Monthly Archives: August 2016

Noteworthy Wednesday Option Activity: HRB, DLTR, CELG

By Dividend Channel Looking at options trading activity among components of the S&P 500 index, there is noteworthy activity today in H & R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB), where a total volume of 11,184 contracts has been traded thus far today, a contract volume which is representative of approximately 1.1 million underlying shares (given that every 1 contract represents 100 underlying shares). That number works out to 57.9% of HRB’s average daily trading volume over the past month, of 1.9 million shares. Particularly high volume was seen for the $21 strike put option expiring September 16, 2016, with 2,126 contracts trading so far today, representing approximately 212,600 underlying shares of HRB. Below is a chart showing HRB’s trailing twelve month trading history, with the $21 strike highlighted in orange: …read more

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Wednesday Sector Leaders: Utilities, Financial

By Dividend Channel The best performing sector as of midday Wednesday is the Utilities sector, not showing much of a loss. Within that group, FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE: FE) and Consolidated Edison Inc (NYSE: ED) are two large stocks leading the way, showing a gain of 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. Among utilities ETFs, one ETF following the sector is the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (AMEX: XLU), which is up 0.1% on the day, and up 15.18% year-to-date. FirstEnergy Corp, meanwhile, is up 5.70% year-to-date, and Consolidated Edison Inc is up 19.79% year-to-date. Combined, FE and ED make up approximately 6.0% of the underlying holdings of XLU. …read more

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What if Massachusetts ditched Eastern Standard Time?

By Jacob Bogage

The Boston skyline. (Robert E. Klein/AP)

Buried deep at the bottom — section 136 — of Massachusetts state legislature Bill H.4569 are two paragraphs that could make the Bay State travel in time.

The legislature has agreed to explore switching time zones, moving from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time — an hour ahead of the rest of the East Coast — for four months starting in the middle of November.

The bill, signed by Gov. Charlie Baker (R), creates a legislative commission to study the proposal.

Boston and other parts of the state are so far east that in winter, it gets dark really early, residents complain. How early? The first two weeks of December, the sun sets at 4:12 p.m. The latest sunrise that month is 7:13 a.m. That’s a lot of darkness.

“Any way you slice it, it’s going to be about nine hours of daylight and 15 hours of darkness,” said Tom Emswiler, 36, of Quincy, Mass. He submitted the study request to the legislature as a “bill by request,” a mechanism that allows residents to submit bills to the state legislature independent of elected officials.

Emswiler is a Virginia native and spent six years in the District before moving to Boston in 2011. When winter rolled around that year, he nearly hibernated, he said, because of how long nighttime seemed to last. He said he’d be willing to sacrifice an hour of early morning light for a little more on his commute home.

If the state decided to make the change to Atlantic Standard Time, which parts of Canada and some Caribbean islands also observe, it’d give Massachusetts residents a sunlight happy hour, even in the depths of winter.

But even state Sen. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy), who introduced the bill on Emswiler’s behalf, is undecided on a measure that would put …read more

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Gallup: Life got better for pretty much everyone under Obama

By Christopher Ingraham

President Obama golfs his way to a better life on Martha’s Vineyard. (Steven Senne/AP)

How Americans feel about the state of their lives have improved markedly in the eight years since Barack Obama was elected president, according to Gallup data released Tuesday.

In 2008, fewer than half of Americans said their life was good enough to be considered “thriving,” according to Gallup. But that’s changed: “The 55.4% who are thriving so far in 2016 is on pace to be the highest recorded in the nine years Gallup and Healthways have tracked it,” according to the report.



Not only that, members of each ethnic or racial group in Gallup’s study feel better about their lives.

“The percentages of U.S. whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians who are thriving have all increased during the Obama era,” Gallup notes. The percentage of blacks thriving has risen by about 6 points, as has the percentage of whites and Hispanics. Asian thriving has risen by about 10 points since 2008.



Gallup measures “thriving” according to how poll respondents rate both their current lives and their expectations for life in the future. On a scale of zero to 10, “those who rate their present life a 7 or higher and their life in five years an 8 or higher are classified as thriving.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently made a much-criticized pitch to black voters, asking them “what do you have to lose” by voting for Trump over Hillary. This has prompted a number of black voters to respond with what, exactly, they’d be worried about losing in a Trump presidency, from civil rights to recent gains in employment, income and education.

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