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PopSci just received NDP's video game industry sales results for 2007, meaning we finally have the data to close two New Year's stocks: MADDEN and WIISALES. Both pay out at $0. Madden Football didn't even break the top five, let alone hit number one (that honor went to Halo 3). Trading halted at $7.75; most saw this coming. As for WIISALES, it was a closer call. The Wii didn't outsell PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 combined for the month of December—1.35 million units v. 2.06 million—but it wasn't far off. If supply hadn't lagged, Nintendo surely would have been the winner. Trading was halted on this one at $33.

Thanks for playing, and, as always, happy trading!

PPX: Halts and Payouts Aplenty

We have a few delistings and halts going on today. First, despite the bad news for HD-DVD that surfaced last week, there were more titles available on HD-DVD than Blu-Ray at the year's end. And so our HDVSBLU prop pays out at $100. The market missed out on this one: trading was halted at $47.25 per share.

Meanwhile, at the Macworld keynote speech this morning, Jobs finally publicized the iPhone sales figures: 4 million since its June 29th debut. IPSALES was set to pay out if Apple sold more than 4 million; falling ever so short, it closes at $0. High hopes for Apple, here: It halted at $69.50.

Two other Macworld-related stocks, 3GIPHON and NWTON, have been halted. We'll make the official call once the expo is over. Thanks for playing and, as always, happy trading!


Googl_485_3 Excuse the interruption of CES coverage, but we've at long last closed the GOOGL proposition. As traders can see from the chart above, Yahoo.com's Alexa daily-reach metric surpassed Google.com's on December 31, 2007; meaning the stock closes at $0. It was close, to be sure, but Yahoo's a clear winner on this one. Nevertheless, faith in Google seemed to hit an all-time high with this stock. An optimistic 96 percent of you favored Google. Be on the look out for a new stock. And, as always, Happy Trading!

PPX: New Year's Payouts, Part One

PPX traders, hope everyone had a great holiday! We're happy to announce the payouts of the following stocks that coincided with the end of 2007:

  • ERADIO: The Copyright Royalty Board's decision was not successfully challenged. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • H5N1: There were no confirmed cases of bird flu in North America. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • OLEDTV: Sony's new OLED TV did not go on sale in the U.S. in '07—currently it is only available in Japan. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • HURICAN: Of the two major hurricanes this year (Felix and Dennis), neither made landfall in the U.S. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • SOLSTRM: No major blackouts due to solar storms were recorded. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • DIETDRUG: The weight loss drug Alli has yet to face a major recall. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • SPACEX: The two unsuccessful tests of the company's Falcon booster program this year both failed to deliver a payload into orbit. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • ASTRD: While NASA did spot a near-earth asteroid (VK184) with potential for Earth impact late in the year, its Torino rating of 1 (out of 10) indicates an extremely low probability of impact. Thus it was not deemed dangerous enough for consideration. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • MSYAHOO: Although speculation remains, Microsoft did not merge with or acquire Yahoo in 2007. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • NBCITU: No other major network joined NBC in removing their content from the iTunes Store. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • PLTCBAN: Chicago, Los Angeles or New York did not join San Francisco is moving to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • DRMRIP: Sadly, EMI's move away from DRM earlier this year did not signal a full industry-wide trend, as Sony BMG remained the last of the four major labels to offer no DRM-free tracks for download anywhere. No company has removed their DRM schemes entirely. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • ZUNFON: Microsoft did not announce a Zune-based media phone to challenge the iPhone before the close of the year. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • ICLONE: The Meizu miniOne/M8, the most notorious of the planned iPhone knock-offs, has not yet been released. PAYOUT: POP$0/share
  • SHUTL: Recent delays ensured that the planned fourth Shuttle missions to the ISS would not become a reality this year. PAYOUT: POP0$/share

Whew. So in summary - a whole lot of closings, and a whole lot of zero-dollar payouts. Not to say that 2007 wasn't an exciting year (other end-of-year stocks with conditions already met have been closed), but there were a lot of possibilities that didn't make it to reality.

A handful of other New Year's closings remain halted with no payout yet as we wait for verification data to come in. These include GOOGL, WIISALES, APPLEPC, HDVSBLU, IPSALES and MADDEN. Stay tuned —we'll pay them out as soon as confirmation data rolls in.  —PPXAdmin


Despite the high cost of powering cargo freighters, it doesn't look like viable alternatives are appearing anytime soon. Instead, the enormous ships  are increasingly turning to innovative ways of lessening fuel consumption. One promising possibility is massive sails—kites really—that can be retrofitted onto ships and aid in propelling them across the ocean. Earlier this month, Beluga Shipping christened its  MV "Beluga SkySails"—a cargo ship with a 520 square foot propulsion kite; the first to utilize the system. A transoceanic voyage  is imminent, but  unfortunately for PPX buyers, the  date has been pushed from mid-December to January.  Most traders guessed correctly, however: The SKYSAIL stock (Will the sail-assisted Beluga freighter depart by December 20, 2007?) was halted at $35.75 and closed at $0.—Abby Seiff

PPX: Scheduled Maintenance Dec. 16

FYI, traders: This Sunday, maintenance on the PPX servers will take place from 6pm to Midnight (EST). The work may cause delays and momentary outages during that timeframe.

Shuttle Flights Delayed Until January

Atlantis Yesterday NASA announced that it will delay launching the shuttle Atlantis until at least January 2nd. Atlantis was supposed to take off on Thursday, but one of its four fuel sensors started malfunctioning prior to the flight.

For now engineers are going to try to fix the problem while the shuttle in on the pad, but if they can't figure out the error that way, they'll have to move Atlantis to the hangar, which would cause further delays.

The good news, though, is that the agency says there's still enough of a time cushion to keep its February launch, which includes parts of the Japanese Kibo module, on track.

For our PPX crowd, this news does indeed spell a halt on our SHUTL proposition. Payout will happen January 1st, but it's clear NASA's plan for four flights to the ISS this year was just slightly too ambitious.—Gregory Mone

Loose Lips Sink 3G iPhones

3giphon As recently as September, Apple was playing coy when it came to a rumored 3G iPhone. At a news conference that month Steve Jobs told reporters a phone wouldn't appear before they can "see the battery lives for 3G get back up into the five-plus-hour range." Nevertheless, its carrier seems to have less compulsion to hold back. Yesterday, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson all but announced an impending 3G iPhone, responding to a reporter's question about the possibility with: "You'll have it next year." Apple declined to comment, but presumably isn't thrilled about the slip—especially when it comes on the tails of the holiday wish-list deluge.

Meanwhile, on PPX the news incited a flurry of trading on our 3G iPhone proposition. But until Apple proffers an announcement of its own, the stock's up for grabs.—Abby Seiff

Via: Bloomberg.com

PPX: V-22 Flies at Last

Some 21 years after development began on the military's infamous aircraft, the V-22 Osprey is at long last flying missions. Well before the January 1st end-date on our PPX proposition, V22FLY has been delisted and will payout at POP$100. The U.S. Marine Corp has released video footage of the tiltrotor in action (above) and confirmed the sorties with PopSci; the market clearly called this one, with the price rising steadily until its halt at $80.50 per share.—Abby Seiff



Let the rumor mill churn away, but good luck getting something out of it. After more than a year of speculation, iTunes and the Beatles still haven't announced a deal to release the notoriously-absent tracks. BEATUNES, which would pay out in full if Beatles songs appeared on iTunes by Halloween, kept brokers guessing in the first month, but fell steadily over the past few weeks. Today, the stock closes at $0, with trading halted at a scant $1.50 per share. Why do you taunt us so?!—Abby Seiff

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