Banqueros Automáticos:The computers that run the stock market

Citadel Securities has quietly become one of the largest forces in U.S. stock trading.

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From the 35th floor of a downtown Chicago office tower, Citadel executes one out of every eight stock trades in the United States. At roughly 900 million shares a day, more stocks move through Citadel’s systems than the New York Stock Exchange, which trades roughly 700 million shares a day.

If you own a 401(k) or have ever used an online broker, your trades have almost certainly passed through Citadel.

The most notable thing about the firm’s trading floor is how eerily quiet it can be.

About 40 people “run” the trading floor, but they are simply overseeing computers that use algorithms to fill and route stock orders.

Related: High speed traders pay for an edge

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Welcome to the new world of trading: More and more, high speed computer programs are replacing thousands of floor brokers once seen running and yelling across the floor of the NYSE.

Citadel’s “floor” brokers don’t do a lot of running. They sit together behind rows of computer terminals, clicking away on keyboards to ensure the firm’s computers are operating correctly and are connected to all the right exchanges.

In essence, Citadel’s proprietary computer programs have become the new eyes, ears, and brains of the U.S. stock market.

About 20 programmers create the computer algorithms that decide how to execute each order, and what to send to public exchanges or so-called dark pools.

Dark pools may sound like the favorite haunts of Star Wars villains, but they are simply venues where buyers and sellers can submit bids without disclosing them to the public markets. Citadel operates a dark pool called Apogee out of its New York office.

Citadel’s programmers are constantly making adjustments as computers “learn” customer behavior to make the process more efficient.

“All the decisions are made by the computers,” Jamil Nazarali, Citadel’s head of electronic execution, told CNNMoney during an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. “The people here are not making any decisions with respect to whether an order should be filled or at what price it should be filled. That’s all done in an automated way.”

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Split second decisions: Citadel’s computers execute a buy or sell order nearly instantaneously.

When Citadel’s computers do not to fill an order internally, the trade is pushed along to one of 13 public exchanges or one of more than 20 dark pools.

By law, Citadel must match or give a better price than what’s been quoted on a public exchange, said Nazarali.

But some industry watchers question whether Citadel’s prescient computer programs are always giving customers the best price.

Nazarali says they do: “As a market maker, I have a regulatory obligation to fill all customers orders on my book before I trade.”

He said Citadel’s systems actually create an even playing field between high-speed traders and retail traders who place orders through brokers like TD Ameritrade (AMTD)because they all have access to the same technology.

The industry’s primary regulator, FINRA, recently asked some market makers and dark pool operators to provide information on how they fill trading orders. Regulators are worried about high-speed traders get an edge over other investors in certain trading venues. It’s unclear if Citadel was part of that group, and FINRA declined to comment.

Trading is definitely faster, but whether it’s better and cheaper for the average retail investor remains to be seen.

Principal regulador de la industria, FINRA, recientemente pidió a algunos creadores de mercado y operadores de piscinas oscuras para proporcionar información sobre cómo se llenan las órdenes de operaciones. Los reguladores están preocupados por los operadores de alta velocidad consiguen una ventaja sobre otros inversores en determinados centros de negociación. No está claro si la ciudadela era parte de ese grupo, y FINRA declinó hacer comentarios.

El comercio es definitivamente más rápido, pero si es mejor y más barato para el inversor minorista medio aún está por verse.

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投资于机器人: The future is here investing in robotics

One of the most popular businesses – Bedford’s iRobot – created the floor-cleaning disc Roomba. Another company, Boston Dynamics, built a product called LittleDog that scientists are using to “probe fundamental relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment and rough terrain locomotion,” according to its YouTube page. – See more at: http://www.kahnlitwin.com/blogs/daily-news-blog/robotics-companies-prime-investing-opportunities-for-venture-capital-firms-#sthash.oSd8Mjbt.dpufgineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation.

These and other companies may be in need of technology consulting services. For example, Liquid Robotics of California recently completed a $22 million round of financing that included minor investments from an oilfield services company and Stanford University, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is currently valued at $70 million.
– See more at: http://www.kahnlitwin.com/blogs/daily-news-blog/robotics-companies-prime-investing-opportunities-for-venture-capital-firms-#sthash.oSd8Mjbt.dpuf

Google is joining the growing list of companies investing in military technology. On Friday, the Internet giant bought Boston Dynamics, a company known for developing animal-like robots that can outrun even the world’s fastest man.

谷歌加盟公司投资于军事技术的越来越多。上周五,互联网巨头买下波士顿动力公司,该公司称开发动物般的机器人,可以逃脱即使是世界上跑得最快的人。

Source;

Seeking Alpha

 

IRBT-A provider of mobile robots for the consumer market, including the iRobot-LE home robot,
Prev Close: 44.48
Open: 44.30
Bid: 41.06 x 500
Ask: 41.10 x 200
1y Target Est: 41.00
Beta: 1.82
Next Earnings Date: 22-Apr-14IRBT Earnings announcement
Day’s Range: 40.41 – 44.89
52wk Range: 21.13 – 46.99
Volume: 1,106,384
Avg Vol (3m): 993,657
Market Cap: 1.18B
P/E (ttm): 43.72
EPS (ttm): 0.94
Div & Yield: N/A (N/A

Boston Dynamics is an enVenture capital firms in Boston may want to pay attention to the increased number of robotics firms in the state, according to the Boston Business Journal. There are at least 60 known robotics companies in Massachusetts, as reported by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

The company began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert and his colleagues first developed robots that ran and maneuvered like animals. They founded the company in 1992, and their ground-breaking work continues to inspire several of the company’s activities.

Today the company creates a variety of innovative robots, including BigDog, a quadruped robot for travel on rough-terrain, PETMAN, an anthropomorphic robot for testing equipment, RISE, a robot that climbs vertical surfaces, SquishBot, a shape-changing chemical robot that moves through tight space, and many others.

Co Founder

Dinero del Cielo: Investing in Facebook

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Facebook (FB) just bought WhatsApp, paying $16bn in cash and stock and $3bn in RSUs. WhatsApp has 450m active users, of which 72% are active every day. It has just 32 engineers. And its users share 500m photos a day, which is almost certainly more than Facebook.

This is interesting in all sorts of ways – it illustrates most of the key trends in consumer tech today in one deal. First, it shows the continued determination of Facebook to be the ‘next’ Facebook. It’s striking to compare the aggressive reaction to disruption shown by Google (GOOG), Facebook and other leading web companies today with how some of their predecessors a decade ago stumbled and lost their way.

  • Smartphone apps can access your address book, bypassing the need to rebuild your social graph on a new service
  • They can access your photo library, where uploading photos to different websites is a pain
  • They can use push notifications instead of relying on emails and on people bothering to check multiple websites
  • Crucially, they all get an icon on the home screen.

Facebook is setting its sights on its next five billion users — even if they don’t yet have Internet access.

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Called Internet.org, the social network has joined forces with Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Ericsson and others to bring web access to the five billion people, primarily in developing countries, that don’t own smartphones or have access to affordable connectivity.

“There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”

According to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals report, 2.7 billion people or 39 percent of the world’s population will be on the Internet before the end of 2013.

In a proposal entitled “Is Connectivity a Human Right?” Zuckerberg lays out his plans for the organization and its solutions to equipping the rest of the world with the tools to connect with each other and gain access to the world’s greatest repository of information. The “rough plan” focuses on spreading connectivity through mobile devices with three main “levers.”

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The Internet.org announcement comes just a few months after Google’s announcement of its Project Loon, which aims to bring connectivity to the rest of the world through Internet-equipped balloons. Announced in June, Google has begun testing the balloons in New Zealand and more recently in Northern California. Just this month Bill Gates criticized the project, saying that fighting malaria was more important.

Is internet access a fundamental human right? Facebook and a coalition of six major telecom companies believe it is.

On Tuesday night, they revealed Internet.org — a global partnership that wants to put the web’s vast trove of knowledge at the fingertips of every man, woman, and child around the world.

Today, just over one-third of Earth’s population has access to the internet, which means 4 billion to 5 billion others are unplugged. Facebook thinks we can do better.

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Joined by major communications providers like Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Ericsson, the global initiative will focus on three key challenges in developing countries:

1. Make access affordable. The organization believes this can be accomplished by developing lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones.

2. Use data more efficiently. The goal here is to develop better apps and compression tools to handle data more effectively. Facebook, for example, wants to lower its Android app’s data rate from the current 12 megabytes a day down to just one.

3. Have businesses drive local access. Facebook says this “includes testing new models that align incentives for mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide more affordable access than has previously been possible.”

“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says in a statement. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”

The effort is just the latest example of a major technology firm seeking to shuttle potential growth opportunities under a humanitarian banner. It’s “a reflection of how tech companies are trying to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth by attracting customers beyond saturated markets in the United States and Europe,” says Vindu Goel at the New York Times, “even if they have to help build services and some of the infrastructure in poorer, less digitally sophisticated parts of the world.” (Facebook growth has largely stalled in existing markets at just over 1.1 billion users.)

Sources:

Seeking Alpha

abcnews.go.com

Gold found in the clouds

Invest in the cloud

Invest in cloud computing companies for long term golden returns.

Due to the strong demand for cheap software, cloud computing companies are enjoying great market momentum. This has attracted hundreds of competitors, from start-ups to traditional tech giants. At least 13 new players have gone public in the last 18 months, with most of them surpassing the $1 billion market cap milestone in a few months. But only cloud companies that innovate their product portfolio constantly, and build economic moats, will be able to survive the competitive landscape.

 

Consumers may be more familiar with cloud service offerings. This includes Google Drive, offered by Google (GOOG), SkyDrive by Microsoft (MSFT), Box.com, and DropBox.

Some of the other big players investors might want to start with are grouped below.

Networking [Read descriptions for all companies mentioned]

1. Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCOEarningsAnalystsFinancials): The networking giant grew through acquisitions. The company is turning its focus on SDN. UBS argued that innovation in hardware will happen through SDN. Performance, latency, and resiliency are elements that will improve.

 

Software

Cloud computing supported virtualization initiatives, since hardware and storage became very inexpensive. A leader in this field:

2. VMware, Inc. (VMWEarningsAnalystsFinancials): Valued with a POP (price of profit) of 34 at the time of writing, shares dipped sharply below $100 after issuing a profit warning at the beginning of 2013.

 

In the software services industry:

3. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZNEarningsAnalystsFinancials): The book retailer, which now sells practically everything for consumers, also sells AWS (Amazon Web Services). This allows companies ranging from all sizes (small to large) to rent hosted computing and storage. The company is extending its reach by bundling content through Amazon Prime, and reaching more users by selling tablet device hardware almost at-cost.
4. Salesforce.com (CRMEarningsAnalystsFinancials): The high price of shares of Salesforce.com is supported by quarterly results that pleased investors. Last quarter (Q4), the company won many large deals. Deals between 7- and 8-figures rose by 50% compared to last year. The company plans to acquire companies aggressively. This will add to the already 3 million apps developed on Heroku and on the force.com site.
5. Oracle Corporation (ORCLEarningsAnalystsFinancials): benefits from the growth in cloud demand, although the most recent quarter was disappointing. Oracle experienced a drop in hardware product sales, which dropped 23% from last year. The company is introducing SPARC M5 and T5 servers, which the company claims is 10x faster than older models.
6. International Business Machines Corp. (IBMEarningsAnalystsFinancials): Big Blue benefits from selling consulting services for cloud solutions. IBM also makes Power 780 servers that compete with those offered by Oracle.

Computer Associates Technologies  (NASDAQ: CA  ) , Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , and NetSuite (NYSE: N  )  are the best-performing stocks year to date in the cloud computing index. What makes each of these three companies special? How did they manage to build strong economic moats in a fierce landscape? More importantly, after experiencing more than a 40% increase in stock price, can they still be considered attractive investment opportunities?

 

Sources:

http://www.fool.com/

http://wire.kapitall.com/