrees in Sioux Falls, breaking the city's 1962 record of 19 degrees. Aberdeen saw 8 degrees, breaking the city's 1962 record of 16 degrees.

For Investors Only -- Four Stories From SLB Today -- Trading At New High

SLB is trading at a 52-week high; a five-year high, and close to an all-time high. SLB hit $105 and $107 when the stock spiked one in 2007 and once in 2008.

At Investor's Business Daily:
HAL, SLB, and other oilfield services companies should see a busy second quarter due to pent-up demand following a wintry first quarter, according to a report from Sterne Agee.
Analyst Stephen Gengaro bases his outlook on reports of lower well counts during the first three months of the year. That includes a 2.5% sequential decline in well counts reported by Baker Hughes, a provider of well-bore products and technology services and systems to the oil and gas industry.
"This highlights our belief that wells per rig would drop in Q1 due to weather disruptions, and likely leads to a sharp rise in Q2 well completions," Gengaro noted.
At Zacks: rig count tops 1,500.

At Yahoo!Finance: Oil services EFTs soar in anticipation of earnings. 

Is America's energy boom slowing? Definitely not -- Motley Fool.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. This site never makes any investment recommendations. 
Replacing "Clean" Nuclear Fuel With Dirtiest Coal Out There: Germany
What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants?
It turns to lignite, a cheap, soft, muddy-brown colored form of sedimentary rock that spews more greenhouse gases than any other fossil fuel.
The story of German power giant RWE AG exemplifies the crisis facing the nation’s utility industry -- and those of many countries across Europe -- as nuclear power plants get shuttered in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, renewables steal away revenue, and consumers and companies complain about rising power costs that are three times higher than in the U.S.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to shutter all 17 of Germany’s nuclear power stations by 2022 struck a blow to RWE’s profit stream, particularly for a company that has almost no presence in renewables. RWE posted its first loss last year since World War II and may face worse losses going forward.
The Essen-based company, founded in 1898 to produce power for Germany’s industrial heartland, has had no choice except to ramp up production from its profitable coal-fired plants, most of which burn lignite.
Pushback On Microsoft Office For Apple?

I believe the original "rental price" for Microsoft Office for Apple was $99/year. The buzz seemed to suggest few Apple folks were going to rent MOA for any price, but certainly not for $99, or was it $199/year?

Now, Microsoft says they will rent a copy of MOA for personal use for one lap top and one iPad for $69/year, or $6.99/month.  Based on the comments, I don't get a warm fuzzy that renting MOA is going to be a huge hit.

Taxman -- The Beatles; Germany To Reverse Flow Natural Gas To The Ukraine -- One Word: Symbolic

The Taxman, The Beatles
Pardon The Interruption

The Fed says its two mandates: a) maximize employment; b) minimize inflation. One wonders if the Fed truly "believes" that, especially after hearing Yellen's remarks, and then Batchelor's analysis, albeit pretty short. 
There's a throwaway "letter to the editor" at The Wall Street Journal: raise interest rates, help seniors. The comments are helpful. 
One could argue that the Fed has two mandates: a) minimize inflation; b) maximize stock market returns. 

One of the comments Yellen is said to have said: "savers are selfish."  It's dangerous to take these things out of context, but there is something to be said for keeping money moving. I think the most painful thing about the Obama administration has been the generally negative, gloomy attitude he seems to have about America. It is difficult to think about investing when one is consistently negative, depressed, gloomy. There's something to be said for a Ronald Reagan looking through rose-colored glasses. 

One wonders if things could have been different (other than two lost decades) had we had an administration that talked about "good morning in America." Ironic, but even Oprah seems more upbeat than Obama.

Pardon The Interruption (Again)

The AP is reporting: Germany to start sending natural gas to the Ukraine -- at this point, mostly symbolic -- reminiscent of the "Berlin Airlift" that kept that city alive ...
German utility company RWE said Tuesday it has started sending natural gas to Ukraine, a move that could support the country if Russia acts on its threat to cut off supplies because of a massive debt for past deliveries.
The reverse-flow deliveries from Germany via Poland are largely symbolic for the moment, but could be ramped up to provide about a fifth of the country's gas needs.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine owes Russia $35.4 billion for gas — about 20 times more than Moscow had previously asked for. He said Russia may ask for Ukraine to start paying for gas in advance or face a shut-off.
A "fifth" won't cut it.

Quantum Mechanics
The Timeline
From Louisa Gilder's The Age of Entanglement

1913: Bohr -- solved the problem of the "stable" atom

1925: Max Born (Gottingen), a mathematician, coined "quantum mechanics" and Heisenberg/Pauli would "produce" it.

1926: things starting to move a bit faster. Heisenberg, particles; Schrodinger, waves; Max Born, putting the two together. Heisenberg says Dirac, through mathematics, has made quantum mechanics as complete as relativity. Bohr frustrated with Schrodinger.

1927: Solvay.

1931: the year of Einstein's box and the particle. Well on the way to EPR. Podolsky and Rosen both coming of age.

1932: split the atom. 1932 a most momentous year for other reasons. Heisenberg called it the golden year of physics, 40 years later.

1933: everything started to fall apart; dispersed, as Hitler came to power. A lot of folks think theoretical physics was disrupted when basic research was superseded by applied research -- the Manhattan Project. Theoretical physics stopped at that moment.

Quantum Mechanics
The Timeline
From Michael S Walker's Quantum Fuzz

September, 1927, International Physics Congress, Como, Italy: Bohr presented his Copenhagen view (complementarity -- the observation of wave or particle characteristics based on choice of information sought or by the nature of the measuring or observational device used); most everyone was there except the two that would oppose that mode: Einstein and Schrodinger. Einstein would not set foot in fascist Italy and Schrodinger was in process of moving/accepting Planck's chair in Berlin. This was a prelude to the Solvay conference.

October, 1927, the Fifth Solvay Conference, Brussels: Brussels temporarily lifted the ban on German participation; Einstein and Schrodinger both attended. The conference would lead to 80-some years of further straining classical concepts. Hendrik Lorentz chaired the sessions and in the official photograph of attendees, is seated between Einstein and Marie Curie.

Zeits On KOG; Filloon on TPLM

Over at SeekingAlpha. Zeits on KOG:

The comments I sent to Don after reading the article:
Great article.

I noted the same thing he did, which he said deep down in the article: KOG's middle Bakken wells are much better than the Three Forks wells. Lynn Helms, some time ago, had suggested Three Forks might actually be better than the Middle Bakken.

Second comment: the play to watch is KOG's Wildrose play.

Final comment: break-even point with oil at $95 is 325,000 EUR. Bakken seldom gets $95 but it varies widely from operator to operator. If 325,000 is the break-even point, it is interesting to see all the marginal wells being drilled in the Bakken.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

When the delta between the current share price and the future share is not particularly wide, and the driver (the price of oil) is trading at its high end, it makes it problematic to consider KOG might be a takeover target, especially when it is generally assumed that a hostile takeover will command a 25% premium.

Meanwhile, Filloon on TPLM:
  • Northland Capital's $14 price target provides 43% upside for Triangle over the next year.
  • Triangle continues to improve IP rates in the Bakken through better well design.
  • Rockpile responds to good third party growth rates with an additional frac spread and the start of a wireline business.
  • Once online, Caliber's natural gas processing facility could drive midstream revenues.
A Note For The Granddaughters

Supernovae fascinate the older granddaughter. There was quite a discussion of supernovae and neutrinos this past Sunday on "Cosmos."  If one wants to reinforce this most recent episode of the "Cosmos" with regard to supernovae and neutrinos, one of the better, more recent articles was in Scientific American, by Ray Jayawardhama, "Coming Soon: A Supernova Near You."

When I read the "hard copy," I did not realize it was a "preview" from an upcoming book by the same author.

The article begins:
In the wee hours of February 24, 1987, atop Cerro Las Campanas in Chile, Ian Shelton decided to develop the final photographic plate of the night before heading to bed.
Shelton, a resident observer employed by the University of Toronto, had been tinkering with a decades-old 10-inch telescope on the mountain, training the little instrument on one of the Milky Way's galactic sidekicks, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).
He lifted the photographic plate out of the developing tank and examined it to make sure the three-hour-long exposure had come out well. Then something caught his attention: a curious bright spot next to a familiar spider-shaped feature known as the Tarantula nebula.
He wondered what the unusual spot might be and reasoned that it was likely a flaw in the plate itself. But just to be sure, he walked out of the telescope enclosure into the dry mountain air to look up at the sky with his own eyes. He saw a bright star in the LMC that had not been visible the night before. Shelton hurried over to one of the other telescope domes on the ridge to share the news.
This was the "supernova 1987A."

A Note To The Granddaughters

I knew I would be retiring at age 57, and I would live to 97. My active years would take me through age 77. I would start my first business at age 75. Everything remains on track. 

When we retired, we had planned to live in every major American city for two-year intervals. Rent an efficiency apartment for two years in San Francisco, two years in Miami, two years in NYC, two years in Portland (Oregon), two years in Washington, DC, etc. With the granddaughters, that has played out surprisingly well: one year in New Hampshire; two years in Charleston, South Carolina; four years in Boston; first year in DFW area.

One of the criteria for the specific location in each of these cities: the efficiency apartment had to be within walking/biking distance of a university or college.

Through our granddaughters I am re-learning physics, chemistry, biology, electricity. The older granddaughter will be entering college in less than seven or eight years. I will be moving with her. Don't laugh. Read about Douglas MacArthur's mother, Pinky, in William Manchester's American Caesar.  

For Investors Only: Entergy, Laredo Petroleum, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson


Later, 12:29 p.m. Central Time: three companies of interest traded at 52-week highs -- ECA, ERF, and SLB.

Later, 11:50 a.m. Central Time: GLRI goes public today. Microbes to eliminate the need for fracking?
Original Post
Market futures up; oil down.

Entergy guides Q1 EPS well above consensus; raises FY14 EPS guidance, due in part to colder weather: Co issues upside guidance for Q1 (Mar), sees EPS of ~$2.28 vs. $1.15 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Laredo Petroleum expects a Q1 loss on derivatives of approximately $31.1 million. [I've talked about this (derivatives) before.]

Coca-Cola reports EPS in-line, revs in-line.

Johnson & Johnson beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line; raises FY14 EPS guidance, in-line.

Intel (37 cents) and Yahoo (37 cents) will both report after market close.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here. 

The ten most under-rated Beatles songs (according to someone else):

Top Ten Underrated Beatles Songs, The Beatles

Why they matter:
  • some of these are "classic" Beatles; back to their roots
  • some of the riffs
  • homage to American rockabilly
  • Ringo
Talk Radio

Up until last week the biggest difference in format between the "Rush Limbaugh Show" and the "Savage Nation Show" was the number of phone calls taken. Rush takes "none" though he leads you to believe he talks many. Mike Savage is basically only a call-in radio show, completely different from Rush.

Last week we learned that Mike Savage, having moved to early afternoon, following Rush, taking Sean Hannity's former spot, is killing Rush in the ratings. Again, "Savage Nation" is killing Rush in ratings.

This past week I've noted a huge format change in the "Rush Limbaugh Show." He is now taking lots and lots of calls, and taking them earlier in his show.

Another Must-Read RBN Energy Posting -- LPG Exports From Washington State

Active rigs:

Active Rigs188186206174108

RBN Energy: an update on the LPG export industry in Washington State.
On March 4th, Petrogas announced the purchase of the Ferndale, WA LPG terminal, the only functioning butane and propane export facility on the U.S. west coast.  Then last Thursday (April 10th) Sage Midstream announced a project to build another world scale LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) export terminal a couple of hundred miles south at the Port of Longview, WA.  These are big developments for the west coast LPG markets. Today we begin a blog series that examines the history of Ferndale, how it has been used in the past, and what these two announcements mean for the future of west coast propane and butane markets.
Rusty and I both have a warm spot in our heart for Ferndale, having managed the commercial activities out of that terminal more than two decades ago when we were with Texaco.  Ferndale is a 750MBbl storage, tank car, truck and waterborne import/export facility that sits near several Northwest area refineries, and is just a tank car ride away from some of the richest natural gas liquids (NGL) producing areas in North America.  For most of its existence, Ferndale has been the backwater of NGL markets, almost exclusively used for butane exports to Latin America and the Asia/Pacific markets.  But now NGL markets are changing dramatically due to the onslaught of new production from the shale revolution.  And exports have become the market of choice for NGL surpluses.  Up to now most of the action in exports has been along the Gulf Coast, and to a lesser extent in the Northeast out of the Marcus Hook terminal.   
But now attention is shifting to the West Coast.
And I think that's the big story: the US energy story shifting from the east to the west.

The other reason to read it: a bit of personal history of the blog's author is there.

The Wall Street Journal

Obama, Putin talk as unrest roils Ukraine. To me, listening to NPR this morning, this sounds just like Syria all over again. With much more at stake.

I reported this yesterday; I think it's a bigger story than most Jaywalkers realize (even if they knew): US retail sales surged 1.1%. Best monthly growth since September, 2012. Pent-up demand after a long winter. Or more likely, as the winter wore on and on, folks ran out of winter "stuff," and had to re-stock.

CBO sees US deficit shrinking more than expected in 2014.
The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget policy, on Monday said the adjustments will lower its forecast for the 2014 deficit to $492 billion, or $23 billion less than it estimated two months ago. That's equivalent to 2.8% of gross domestic product, marking the smallest deficit since 2007. Since 1980, the deficit has averaged roughly 3.2% of GDP. 
The Malaysian plane is in water too deep for a robotic sub to reach. Search are is 81,000 square miles; pace of search: 15 square miles daily. OK. CNN has a story for the next 1,000 days.

GE already tired of Immelt?

US DOE snookered. Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li is expected to make a killing on the Fisker Automotive loan he bought from the Department of Energy.

Data of about 900 Canadians taken in Heartbleed breach.

This makes me feel good. I mentioned at Starbucks the "mini-crash" on Friday was not a typical stock-market-wide correction. I noted that it only affected biotech and tech, perhaps, in general, suggesting that energy firms actually did fine (and the price of oil actually rose). Now today, top story, third section: "Now that markets are no longer moving in lock step, corporate fundamentals, and the ability to pick stocks, are becoming more important." Think HK and GDP (Goodrich Petroleum).

CSX hit hard by the war on coal. Warren might have been on the same track when he bought BNI had the Bakken not come along.

Wheat rises 3% as Ukraine tensions threaten exports, production. Good news for NoDak farmers.

The Los Angeles Times

The Dickinson Press

Dickinson Public Schools mulls $67 million in building projects.