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Recent Market Commentary by James Investment Research (1/25 -1/29)

Stock Market Analysis

Stocks started the first week of February in the same manner they started January. The S&P 500 Index was down over 3% while the Russell 2000 Index was down over 4%. Declining stocks outnumbered advancing stocks by a 2 to 1 margin on the NYSE, while new lows outnumbered new highs on most exchanges and especially on the NASDAQ.

Amazon's Record Sales Sends Stock Plummeting

Amazon reported their highest ever quarterly profit but the announcement was not well received, causing a 13% sell of in the stock immediately after the announcement.

Amazons full-year sales surpassed $100 billion for the first time in its history. And it's still growing sharply: sales in the 4th quarter were 22% higher than the same quarter in 2014.

Amazon is ranked as the worlds third most valuable company based on market cap but until last year it had never actually made a profit. Instead, Amazon would re-invest all its money in order to fund future business lines - which is precisely how they got their cloud computing business started which is hugely successful now.

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January 2016 Data Update 7: Dividends, Potential Dividends and Cash Balances

In the last six posts, I have tried to look at the global corporate landscape, starting with how the market is pricing risk in the US and globally, how much investors are getting as risk free returns in different currencies and then moving on to differences across companies on the costs of raising funding (it varies by sector and region),  the quality of their investments (not that good) and their indebtedness (high in pockets). In this, the last of these posts, I propose to look at the final piece of the corporate finance picture, which is how much companies around the world returned to stockholders in dividends (and stock buybacks) and by extension, how much cash they chose to hold on for future investments. 

2015-2016 salary & bonus discussion

Let's talk about the 2015 - 2016 year bonus. Please list the firm, level, salary, bonus using the following format:

JPM, S&T, A0, 150k base, 175k bonus (75% cash, 25% stock)

Feb 1st update: Here is a compilation of the salary & bonus #'s thus far (pulled from comments).

Rift at Bridgewater Associates ?

Thoughts on the Bridgewater apparent Dalio-Jensen rift ?

What about the "Pain Button" app that Bridgewater employees use to record "feelings" (anger, frustration, sadness)? (wsj link inside the post).

Employees at the world's largest hedge fund carry around iPads with an app called "Pain Button." It tracks negative feelings like "angry," "frustrated" and "sad" with the twist of on-screen dials.

This Week in Oil & Gas - 2/7/2016

Industry News

Schlumber-Cameron merger receives green light from EU

SLB and CAM have received unconditional approval from the European Commission to proceed with their proposed merger following a Phase 1 review. Antitrust clearances have been obtained in Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico. China began its process on February 4th but will be delayed due to Chinese New Years. Deal is expected to close at end of February or beginning of March 2016.

Cheap gasoline = $10 Fee

What happens if you fall asleep on the job?

I can generally function well on little sleep, but sometimes I doze off at certain times (early afternoon, early evening) even when I'm well rested. I don't totally pass out or drop my head on the desk, I just fall into a very light sleep for ten minutes or so while I'm sitting at my desk and trying to work.

If I worked as an analyst and someone noticed me dozing off like this, would it be a no-go? Is this considered something that just happens, or is it totally unacceptable?

January 2016 Data Update 6: Debt, the double edged sword

In corporate finance, the decision on whether to borrow money, and if so, how much has divided both practitioners and theorists for as long as the question has been debated. corporate finance, as a discipline, had its beginnings in Merton Miller and Franco Modigliani's classic paper on the irrelevance of capital structure. Since then, theorists have finessed the model, added real life concerns and come to the unsurprising conclusion that there is no one optimal solution that holds across companies. At the same time, practitioners have also diverged, with the more conservative ones (managers and investors) arguing that debt brings more pain than gain and that you should therefore borrow as little as possible, and the most aggressive players positing that you cannot borrow too much.

MSF -->> Big 4 Valuation AMA

It has been a long time since I've posted something constructive on these fora but lately, I have been getting a lot of questions on LinkedIn about Big 4 valuation, especially from those in MSF programs and recent MSF grads. Like most MSFs, I was completely unaware of the diverse career paths that finance has to offer. I knew that there were hedge fund managers and bankers but that was basically it. There has been increased attention devoted to this field on here as well so I think it would be helpful to contribute and to share my experiences.

Join the WSO Resume Review Team

We are looking to add several Resume Reviewers to the WSO Resume Review team.


  • At least 1 year of professional experience in Investment Banking or other financial field, IB and/or PE background preferred
  • Previous experience screening resumes, experience with IB resumes preferred
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Willingness to go above and beyond to make the client happy
  • More info:

    Webinar: Consulting Case Study - Biotech -- 5pm ET, 2/9/16


    On Tuesday February 9th, 5pm ET Wall Street Mentor Dr. Steven Mo will be hosting a webinar entitled "Innovation and Strategy Consulting Case Study of a Biotech firm", with a q&a session to follow.

    Steven's bio: Healthcare IT Director at a Fortune 20 company, Entrepreneur, Rhodes Scholar, and ex-BCG consultant with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering (Oxford) and a B.S. in Biology (MIT); former interviewer at BCG, especially target candidates with PhD, JD, and/or MD background.


    If you missed the webinar, it will be available on the homepage in exactly 1 month, for 24 hours March 9, 2016 before going into the WSO Video Library.

    February 9, 2016 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
    Event type: 
    WSO Webinar
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