Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Piracy Menace

Admiral Mullen observed that piracy is a greater concern for the maritime forces.The overall number of attacks is growing and starting to have an impact on the commercial side.It's a growing issue and we're gonna have to continue dealing with it.The pirates are very good tactically and well-armed.It becomes very hard to get them off because they hold hostages.Countries have by and large been paying the ransom that the pirates ask,Admiral Mullen reported to the Pentagon journalists.

Admiring Pakistan

I have watched with admiration the Pakistani military,the admiral noted.I'm encouraged by what I see as the results.There's a reduction in insurgents crossing the Pakistani border into Afghanistan.I'm seeing very positive effects.We have liaison officers in Pakistan.We have been exchanging information with Pakistan for a long period of time.

Admiral Covers Issues

Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,has addressed many issues for reporters at the Pentagon.He said that four percent should be the floor for the defense budget,given our national security challenges.I serve the sitting president.The President-elect said he will seek my counsel.I will give him the best advice I can,Admiral Mullen promised.The challenge of closing Gitmo,the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for enemy combatants,will become more and more evident,he predicted.

MetLife(MET) Says It's O.K.

MetLife(MET) says it is well-positioned to meet its obligations.It still has a well-diversified,high quality investment portfolio.The company says it has no direct exposure to the commercial-backed index.It is structured to tolerate a commercial real estate downturn.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marine Guards Welcome Leaders

On a cloudy,damp night in Washington,U.S. Marines in their dress blues helped the president welcome leaders to the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.As the motorcades arrived at the White House Friday evening,one Marine opened the limousine doors.Two others stood in the brightly lit portico,opening the White House doors for President Bush and turning to salute as he greeted the leaders.They opened the doors again as the president and the leaders went into the White House,then returned to their places on a red carpet with gold borders,waiting for the next arrival.The president and his Marines got quite a workout at this ceremony,which took about an hour.It was a crisp event despite the dreary weather,and a major memory for all involved.

Morningstar Picks

Morningstar recommends the following mutual funds:MIDAX,UMBWX,HLMIX.They have shown modest volatility over time,weathering the turbulent markets well,according to Karin Anderson,mutual fund analyst at the firm.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Intrepid Rededicated

The USS Intrepid(CV11) was rededicated on Tuesday,Veterans Day,following extensive repairs.The old aircraft carrier has been a floating museum in New York harbor since 1982.She saw service in both World War II and Vietnam.She was even pressed back into service on 9-11,when she was used as a landing pad for helicopters responding to the attack,President Bush noted at the rededication ceremony.Also among the thousands attending were General James T. Conway,Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps,wounded service members,veterans of the Intrepid,Navy,Marine and Coast Guard officers and enlisted,as well as Gold Star families who lost members in Operation Iraqi Freedom.Anchored alongside the Intrepid was the USS Bataan(LHD5),an amphibious assault ship homeported in Norfolk,Virginia.At next year's Veterans Day ceremony,the USS New York(LPD21),an amphibious transport dock,will be commissioned,said David Paterson,Governor of New York.

Bob Doll's Picks

Bob Doll,Chief Investment Officer at Black Rock,recommends Johnson and Johnson(JNJ).We like its diversification;we like its valuation,Mr.Doll said.Hewlett Packard(HPQ) runs its business carefully,and Exxon Mobil(XOM) is very conservatively run and well managed,according to Bob Doll.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Veterans Day Honors

Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class Daniel R. Verbeke of Exton,Pennsylvania died on 14 July of wounds received in December 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.A crewmember of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt(CVN 71),Petty Officer Verbeke was 25 at the time of his ultimate sacrifice.Exactly one month later,another Daniel,Private First Class Daniel A.C. McGuire, was killed in action on 14 August in Anbar Province,Iraq.Pfc.McGuire,of Mashpee,Massachusetts,was a member of 3rd Battalion,6th Marine Regiment,2nd Marine Division,2nd Marine Expeditionary Force,based at Camp Lejeune,North Carolina.He was 19 years old when he died for his friends.

Please Note

Because of Veterans Day on Tuesday,next week's publication schedule will be altered.I will try to publish this newsletter later in the week.Thank you for serving,veterans.

GD Income Up

General Dynamics had a fine Q3,reporting sales increases in three of its four business segments.Net income was up 16% to 634 million dollars, from 544 million year over year.The defense contractor builds warships,submarines,information technology,business-jets and combat systems.The combat systems segment saw a sales drop of 1.2%.