* I added a few links just below the chalkboard for the Red Cross and Salvation Army. These are two outstanding organizations that are helping out with the aftermath of the tsunamis. Help out if you can.
* I like sappy romantic comedies. I don't know why. So, I had HBO on last night and watched Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. Not one of the best romantic comedies ever made, but watchable.
* More 2005 prophecies on the stock and housing market. I'm surprised by the negative outlooks. They seem to be in abundance.
* The new season of Alias starts in January. The TV ads are pumpin' Jennifer Garner non-stop. She is hot. A buddy asked me the other day as the ad was playing on TV, "Do you watch Alias?" My response, "No, but I think I'm going to start. Heck, looks like I should buy the DVDs." He said he didn't watch it either, but that he might start. Great ad campaign. Great star.
* "Nobody is nobody."
* Bankrupt airline US Airways is asking nonunion workers to work for free in Philadelphia from Dec. 30 to Jan. 3. "Boss, I have an idea on how to reduce our labor costs. It's brilliant! We'll ask our employees to work for free!" That was probably followed by a very bizarre all-staff meeting.
* "Everybody is somebody else's Tad Hamilton."
* Can you imagine getting an offer from US Airways out of college? "Mom, Dad, I have some good news! I found a job! But, can I still live at home for awhile? The job doesn't have a salary; I'm working for free."
* Getting a promotion at US Airways might not be all what it's cracked-up to be, either. "Well, Focker, we're going to promote you up a level. Of course, this added responsibility will be a challenge and might cause some long hours and maybe some time in on the weekends. The salary is the same as what you're currently making; which, as you know, is absolutely nothing."
* The good news: The Christmas bonus at US Airways will be two-times your salary! The bad news: Your salary is $0.
* "Sometimes, Goliath kicks the shit out of David."
* I'm still carb loading for whatever challenge awaits me in the next few days.
* In the real world, would Rosalee really leave Tad and Hollywood, to go back to Pete? Of course not.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
* I added a few links just below the chalkboard for the Red Cross and Salvation Army. These are two outstanding organizations that are helping out with the aftermath of the tsunamis. Help out if you can.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
* Remember the fitness craze of (whenever it was), where "carb loading" was en vogue? I think I'll dedicate this holiday season to that fitness craze, because I've been carb loading for a week now.
* What are the highlights from 2004?
* Yesterday, I decided to upgrade my XP to the latest security patch. I backed everything up, and let 'er rip. 3 hours later, I was able to boot up and connect to the internet. I don't even want to talk about what happened between 0:00 hours to 2:59 hours. Lets just say "frustration." Made me want to dump my MSFT shares and buy some Red Hat.
* I'm not sure what physical demands my body will undergo in the near future, but I can assure you that I am eating in preparation for something very strenuos.
* Did you read that George Carlin is in a rehab center? I thought he had kicked his bad habits. You can usually tell, when a comedian becomes less funny, that he's off whatever it was he was on.
* 2004: Janet Jackson... Red Sox... Ashlee Simpson lip sync... Donald Trump and The Apprentice... Bush wins 2nd Term... Peyton Manning... Pacers-Pistons fight... Steroids... Kobe on trial... Scott Peterson on trial... Oil at $55... Google IPO... iPod... Howard Stern on Sirius Satellite... Hurricanes... Reagan dies... Friends ends... Shaq traded to Miami... Ricky Williams retires... Arafat dies... Tasers... Pain relievers (Merck!)... I'm leaving a bunch out.
* The experts say that 90% of success is in the preparation, and with all the carbs I'm wolfing down, I'm sure to be a raging success! Pass the snack crackers!
* What is that other 10% of success that isn't preparation?
* I want to put a Red Cross donation link on the page, but haven't found an easy way to do it yet. Red Cross until then... The numbers coming out from the tsunamis are staggering. Help if you can.
* I understand why many companies make their employees take the week between Christmas and New Year's off. Folks seem to be marking time between holidays. Everyone seems in a good mood.
* Do you take down Christmas decorations the day after, or wait until after New Year's?
* Later in the week, I'll try and summarize various stock market predictions for 2005. Including my own! Have you noticed that trying to find a negative forecast is very difficult to do? Maybe folks are just in a positive and optimistic mood, or hoping for better days ahead. With all the predictions of 8-12% gains, it's rare to find someone predicting a 10% drop.
* Nick Saban takes over the Miami Dolphins! Not a bad situation. Their defense is pretty strong. They have good wide receivers and a great tight end. I think the big black hole is their offensive line. I don't know how good AJ Feely is, but he seems capable and if a big o-line can lay down some pass blocking, maybe he puts up good numbers with those wideouts. Of course, their running back situation is a problem, too. But a good offensive line helps that. (Look at Denver!)
* Santa Claus is on Wall Street today! Have you noticed the number of folks predicting a mild winter, and the drop in oil prices? How accurate are the weather guys? I'm not going to predict a 70-degrees and balmy January for the Northeast - how about you? I think there is increasing energy demand from both the US and China, and OPEC recently announced production cuts. I don't think there is that much slack in the supply-demand balance. We'll see!
* I ran into The Paycheck Guy today while getting coffee. He had the newspaper out and was going over last night's NBA boxscores. He was telling me that he likes the way Detroit's Tayshaun Prince played. It's close to the end of the month, so I'll see him again in a few days.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Everyone has seen the reality show, The Amazing Race. Couples compete against each other, racing around from one global location to another. During each leg of the race, they must complete different tasks, and beat the competition to the finish line. The last couple crossing the finish line, may be eliminated.
Mutual fund companies are no different. Each January, they start out on their Amazing Money Race, with the goal being to cross the December 31st finish line ahead of the competition and win a 5-star fund ranking in the new year's list of "must own mutual funds." But with a simple index fund outperforming most mutual funds over time due to fees, expenses and the decision making process, the fund manager must go to great lengths to get his mutual fund in the "must own" list.
In TV's Amazing Race, each couple is interviewed as they attempt to complete each leg of the race. The ones that are likely to be eliminated, seem to grab the majority of camera time during the broadcast as they make their plea to why they're falling behind, or how proud they are that they have come so far in the race.
In the Amazing Money Race, Mutual fund managers report their year-end holdings to their shareholders, include an annual commentary of the recent year, and outline their opinion of the year going forward. Shareholders have read the local after-Christmas papers, and know that the Apple Ipod was the hottest must-have Christmas present in 2004. They will quickly scan their report from their mutual fund manager, looking for the AAPL ticker of Apple stock. If they don't see it, they begin to wonder if they should sell that mutual fund. If the GOOG ticker of Google stock doesn't show up in the list of stocks held, the customer worries that their fund manager "doesn't get it." Everyone knows that Howard Stern inked a huge deal with Sirius, so the fund manager better have a boatload of SIRI in the portfolio. Lord help the fund manager who lists the tickers of Merck, Pfizer, or Sharper Image on their list.
We enter the final five trading days of 2004, with fund managers knowing that in order to win The Amazing Money Race, they must buy as much of the winners of 2004 as possible. They must dump as many of the 2005 losers as possible. No manager wants to explain to their shareholders that they missed the boat on Apple, or why they believe that Pfizer is a value play with a great dividend, even though the shares dropped a lot in price. They want to show that they're on the ball. They want to show that they own the hot stocks that everyone knows are only going up.
And thus, we have a historic trend during the last week of the year, where stocks that have done well during the year finish strong. Stocks that have done poorly, continue to fade.
Friday, December 24, 2004
* Did Kelly Perdew really win The Apprentice? Or, will Jennifer Massey (The Fembot), be the ultimate winner in life? Read it here!
* Shrek 2 was a fantastic sequel. Probably better than Scooby Doo 2. haha.
* I've got the Green Bay vs Minnesota game on Yahoo sports ticker. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. (Why am I still at work?)
* I think some Grinch turned the heat off in this place. That's it. I'm leafin'... (sic)
* Here I am at the Fun Factory, overloaded with work but not much motivatio to do it today! Not going to, either!
* This one seems like it'd go over like a lead balloon. Privatize CalPERS?
* Anyone else hoping they wake up to Ashlee Simpson in their Christmas stocking wearing nothing but stockings? That'd be a fast path to make it on Santa's naughty list for 2005.
* I read that the Stock Trader's Almanac says that historically, the stock market is up an average of 1.7% the last 5 trading days of the year through the first two trading days of January. No guarantees, of course!
* I had a happy thought yesterday, that the days are now getting longer.
* If the NFL was like college football, they'd do away with the playoffs and just pick the two best teams and let them play it out in the Super Bowl.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
* Well, this is a first. Sure, I've had one brown sock and one blue sock on before. Who hasn't? But today, I have two different shoes on. Both New Balance with similar styles and fit. I wonder if anyone will notice?
* Bullet preference? Asterisks or the arrow gif file?
* Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus rally in the stock market, just like everyone thought. Sometimes, the crowd is right!
* I didn't notice the shoe faux pas until I was at work and one was untied.... Ah, crap!
* The reality show, High School Reunion, seems to be draggin' on a bit slowly to me. I don't know how much more I can watch Jim and Nikol cuddle and re-examine what happened 10 years ago. Or The Predator plot and plot to steal Jim, and do nothing. Or Eze pine after Nikol, and do nothing. But I'm hooked, so I'll be watching until the bitter end!
* Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have a pair of shoes at h ome just like the ones I'm wearing!
* Busy at the Fun Factory.
* The NFL mandates that teams interviewing for new coaches, include minority candidates. The Miami Dolphins, all set to make an offer to LSU's Nick Saban, have to stop the presses and interview Art Shell.
''We've interviewed three people so far, and every one of them has been very impressive. I was really surprised with Art Shell yesterday. He is really a great guy, and we had a lot of laughs with him. It was good. It was a great, relaxed interview,'' Huizenga said.
* I'm a little disappointed in the lack of Christmas goodies here at the Fun Factory. Everyone is too busy to enjoy the season I think...
* Nice shoes, Muckdog!
* Can the movie Meet the Fockers even come close to the original Meet the Parents? I hope so. I really hope so.
* Back to work!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
- Interesting article up by John Mauldin. He discusses the inverted yield curve, the economic situation in England, and the haunting parallels to the US. Worthy read or gloom and doom?
- China holds first Miss Plastic Surgery beauty contest!
- "Spanglish" or "Lemony Snicket?"
- If we are in a longer term bear market, that generally trends sideways for a decade or longer, then we would have both bull markets and bear markets where the end result is no progress. If the first decline happened from 2000-2002, and now the first rally from 2002-today, when will the next decline happen? Maybe Mauldin's article holds some clues.
- Is TV anti-religion?
- 37 voters have filed a challenge to Ohio's Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election results. Accusing the Bush team of "high-tech vote stealing." With 65 of Ohio's 88 counties reporting final recounts to The Associated Press on Friday, Bush had gained 395 votes and Kerry has gained 554 votes. The running tally accounts for 4.4 million votes cast, or about 74 percent of the total certified vote from the Nov. 2 election. (Nobody will ever win an election again; elections are stolen, not won.)
- This is what I was talking about earlier. The belief of a year-end rally followed by troubles. Does the market always do what people think it will do?
- Now I can't get that Police song out of my head... I don't know any other words except for "Canary in a coal mine..."
- I like the Fox saturday morning money shows.
- Waffles or Pancakes?
- NFL on saturday!
Friday, December 17, 2004
- The Apprentice finale was a landslide win for Kelly. After Jen was fired, the show started to drag a bit. We did get to see Ivana flash again, dropping her skirt for $20. Kudos to NBC for throwing us that bone.
- In the stock market, fridays tend to move opposite the weekly trend. Plus, Pfizer nuked the DOW with their drug woes. Hopefully, this was just the pause that refreshes ahead of a Santa Claus rally. But the optimism remains very high and the market looks like it's topping out.
- Feels like somebody turned off the heat here at the Fun Factory. It's freezing in here.
- How come all prepared food is so salty? Soup, TV dinners, and the like all just come loaded with salt. Bleh.
- I guess Jen is making the talk show rounds talking about the glass ceiling for women and all. While that can play a factor, sometimes folks just get hired because they're more qualified or a better candidate. Kelly was the better candidate compared to Jen, IMHO. Actually, so were a few others. I thought Sandy was better than Jen.
- I was in the health food isle at my local store, and saw a vegetarian Egg Nog alternative, called Soy Nog. Hmm. As long as the brandy is real, right?
- I wonder if that new Jim Carey movie is any good? It's sure being hyped a lot. That worries me. For some reason, when I think of movie hype, I think of Godzilla going through the Taco Bell drive thru with the "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" dog on his tail. Technically, I guess that'd be "her" tail. Didn't she have tons of babies in Madison Square Garden in the Matthew Broderick version of the movie?
- My Las Vegas calendar is on its last month. I guess that means I need to make another trip to Sin City. "How much did that calender cost you?" Er, including the lap dances?
- Do any drug stocks feel safe? Who wants to own drug stocks? When will the next drug stock be in the news?
- Well, since the Fun Factory seems to have shut off the heat, I think I'll just go home. Maybe I'll stop by Taco Bell.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
- Eva wins America's Next Top Model. I'd have eliminated her a few weeks back, but I'm not on the judging panel. I think Eva maybe came across as more versatile, but I was pullin' for Ya Ya.
- The market sure seems like it's running out of gas. The Investors Intelligence number came in with the highest number of bulls since 1987! I tell you, everyone sure seems bullish, optimistic, and waiting for the Santa Claus rally. Yet, everyone seems concerned about 2005. Does that even make any sense at all? When will traders try to front the correction? My guess is soon, but I remain long right now.
- Okay, so I caved in and made some cornbread for the Fun Factory Holiday Potluck. At least I'm not The Ice Man. (Yes, I really made it.)
- I heard the politically correct holiday greeting from some late-night radio talk show host, "Happy Chriskwanzakah." I like it!
- Tonight, THE APPRENTICE finale! Jen or Kelly? There was some blurb I read somewhere about Chris Webber not really being involved in this, and his lawyers were looking into it. So it's probably safe to assume that Jen won't be getting CWebb on her event. As far as Kelly's golf tournament, looking at the previews, it looks like the rain didn't get in the way. We'll see!
- The movie "I, Robot" is being released on DVD this week. I didn't think it was that great of a movie, and I spent $$$ at the theater! That's why I love Netflix. I'd say it's Netflix worthy.
- I had to buy some Symantec today on the reaction to the Veritas merger. I think that's a good thing. We'll see. Let 'er rip. (Hopefully not R.I.P!) This is not a recommendation of course. I'm sure the folks who are selling can make a great case for dumping it.
- Who is going to be Saddam Hussein's lawyer? And what's the defense strategy? "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client here was nowhere near the country of Iraq. It must've been somebody else."
- The drug companies have been rallying, and I own one of them. But it's kind of a scarey thing in an environment of lawsuits and skyrocketing health care costs. I wonder going forward, how involved the government will be in the health care biz?
- I'm hungry and it's almost potluck time! Hoohah!
- Krispy Kreme stores just aren't so crowded anymore. Remember when they were the hot thing? Was it the low-carb craze, or just a fad? They're readily available now, too. For awhile, it was hard to get one. Now they're everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
- The Fun Factory Holiday Potluck is tomorrow. Being the vegetarian, I don't participate in office potlucks as a rule. But I had to check out the sign-up sheet to see what folks are bringing. Looks like the only vegetarian thing on the menu are the napkins!
- More debauchery on High School Reunion last night. I'm waiting for the psycho girl to explode. Gianni got his one-nighter with his dream girl, but she nixed the long distance relationship. Jim doesn't trust his high school sweetheart who broke his heart long ago, so that seems to be stalling out. And Eze is finding out hookin' up with anyone is not as easy as he'd like. I wonder how much of this is a set up? I wonder if The Predator is told that whoever is connecting up, do your best to steal the guy? I didn't think the hot girls were that hot. I'm waiting to see who Nikki "The Cheerleader" hooks up with.
- The market drifting sideways... Lah-ti-dah. I remain long at this point, but wary of a topping process. We'll see. Of note is the IPO of Las Vegas Sands (LVS). I added it to my watch list for future reference, as having operations in China is a big deal I think.
- Seems like Turkey and Ham dishes populate most of the Potluck main courses, and even the sides and salads are bacon-this or chicken-that. The desserts are standard fare, with fudge and lemon cake and such. Somebody is bringing a veggie tray. I suppose folks will pile on about 24 ounces of meat, add one broccoli sprig, and consider it a well-balanced meal.
- Now Subway toasts your sandwiches, too.
- Russia's government seems to be moving backwards.
- I don't like to be the social outcast, and I would like to go to the potluck just to have some fun. So, I'm still debating.
- Blockbuster gets rid of their late fees, probably in an attempt to do something about customer erosion to Netflix. But, late fees were something like one-third of their revenues. I think Netflix is the best. I may never go into a Blockbuster or Hollywood again.
- Don't forget! Tonight is the finale of Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model! Who do you think? Ya Ya is my guess.
- Small cap stocks seem to be doing better today than the large ones, so maybe the January effect is underway.
- The other thing about the potluck, is that even if I don't bring anything, coworkers will stagger by and say "Come anyways." So, I might as well sign up for something.
- Kevin Garnett is putting up some really big numbers.
- I don't want to be "the guy who brings the ice" (The Ice Man) or something lame like that. Maybe I'll have to make something vegetarian.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
- I'm starting to think there is just too much optimism in the stock market. I ran my stock scans last night, and I got a sell signal on the DOW and SP500. It's very hard to call a top in a rally. Sell signals are often wrong. And it's the positive time of the year. Still, things sure seem overly optimistic.
- Another offensive Monday Night Football battle. Defense-Schmefense!
- Hey, reality TV fans! Desperate Housewives beats Survivor this week!
- The Fed is due to release news any minute. What do you think? Trade the opposite of the crowd reaction?
- Google keeps making all the right moves, in putting library content online. At some point, will libraries just be computer terminals with a Google search bar?
- I heard on the radio that Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are still the top two yearly search engine favorites. Good grief. Haven't we had enough of them, yet?
- President Bush's exercise of choice seems to be Mountain Biking. I think that's kind of cool.
- Here comes the Fed... .25% hike. Market up a little initially.
Monday, December 13, 2004
- Karl Malone makes a pass at Kobe Bryant's wife?
- I'm 100% long the stock market, so it's a little boring for me right now. The major decision coming up is when to sell. But I think the bias this week is up. Normally after options expiration week, I'd get a little more defensive. Maybe institutions will want to lock in some gains for the year, but I think it's more likely to see a lack of selling into year end. We'll see.
- The big battle lines over Social Security are being laid out before us. The GOP saying it needs to be fixed; the Democrats saying it's fine, all we need to do is raise taxes. And there you have it.
- Netflixin'... Paycheck was a good movie.
- Can anyone keep track of the people in Bush's new cabinet?
- Kobe's wife is a hottie. Not that I look at other men's wives, but that's what other people tell me. hahahha.
- Sometimes when I get the urge to snack, I just have a bowl of Cheerios.
- One of the Democrat lines about Social Security, is that it's not an investment, but a safety net. That the original intent is that it should be more like insurance. Of course, when FDR created Social Security, he set the retirement age to 65 which was the life expectancy for the period (1930's). I guess we could index it to life expectancy if we want to go back to the original intent concept, eh?
- President Bush says he needs to drop a few pounds. Too many donuts on the campaign trail. I thought that was kind of funny. Whatever diet approach he takes could create a new fad. Probably won't be Atkins, though. Stick a fork in that fad.
- Other than just tickin' off Kobe, why would Malone go after anybody's wife? He probably has quite a selection available at his whim. Yeah - tick off Kobe I guess.
- Meet the Fokkers!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
* Look at this bad boy from Hardee's: Monster Thickburger. Only 1420 calories and 107 grams of fat. I think if you add in a large fries and a shake, you've got yourself a bedtime snack!
* President Bush rules out tax hikes as part of the solution for Social Security. I guess Magic Pixie Dust is still one of the options!
* Market finished strong, huh? The semiconductors were down, but lots of tech saw buyers. National Semiconductor helped cushion things in semi-land I think...
* Who doesn't like fast food? It's the ultimate comfort food.
* Disney endorsed Sony's HD-DVD formate, Blu Ray. One of those things where being an early adopter can be expensive, especially if there are competing formats for HDTV.
* I know this will come as a complete shock, but exercise seems to have many benefits in overweight children. And here I've thought for years now, that being sedentary was the way to go! ARGH! Must I ask again? Why are we researching the obvious?
* Last week, I was looking forward to watching Ivana drop her skirt on The Apprentice. Cute bloomers! Donald Trump may not be hiring a stripper, but I don't think he speaks for all of us.
* Intel stock is back near where it was before they announced good news last week.
* Yes, of course, I would like to supersize that meal! Who wants a small order of fries? If you're going to eat fries, get a lot of 'em. What the heck!
* I've spent many years watching Dick Clark on New Year's Eve. Sad today to read of his stroke. I hope he recovers, and can ring in the New Year.
* The Grammy Awards is February 13th, 2005! Already?!
* Ann gets the boot last night from America's Next Top Model. Tyra Banks says that being a model is more than "just standing around and looking pretty," it's hard work!
* Okay, some stock selling today but after the morning yawns are over it looks like we're bouncing a little. Setting up for an options week rally? I'm long equities! Semiconductors are getting smoked, though. Maybe those sellers are rotating into other things.
* Options week does tend to be positive.
* How hard is being a super model? I imagine the days would be long and grueling. You'd have camera folks and directors telling you to do this or do that, and look this way and look that way. Plus, the clothing and costumes could be uncomfortable.
* I backtested one of the "monthly strength" ideas where the thought is that stocks rally at the beginning of the month due to 401k buys or whatever. Turns out, it seems to work. Now, does it work just because over time, the market tends to go up more than it goes down anyways? Or because it's an awesome strategy?
* Nacho sales downstairs. Quite a spread.
* I was flipping channels last night and stumbled on a Keanu Reeves movie, "The Devil's Advocate." I liked that movie, and realized for all the jokes about Reeves acting, most of his movies are very entertaining.
* Nearing month end, you wonder if mutual fund managers will buy whatever is hot so that they can show that they own the best stocks when they produce their quarterly and year end reports? What fund manager wants to answer angry emails from shareholders asking "Why don't you own Google?"
* Is super model two words, or is supermodel one word?
* What's your favorite Christmas movie?
* "Look happy!" "Give me sad!" "Pout on the next few frames!"
* The latest baked chip? Baked Cheetos!
* I think the hardest part of being a model would be keeping in shape. Limiting portions at meals, working out and such. It'd be hard work here at the Fun Factory to be America's Next Top Model, because there are just too many nacho sales and potlucks. And birthday cakes!
* Some knucklehead scheduled a meeting right before lunch. My stomach is going to growl the whole way through. Maybe I'll growl the whole way through. That'll teach 'em.
* So, Ann "had to leave immediately" from the show, and now it's down to three. I'm leaning towards Ya Ya at this point. My former favorite was Norelle, but she "had to leave immediately" last week.
* I like the classic Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby "White Christmas" flick.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
* There's a guy here at the Fun Factory, about 60 or so, and all I can figure he does is hand out paychecks. I don't see his name on any project plans. I see him wandering around with a book in his hand most of the time. Then, on payday, he comes around with paychecks. Everyone likes him. And why not? It's a pretty sweet gig being the Paycheck Guy.
* Did you have a high school classmate nicknamed "The Predator" for stealing other girls' boyfriends? (Reality shows are my drug of choice.)
* Semiconductor stocks are getting blasted after hours. So, can the market rally without the semis? There is some truth to the notion that leaders of the past bull market, won't be the leaders in the new bull market. But, don't we need chips? Or is it just a valuation thing?
* Larry Kudlow blogs about the retaining of John Snow as Treasury Secretary.
* Speaking of getting blasted, did you see that Sirius was down over 23% today? I still don't think pay radio will make it as a money maker. We shall see.
* Do you have a stress ball? I have one from Pfizer that I toss around from time to time. People ask me if I'm stressed, and I'm like, "Nah, just tossin' this ball around."
* Why are sprinkler timers so complicated? I'd be more upset at folks who leave their sprinklers on in the rain, if only the timers were more easy to understand. There are all these dials and buttons, then different zones, programs and watering days. If the grass is green, maybe folks just decide to leave well enough alone. Why jinx it?
* The Paycheck Guy gets all concerned if you're not in your office when he comes around with your paycheck. He won't leave it, of course. So when you come back to your desk, you may have emails or voice mails from him. "Muckdog, I still have your check. Did you want me to come by? Or, would you like to come here? Either way works for me, so just let me know." Maybe it's more stressful than I think; maybe I should get him a Pfizer stress ball!
* Bush Plans New Deal for Social Security. And another from John Sununu.
* One of my coworkers is coughing and hacking, hacking and coughing, and then coughing and hacking some more. Ridiculous! Go home!
* For what seems like the umpteenth time, a Motley Crue best hits CD and a new tour: Red, White & Crue.
* High School Reunion debuted last night! Wow, this one looks volatile! If you missed it and love angst and conflict, this is going to be one to watch.
* Should've gambled on MRK, huh? Down the last couple days, they've popped on their earnings guidance this morning.
* Donald Trump gets married to Melinia Knauss
* When I hear "Challenger, Gray and Christmas" I think holiday ornaments, not job numbers. More layoffs, btw.
* I still see and read about doubt regarding the stock market. Reminds me of something learned about bull and bear markets. Whatever the trend is tends to move in small amounts, marked by sharp spikes in the opposite direction. In a bull trend, we'll grind higher and have sharp pullbacks. In a bear trend, we'll drip-drip-drip lower, and have sharp spikes. Whenever the sharp move happens, the crowd leaning the wrong way shouts "AHA! TOLD YOU SO!" Then, the grind/drip continues against 'em.
* More later. Too hungry to blog!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
* The rain in spain falls mainly on my brain. Windy. Rainy. Blah!
* Stock market taking a whack today. Normal or something to worry about? Week before options tends to be weak, and we've had quite rally and need a rest. I wonder if after a brief pause, we just keep on going, though...
* Did you think Ocean's Eleven was that great? (Are any George Clooney movies that great?) The sequel is coming, Ocean's Twelve. Looks like whenever you get that many stars together, there is bound to be some fighting over name billing.
* Mister Jones, Mister Jones... Mister Jones. Anyone see the Cowboys game last night? Julius Jones looks impressive!
* Have you ever watched the show Mythbusters? Interesting Discovery channel show. It was on the Yahoo Buzz index, so I went to the program guide to see what they've been showing recently. Kind of like a TV version of Snopes!
* MRK down a bit heading into tomorrow's report. I've decided not to gamble on this one. I was going to, but then I saw a commercial this morning from some ambulence chasers asking for folks who have had a stroke or heart attack who have taken Vioxx to call a number, and decided against it. Even for a scalp. I figured God was sending me a message. Got it! Might've been the Devil. We'll see tomorrow...
* I think it's silly that Steelers QB Ben Rothlesburger can't write #40 for Pat Tillman on his shoes, or face a fine. You think he'll just pay the fine?
* Maybe more interesting to me is the weakness in GOOG.
* "Intolerable Cruelty" with Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones wasn't that bad, I guess.
* College Bowl Games? I think USC will beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. In the Holiday Bowl, the Cal Bears should smoke Texas Tech. And you know the Bears want to prove something! The Rose Bowl with Texas vs. Michigan? I'd have to lean Texas. More later... I haven't even looked at the matchups and point spreads!
* Obesity and Medicare.
Monday, December 06, 2004
* In a normally weak week, I like to see the market drift sideways and consolidate gains. Having bought JDSU last week, I've been looking for other opinions and such on it, and one thing I forgot about was the small-cap January effect. An article up at realmoney.com brought my focus to it, and this is where beaten down small caps tend to rally the last month of the year and into January. It's almost too widely known to be of much use, but it's something to watch. (Right or wrong!)
* I watched the first two movies of the Matrix trilogy. Over the weekend, caught the second one again. I think I'm going to hunker down this week and watch the finale.
* If I wait long enough, I won't have to worry about decorating for Christmas. That's a strategy that served me well last year, as I didn't have to take down Christmas and put it away later. A real time saver!
* "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra.
* Blog Tout: Every Topic in the Universe(s?)
* MRK down today, and they have a guidance report on wednesday morning. Seems like folks are expecting bad news. You think investors have it right or wrong? It's a gamble to play it.
* Drink for your health!
* Is that you buying Sun Microsystems today?
* Well, we're borrowing for everything else. Why not borrow to save Social Security?
* Just who is Jerry Orbach and why is he at the top of the Yahoo Buzz index today?
Sunday, December 05, 2004
* The week prior to options week expiration, is normally down. We're due for some profit taking somewhere. This is my guess when it happens, though I'm not shorting or selling anything. We're also pass the early month strength that sees money flow into 401(k) plans.
* The movie Elf was a real stinker.
* I can see why Anna Benson is on Yahoo Buzz. My goodness!
* Fleckenstien on the US Dollar.
* Have you seen the new Nintendo DS? Will that multi-screen idea work?
* After ALL THAT, Ricky Williams decides to stay retired. Good grief.
* Did you read that Tyra Banks turned 31? I like her show, America's Next Top Model.
* Cal Bears GOT SCREWED in the BCS. How can Texas leapfrog the Bears, when CA beat SMU and the Longhorns were idle??? I guess that's what happens when the NCAA decided to settle the "who's best" argument with a computer instead of out on the playing field. WHERE ARE THE PLAYOFFS AND CHAMPIONSHIP???
* USC or Oklahoma?
* The deaths continue in Iraq.
* Now come ETFs with load fees. They plan on adding 26 loaded ETFs that try to beat the benchmarks via "sophisticated means incorporating trading and earnings momentum and other technical factors." So, what's the difference between that and a mutual fund? The reason folks buy ETFs are low fees and performance that matches a benchmark, realizing that outperforming the index is close to impossible over the long term.
* Sunday night - no Desperate Housewives? HUH? Bastards.
Friday, December 03, 2004
* Jobs data came out a little less than the experts forecasted. So, we got a not too hot and a not too cold number. Excuse me for thinking that this may make the Federal Reserve hesitate a little before getting too aggressive with interest rate hikes. Bonds and REITs are rallying. Techs are rallying on the INTC news. Not bad. Slow, sustainable growth, right?
* I got a buy signal on JDSU. LOL. I don't trust it and their CEO strikes me as a clown. But, I'm game for a baby toe in the water. That stock hasn't done much but move sideways, so I wonder if it's washed out or washed up? Could be either. You'd think if the Baby Bells were needing fiber, like they say, that JDSU would be rockin'... and it ain't.
* Ivana dropped her skirt for $20, which included a candy bar. Unfortunately, Trump ain't hiring a stripper he said, and Ivana got fired. I don't know, I think she had to do something to try and get more $$$. It didn't work, but how were they going to compete with the other team who were selling the candy bars for $5 each? Still lovin' The Apprentice!
* Techincals in drug stocks seem to be improving. Do you think that sector is a buy? I like the dividends.
* Did you catch any of the Rockets vs. Mavericks game last night? Dirk Nowitski and Tracy McGrady put on quite a show. Incredible!
* Next week The Apprentice Final Four go through grouling interviews, and two will be fired. Who do you think will be the final 2? Sandy and Kevin? That's my prediction.
* I wish I could get more excited about satellite radio. But I just can't see adding yet another monthly fee for radio. And how long do you think it will be before commercials are added? There has to be tons of money involved in advertising, just waiting to be unleashed. No thanks! I feel the same way about monthly dues for Tivo, for doing the same thing a VCR does - or a different PVR would do without the monthly fee.
* So, the female sex-drive patch needs more study. Who is doing the studying? Who's having all the fun? "Hmm, I think it needs more study. Call me in 6 months."
* Barry Bonds and steroids? You mean, GASP, it's not natural for a man in his late 30's to add 40-50 pounds of muscle overnight? GASP!!!!
* Christmas trees: Fake or real?
* Clay Aiken gets his own Christmas special, and he didn't even win American Idol. Fantasia, Ruben, and Kelly are all lumped in to one special; and they were the winners. What's up with that?
Thursday, December 02, 2004
* I love Quiznos!
* The market moving sidways today after yesterday's big move. I think that's healthy. MSFT dividend hits today, so it'll be interesting to see if folks buy more stocks or buy Christmas presents. Looking at the retail numbers, stores need folks to hit the malls!
* MSN hot search has Danny Moder at the top. Who? That looks work safe... Click. Oh, Julia Roberts latest husband. Anyone think it'll be her last? Be honest!
* Red meat linked to rheumatoid arthritis?
* Today is thursday, so that means The Apprentice. Have the Tivo ready fellas, Ivana drops her skirt for cash!
* Did anyone watch the Jessica Simpson (and Nick) Christmas special last night? Ashlee Simpson did a duet with Jessica singing Little Drummer Boy. Now, were they lip synching? I don't know. Should they have dropped their tops? I think so. But they didn't. Maybe if they did a pay per view special. Heck, they could invite Ivana, too! They could call it Strippin' for The Holidays.
* Cody Williard on Realmoney.com notices that oil has dropped 28%, and would have to rally 37% to regain the losses.
* Norelle goes buh-bye on last night's America's Next Top Model. That surprised me. I thought she was the prettiest one left. Looks like there's a lot more to a tea ceremony than just having tea. Turn the cup this way, that way, kneel, do this, do that... Heck, when I have tea, I just have tea.
* So after ALL THAT, Ricky Williams decides to stay retired. Good grief!
* Intel gives an update after the market close tonight, so that'll make things interesting for the semiconductors and technology tomorrow. The stock is down heading into the report, so a contrarian play would be to buy some. It'd be a gamble...
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Home sick today... But nice move in the market! Is the Microsoft dividend being put to work, or just normal early month strength?
Good link from The Kirk Report (link to the right), on whether Americans are living beyond our means.
Back to bed!
Oh, one more thing! SP500 closed at a new yearly high. CNBC was on today crowing on how we rallied from March 2003 until early this year, then moved sideways for an eternity, and now have closed above the trading range - which should be bullish. I think technical analysts will agree on that one, so maybe more buying pressure comes in the next few days?
Watched the Matrix Reloaded on cable. Not bad if you can follow the sticky plot.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
* I didn't even have a chance to check out the markets today, but generally the first few days of a new month see new money added to mutual funds as 401(k) contributions hit.
* I check out the Google and Lycos top searches, and see that Tara Reid is in there for something called Nipplegate. I don't think that sounds work friendly, do you? (Note to self: Remember to follow-up at home later!)
* Seems like many here at the Fun Factory have extended their Thanksgiving weekend a few days. It is tough coming back after a long weekend.
* Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin makes lousy martinis.
* Yahoo has a Buzz Index of top search movers. Susan St. James and Dick Ebersol top the list. That is quite a tragedy, btw. I can't imagine what they're going through losing their son.
* Did you see that there's a reality show where competing teams are cast as the castaways from Gilligan's Island and try to escape the island? I ain't watching. Probably ain't watching. Will Mary Ann be making coconut pies? Will the Professor make a radio out of palm leaves?
* Rumor is that Ken Jennings lost on Jeopardy! Am I just too cynical? Because I recently rewatched the movie Quiz Show... and... hah! I guess the question to the answer "This 70,000 employee company does most of it's business during one time of the year" isn't "What is Fed-Ex?"
* I'm still positive on this economy. Seems to me there is lots of wall of worry stuff out there to keep the bull market alive.
* Tom Ridge resigns as Homeland Security Chief. Was that his title? Hey, Chief!
* Do you find it funny that the NBA's Golden State Warriors are usually out of the playoff hunt before the Thanksgiving Turkey is off the dining room table? (If not sooner...) Geez, in some years by Veterans Day!
* I'm tired of winter already. And it's not even winter yet!
* What is HR Block?
Monday, November 29, 2004
* Booking the loss in TIVO, down 7% from my buy. Can't win 'em all... It was showing weakness after earnings, and then more weakness as the rest of the market rallied. Folks don't want advertising in their video recordings is the buzz in the press. I'd rather have positive hype.
* Netflixin'... Day After Tomorrow started out okay, but then kind of de-evolved to a lame mess... Bringing Down the House with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah was great! Loved it! Finaly, a decent script for Steve Martin.
* I think I overdosed on leftovers and football over the weekend!
* Market now down as I type... I think the dip is buyable at some point.
* Looking at the top MSN search terms... Sharon Reed is still up there. But I see folks have the holidays on their minds, as Christmas screensavers and wallpaper are moving up! Have you started Christmas shopping? One thing I refuse to do, is shop over the Thanksgiving weekend.
* So, Julia Roberts had her twins... Did your office have a "name the babies" contest? Anyone have Phinnaeus and Hazel? WINNER!
Friday, November 26, 2004
* The day after Thanksgiving is normally up, and looks like it so far. Kind of interesting that the Semiconductors are in the red as I type. Sold the Google stock. I think the market needs a pullback, and it might give me another entry point later. I still think we have until early December for this rally. So if we get a down day or two early next week, I'll get more aggressive.
* You think the dollar is going to continue its slide? Seems like everyone just noticed the falling dollar the past couple weeks. I'm reading blogs and message boards where folks are buying Euros or thinking about it. Boy, I'm sure not going to do that. I wonder what contrarians are thinking here... Dollar rally?
* Netflixin'... Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life. I liked it. Kind of all over the place, but it was enjoyable. Then again, I could watch Angelina Jolie knit a scarf and give it a thumbs up.
* Yeah, I got sucked in and watched that Seinfeld special last night. After The Apprentice of course. Andy was driving me nuts, though he seems very strong and I thought he had a shot at all the marbles. Jen needs to go. I think Ivana might be next to go, though. Although, from the previews of next week, looks like she drops her skirt for cash! The Seinfeld special was just so addicting, I couldn't turn it off.
* I wonder how Martha Stewart enjoyed Thanksgiving?
* The last place I'd go today? The mall. No thanks!!!
* Bush seeking funds for abstinence education. How much does it cost to say "Don't do it?"
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
* I missed the survey on the best holiday pie on CNBC. Now I'll never know.
* Surprise, surprise, Sgt. Carter! Stocks are up! I think the market closes up, and the rally continues on the half-day action on friday. Just a guess.
* Fleck has a warning up at MSN on the pension crisis, both Social Security and private pensions.
* Thumbs up, on Netflix. I like my DVDs by mail. They're customer service is great, too.
* I'd say my favorite pie is blueberry, but I'm not much of a pie person. If I never had pie again, it probably wouldn't bother me too much. Same thing with pastries and sweets. I can skip 'em.
* Did you read about the grilled cheese sandwich that has an image of the Virgin Mary that fetched $28,000? Heck, you can probably get one made at my cafe here at the Fun Factory for $3, and the grill cook might even arrange the grease so you get some image on the bread for ya.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
* Lots of discussion on Ron Artest et al around the radio dial. At least now he can spend some time promoting his new CD.
* That's all she wrote for Dan Rather. Kind of a flame-out ending to a long career.
* Movie reviews with a bite of satire! Great site. Having just watched the "13 Going on 30" DVD, I thought the review was hillarious. I liked the movie, FWIW.
* So the market found a bid. Surprise, surprise, Sgt. Carter. Now, just gotta hope for some good old historical reliability on two low-volume trading days. We shall see. I'd like a rally with my pumpkin pie, please!
* I wonder what Michael Moore is doing today?
* It's kind of nice to see politics take a back seat. It gets a little time consuming following all the blather around the elections. Now, back to the real world.
* I wonder if someone will be taking Donald Trump to the boardroom for his roll as project manager of the Taj Mahal casino? At least he has The Apprentice to fall back on...
* Despite all my calm trading methodologies which serve me well, I can't help but let emotion get the best of me from time to time. Just call it what it is: Gambling. Or, maybe wreckless speculation. Sometimes it works. Sometimes (usually) it doesn't. With that in mind, pen me down for buys in Google and Tivo. Hopefully, it'll end up better than my last trip to the casino! Oh, and Citigroup. GOOG, TIVO, and C are the tickers.
* Why Google? Just Thanksgiving rally speculation. Snug stop loss if I'm wrong on it. Which, I could be. It's way up there in the stratosphere. I won't ride it down, holding and hoping.
* Why Tivo? They're getting blasted today after earnings, and I think they're better than that. Just anecdotal sightings. Comments from coworkers on how they want one. Etc. More hard disk size, DVD burning, etc. I dunno. Just a trade.
* Why C? Pullback, nice yield. This one closer to my trading rules than emotional greed taking over. We'll see. I'm more tempted to hold on to C for awhile than the others.
* None of the above is a recommendation. Either I'll look brilliant in hindsight; or, another documented example of why it's just best to buy the index and ignore the noise!
Monday, November 22, 2004
* I think there is some mental condition out there called "shortweekitus," which shuts down ones ability to do much work whenever a holiday(s) falls in a week. I've noticed this disease here at the Fun Factory today. Lots of laughing, talking, and emailing; while not much work getting done. It'd bother me, but I seem to have caught it, too. Seems like keeping my hands washed and not picking my nose haven't stopped the spread to my office!
* So, I'm looking at the top MSN searches, and see Susan Selles. Who the heck is that? I had to click to find out. Oh brother! More? Sharon Reed. CLICK... Hmm, I don't get that one. Vibe awards - wait, I don't know if that one is work safe or not. Better avoid that one and move on.
* Tivo reported after hours. I dunno. Doesn't look that great to me. I'm not sure of their longevity. I can go buy a different digital video recorder that uses free TV Guide program listings. Why subscribe to yet another monthly fee?
* Saturday Night Live had a President Bush skit, where he's doing an Apprentice style boardroom firing. Actors playing Powell, Rice, and Rumsfield were on the firing line. It was funny; but I turned off SNL right before midnight, it was just bad.
* Kazaa now offers free phone calls over the web, via the Skype software. I wonder when internet phone calls will replace our current landline systems?
* Pacers' Artest, O'Neal and Jackson respond.
* I'd rather go to a sports bar than the actual sporting event. What do you think?
* The market? Well, Thanksgiving week tends to be positive. On the weak opening, I was wondering if this was going to be an exception to the rule, but looks like the buyers stepped in.
* Netflixin'... Watched "13 going on 30" and liked it. Love is a Battlefield!
* The media reports only the bad news from Iraq, but here is some good news.
* I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of time off. No gift giving. Good meal. Time with friends and family. Football and NBA. It's the best.
* Old habits die hard after all.
* NBA news... I think all those NBA players should've been tossed for the season. And those fans should be prosecuted as well.
* The Seinfeld DVD release is all the news, as is the thursday night reunion special. See this? Are you going to buy the DVDs or have you seen enough of the reruns already?
* Hmm, maybe I should've followed that Microsoft sell signal I got, eh? Greed kills.
* Life at the Fun Factory is pretty relaxed this week. Another great plus to Thanksgiving. People tend to have a pretty good disposition. Enjoy!
Friday, November 19, 2004
* Democrats still haunted over 2000, are now trying to conduct a recount in Ohio 2004. File it under "sore losers."
* Stock market? Fridays tend to move opposite of the trend, as folks lock in profits. We're in dire need of a healthy pullback or consolidation. Next week is the week after options expiration, and that tends to be negative, but with Thanksgiving holiday in there, it might buck that trend. The following week is the begining of December, which should be positive and Microsoft's dividend hits, too. We shall see how it plays out. I always try and guess what the market will do, but if I'm wrong, that's okay. Stock prices will tell the true tale...
* I don't know if I'll see the movie "Alexander" or not, but there is some outrage over the suggestion that Alexander the great was homosexual. I don't think it was ever brought up in my 7th grade history class that Alexander liked walking on both sides of the street. Do you recall? Is this just Hollyweird?
* The fallout from Merck's drug snafu is now being felt by other drug companies. Isn't that how it goes? One company announces it has problems, then the fear spreads. Hard to hold individual stocks and guess what fear or greed will do.
* Are stocks down because it's fridays options expiration? Crude is higher, too. Looks like bonds are taking a whack. REITs seem to look a little toppy lately.
* On The Apprentice? Trump did the right thing. Wes and Maria had to go. Jen sure stole Ivana's limelight, eh? This was the best week for Ivana, and Jen swooped right in and stole her thunder! The darn Fembot!
Thursday, November 18, 2004
* Congressman Paul Ryan was on Moneytalk this last weekend. Larry Kudlow was guest hosting for Bob Brinker. I thought it was a great segment for those interested in tax reform and the privatization of Social Security.
* The stock market acts tired. But, good grief, after Applied Materials came out and said bad things late yesterday, the market holds up well. Everyone is expecting a pullback. Yes, someday. Must be lots of eager buyers out there who missed the move up.
* Maybe Bruce Springsteen was right after all!
* A TV show that features the top 100 movie quotes? That seems like a ratings yawner.
* Did I just hear Rush Limbaugh call the new Clinton Presidential Library the "Clinton Presidential Library and Massage Parlor?" I only caught part of it while flipping stations, so sorry if it's a misquote. Funny, though.
* My favorite movie quote? "I'm your huckleberry" by Val Kilmer in Tombstone.
* I wonder how many times Val Kilmer gets asked to say "I'm your huckleberry?"
* Might as well milk the Clinton Library for jokes... I wonder if they'll hire Playboy bunnies for librarians? Or hookers? "Hmm, the library sure seems to be taking in a lot of revenue under the category of 'overdue book fees.' Looks like about $500 per overdue book late fee."
* I don't like the Yahoo message boards much, but I was curious why the strong move in a stock I own. I go to Yahoo, and STRONG BUY touts all over the place spreading rumor of a takeover. Lots of volume in those buys, so I don't know what's up. Maybe nothing. But those message posters are nutty.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
* People starting to get a little too excited about the stock market. What a great few weeks. At some point, there will be a pullback. When? If I had to guess, the likely spot is sometime around the first week of December. Just a guess, and short-term guesses are usually wrong!
* I watched the movie "The Hulk" last night. Yeesh, two hours of my life GONE. It's a horrible movie. A real stinker. Nothing good to say about it. Not a thing.
* Did you see that an apple of day is actually a good idea?
* Do you care if Sears and Kmart are merging? Will you even notice?
* I saw some phones being advertised as having 3D sound. What's that? "Stan! It actually sounds as if you're calling from Malaysia! COOL!" I don't get it. Heck, mine sounds as if folks are calling from a tin can.
* Did you see Anna Nicole Smith on the music awards show? Good grief. I'll have half of whatever she was taking.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
* Confirming what many have been predicting, the reality show craze seems on the decline. Even The Apprentice has seen viewership wane this season.
* The PPI comes out today strongest in 15 years or so, but excluding food and energy, it's not that big of a deal. Bonds aren't flinching much. Plus, energy has been on the decline recently.
* Condi Rice nominated for Secretary of State! Way to go, Condi!
* Traditional oven turkey vs. deep fried turkey?
* Stocks moving lower today. Will buyers step in? I'm just guessing, but I think November finishes strong as does the first week of December. I think many have missed the move up, and will buy any dip. Also, Microsoft's dividend will dump over $30 Billion in investor's accounts on December 2nd, and that could keep a bid under stock prices. (Or, it could go for presents under the Christmas tree.)
* I've watched some of America's Next Top Model this season, and while it's entertaining, I think it's had its run. I've skipped the rest of the reality shows.
* Deep fried turkey is pretty good.
* The CPI will be released tomorrow, which should show if price increases are being passed along to consumers.
* I hope not too many folks (with long term horizons) are stuck with adjustable rate mortgages. Greenspan could continue raising rates here. We've had a nice long period near historic lows for long-term rates. Hopefully, folks took advantage of that. The bigger question, may be what do rising rates mean to real estate speculation? And ultimately, housing prices?
Monday, November 15, 2004
* Lets dedicate monday to the Boomtown Rats.
* The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) has seen their deficit double the past year. Does that seem to be an issue to anyone out there?
* Microsoft, which I still own, is now trading ex-dividend, and rallying. I didn't dump it despite having the sell signal last week on it. I wish I could follow my timing signals to the letter, but real-time events get in the way and I just made a guess. The market is moving, and that $3 dividend will be spent. Either on more investments or Christmas presents.
* Larry Kudlow was filling in for Bob Brinker on saturday's Moneytalk. Brinker was back on sunday. Larry was extremely optimistic, and thinks the stock market is undervalued. Brinker seemed a little concerned for folks who are in adjustible rate mortgages in an environment where the Fed is raising rates. Brinker seemed concerned about housing, too.
* Netflixin'... Two Weeks Notice with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant arrived, was viewed, and has been mailed back. Yeesh, that one was a stinker. The best news regarding that? Hugh Grant says he's done making movies. I like sappy romantic comedies, but this one just didn't work for me.
* Lots of resignations in the Bush Cabinet for the second term. Not surprising. Happened in Clinton's second term, too. It's hard work! Most of these folks can make a lot more money working lots less hours somewhere else.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Microsoft, which I still own despite having a sell signal on indicators I follow, now is the leading OS in handhelds. (Microsoft Gets a Leg Up in Handhelds).
I bring this up, because remember when Netscape was the leading browser, and Microsoft entered the battle? Remember when Palm had the leading operating system in handhelds? Remember when Google was the leading search engine? OH - IT STILL IS. For now.
For sure, Microsoft has had some failures. Their java J++ programming language comes to mind. As does WebTV and their Tivo-like Ultimate TV. But they've had a second coming of sorts when it comes to the internet programming language of choice, as their .Net is now ahead of Java in new development. We'll see how they figure out the whole TV and home entertainment venue, as they keep poking and prodding in the area, with Windows Media XP and all. They've done really well with Xbox despite a slow start, and "Halo 2" was all over the news this week. I don't know how they're doing against Sony's Playstation or Nintendo, but my guess is that Microsoft is doing well.
It's just interesting, as the Google stock soars, that maybe GOOG investors are ignoring the MSFT camel's nose in their search engine tent. Just a thought.
* There is justice! Scott Peterson found guilty guilty guilty!
* The stock market is just racing at the close again. Everyone still expecting a pullback? One thought is that maybe the $3 dividend by Microsoft is about $30 billion in dividends that has to go somewhere. More stocks? Plasma TVs from Best Buy? We'll see...
* I think Baked Doritos are just as good as the regular Doritos.
* Michael Moore was one of the big winners in 2004. He made a ton. Bush winning last week actually will turn into another financial boon for Moore, who is planning a sequel to "Fahrenheit 9/11."
* Large stocks have been moving, so isn't the next thing that small speculative stocks get ramped up? Just trying to remember the life-cycle of a bull leg up.
* First, there were annoying pop-ups. Now? Have you noticed how large content sites put up a page-filling advertisment when you first arrive, and then force you to either click "continue" or "skip this ad?" I hate it. CBS Marketwatch and Forbes do this. I have to click twice to get to the content. I have no idea what they're advertising, because I'm searching for the "skip this ad" link.
* Does "The Apprentice" have continuity issues? This is a good article from Forbes, derided above, that asks "Did you notice that during the bridal salon task, the competitors were wearing shorts and tshirts and it's obviously warm summer weather, but when the firings take place, it's cold and rainy?" Hmmm! Conspiracy!
* Does Ron Artest think he's P Diddy? Can P Diddy play hoops? Maybe there can be a reality show where they switch places...
* Arafat was one of this world's biggest terrorists. The world reaction to his death is somewhat bizarre and troubling.
* I use Amibroker to develop and backtest trading strategies. It's pretty slick. I generally just make intermediate to long-term trades, and skip the daytrading. I just have had a rough time trying to make money in short periods.
* I saw the movie "Intermission" this week via DVD. It is an Irish movie, so the first few minutes there's a bit of a language barrier but after that, it's funny how you start understanding the accent. At first, I was like "Good grief, are there subtitles?" The movie was kind of interesting.
* I got a sell signal on Microsoft, which I own as of this typing.
* I went to go see the movie "The Incredibles" yesterday, but all the shows were sold out! I hear very good things about that movie!
* The Apprentice? I was expecting Trump to fire the whole team last night!
Thursday, November 11, 2004
* A big shout out from The Learning Curve to this nation's Vets. Outstanding job, and thank you very much!
* Microsoft, which I own, unveiled a new search engine today or so I've been led to believe. I searched for "Larry Kudlow blog" and it found a bunch of stuff quickly, with Kudlow's blog right at the top. I guess the index funds have to rebalance, and buy about $3B worth of Microsoft stock. At least that's what CNBC said. Whenever MSFT is moving up, it's tough for the indices to go down.
* Yassir Arafat dies. So, does this guy have $6B dollars?
* As I'm typing the market ramps higher. Everyone is expecting a pullback that will be bought furiously. While they're waiting, the market keeps going up. It'll come at some point I suppose. Can't think it's that far away from a pullback. Many credit the election for the ramp, but it started before then. Notice oil prices dropping like stone, too.
* The Lakers sure look awful. While the Heat look very good. Tell me again, between Kobe and Shaq, who is the franchise player?
* It's kind of interesting, that with interest rates moving up, Annaly Mortgage, which I own, isn't taking a hit. Last time interest rates were moving up, sellers were dumping REITs.
* Wasn't it just over a week ago that John Kerry was going state to state, telling everyone how this is the worst economy since Hoover? What do you think he's doing this week? When is the next time you think Kerry will go goose hunting?
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
* Another day, another financial talk show, and more questions on Microsoft, which I own. People think that the $3 dividend is free money; when, in fact the stock price will drop $3. I think enough people don't understand this. What's the percentage of people who call talk shows? Very small. So, if they seem to have this misunderstanding, it has to be extremely widespread. Just a thought on the recent move in MSFT. They also have released Halo 2, and a search engine. So, you think that will impact Google stock at all? I do.
*Alberto Gonzales is rumored to be named the new Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Elaine Chao is rumored to be leaving her post, and moving to the U.N. children's body UNICEF.
* Another diet shocker: Those with big waists might have future heart trouble! Are we spending dollars researching the obvious here?
* What's next, a study telling us that it's brighter during the day, and darker during the night?
* Maybe a study that shows us that people who spend time in the sun, tend to have more sunburns that people who stay indoors.
* Or a study that shows us that people who drink 20 glasses of water a day, have to urinate more frequently than people who drink 5 glasses of water a day.
* On a serious note, a new study says Vitamin E supplements might shorten lives. Good grief. I wonder how many people are taking E?
* I can't remember who it was on Fox's financial shows last saturday who thought Merck might be a good buy. Certainly lots of questions regarding future lawsuits.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
* Some Asian woman got booted off the Scott Peterson trial for doing her own research. Maybe she did a Google search on Scott Peterson. LOL.
* George Bush's 2nd term agenda seems fairly bold. He's got a lot on his plate. Especially adding in the deficit. If he just keeps the economy moving along and finishes up the job in Iraq, that'd be quite a bit. He has the Congress, so we'll see if he nibbles at Social Security and tax reform. Won't be easy.
* There just has to be a better way for a vending machine to dispense a soda. Dropping it down a chute makes for a surprise when you open it up.
* Have you been deluged with Cortislim ads saying how easy it is to lose weight? I like the guy who says something like, if you're only trying to lose a few pounds, move on buddy; this ain't for you! I think diet and exercise works better than any over the counter product.
* Cisco (CSCO) seems to be nuking the afterhours. Looks like they have (gasp) competition! Might not be a bad thing, but traders are probably looking for a reason to lock in gains. Everywhere I read, it seems like folks are expecting a pullback and then a resumption of the rally.
* John Ashcroft and Don Evans out of the Administration. You think Ashcroft's departure will make the Democrats happy, or is that possible after last tuesday?
* You like fried turkey?
* Microsoft, which I own, did announce their dividend. From Forbes: "The dividend will be paid Dec. 2 to shareholders of record Nov. 17." So, whether the stock was up on that or other news (Halo 2), I don't know.
* I'll add some links that I frequent. There are many, but I'll put down the ones I look at everyday.
* Not getting too much news, is the United Airlines pension announcement. I wonder if this is the tip of the iceburg? Pensions might be in trouble.
Is Arafat dead? It's just a matter of time. It'll be interesting to see the power struggle that follows. You know the saying, "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know." I think this brings some uncertainty to what comes next in the Middle East.
Monday, November 08, 2004
* I just have to point out a good blog entry by Larry Kudlow over on The Club for Growth, To Have and Have Not. It's a voting breakdown from various income groups, showing that the Democrat "class warfare" message really didn't take hold in 2004.
* Bill Fleckenstein writes the Contrarian Chronicles on MSN. He seems to always be bearish, but my friends seem to follow him and do well. FWIW!
* Do you think the iPod fad has longevity, or will a better mousetrap come along?
* Cancel the weekend getaway plans for Falluja...
* Got type 2 diabetes, or a family history of it? Read this! Again, I say this often, but diet and lifestyle is responsible for a ton of what ails us. Just think the impact on America's health care costs if folks would take responsibility for themselves by eating right and exercising!
* Can you imagine anyone using email these days without a spam filter? Heck, I get like 300-400 a day that automatically get deleted. Another 10 or so seem to sneak through. If I didn't have the filter, I'd have to change my email address very often.
* Lots of angst out there among Democrats.
* After 9 straight up days, the SP500 was down today. The last time the SP500 was up 9 days in a row was 1997. Or so I heard on Gary Kaltbaum's radio show. I assume that's good data.
* Watched two DVDs this weekend. "Chicago" was so boring. "Love Actually" which was okay at best. It had it's moments, and I like the romantic comedies. It just didn't have enough comedy.
* About this time of year, I get burned out on football. I've watched some NBA, and the Lakers just don't have anything in the middle. I can't see them advancing too far. The Kings look older and slower, but lets see how they do at home. The Rockets look interesting with McGrady out there.
* Best show on TV right now? Desperate Housewives. The 2nd-place show ain't even close!
* Microsoft, which I own, is planning a $3 dividend in the future. Now, everyone should know that the stock will be reduced in price by the amount of the dividend. But I'm watching to see if the stock runs into the dividend, just because I'm not convinced enough folks know this. Lots of people I hear on radio shows seem to think this is free money. Enough to make the stock run? I don't know. Just watching.
* Hugh Grant was the top bill in "Love Actually." But it was more a series of stories weaved together, than a movie starring Hugh Grant. Assuming one can believe Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of England, flirting with the staff.
The market has rallied fast and strong! If you look at the charts, the market has basically come up to the top of the recent trading range. The SP500 broke out slightly, but not enough to negate the trading range just yet. As a bull, the one thing I don't want to see is the rally to lose steam and for us to begin back down. That would indicate to me that the trading range is still in effect.
What would be really healthy in my opinion, would be to see us consolidate by moving sideways, and then busting up and over the trading range.
Friday, November 05, 2004
* This week seems like it's been a long one!
* The stock market rally? I'm still long, but it looks like the rally is getting tired. I think the rally is for real. The election stress is behind us. The risk of terrorists trying to affect the election didn't happen. In addition, economic growth continues. Today's job numbers prove that.
* What's next for the market? Who knows. We do look a little extended. I do think the rally continues, but we're due for a pullback somewhere in here. I bet folks who missed this run are waiting for a dip, so that they can deploy some cash into some of the hot names. I still like the diversified approach most of all.
* One of my coworkers had a funny line yesterday. I can't recall what we were talking about, but he said "I had no idea we were homeless. I just thought we camped out a lot."
* Jim Cramer over on realmoney.com has been talking up cable stocks for awhile. I agree with him. I think video on demand is going to be big, and steal subscribers back from satellite. Especially combining the broadband internet services (and services to come). I'm not sure how much of this is priced into the cable stocks already, and I don't own any directly.
* Did you see both Kill Bill Volume 1 and Volume 2? I finaly saw them. Wow!
* Post-election analysts are at it, trying to figure out where Kerry went wrong. I think he spent too much time preaching to the choir. His issues were rallying folks who already planned on voting for him. He really didn't go after moderates at all.
* Bonds are taking a whack today with the good job numbers. As are REITs, which are interest rate sensitive.
* I'm bringing the cartoons back...
* Speaking of getting whacked, Raj got whacked on The Apprentice last night. I just couldn't imagine that guy as a boss. Seems like a guy I'd go out to happy hour with and try and pick up women. I think Ivana has to go. Predict a winner? I'm leaning to Andy at this point. He's good.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
* The market rallies strong on the election resolution for Bush. Yet, late in the day it was like it ran out of gas. I wonder if we'll get a little pullback here? The test would then be if there is a bunch of money waiting on the sidelines to pounce on a 2nd chance at a year end run.
* Scientists Close in on Source of Cosmic Rays Hmm, I bet President Bush might say... "Don't they come from Cosmics?"
* Interesting relationship between oil and technology stocks. I'll put up a graph (and more of those in the future).
* So, what will a 2nd-term Bush administration do? Reform tax code? Strengthen Social Security? Wrap up the effort in Iraq? Appoint new Supreme Court justices?
* Any Democrats out there planning on moving to Canada? Canada says there's a waiting list. Takes about a year.
* Bush won. Kerry concedes. Game over. GOP picks up House and Senate seats.
* The stock market has a nice rally on. I wondered if we'd get a sell the news reaction. Well, maybe we're getting a "Thank God it's over" rally. The crowd is usually right for most of the trend. And we do have seasonality on our side. I'm letting it ride on the long side.
* Lakers won. Think Chris Mihm is going to score over 20 every night? I picked him up in my fantasy league just in case! Pistons also won. And the Mavs beat the sinking Kings.
* Yesterday, nobody here was talking about the election. Today, everyone has the electoral map up.
* After spending so much time on politics and the election, it's almost a relief to move on now. The market is rallying. Almost a sigh, "Thank goodness."
* The funny thing about politics, is that we'll rev the emotions back up in 2 years for the non-presidential election, and in another 2 years in 2008. Like the super bowl. We get to argue about our teams all over again!
* Like I mentioned earlier, the analysts are out there saying what does this mean for stocks? Which companies to own or not own based on a Bush win? I'm staying diversified. Although, I do note that there has been an interesting relationship between oil prices and technology stocks this year. Oil goes up, tech prices fall. Oil goes down, tech prices rise.
* Any Hollywood stars packing their bags for Canada after the Kerry loss?
* I think I'll watch Farenheit 911 tonight. LOL.
* Drug stocks are reacting well to the Bush win, no?
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Update: Does the media want this to turn into a circus or what? Bush is up by 2% in Ohio with 97% of the vote in. It's a 125,000 vote lead. Not 1000 votes, but 125,000 votes. And they're trying to turn it into a soap opera like Florida in 2000. And I'm watching Fox! I know they're scared to call it wrong, but that's a big number. The uncounted votes would have to come in overwhelmingly for Kerry, but those votes aren't from Democrat strongholds.
John Edwards just came out and said that they weren't giving up, and they'd wait until tomorrow for all the votes to be counted. Looked like he's been crying. And not tears of joy, either.
* People seem to have a love affair with their political party, almost like a sports fan does with his or her favorite team.
* Some of the early calls for a Kerry landslide look to be wrong. It's way too early. I'm seeing some of the battleground states look like they're going red (to Bush). Reminds me of 2000, when the election day polls were wrong by a long shot. Kerry might win; Bush might win. It's really close.
* Drudge's website has been fun to follow. He's got an electoral map up, links to live data coming in at battleground Secretary of State websites, etc.
* This election has been a reality show. America is addicted!
* The only thing folks are doing here at the Fun Factory that's election related is leaving early!
* I don't know how late I'll stay up tonight.
* While I'm conservative generally, I do have a favorite political blog or two that are actually liberal. Check out The Left Coaster when you have a free minute. Some of the folks will challenge your views from time to time, and I think that's healthy. One of these days I 'll create a list of links. There are some conservative blogs that are excellent daily reads, too.
* As you know, it's impossible to argue politics and ever change anyone's mind. Back to the sports team analogy. Once a Dodgers fan, always a Dodgers fan. Don't bring up the Yankees or Giants, a'ight? But it's fun to debate and learn what motivates other folks. Again, I think it's healthy.
* How will the Lakers look post-Shaq Daddy? Chris Mihm is the man in the middle now, with Vlade hurtin'... But it's going to be the Kobe Show.
Bush fans: Don't give up. Ohio exits now showing a tie, as Bush voters must be showing up late. If he can do the same in Florida, it'll be back to a dogfight.
According to CNN, the GOP is picking up the Georgia Senate seat.
Remember in 2000, the exit polls predicted a Gore win. While it looks good for Kerry, don't get discouraged either way. There are Senate and House races, propositions, and lots of local issues on the ballot.
If you're a Democrat, Kerry needs help in the Congress (both House and Senate) if he's going to make good on those promises.
If you're a Republican, the goal is to prove the early polling wrong. And if it's Kerry, then the goal is to hold him to a stalemate for four years by denying him the Congress (both House and Senate). If it's Bush, then Bush will need Congress' help the next four years.
Try to get some sleep tonight. Remember, the Lakers are on late for a diversion!
Side note: Not one person here at the Fun Factory has even discussed the election today. I haven't heard even one word. Plenty of folks talking about the Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA opener. But not one word on Kerry or Bush! Which truly amazes me in a so-called bitterly divided nation. Has the political machine over-hyped itself? Do folks really care as much as the media would like us to believe? Or are folks more interested in how the Lakers look in the post-Shaq era?
I think it's the latter... Have fun tonight, either way!
If you've followed the offshore betting site tradesports.com that is handicapping the race, it has had Bush as the favorite the whole way. Until now. Kerry is now listed as the favorite. It's not often you can make a bet as the game is being played!
(For the record, I have no interest in online gaming.)
After the results are in, every financial website, magazine, and TV show will come out with a recommendation special that feature what you should buy or sell based on who won. I think that's garbage. I think it's best to always stay diversified.
Another site I'm following today is CBS Marketwatch, which is a really good site IMHO!
Reading some commentary from The Street.com, the market sell off is being related to the early exit polls showing Kerry polling well. However, researching this a little further, he's not doing as well as Al Gore did in 2000 early polling. Also, as pointed out on Realmoney.com (paid version of TheStreet.com), the data is not adjust for who is showing up early. James De Porre ("Rev Shark") comments that women tend to vote early, and they favor Kerry.
Both sides are claiming shennanigans of some sort or another, so I hope if that's the case, they cancel each other out. I also hope the lawyers don't have much to do tomorrow. We need a clear winner!
Remember to vote. Exercise your right!
Following the results over at DRUDGE REPORT 2004. First round of exit polls has John Kerry leading Bush in all the battleground states. Almost immediately, the stock market sold off. I don't know why, because gridlock would probably be good for the markets. We've had a nice pre-election run-up, as folks anticipate a post-election rally. If we get a dip post-election, it'd be a sell the news reaction. I feel positive about the economy no matter who wins.
Wall Street is up pretty good so far, and one could argue that the markets are predicting a Bush win. After all, the theory is that Wall Street prefers Republicans, even though historically the market has performed better under Democrats.
Just to throw a wrench in the common thought, I wonder if Wall Street actually prefers gridlock. From 1994-2000, the politicians were neutralized with the Democrats in the White House and the Republicans in the Congress. They couldn't even agree on which day of week it was! If Kerry wins, will we return to that sweet political spot? Could the strong move up in the market the recent week be in anticipation of gridlock?
Another common thought, is that one buys the rumor and sells the news. No matter what the result is, will Wall Street tumble once the news is in?
No matter what happens today, get out and vote. The local news channels will be showing results all night, so instead of watching the election returns why not take a break for a few hours and watch opening night in the NBA? You deserve a break after non-stop news. Charles Barkley is extremely more entertaining than any polling results or interviews with political parties. And the new-look Lakers are the late game tonight!
Monday, November 01, 2004
FOXSports.com - Loud-mouthed Martin heads overrated list
This is an interesting article on the eve of the NBA season! I agree about Chris Webber, though. Not so much on AI; Iverson is all about Iverson, but he plays hard.
Another article up on the Underrated players.
Not sure about this list. It seems more like a sleeper Fantasy Basketball list.
"We need a change in leadership in this country. Once I'm elected, this big flag is coming down. And we're going to raise the French flag, the Russian Flag, the German flag, the United Nations flag and flags from all around the world."
"This is my plane. This is what a leader flies around the country in. You can't be a world leader and not have a plane like this. You can't fly around in the wrong plane going to the wrong places. My job is to spread freedom. I wake up everyday, wanting to spread freedom. Sometimes I wake up in this plane. That's my job! My opponent, he can't decide how he wants to travel. One day he's on a bus, the next day he's on a train. And with your help on tuesday, he won't get a plane like this. God Bless America!"
Sunday, October 31, 2004
I don't know how your state and local elections are looking, but here in CA there is a ton of information to go through because of all the propositions and candidates on the ballot. We're being urged to spend time this weekend researching and doing homework, to determine how we want to vote this coming tuesday. The local TV news has interviewed folks who plan on hunkering down this weekend reviewing the information. One person said that she's already spent one day, and plans on spending another!
That's one approach.
I've figured out a way to save a bunch of time. I usually just go the opposite of the recommendations in the Op-Ed section of my local paper, the Sacramento Bee. You see, there was a time where I'd do all the research and homework on the issues and candidates; but, I found that 99.9% of the time, my conclusions were exactly the opposite of the Bee Op-Ed writers!
If they've done their homework as I suspect, I can enjoy the weekend assured that they've come to the wrong conclusions. There are some awesome football games on. You think I was going to miss that great finale to the Michigan St. vs Michigan game to hammer out the pros and cons of ballot initiatives? Skip the game winning field goal by the rookie in North Carolina as they beat #3 Miami, going over the pro vs. con arguments for the Stem Cell initiative?
No way! Not when I've got the Sacramento Bee staff doing my homework for me!
Friday, October 29, 2004
With the Osama Bin Ladin tape out, I wondered what Kerry might say in response? My guess is that it would be something like this:
"I have a plan. The first thing is to have a summit. A global summit. We'll get our friends and allies around the world together, and I'll tell them that we must all join together, to kill Osama Bin Ladin. I have a plan for those who don't want to join our coalition. Unlike this administration, I know what's best for other countries. That's what I'll tell them at the global summit. I'll tell them that I know what's best, and I have a plan. And we'll find Osama Bin Ladin and shoot him. I'll shoot him myself, with my goose hunting rifle. Help is on the way. That's my plan."
* I was watching The Apprentice last night, and a commercial came on where Ted Nugent was urging viewers to go vote. I had this incredible sense of deja vous, since I had a dream recently where I met Ted Nugent.
* My friend has a job interview that just got underway. In the liberal mecca of Berkeley. I wished him luck, and gave him some ideas from my blog entry The Presidential Interviews. Think he'll use 'em? I'd love to do that, by the way. Maybe I'll apply for a job I'm not interested in, and just spend the hour blasting the other job candidates.
* Yes, I refaced my blog a little. Seems a little more tidy this way.
* I listened to most of the Stolen Honor being streamed on KFBK at 1:00pm, and it was pretty good. They have a website, where you can watch it if you want.
* Stocks? Fridays "tend" to move opposite of the weekly trend, so it was interesting to see the market hold up well today of all fridays. We have an election on tuesday, that looks like a nail-biter because the country is so divided. We have terrorist tapes hitting the wires. It's all very interesting that the market held up today. I wonder how much is priced in already? I wonder if the strength in price and volume we saw this week was "the big boys" beginning their move?
* Sacramento's Tom Sullivan makes a good point, that when surveys ask folks how the economy is, they say "Not so good." But when asked how they're doing personally, "I'm doing fine." It's the perception of how other people are doing that jades the stats. Most of us are doing better now than 4 years ago. I though it was a good point.
Why Democrats Should Vote for Bush.
I've heard other left-leaning friends echo some of her sentiments.
* Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 has Bush winning.
* The economic numbers keep coming in strong, with the GDP coming in at 3.7% today for the 3rd quarter. Not too hot that Greenspan would get his panties in a bunch about it. But nice sustainable growth.
* If folks vote their pocketbooks, Bush should get the nod. Things were rough early in the term with the stock bubble bursting in 2000-2 and 9/11, but his economic policies has the economy clicking.
* Bush polls strong in foreign policy, and combine that with the strong economic data, I think it looks good. Although, the voting polls are all within the statistical margin of error. Make sure to go vote. And vote for Bush! ;)
* Kerry is out with Springsteen. Bush out with Arnold. I think the latter has more curb appeal. Curt Schilling, of the World Series champs Boston Red Sox, cancelled his plans to tour with Bush due to his injury.
* Kerry was wrong to jump to conclusions about the missing explosives in Iraq. I don't know if that will bite him in the butt, but that's the same thing he criticizes Bush for, isn't it?
* The stock market has rallied about 4%, give or take, prior to the election. Historically, the market rallies prior to the election and declines afterwards. Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen this year, but we did see a nice bump in October, and now that "everyone" is saying we'll rally after the election, I'd be skeptical of that view... (Not that I'd try and trade that, mind you).
* Homeowners (around 70% of Americans) have to feel pretty good about the real estate market the last few years.
* 1:00pm PDT today, KFBK in Sacramento will stream Stolen Honor over the web.