Friday, May 30, 2008

151 Congressmen Derive Financial Profit From War

Blood money stains the hands of more than 25% of members of the U.S. House and Senate

Who profits from the Iraq war? More than a quarter of senators and congressmen have invested at least $196 million of their own money in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) that profit from the death and destruction in Iraq.

According to the latest reports, 151 members of Congress invested close to a quarter-billion in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in 2006. These companies got more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006, or $755 million per day, according to, a website of the watchdog group OMBWatch.

Congressmen gave themselves a loophole so they only have to report their assets in broad ranges. Thus, they can be off as much as 160 percent. (Try giving the IRS an estimate like that.) In 2004, the first full year after the present Iraq war began, Republican and Democratic lawmakers-both hawks and doves-invested between $74.9 million and $161.3 million in companies under contract with the DoD. In 2006 Democrats had at least $3.7 million invested in the defense sector alone, compared to the Republicans' "only" $577,500. As the war raged on, so did the billions of profits-and personal investments by Congress members in war contractors, which increased 5 percent from 2004 to 2006.

Investments in these contractors yielded Congress members between $15.8 million and $62 million in personal income from 2004 through 2006, through dividends, capital gains, royalties and interest. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who are two of Congress's wealthiest members, were among the lawmakers who garnered the most income from war contractors between 2004 and 2006: Sensenbrenner got at least $3.2 million and Kerry reaped at least $2.6 million.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees which oversee the Iraq war had between $32 million and $44 million invested in companies with DoD contracts.

War hawk Sen. Joe Lieberman (IConn.), chairman of the defense-related
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had at least $51,000 invested in these companies in 2006.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who voted for Bush's war, had stock in defense companies, such as Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon, but sold the stock in May 2007.

Of the 151 members whose investments are tied to the "defense" (war)
industry, as far as we know, not one of them offered to donate their bloodstained profits to the national treasury to offset the terrible debt they have imposed. Has one of them even offered to donate one cent of their war profits to lessen the debt that increases more than $1 million a minute?

When our boys and girls are wounded the government bills them to return their reenlistment bonus. They have to return any pay they received while they were hospitalized. They have to pay for their helmets and uniforms that are destroyed in the hell of war. But they keep on fighting for these politicians' right to keep their war profits.

• Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) $3,001,006 to $5,015,001
• Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) $250,001 to $500,000
• Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Tex.) $162,074 to $162,074
• Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) $115,002 to $300,000
• Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) $115,002 to $300,000
• Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) $100,870 to $100,870
• Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) $65,646 to $65,646
• Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) $50,008 to $227,000
• Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) $50,001 to $100,000
• Rep. Stephen Ira Cohen (D-Tenn.) $45,003 to $150,000

151 Congressmen Derive Financial Profit From War

Pre Market Trading Indications

Gapping down in reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: QADI -24.4%, JCG -18.4% (also downgraded to Sell at Citigroup and downgraded to Market Perform at Wachovia), SIGM -16.7% (also downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC, downgraded to Hold at Lazard Capital and downgraded to Hold at Roth Capital), MDCI -15.9%, OVTI -6.7%, TCM -2.6% (light volume)... Other news: DB -5.9% (stock goes ex-dividend today for $5.50 dividend), JBLU -4.1% (prices offering of 44.9 mln shares of common stock at $3.70; co also announced the pricing of it convertible debentures offering), ALTH -3.6% (announces the closing of its previously announced public offering at a public offering price of $5.64/share), UAUA -3.5% and LCC -2.8% (merger of United Airlines, US Airways is off the table for now - WSJ; LCC's CEO says consolidation involving US Airways will not occur at this time), UBS -2.2% (still checking), BHP -1.3% (notifies EU Regulator of Rio bid, triggers review -, SAP -1.0% (still checking)... Analyst downgrades: IDTI -5.2% (downgraded to Neutral at Cowen), OSTK -4.4% (downgraded to Sell at Merrill), SPC -1.4% (downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital), TSU -1.0% (downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley).

Gapping up in reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: MRVL +17.0% (also upgraded to Outperform at Oppenheimer and upgraded to Overweight at JPMorgan), ITI +11.1%, DELL +9.9% (also upgraded to Buy at Merrill), WIND +8.3%, FRPT +6.1% (also announces that the co and General Dynamics look to expand partnership - Bloomberg), GHM +5.7% (very light volume), WTSLA +4.0% (also upgraded to Overweight at JPMorgan), HEI +2.8%, TIF +2.7%, SEAC +2.2%... M&A news: KNTA +64.7% (to be acquired by BLKB for $1.12/share), QNTA +41.0% (to be acquired By Catalina Holdings for $2.80/share in cash), FIRE +13.1% (Barracuda Barracuda Networks proposes to acquire Sourcefire for $7.50/share in cash; FIRE subsequently rejects unsolicited acquisition proposal)... Select solar stocks rally as concerns ease over subsidy cuts - FSLR +7.1%, STP +6.7%, JASO +6.4%, SPWR +6.3%, SOL +5.9%, CY +5.4% (majority shareholder of SPWR), YGE +5.3%, LDK +4.2%, AKNS +4.0%, ESLR +3.9%, ASTI +3.4%... Other news: HRS +6.1% (began fielding expressions of interest from potential buyers this week, with preliminary bids for the co arriving in the low $70/share range - WSJ), ES +4.5% (wins Department of Energy tank operations contract at Hanford: DOE values the contract at $7.1 bln), CSU +2.5% (co's special committee engages financial advisor), F +2.4% (Tracinda waives tender offer condition relating to Ford share price decline), PEIX +2.3% (closes $28.5 mln financing through the sale of 6.0 mln units), AMAT +2.1% (Abu Dhabi Future Energy is significantly expanding its investment in solar energy by contracting with Applied Materials), ITW +1.6% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney)... Analyst upgrades: SNE +4.3% (upgraded to Buy at tier 1 firm), ADCT +2.4% (upgraded to Overweight at JPMorgan), CLHB +2.2% (upgraded to Outperform at Baird), AIG +2.0% (upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley), PBR +1.9% (Hearing upgraded to Buy from Neutral at tier 1 firm), BIG +1.4% (upgraded to Buy at Piper), PCL +1.3% (upgraded to Buy at Merrill), AREX +1.0% (initiated with Buy at Canaccord).

Gapping up
: MRVL +17.0%, DELL +9.9%, JASO +8.7%, WIND +8.3%, STP +6.7%, FRPT +6.1%, FSLR +5.9%, TIF +5.8%, CY +5.4%, SPWR +5.3%, ITI +5.2%, YGE +4.8%, ESLR +3.9%, AIG +3.1%, HEI +2.8%, F +2.4%, AMR +2.2%, PBR +2.2%, SEAC +2.2%, AMAT +2.1%, ITW +1.6%, WTSLA +1.4%, JOYG +1.3%... Gapping down: QADI -24.4%, SIGM -18.3%, JCG -14.9%, OVTI -7.9%, UBS -2.2%, TKC -2.0%, GOLD -1.6%, BHP -1.3%, SAP -1.3%.

Opening View: Tiffany & Co. Earnings Sparkle, Dell's Numbers Best Expectations

U.S. stock futures are trading mildly higher heading into the open, indicative of a potentially positive start to the regular session. In overseas trading, Asian exporters – including Canon and Toyota Motor – were lifted on a weaker yen, while European stocks got a boost from lower crude-oil prices. In focus this morning are earnings from Dell and Tiffany & Co., as well as merger-and-acquisition news (or lack thereof) from United Airlines and US Airways.

Stepping into the earnings limelight yesterday after the close was computer guru Dell (DELL: View sentiment for DELLsentiment, chart, options) . The company reported first-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share, up 4 pennies from the same period a year ago, while revenue for the quarter docked at $16.08 billion. Analysts, on average, were looking for a first-quarter profit of 34 cents per share on revenue of $15.7 billion. Already this morning, the prince of PCs was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Merrill Lynch, and the shares are set to open roughly 10% higher.

In other earnings news, high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF: View sentiment for TIFsentiment, chart, options) reported first-quarter net income of $64.4 million, or 50 cents per share, up from $54.1 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $668.1 million from $595.7 million. The Street was calling for earnings of 40 cents per share on sales of $647.6 million. In addition, the firm upped its fiscal-year earnings guidance by 5 cents, and announced plans to introduce a new, smaller store format later this year.

Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal this morning reported that a merger between United Airlines (UAUA: View sentiment for UAUAsentiment, chart, options) and US Airways (LCC: View sentiment for LCCsentiment, chart, options) is off the table, with the companies reportedly slated to officially announce the news today. Now, it seems United is close to an alliance – not a merger - agreement with sector peer Continental Airlines ( CAL: View sentiment for CALsentiment, chart, options) .

Opening View: Tiffany & Co. Earnings Sparkle, Dell's Numbers Best Expectations

NYSE Arca Morning Update

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)

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



( 18%)










( 17%)


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 Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Marvell Technology Group, Ltd.
$14.08 $16.47 16.97% 736,081

Dell Inc.
$21.81 $23.81 9.17% 471,078

First Solar, Inc.
$252.10 $268.97 6.69% 156,506

JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd.
$20.24 $21.50 6.23% 73,519

Wet Seal, Inc. (The)
$4.28 $4.52 5.61% 3,000

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
$4.79 $5 4.38% 3,300

Hoku Scientific, Inc.
$7.61 $7.93 4.20% 4,200

China Sunergy Co., Ltd.
$11.43 $11.80 3.24% 11,640

China Finance Online Co. Limited
$23.76 $24.30 2.27% 10,490

Applied Materials, Inc.
$19.63 $19.88 1.27% 38,682

As of 5/30/2008 8:18:45 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


JetBlue Airways Corporation
$4.15 $3.93 5.30% 321,280

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.
$2.59 $2.58 0.39% 31,279

Yahoo! Inc.
$27.07 $27.04 0.11% 5,650

As of 5/30/2008 8:18:52 AM

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

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