Month: June 2014

Solarpunk was born (and went to sleep) in 19th C. France $SCTY $SPWR $SUNE $FSLR $CSIQ $TAN

Could a Solarpunk age have been born in 19th century France?

The world’s first photovoltaic cells were created by 19 year old Edmond Becquerel in 1839. Tinkering in his father’s lab, young Becquerel put silver chloride in an acidic solution, which was illuminated while connected to platinum electrodes, creating voltage and a current. The photovoltaic effect has also been known as the “Becquerel effect” courtesy of this jeune homme. (Footnote: Becquerel’s subsequent research on light would help to substantiate work by another 19th century pioneer in electromagnetism, Michael Faraday.)

About a generation after Becquerel’s discovery, Augustin Mouchot, a French math teacher, helped to create in the 1860s what may have been the first government funded solar power venture. Courtesy of funds from Napoleon III (who may have been worthier than any King Louis for the sobriquet of “Sun King”) Mouchot developed solar powered steam engines, leading to the world’s first solar power farm in what was French Algeria. Alas the prospects of the birth of a carbon free age were put on hold, courtesy of a French government report about recent efficiencies in coal mining and a free trade pact, the Cobden-Chevaliar treaty, with the United Kingdom.

Interrupted by macro-events, such as the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and free trade with the UK, the first Solar Age was prematurely born and went into coma, slowly awakening upon an announcement by Bell Labs in 1954 that it had developed solar cells with 6% efficiency. The New York Times trumpeted the promise of the “limitless energy of the sun” but it was still early days.

Coal would be supplanted by petroleum, as solar bided its time, apparently relegated to the roofs of homebuilding mavericks, progressive communes, research labs and science fairs.

Here we are 150-plus years after Becquerel, and cutting edge solar cells are at about 45% efficiency and climbing, albeit within the coddled R&D environment or for high end deep pocket situations for NASA’s needs in outer space, but those Frenchmen may yet have the last laugh by the 200th anniversary of Becquerel’s discovery with a solar power renaissance.

Alexandre_Edmond_Becquerel,_by_Pierre_Petit
Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, inventor of the world’s first solar cell.

Mouchot

Augustin Mouchot, math teacher and solar steam innovator, father of the world’s first solar power farm.

Mouchot1878x

But maybe the energy world’s frail step-sibling, may get to join the big kids’ table, pushing aside hydrocarbons.

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(NOTE: Sunpower holds as of this writing a commercial solar module record of 21.5% efficiency.)

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Best_Research-Cell_Efficiencies
(NOTE: A now slightly outdated chart, 2010, from the U.S. Energy Dept.’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustin_Mouchot
http://www.larousse.fr/encyclopedie/personnage/Mouchot/134226
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_solar_cells
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._E._Becquerel
http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/02/which-solar-panels-most-efficient/

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Trades for June 30, 2014: from $ALKS to $SPWR

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AMLP_062714

BIG_062714

CBG_062714

CHTR_062714

DAN_062714

DRE_062714

DVA_062714

FL_062714

HT_062714

ITT_062714

JBLU_062714

LPI_062714

MSFT_062714

PPC_062714

RH_062714

RSG_062714

SLB_062714

SPWR_062714

The stonecutter’s hundred and first blow.

“When nothing seems to help I go back and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

I think of all the moments in my little life, all my memories, ups and downs, and the notion that one truly fails only after giving up or not even trying or risking loss. I think of all the success stories describing all the aspects of the human condition and human experience. If some ancestor of ours had called it quits, or shrugged his or her shoulders then maybe we would not come into existence and have the luxuries we take for granted, included the writing or reading of this self-indulgent blog passage. With the gift of our existence comes also the privilege of getting up after stumbling or falling, and going for that one hundred and first attempt at whatever rock we have chosen, or has been bestowed upon or befallen on us.

Passion
Patience
Persistence
Practice
Performance

h/t Michael Covel, famed for his extensive coverage of trend trading, quoted New York immigrant and journalist Jacob Riis.

Trading ideas as of June 22, 2014: from $AET to $XOP

Plenty of weekly charts, with “slower” weekly averages as a rough trend guide,along with volume, hint at the ebullience returning the markets with its pretty head, shaking long lustrous locks of confidence. Still “energetic” in terms of the composition , of this heavily filtered list. Traders with a shorter time frame will not be “playing” these ideas necessarily, but they’re definitely playing. I remain sanguine and play a much smaller list, working on price but also in ideas with a theme returning to favor. The ideal is to seek the “leaders” and focus one’s precious energy and time but it comes at the expense of human error and one can miss the true leadership chosen by the market. It’s best to maintain constant observation for the time frame you’ve chosen and adjust for a tolerable risk management model that avoids risk of ruin but also avoids risk of conflict with a trader’s unique sense of self and identity.

AET_062214

AKRX

ALKS_062214

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APD_062214

BEE_062214

BK_062214

BUD_062214

CAM_062214

CDNS_062214

COF_062214

CONE_062214

CSX_062214

CUBE_062214

DAN_062214

DHR_062214

ENTG_062214

FTI_062214

HCA_062214

HOLX_062214

IDTI_062214

ITW_062214

IVV_062214

JNJ_062214

KRFT_062214

MDY_062214

MMC_062214

MRO_062214

NBL_062214

OIH_062214

PBF_062214

RGP_062214

RLJ_062214

RSG_062214

TEL_062214

USB_062214

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WIN_062214

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XOP_062214

“Anyone can be complicated. Simplicity? That’s hard.” (British docudrama, The Great Train Robbery (2013))

I’m watching a random Netflix find, The Great Train Robbery (2013), a docudrama released 50 years after a August 8, 1963 notorious train robbery in Britain. A young brilliant thief, is given a tip to a train shipment of used currency. In traders’ parlance, this might be the equivalent also of a “tip” but now how to take advantage of it? That comes down to developing a procedure to make the most of this advantage. The younger thief recruits the assistance of another group of thieves with some experience. Then, the two heads of these “firms”, a/k/a gangs, collaborate during the planning stage of a train robbery, promising 1 million British Pounds (it’s 1963 remember, so that amount was even larger in comparison to 2013 Pounds). An older robber shows the young genius how he changes a train traffic light, with a battery to turn on one light, to slow the train, but then shows how to turn off a green “go” light, with a simple black glove. After the younger robber expresses his incredulity with the comment that anyone could have thought of this solution, the older robber responds, “Anyone can be complicated. Simplicity? That’s hard.”

Trading is something which can benefit from simplicity, and that is the “edge” which traders can employ to their advantage. Imagine being able to do something over and over, without wrestling with a mental cloud of conflicts and the distractions of biases and prejudices? Trading can be reduced to a process that is SIMPLE and straightforward, albeit still difficult or challenging for a variety of reasons. If there’s a system adhered to with proper planning, practice, discipline, and the will to succeed, then perhaps more than a million “quid” could be “nicked” from the markets.

In my case, the edge is provided by a focus on price.

Trades for June 16, 2014 from $APC to $XOP

In this “late stage” market, we see the usual suspect, energy. Presented below are longs of energy related plays, chips and other assorted ideas. Iraq or no Iraq “failed state”,this move has been unfolding for months. I have found many ideas, but the below included charts have either volume and or chart/price highs to commend them, with a weekly time frame. Readers must filter further to see if there are any trades compatible with their respective approaches.

APC_061614

BRCM_061614

CP_061614

CVE_061614

DVN_061614

EQIX_061614

IDTI_061614

INTC_061614

NFX_061614

NVDA_061614

OIH_061614

PXD_061614

RSG_061614

SMH_061614

SN_061614

SU_06161

TPLM_061614

XEC_061614

XLE_061614

XOP_061614

Heart of Glass: $GTAT

Sapphire glass, for a bigger iPhone, and maybe better production costs than not long ago versus Gorilla glass? I won’t shed tears for Corning, they’ve been around for so long, and keep innovating and will keep breaking through their perpetual R&D glass ceiling, as they always have. Chart below is weekly and continues to indicate a promising outlook.

GTAT_weekly_061214

One to Watch $MTL

Roundly hated, derided, despised, both the R in ‘BRIC’ and cyclical play like steel. Comments from “fundy” greats like the two great Jims, Grant and Rogers, gives credence to a greater “story”. BUT price first and then the right way to play.

The below chart is weekly, and we can see there is “work” to be done.

MTL_WKLY_061214

Charts as of May 5, 2014: from $AL to $XRX

Less sanguine, courtesy of across the board index price levels. The price says it all (now if only volume would “comply”, but anyone reading this is likely a “small” trader and can play in these relatively “shallow” pools filled with actionable ripples. The screens I use are replete with longs, a few “sells”, but I’ve tried my best to look at recent volume associated with daily price activity, but he charts below presented after my customary weekly price filter.

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CAR_060814

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CNX_060814

CP_060814

DYN_060814

EW_060814

EWW_060814

FLEX_060814

GMCR_060814

HUN_060814

INDA_060814

ISIL_060814

JXI_060814

OVTI_060814

SAN_060814

SEM_060814

TPX_060814

VIG_060814

WFT_060814

XRX_060814

‘The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.’ ~Moliere

‘The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.’ ~Moliere

Sometimes it just takes more time. But it will happen.

Or sometimes it’s going at a pace that’s as expected or as usual, but it just requires more patience.

And sometimes it just means going slower to make it as best as possible, or to achieve and produce more.

And sometimes that’s just the way it is, whether it happens or not.

But no matter what, most times you can’t control the outcome and it can either take you a split-second or a whole lifetime to reconcile yourself with that reality.