Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Laurence McKeever Assent LLC Trading Sentenced to two years probation

By Chad Bray


NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Laurence McKeever, a former Assent LLC employee, was sentenced to two years probation Tuesday after pleading guilty in January in an insider-trading case that revolved around nonpublic information from Morgan Stanley (MS) and UBS AG (UBS).

At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska in Manhattan also ordered McKeever to pay a $3,000 fine and forfeit $30,000.

"Larry McKeever is very appreciative of the chance the court has given him to rebuild his life, and is humbled by the loving support of his family and friends through this difficult year," said Michael Grudberg, McKeever's lawyer, in a statement.

McKeever pleaded guilty to conspiracy in January.

Prosecutors had described him as a former registered representative at the brokerage firm, but McKeever described himself in January as a one-time compliance officer at its Hoboken, N.J., office.

McKeever is one of 13 people who have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in two separate schemes to use inside information to make improper trades ahead of public announcements of stock recommendations by UBS analysts and ahead of news of pending mergers and acquisitions in which Morgan Stanley was an advisor.

In October, Randi E. Collotta, a one-time Morgan Stanley compliance officer, and her husband, Christopher, were each ordered to serve six months home confinement and sentenced to a term of probation after pleading guilty in the case.

In December, Marc Jurman, a Florida broker, was sentenced to two years of probation. Jurman pleaded guilty in the case and cooperated with the government.

In February, Paul Risoli, a former registered representative at Bank of America Corp.'s (BAC) securities unit, was sentenced to seven months in prison in a kickback scheme related to the case.

Earlier this month, Ken Okada, a one-time Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC) registered representative, was sentenced to three years probation after pleaded guilty last November.

Prosecutors had alleged that McKeever and Samuel W. Childs Jr., another Assent employee, each received about $30,000 in kickbacks between August 2006 and November 2006 for concealing trades made by customers based on the UBS inside information from higher-level management at Assent. Childs pleaded guilty to conspiracy in April and is awaiting sentencing.

The government had alleged the men agreed to conceal an insider-trading scheme by David Glass, the operator of Jasper Capital, and David Tavdy, a former securities trader, according to court documents.

Glass agreed at the time to pay a total of about $100,000 to Childs and about $50,000 to McKeever to conceal the scheme, prosecutors said. Glass and Tavdy have both pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the matter.

McKeever was originally charged in March 2006 with conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of commercial bribery.

-By Chad Bray, Dow Jones Newswires
UPDATE: Ex-Assent Employee Gets Probation In Insider Case

Why you see lines in the sky all the time

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Climate change alarmists have never been apt to shy away from courting controversy with their dire forecasts of coming environmental apocalypse, but their latest "solution" takes the biscuit - they want to pollute the air with sulphur and cut down pristine beautiful old growth forests to stop global warming!

No you didn’t read that wrong - scientists really are proposing to obliterate majestic canopies of forest that are hundreds of years old while pumping the upper atmosphere full of an acid-rain causing pollutant, changing the very color of our serene blue skies, all in the name of saving the environment.

"Australian scientist Tim Flannery has proposed a radical solution to climate change which may change the colour of the sky," reports The Age.

"Professor Flannery said climate change was happening so quickly that mankind might need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive. The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming."

Flannery says the process of adding sulphur to jet fuel in aero planes needs to happen within 5 years, but admits, "The consequences of doing that are unknown."

Oh yeah sure - makes perfect sense! We don’t know what the actual consequences will be but let’s just start dumping a compound that causes "substantial damage to the natural environment" into the atmosphere willy nilly in order to save the environment!

After all, New Scientist tells us that acid rain reduces global warming so why not accept a little environmental degradation in order to…..save the environment!

We can also look forward to enjoying the following goodies should Flannery’s proposal gain support, all of which are associated with exposure to sulphur.

- Neurological effects and behavioral changes
- Disturbance of blood circulation
- Heart damage
- Effects on eyes and eyesight
- Reproductive failure
- Damage to immune systems
- Stomach and gastrointestinal disorder
- Damage to liver and kidney functions
- Hearing defects
- Disturbance of the hormonal metabolism
- Dermatological effects
- Suffocation and lung embolism

As we reported last month, Government scientists have already been experimenting with the feasibility of bombarding the Earth’s upper atmosphere with microscopic glass particles to dampen the effects of "global warming," despite warnings that the process could damage the ozone layer.

spray sky

Goodbye blue sky? Scientists propose mass spraying of sulphur despite admitting "the consequences are unknown".

But that’s not enough. According to climate alarmists, to save the planet we also need to rip out its lungs - old growth forests.

Since trees absorb carbon dioxide - that evil gas that we breathe - but then begin to give it off as they age, why not just cut down all the trees and turn the planet into one big landfill? That’s effectively what atmospheric scientist Ning Zeng recently told New Scientist magazine, urging the process of "thinning forests and burying "excess wood" in a manner in which its didn’t decay could sequester enough carbon to offset all of our fossil-fuel emissions."

"Over its lifetime, a tree shifts from being a vacuum cleaner for atmospheric carbon to an emitter. A tree absorbs roughly 1,500 pounds of CO2 in its first 55 years. After that, its growth slows, and it takes in less carbon. Left untouched, it ultimately rots or burns and all that CO2 gets released," reports Wired Magazine.

Oh the horror! More trees, plants and crops growing and feeding the world due to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere! We can’t have that can we!

The solution: "Clear the oldest trees and then take out dead trunks and branches to prevent fires; landfill the scrap."

And you can trust the government and global corporations to re-plant fresh trees and not use the land to build a new multiplex cinema or a shopping arcade. Seriously, just trust them.

Wait a minute, I thought humans were responsible for CO2 emissions? No - now trees are evil and we must get rid of them. Obviously God got it wrong.

Global warming is a phenomenon that has not been observed since 1998 and will probably not be observed for the next 10 years, according to scientists who are being forced to respond to evidence of global cooling, but who assure us the deadly menace of man-made climate change will return.

Al Gore and his sycophants are proposing that to fight a non-existent problem, we must effectively poison and rape the earth in order to help save the earth.

In light of this contradiction, it’s necessary to question who are the real environmental threats to the planet? People driving SUV’s that emit the natural, life giving gas, the very thing we exhale, and the food that trees and plants crave, CO2 - or the folks that want to have airliners dump vast quantities of poison on us while ripping out the world’s most precious and ancient woodland forests?

Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

YouTube - Peak Oil on CNBC

Peak Oil Concerns on CNBC
Oil hit another all time high today.
@9:40 am est "Crude, now trading under the June contract, was up $1.82 at $128.87 this morning after topping $129 a barrel earlier in the session. Oil closed above $127 a barrel for the first time on Monday." -msn

Some of the scariest reading material i have ever come across:

YouTube - st0ckman's Channel

Pre Market Trading Indications

Futures had a delayed reaction to this morning's mixed PPI data, before extending their declines just after 8:30ET. April PPI came in at a lower than expected 0.2% m/m (consensus 0.4%) and 6.5% yr/yr (consensus 6.7%), but core PPI, which excludes food and energy, came in at a higher than expected 0.4% m/m (consensus 0.2%) and 3.0% yr/yr (consensus 2.9%). Dow futures are currently -87; Nasdaq futures are currently -14.5; S&P futures are currently -9.4. T

Gapping down in reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: CIMT -16.1% (very light volume), CNTF -14.5%, SMOD -14.5% (very light volume after trading resumed), CSUN -9.0%, GRRF -6.5%, TMA -4.3% (also plans to announce Q1 earnings by June 2, 2008), AVAN -4.2%, HD -3.0%, ITY -2.9%...

Select mining stocks showing weakness following Morgan Stanley comments that miners face a 10-20% short-term correction
: BBL -4.2%, AAUK -3.3%, RTP -3.2%, BHP -3.1%, RIO -2.1%...

Select China names trading lower following weakness in overseas trading: PTR -3.2%, SNP -2.8%, HOKU -2.2%, CHL -2.2% (reported slower subscriber growth last month), RCH -1.3%, CEO -1.0%...

Other news: SWHC -7.6% (announces public offering of 6,250,000 shares for approx $31.9 mln net proceeds), CCL -2.3% (still checking), WRE -1.8% (announces public offering of 2.3 mln common shares), NUE -1.6% (commences a 25 mln share common stock offering), UDRL -1.5% (files for 5 mln share common stock offering and for resale of up to ~10.7 mln shares common stock by selling stockholders)...

Analyst downgrades
: COCO -6.4% (downgraded to Neutral at BofA), CECO -4.9% (downgraded to Sell at BofA), SEE -3.3% (downgraded to Sell at Merrill), ACGY -2.9% (downgraded to Sell at Citigroup), EMC -2.6% (downgraded to Market Perform at Bernstein), WGOV -2.3% (downgraded to Neutral at Baird), SYMC -1.1% (removed from Top Picks List at FBR).

Gapping up in reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: NCTY +7.0%, MF +3.5%, ESLT +3.5%, MDT +3.3%...

M&A news
: JAZ 76.5% (to be acquired by Tower Semiconductor)...

Select solar stocks showing modest strength: CSIQ +2.7%, AKNS +2.7%, SOLF +2.1%, ESLR +1.6%, FSLR +1.2%...

Other news
: ENA +42.5% (the co and IC Bus execute long term agreement; valued in excess of $120 mln), PEIX +7.6% (continued strength following yesterday's 40%+surge higher), SATC +7.5% (receives 10 MW order for a photovoltaic installation in Spain), PRGN +6.5% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney), NFLX +5.3% (teams with Roku on player that streams movies directly to the tv; also upgraded to Overweight at Lehman) TNB +4.6% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney), AMKR +2.8% (still checking), HALO +2.4% (presents pre-clinical studies on dermal remodeling with HTI-501, a lysosomal proteinase), SBLK +2.2% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney), AZN +1.6% (Seroquel Court hearing brought forward to May 20 - DJ), AMGN +1.6% (announces denosumab osteoporosis study meets primary and all secondary bone mineral density endpoints in Alendronate transition study), GIVN +1.0% (study confirms PillCam COLON's potential as a complement to colonoscopy to increase colo-rectal screenings)...

Analyst upgrades
: EXC +1.6% (upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse and upgraded to Buy at Deutsche Bank), FCL +1.3% (upgraded to Add at Calyon), NVLS +1.1% (added to US 1 Portfolio List at Merrill), PDS +1.0% (upgraded to Outperform at RBC).

Gapping up: JAZ +82.4%, SBLK +10.9%, PRGN +9.9%, CSUN +7.2%, AMKR +5.6%, TNB +4.3%, AMGN +3.0%, DRYS +2.4%, HALO +2.4%, AZN +1.9%, HD +1.5%...

Gapping down
: CNTF -14.1%, GRRF -13.0%, TMA -8.7%, RTP -3.2%, BHP -3.1%, CCL -2.3%, NUE -1.6%, WGOV -1.5%.

Opening View: Home Depot, Staples, Target Create Retail Earnings Bonanza

Turning to earnings, Home Depot (HD: View sentiment for HDsentiment, chart, options) said first-quarter net income dropped 66% to $356 million, or 21 cents per share. The results were impacted by a $543 million charge on the closing of 15 stores and removal of 50 stores from the future growth pipeline. Sales fell 3.4% to $17.91 billion, with same-store sales down 6.5%. On an adjusted basis, earnings would have arrived at 41 cents per share. Analysts were looking for a profit of 37 cents per share on sales of $17.64 billion. "The housing and home improvement markets remained difficult in the first quarter; in fact, conditions worsened in many areas of the country," CEO Frank Blake said.

Elsewhere, Staples (SPLS: View sentiment for SPLSsentiment, chart, options) said that its first-quarter profit rose to $212.3 million, or 30 cents per share, from $209.1 million, or 29 cents per share, last year. Revenue rose to $4.88 billion from $4.59 billion. Analysts were looking for a profit of 30 cents per share. The company said it expects the "weak economic climate to continue throughout 2008," but maintained its previous full-year outlook.

Rounding out our earnings coverage, Target (TGT) reported first quarter earnings of 74 cents per share on revenue of $14.8 billion. Analysts were looking for earnings of 71 cents per share, with revenue of $14.87 billion. The company also noted that gross margins declined slightly from last year and that it was closing its receivables transaction with J.P. Morgan Chase.

In the financial realm, Barclays (BCS: View sentiment for BCSsentiment, chart, options) is reportedly considering acquisitions of banks ranging from Lehman Brothers (LEH: View sentiment for LEHsentiment, chart, options) and UBS (UBS: View sentiment for UBSsentiment, chart, options) to Britain's Alliance & Leicester, according to the Daily Telegraph. However, the report cited no sources, and Barclays said it doesn't comment on market speculation.

Opening View: Home Depot, Staples, Target Create Retail Earnings Bonanza

Pre Market Trading -blogging stocks

Jazz Technologies (AMEX:JAZ) is up 77% on a buyout by Tower Semiconductor.

China Sunergy (NASDAQ:CSUN) is up over 6% on strong earnings.

Amkor (NASDAQ:AMKR) is up almost 6% after announcing that it CFO would speak at a large investor conference.

Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE:TMA) is off 8% on news that its will have a sharp loss for the last quarter.

Before the bell: Futures lower ahead of PPI, after HD earnings

After announcing a deal with France's Orange last week, and as the June 9 keynote address from Steve Jobs approaches, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may be finally close to a deal that would add two of Asia's hottest cellphone carriers, Japan and Korea, to its growing list of international partners. According to reports in Asian news services, Apple is planning a special joint release of the next-generation iPhone with Japan's NTT DoCoMo and Korea Telecom Freetel. That would leave China as the last big Asian market without an authorized iPhone carrier.

According to the Telegraph, Barclays (NYSE: BCS) is considering an acquisition of investment banks and looked at Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) and UBS (NYSE: UBS).

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is cutting production at its Volvo unit, possibly affecting one-third of the workers, in an attempt to cut costs and losses at the upscale Swedish brand. The cut comes amid speculation that Ford is priming Volvo for a sale.

The Journal also reported that there was a breakdown in talks between General Motors (NYSE: GM) and the United Auto Workers union, which could extend a costly strike at a Kansas assembly line that makes the profitable Malibu sedan.

Earnings today also include Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and after the close, the delayed results from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) as well as those from Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU).

An executive in charge of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA)'s 787 program, said the highly anticipated 787 jetliner is on track for a June "power on" milestone, and subsequent planes are arriving at the final assembly floor in better and better shape. After three delays, that will cost Boeing billions of dollars, powering up the 787 for the first time is a major milestone.

The world's fourth-largest tobacco firm, Imperial Tobacco (NYSE: ITY) said Tuesday its profit sank 45% in the first half and it plans to raise $9.6 billion by selling shares at a discount to help pay for its recent acquisition of the Spanish tobacco business Altadis.

Before the bell: AAPL, BCS, LEH, F, GM, HPQ, BA, ITY ... - BloggingStocks

NYSE Arca Morning Update PreMarket Trading

Stocks trading on NYSE Arca at a price more than 15% away from the previous trade day's consolidated close price. (As of 08:30:00 ET)

Monday's Close Current Price Pct Chng Current NYSE Arca Vol



( 66%)







10 Most Active stocks on NYSE Arca as of 08:30:00 ET

Based on Dollar Volume: Based on Share Volume:
Dollar Volume
Share Volume

NYSE Arca Morning Update

Pre-Market Trading Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Paragon Shipping Inc.
$20.57 $22 6.95% 13,179

Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
$13.70 $14.65 6.93% 3,450

China Sunergy Co., Ltd.
$13.06 $13.70 4.90% 46,763

City Telecom (H.K.) Limited
$5.75 $6 4.35% 15,700

Elbit Systems Ltd.
$56.79 $58.66 3.29% 9,476

Netflix, Inc.
$30.98 $32 3.29% 5,530

Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
$5.14 $5.30 3.11% 16,150

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
$25.18 $25.84 2.62% 32,337

Shire plc
$51.60 $52.68 2.09% 21,000

DryShips Inc.
$105 $107 1.90% 19,375

As of 5/20/2008 8:02:52 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


EMCORE Corporation
$8.38 $8.10 3.34% 4,300

Acergy S.A.
$27.51 $26.80 2.58% 3,200

Woodward Governor Company
$39.19 $38.68 1.30% 4,800

ASML Holding N.V.
$29.81 $29.69 0.39% 50,000

First Solar, Inc.
$295.90 $295.10 0.27% 3,858

Apple Inc.
$183.60 $183.20 0.22% 12,327

Yahoo! Inc.
$27.68 $27.65 0.11% 4,544

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1
$49.65 $49.60 0.10% 139,583

As of 5/20/2008 8:02:48 AM

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

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