Eagle Eye Opener: Rebound in Beer Sales Shows Investment to Tap; 3D Printing is an Emerging Opportunity; Smartphones Reveal Intelligent Investment Idea

Wayne Ellis

Let’s Toast One of the Investment World’s Strangest Indicators… (Foxnews.com)

For investors looking for a way to profit from a rise in beer sales for the first eight months of the year — reversing a trend from the three previous years — consider the “King of Beers” itself, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD).  Year-to-date, BUD is up 44%. The Beer Institute, which tracks beer sales, reported this week that the three-year downturn in beer sales had been due, in part, to the frothy beverage’s “key customers, blue-collar males in their 20s, feeling the pinch of an economic downturn.” So, why the reversal? Well, funny you should ask…

Since January of this year, unemployment rates, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have fallen from 9.4% to 8.1% (final figures through July). So, is there a correlation. It is tough to say for sure. However, we can get closer to an answer by looking at one state in particular:North Dakota. It’s currently in the midst of a jobs boom, and it boasts the country’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.1%. It also has experienced the highest increase in beer deliveries — up a whopping 18%!

3D Printing Offers a Way to Invest in the Future of Manufacturing Today (wired.com)

Forward-looking investors may want to take note of a Sweden-based maker of synthesizers that is tapping into the fast-paced progress in 3D printing. The company has made the schematic files for knobs and dials available to its customers for download — so that they can “manufacture” their own replacements via 3D printing. If you’re unfamilar with 3D printing, think Star Trek replicators — the computers onboard the manned spacecraft that would create (print) whatever they were told to, seemingly out of thin air. Well, that technology has moved out of science fiction, and into people’s homes — allowing users to “print” the 3D objects out of plastic resins or polymers. This new wave of real-time response is not just changing the face of manufacturing, it’s also attractubg investors. Two of the leaders in this arena — 3D Printing (DDD) and Stratasys, Inc. (SSYS) – have both posted banner returns YTD: 134% and 96%, respectively. For the complete article on the Swedish synthesizer company, click here.

Pew!  Is Apple Going Bad in the Minds of Consumers? (WashingtonPost.com)

Fully one-half of American adults own a tablet computer or smartphone, and 66% of those users of such mobile technology indicated that they rely on the devices to get their news, according to a recent survey by Washington,D.C.-based Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism. But investors should note the recent share-price dip of Apple (AAPL) before rushing to buy shares in companies that provide such services or build the devices used to access the latest news. The poll also found that slightly more than half of the online-news-consuming adults use an Apple-built device, while 48% employ Google’s (GOOG) Android technology. Perhaps most importantly for investors, those figures showed a marked difference from this time last year, when Pew found 81% of those surveyed used AAPL. If you go back to the start of the year when the late Steve Jobs was at Apples’s helm, the company’s share price is up 80%. Google’s year-to-date share price is up 51%. For investors that picked up on the trend early, they are looking as smart as their high-technology phones right now.

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