On the back of yesterday's drop, U.S. stocks opened up this morning, with the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) gaining 0.49% and 0.38%, respectively, by 10:05 a.m. EDT.
Japan's volatility explosion
The Nikkei 225, Japan's most widely known stock index, fell by more 5% today. Last Thursday, it dropped 7.3%. This is nerve-racking for Japanese investors, but it should also give pause to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
So far, the Fed's monetary alchemy, including its zero-interest-rate policy and repeated rounds of quantitative easing (i.e., bond-buying), has been a success, at least insofar as it has raised asset prices, whether it be bonds or equities (which was one of the Fed's explicit goals). The following chart shows the performance of both asset classes beginning on Dec. 17, 2008, the day after the central bank lowered the federal funds rate to between 0% and 0.25%:
Hot Japanese Companies To Buy For 2014: CalAmp Corp (CAMP)
CalAmp Corp. (CalAmp) develops and markets wireless technology solutions that deliver data, voice and video for critical networked communications and other applications. The Company has two business segments: Wireless DataCom, which serves commercial, industrial and government customers, and Satellite, which focuses on the North American Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) market. In May 2012, CalAmp Corp announced that it has entered into a five-year supply agreement to provide fleet tracking products to Navman Wireless. As part of the transaction, CalAmp has acquired certain products and technologies from Navman Wireless and established a research and development center in Auckland, New Zealand. The assets acquired by CalAmp include technology for Mobile Display Terminals (MDT) and an MDT product line marketed to telematics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally. In March 2013, it completed the acquisition of the operations of Wireless Matrix Corporation.
The Wireless DataCom segment provides wireless technology, products and services for industrial Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Mobile Resource Management (MRM) market segments for a range of applications, including optimizing and automating electricity distribution and ancillary utility functions; facilitating communication and coordination among emergency first-responders; increasing productivity and optimizing activities of mobile workforces; improving management control over valuable remote and mobile assets, and enabling emerging applications in a wirelessly connected world.
The Company's Wireless DataCom segment is comprised of a Wireless Networks business and an MRM business. CalAmp's Wireless Networks business provides products, systems and services to industrial, utility, energy and transportation enterprises and state and local governmental entities for deployment where the ability to communicate with mobile personnel or to command and control remote assets is crucial. Utilities! , oil and gas, mining, railroad and security companies rely on CalAmp products for wireless data communications to and from outlying locations, permitting real-time monitoring, activation and control of remote equipment. Applications include remotely measuring freshwater and wastewater flows, pipeline flow monitoring for oil and gas transport, automated utility meter reading, remote Internet access and perimeter monitoring. CalAmp is among the leaders in the application of wireless communications technology to Smart Grid power distribution automation for electric utilities.
MRM wireless solutions include global positioning system (GPS) location, cellular data modems and programmable events-based notification firmware as key components, allowing customers to know where and how their assets are performing, no matter where those mobile assets are located. Commercial organizations, vehicle finance providers, city and county governments, and a range of other enterprises rely on CalAmp products and systems to optimize delivery of services and protect valuable assets. Applications include fleet management, asset tracking, student and school bus tracking and route optimization, stolen vehicle recovery, remote asset security, remote vehicle start, and machine-to-machine communications. In addition to functioning as an OEM supplier of location and communications hardware for MRM applications, CalAmp is a total solutions provider of turn-key systems incorporating location and communications hardware, cellular airtime and Web-based remote asset management tools and interfaces.
The Company competes with Motorola Solutions, GE-MDS, Freewave, Sierra Wireless, GenX, Spireon, Novatel Wireless-Enfora and Xirgo.
The Satellite segment develops, manufactures and sells DBS outdoor customer premise equipment and whole home video networking devices for digital and high definition satellite television (TV) reception. CalAmp's satellite products are sold primarily to ! EchoStar,! an affiliate of Dish Network.
The Company's DBS reception products are installed at subscriber premises to receive television programming signals transmitted from orbiting satellites. These DBS reception products consist principally of outdoor electronics that receive, process, amplify and switch satellite television signals for distribution over coaxial cable to multiple set-top boxes inside the home that can acquire, recognize and process the signal to create a picture.
The Company competes with Sharp, Wistron NeWeb Corporation, Microelectronics Technology, Pro Brand and Global Invacom.
Hot Japanese Companies To Buy For 2014: Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (MTD)
Mettler-Toledo International Inc. supplies precision instruments and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Operations, Swiss Operations, Western European Operations, Chinese Operations, and Other. It offers weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial, packaging, logistics, and food retailing applications; analytical instruments for use in life science; automated chemistry solutions used in drug and chemical compound discovery and development; and metal detection and other end-of-line inspection systems used in production and packaging for food, pharmaceutical, and other industries. Its laboratory instruments include laboratory balances, pipettes, titrators, thermal analysis systems, and other analytical instruments comprising pH meters, density and refractometry instruments, moisture analyzers, as well as laboratory software, automated chemistry solutions, and process analytic instruments. The company�s industrial solutions comprise in dustrial weighing instruments, industrial terminals, automatic identification and data capture solutions, vehicle scale systems, industrial software, and product inspection systems. Its retail solutions consist of multiple weighing and food labeling solutions, such as stand-alone scales, and networked scales and software for handling fresh goods, such as meats, vegetables, fruits, and cheeses. The company serves the life science industry covering pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and independent research organizations; food and beverage producers; food retailers; chemical, specialty chemical, and cosmetics companies; transportation and logistics, metals, and electronics industries; and the academic community. It markets its products through its direct sales force, as well as through indirect distribution channels. Mettler-Toledo International Inc. was founded in 1991 and is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Mittel S.p.A, together with its subsidiaries, provides various financial services in Italy and internationally. It operates in five segments: Operating Finance, Real Estate, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, and Investment Management Advisory. The Operating Finance segment, through Mittel Generale Investimenti S.p.A., provides corporate lending and proprietary trading services. The Real Estate segment, through Mittel Investimenti Immobiliari S.p.A., manages property investments. The Private Equity segment invests in Italian companies through the means of stake acquisitions or closed investment funds. The Investment Management Advisory segment, through ECPI S.r.l., offers various consultancy services, including the production, maintenance, and release of financial indexes, primarily portfolio rating and screening, risk scores, and financial researching. The Corporate Finance segment, through Mittel Corporate Finance S.p.A., offers investment advisory services. The company, formerly known as Mittel ?Societa Industriale Meditarrea S.p.A., was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in Milan, Italy.