When research firm IDC put out its latest numbers on global tablet sales, it noted that "[o]ne in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size." The firm believes that the shift to smaller devices will accelerate, making it little surprise that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) is developing a 7-inch Surface tablet to be released sometime this year. IDC expects Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Android operating system to snatch the top market share position from Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iOS. At this size, Microsoft is competing with the Google Nexus 7, the iPad Mini, and Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN ) Kindle Fire HD. While this is stiff competition, getting in the fight is a critical step for Microsoft.
The tablet market
Not that there's any doubt as to how important the tablet market is, but the numbers are compelling. IDC raised its forecast for worldwide tablet shipments from 172.4 million units in 2013 to 190.9 million and expects that by 2017, 350 million units will be shipping each year. Apple and Google may rule the sandbox, but it's a big enough sandbox that carving out even a small corner can mean real and meaningful revenue for Microsoft. IDC expects that Microsoft, between its Windows OS and RT OS, account for a combined 10.1% by 2017. These projections don't include a smaller Surface, so the addition could prove to be meaningful.
Top 10 Solar Companies To Buy For 2015: Pioneer Floating Rate Trust(PHD)
Pioneer Floating Rate Trust is closed ended fixed income mutual fund launched and managed by Pioneer Investment Management, Inc. It invests in the fixed income markets of the United States. The fund primarily invests in senior secured floating-rate loans. It invests in fixed income securities with average credit quality of B. The fund benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index. Pioneer Floating Rate Trust was formed on October 6, 2004 and is domiciled in the United States.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Dowdee]
The following 10 funds satisfied all of these conditions:BlackRock Float Rate Strategies (FRA). This CEF sells at a discount of 3%, which is low compared to an average premium of 2% over the past year. The distribution has been managed at 6.1% and a small amount (less than 10%) has been return of capital (ROC). However, this has not negatively affected net asset value (NAV) so has not been destructive. The fund holds 447 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. FRA utilizes 27% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.7%, including interest payments. Eaton Vance Floating Rate (EFR). This CEF sells at a 1% premium, which is low compared to an average premium of 5% over the past year. The distribution is 6.2%, none of which was ROC. The fund holds 800 securities, with 90% in floating rate loans. About 85% of the securities are from U.S. companies. EFR utilizes 35% leverage and has an expense ratio of 1.8% including interest payments. ING Prime Rate Trust (PPR). This CEF sells for a premium of 2%, which is below the average premium of 5%. It has a distribution of 6.8%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 350 holdings, virtually all in senior loans and from US companies. PPR utilizes 29% leverage and has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Dynamic Credit Opportunities (VTA). This CEF sells for a discount of 5%, which is below the average discount of 1%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has 495 holdings, with 76% in floating rate loans. About 25% of the loans are from non-US companies. VTA utilizes a relatively low 20% leverage but still has a high expense ratio of 2.1%, including interest payments. Invesco VK Senior Income (VVR). This CEF sells for a discount of 1%, which is below the average premium of 3%. It has a distribution of 7.1%, none of which was ROC. The fund has over 500 holdings, with 89% in floating rate loans. Almost all (95%) securities are from US companies. VVR ut
5 Best Shipping Stocks To Own For 2014: bluebird bio Inc (BLUE)
bluebird bio, Inc., incorporated on April 16, 1992, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, the Company is focused on transforming the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases using gene therapy. Gene therapy seeks to introduce a functional copy of the defective gene into a patient�� own cells, a process called gene transfer. Through gene transfer, a functional copy of the mutated gene is delivered to the patient�� cells, thereby correcting the underlying genetic defect that causes aberrant gene expression. As of December 31, 2012, the Company is conducting a Phase I/II clinical study in France evaluating an earlier generation of its LentiGlobin vector for the treatment of �-thalassemia major and SCD. Initial proof-of-concept data from this study were published in Nature. During the year ended December 31, 2013, the Company plans to initiate an extension of this study under a revised protocol for LentiGlobin, which the Company refers to as the HGB-205 Study. The Company also plans o initiate a second Phase I/II clinical program in the United States for LentiGlobin, which the Company refers to as the HGB-204 Study, for �-thalassemia major. In March 2013, the Company entered into a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation, or Celgene, to discover, develop and commercialize, disease-altering gene therapies in oncology.
Its gene therapy platform is based on viral vectors that utilize a modified, non-replicating version of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) virus, that has been stripped of all of the components required for it to self-replicate and infect additional cells. The HIV-1 virus is part of the lentivirus family of viruses, as a result of which the Company refer to its vectors as lentiviral vectors. Its lentiviral vectors are used to introduce a functional copy of a gene to the patient�� own isolated blood stem cells, called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which reside in a patient�� bone marrow and are capable of differentiating int! o a wide range of cell types. HSCs are dividing cells, thus its approach allows for sustained expression of the modified gene as the Company is able to take advantage of a lifetime of replication of the gene-modified HSCs. Additionally, the Company has developed a cell-based vector manufacturing process that is both reproducible and scalable.
Adrenoleukodystrophy is a rare X-linked, inherited, neurological disorder that is often fatal. ALD is caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene which encodes for a protein called the ALD protein (ALDP), which plays a critical role in the breakdown and metabolism of long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA). Without functional ALDP, VLCFA accumulate in cells including neural cells in which they cause damage to the myelin sheath, a protective and insulating membrane that surrounds nerve cells in the brain. This damage can result in decreased motor coordination and function, visual and hearing disturbances, the loss of cognitive function, dementia, seizures, adrenal dysfunction and other complications, including death. ALD is divided into various sub-segments with three main phenotypes that impact brain function: CCALD (Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, AMN (Adrenomyeloneuropathy) and ACALD (Adult Cerebral ALD).
�-thalassemia is a rare hereditary blood disorder caused by a genetic abnormality of the �-globin gene resulting in defective red blood cells (RBCs). Genetic mutations cause the absence or reduced production of the beta chains of hemoglobin, or �-globin, thereby preventing the proper formation of hemoglobin A, which normally accounts for greater than 95% of the hemoglobin in the blood of adults. Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein in the blood that carries oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body. Hemoglobin A consists of four chains-two chains each of a-globin and �-globin. Normally existing at an approximate 1:1 ratio, genetic mutations that impair t! he produc! tion of �-globin can lead to a relative excess of a-globin, premature death of red blood cells. The clinical implications of the a-globin/�-globin imbalance are two-fold: first, patients lack sufficient RBCs and hemoglobin to effectively transport oxygen throughout the body and can become severely anemic; and second, the shortened life span and ineffective production of RBCs can lead to other complications such as splenomegaly, marrow expansion, bone deformities, and iron overload in organs.
Sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary blood disorder resulting from a mutation in the �-globin gene that causes polymerization of hemoglobin proteins and abnormal red blood cell function. The disease is characterized by anemia, vaso-occlusive pain crisis (a common complication of SCD in which there is severe pain due to obstructed blood flow in the bones, joints, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney, eye, or central nervous system), infections, stroke, overall poor life and early death in a subset of patients. Under low-oxygen conditions, which are exacerbated by the red blood cell abnormalities, the mutant hemoglobin aggregates causing the RBCs to take on a sickle shape (sickle cells), which causes them to aggregate and obstruct small blood vessels, thereby restricting blood flow to organs resulting in pain, cell death and organ damage. If oxygen levels are restored, the hemoglobin can disaggregate and the RBCs return to their normal shape, but over time, the sickling damages the cell membrane and the cells fail to return to the normal shape even in high-oxygen conditions.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By David Williamson]
In this video, health-care analyst David Williamson takes a look at the tremendous success of the�Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ: BLUE ) �IPO. The company increased the size of its initial public offering, and priced shares at $17 -- above the top end of its range -- but that still couldn't contain investor appetite for this stock. Shares shot up 50% on the opening day of trading, and have remained there.
- [By Jay Silverman]
Some of the biggest leaders in that field, and there have been dozens in fields, if not more this year, such as Bluebird (BLUE) and Stemline Therapeutics (STML) and have all pulled back to significantly lower levels; even below, in Bluebird's case, the price that had actually opened up as an IPO, even though it's above its IPO price.
- [By Garrett Cook]
Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ: BLUE) shares shot up 34.74 percent to $35.15 following the presentation of positive data on LentiGlobin BB305 at the European Hematology Association (EHA).
5 Best Shipping Stocks To Own For 2014: HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC)
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), incorporated on January 1, 1959, is a global banking and financial services organizations. As of December 31, 2012, it provided a range of financial services to around 58 million customers through four global businesses: Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Global Private Banking. Its international network covers 81 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, North America and Latin America. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had an international network of some 6,600 offices in 81 countries and territories in six geographical regions; Europe, Hong Kong, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa (��ENA��, North America and Latin America. On May 20, 2012, HSBC Holdings PLC's wholly owned subsidiary HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and other wholly owned subsidiaries, sold 195 retail branches to First Niagara Bank, N.A. (First Niagara). In May 2012, the Company�� 70.03% owned subsidiary, HSBC Bank Malta plc, sold its card acquiring business to HSBC Merchant Services Ltd. In June 2012, the Company�� indirect wholly owned subsidiary, HSBC Iris Investments (Mauritius) Ltd, sold its 4.73% interest in Axis Bank Limited and 4.74% interest in Yes Bank Limited. In July 2012, its subsidiary, HSBC Europe (Netherlands B.V.), sold its 100% interest in HSBC Credit Zrt, to CentralFund Kockazati Tokealap. On March 31, 2013, Enstar Group Ltd�� subsidiary completed the acquisition from Household Insurance Group Holding Company of HSBC Insurance Company of Delaware and Household Life Insurance Company of Delaware, as well as its three subsidiary insurers.
The Company�� principal banking operations in Europe are HSBC Bank plc in the UK, HSBC France, HSBC Bank A.S. in Turkey, HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG. Through these subsidiaries it provides a range of banking, treasury and financia! l services to personal, commercial and corporate customers across Europe. HSBC�� banking subsidiaries in Hong Kong are The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Hang Seng Bank Limited.
The Company offers a range of banking and financial services in the People�� Republic of China, mainly through its local subsidiary, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited. It also participates indirectly in mainland China through its primary associate, Bank of Communications. Outside mainland China, it conducts business in 21 countries and territories in the Rest of Asia-Pacific region, primarily through branches and subsidiaries of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
In the Middle East, the Company has network of branches of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, together with HSBC�� subsidiaries and associates. Its North American businesses are located in the United States, Canada and Bermuda. Operations in the United States are conducted through HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and HSBC Finance, a national consumer finance company based near Chicago. HSBC Markets (USA) Inc. is the intermediate holding company of, inter alia, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. HSBC Bank Canada and HSBC Bank Bermuda operate in their respective countries.
The Company�� operations in Latin America consists of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banco Multiplo, HSBC Mexico, S.A., HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. and HSBC Bank (Panama) S.A. In addition to banking services, it operates insurance businesses in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Panama and a range of smaller markets.
Retail Banking and Wealth Management
Retail Banking and Wealth Management (RBWM) take deposits and provide transactional banking services to enable customers to manage their day-to-day finances and save for the future. It offers credit facilities to assist customers in their short or longer-term borrowing requirements; and we provide financial advisory, broking, insurance and investment services to help them to manage and pro! tect thei! r financial futures. It develops products designed to meet the needs of specific customer segments, which may include a range of different services and delivery channels. Its customer offerings include deposits and account services; credit and lending, both secured and unsecured, and financial advisory, broking, life insurance manufacturing and asset management.
The Company offers services through four principal channels: branches, self-service terminals, telephone service centres and digital (Internet and mobile). Customers can transact with the bank through a combination of these channels. Its offers include HSBC Premier, HSBC Advance, Wealth Solutions & Financial Planning and Basic Banking. HSBC Premier provide preferential banking services and global recognition to its mass affluent customers and their immediate families. Customers can access emergency travel assistance, priority telephone banking and an online global view of their Premier accounts around the world. HSBC Advance provides a range of preferential products and services to simplify the banking needs of customers and to help them manage and plan their money to achieve their financial goals and ambitions. Wealth Solutions & Financial Planningis a financial planning process designed around individual customer needs to help its clients to protect, grow and manage their wealth through investment and wealth insurance products manufactured by Global Asset Management, Global Markets and HSBC Insurance and by selected third-party providers. Basic Banking provides banking products and services using global product platforms and globally set service standards.
The Company segment�� its Commercial Banking Business (CMB) into Corporate, to serve both Corporate and Mid-Market companies, and Business Banking, to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME��) sector. It provides support to companies as they expand both domestically and internationally, and ensures a focus on the busine! ss bankin! g segments. It offers a range of financing, both domestic and cross-border, including overdrafts, receivables finance, term loans and syndicated, leveraged, acquisition and project finance. Asset finance is offered in selected sites. The Company provides the services and finance its clients need throughout the trade cycle including; letters of credit, collections, guarantees; receivables finance; supply chain solutions; commodity and structured finance; and risk distribution. HSBC is supporting the development of renminbi as a trade currency, with renminbi capabilities in more than 50 markets. It is a provider of domestic and cross-border payments, collections, liquidity management and account services offering local, regional and global solutions delivered through e-enabled platforms designed to address the current and future needs of its clients. The Company offers business and financial protection, trade insurance, employee benefits, corporate wealth management and a variety of other commercial risk insurance products in selected countries.
Global Banking and Markets
Global Banking and Markets (GB&M) provides tailored financial solutions to government, corporate and institutional clients and private investors globally. Managed as a global business, GB&M operates a long-term relationship management approach to build a understanding of clients��financial requirements. Sector-focused client service teams consisting of relationship managers and product specialists develop financial solutions to meet individual client needs. GB&M is managed as two principal business lines: Global Markets, and Global Banking.
Global Markets operations consist of treasury and capital markets services. Products include foreign exchange; currency, interest rate, bond, credit, equity and other derivatives; government and non-government fixed income and money market instruments; precious metals and exchange-traded futures; equity services; distribution of capital markets instruments, a! nd securi! ties services, including custody and clearing services and funds administration to both domestic and cross-border investors. Global Banking offers financing, advisory and transaction services. Its products include capital raising, advisory services, bilateral and syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition finance, structured and project finance, lease finance and non-retail deposit taking; international, regional and domestic payments and cash management services; and trade services for corporate clients.
Global Private Banking
Global Private Banking (GPB) provides investment management and trustee solutions to high net worth individuals and their families globally. Private Banking services consists of multicurrency and fiduciary deposits, account services, and credit and specialist lending. GPB also accesses HSBC�� universal banking capabilities to offer products and services such as credit cards, Internet banking, and corporate and investment banking solutions. Investment Management comprises advisory and discretionary investment services, as well as brokerage across asset classes. This includes a range of investment vehicles, portfolio management, security services and alternatives. Private Trust Solutions comprise trusts and estate planning, designed to protect wealth and preserve it for future generations through structures tailored to meet the individual needs of each client.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Daniel Inman]
HSBC Holdings PLC (HK:5) � (HSBC) �, the single largest constituent on the Hang Seng Index, fell 0.5% after the bank said it agreed to sell its 8% stake in Bank of Shanghai to Spain�� Banco Santander S.A. (ES:SAN) �. The bank didn�� say how much it was selling the stake for but it valued the holding at $468 million at Sept. 30.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
The London Silver Market Fixing Ltd. currently operates with just three members: Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB), HSBC Holdings Plc. (NYSE ADR: HSBC), and Bank of Nova Scotia (USA) (NYSE: BNS).
5 Best Shipping Stocks To Own For 2014: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASX)
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc. is principally engaged in the manufacture, assembly, processing, testing and distribution of integrated circuits (ICs). The Company provides semiconductor packaging and testing services, including plastic leaded chip carriers (PLCCs), quad flat packages (QFPs) and flip chip packaging technology, among others, which are applied in the manufacture of household electrical appliances, communication devices, automobile components, personal computers, set top boxes, servers, memory integrated circuits (ICs), mobile phones, digital cameras, game consoles, projectors, high definition (HD) televisions, wireless communication network products and power management ICs, among others. The Company operates its businesses primarily in Taiwan, Europe and the Americas. In August 2010, the Company acquired a 100% interest in EEMS Test Singapore.
The Company is focused on packaging and testing logic semiconductors. The Company offers its customers turnkey services, which consist of packaging, testing and direct shipment of semiconductors to end users designated by its customers. The Company�� global base of over 200 customers includes semiconductor companies across a range of end use applications, including Altera Corporation, ATI Technologies, Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited and Microsoft Corporation. During the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company�� packaging revenues accounted for 77.7% of its net revenues and its testing revenues accounted for 20.1% of its net revenues.
The Company offers a range of package types to meet the requirements of its customers, with a focus on packaging solutions. Within its portfolio of package types, the Company focuses on the packaging of semiconductors. These include advanced leadframe-based package types, such as quad flat package, thin quad flat package, bump chip carrier and quad flat no-lead package, and package types based on substrates, such a! s flip-chip ball grid array (BGA) and other BGA types, as well as other packages, such as wafer-bumping products. Leadframe-based packages are packaged by connecting the die, using wire bonders, to the leadframe with gold wire. The Company�� leadframe-based packages include quad flat package (QFP)/ thin quad flat package (TQFP), quad flat no-lead package (QFN)/microchip carrier (MCC), advanced quad flat no-lead package (AQFN), bump chip carrier (BCC), small outline plastic package (SOP)/thin small outline plastic package (TSOP), small outline plastic j-bend package (SOJ), plastic leaded chip carrier (PLCC) and plastic dual in-line package (PDIP). Substrate-based packages employ the BGA design, which utilizes a substrate rather than a leadframe. It also assembles system-in-a-package products, which involve the integration of more than one chip into the same package. The Company�� substrate-based packages include Plastic BGA, Cavity Down BGA, Stacked-Die BGA, Flip-Chip BGA and land grid array (LGA).
The Company�� wafer-level packaging products include wafer level chip scale package (aCSP) and advanced wafer level package (aWLP). The Company offers module assembly services, which combine one or more packaged semiconductors with other components in an integrated module to enable functionality, typically using surface mount technology (SMT) machines and other machinery and equipment for system-level assembly. End use applications for modules include cellular phones, personal digital assistant (PDAs), wireless local area network (LAN) applications, bluetooth applications, camera modules, automotive applications and toys.
The Company provides module assembly services primarily at its facilities in Korea for radio frequency and power amplifier modules used in wireless communications and automotive applications. Interconnect materials connect the input/output on the semiconductor dies to the printed circuit board. Interconnect materials include substrate, which is a multi-layer m! iniature ! printed circuit board. The Company produces substrates for use in its packaging operations.
The Company provides a range of semiconductor testing services, including front-end engineering testing, wafer probing, final testing of logic/mixed-signal/radio frequency (RF) and memory semiconductors and other test-related services. The Company provides front-end engineering testing services, including customized software development, electrical design validation, and reliability and failure analysis. The Company provides final testing services for a variety of memory products, such as static random access memory (SRAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), single-bit erasable programmable read-only memory semiconductors and flash memory semiconductors.
The Company provides a range of additional test-related services, including burn-in testing, module sip testing, dry pack, tape and reel, and electric interface board and mechanical test tool design. The Company offers drop shipment services for shipment of semiconductors directly to end users designated by its customers.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) fell 1.31 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 6,679.77 at 10:12 a.m. in London, trimming an earlier decline of as much as 0.6 percent. The gauge has climbed 13 percent this year as central banks maintained stimulus measures to support the global economy. The broader FTSE All-Share Index (ASX) was also little changed today, while Ireland�� ISEQ Index retreated 0.3 percent.
- [By Jeff Reeves]
Advanced Semiconductor Engineering�(ASX) builds and distributes integrated circuits and other electronics. It�� not as sexy as some mobile chipmakers, but thankfully it doesn�� have to be — ASX is simply capitalizing on the general demand for microchips in everything from cars to computers to TVs.