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US ECONOMY PICKS UP STEAM

Crude oil had traded above $50 a barrel in the first quarter of this year, and finally it’s back to that magic number. The price has held relatively steady at this level, and it’s steadily creeping toward $60. The current crude price is still less than half of what it was in 2014.

Also former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson taking the role of Secretary of State could prove to be beneficial for the oil industry. Considering this, short interest for major oil stocks is now more important than ever to follow.

The October 13 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for the selected big oil stocks decreased.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest decrease to 27.00 million shares from the previous reading of 28.23 million. The shares were last seen trading at $119.30, in a 52-week trading range of $99.87 to $120.89.Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) decreased to 36.35 million shares from the previous 37.93 million. The stock traded at $83.55, within a 52-week range of $76.05 to $93.22.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 8.56 million shares from the previous reading of 9.34 million. Shares traded at $39.00, in a 52-week range of $32.53 to $39.48.The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short decreased slightly to 32.14 million from the previous level of 32.68 million. Shares were trading at $50.60, within a 52-week range of $41.13 to $53.17.24/7 Wall St.
The 6 Most Shorted NYSE Stocks

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, decreased to 31.76 million shares from the previous 34.83 million. The stock traded at $10.40 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 to $12.42. Unfortunately, Petrobras may be trading on an entirely different set of fundamentals and sentiment due to its ongoing woes in Brazil.

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s (NYSE: OXY) short interest decreased slightly to 9.05 million shares from the previous reading of 9.26 million. Shares recently traded at $66.15, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $74.89

​EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

​OCTOBER NEWSLETTER 3

​Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) returned last week as the Dow Jones industrial average’s best stock for the year to date for the third consecutive time. Even though the company’s shares dropped about 1.3% last week, the world’s most valuable company has still managed to post a year-to-date share price gain of 29.6%.

The second-best performer among the Dow index equities so far this year is Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), which is up 28.6%. That is followed by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up 27%, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), up 22.9%, and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), up 22.9%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 16 have managed either to post a gain to date in 2018.

The blue-chip index added about 104 points last week to close at 25,444.34, up about 0.7% compared to the previous Friday’s close. For the year to date, the index is up 2.5%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 2.6%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 6.3%).

The tech sector’s year-to-date gain lost nearly two points last week, shaving the sector’s gain for the year from 12.8% in the prior week to 11.1%.

On Thursday the company announced an “October Event” that most Apple followers believe will include new product upgrades for the company’s other hardware products like MacPro and iPad that did not get any mention when the new iPhones were announced last month. The event is scheduled for October 30.

On Friday, CEO Tim Cook called on Bloomberg News to retract a report claiming that servers and PCs built by Supermicro for Apple, Amazon and nearly every other computer maker contained a stealth chip that allowed unauthorized access to the server or PC and ultimately the entire network of which that machine was a part. Apple and Amazon, among others, denied the allegation at the time Bloomberg ran the story, but the news outlet has so far stuck by its reporting.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Cook took the unusual step of demanding a full retraction: “There is no truth in their story about Apple. They need to do that right thing and retract it.”

Cook added:

I was involved in our response to this story from the beginning. … We turned the company upside down. Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There’s no truth to this.

Also on Friday, Apple began taking orders for the iPhone Xr, the lower-priced phone the company launched last month.

Apple shares closed Friday at $219.31, up about 1.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $150.24 to $233.47. The consensus price target is $238.93, and Apple’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is 15.96.

Carlyle Group L.P. (NASDAQ: CG) is one of the most successful private equity and asset management firms in the world. It has a market cap of $7.4 billion, and its stock trades near a 52-week high. However, its new co-CEOs will have base salaries of only $275,000 each when they begin their jobs early next year. The base salaries show how little such sums can be with complex compensation packages. Each of the two stands to make much more.Founders David M. Rubenstein and William E. Conway Jr., who have become fabulously wealthy, will turn over the reins to Kewsong Lee and Glenn A. Youngkin. According to a filing with the SEC:
Under the employment agreements, each Co-CEO will receive a base salary of $275,000, which may be increased from time to time by the Board.

Also in the filing are two other sets of compensation:

In addition, during the Term, each Co-CEO will be eligible to receive an annual cash bonus equal to the distributions per common unit of the Partnership paid with respect to the applicable calendar year multiplied by 2,500,000 (subject to equitable adjustment by the Board in order to account for distributions, splits, reorganizations, recapitalizations, mergers, consolidations, spin-offs, combinations, exchanges or other similar events; and, following a Change of Control (as defined in the Second Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Partnership, dated as of September 13, 2017), the parties must negotiate and agree to an adjustment such that after the Change of Control the bonus opportunity is no less favorable to the Co-CEO than prior to the Change of Control).Subject to Board approval in 2018, each of the Co-CEOs will receive on or prior to February 28, 2018, a one-time grant of time-vesting deferred restricted common units of the Partnership (“DRUs”) with respect to 1,250,000 common units of the Partnership and a one-time performance-vesting DRU award with respect to a target of 1,250,000 common units of the Partnership, in each case under the Partnership’s 2012 Equity Incentive Plan. The time-vesting DRUs generally will vest in equal installments over five years, subject to the continued employment of the Co-CEO. The performance-vesting DRUs generally will vest annually in five equal target installments, subject to the continued employment of the Co-CEO, with the opportunity to earn between 0% and 200% of the target amount of the performance-vesting DRUs based on the level of achievement of specified performance metrics that will be set by the Board at the beginning of each performance year. Following a Change of Control, the parties must agree on performance measures that provide for a threshold, target and maximum opportunity that is substantially similar to the opportunity in place prior to the Change of Control. Any performance-vesting DRUs earned will vest upon Board certification of the applicable performance metrics for the prior year.Based on a Bloomberg analysis of the compensation of the current co-CEOs, on close examination:
Carlyle Group LP will hand its incoming co-chief executive officers bonuses and stock that will add several million dollars to their annual base salary of $275,000.So, their base salaries mean close to nothing.

​PRICING

The US economy posted it best six month stretch of growth in three years despite tow hurricanes, a sign tht it might be breaking out of it  long running slow growth trend, with the help of soaring stock prices and rising business and consumer confidence. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the US expanded at a 3% annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. Through not a boom that is still the first time since mid 2014 that the economyu has strung together two quartes of at least 3% growth. Solid spending by consumers and businesses along with higher sales of American goods overseas helped prevent a slowdown some economists ecpected after hurricanes Harvey and Irma shut down parts of Texas and Florida in August and September. 

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