How Far Will This Blue Chip Stock Leader Rise From Its New Breakout?

Global branded apparel play and blue chip stock leader Nike (NKE) headed a relative mild list of stocks hitting new highs Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average component leapt as much as 13% and hit an all-time high of 81.

Volume was more than quadruple the stock’s 50-day average. That’s a telltale sign that banks, hedge funds, pension plans and mutual funds stormed into the stock.

While short covering may have helped the cause, the total short interest in Nike is actually quite small. Through June 15, roughly 22 million shares were sold short. That compares with a float of 1.25 billion shares.

The athleisure apparel and shoe giant looks to follow in the footsteps of another blue chip stock leader, Apple (AAPL), in the sense that the company is blazing a fresh path of double-digit earnings growth. That’s good for the longs on Wall Street.

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The stock has now ramped up as much as 15% past a recent breakout from a flat base at 70.35. The 5% buy zone went up to 73.87.

In its latest results for the fiscal fourth quarter ended in May, Nike late Thursday reported a 15% jump in profit to 69 cents a share. That beat the Thomson Reuters estimate by a nickel. Revenue climbed 13% to $9.79 billion. That’s the best combination of top- and bottom-line increases since the Beaverton, Ore., company posted a 23% rise in EPS on 15% revenue growth in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.

New coatings make natural fabrics waterproof

Fabrics that resist water are essential for everything from rainwear to military tents, but conventional water-repellent coatings have been shown to persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies, and so are likely to be phased out for safety reasons. That leaves a big gap to be filled if researchers can find safe substitutes.

Now, a team at MIT has come up with a promising solution: a coating that not only adds water-repellency to natural fabrics such as cotton and silk, but is also more effective than the existing coatings. The new findings are described in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, in a paper by MIT professors Kripa Varanasi and Karen Gleason, former MIT postdoc Dan Soto, and two others.

“The challenge has been driven by the environmental regulators” because of the phaseout of the existing waterproofing chemicals, Varanasi explains. But it turns out his team’s alternative actually outperforms the conventional materials.

“Most fabrics that say ‘water-repellent’ are actually water-resistant,” says Varanasi, who is an associate professor of mechanical engineering. “If you’re standing out in the rain, eventually water will get through.” Ultimately, “the goal is to be repellent — to have the drops just bounce back.” The new coating comes closer to that goal, he says.

Because of the way they accumulate in the environment and in body tissue, the EPA is in the process of revising regulations on the long-chain polymers that have been the industry standard for decades. “They’re everywhere, and they don’t degrade easily,” Varanasi says.

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The coatings currently used to make fabrics water repellent generally consist of long polymers with perfluorinated side-chains. The trouble is, shorter-chain polymers that have been studied do not have as much of a water-repelling (or hydrophobic) effect as the longer-chain versions. Another problem with existing coatings is that they are liquid-based, so the fabric has to be immersed in the liquid and then dried out. This tends to clog all the pores in the fabric, Varanasi says, so the fabrics no longer can breathe as they otherwise would. That requires a second manufacturing step in which air is blown through the fabric to reopen those pores, adding to the manufacturing cost and undoing some of the water protection.

Research has shown that polymers with fewer than eight perfluorinated carbon groups do not persist and bioaccumulate nearly as much as those with eight or more — the ones most in use. What this MIT team did, Varanasi explains, is to combine two things: a shorter-chain polymer that, by itself, confers some hydrophobic properties and has been enhanced with some extra chemical processing; and a different coating process, called initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD), which was developed in recent years by co-author Karen Gleason and her co-workers. Gleason is the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering and associate provost at MIT. Credit for coming up with the best short-chain polymer and making it possible to deposit the polymer with iCVD, Varanasi says, goes primarily to Soto, who is the paper’s lead author.

Using the iCVD coating process, which does not involve any liquids and can be done at low temperature, produces a very thin, uniform coating that follows the contours of the fibers and does not lead to any clogging of the pores, thus eliminating the need for the second processing stage to reopen the pores. Then, an additional step, a kind of sandblasting of the surface, can be added as an optional process to increase the water repellency even more. “The biggest challenge was finding the sweet spot where performance, durability, and iCVD compatibility could work together and deliver the best performance,” says Soto.

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The process works on many different kinds of fabrics, Varanasi says, including cotton, nylon, and linen, and even on nonfabric materials such as paper, opening up a variety of potential applications. The system has been tested on different types of fabric, as well as on different weave patterns of those fabrics. “Many fabrics can benefit from this technology,” he says. “There’s a lot of potential here.”

The coated fabrics have been subjected to a barrage of tests in the lab, including a standard rain test used by industry. The materials have been bombarded not only with water but with various other liquids including coffee, ketchup, sodium hydroxide, and various acids and bases — and have repelled all of them well.

Givenchy knitted silk top and handpainted organza skirt, both price on request

Another London-based couturier, Deborah Milner, who for many years worked with Alexander McQueen and since 2004 has been a consultant with the house, opened her own small studio a couple of years ago in London’s Pimlico, where she makes exquisite pieces (from about £5,000) for her band of faithful clients. Milner believes the new wave of fashion designers and talented graduates keen to work in couture are key factors in its revival, along with their enthusiasm for reimagining couture for the modern age. “They are interested in the craft, they want to learn how to do it and to make beautiful things,” she says. “It’s not just about the sketches – they want to learn all about pattern making, the cut, the finishing details.”

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As for couture’s appeal to its new generation of clients, Milner says, “It’s about showcasing the artistry of couture. Being able to have something unique that can’t be easily copied. The high-end, ready-to-wear designs are imitated so quickly and cheaply by high-street chains. Our challenge is to adapt designs and make them relevant to today’s world.”
Giles Deacon duchess silk and ostrich feather dress, price on request

Milner started out working with Philip Treacy at the late Isabella Blow’s house and there she was introduced to women who became her clients; many are still with her today. Perhaps the best known is Daphne Guinness, who has been a fan for over 20 years. “She is one of the few people I know who actually understands how a piece of clothing should be made,” says Guinness. “She is an architect. She is one of a kind, an artist. She’s up there with Vionnet, Madame Grès and McQueen.”

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Her clients come to her mostly for suits, jackets, tailcoats (she’s made an extraordinary one covered in sequins for Guinness) or evening dresses and she has a host of specialist artisans she turns to for the embroidery, beading and handmade lace.

Textile-Apparel Stock Outlook: Long-Term Gains in Store

The textile apparel industry is gaining from a significant number of stocks putting up a stellar show. The trend is likely to last as textile-apparel players will continue gaining from their robust brand management initiatives, solid international gains and constant efforts to keep pace with consumers’ evolving preferences.

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To this end, focus on expanding digital capacities is likely to remain a major driver for the textile-apparel stocks that are also practicing stringent cost-containment to boost their performance. Apart from this, consumers’ rising inclination for sports and fitness activities bodes well for various players in this space.

While intense competition remains a headwind, the textile-apparel industry continues to be a bright spot, given the effective strategies, along with a favorable market scenario. Americans are way more confident now, thanks to a robust job market as evident from a fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits and jobless rate hovering at an 18-year low. These are likely to propel consumer spending.

Together these factors are likely to keep the textile-apparel stocks on the growth trajectory. Moreover, encouraging views by various players in the space point to a bright future and add to the optimism surrounding it.

Industry Outperforms Shareholder Returns

Constant efforts to enrich consumers’ experiences and optimize costs have been driving the better-than-expected performance of a sizeable number of stocks in the space. This clearly seems to be a treat to investors as evident from shareholder returns in the past year.

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The Zacks Textile – Apparel Industry within the broader Zacks Consumer Discretionary Sector has outperformed both the S&P 500 and its own sector over the past year.

Global Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales Industry Sales and Revenue Info

Global Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales Market report is replete with detailed analysis from a thorough research, especially on questions that border on market size, development environment, futuristic developments, operation situation, pathways and trend of Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales. All these are offshoots of understanding the current situation that the industry is in, especially in 2018. The will chart the course for a more comprehensive organization and discernment of the competition situation in the Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales market. As this will help manufacturers and investors alike, to have a better understanding of the direction in which the Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales Market is headed.

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With this Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals Sales Market report, one is sure to keep up with information on the dogged competition for market share and control, between elite manufacturers. It also features, price, production, and revenue. It is where you will understand the politics and tussle of gaining control of a huge chunk of the market share. As long as you are in search of key Industry data and information that can readily be accessed, you can rest assured that this report got them covered. Key companies profiled in this report are Accepta, Nalco, Ge Water, Akzo Nobel, Albemarle, Lonza Group, Basf Se, Ecolab, E. I. Du Pont, Chembond Chemicals, Chemtreat, Syn Water, Dow Chemical, Suez Environnement, Chemtura, Bonnafide Chemicals, Integra Water, Israel Chemicals, Kemira Oyj, Kurita Water Industries, Miox Corporation, Tradeindia, Solenis, Neptune Chempastel, Puckorius & Associates,Qualichem, Clear Aqua Technologies, Mahir Technologiesand others.

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When taking a good look at this report, based on the product, it is evident that the report shows the rate of production, price, revenue, and market share as well as of the growth of each product type. And emphasis is laid on the end users, as well as on the applications of the product. It is one report that hasn’t shied away from taking a critical look at the current status and future outlook for the consumption/sales of these products, by the end users and applications.

Efficient, eco-friendly production of fine chemicals

The chemical industry produces not just valuable vitamins, pharmaceuticals, flavours and pesticides, but often a large amount of waste, too. This is particularly true of pharmaceutical and fine-chemical production, where the volume of desired product may be just a fraction of the volume of waste and unsaleable by-products of synthesis.

One reason for this is that many chemical reactions make use of catalysts in dissolved form, as Javier Pérez-Ramírez, Professor of Catalysis Engineering, says. Catalysts are substances that accelerate a chemical reaction. In the case of dissolved catalysts, it often takes a huge amount of effort to separate them from the solvent and from the reaction products for reuse. Catalysts in solid form avoid this problem altogether.

Pérez-Ramírez and his group have now collaborated with other European scientists and an industry partner to develop just such a solid catalyst for a major chemical reaction, as the researchers report in the magazine Nature Nanotechnology. Their catalyst is a molecular lattice composed of carbon and nitrogen atoms (graphitic carbon nitride) that features cavities of atomic dimensions into which the researchers placed palladium atoms.

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Thus far, the process in commercial scale has widely used soluble palladium catalysts. Earlier attempts to attach the soluble catalyst to a solid body always resulted in relatively unstable and inefficient catalysts.

The ETH researchers’ new palladium catalyst is much more stable. For that reason, and because it does not dissolve in the reaction liquid, it can be used over a much longer time period. What’s more, the catalyst is much more cost-effective and around twenty times more efficient than the catalysts used today.

“That means the new catalyst not only cuts the costs of synthesising fine chemicals, it also reduces the consumption of palladium and decreases the amount of waste,” Pérez-Ramírez says. The catalyst might soon be ready for use in industry: the scientists claim that it should be easy to scale up catalyst production and use from the laboratory.

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As the researchers point out, the use of graphitic carbon nitride as a solid catalyst is not limited to the Suzuki reaction. It should also be possible to populate the lattice with atoms of metals other than palladium in order to catalyse other syntheses. The ETH scientists will explore these possibilities in future research. They also plan to found a spin-off company to market this novel family of catalysts.

MIOPS Capsule360 Gives Cameras Flexible Moves

Camera motion systems introduce slick movements for video, time-lapse,and stills — but camera trigger company Miops is hoping to introduce a motion control box with a lot of versatility for the compact size. The Miops Capsule360 is a three-axis camera control system with slide, pan,and tilt along with a number of smart features with smartphone control. Object tracking allows the motion box to keep the subject in the frame, including tracking stars for sharper still photos of stars. The Capsule 360 also has built-in time-lapse modes and panoramas.

The motion system works with SLRs and mirror less cameras as well as smartphones and action cameras. Accessories expand the system even more, including creating a turntable for creating 360 models of products and a video slider.

Miops is asking the Kickstarter community to help fund the Capsule360’s production and has already doubled the campaign’s original goal. If the manufacturing and shipping are successful, the Capsule360 can be picked up for pledges starting at $179.

Smart Light Bulbs Compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo

Google Home and Amazon Echo devices can do more than just tell corny jokes and answer your weird questions. They can also control various smart devices in your home, like smart light bulbs and other lighting products. That means you can turn the lights on or off, dim them, and even change their color with voice commands.

The setup process is a breeze. All you have to do is plug or screw in your smart light bulbs, connect them to your smart speaker using the Google Home or Alexa app, and you’re good to go. Some require a hub to work, while others connect directly to your Wi-Fi network.

The cheapest starter kit with the Hue bridge goes for $70 and comes with two smart bulbs that produce a warm white light. For an additional $30, you can get a starter pack with four bulbs that emit different shades of white, from cool daylight to relaxing warm white light. The most expensive option goes for $200 and gets you four bulbs able to light up your room in 16 million different colors.

There are many products to choose from. The cheapest bulb will set you back $25 (Lifx Mini White), and only produces white light. You’ll have to dish out $20 more for the Lifx Mini Color, which lets you light up your home in any of the 16 million colors available. Keep in mind most Lifx products come with a discount when purchased in packs of four. Four Mini Color bulbs can be yours for $160, which brings the price of each unit down to $40 and saves you $20.

Two of the most interesting Lifx products are Tile and Beam. Tile costs $250 and comes with five tiles included in the box, allowing you to create a unique layout on a wall. Every tile features 64 controllable zones and you can assign a different color and brightness to each one

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Fujifilm Releases another Fix for the X-H1, Updates X-T2

Fujifilm X-H1 may be the company’s best camera yet, but the company has also been busy fixing a few bugs. After a delay on the previously announced bugs, the fix is finally out as version 1.10. The firmware fixes earlier bugs caused by a specific mix of settings including an error with both the front curtain shutter and flicker reduction turned on. The update also improves overall operability, Fujifilm says.

The X-T2 is also getting an update to fix a bug, but it’s a temporary fix until a complete update scheduled for next month. An error in the “Select Folder” options that caused some files to be overwritten is temporarily disabled because the options that caused those errors are removed from the camera with the firmware. Fujifilm is introducing another firmware update in July that is expected to return those features without the bug.

The update also includes focus bracketing, enhanced phase detection, the addition of flicker reduction and a handful of other enhancements.

Tips for buying furniture online or otherwise

A lot of people think that because of all the furniture-buying options out there, it’s easier than ever to shop online, especially if you have a tight budget. But these same conditions actually make it much harder to make a decision, especially for a furniture piece as important as your sofa. What might look amazing in a photo might look awful in your living room, or worse, might not be very comfortable. Or, there might be dozens of examples in a similar style and color with a huge range of prices. There is no way you can tell just by looking at a screen how something feels.

Many furniture retailers try to make up for this by offering generous guarantees, trial periods and other online tools to make your decision-making process easier. Order samples so you can feel the texture and see the color in your own home. Compare measurements to your existing furniture, and try to actually sit on a similar sofa either at a friend’s house or at a nearby showroom. Some people even plan a mini vacation or weekend around visiting a showroom in another city. How fun would that be?

When you’re shopping for a sofa or sectional, armchairs, coffee table, dining table, armoires, dressers, or your bed, the size is critical. As you shop and find images of furniture you like, note the measurements. Measure your own furniture and decide if the differences will still work for you. Mock up the new furniture by taping pieces of cardboard or building up cushions to your own sofa or table to create the size of something you saw online. Consider your ceiling heights as well as any doors, staircases, or tight hallways.

For seating, measure the seat height and depth of the cushions. But the only way to know how the cushions feel will be to find the actual model, or, at least, a similar one from the same manufacturer.

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