Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Is the stock market still your friend?

The Federal Reserve said interest-rate policies were still needed to invigorate the U.S. economy, so it will continue buying $85 billion in bonds every month to keep long-term rates low. The immediate result: The Dow Jones industrial average reached a new all-time high.

Although the past few days have been volatile, the trend still appears bullish. So what options do you have as an investor? You can continue what you’re doing in an uncertain market, you can sell your stocks and not worry about any crashes or shortfalls – there are legitimate reasons for concern in the weeks ahead – or you can continue to buy while the market achieves new highs and take your chances while the getting is good.

If you reached your financial goals, then getting out could be a good move, but analysts expect stocks to outperform bonds and cash over the next year.

The Stock Market Trends & Securities Report, Dow Theory Forecasts, noted that if an investor missed 40 of the market’s biggest days over 20 years (1987-2007), the return would have totaled 3.98 percent. Staying in the market fully invested, the average annualized return would have been 11.82 percent.

After October’s solid results, with the S&P 500 and the Dow reaching new highs, changing course would require difficult decision-making.

Two Town Crier “50” high-flying stocks made news last week.

• Facebook Inc. (FB; 48.66) stock gained 2.4 percent Thursday and continued to rise as the market declined. Why? Facebook reported quarterly earnings of 25 cents per share, beating an estimated 19 cents per share, while revenue increased 60 percent to $2.02 billion, compared with $1.26 billion a year earlier.

Not all is rosy with the Menlo Park-based company, however. It appears that the fever youth once had for Facebook is cooling off. Daily use by the teen demographic declined in the third quarter from the second quarter. Other age groups, though, more than made up for the decline.

The primary reason for the impressive growth is mobile sales. While Facebook was not in the mobile ad business when it went public in May 2012, ads now account for nearly half of the company’s $1.8 billion in advertising revenue. Mobile and business advertising rose because Internet users are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets.

Facebook will probably be around for a long time. Although it is losing some of its younger users, it has far more monthly users than Twitter and Linkedln combined.

The upgrade and downgrade history for Facebook stock has changed since the company went public in 2012. Since April 5, analysts have recommended a buy, with only a few holds. The high target price is $68, with a low of $24.90. Logical advice would be to buy on a dip.

• LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD; $224.14) is currently trading around its peak value and five times its 2011 initial public offering of $45. Investors are beginning to question whether the high valuation is correct and whether the price will continue to escalate.

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site, with revenue for the fourth quarter approximately $414-$420 million, according to Bloomberg. Sales in the third quarter climbed 56 percent to $393 million. The company reported a net loss of $3.36 million, or 3 cents per share in the latest quarter.

As the Mountain View-based company builds its revenue from smartphones and tablet viewing, mobile activity already accounts for more than half of its sales from product-sponsored updates. LinkedIn has 4,241 full-time employees.

The Talent segment, in which LinkedIn charges a subscription fee for access to its database of recruiters, provides its main source of revenue. It has launched new products in Sponsored Updates and University Pages in the past two months. Faced with decelerating growth, LinkedIn seeks new users overseas to generate additional revenue.

The stock’s upgrade and downgrade history since February has been a buy. The 30 brokers following the company deem the high target price $300 and the low $195.

The company is a bit risky to buy right now, but on a pullback it could make investors happy, so buy on the dip.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and longtime investor in stocks.

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