STTG Market Recap March 21, 2014

Stocks opened broadly higher Friday but sold off slowly most of the day, ending near session lows.  The S&P 500 was down 0.29% but biotechs hurt the NASDAQ, dipping 0.98%.  We’ve been mentioning the weakness of the biotechs the past few weeks as this has been the “go to” momentum group for much of the past 2 years, so it is something to remain aware of.  Some attributed today’s late day selling as people lightening up going into a weekend where there is exposure to geopolitical events.

The S&P 500 continues to be in good shape but we are seeing relative weakness in the NASDAQ as biotechs have not been helping of late.  This is in stark contrast to the early part of 2014.

spx

nasdaq

The NYSE McClellan Oscillator, after a brief move back into positive territory, is back below 0.  So while the indexes are holding up this is showing us some degradation in the quality of the rally.

nymo

 

Gilead Sciences (GILD) was hit as Democrats on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee asked for a briefing from the company on the price of its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, which costs about $ 84,000 a patient.

gild

Biogen (BIIB) was likewise smacked, and the entire ETF for the group had a very bad day.

biib

ibb

On the positive side Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) had a hepatitis C drug approved by a European regulator.

jnj

Nike (NKE) reported weak guidance and that hit the stock quite hard today.

Despite the strong third-quarter results and futures orders, Nike warned that significant currency fluctuations would impact next year’s results. On a conference call, Chief Financial Officer Donald Blair said the devaluation of currencies around the world compared to the U.S. dollar would be “a significant drag on next year’s reported revenue, gross margin and profit growth.”

nke

The company also noted that China, from where it gets a significant portion of its revenue, would be weak this quarter, either unchanged or slightly down.

For fun this weekend – 140 things you didn’t know about Twitter.  Have fun watching the basketball games and we’ll see you back here Monday.

 

Original post: STTG Market Recap March 21, 2014


Stock Trading To Go

SPY Trends and Influencers March 22, 2014

Written By: DragonFly Capital

A weekly excerpt from the Macro Review analysis sent to subscribers on 10 markets and two timeframes.

Last week’s review of the macro market indicators suggested, heading into the March Options Expiration week and ahead of the widely expected invasion of the Ukraine the markets were jittery if not tired or weak. Specifically it looked for Gold ($ GLD) to continue higher in its uptrend while Crude Oil ($ USO) slowed in its pullback and might be ready to reverse higher. The US Dollar Index ($ UUP) looked to continue lower while US Treasuries ($ TLT) were biased higher and near a break of major resistance. The Shanghai Composite ($ SSEC) and Emerging Markets ($ EEM) were biased to the downside with a risk of the Chinese market consolidating and then a possible reversal. Volatility ($ VIX) looked to remain low but moving higher cutting the breeze at the back of the equity index ETF’s $ SPY, $ IWM and $ QQQ. Their charts suggested that the SPY and IWM are a bit stronger than the QQQ and may be ready to consolidate and reverse higher, while the QQQ is biased lower.

The week played out with Gold falling back to support while Crude Oil consolidated. The US Dollar found its footing and bounced while Treasuries ended nearly unchanged after a early pullback. The Shanghai Composite did consolidate while Emerging Markets bounced around in a tight range. Volatility made a move back lower, settling in among the Simple Moving Averages (SMA). The Equity Index ETF’s bounced off of the lows from last Friday, with the SPY making a new intra-day high, before they gave back most of it Friday. What does this mean for the coming week? Lets look at some charts.

As always you can see details of individual charts and more on my StockTwits feed and on chartly.)

SPY Daily, $ SPY
spy d
SPY Weekly, $ SPY
spy w

The SPY started the week higher, confirming the doji reversal candle from last Friday. The move Tuesday found resistance then at the top of the bearish engulfing candle from last week and consolidated there the rest of the week, until it briefly poked to a new all time high Friday. The RSI on the daily chart suggests that the bounce may be short lived, currently failing to reach the previous high, and the MACD only briefly blinking and then continuing lower. The weekly view shows an inside week on the real body, but broadly consolidation over the last 4 weeks at the highs. The RSI is holding over 60 and bullish while the MACD failed to cross higher. These suggest it may need some further consolidation. There is resistance at 188 and 189 and then a Measured Move higher to 193 and then 209. Support lower comes at 185 and 184 followed by 181.80. Consolidation in the Uptrend.

Heading into the last full week of the First Quarter the equity markets again look tired. Outside of them directly though look for Gold to consolidate or continue higher while Crude Oil has a similar feel for a reversal in its case. The US Dollar Index is showing strength in the short run while US Treasuries are consolidating tin the short term uptrend. The Shanghai Composite looks good for more upside price action and Emerging Markets look as if they may want to continue the consolidation. Volatility looks to remain subdued keeping the bias higher for the equity index ETF’s SPY, IWM and QQQ. Their charts are not so sure of that though with all 3 consolidating under the highs on the shorter timeframe but the IWM and SPY looking healthy, and a little better than the QQQ on the longer timeframe. Use this information as you prepare for the coming week and trad’em well.

Join the Premium Users and you can view the Full Version with 20 detailed charts and analysis: Macro Week in Review/Preview March 21, 2014

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Why are there any long-term unemployed people? Or any unemployed people at all?

Folks:

Today’s New York Times has an article about how long-term unemployed Americans may never work again. And they say that this may be due in part to employers discriminating against people whose resumes say “unemployed” or “big gap”. This raises the question of why there are any such resumes.

I know a lot of people who are not working productively. They call themselves “entrepreneurs” and say that they are pulling together a startup. For about $ 500 they can even create an LLC so that their resume says “2013-present Big New Idea LLC: Founder and CTO” or whatever. That after a year or two their startup has not succeeded will not be held against them by a potential employer. After all, most startups fail or fizzle.

A friend’s daughter was trying to get her first job. Employers didn’t want to hire her because she had no work experience or references. So I edited her resume to say “Jane Smith Landscaping” [not her real name!], hired her to do some yard work, and put my name and phone number down as a reference. Having planted some daffodil bulbs, she went to her next interview as a self-employed person looking for an indoor job for the winter. She was hired.

Given that almost anyone can find work doing landscaping and call themselves a landscaping contractor, taking care of children and call themselves the founder of a child care center, etc., why are there resumes that say “I am unemployed.” If it is known that employers don’t like to hire the unemployed, why is anyone wearing a label that is essentially self-applied?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

New York Times: Malaysians are stupid because they ignored radar blips

In “Series of Errors by Malaysia Mounts, Complicating the Task of Finding Flight 370,” the New York Times says the following:

The radar blip that was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did a wide U-turn over the Gulf of Thailand and then began moving inexorably past at least three military radar arrays as it traversed northern Malaysia, even flying high over one of the country’s biggest cities before heading out over the Strait of Malacca.

Yet inside a Malaysian Air Force control room on the country’s west coast, where American-made F-18s and F-5 fighters stood at a high level of readiness for emergencies exactly like the one unfolding in the early morning of March 8, a four-person air defense radar crew did nothing about the unauthorized flight. “The watch team never noticed the blip,” said a person with detailed knowledge of the investigation into Flight 370. “It was as though the airspace was his.”

It was not the first and certainly not the last in a long series of errors by the Malaysian government that has made the geographically vast and technologically complex task of finding the $ 50 million Malaysia Airlines jet far more difficult.

The implication seems to be that the Malaysians are stupid while we Americans, especially New York Times journalists and our military personnel, are smart. We would never have done anything like this. The article certainly does not link over to Wikipedia, which notes “As the first wave [of Japanese aircraft attacking Pearl Harbor] approached Oahu, it was detected by the U.S. Army SCR-270 radar at Opana Point near the island’s northern tip. This post had been in training mode for months, but was not yet operational. Although the operators, Privates George Elliot Jr. and Joseph Lockard, reported a target, a newly assigned officer at the thinly manned Intercept Center, Lieutenant Kermit A. Tyler, presumed it was the scheduled arrival of six B-17 bombers. The direction from which the aircraft were coming was close (only a few degrees separated the two inbound courses), while the operators had never seen a formation as large on radar; they neglected to tell Tyler of its size, while Tyler, for security reasons, could not tell them the B-17s were due (even though it was widely known).”

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

STTG Market Recap March 17, 2014

Stocks rebounded Monday after their roughest week in well over a month, as the Crimea vote for Russian rule came and went without as much fanfare.  The S&P 500 gained 0.96% and the NASDAQ 0.81%.  Stocks gapped up strongly at the open and stayed in a narrow range most of the session.   Economic reports had U.S. industrial output rising in February; up 0.8 percent, and better than the 0.1 percent rise anticipated by economists. And, the March Empire State Factory Index climbed to 5.61 in March after a reading of 4.48 the prior month.

A bit amusing where the S&P 500 bounced; that purple trendline as shown on a longer term chart (which we usually do Wednesdays) connects the major lows since last summer.

spx

nasdaq

The volatility index came in very sharply today.

vix

It is worth noting that gold had what is termed a bearish “outside day” – that is when it rallies over the previous day high but ends up closing below the previous day’s low.  That can be a near term bearish signal so keep an eye out on it.

gld

There were 2 big pieces of news in the internet space.

Regarding Yahoo (YHOO) there was an announcement that Alibaba is going to come public – this is partially owned by Yahoo.

Yahoo Inc. is expected to sell about half its 24 percent stake in Alibaba as part of an IPO that analysts believe could raise $ 15 billion. That means Yahoo is likely to collect several billion dollars from AIibaba’s IPO. That money could then be used to pay a special dividend to shareholders or buy back more of its stock.

yhoo

Regarding Sina (SINA), they announced an IPO plan for Weibo which is China’s version of Twitter.

According to Weibo’s SEC filing, Sina Corp. (SINA) owns 78% of Weibo, Alibaba Holdings own 19% and the management another 3%.

sina

Not related, VMWare (VMW) has hit some screens of late – showing tremendous strength in this market, although right now it is very overbought.  Today it received a buy recommendation from a small brokerage firm.  Here is a good article perhaps helping to explain why it is acting so well.

More recently, the company is making some progress moving into newer areas including cloud-based computing and Software-Defined Networking, Sherlund says in his research note. With SDN, software takes the lead role in managing computer networks. “Management is bullish on the market opportunity beyond the core vSphere virtualization product,” he wrote. “Traction continues to build for VMware’s SDN solution. VMware also announced a commercial release of Horizon DaaS, its desktop-as-a-service product, with competitive pricing and immediate availability.  “We believe the longer term growth opportunities continue to expand as VMware delivers a richer product set targeted at … both private and public cloud platforms.”

vmw

Original post: STTG Market Recap March 17, 2014


Stock Trading To Go

From Corned Beef to Brasil Foods

Written By: DragonFly Capital

Continuing the ethnic journey, it is time to leave the Irish behind. Package up the rest of the corned beef and Irish soda bread and head on over to Brazil. Brasil Foods, $ BRFS, looks like it has been cast aside. Since making a double top in October it lost about 38% of its value down to under $ 17 before bouncing. From the chart below you can see it traced out a bullish Shark harmonic before reversing. This gives targets of 20.24 and then 22.57 on the upside before a possible total reversal to 26.33. Additionally the Measured Move higher from the first leg takes it to about 21.40, a 50% retracement. With the

brfs

Relative Strength Index (RSI) rising and the MACD moving higher as well all signs point north. Using the 20 day Simple Moving Average (SMA) as a stop, this gives a solid reward to risk ratio. Ok, now who is with me to Churrascarpia Plataforma? (Long at 18.91 as of 3:20pm)

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Why is there any income limit on overtime regulations?

President Obama last week expanded federal rules requiring American employers to pay overtime. In the press release the President said “So we’re going to update those overtime rules to restore that basic principle that if you have to work more, you should be able to earn more.”

What this means is that businesses that could formerly pay fixed salaries to some managerial workers earning over $ 23,660 will now be forced to comply with federal overtime regulations on workers earning perhaps as much as $ 50,000 per year.

But if this is a “basic principle” shouldn’t it apply to everyone? Los Angeles pays firefighters overtime though the average total compensation is close to $ 250,000 per year (article; cash pay was $ 142,000/year but they also get benefits including a pension starting at age 50 of 90 percent of their previous income).

Let’s consider Cameron Kennedy, a working mom featured in this Washington Post story. McKinsey pays her $ 350,000 per year, presumably a fair wage for her skills. If they make her work more than 40 hours/week because they don’t want to hire another $ 350k/year worker, why shouldn’t McKinsey pay her overtime? Hasn’t she earned it as much as anyone else who has worked more than 40 hours?

If it makes sense to impose a “basic principle” from Washington, D.C., what is the rationale for an income cap?

[And separately, can companies evade these new regulations by limiting workers to 40 hours/week?  Suppose that Business A has someone working 60 hours/week and getting paid a straight $ 10/hour = $ 600. Meanwhile Business B has an identical employee. Under the new regulation Business A would have to pay 40*$ 10 = $ 400 plus 20*$ 15 = $ 300 or $ 700, right? But couldn’t the companies agree that they will swap these workers for the last 20 hours/week? So now there is no worker who works more than 40 hours/week. People are probably at their most efficient for the first 30 hours per week on a job, so wouldn’t we expect a reshuffling of the workforce so that no company employs a person for more than 30 hours per week? Then employers don’t have to provide health insurance under the Obamacare laws and they also don’t have to pay overtime under the new overtime regulations.]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

The Weekend Trader – Caged No Longer

It’s back.

All of it.

The passion, desire, and most of all … hunger … has returned.

It’s taken a while … a long while … yet I can truly say that for the first time in the post-MF Global/Book Authoring/Jellyfish Training era, my desire to climb the next mountain has returned.

Many will recall I had a similar feeling in 2007 when I was so frustrated with my lack of focus that I went completely off the grid to re-tool and re-focus, before beginning to publicly bare my trading soul on a daily basis … an effort which began completely as one of personal accountability, before it took on a life of its own.

If we were to use our crazy old movie analogies in our former blog life, we might call it Back to the Future … or is it Back to the Futures?

OK, the wit may have aged, the jokes less funny (assuming they ever were), and I may not be as quick and agile on the keyboard as I was when I was a spry 47.

Yet as I approach 53 in just a few short weeks, I feel as vibrant and alive as ever.

Frankly, I feel as I’ve been thwarted at every turn over the past few years, as if being the main character in the world’s “Whack-a-Mole” game.  Or perhaps a contestant in the world’s real-life game of Survivor.

You see, it was 40 months ago – almost to the day – when I wrote the Catching the Rabbit post that was as popular as any I’d written to that time. We’ll get back to the interesting “40″ number in a bit. And frankly, since then it seems as if I’ve been on one long journey of trial, temptation, and tribulation that included momentarily losing access to my entire $ 3.0 million trading balance, a few health nuisances, loss of my dad & moving my mom, and so much more including a complete loss of passion for this business.

Oh, I tried various things to reignite that passion, including launching the Jellie program, finally accepting Wiley’s repeated requests to write Chronicles, do a few speaking engagements, and much more. And while these efforts were very well-received and I derived some personal satisfaction from each, they were energy-consuming and emotional-draining to a far greater extent than I first realized. Add life’s events to the mix, and you get the picture.

Oh, I traded … every day and on top of all other business concerns. Yet too often it was going through the motions in a laissez-faire “big whoop” manner.

Feel like sleeping in past 5am to miss THE most fertile, pure, and cleanest trading timeframe in place today with no U.S. session “cowboy” market rhythms? No problem, you’ve earned it Don. And you wonder why you end up in subsequent scamper mode??

I’ve often said there’s a razor thin line between sloppy mediocrity and astounding success.  I know, for I’ve been on both sides, and too often my trading has leaned to the sloppy side.

And as I picked up the pace on the spiritual side, the conflicts and performance got even worse.

Remember my April 2010 Emmaus post where I discussed my personal spiritual battle and re-centering? Including the feeling of being caged? Well, in hindsight, I’ve felt a bit caged since that day as that awakening weekend seemed to tick off our enemy to no end, and he’s been relentlessly after me ever since.  And of course the more I got involved with Emmaus and our local Alpha program in various leadership capacities, the more roadblocks were set in my path such that I was always unavailable or distracted during optimal and fertile trading periods.

Yet that was then.

And so here I stand – 40 months later – feeling freer than free and as if I’ve just been let out of a cage.  My trading capital has been fully restored and is now once-again consolidated such that I can trade the full balance in a focused manner, I’m reading the market as well as I ever have, and have a renewed vision, desire, and energy level that has been 40 months in the making.

And if the number 40 sounds familiar in terms of personal testing, just Google it and you’ll find the examples plentiful and the parallels uncanny.

It was once said that if you put an eagle in a cage, it would eventually bite through the bars whether they’re of iron or gold.

Well, it’s taken me 40 months.

But I’ve bitten through them and am ready to fly.

Let’s see how far these wings can take me … and us.

Don Miller’s S&P Trading Tank

Red wine blind tasting results

A friend who is a wine expert operated a red wine blind tasting (not double-blind, however). All of the wines were decanted and served in anonymous bottles.

The top three results:

  1. Little Penguin Shiraz 2012 (about $ 6 per bottle (link))
  2. Col Solare 2007 blend ($ 60)
  3. Villa Antinori Reserva Chianti 2010 ($ 29 per bottle)

With a score of 7, the Little Penguin scored nearly a full point (out of 10) higher than the $ 60 competitor. The rest of the wines were mostly in a cluster between 4.5 and 5.5. On the bottom end, the outliers with a Louis Jadot Beaujolais 2012 and an Oyster Bay 2011 Pinor Noir.

[It is unclear if Little Penguin Shiraz is the same from bottle to bottle or year to year. The company’s Web site does not mention any vineyards or winery. So it might just be that they buy surplus wine from the persistent worldwide glut (see my February 2010 posting about how the French wine inside a $ 10 bottle costs 46 cents).]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Trading Lesson: Establishing A Trading Range—$PLUG

Often I receive questions regarding how I determine important price points for establishing trades. It is a combination of several factors each time but by far the heaviest weight is given to recent support and resistance levels. You would be surprised at how often after I make a trade I’ll receive a comment like “you shorted at the 66.3% fib retracement” or “you got in at the 20 period exponential” something or other. Nope! Or at least that is not how I found my level. It just so happens that important S/R levels seem to match up quite often with many of the more commonly or uncommonly used technically derived levels.

Here is Read more […]
SMB Capital – Day Trading Blog

Cleveland’s Best Linkfest!

Written By: DragonFly Capital

Charts/Markets/Business/Economy You Might Not See Otherwise

3-11-2014 1-06-43 PM

End of Gulf Ban Allows BP to Expand in Familiar, Lucrative Territory NYT

New Goodyear airship looks familiar but high tech Ohio

Hyland Software sees international business booming in a world on a smartphone Cleveland

Canadian class-action lawsuit filed against Mt. Gox, Mizuho Bank Reuters

This is how you close yourself to a market: Ohio cheese producers could suffer if EU can restrict use of names The Columbus Dispatch

Whirlpool to expand western Ohio plant Ohio

Only in America: Red Robin rolls out wine shakes USAToday

Procter & Gamble researchers keep company sitting pretty in diaper market The Columbus Dispatch

The worst-paying cities for women USAToday

Cleveland Flair

The Cleveland Pops has a St. Patrick’s Celebration on Saturday at Severance.

Summit Racing brings its Piston Powered Auto-Rama to the I-X Center this weekend.

Apollo’s Fire showcases young talent this weekend at area venues

Over at the Q the MAC Tournament is underway with games Saturday, and then Arcade Fire invades for a show Sunday.

The Cleveland International Film Festival kicked off last night, but there are plenty of films over the next two weeks.

Its maple Sugaring time again and Western Reserve is celebrating with a Maple Sugar Festival & Pancake Breakfast this weekend and next.

Monday is St. Patricks Day, the patron saint of drinking green beer, and the Plain Dealer has done the reconnaissance of where you can celebrate

Get my book, Trading Options: Using Technical Analysis to Design Winning Options Trades from Amazon.

Dragonfly Facts

Dragonflies cover the earth; they have been found on every continent except Antarctica, and there are about 5,000 different species, 450 of which are found in the United States.

The post Cleveland’s Best Linkfest! appeared first on Dragonfly Capital.

Dragonfly Capital

SPY Trends and Influencers March 15, 2014

Written By: DragonFly Capital

A weekly excerpt from the Macro Review analysis sent to subscribers on 10 markets and two timeframes.

Last week’s review of the macro market indicators suggested, heading into the week that the equity markets looked positive. Elsewhere it looked for Gold ($ GLD) to consolidate with an upward bias while Crude Oil ($ USO) remained on the short term upward path. The US Dollar Index ($ UUP) looked weak and ready to move lower while US Treasuries ($ TLT) were also biased lower in their consolidation zone. The Shanghai Composite ($ SSEC) and Emerging Markets ($ EEM) were set up to continue their consolidations from the prior week with Emerging Markets holding an upward bias. Volatility ($ VIX) looked to remain subdued keeping the bias higher for the equity index ETF’s $ SPY, $ IWM and $ QQQ. Their charts favored the upside as well, fairly strongly in the SPY and IWM and less so in the QQQ, with all at risk for a very short term intra-week pullback.

Well that did not work out very well. The week played out with Gold pushing higher (so far so good) while Crude Oil’s path turned lower. The US Dollar drifted slightly lower while Treasuries made a move higher to test the recent highs. The Shanghai Composite drifted lower and Emerging Markets broke down. Volatility became unhinged at the end of the week moving higher and closing near the highs. The Equity Index ETF’s just moved lower, also ending the week near the lows. What does this mean for the coming week? Lets look at some charts.

As always you can see details of individual charts and more on my StockTwits feed and on chartly.)

SPY Daily, $ SPY
spy d
SPY Weekly, $ SPY
spy w

The SPY started the week with a Hanging Man that confirmed last Friday’s Hanging Man lower. Tuesday’s Bearish Engulfing candle confirmed them both lower and it continued lower the rest of the week. The small real body candle Friday, signalling indecision, could mean a reversal, but also could just continue lower. Confirmation is needed. The week ended at prior resistance from December and January, and closed the gap, so there is some basis for a reversal. The RSI continues to fall and point lower through as it cuts through the mid line and the MACD is moving lower after it crossed down Wednesday. These support more downside price action. The weekly chart shows an inside week, holding over the prior resistance level. But here as well the RSI is pointing lower (although in bullish territory) with a MACD that avoided a cross up and is reverting lower. Both support more downside. There is support at 184 and 181.80 followed by 180 and 177.75. A move under 173.75 would put the long term uptrend in jeopardy. Resistance higher comes at 185 and 186.75 followed by 188.96. Over that is a Measured Move targeting the 195-197 area and then much higher. Pullback or Consolidation in the Uptrend.

Heading into the March Options Expiration week and ahead of the widely expected invasion of the Ukraine the markets are jittery if not tired or weak. Specifically look for Gold to continue higher in its uptrend while Crude Oil slows in its pullback and may be ready to reverse higher. The US Dollar Index looks to continue lower while US Treasuries are biased higher and near a break of major resistance. The Shanghai Composite and Emerging Markets are biased to the downside with risk of the Chinese market consolidating and then a possible reversal. Volatility looks to remain low but moving higher cutting the breeze at the back of the equity index ETF’s SPY, IWM and QQQ. Their charts suggest that the SPY and IWM are a bit stronger than the QQQ and may be ready to consolidate and reverse higher, while the QQQ is biased lower. Use this information as you prepare for the coming week and trad’em well.

Join the Premium Users and you can view the Full Version with 20 detailed charts and analysis: Macro Week in Review/Preview March 14, 2014

Get my book, Trading Options: Using Technical Analysis to Design Winning Options Trades from Amazon.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dragonfly Capital Views Book Launch Celebration

For a Limited the Opportunity to join the Dragonfly Capital Views Premium Membership on an Annual basis is available for only $ 618.

This special Fibonacci rate (1000 divided by ?) will be gone soon. Don’t miss this opportunity to join or upgrade! Sign up here. As part of this celebration, the first 25 annual subscriptions will also get the book*.

book

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Dragonfly Capital

Compensation for ex-government officials, then and now

The book Coolidge, which I recently reviewed (posting), relates that the former president was able to earn about $ 150,000 per year by writing a syndicated daily newspaper column. That’s $ 2.1 million in today’s money, according to the BLS.gov inflation calculator.

Due to his having been sued for child support, the public now knows that Peter Orszag, a former Obama Administration official, is earning about $ 4 million per year from Citigroup (Washington Post).

[Coolidge might have been able to spend more than Orszag, however. The top income tax rate in 1930 was 25 percent and that applied only to income over $ 100,000 ($ 1.4 million in today’s mini-dollars). So let’s assume that Coolidge kept about 80 percent of his income after taxes or $ 1.68 million in 2014 dollars. Orszag, on the other hand, under New York law will owe 17 percent of his pre-tax income to a recent ex-girlfriend, mentioned in the article as having given birth to a daughter. The mother is described as a “venture capitalist” but even if she were to earn $ 10 million per year that does not affect her entitlement to child support at the 17-percent rate. (New York courts can cap the amount of income on which the 17 percent is calculated, however.) Let’s assume that Orszag pays about 50 percent of his income in local, state, and federal taxes plus the standard 17 percent pre-tax child support in New York. Thus Orszag keeps 33 percent or $ 1.32 million. According to the Post, the child support plaintiff in D.C. seeks $ 264,000 per year in “direct” payments to herself plus, presumably, additional amounts to pay for the actual expenses of the two children that have given rise to the lawsuit. Politico.com says that the plaintiff seeks $ 300,000 per year (to supplement a $ 350,000 per year pre-tax income from McKinsey and $ 2 million in liquid assets). The Post says that the children attend Georgetown Day School, where tuition seems to be about $ 35,000 per year (are there any government officials whose children go to government-run schools?). This New York Post article implies that the children are with their father at least some of the time. Thus, in addition to paying for the two kids when they are at their mother’s house, Orszag also will pay for these two kids’ expenses when they are with him. At a minimum that would entail a bigger apartment so that they can have rooms. The USDA “cost of raising a child calculator” estimates that a high-income two-parent family in the Northeast will spend about $ 40,000 per year on two kids, excluding “child care and education”. Add that to the $ 70,000 in private school tuition and using the $ 300,000 per year child support number from Politico and the total is a $ 410,000 per year after-tax subtraction from income.  The Post article says that the $ 400,000 trust fund established by Orszag for the children’s education has been depleted. So he’ll need to put away $ 50,000 per year for college (child support recipients are not expected to save any of the money that they receive). This New York Post article mentions that Orszag had at least one previous legal dispute with this plaintiff, from whom he was divorced 8 years ago. So Orszag may have ongoing legal fees averaging $ 200,000 per year. That leaves Orszag with $ 660,000 per year with which to support himself and his current family.]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Pilatus PC-12 NG test flight and cabin noise measurements

I had the opportunity to test-fly a PC-12 NG. I was interested to see how this would compare to the “legacy” PC-12 that I flew back in 2006 (review of that plane). The new plane has a more powerful engine and is therefore a few knots faster. Friends who are pilot at PlaneSense, the largest U.S. operator of the PC-12, said “the extra speed might save you an hour per year.”

What does the new engine do to cabin noise, a traditional weakness of turboprops compared to jets? Here are some data from January 17, 2014 in N47NG, a 2010 PC-12 NG, serial number 1103, in a flight from KBED.

  • idling on the ramp: 76 dBA center cabin
  • taxi: 76 dBA center cabin
  • takeoff: 85-90 dBA center cabin
  • climb: 86-88 dBA center cabin
  • level 6000′, 217 knots: 90 dBA pilot ear level; 87-88 dBA center cabin; 84-87 dBA rear of the cabin (but 89 dBA next to the cargo door)
  • level 10,000′, 200 knots: 90-91 dBA pilot ear level; 85-87 dBA center cabin; 84-88 rear of the cabin
  • level 15,000′, 200 knots: 89-90 dBA pilot ear level; 83-87 dBA center cabin; 83-86 rear of the cabin
  • descent: 80-83 dBA center cabin
  • pattern: 80 dBA center cabin

I didn’t record the numbers as carefully back in 2006 but it seems that these are roughly 4 dB louder than the older slightly slower airplane. In fact, the PC-12 NG has roughly the same measured interior noise level as a friend’s G36 piston-powered Bonanza and is louder than a Diamond Star DA40 (previous posting). From a pilot’s point of view, the 90 dBA in the front exceeds OSHA limits (85 dBA) for exposure at work without hearing protection (and so do most of the cabin readings). This is 9 dBA louder than an early 1980s Twin Commander turboprop that I measured (posting). It is also much louder than a King Air (previous posting), though no worse than a TBM 850 (previous posting). For reference, interior noise levels in light jets are usually below 80 dBA in the cockpit and below 82 dBA in the passenger cabin, closer to the engines.

How about the fancy Honeywell avionics in the front that are part of the NG experience? The PlaneSense pilots all have hundreds or thousands of hours of experience with this system but they prefer the legacy avionics, updated with the latest Garmin touch-screen GPSes.

Being an owner of a Honeywell glass flight deck is pretty expensive, with annual extended warranty coverage costing about $ 15,000 per year. In other words, every four years you pay Honeywell enough to have bought all of the stuff in a brand-new Garmin G1000 system. I’m not in love with the user interface philosophy of Garmin, but I think it would have saved everyone a lot of time and money if Pilatus had used a Garmin system, which nearly all pilots know how to use. Certainly if the Garmin systems are capable of supporting faster and more complex aircraft, such as the Embraer Phenom 300, they would be capable of performing in a PC-12.  It might be simpler for a piston pilot to transition to a Phenom 100 or Cessna Mustang twin-engine turbojet because (1) the piston pilot already knows how to use a Garmin glass panel, and (2) the latest turbojets include FADEC for the engines.

If you need 10 seats and must visit airports with short runways, the PC-12 remains a strong candidate. But the high cabin noise level, apparently made worse in the NG model, means that passenger and pilot comfort will not be comparable to a jet. Everyone in the plane should be wearing some sort of hearing protection.

(A friend who traded in his Twin Commander turboprop on a Phenom 100 jet a few years ago said that “Now we usually have to stop for fuel when we go to Florida, which we didn’t have to do in the Commander, but the family arrives much more refreshed.”)

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog