Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Legacy Fund Deposits For January, 2021

Link here.

Cici's Files For Bankruptcy -- January 26, 2021

Remember this post from December 13, 2020?

There are approximately 70 restaurants on this list (I counted 67 but did not double-check, so somewhere between 65 and 75). Look at the list. 

About 70 restaurant chains were listed. Cici's was not on list.

Today, it is being announce that Cici's has filed for bankruptcy.

The Texas-based company has more than 300 locations in 26 states — a sharp decrease from the roughly 650 restaurants it owned about a decade ago. 
Cici's dropped "pizza" from its name in 2015 and expanded its menu to focus on its unlimited soup, salad and dessert options. 
The company was bought by Arlon, a food and agriculture investment firm, a year later. 
Unlike other pizza chains, Cici's hasn't benefited from delivery. The company said that the at home dining trend "poses significant challenges" to its buffet model and admitted it "must work harder and more creatively" to differentiate itself from competitors.

No New Permits -- January 26, 2021

Dividend increase: WMB announces a penny increase in its quarterly dividend, from forty cents to forty-one cents. At today's share price, $21.44, the company pays about 7.65%.

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. 

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1256655738

One permit canceled:

  • Nine Point Energy: a Helling permit in McKenzie County

Vaccination Rollout -- Update, January 26, 2021

This is the raw data from the CDC:







Doses of vaccine distributed to health facilities

Change from day before

Vaccinations given

Change from day before

Percent of doses given/doses received over previous 24 hours

Percent of distributed vaccine that is actually administered

January 26, 2021







January 25, 2021







January 24, 2021






January 23, 2021







January 22, 2021







January 21, 2021







January 20, 2021




What do you think? Are you getting a warm fuzzy from these numbers?

I honestly don't know what these CDC numbers in the chart below mean. However note column E -- the number of doses reported to be administered in the past 24 hours. The trend is concerning:







Total Doses Administered

Number of People Receiving 1 Or More Doses

Number of People Receiving 2 Doses

Number of People Considered Fully Immunized

Delta: Difference in daily doses from prep day

Percent (B+C)/A

January 26, 2021






January 25, 2021






Jan 24, 2021






Jan 23, 2021






Jan 22, 2021





Now that you have a chance to look at the top spreadsheet, see if you agree or disagree:

  • the goal is one million vaccinations / day for the next 100 days;
  • January 24, 2021, was an anomaly -- it was a Sunday and the anomaly is related to weekend reporting;
  • likewise, January 25, 2021, was also an anomaly -- it was a Monday after a weekend; county health offices were playing catch-up;
  • earlier I said of the last four days, today, the numbers for today, Tuesday, January 26, 2021, is the most important day of the four; it's the first weekday that finally captures the four-day period:
  • so, let's look look at the four day total for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday: 4,501,675
  • average for four days: 1,125,419 doses administered per day
  • looks pretty good, huh, reaching that one million doses/day;
  • what shocked me was the delta of 806,751, Tuesday (today) over Monday (yesterday) (see the second chart.

The next day that will be very important, Friday, January 29, 2021.

On another note, the governor of New York says they are short vaccines. If they had more vaccine, they could deliver more. From Bloomberg, the percent of supply used:

  • North Dakota (#1): 86.7%
  • West Virginia (#2): 85%
  • New Mexico (#3): 79.5%
  • South Dakota (#4): 77.4%
  • New York: 63.3%
  • Minnesota: 51%
  • California: 49.7%
  • Kansas (dead last): 45.2%

"Seasonal Flu" -- Eradicated

Link here.

MSFT Surges -- January 26, 2021

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. 

Microsoft blows away 2Q21 expectations on cloud and personal computing strength -- Yahoo!Finance. Link here. CNBC "Fast Money" panelists are simply amazed at the beat. Bottom line: MFST seems to be in the sweet spot with regard to the pandemic. If so, one can imagine the other winners. Not being said: the pandemic. Tonight's CDC numbers may be the most interesting numbers in ten days. If the CDC numbers are not a whole lot better tonight .....

MSFT surges. Up three dollars during normal trading hours; up another $15 after the close. Up about 9% for the day. The "Fast Money" panelists go back to IBM -- suggesting the earlier numbers are a lot worse than originally thought -- one panelist has actually removed "IBM" from his radar scope. 

Big concern: two two-trillion-dollar companies are going to "box out" a lot of other tech companies.

Starbucks 1Q21 earnings top estimates, but same-store sales hit by Covid-19. SBUX up about 1 percent during the day but then down 1.6% after hours. Overall, a disappointing day. Analysts, yesterday, suggested that Starbucks guidance today would be the bellwether for the pandemic. Not looking good.

GME: is there more to the story? Is there something the "professionals" are missing? GME opening about $80 this morning added $71 during the day, and then added another $100 after the close. There's something going on and the "talking heads" can't explain it. And as far as I know, the SEC let it run without stopping trading. Even Elon Musk got involved, putting support behind these numbers. Later: added $145 after hours.

AAPL: was barely up during the day but then added another $1.17 after-hours. Very,very interesting.  

Bed Bath and Beyond: gaps up $13 to $44. 

AMD: delivered on expectations, but after hours down about 1.5%. Sometimes I think analysts over-think these things.

Well, That Didn't Take Long -- January 26, 2021

Thanks to a reader for sending me these links.

More later. 

It was the Utes who were first out of the gate on this one. Good for them. And you all knew I was going to post this video (LOL), perhaps just one of the best comedies ever:

My Cousin Vinny

Weather Forecast -- January 26, 2021


During the snowstorm, this would be a great time to practice the piano:

That Collective "OMG" You Just Heard From Bismarck, ND -- DC Court Of Appeals Just Issued Their Findings On DAPL -- January 26, 2021

Link here

In other news: the new CEO/CIC nominated the first Native American woman to be the new Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ms Deb Haaland. First order of business: re-visit the LewisandClark expedition.

Notes From All Over -- The Mid-Morning Edition -- Yes, "Penultimate" In The Lead Story -- January 26, 2021

Home prices: surge in prices reach the highest level seen since 2014. Link here

U.S. home price growth surged in the penultimate month of 2020 to a level not seen in nearly seven years. 
Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index posted a 9.5% annual gain in November, up from 8.4% in October. 
The last time the index reached this level was in February 2014. 
The 20-City Composite posted a 9.1% annual gain, up from 8% the previous month. The national and 20-City beat estimates of 8.85% and 8.7%, respectively. 
“The trend of accelerating home prices that began in June 2020 has now reached its sixth month with November’s emphatic report,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. 
“As COVID-related restrictions began to grip the economy last spring, their effect on housing prices was unclear. Price growth decelerated in May and June before beginning a steady climb upward. November’s report continues that acceleration in a particularly impressive manner.”

For realtors: if this is what the pandemic is all about, long live the pandemic.

My hunch: the first wave of those fleeing to greener pastures was just the beginning. Once the word gets out that the 2021 - 2022 school year is going to be more of the same, watch for a second wave. Teachers in NYC and Chicago have no plans on returning to the classroom and the new CEO/CIC supports them. 

Tomorrow I have a Webex meeting with my broker. LOL. I would have known nothing about Webex had it not been for our six-year-old "remote learner." I have the Webex app on my computer. My hunch: a lot more families are going to get very, very familiar with Webex. On this one: the winner is Cisco, the loser? Apple. 

Right On Cue

I did not see this when writing the post above. I suggested that the 2021 - 2022 school year will be more of the same.

Then I saw this: IMF raises global growth forecasts, expects "low levels" of Covid-19 by end of 2022." That's not a typo. The IMF doesn't see "low levels" of Covid -19 until the end of 2022. 

Think about that. The "end of 2022" is December, 2022. That school year begins in August/September, 2022. 

So, we get a third wave of "movers." And that's if everything "goes well." 

First wave: school year, currently in, 2020 - 2021.

Second wave: next school year, 2021 - 2022.

Third wave: school year, 2022 - 2023.

By the way, mid-term elections will be in late 2022. Just saying. By that time, most moms will be fed up with teachers in NYC and Chicago.

The Market

The market: S&P sets a new all-time high; Dow jumps after J&J, 3M top estimates.

If this is what the pandemic looks like, long live the pandemic. My hunch: things are not as rosy as they look with regard to the pandemic. Which, of course, is good for the market. The frog - boiling water analogy? Maybe. 

From the Yahoo!Finance daily letter yesterday: earnings are beating expectations by a massive margin.

Remember all that hand-wringing a month ago -- that it was going to be a really, really bad earnings season. 

Not to be. 

It's early in the earnings season with about 13% of the S&P 500 having reported results through last Friday.

This week is one of the biggest weeks for reporting.

In aggregate, companies are reporting earnings that are 22.4% above the estimates, which is also above the five-year average of 6.3%.

If 22.4% of the final percentage for the quarter, it will mark the second-largest earnings surprise percentage reported by the index since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008.

The bad news: earnings for energy companies have yet to be reported. This will pull the percent way down. 

But if you not invested in energy companies, what's not to like?

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.

Elections Have Consequences -- New Mexico Is Quickly Finding Out -- January 26, 2021

The road to New Mexico: Scuttlebutt on social media yesterday: the Delaware Basin is dead; the end of drilling in New Mexico. Operators scoot three miles to cross the state line and drill in Texas. 

The market: S&P sets a new all-time high; Dow jumps after J&J, 3M top estimates.

If this is what the pandemic looks like, long live the pandemic. My hunch: things are not as rosy as they look with regard to the pandemic. Which, of course, is good for the market. The frog - boiling water analogy? Maybe.

Bubbles: GS calls out 39 ticker symbols. AAPL is not on the list. Nor is TSLA.

A Shout-Out To Truckers Across The Country

We shipped our Chryser minvan from San Pedro (Los Angeles), CA, to Portland, OR.

The process was one of the simplest ever. Went very, very smoothly. 

Time line:

  • early January, went on line to find a trucking company
  • within one hour, had the contract with a broker
  • car scheduled to be picked up on Monday, MLK holiday
  • miscommunication: trucker thought he had two-day window; great communication with trucker; end of day: minor speed bump
  • car picked up on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
  • car delivered to Portland, OR, Monday, January 25, 2021

What a great country. It helped following truckers on the YouTube to get a feeling how to communicate with truckers. Communication is key. 

With regard to communication:

  • call only when necessary
  • too much communication can make things worse
  • as a customer, always put yourself in the shoes of the truck driver -- hey folks, things change
  • we did this during the draconian lockdown in California; in fact, just after making the deal, Governor Newsom declares 120-mile max radius for driving in California; our truck driver never missed a beat;

Love 'em all.

Pay it forward. Give each truck driver in the process as big a tip as you can afford. You will never see him/her again but it will brighten his/her day and the next customer will benefit. Guaranteed. 

Nissan Rogue

Replacement for our Chrysler minivan? Possibly.

Toyota Sienna: too expensive. 

USAA Billing Statement

After decades with USAA, the insurance company debuted a new billing statement this past month.

Incredible. I've never seen such a great billing statement. I wish I could post screenshots but obviously I can't. 

This is a great example of someone (probably a committee) really, really looking at insurance billing statements from the customers' perspective. 

Color me impressed.

Why I Love To Blog -- Reason #8 -- DUCs -- January 26, 2021

Hey, go back to this list from yesterday, Enerplus agrees to buy Bruin. At least three take-aways:

  • $3,000 / acre
  • the deal in the works just as the federal ban on leasing went into effect
  • DUCs.

See the graphic at the link, re-posted below.

This is the first time I've seen such prominent placement of DUCs.

We were talking about DUCs years ago. 

DUCs are tracked here

For DUCs tag, here

By the way, this was a huge, huge deal for Enerplus. Somewhat counterintuitive.

Notes From All Over -- Nothing About The Bakken -- January 26, 2021

Later: LOL! At the opening, GME surged another 32% today. How long before SEC stops trading in GME again?

GME: from Yahoo!Finance today: 

Looking at the major averages on Monday, you might think it was a fairly placid trading session. ‌ 
The Dow lost just over 0.1%, the S&P 500 gained a little more than 0.3%, and the Nasdaq closed up 0.7% to hit a record high. ‌ 
But underneath the surface, one of the wildest trading days we’ve seen in some time broke out. ‌ 
GameStop remained the day’s top story, as the stock continued its unbelievable run from the ~$4 per share range back in the summer to a whopping $76.77 as of Monday’s (January 25, 2021) close. ‌ 
In a story published Monday, Bloomberg’s Brandon Kochkodin chronicled the ongoing relationship between Reddit’s “wallstreetbets” forum, and shares of the struggling video game retailer. 
In this story we find a fundamental case for buying the stock: A character from Michael Lewis’ famous book “The Big Short” (Dr. Michael Burry), an activist investor who also founded Chewy (CHWY), and along the way a redditor named “Senior_Hedgehog” plays a major role. ‌ 
Truly a tale for the modern market.

GME wasn't the only one in which fast thinkers were able to really, really beat the market. Shares of La Croix-maker National Beverage Co. rose more than 13% on Monday; more than 60% of the company's stock is currently being sold short. 

Same with:

  • REIT Macerich: shares rose 21%
  • Macy's: shares were up more than 10%
  • Bed, Bath Beyond: with a short interest north of 60%, shares rose as much as 50% in late- morning trading before falling back;
  • BlackBerry: spiked 28%; the company forced to make a statement, "Hey, guys: there's no news to report. There's nothing to see here. 

Suggestion: start reading Reddit and look for the next big thing.

But you have to act fast. 

All of the above was taken from the daily Yahoo!Finance note. 

UPS To Sell Freight Trucking Business

Link to WSJ article here.

Billion-dollar deal. Almost.

Right On Cue

Just the other day, I said Apple, Inc., was once a "fashion designer" company. That was a couple of days ago, over the weekend. 

Yesterday, over at MacRumors:

Designer shares deep dive into history of classic Apple watch faces.

Designer Arun Venkatesan today shared an interesting deep dive into some of the classic watch designs that inspired various watch faces for the Apple Watch, detailing how Apple took design cues from well-known watches from companies like Rolex, Breitling, Heuer, and others.

Venkatesan delves into the California watch face, the Chronograph and Chronograph Pro watch faces, the Count Up watch face, and the GMT watch face.

The California watch face, for example, was inspired by a dial design that originated in World War II. The mix of Roman and Arabic numerals was thought to make the watch face more readable in low visibility.

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.

No Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Today -- January 26, 2021

Joe: says he won't take salary. Will donate to charity. LOL. Didn't happen / isn't happening; just having some fun. LOL.

Military in transition: I've never had so much fun being a political spectator as I'm having now. Remember: the generals all hated Trump and wanted Biden; they got him. The surgeons are going to be busy.

Road to New Mexico: ditto. I think folks are going to learn how slowly a bureaucracy moves.

Market: futures suggest another huge day.  

GME: up 10% in pre-market trading. Look what they've done to those shorts. LOL. Two data points:

  • GME is/was the most shorted stock in the market:
  • GME, $4/share last summer; closed at $77 yesterday and intraday high was much, much higher; so high, so fast, in fact, the SEC stopped trading in GME yesterday; not once, but twice -- in one day; look for more of the same today:
Look What They've Done To My Song, Melanie Safka

Tea leaves: no end in sight for the pandemic. Long live the pandemic.

China flu watch: today's CDC vaccination rollout numbers will be the most important barometer reading in the past ten days. The numbers should be reported at the end of the day. Yesterday's numbers were the worst since the rollout but I attribute that to weekend reporting.

OPEC+: I haven't followed "oil" very closely the last few days. Too much other stuff going on and, frankly, Biden has shut down the oil industry. What's to follow? Nothing. But it looks like the Mideast / OPEC (OPEC+?) is in deep trouble. Iraq is in talk with the IMF for an emergency loan of $6 billion to stay afloat. Now this headline over at oilprice: Saudi Arabia is on the brink of losing control of oil markets. Just wait until Biden/Valerie lift sanctions on Iran.

Saudi Arabia is tackling a deepening deficit, an international green transition drive that seeks to make its main export commodtiy obsolete and a number of powerful rivals on the international oil markets.

Tom Brady: could make this the most-watched Super Bowl ever, "pandemic-adjusted," of course. The big story: some advertisers pulling out. Chipotle? Not. That's a bigger story than all those others pulling out. My hunch: those watching the Super Bowl will never even notice those advertisers that pulled out; they will notice those that have ads. One might recall "1984," the Apple ad. Tech companies have a lot of money this year to spend on the Super Bowl.  

Apple, Inc: remains the most fascinating company in America today. The company defines / encapsulates America today. Two things are guaranteed to happen tomorrow: the sun "comes up" in the east; AAPL shares will not remain unchanged. AAPL's move tomorrow will be epic: only unknown? In which direction. LOL. It's a win-win either way.

No regrets. America has its America, the Beautiful. France has Edith Piaf, and absolutely no regrets. I'm lovin' it.

Non, Je Ne Regrett Rien, Edith Piaf

Back to the Bakken

Active rigs:

Active Rigs1256655738

No wells coming off confidential list today.

RBN Energy: the northeast gas market's slow march toward more takeaway constraints

After a two-year reprieve from a nearly decade-long period of severe pipeline constraints and debilitating prices, Northeast natural gas producers are again headed for a constraint-driven market in the next five years. Appalachian supply prices last year weakened relative to national benchmark Henry Hub, reversing the gains of the past few years, and fell to historic lows as oversupply conditions prevailed and at times strained available takeaway capacity. All that despite the rig count hitting a four-year low and shale producers’ best — even unprecedented — efforts to respond to low prices with short-term production cutbacks during the shoulder seasons. So what happens when rig counts and production recover in the coming years? How long before pipeline constraints worsen and what are the prospects for new pipeline development? Today, we begin a blog series detailing recent supply-demand trends in the region and our outlook for 2021 and beyond.

As anomalous as 2020 was, it nevertheless serves as something of a bellwether for what’s to come for the Northeast gas market, so we kick off the blog series today with a review of major supply-demand trends from the past year.

On the supply side of the equation, it’s no surprise that production volumes faced numerous headwinds and were more price-sensitive on a short-term basis than ever in the region. Production was already challenged by a lower rig count heading into 2020. The Marcellus/Utica shale plays started the year with ~50 rigs, 23 fewer than in January 2019, and the rig count fell from there to a low of just 30 rigs by September — the lowest we’ve seen for the Appalachian producing region going back to at least early 2011.