Stocks
Nifty, Sensex to rise but the rally may be short-lived – Wednesday closing report
Nifty may meet with a resistance between 8,400-8,440
 
We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that NSE’s CNX Nifty and S&P BSE Sensex may put a short bounce and that if Tuesday's low holds, Nifty may rally to 8,430. The major indices in the Indian stock market ended Wednesday flat with marginal gains. This is in line with the major indices in Asian markets too.
 
 
India Vix closed at 15.88, down 0.24%. NSE turnover was at 85.73 crore.
 
Bargain hunting coupled with subsiding of US rate hike fears on Wednesday propelled Indian equity markets which closed in the green.
 
After four consecutive sessions of losses which started from July 23, the barometer S&P 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained over 100 points in the day's trade.
 
The Sensex lost over 1,040 points during the last four sessions. The main reason for the downfall emanated from the recommendations made by the special investigative team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court on black money.
 
The SIT had recommended that the participatory note, or P-Note, route of overseas funds investing in Indian stocks be stringently regulated. 
 
Apart from P-Notes, worries over retrospective tax on capital gains, the continuing slide in Chinese markets and the proposed containment of the central bank's powers to fix key rates had also subdued the markets.
 
On Wednesday, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed in the positive territory. It was up 38 points or 0.46% at 8,375.05 points.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex which opened at 27,540.46 points, closed at 27,563.43 points, up 104.20 points or 0.38% from the previous day's close at 27,459.23 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 27,609.29 points and a low of 27,470.09 points in the intra-day trade.
 
According to market analysts, Indian exchanges remained in the positive zone due to the consistent buying ahead of the July futures and options (F&O) expiry on Thursday.
 
Analysts pointed out that better-than-expected corporate results from the US and hopes that US Federal Reserve will postpone interest rate hike supported markets.
 
The FOMC meet is significant as it will give further clues as to when the rate-hike might take place in the US. With higher interest rates in the US, the FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) are expected to be led away from emerging markets such as India.
 
The continuous slide in the Chinese markets in the last two months has eroded nearly 40 percent of the stock value and caused panic. 
 
More importantly, the inability of the Chinese government, fund houses and brokerage firms to arrest the fall led to global sell-offs.
 
Sector-wise, healthy buying was observed in capital goods, automobile, information technology (IT), healthcare and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) stocks.
 
However, consumer durables, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and oil and gas sectors came under intense selling pressure. 
 
The BSE capital goods index zoomed by 335.50 points, the automobile index rocketed by 257.45 points, IT index augmented by 160.27 points, healthcare index was higher by 84.52 points and the TECK index was up by 81.91 points.
 
However, consumer durables index declined by 215.52 points, FMCG index receded by 63.96 points and oil and gas index decreased by 17.77 points.
 
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday's trade were: Infosys, up 2.04% at Rs.1,085.20; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.87% at Rs.4,273.95; Lupin, up 1.83% at Rs.1,638.75; BHEL, up 1.78% at Rs.283.20; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 1.75% at Rs.1,789.65.
 
The major Sensex losers were: ITC, down 2.35% at Rs.303.95; State Bank of India (SBI), down 2.18% at Rs.253.70, Reliance Industries, down 1.44% at Rs.995.45, NTPC, down 1.17% at Rs.135.25; and Gail, down 1.08% at Rs.348.15.
 
Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.13%. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained by 3.47% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.47%.
 
In Europe, the London FTSE 100 index was higher by 0.47%, but the French CAC 40 was marginally down by 0.11%. Germany's DAX Index, too, fell by 0.21% at the closing bell.
 
The top gainers and losers in the major indices in the stock market are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 
Among European indices, DAX was at 11,178.01, up 0.03% and FTSE 100 was at 6,587.20, up 0.47%.
 

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Oversight of Dubious Brain Supplement Products Under Scrutiny
US Senators question FDA, retailers about supplements
 

 

With more than 10 million baby boomers expected to develop brain disease the market for products claiming they can improve brain function and even prevent, treat or cure dementia or Alzheimer’s has become grist for the supplement mill. 
 
But how brain products with particularly questionable claims are being monitored and why they are being sold by major stores and websites is the subject of an inquiry by members of the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, who sent letters to the FDA and more than a dozen major retailers including Amazon, Target and Google.
 
Aging Committee Chairwoman Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, and ranking member Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, expressed concern in a recent letter to the FDA that the agency “lacks a systemic approach to preventing adulterated, mislabeled and fraudulent products from entering the market” and is not effectively using its authority to require manufacturers to register supplements containing new dietary ingredients.
 
The FDA does not have authority to approve supplements before they reach the market, as it does with pharmaceutical drugs. But dietary supplement makers are prohibited from making claims that their products can cure or treat diseases and must have substantiation to back up any general well-being or structure/function claims. They must also have substantiation that the product ingredients are safe. While the FDA’s oversight of supplements is limited, the agency can remove adulterated products or send a warning to companies making drug treatment claims. But the agency’s actions regarding supplements have been called into question in recent months by critics who say key leaders at the agency, including the head of the agency’s dietary supplement division, face conflicts of interest because they previously worked in the supplement industry.
 
Preying on desperate seniors
 
The Senators called into question a specific supplement sold on Amazon’s site that claimed it protected against Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke. McCaskill said the supplement, Brain Armor was pulled from the site only after she alerted the FDA. But she said similar supplement products making deceptive claims that are aimed at seniors are still widely available both online and in retail stores.
 
“People looking online for cures or treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are at their most desperate — and it’s clear from what we’ve found that many of these products prey on that desperation,” she said.
 
Earlier this month, the manufactures of a memory pill claiming it is clinically proven to help reverse memory loss and support cognitive function settled allegations of deceptive advertising brought by California law enforcement officials and the FTC, which has publicly signaled that it is intensifying scrutiny of brain product claims. The product, Procera AVH, claimed consumers could regain the memory and brain power they had 15 years ago by using it.
 
What has the FDA been doing?
 
In their inquiry, the senators requested a plethora of information from the FDA including:
All actions taken in the past five years against dietary supplement makers. 
A description of the FDA’s policies and procedures used to ensure that companies are reporting new dietary ingredients and any penalties imposed on companies for not complying. 
All serious adverse event reports relating to dietary supplements and efforts to make the reports transparent. 
The role of contractors and third-party testing labs play in the agency’s inspection of dietary supplements. 
A description of the FDA’s process for evaluating and ensuring the validity of a supplement’s health claims. 
A list of dietary supplement manufacturers currently registered with the FDA.
 
The FDA would only comment that it has received the letter and “will respond directly to the Senators.” TINA.org has submitted a Freedom of Information request seeking copies of all information the FDA is providing to the committee in response to the letter… Continue Reading…
 
 

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Goa seeks letter rogatory to get Louis Berger confession
The Goa Police will work to get a letter rogatory to secure the statement of a former Louis Berger official who has admitted to bribing Goan politicians to win a major water and sewage project.
 
A senior official said the Crime Branch will go for the "letter rogatory route" to secure the statement of the company's former senior vice president, James McClung.
 
A letter rogatory is a formal request made to a foreign court for judicial assistance, which also includes recording of evidence on foreign soil.
 
McClung has reportedly admitted to the company allegedly bribing Goa's ruling politicians in 2010 to seal a multi-billion dollar management project.
 
The Crime Branch on Tuesday quizzed former public works department minister Churchill Alemao and summoned, for a second time, former chief minister Digambar Kamat, both of whom are linked to the bribery case.
 
A Crime Branch official said the statement of McClung, via letter rogatory, would help make the investigation water-tight.
 
"McClung, who has confessed to the New Jersey District Court about paying the bribe, will be critical evidence," the official said on the condition of anonymity.
 
He said the ministry of external affairs would be approached through the Goa government to process the request for letter rogatory.
 
Top officials of Louis Berger have already pleaded guilty in a New Jersey District Court to offering bribes of $3.9 million to secure contracts in countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.
 
While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials offered bribes, documents revealed that $976,630 was paid in 2009-10 to a Goa minister and others.
 
Louis Berger was part of a consortium that won a contract to execute a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa worth Rs.1,031 crore.
 
The project was funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), which was cleared in 2010 by a Congress-led coalition government.
 
McClung was the senior vice president of the India region for Louis Berger when the bribes were allegedly paid, according to the observations made by the US court.
 
The Crime Branch team has already recorded statements of former Indian officials of the consultancy firm about the alleged bribes paid to Kamat as well as Alemao in 2010 to win the JICA contract.
 
A spokesperson for Louis Berger said the officials whose statements had already been recorded had parted ways with the firm in 2012.
 
"They are not current employees, so we are not aware of any proceedings that they may be engaged (in)," the spokespersons said.

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