DAPL: a quick run-through the morning headlines, it appears President Obama's decision to kill DAPL is as big a story nationally as the Taiwan telephone call is internationally. This pretty much is the star on Obama's Christmas Tree.
Pearl Harbor: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 -- 75th Anniversary.
A butterfly flaps its wings. I'm not exactly sure which specific event culminated in #BlackLivesMatter; it started small -- as a hashtag, of all things -- and, up until the election, had grown into a fairly significant force, at least in some arenas. Similarly, Trump's attitude toward corporations moving plants overseas may be the equivalent of a butterfly flapping its wings. Oh, by the way, Schumer, Pelosi, Reid have all sung a verse from the same page as Trump: "corporate inversions." It is interesting that the Democratic triumvirate has not criticized Trump on the Carrier controversy. In fact, as I ramble, it's going to be interesting to watch any Congressman argue in support of US corporations moving plants offshore. Right, wrong, indifferent -- the most highly visible politician dissing Trump on Carrier was .... Sarah.
Jill: today we find out where Jill Stein takes the recall effort. Judge orders immediate start of Michigan recount to get it done by December 13, 2016.
NFL: Seattle Seahawks destroy Cam last night.
Back To The Bakken
RBN Energy: Tesoro's acquisition of Western Refining.
On November 17, 2016, Tesoro Corp., the second-largest independent refiner in the Western U.S., announced an agreement to acquire Western Refining for an estimated $6.4 billion.
This is the second acquisition that Tesoro has made this year, following the purchase of the MDU Resources/Calumet Specialty Products Partners’ joint venture refinery in North Dakota. And—ironically, considering the name of the company Tesoro is buying—the Western Refining deal will expand Tesoro’s footprint further east than ever.
Today we evaluate the legacy assets of Tesoro and Western Refining and discuss how the two companies will likely fit together.
Add Huntsman To The Long List Of Candidates
For Secretary of State
Jon Huntman: moderate Republican. Governor of Utah. Previously, US Ambassador to Singapore and China. Has served in the administrations of five US presidents.
Rex Tillerson is still mentioned but not so much Rex Tillerson as the "man" but a "metonym" for SecState: a strong businessman for SecState.
Bob Gates at State and Mattis at Defense: MSNBC "Morning Joe" hosts practically fell all over themselves how great that duo would be -- Joe calls them the "Maris and Mantel" of the cabinet. Then they all agree that Trump is making some really, really inspired choices for his cabinet. (Of course, Sessions' name did not come up.) First consultant asked: agreed that Bob Gates would be perfect.
Didn't See This Coming
I certainly did not see this coming. Last night Dow futures were down a bit and that's what I expected. The Trump rally and the OPEC rally had cooled. The Italian Job. DAPL. The Fed. The Taiwanese telephone call.
And then this morning, futures (Dow 30) are up
But then this top story over at Yahoo!Finance: big oil earnings to explode in 2017. (Consider the source: oilprice.com. Oil futures up 54 cents to $52.22 -- 16-month high.
Over at The Street: "tired Tesala" about to break down. A close beneath $!80 will put the stock at an 8-month low and for some analysts project a drop to $150, not far from the stock's year-to-date closing low of $143.
Just three stocks are responsible for almost half of the Dow's huge one-month rally: United Health, Goldman Sachs, and Caterpillar. If Caterpillar is in that mix, that should be a very, very good sign for Trump's plan to make America great again.
Unlike the S&P 500 or the Russell 2000, the Dow is a price-weighted index, meaning that its performance is congruent to that of a portfolio that owns a single share of each company contained in the index.
If one owned such a portfolio, the move by a $223 share of Goldman Sachs would impact overall performance almost 10 times more than the same percentage-sized move in $29 Cisco (CSCO). (And that's why I like the Dow more than the others: if I had one share of GS and one share of CSCO and they both increased in value by 20% -- .... but again, like so many things with regard to investing I am wrong - wrong again. For investors, the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 way of doing things is more in line with how retail investors invest. One generally does not go to the market thinking to buy 100 shares of this and 100 shares of that. Rather, mom-and-pop retail investors go to the market with $1,000 to invest and look for the best way to invest that $1,000: perhaps $500 in GS and $500 in CSCO. If both companies rise 20%, the investments in both end up being the same.)SLB trades ex-dividend today. [Update: trades ex-dividend and is up 24 cents in early trading Monday; nice.]
Natural gas at highest level in two years.
Carrier (Indiana, one thousand jobs) was crony capitalism; the GM bailout was not. -- MSNBC "Morning Joe."
The Literature Page
This is most interesting (for me).
One of my most treasured books; a coffee-table book:
Cistercian Abbeys: History and Architecture
Photography by Henri Gaud
Text by Jean-Francois Leroux-Dhuys
c. 1998 for the English edition
c. 1998 for the English edition
If anyone wonders from whence the great cathedrals sprang, look no further than the Cistercian abbeys. These were built "several decades" before the great cathedrals were built.
I was fortunate to have visited the ruins of several abbeys in England between 1986 and 1989 and then again between 2002 and 2004.
But way more than that. I now understand the progression:
- Jew history, the Old Testament
- Christianity, the New Testament
- Christian persecution before, during, and for two centuries after the crucifixion
- I think folks often forget that the crucifixion was not a one-off event
- the incredible history and importance of Roman Emperor Constantine (emperor, 306 - 337); b. 272
- Constantine called the Council of Nicaea (325); age 53 years old; purpose: to define the divinity of Christ and the Trinity; Emperor = Head of the Faith; established the footprint of the modern cathedral;
- the Rule of Benedict (lived 480 - 550); Norcia (Nursia), in the mountains; about 120 miles northwest of Rome
- 1000: degeneration of western civilization -- secular as well as religious
- religious arena takes the bull by the horns and wrestles that degeneration to the ground
- Pope Gregory VII, transforming pope, 1073 -1085; church takes control of its destiny; will choose its own cardinals, bishops; cardinals will choose the Pope; the Pope is not answerable to any secular ruler
- the great monasteries preceded the great cathedrals by about two decades
- the Cistercian monasteries were the best built; that's why the ruins have survived
- Cistercian monasteries: self-sufficient; farming; and, of all things, the development of towns which led to modern cities
- which brings us to Henry VIII and the destruction of the monasteries