Wed05042016

News

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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The market trend is still bullish

Looking at your increased portfolio, the present trend is still in the bullish camp. Investors anticipate a jolly good time in December.

With another month to go in 2013, you hear many conflicting opinions on the prospects for 2014. Knowing what to believe can be difficult, but if November was an omen for next year, we should all feel happy. November was a great month for stocks. The Dow is above 16,000, the S&P 500 is trading above 1,800 and last week the Nasdaq closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years.

Year-to-date the indexes have increased between 20 and 35 percent for a record-breaking year, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s bond purchases, a recovering economy and solid corporate earnings.

Stocks are not in a bubble position. At less than 19 times current-year earnings, the median S&P 500 stock trades at a 13 percent premium to 10-year norms. Valuations have reached much higher levels at previous market peaks.

Also, the stock market has not run out of potential catalysts. Bears argue that the good news has already played out because of the proposed Federal Reserve cutback, but takeover activity has yet to heat up given cheap financing and strong corporate balance sheets. A surge in takeovers would not be surprising, so look for more companies to increase their dividends and buy back their shares in 2014.

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

• Intel Corp. (INTC; $23.74) last week reported that the company would begin to concentrate on chips for smartphones and tablets immediately, as consumers are using fewer personal computers.

Investors are befuddled by Intel’s guidance for the next year, when revenue will be down in the mid-single digits, at an estimated 1.4 percent in 2014.

According to new CEO Brian Krzanich, computing in the next few years will focus more on items for eyes and ears, as well as wristbands and watches. The company will pursue two important strategic shifts: expand its foundry business to a much broader range of customers and aggressively target tablets, where the unit volume is expected to quadruple in 2014.

Intel should not be viewed as a safe or undervalued tech play, but Krzanich said that under his leadership, Intel would give priority to its Atom microprocessor. Intel does not wish to fall behind in future technology trends that include wearable computing devices.

Analysts do not cite Intel as an investment for the average investor as long as the PC market continues to decrease. Most analysts recently have upgraded the stock to a neutral or buy, with a median target price of $24 and a high of $32. Intel’s dividend yields 3.8 percent.

• Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; $38.47) launched Xbox One last week to record sales of more than a million in the first 24 hours. It was the most successful premiere in Xbox history.

Microsoft plans to reach beyond the gamers with this console, as it intends to deliver innovative entertainment experiences by bringing movies, music, sports and live TV together in one box.

In another direction, Nokia shareholders approved a $7.2 billion deal to allow Microsoft to buy its ailing cellphone and services division plus the portfolio patents obtained by the Finnish tech giant.

Much has been made of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer’s tenure with Microsoft, during which the share price fell from the high 50s in January 2000 to the 30s, where it remained stagnant. The stock recently started to rise again following the announcement of Ballmer’s departure.

The failure of Microsoft to grasp opportunities in big-growth areas led to the static share price. However, Microsoft remains highly profitable and last month beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit and revenue forecasts.

Analysts’ recent upgrade and downgrade history has downgraded Microsoft stock from a buy to a hold. The median target price is $36, with a high of $45. The dividend yield for Microsoft is 3 percent.

Clyde Noel is a Los Altos Hills resident and investor in stocks. He is a longtime holder of Intel and Microsoft stocks and intends to make no move at this time.

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