Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Robotic Spy Insects w/ Weapons

Biological weapons delivered by cyborg insects. It sounds like a nightmare scenario straight out of the wilder realms of science fiction, but it could be a reality, if a current Pentagon project comes to fruition.

Right now, researchers are already growing insects with electronics inside them. They're creating cyborg moths and flying beetles that can be remotely controlled. One day, the U.S. military may field squadrons of winged insect/machine hybrids with on-board audio, video or chemical sensors. These cyborg insects could conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions on distant battlefields, in far-off caves, or maybe even in cities closer to home, and transmit detailed data back to their handlers at U.S. military bases.

Today, many people fear U.S. government surveillance of email and cell phone communications. With this program, the Pentagon aims to exponentially increase the paranoia. Imagine a world in which any insect fluttering past your window may be a remote-controlled spy, packed with surveillance equipment. Even more frightening is the prospect that such creatures could be weaponized, and the possibility, according to one scientist intimately familiar with the project, that these cyborg insects might be armed with "bio weapons."

For the past 50 years, work by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- the Pentagon's blue skies research outfit -- has led to some of the most lethal weaponry in the U.S. arsenal: from Hellfire-missile-equipped Predator drones and stealth fighters and bombers to Tomahawk cruise missiles and Javelin portable "fire and forget" guided missiles. For the last several years, DARPA has funneled significant sums of money into a very different kind of guided missile project, its Hybrid Insect MEMS (HI-MEMS) program. This project is, according to DARPA, "aimed at developing tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems [MEMS] inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis." Put simply, the creation of cyborg insects: part bug, part bot.

excellent full article here:
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon's Battle Bugs

Which Giant Corporation Owns Your Favorite Organic Food Brand?

NOTE: See our All About Organics page where we have links to multiple charts by Phil Howard

Did you know that Boca is owned by Kraft? That Naked Juice is completely controlled by Pepsi? That General Mills runs Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen?

This fascinating chart (to view it click the source link below) by Phil Howard, an assistant professor of Community, Agriculture, and Recreation and Resource studies at Michigan State University, will show you where your money really goes when you buy that name-brand "organic" snack -- and you can bet that if it's made by Kraft, it's probably not coming from a small family farm, either.
Sources: Good Magazine March/April 2008

Which Giant Corporation Owns Your Favorite Organic Food Brand?

Pre Market Gap Indications

Following yesterday's modest gains, futures indicate a higher open for the mkt as Q1 write-downs at European investment banks UBS (UBS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) were lower than some investors had feared. The understanding that these banks are still adequately capitalized has also been an offsetting factor after UBS also announced it will ask shareholders to approve up to 15 bln Swiss francs ($15.07 bln) in additional funds to shore up its dwindling capital base, while Lehman Brothers (LEH) said it will offer 3 mln shares of convertible preferred stock. Lastly, Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of UBS to Buy from Hold this morning. Dow futures are currently +127; Nasdaq futures are currently +23.0; S&P futures are currently +15.3.

The Bond mkt is trading sharply lower this morning on the strength in equity futures and financial stocks. The 10-yr is currently -26/32 to 3.507%... In Commodities, the dollar is stronger this morning, particularly against the euro and yen, which is putting pressure on precious metals. June gold ($896.70 -24.80) has broken below the $900 level (low of $892.50), while May silver is trading off 54.5 cents to $16.765. May crude oil ($99.81 -1.77) is probing the $100 level (low of $99.68), helped by the weaker dollar and reports a fire on the Trans-Niger pipeline has not affected exports from the Bonny terminal, according to Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), and Iraq's southern oil fields will return to normal production volumes today after losing 150K bpd over the last three days due to power outages caused by clashes between the army and Shiite militants... In Europe, UBS charged higher, leading European mkts up on hopes that the banking sector may be at a turning point. FTSE is currently +1.3%; DAX is currently +1.9%; CAC is currently +1.8%. In Asia, mkts closed mixed as traders shrugged off a poor Tankan survey in Japan, but China's Shanghai Composite plunged to an 11-month closing low after the People's Bank of China late on Monday said policy would stay tight to fight inflation. Nikkei closed +1.0%; Hang Seng closed +1.1%; Shanghai Composite closed -4.1%... Notable pre-market Calls include Upgrades: UBS at Deutsche Bank, VMW at Wachovia; Downgrades: MO at Morgan Stanley, VMW at Credit Suisse; Miscellaneous: Goldman cuts Q1 ests on C and MER... On the Earnings calendar, EXFO and BLUD are the only companies confirmed to report today after the close... On the Economic calendar, the Mar ISM Manufacturing Index (consensus 47.5; prior 48.3) and Feb Construction Spending m/m (consensus -0.9%; prior -1.7%) are both due out at 10:00ET.

Gapping down in reaction to weak earnings/guidance
: GBN -7.1%, BUF -6.4%, PCL -4.2%, RMG -4.1%, KRY -3.1%, TISI -3.1%, CNO -2.9%, APWR -1.0%...

Select metals/mining stocks showing weakness with lower spot prices on strength in the dollar: PAL -5.3%, KGC -4.1%, HMY -3.5%, GOLD -3.1%, HL -3.0%, AU -2.8%, CDE -2.7%, ABX -2.5%, GLD -2.4%, SLV -2.4%, GFI -2.3%, MT -2.0%, RTP -1.8%, NEM -1.8% (Newmont Indonesia offers to sell 7% to govt - Reuters.com)...

Other news
: TMY -9.0% (terminates merger agreement), KFN -4.4% (announces proposed common share offering of 20 mln common shares; also downgraded to Peer Perform at Bear Sterns), ANR -4.0% (announces launch of capital markets transactions), YHOO -2.5% (Microsoft unlikely to raise Yahoo offer - WSJ)...

Analyst downgrades
: AVCT -5.3% (downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC), HPT -4.5% (downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Wachovia), MO -3.6% (downgraded to Equal Wt at Morgan Stanley).

Gapping up in reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: CDS +7.6%, SPIR +4.2%, GSI +3.6%, OXM +1.3%...

M&A news
: CAO +18.2% (to be acquired by O'Reilly for $11.00 of O'Reilly common stock plus $1.00 in cash)...

Select financial names showing strength with a number of news items out
: UBS +8.1% (co releases financial update, seeks fresh capital and expects $19 bln in write-downs; chairman will depart; also upgraded to Buy at Deutsche Bank), BCS +5.0%, RBS +4.1%, LEH +3.6% (to offer 3 mln shares of convertible preferred stock; analyst commentary on offering is generally positive), WM +3.5%, WFC +3.1%, DB +2.9% (faces write-downs of about $3.95 bln), WB +2.8%, MER +1.9%, MS +1.9%, DB +1.8%, C +1.8%...

Other news
: TMA +35.5% (raised $1.35 bln through private placement of senior subordinated secured notes and warrants), CEGE +34.9% (Cell Genesys and Takeda announce global alliance for the development and commercialization of GVAX immunotherapy for prostate cancer), IMH +18.1% (announces the co has settled a majority of repurchase liabilities), ATN +4.9% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney), VVUS +4.5% (completes special protocol assessment for Phase 3 efficacy studies and reaches agreement with FTA on the studies), NOK +3.8% (still checking), MOT +2.5% (Videocon to bid for Motorola's global mobile business, Chairman says - DJ), SRDX +2.3% (announces first human use of SynBiosys biodegradable polymer on cardiomind drug-eluting stent), STP +2.0% (Nitol Solar and Suntech expand Polysilicon supply agreement), DELL +1.4% (undertaking a strategic assessment of ownership alternatives for its Dell Financial Services financing activities), CYTK +1.2% (announces CK-1827452 demonstrates increase in left ventricular function with no increase in myocardial oxygen consumption in canine model), BAP +1.1% (Cramer makes positive comments on MadMoney)...

Analyst upgrades
: HANS +4.8% (upgraded to Buy at tier 1 firm), PIR +4.5% (upgraded to Buy at Deutsche Bank and initiated with a Buy at Jesup and Lamont), BWLD +4.1% (upgraded to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette), AKAM +3.6% (upgraded to Buy at Piper), AZN +3.5% (upgraded to Neutral at JPMorgan), ANSS +3.0% (upgraded to Buy at Jefferies), ATHR +2.8% (upgraded to Overwt at Weisel), VMW +2.8% (upgraded to Outperform at Wachovia), WBD +2.6% (upgraded to Buy at Merrill), ADBE +1.6% (added to Alpha List at Piper Jaffray), AAPL +1.5% (reinstated with Buy at Merrill), BG +1.3% (upgraded to Outperform at BMO).

NYSE Arca Morning Update

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008 :

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





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 Gaps

Gapping up:

TMA +57.0%, CEGE +38.3%, IMH +8.7%, UBS +8.1%, COMS +5.7%, ATN +4.9%, BCS +4.3%, SPIR +4.2%, NOK +3.8%, GSI +3.6%, AZN +3.5%, LEH +3.5%, HANS +3.4%, WBD +2.6%, GSK +2.4%, SRDX +2.3%, MER +1.9%, DB +1.8%, BAP +1.1%...

Gapping down:

KFN -9.3%, TMY -9.0%, DDSS -8.5%, RMG -7.0%, SIVB -6.0%, TISI -5.0%, GOLD -3.0%, OPWV -2.9%, GLD -2.0%, CCU -2.0%, YHOO -1.3%, IBM -1.0%.

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Cell Genesys, Inc.
$2.35 $3.14 33.62% 5,215

Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc.
$6.53 $7.26 11.18% 7,000

Hansen Natural Corporation
$35.30 $37.40 5.95% 89,333

Dendreon Corporation
$4.82 $5.05 4.77% 5,990

WPP Group plc
$59.64 $62.19 4.28% 5,000

Akamai Technologies, Inc.
$28.16 $29.30 4.05% 7,054

3Com Corporation
$2.29 $2.35 2.62% 4,300

SanDisk Corporation
$22.57 $23.14 2.53% 9,270

Citrix Systems, Inc.
$29.33 $29.99 2.25% 5,777

Research in Motion Limited
$112.23 $114.61 2.12% 85,784

As of 4/1/2008 8:11:27 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Avocent Corporation
$16.90 $16 5.33% 6,000

Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.
$26.97 $26.10 3.23% 4,600

Randgold Resources Limited
$46.34 $44.97 2.96% 6,800

Yahoo! Inc.
$28.93 $28.13 2.77% 106,925

Aware, Inc.
$3.68 $3.65 0.82% 161,912

As of 4/1/2008 8:11:14 AM

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

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