Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Notes From All Over -- The Early, Early Morning Edition


Later, 8:01 a.m.: fleeing New Yorkers resulted in an estimated $34 billion in lost income -- Reuters

The rich and the ultra-rich are fleeing; those that can afford to move, are fleeing. The poor and middle class are staying; those who cannot afford to move, are staying. 

Hypocrisy: when one is a multi-billionaire, it is easy to shout "lock down."

Original Post

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

Tea leaves: GOP loses Georgia. One data point to follow to make that prediction. This is not rocket science.

Retailer of the decade: without question, my vote goes to Target.

Sports analyst of the year: Ryan Clark.

Slowdown? What slowdown? BofA credit, debt cards show soaring retail sales. Sales are not simply increasing; they are soaring. Link here.  Psychology 101. Human behavior 101. This is not rocket science.

Oil is dead. Long live oil. Did anyone see this coming? 

China November crude oil throughput hits daily record as private refiner starts new unit. Again, in case you missed it: in the middle of a surging, and worsening pandemic, Chinese crude oil throughput hit a new all-time daily record. At least that's what the headline says. Link here

Tea leaves: US investors are gonna love Joe Biden. And before it's all over, they're gonna love the environmentalists. See next story.

Natural gas
: natural gas, propane are early winners in quest for clean ship fuels. Who saw this coming? From The WSJ: roughly a quarter of all shipping capacity on order is being built to burn new fuels as operators seek a future with reduced emissions. I remember all the hand-wringing when the new rules were published. LOL. One big win for investors. Apparently ocean-going tanker aren't switching to wind power (sails) or solar energy (giant magnifying glasses to boil water):

Natural gas and propane are emerging as the leading choices for fuel sources to power vessels for shipping companies moving to slash carbon emissions in their operations.

More than a quarter of the ships on order in terms of tonnage are slated to run on liquefied natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas, commonly known as propane, according to an industry trade group, a clear signal of how operators are planning to meet mandates to meet clean-air standards.

The industry is mandated by global regulators to cut overall greenhouse-gas emissions by half in 2050 compared with 2008 levels, a target that has triggered a search by shipbuilders, ocean carriers, fuel providers and equipment makers for new types of engines and fuel sources to power vessels that handle global trade. Options under consideration include hydrogen, biofuels and electric power, along with LNG and LPG.

Portland, Seattle? Over-rated.

Here's where movers and shakers are headed. Florida. I hope this story is not behind a paywall. There is so much in this article; worth reading three or four times. If I had all the money in the world I would be doing the same thing, but in different locations.

Re-locations: at the sidebar at the right, "Themes-2020." From there, Re-locations: tracked here. Now add this story over at CNN: Elon Musk is leaving Silicon Valley for Texas. These millionaires and companies are following him.

  • I forgot that AMD is already in Austin;
  • in addition to HP, TSLA, and Oracle, here are others who have left CA for TX:
  • 8VC;
  • DropBox (DBX);
  • FileTrail:
  • DZS Inc;
  • QuestionPro;
  • as of November, 2020, 39 companies have re-located to Austin so far this year:
  • Austin: 47% of the city's working population has a bachelor degree; almost 50% of the working population; one wonders if Austin might not be the #1 city in the US with that metric?

Re-locations, continued. By the way, people were pouring out of US cities like LA and NYC well before the pandemic. Link here. There's an interesting graphic at the linked story.

  • west coast folks and Chicago folks moving to Texas;
  • east coast folks moving to Florida and Georgia;
  • equivalent daily gain / equivalent daily loss:
    • Los Angeles: minus 260
    • Chicago: minus 164
      • subtotal, LA + Chicago: a minus  424
    • Texas: a plus 415
      • wow! isn't that coincdental! Four-twenty-four moving out of Chicago and the west coast and four-fifteen moving to Texas:
  • now the East Coast
    • moving out of NYC: 376
    • moving to Atlanta, GA, and Florida234
    • the rest of NYC moves: probably to CT, RI, NJ

Bakken interest: there's nothing in either of these two articles that you don't already know, and if one of them is behind a paywall, you're not missing anything.

  • North Dakota sees its one-time oil gushers stalled until 2022 -- Bloomberg. If Sheela Tobben sticks around for a couple of more days she will see the Legacy Fund deposits increase significantly month-over-month. 
  • Who would have predicted this six moths ago? North Dakota oil output holds steady at 1.2 million bpd for October, 2020 -- Reuters. The article says oil production declined by 0.02% but the final figures aren't in. When they are, we will see a month-over-month increase in production.


  • WTI: $46.95
  • Dow: up 241 points! [Later: up 261 points.]
  • S&P 500: up 28 points (ratio: 8.6; I've always used "10" for the Dow/S&P 500 ratio, but lately it's been working out to 8)
  • NASDAQ: up 56 points
  • but look at this: leading the CNN pre-market movers list -- OKE -- up 3.4%; trading at $41.50; see feature story, next item down;
  • AIV: absolutely predicted: down 20% -- wow! can you spell "implosion"? Of course, we all know why: AIV was removed from the S&P 500; replaced by Tesla. Wouldn't it be better when adding a single company to the S&P 500 to simply leave the rest alone; sooner or later, some company would naturally drop out of the S&P 500 and we would be back to "500";

Feature Story

Why Warren Buffet is beting big on oil and gas pipeline companies. Link to David Messler. I could not care less about the story; anyone paying attention knows this. All I want to see: the names of the companies mentioned in the article. So, here goes:

  • ET (Energy Transfer)
  • ENB
  • writer spends a lot of time discussing Warren Buffet's purchase of Dominion's mid-stream assets: one of my posts ever; Warren Buffet's pipelines transport almost 20% of the nation's total natural gas production;

Chinese Flu Watch

Bismarck Tribune. The newspaper still has the most screwed-up color legend I've ever seen. But I digress. Deaths to date:
  • Cass County (Fargo): 150
  • Burleigh (Bismarck): 150
  • Morton (Mandan): 81
  • But look at this, Stutsman (Jamestown) has more deaths-to-death (66) than Grand Forks (55).
    • population:
      • Jamestown: 15,000
      • Grand Forks: 60,000
  • Bakken (Williams, Mountrail, McKenzie, and Dunn counties): 57
  • Stark (Dickinson): 40
  • But look at this: how many hospitalized with Covid-19-related illness -- again, this is across the entire state: 277

Johns Hopkins data: of the top five, ND drops to #5

  • Rhode Island still at #1
  • Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana: #2 - #4


  • penetration (herd immunity):
    • North Dakota: 11.5%
    • South Dakota: 10.3%
    • USA: 5.1%
    • Florida: 5.3%
    • Texas: 5.2%
    • California: 4.1% -- the worst is yet to come, despite the vaccine; penetration rate less than half that of North Dakota; even less than Florida or Texas;

CDC: link here; cold and flu season unremarkable, absolutely unremarkable.

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