Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Nikkei Hearing Calls to Shut Down

Nikkei officials are being urged to close the exchange for a few days.

Apple Also Gets an Outperform

Credit Suisse also initiates coverage of Apple with an outperform rating.

Hillary Clinton has announced that she will not be Secretary of State for a second term.

A possible explanation of today's downdraft could be related to the expiration on Friday and the substantial open interest, which implies there could be a lot of negative gamma (forcing futures selling vs. short puts) as the market plummets lower.

Recommended Reading

This was written by a distinguished nuclear physicist regarding the crisis in Japan.

In the absence of facts and information, here is an excerpt from an email written by a distinguished nuclear physicist from the University of Michigan regarding the crisis in Japan.

"I'm not expert on this particular engineered system (not a nuclear engineer); but rather a nuclear physicist. That said, I see no reason to expect that, even if attempts to cool these cores completely failed and there was a worst case so-called meltdown of the entire core, the ultimate container vessel would not completely contain the entire mass and it's radiation indefinitely.

The radiation releases to date are quite well understood as simply radiation entrained in steam that undergoes controlled releases as it is generated in cooling the rods with water. The rods are indeed cooling and the steam releases are apparently decreasing. Meanwhile spent rods in the pools are not in danger of some full meltdown, but need to be covered in water to dissipate heat and suppress radiation.

These are of course serious matters; but no one should be telling the public that a 'meltdown' would release large amounts of radiation or contaminate large areas as long as there is no evidence that the ultimate container has ever been damaged. I have seen no such claims."

On the other hand -

Dow Jones reports that the E.U. energy chief says the situation at the Japanese nuclear plant is out of control and that a possible catastropohic event could occur shortly.

Sanford Bernstein downgrades IBM to Market Perform this morning.

Apple catches a downgrade on production risks in the wake of the Japan crisis.

JMP -- not to be confused with JPM! -- downgrades AAPL based on production risks and increased deceleration from its primary manufacturing partner Hon Hai following the nuclear crisis in Japan.

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