Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June 8, 2016: The Market Closes With 248 Issues Hitting 52-Week Highs; Only 5 Issues Hitting New Lows

Another incredible day in north Texas, and maybe more on that later. But let's get started. Top story over at GoogleFinance: Jeff Bezos says Amazon will invest $3 billion in India. By the way, I don't know if you heard: Tim Cook was able to convince India to allow Apple to have retail stores for the next three years despite the "30% rule." Tim Cook -- with that one deal -- has earned his CEO pay this year.

Tweeting now:
  • John Kemp: US gasoline consumption will grow by 170,000 bopd to a record 9.33 million bopd in 2016, revised up from 160,000 forecast in May -- one month ago).
  • Rigzone: the UK is going to spend $87 billion decommissioning oil rigs off its continental shelf over the next 30 years; the fields are drying up.
  • Platts Oil: China's May crude oil imports surged almost 40% on year-over-year (month of May -- but last year was a "base low".
  • Rigzone: from Norway, 60,000 oil workers set to strike over wage disputes.
  • EIA: fires continue to reduce oil production near Fort McMurray. 
  • Platts Oil: North Sea crude oil remains "under pressure" as French refinery strikes continue.
From EIA on Fort McMurray:
While evacuees from the ongoing fires in Fort McMurray have begun to return to the city, a state of emergency remains in place throughout Alberta, Canada, and the temporary shutdown of the area's oil sands production sites continues. EIA estimates that disruptions to oil production averaged about 0.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in May, with a daily peak of more than 1.1 million b/d. Although projects are slowly restarting as fires subside, it may take weeks for production to return to previous levels. EIA expects disruptions to average 400,000 b/d in June. -- EIA
Add the Canadian sands oil shortage to the OPEC shortages.

Over at Yahoo!Finance, it looks like oil will begin the day at $51 and change. The 30-second soundbite: Nigeria. The market is already up about 75 points. Top story: no direct evidence that Aubrey McClendon deliberately killed himself the day after he was indicted.

Reuters/Rigzone has this story: Saudi Arabia could import natural gas to boost use in energy mix.
Even though it is the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has struggled to keep pace with domestic gas demand in recent years as increased use from industry and power generation put pressure on supplies. "Gas makes up 50 percent of our energy mix now and we aspire to raise this to 70 percent from all sources, be it local or, if it is possible, from a source to import from at a competitive price," Khalid al-Falih told a news conference announcing the kingdom's National Transformation Plan.
At the close, on the NYSE, 248 issues reporting 52-week highs; only five issues reporting 52-week lows. Among the new highs: Allete, Black Hills, CenterPoint Energy, ExxonMobil, MDU, Medtronic, Newfield Exploration, ONEOK Partners, QEP, TransCanada.

I may or may not read this story: Walmart sells more than Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft combined.

Speaking of Walmart and Apple, a possible competitor to ApplePay has called it quits; a huge failure. CurrentC made the announcement in the past 24 hours that it was done. From the beginning, it had as much chance as Bernie Sanders did. Unlike Bernie Sanders, CurrentC made the decision to drop out.

Sticking with Apple, Coach has announced it will begin selling designer Apple Watch bands, created to match Coach handbags; expected to debut on June 12, next week, the day before the WWDC. Unlike CurrentC, Coach Apple Watch bands won't disappoint.

Timing on this one could not have been better. Our two older granddaughters, age 9 and 12, are "attending" computer camp this week at the University of Texas - Dallas. Today, this article in The Wall Street Journal: Is Your Child Coding Yet? New Building Blocks Teach Programming Basics. Last year the girls took a week-long course in coding in Arlington; I'm not sure what language they learned last year, maybe some basic Javaj or maybe Oz or maybe Standard. I have no clue. This year they are learning to code in Alice. For those that do not know (include me), this from wiki:
A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity), also referred to as Alicebot, or simply Alice, is a natural language processing chatterbot—a program that engages in a conversation with a human by applying some heuristical pattern matching rules to the human's input, and in its online form it also relies on a hidden third person.
It was inspired by Joseph Weizenbaum's classical ELIZA program. It is one of the strongest programs of its type and has won the Loebner Prize, awarded to accomplished humanoid, talking robots, three times (in 2000, 2001, and 2004).
However, the program is unable to pass the Turing test, as even the casual user will often expose its mechanistic aspects in short conversations.
Spike Jonze has cited ALICE as the inspiration for his academy award-winning film Her, in which a human falls in love with a chatbot. In a New Yorker article titled “Can Humans Fall in Love with Bots?” Jonze said “that the idea originated from a program he tried about a decade ago called the ALICE bot, which engages in friendly conversation.”
I understood everything up to "heuristical."

Their dad is really, really smart in computers and engineering, and I'm sure he did a lot of research to determine which programming language to engage his daughters in.

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Back To Coding
The Next Big Thing

If you understood the note on ALICE programming, this next little bit might blow you away. This was in today's Google Finance. This is one of five things Walter Mossberg learned from Jeff Bezos during an interview at the annual Code Conference:
Bezos, along with other Code speakers like Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, talked about artificial intelligence being the next big tech innovation and battleground.
"I think it’s gigantic," Bezos said. "It’s probably hard to overstate how big of an impact it’s going to have on society over the next 20 years. It has been a dream since the early days of science fiction to have a computer that you can talk to in a natural way and actually ask it to have a conversation with you and ask it to do things for you. And that is coming true."
He said he is "deeply committed" to AI being a huge part of Amazon’s business and that the company has worked secretly on it for four years.
But, even though Amazon has jumped out ahead in voice-controlled smart assistants with its Echo hardware powered by its Alexa AI platform, Bezos predicted that "all the major tech companies will do this, but there’ll also be hundreds of startup companies." He predicted that people will use different AI "agents" for different things.

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