Sunday, December 20, 2020

Notes From All Over -- Sunday Night Edition -- December 20, 2020


December 23, 2020: how to buy "slices." -- Motley Fool.

Original Post

“Focus on Fracking” posted

Biggest disappointment: the Covid-19 relief bill. 

Conundrum: wow, talk about a conundrum for fund managers. Fund managers are paid to "beat the market." With Tesla now part of the S&P 500, these fund managers have another wrinkle with which to contend. This will be absolutely fascinating. It's hard not to see this as an incredible positive feedback loop: as fund managers buy Tesla to goose their yields, it pushes both Tesla and the S&P 500 up, which forces fund managers (who are paid to "beat the market") to buy more Tesla. I don't often link to CNN Business but this is interesting.

Staggering: some data points from the above linked article:

  • Tesla is the largest company ever to be added to the index
  • With a market value of more than $625 billion, it will immediately become the sixth most valuable company in the S&P, trailing only Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google owner Alphabet, and Facebook. 
  • Tesla is currently worth over $100 billion more than Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway — and Musk's personal net worth is also higher than the Oracle of Omaha's. 
  • In fact, Musk is now the second wealthiest person on the planet, trailing only Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Tesla's market value is also higher than the combined valuations of GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler, Honda, and Nissan. 

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: COVID relief bill — too little (way too little) — too late. All this for a half-hearted bill and a one-day authorization to keep the government running past midnight. Huge disappointment. The market will run on its own merits tomorrow. And right now, it appears traders are not impressed. I know I'm not. 

What do "they" mean, to prevent "brief" shutdown? If they don't pass another spending bill tomorrow, how do they know how long the next shutdown will be? Last time the government shut down, correct me if I'm wrong, the only thing shut down were the federal parks. Due to Covid, most federal parks are shut down now, anyway.

Roku: I can't remember if I posted this story from a couple of days ago. Roku struck a deal with ATT-owned WarnerMedia to give Roku users access to HBO Max streaming service, which will now be available on Roku devices. The service has already begun, effective December 17, 2020. Link here

"MAX" debacle: after the Keystone XL (for "extra long) debacle, the Boeing 737 Max debacle, the Warp Speed rollout debacle, and now this (HBO Max), I'm beginning to think companies and agencies might be better off under-promising and over-delivering. 

Barron's best stocks for 2021: on the list for next year -- AAPL and BRK. The list: GOOG and BRK (repeaters); new to the list: AAPL, KO, MRK, Eaton, Goldman Sachs, Graham Holdings, Madison Square Entertainment, and Newmont. Overall, color me unimpressed. It appears BofA agrees with me -- BofA' list shows no similarities at all to the Barron's list.

The stock market is ending a remarkable year, with the S&P 500 index returning 17%, as investors see an end to the pandemic in 2021 and corporate earnings rapidly improving.

This year also featured one of the biggest disparities ever between growth and value strategies: growth stocks in the S&P 500 have returned 31% including dividends, while value stocks are down 1%.

The BofA list: DIS (heartily agree); Hilton Worldwide (maybe); WMT (absolutely); CVX (whoo-hoo); Allstate (even Sophia knows all about Allstte); HCA Healthcare (?); Alaska Air Group (coincidentally I just flew on Alaska Airlines today); Qorvo (no idea); Vale S. A. (recently mentioned on Fast Money, CNBC; and, Realty Income Corporation (have no idea).

Covid Watch -- December 20, 2020

Weekly cases per 100,000 people: the top five --

  • Nevada enters the list at #5 -- as noted earlier, the southwest USA was the center of activity, and moving to southern Californai
  • California is still #2 but should be #1 any day now;
  • Tennessee (#1), Rhode Island (#3), Arizona (#4).

Herd immunity (link here):

  • North Dakota (#1) at 11.8%
  • South Dakota (#2) at 10.7%
  • US average: 5.5%
  • Texas (#28): 5.5%
  • California (#36): 4.7% -- a long way to go

Death rates fall: better medical care? From The WSJ -- hospitals retreat from early Covid treatment and return to basics. Changing practices, based on data and experience, appear to be improving outcomes for the sickest coronavirus patients.

Doctors are treating a new flood of critically ill coronavirus patients with treatments from before the pandemic, to keep more patients alive and send them home sooner. 
Last spring, with less known about the disease, doctors often pre-emptively put patients on ventilators or gave powerful sedatives largely abandoned in recent years. 
The aim was to save the seriously ill and protect hospital staff from Covid-19. Now hospital treatment for the most critically looks more like it did before the pandemic. Doctors hold off longer before placing patients on ventilators. Patients get less powerful sedatives, with doctors checking more frequently to see if they can halt the drugs entirely and dialing back how much air ventilators push into patients’ lungs with each breath. 
“Let us go back to basics,” said Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, executive medical director for critical-care services for AdventHealth Central Florida, which recommends its doctors stick with pre-pandemic guidelines for ventilator use. “The less you deviate from it, the better.” Advances also include new drugs, most notably steroids, for severely ill patients.

MLB  Payrolls Drop Plunged This Past Season


  • prior season: $4.22 billion
  • most recent pandemic-shortened season: $1.75 billion
    • 4.22 - 1.75 = 2.47
    • 2.47 / 4.22 = a drop of almost 60%
  • basic wages:
    • 2019: $3.99 billion; let's call it $4 billion
    • 2020: $1.54 billion
    • 3.99 - 1.54 = 2.45
      2.45 / 3.99 = 61%

Market Futures

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. 

  • Dow: implied open -- up 200 points
  • S&P 500: implied open -- up 6 points
  • NASDAQ: implied open -- down 23 points

Two More Huge Topaz Wells Reported By WPX -- December 20, 2020

The WPX Topaz wells are tracked here. The wells:

  • 37320:
    • 28,368 bbls over 12 days extrapolates to 70,920 bbls of crude oil over 30 days;
  • 37319:
    • 23,770 bbls over 8 days extrapolates to 89,128 bbls of crude oil over 30 days;

A closer look at these two wells.

The wells:

  • 37320, loc/A, WPX, Topaz 24-13HZ, Mandaree, wow, fast frack, 9/26/20 - 9/30/20; and, a small frack, 5.1million gallons of water, 83% water by mass; t--; cum 28K over 12 days;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

  • 37319, loc/A, WPX, Topaz 24-13HB, Mandaree, fast frack; 9/19/20 - 9/25/20; another small frack, 5.2 million gallons of water, 83% of water by mass; t--: cum 24K over 8 days;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

Notes From All Over, The "Flying Over Snake River, Idaho" Edition -- December 20, 2020

Could this be the news that causes the correction in the stock market everyone has feared? So much for the Santa Claus rally.

Brexit At Warp Speed? Maybe this will finally get the EU to sign off on the dotted line. A new variant / a new strain of the Covid-19 virus has been identified in England, apparently originated on the north side of London. More infectious than the previous strain, but no more fatal and probably not "resistant" to the vaccines currently being released. Air and rail arrivals to Brussels (that would be Belgium on the European continent) and the Netherlands (also on the European continent) suspended operations to Great Britain as authorities assessed the impact of a "fast spreading new virus." Reported, of course, at ZeroHedge. Also being reported by Argus Media

More from ZeroHedge: " scientists warn that the UK Covid mutation is "unlike anything we have seen."

And yet more: Germany will also restrict flights from Britain and South Africa. 

More: "Trying to get the hell out!" -- Emergency lock down in London triggers mass exodus. OMG, London roads are .... now!" 

US Congress: looks like "they've" agreed upon a $900 billion stimulus package as soon as the senators return from lunch.

Bonuses for Goldman Sachs trading desk could jump 20% this year. Please, please, don't have Steve Liesman report this story. ZeroHedge.

That container shortage reported earlier? It may be simply due to mismanagement. Containers are managed by the shippers. Somewhere there must be a huge graveyard of empty containers. Area 51, perhaps? ZeroHedge.

US Scrap Price Rally Draws Focus To Railcars

Speaking of a container shortage, there appears to be another related shortage in the US: railcars. From ArgusMedia. This story makes my heart skip a beat! Just this past week I started a new stand-alone post on "US Rail." My hunch: US rail is going to be huge for investors.

A run-up in US ferrous scrap prices and tighter scrap availability has resulted in higher demand for under-utilized railcars as well as those at or near the end of their life cycle. 
Florida-based full-service rail company PFL Petroleum Services has put out a call for railcars to be scrapped, citing a significant increase in scrap metal prices in December. 
PFL said it is seeking to purchase delivered railcars for $300/gt in Virginia, Texas or Tennessee. 
The largest pockets of scrapping demand are for covered hopper cars used to carry fracturing sands, which have been under-utilized because of the downturn in North American oil and gas drilling, PFL said. 
Scrapping candidates also include older DOT-111 tank cars that have been phased out from US crude transportation service, as well as for coal gondola cars, according to the company.

Greenbrier's dividend history is tracked here

Initial Production Data For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- December 20, 2020

The wells:

  • 36253, conf,  Slawson, Osprey Federal 4-26-29TFH, Big Bend, no production data,
  • 36682, conf,  Hess, BL-Iverson C-155-96-2314H-9, Beaver Lodge,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36531, conf, Hess, EN-Sorenson B-LW-155-94-3527H-2, Alkali Creek,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37213, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-LE-157-94-3031H-1, Pleasant Valley,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36383, conf, Hess, EN-Enger-LE-156-94-1423H-1, Big Butte,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37322, conf, WPX, Topaz 24HUL, Mandaree,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37321, conf, WPX, Topaz 24HA, Mandaree,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 36683, conf, Hess, BL-Iverson C-155-96-2314H-8, Beaver Lodge,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
  • 37320, loc/A, WPX, Topaz 24-13HZ, Mandaree,
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 30818, loc/NC, BR, Cleetwood 31-27MBH-A,  Elidah, no production data, 
  • 37319, loc/A, WPX, Topaz 24-13HB, Mandaree,
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
  • 30817, loc/NC, BR, Phantom Ship 3C UTFH, Elidah, no production data,

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- December 20, 2020

Monday, December 28 2020:
36253, conf,  Slawson, Osprey Federal 4-26-29TFH,

Sunday, December 27, 2020:

Saturday, December 26, 2020:

Friday, December 25, 2020:
36682, conf,  Hess, BL-Iverson C-155-96-2314H-9,
36531, conf, Hess, EN-Sorenson B-LW-155-94-3527H-2,

Thursday, December 24, 2020:
None. How did they know six months ago this would be Christmas Eve? LOL.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020:
37213, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-LE-157-94-3031H-1,

Tuesday, December 22, 2020:
36383, conf, Hess, EN-Enger-LE-156-94-1423H-1,

Monday, December 21, 2020:
37322, conf, WPX, Topaz 24HUL,
37321, conf, WPX, Topaz 24HA,
36683, conf, Hess, BL-Iverson C-155-96-2314H-8, Beaver Lodge,

Sunday, December 20, 2020:
37320, conf, WPX, Topaz 24-13HZ,
30818, conf, BR, Cleetwood 31-27MBH-A,

Saturday, December 19, 2020:
37319, conf, WPX, Topaz 24-13HB,
30817, conf, BR, Phantom Ship 3C UTFH,

The Movie Page -- Deanna Durbin -- December 20, 2020

This woman knew when to take her winnings, leave the table, and retire quietly on the French Riviera.

She left Hollywood at the top of her career and never looked back. 

In 1947 (or thereabouts), she was the highest paid woman in the United States. Not the highest actress in Hollywood; not the highest paid actor in Hollywood; but, the highest paid woman in the United States

[Of course, she was also the highest paid actor in Hollywood, also, just to make that previous statement crystal clear.]

I happened to catch a wonderful little movie, Lady on a Train, last night on TCM. The plot, the story, the editing, the cutting, absolutely atrocious. Even the acting was probably sub-par. I don't know. I was captivated by the ensemble. 

Deanna Durbin. 

The most sought-after actor in 1940's.

First film with Judy Garland, and we know how that turned out. 

She is credited with single-handedly saving Universal Studios from bankruptcy in the late 1930s.

In 1938, at the age of 17, Ms Durbin was awarded the Academy Juvenile Award.

In 1947, she was the highest paid woman in the United States.

In 1949, she retired, left Hollywood, left the US, and moved to France.

She was 27 years old. 

She died in 2013 at the age of 91. 

She granted one interview after she retired, in 1983, to film historian David Shipman. She may have given other interviews, but if you can find a record of them, let me know so I can update her wiki entry.

I'm sure if she had lived to see it, she would have been thrilled to see her material destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire. For the rest of us, truly sad.

Covid Craziness -- December 20, 2020

The screenshots below were taken at the same time to reflect the data on November 3, 2020. I simply posted them twice because the large legend / box on the second graph obstructed much of the graph. 

The graphics should be self-explanatory.

This may be the explanation:

Road To California

December 20, 2020: California now debating whether to ban natural gas statewide. If you love $6-gasoline, you'll love year-round New England winter prices for electricity. It's actually pretty funny: folks will be forced to give up their ICE's because of the high cost of gasoline, only to run EVs in a state where electricity rates will be more expensive than gasoline, and the electricity will be intermittent and shut off completely during wildfire season. But we move on. 

Multiple choice: the file photo below is -

a) a man-camp for oil workers during the Bakken boom;
b) a refugee camp in northern Syria, Omar Il-Hand's last known address;
c) bathrooms for 23 newly-identified genders;
d) California luxury homes for those in-between jobs.

Answer: a. If you answered anything other than (a), you are on the wrong site.

PSA: the following has nothing to do with Chinese flu. Texans simply want crazy Californians to stay out of Texas.