Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rock Star INXS

  • Happy hump day!

  • GDP clocks in at 4.3%. The economy is growing nicely. Another interesting number will come later this week with the jobs report.

  • Are you following The Amazing Race this season? For two weeks in a row, the camera crews have run down the batteries on one of the teams' cars. That doesn't seem quite fair. So I was wondering last night, when the teams got to the pit stop, if they inserted a "To Be Continued" in an attempt to correct the error. Remember last week, it was a non-elimination round. So... Just thinking out loud.

  • Gold falling today. It's had a nice run, but I haven't been near the stuff. I know there is perceived inflation threats and maybe global terrorism risks pushing it up. But I haven't taken that bait. I don't like it as an investment, but it has worked out for those in it. That's for sure.

  • If you sat through the INXS reality show this summer, even just to catch a glimpse of Brooke Burke, you might like to know the new INXS album with JD Fortune is coming out.

  • Google (GOOG) tumbled a bit yesterday. Of course, everybody scours the daily headlines looking for a cause. Heck, maybe it's just profit taking. That's what profits are there for, right? Or maybe it's because they were on the cover of Newsweek. Generally, it seems that whenever major magazines put a company, athelete or ballclub on the cover, they're near their peak. (You've heard of the Sports Illustrated curse, right?)

  • Following up from yesterday, more on the Love Molecule. It now has a name, "nerve growth factor" (NGF). Gee, now if they could bottle up something that stimulates your NGF, then you have your magic love potion.

  • 70's Aerosmith is some classic rock.

  • When you leave comments at a blogspot blog, don't you find the security word is difficult to read at times?

  • Binge drinking in middle age tied to dementia risk. I guess that means drink less more often, or don't drink at all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Love Clock

  • Global Warming Talks Eye US. Another chance for President George W. Bush to take his "Wear a sweater" message global! Maybe he can add a "Dress in layers" line here and there, too.

  • The market? Consumer confidence up. Home sales up. Durable goods orders up. So will the Fed continue the gradual rise of rates? Seems so. Will this risk the dreaded "inverted yield curve?" Maybe. And that would be bad. May not happen for awhile, though. Long-term rates moving up today on the data. Stocks are a little higher, but pulled back from an early ramp. Month-end strength begins today, if it works this month. Cross yer fingers.

  • Michael Irvin in the news headlines. What do you think? Do you believe his "It belongs to a friend" story?

  • I finaly watched Neil Cavuto's saturday morning show monday night, after the Colts had the game in hand (15 seconds in). They debated Wal-Mart. I have to agree with Jimmy Rodgers on this one. If somebody doesn't want to shop or work at Wal-Mart DON'T! Or start your own store and pay workers $50 an hour. I thought it was funny that both of the people who oppose Wal-Mart admitted to shopping there. And the one guy, militant that he was, said something to the effect of "Well they have good prices." hahahahaha

  • I am still aggressively positioned in stocks. So you know. Still have my QQQQ, SMH and MSFT. I haven't heard much MSFT hype since the weekend. I wonder if the scarcity of product is having an impact on that?

  • The Rolling Stones at Super Bowl halftime! Lord help us if there is a wardrobe malfunction there.

  • The notion of passionate love forever has been killed by science. Passion lasts only a year. A scientific reason for the 7-year itch. Kind of a depressing story, really. (But don't you love that early buzz of a relationship?)

  • I think this love molecule means that once you meet somebody, the "love clock" is ticking. You have one year to make your move, or else you'll both lose interest. Tick tock! Time's a wastin'...

  • Ohio Executs Number 999. I wonder if #1000 gets a special prize?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stone Ground!

  • The market sold off today.  Something to be worried about?   I did mention last week that I had the sell signal on SMH, but in a light volume week it's hard to read much into it.  I got a sell on a few financials I follow on friday, but again, same light-volume conclusion.  Now we'll see if we continue to get more topping action, or if we have the month-end move up with 401k contributions hitting.  I don't think the bull market is over with, though.  

  • Have you ever bought "stone ground" chips that you buy at a specialty store?  I think I'm chomping on stones.  These chips are supposed to be healthier, or at least you feel that way because of the label.  They do have higher fiber, and I bought the no salt kind.   These ones I have are under 33% fat, which still is high fat to me.  But I was feeling like some chips and I got suckered on the label.  "Hmm, stone ground.  Must be healthy."

  • Ugh.  Now I remember what I don't like about winter.  I only worked a few hours today, and left early.  Traffic is all mucked up on the freeways.  I'm not sure why; it was never really evident.  Just gridlock at 3pm.

  • The Big Picture says Don't Believe the Hype regarding retail sales over the long weekend.  He says folks are reporting a brisk sales weekend.  But I've been watching the tube, and I keep hearing about "disappointing" sales in everything except tech.  Another interesting tidbit is that the comment we note that retailers engaged in much more aggressive discounting when compared with last year’s holiday season.  Now, weren't folks trying to tell us that higher energy prices were inflationary?  What is this discounting stuff?  Of course, you know that higher energy prices aren't inflationary, but I'm trying to bring everybody up to speed.  More proof right there.  I'm not going to quibble about a percent this way or that way on holiday sales.  It looks neither blistering or disappointing.

  • I don't have an iPod yet, and still use a Treo to serve as an all-in-one device.  So I use iPodder for Podcasts, and transfer things to my 1 gig flash card for road trips or jogging.  I ran into somebody who has the iPod and uses iTunes to do the same thing, and we had an interesting conversation.  We were talking about the same things, but in different languages.  Kind of funny.

  • Another Market Myth Busted over at BlogginWallStreet.  Mark Mahorney asks, Has the housing market really been the major consumer catalyst in recent years? Maybe not... I agree with him on this.  Lots of good info in this one, so check it out.

  • I watched Fox's Bulls and Bears on saturday morning, all but one were bearish.  Bulls and Bears is my favorite of the Fox business block, but I also try to catch Neil Cavuto's show. 

Rainy Monday

Sorry about the rain, Muck!

  • Gold is hitting $500 an ounce, and of course the predictions of $1000 gold are coming out of the woodwork.  You know these kinds of predictions.  It's a momentum call.  It's a call that since something has gone in one direction, it'll continue in the same direction forever.  We saw it in 2000 when folks were predicting 40,000 on the DOW.  We saw it in 2002 when folks were predicting 3000 on the DOW.  You be the judge.
  • I'm tired of cold weather already, and it's only been about a week or so of it here in Sacramento.  Raining today.
  • Merck is letting go of 7000 folks. Mostly manuracturing jobs they say.  Closing 5 plants.  I'm scared of investing in Big Pharma because I think we're going to socialize it down the road.  Just my opinion, of course.   You know, with folks aging and needing more and more drugs, I don't think there is enough money on the planet to cover the costs.  At some point, the voters will vote for politicians who will try to do something about it.  Again, still just my opinion.
  • I think the long term catalyst for gold is inflation, and the core rate of inflation continues to be very mild.  Gold has been a great trade for those who have made profits.  Can't deny them kudos for a good call. 
  • The market looks like it's chillin' today.  Are we going to get month-end strength this November? 
  • Lunch time!


Sunday, November 27, 2005

End of the Weekend!

  • Yeah, just like that. That's it! Now the shopping madness begins. That means traffic chaos anywhere near the malls.

  • The market had it's 5th up-week in a row, and folks are still wondering if we're going to have a year-end rally. Well, this next week should be interesting with month-end strength from 401k contributions hitting. Maybe that'll be enough to keep us moving up. Yes, we're due for a pullback. I do think a whole lotta bears are extremely frustrated for missing this move.

  • I'm watching the Giants-Seahawks game, because it has huge ramifications for my fantasy football league. If I only had started Joe Jurevicius (or my other two on the bench who outperformed my starters...), I'd have already won. But I benched him this week for Donte Stallworth.

  • So Nick and Jessica split. Big deal. Tom and Katie are still together, right?

  • Jay Feely just missed his 2nd kick in overtime, so overtime continues!

  • I Netflixed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory over the weekend, and I didn't think it was that great. Johnny Depp was too weird. The original with Gene Wilder and the original Oompa Loompas was much better, IMHO.

  • I was saddened to hear that Pat Morita passed away.

  • A few reports of Microsoft Xbox 360s crashing. I wonder what the expected number of problems was? But I'm reading that the folks that are online are loving it.

  • Seattle wins in OT! I'm 3.5 points behind, and I have one guy left. My opponent has none. C'mon Donte!

  • We were having some warm days here, but that has ended and it is suddenly cold. I can only imagine that the heaters are in full-gear at this point, and the natural gas meters are spinning. Should be interesting see how the energy bills come in. Some folks have already been running their heaters non-stop.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve!

  • This may sound silly at this point, but I still hear folks asking "Will we get a year-end rally?" Huh? What do they think we're in? Maybe by the time they figure out that the answer is yes, and plow their money in, it'll be all over.

  • It's quite busy here at the Fun Factory on Thanksgiving Eve. A lot of folks are gone, but those of us here seem to be a little overwhelmed with stuff to do.

  • This is kind of funny. The Official President Al Gore Blog. And make sure to check out a few of the links on the side.

  • I think Microsoft is making the right bet with the online connectivity options, hard disk storage, and HDTV out put on their Xbox 360. I don't think it'll be too long before we're watching TV on demand. I'm sure Sony will have something similar on their Playstation 3. I would think this would lead to monthly subscription fees down the road, don't you?

  • My favorite internet stock for the longterm is Yahoo. I don't own any, but I think Yahoo is the site folks gravitate to for news and email. Google does a nice job searching and blogging. Ebay does a good job as the online flea mart. But I still find myself on Yahoo most of the time. And looking around the office, looks like most folks here are on Yahoo. When they're not working, of course.

  • The market closed higher today, but a little profit taking hit at the end of the day. Like I mentioned earlier, this is normally one of the most bullish weeks of the year. The market will be open for half a day on friday. Volume should be very light. Next week we should see the end of the month 401(k) contributions start hitting on tues-wed through the end of the week. Hopefully, that'll be enough to keep some buying pressure under this market. Of course, there may be those who still ask, "Will we get a year end rally?"

  • I didn't want to mention this, but my Black Box did get a sell signal on the semiconducter holders (SMH). Nothing else that I track in my Black Box has a sell on it, so I'm just watching right now. In addition, data may be skewed during a holiday week. Historically, when the Black Box is working, it generates a signal within a week or so of a turning point. One signal is usually followed by several days of repeating signals. Just watching and noting for future reference.

  • I think the bosses are all gone. So, you might ask, what is the likelihood I'll stick it out here until the end? Pretty likely, within a margin of error of course!

  • Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Long Lines Everywhere

  • Today's the big Xbox 360 release. Local TV obliged by showing the long lines at retailers. People were camping out all night, all over the country.

  • The market opened soft, but the Semiconductors are rallying hard today. We'll see if we'll just grind higher all day.

  • I made fun of the Vikings-Packers game yesterday, but it turned out to be a pretty good game. Vikings have quietly turned their season around.

  • Some early Xbox 360 buyers are already listing them on Ebay with quite a mark-up in price!!! I see one for $6250. Uh.... pass.

  • I wish folks would stop bringing in their Halloween leftovers. I love Twix!

  • I wonder how Enya's new "Amarantine" CD is faring today on it's debut release? I just checked Ebay, and looks like folks who bought early are flipping it for $13.99!

  • Lots of folks are waiting for Playstation 3, thinking it'll be a great deal as Sony bundles Blu Ray DVD with it. But the Xbox 360 has HD output, a removeable 20gig harddrive that may have larger drives available later, and can connect to the net. Someday soon, we'll be downloading HD movies.

  • While the Democrats are telling us how lousy the economy is and how there aren't any jobs, companies are saying exactly the opposite. In today's WSJ, companies are having difficulty finding enough skilled workers. Well, at a 5% unemployment rate, the labor market is fairly tight. That's why moderate job growth is good. If we saw huge job growth, we'd see wage pressures, and then we could really worry about inflation.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Xbox 360 vs. Amarantine

  • This is the frustrating part of the market for the bears. It just keeps grinding higher. It would be kind of depressing to see it just grind higher and higher, when you're hoping for it all to collapse. Then the next thing you know, you missed a 10% move.

  • The WSJ has an article about Getting Xbox 360 to Market. 1700 parts make up the Xbox 360!

  • Tivo announced that they'll allow folks to copy recorded shows to the video iPod and to Sony's PSP. I don't know if anything like that will exist for Microsoft's XP media center, but I imagine PDAs and phones using Microsoft's software can already do this. Heck, maybe I'll try it on my Pocket PC when I get home.

  • The Cars are reuniting. Sort of. Ben Orr died in 2000, and Ric Ocasik isn't interested. Todd Rundgren will fill in. Eh, why not?Link

  • Is Enya trying to steal the spotlight from Microsoft tomorrow on November 22nd? Will the long lines at Best Buy be for the new Xbox 360, or Enya's new album Amarantine? (OK, I'm teasing a bit, and I am an Enya fan. But can you see the confused shopper? "Is this the Enya line, or Xbox line?" I bet Enya only has one CD option, and not a "Core CD.")

  • Tonight's Monday Night Football game probably looked extremely interesting back in the summer. (Vikings at Packers).

  • The Best Buy employee might have to give a bad news/good news scenario. "Folks, I know you've been waiting in line for a very long time. And we do thank you for your patience. But the bad news is that we only have 20 Xbox 360 bundles for sale. However, the good news is that we do have plenty of copies of Enya's "Amarantine" available." (Folks might need to listen to it just to settle their frayed shopping nerves).

  • Of course, you don't want to be the parent who got in the wrong line on November 22nd. If you want Enya, get in the Enya line. If you want the Xbox 360, get in the Xbox 360 line. If you don't know which line is for which product, it's probably best to ask first thing.

And Then a Miracle Happens

  • There is an old story in tech land, about a meeting where the whiteboard has a diagram of a complex business flow. Boxes represent the processes, and there are lines connecting the boxes, showing flow and data moving around. Everything feeds into a small box in the bottom right hand corner that reads "And then a miracle happens."

  • On Thanksgiving Thursday, there is an annual Run to Feed the Hungry race/walk in Sacramento. It benefits the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. Just in case you'd like to run/walk, or just make a donation to help out.

  • I was walking behind a couple coworkers talking about their finances, and one said "If I could just win about $500,000 in the lottery. That'd help." I was thinking that's the "And then a miracle happens" box of personal finance. Either lottery, inheritance, tax refund, great stock pick, or annual work bonus. Something that comes and bails one out.

  • GM is laying off 30,000. What's that, about 25% of their workforce? Looks like most of the cuts are in the US and Canada. I wonder if this gets back to the cost of labor in the US? Combining salary, pensions, health benefits, etc. The unions negotiated these sweetheart deals, but I wonder how many will be left to actually realize the benefits?

  • For a lot of folks, Google has been their "And then a miracle happens" stock pick.

  • Another slow day in the markets. I wonder if we'll just continue the slow grind higher?

  • Be back...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Muckdog's Weekend

  • I'm not getting any sell signals using my Black Box trading indicators. Looks to me like the uptrend will continue. At some point, we will get a pullback. But I like that we've closed at a new high for the rally and out of the previous trading range. Maybe some of the mo-mo folks will chase the move now.

  • At a party last night, the topic was "energy bills." Folks are scared to death of what will be in the mail next month. The days here in Sacramento have been warm, but the nights are cool. Folks say their houses aren't warming up, so they're using their heaters. They didn't like my idea of wearing more fleece. But they told me they're going to less Kings games, eating out less, etc. Most of them seem to have started their Christmas shopping earlier than normal, though.

  • I Netflixed "Bewitched" this weekend. Boy, that was a really lousy movie. I'm super happy that I didn't blow good American dollars on this thing at the movie theater. What a stinker.

  • I'm playing the #1 Fantasy team in BOTH of my leagues today. Both of the teams have Ladanian Tomlinson. I have two games on my TV (picture-in-picture), and four Yahoo sports screens up refreshing every 30-seconds. Yes, Fantasy football is like a sunday drug.

  • Lots of XBOX 360 ads in the paper this weekend. Sounds like retailers will have 10-20 each. Not that many. Tuesday morning early they'll be on sale.

  • Drew Brees is having a nice first half. 3 touchdowns. His numbers have come alive the last few games. I think it's a good thing to save Tomlinson's knees and ankles. Especially today when I'm up against him in both my leagues!

  • Almost halftime. I think I'll bug out for a bike ride.

  • I know gold has moved up. But I can't get too excited about the metal. I don't see much inflation out there. The core rate is low. If companies were passing on higher energy costs to consumers, it'd show up in the core. It's not. Not enough pressure on wages. Not huge job growth. While gold has been a great short-term trade for some, I don't think it's in some big long move up.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stick a Fork in This Week!

  • Probably the most frustrating thing about folks who are on the wrong side of this market move, is watching it just grind higher. We know the market can have sudden bursts. But when it just kind of inches along, if somebody is leaning the wrong way they get a false hope that "well tomorrow it may decline." It's so gradual, that it doesn't seem possible that it's gone 5% against them. No man's land.

  • The Democrats often say that the middle class is disappearing. No they're not! They're right over there, waiting in line for their Microsoft XBOX 360!

  • I've mentioned before that I think the next big fiscal crisis in the US will be underfunded pensions. Lots of pension funds have overpromised benefits, overestimated returns, and are underfunded. It may not just be a US issue, either. For some good thoughts on the matter, Bill Cara has two blog entries up: The next great financial accident and More on the dire pension funding issue. And who will be on the hook if Big Pensions go under? Well... You, you silly little taxpayer you.

  • With oil prices falling, we're not hearing much about energy prices on the news anymore. As Michelle Malkin notes, with the hysteria gone, Big Media has "taken their marbles and gone home." Gawd, I love that expression.

  • Motley Crue making a new studio album?

  • I've recently gotten in the habit of turning on Jim Cramer's Mad Money during my in-home workout. I'm not sure how that happened, but when I get home (around 6pm Pacific), CNBC is replaying Booyah Boy's show. It's almost a motivation. "Crap, Cramer's on!" I put on my sweats and hit the weights. Sometimes, I even join in on the "Hallelujahs!" But, I don't trade his stock picks. For info-tainment only.

  • I don't know if I'll be a vegetarian on Thanksgiving or not. Sometimes, I'll have a small slice of turkey. Eh, sometimes. We'll see.

  • I think financial planning should be a required class for high school seniors.

  • The TVNewser blog talks about TV News. Look at the TV rankings of the cable news shows...

  • I'm a fan of 70's Canadian rock band April Wine. Yeah, they had some songs before then and after then, but I think that was their glory years.

  • While Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is ready to hit the box office, me (Netflix fool), just received Bewitched in the mail. Sure, I'm a few months behind the real world and I may never catch up. But, I'll see the movie. I'll give you my review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire around Lincoln's Birthday. Stay tuned! ;)

Friday Quick Hits

  • Fridays tend to move in the opposite direction of the weekly trend, as profit takers book their gains for the weekend. But what happens if the week was sideways? I guess we're finding out. We have had a slight upwards bias the last couple of days. The bears have been trying to talk the market down, but they haven't had much impact.

  • My coworker pre-ordered his XBOX 360 bundle today. Over $600 with the version that includes the 20-gig hard drive, and a few games. He's over 60yrs old. I asked him if it was for his grandkids, and he said "Hell no, this is for me!" Always a kid at heart... Well, when I get mine, I can already feel some competitive online battles are coming up. In HDTV!

  • On The Apprentice last night, the teams had to come up with a song for XM radio's alternative format station. They both put together good songs, but one turned out to be more appropriate for the target audience. In the boardroom, Donald Trump fired Clay. It was about time. I don't think Clay added much to any team he was on.

  • Random Roger's Big Picture discusses Managing Short-Term Emotion today. Yeah, Rog, that's the one that gets all of us I think. Not just in investing, either. Silly emotional creatures us. I'm not sure of a way to divorce emotions from decision making, but at least maybe try to recognize whether I'm thinking with my head or heart/gut.

  • There are lots of negative Bush polls out there, and BlameBush notes today that Clinton More Honest, Better Lover Than Bush. As the blog caption reads, "Because Bush is to Blame for Everything."

  • Cute story up at Kiplingers on raising funds for a school, called Economics in a Nut Roll.

  • Lunch? Veggie burrito.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thursday's Other Stuff

  • "I'll take investments that begin with the letter G, Alex." Look at Gold, Google, and GM.

  • Now that's what I'm talking about! A nice move up in the Nasdaq during options week. Lets hope she can build on the gains tomorrow, heading into next week's short week. I don't have a Stock Traders Almanac handy. What are the historical patterns for Turkey week?

  • Big Ben's Investing Blog reviews some XBOX 360 stock plays. I'm not in any of those stocks, but I do own Microsoft. With the chatter about this "must have" gift for Christmas, you'd think somebody will be selling some games for it. (I'd love to see a Grand Theft Auto for it!). Of course, the XBOX 360 with hard drive will cost $399, so how much will folks have left over for games?

  • Lunch was fun. After I saw her, I forgot how good looking she is. Tall, Hispanic, light complextion, intelligent, very funny and energetic. Eh, she's married. But I have a suspicion "funch" would be on the table if I persued it. That's just wrong, though. Won't stop me from daydreaming about it, which according to the Bible is just as bad as actually doing it so I might as well, right? Argh. Life is too complex.

  • Goth decorating channel from beancounters.

  • Want to buy unclaimed baggage?

  • Who needs to read a Dilbert cartoon when you work with the same sort of characters on a daily basis? Not Laura.

  • Now here's a case for Cold Case! A 1,200 year-old murder mystery. I bet they can't find anybody to interview who was around at that time, eh?

  • Amaze your friends! Memorize the Harry Potter FAQ! (Yeah, I'll go see the movie, too).

  • See? It's not just me. Lots of people are watching "Lost."

It's Not Funch!

  • Did you watch the opening bell on CNBC this morning? On the floor with the guy who opens Berkshire Hathaway. I didn't think it was that interesting. I'm getting ready for work and am more interested in the market headlines at that time. "So what price are you going to open the stock at?" $89,000. Okay, can we move on now? No, it kept dragging on and on...

  • Are you watching "Lost?" Last night's episode was pretty powerful. I'm really impressed with the way these folks make TV. I can't recall a show that felt more real.

  • My coworkers are all talking about how they're going to try to get an XBOX 360 for their kids. They're telling me that's what their kids want for Christmas. I think it goes on sale Nov 22nd. Big write-up in my local paper today on it. Heck, I think I'll get one. If I can. But I can wait until after XMAS.

  • Hoo, I forgot I had a lunch with "a friend" today. She just emailed. Man, I didn't drive in today and opted for mass transit, because I'm trying to save the planet's environment. So I backpedalled in my reply to her. "Was that today already?" But she offered to come get me. Hey, what are friends for?

  • Last night on "Lost," we learned about the "Tailies." These folks are the ones in the back of the plane who survived the plane crash. We learned what happened to them from Day 1 through Current, up until meeting up with the folks at the front of the plane. And that last segment was incredible.

  • On America's Next Top Model, Lisa got the boot. She seems pretty bizarre to me. I was expecting Jayla to be let go, although she's my favorite.

  • It is only lunch, not "funch."

  • "Lost" is just very suspenseful. I missed the first few episodes in season 1, but have caught on and am totally sucked in at this point. If you're not watching, I've noticed the first season is on DVD...

  • I expect a lot more volatility during options expiration week. Huge days up. Huge days down. Some tape jamming. You know? Some folks believe that the "powers that be" try to manipulate stocks into some "max pain" area where the most options expire worthless. Of course, whenever that doesn't happen, the max pain believers then say the powers that be are "delta hedging." File this in the same conspiracy folder where you have the month-end and quarter-end manipulation evidence. Or lack of.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wednesday Digest

  • Ah, the Microsoft hype machine is at a fever pitch. MSFT Setup Now Forming, Here's The Details. This is a must read for anyone who has a position in MSFT. This is the reason I bought MSFT in the $24s back in early October. We've had a big move in the stock, and the momentum folks have taken notice. WOOH! I'm not ready to take profits just yet; I'm hoping the XBOX 360 "must have gift" factor really jams the stock higher. (Ugh, did I just use "hope" when talking about a stock I own? Maybe I should sell it.)

  • "The market continues to digest recent gains here in options week." I just wanted to say that. I think that's what Big Media says when stocks seemingly flatline. I think "consolidate" could've been used instead of "digest." But in honor of it being November and Thanksgiving coming up next week, we all should get comfortable with the word "digest."

  • The big mover on Yahoo's search engine is Eddie Guerrero. Wrestling fans pay homage to Eddie Guerrero. He was only 38. Way too young. I can't find any info on how he died. I don't follow wrestling. Okay, I might've watched it some with some buddies when I was in high school, and argued about whether it was real or not. I always took the side that it was all just a show. I never thought you could break chairs over people, and they'd get up a minute later and throw you out of the ring.

  • The CPI core rate comes in at .2%. Still mild inflation. For the year, the core rate is up 2.1%. Treasuries rallying on that.

  • Is Jennifer Lopez going to create a new dancing reality series on MTV? Check out the JLo info. I admit, I love reality shows. I haven't watched the dancing ones. But Tyra Banks has done well with America's Next Top Model, and I do like American Idol. I don't know if JLo would do well hiding on MTV instead of a non-cable network. Should be interesting. Maybe.

  • Things may seem a little upside down in the NBA Pacific. Yes, that would be the Clippers and Warriors at the top of the standings. HUH?

  • Is decaf bad for your heart? When I quit caffeine, I initially drank a decaf in the morning to feed the psychological need (or ritual). I'd come to work, head to the coffee place, and get a cup. I quit that after a few months. And who knows, if I put that $2 a day in a mutual fund for the next million years, maybe it'll amount to something. Bwahhah.

  • I hear a lot about "v-shaped moves" in the market. As if it's too far too fast. The way I feel about the recent move up, is that we need to bust out and over resistance. V-shaped or not. We need to shake folks out of the mentality that we're just moving back and forth in this range. We need some optimism that there is more upside to come. That's what I believe. (I think "believe" is a better word than "hope.")

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tuesday Quick Hits

  • Microsoft makes up about 14% of the Nasdaq 100. It's good for that index to see MSFT rallying.

  • It's options expiration week. Kind of boring (so far) for what is normally a very volatile week.

  • Hey Chicken Little, they're coming after you. Vietnam slaughtered thousands of birds, and China vows to vaccinate 14 billion poultry. I'm not sure if the bird flu is over-hyped or something we should be very afraid of. 60 people have died in Asia; and the fear is that the disease will mutate so that humans can transfer the virus. Scarey stuff.

  • No, Kobe didn't make a 3 last night. Not only that, the Lakers lost. Against the Memphis Grizzlies.

  • Donovan McNabb didn't make his case last night, throwing an interception that led to Dallas' victory.

  • I came in to the office today, because my internet connection was down at home. It was so windy last night. Cable TV out, too.

  • I also brought my leftover Halloween candy in.

  • The Democrat bloggers are accusing the Republicans of stealing their idea on an Iraq War strategy. After reading what the GOP is proposing, it doesn't sound any different than what we're currently doing. Except it'd put it in writing. "Train the troops, leave as soon as they're ready." This does differ from the Democrat plan of setting a timeline on when to bail out.

  • After suffering huge losses at the polls last week, CA's Governor Arnold is now supporting a $50B bond to spend like crazy on roads, bridges, education, and you name it. He's turned and run in the opposite direction from somebody who wanted to fix the budget mess in Sacramento. With a structural deficit, now he wants to add more to the tally. Charge it on the state's credit card, and create some good times for next year's election cycle.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It Must be the Shoes

  • Kobe Bryant back with Nike.  You know the drill on this.  A couple years ago, Kobe had this trial-thing going on, and I can't recall an advertising campaign since.  Introducing, the Zoom Kobe I.  I don't know if these will make you a better hoops player, jump higher, or win court cases.  But Kobe is back in the ad-biz.  Maybe he can sink a 3-pt shot tonight...
  • Barry Ritholz has been discussing M2 and M3 over at The Big Picture.
  • I have Jim Cramer's Mad Money on in the background!  BOOYAH!
  • If you subscribe to WSJ online, read the column on AOL to offer the vintage TV shows online for free.  Shows like Wonder Woman and Welcome Back Kotter.
  • Linda Carter played Wonder Woman, but did you know Debra Winger played Wonder Girl?  You can impress your friends with this kind of trivia, by the way.
  • On a day that the market was BORING and flat, Semiconductors (SMH) managed to move up
  • Yahoo is coming out with some sort of "easy way" to create your own podcasts.  I think that's a good idea.  I think podcasting needs to branch out from nerdcasts and on to the right-brained folks.  Kind of like blogs have done.
  • Up your nose with a rubber hose!
  • Is Martha Steward fired from The Apprentice? I watched one of the early shows, and just didn't like it as much as Donald Trump's version.  The latest ad campaign on CNBC touts that one contestant is like Omarosa (from a previous Apprentice).  Is that good?
  • Hey 80's metal fans!  Motley Crue not only extends their tour, but plans on making a new studio album afterwards.  That would be their first since 2000's New Tattoo.  Which was a pretty good effort, IMHO.  Some of my coworkers at the Fun Factory went and saw them play when they came to town over summer, and said it was a blast.   I once went to a Motley Crue concert.  In 1986! 
  • Kind of an interesting entry over at Captain's Quarters on the "bush lied about WMDs" thing.  Of course, he didn't lie; nor did all the Democrats who supported the war at the time.  Although the latter may now be lying about what their position was back then.  Either that or short memory.  You be the judge.  Anyways, like I mentioned earlier, if we applied contrarian strategies to the Republican Party at this point, I think they're a raging buy.  Positive divergences while the crowd thinks the GOP will never win another election again.
  • This kind of title infuriates folks who pay for high energy:  Tax rate falling for many big oil firms.  Granted, we're not quite as mad as we were when gas was over $3.  And windfall profits taxes are a bad idea conceptually.  But emotionally?  C'mon, pay what you owe folks.  And be generous with your profits.  Would we care as much if instead of CEOs getting ridiculous bonuses, the profits went into a "save the baby ducks fund?"  No.  We'd let that go.  Who doesn't like baby ducks?  But in the pocketbooks of rich CEOs?  Not when we're buying fleece for the winter.
  • Well, I mentioned the other day that CNBC was asking about a year-end rally, even though we're already in the midst of one.  Heck, how close are we to the previous rally highs?  Now, Fortune asks:  Are We In For a Year-End RallyA hedge fund analyst says "speculative juices" are flowing as the holiday season nears. Dell shares rose on news that the PC maker will buy back stock.

Special Edition Monday!

You mean I've been boycotting Exxon for no good reason?

  • CNBC  has a show called Power Lunch.  Do they always introduce the show as "Today we have a special edition of Power Lunch?"  I'm not home watching it enough to notice. 
  • 10 Financial Urban Legends up at MSN's Moneycentral.  One that caught my eye only because we here about it everytime gas prices spike:

Myth No. 5: Boycotting a few gasoline brands brings gas prices down. Poor Exxon and Mobil. They often show up as the bad guys in a mass e-mail urging Americans to avoid their pumps on a particular day.

Its easy-to-understand language makes the plea plausible. The trouble lies in the fact it's too simple -- and economics don't work that way. For starters, gasoline is what's known as a fungible commodity -- if one company has an oversupply, it sells it to a competitor. No matter who you buy from, the basic supply numbers remain the same.

Furthermore, prices at all the nonboycotted outlets would rise, thanks to the temporarily limited supply and increased demand, making the original prices look cheap by comparison, according to

Besides, the industry is too large for a boycott of two companies to make a dent, says Stephen Ciccone, University of New Hampshire assistant professor of finance.

  • If you watch Smallville, you might like to know that WB is taking the plunge into Aquaman.  (I like these escapist shows, to be honest).
  • This will cause weeping and gnashing of teeth from the liberals:  Wal-Mart posts a big profit.  They beat estimated by 2-cents, and revenues were up 10%.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday's Quick Hits

College football saturday, Muckie!

  • The Microsoft hype is well underway.  A few weeks ago, nobody wanted the stock.  They said Micosoft was a big old software company with slowing revenue growth.  The stock was in the $24s.  It's rallied smartly since then.  The XBOX 360 is coming out November 22nd.
  • Arnold made some Terminator jokes after losing the special election last week.  Something about if he could go back in time and tell him not to have the special election, that's what he'd do.  I think the election was a good idea. How can an election not be a good thing in a self-governing country? 
  • USC Trojans layin' a big hurt to the Cal Bears this afternoon.  Cal was the last team to beat the Trojans, but that's not going to be the case today.  Another big one today:  Alabama-LSU.
  • California continues to lose businesses.  Nissan moving headquarters from California to Tennessee.  1300 jobs affected. 
  • Calculated Risk comments on the passing of management guru Peter Drucker.
  • I think the reality in CA is that we have entrenched gridlock.  I'm not sure if Angelides will beat Arnold next year.
  • Interesting column up at Kiplingers, asking Is Cramer's Audience Mad...Mad Money drives me mad sometimes. It usually happens when I want to buy one of the stocks Cramer recommends. Unfortunately, the trigger-happy traders who watch him invariably bid it up so high that I lose interest.
  • My thoughts on Jim Cramer?  Info-tainment only.
  • I had the Lakers-Sixers game on last night, just at the right time:  The final few minutes.  Iverson almost choked it away with some big misses in the last 2 minutes, and then with less than 10 seconds left an almost turnover from Smush Parker looked to seal the Lakers fate.  Well, the latter would come on the next inbound, as Kobe Bryant missed a three with just  over 4 ticks left.  Kobe hasn't hit a three this year, yet.
  • I don't know what the XBOX 360 will have in multimedia capability, but a blurb I read about it said it will work somehow with the XP media center.  I assume wirelessly.  Which makes me think I threw $200 at the Linksys video extender a bit early.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Trial Balloons

* There are many financial trial balloons up in the air. I don't know if any of them will fly.

* Market ended up. Woo. Put-call ratio falling a bit, but not to drastic overbought levels. I wonder when we'll get our first pullback...?

* We have the Social Security trial balloon, which has probably run out of hot air and crashed and burned somewhere where everyone would rather just forget all about it. I probably should just used the past tense in this one, and say that we had a trial balloon. But...

* Is Hollywood going to make a Fantastic Four sequel, and will Jessica Alba be in it? I haven't seen the first one. I need to Netflix it. Yes, there is a difference between "need" and "want," but Jessica Alba is in it. You be the judge on which word is the right one to use.

* On The Apprentice last night, there were two firings. Brian and Marshawn. Both were well deserved. Brian was relatively clueless. Very weak. He blew it with some very poor time management planning, and missing a meeting with the Star Wars folks. Marshawn just abandoned the team and backed-out of a presentation.

* I wonder if Conservatives avoid casinos that advertise "liberal" slot machines?

* The next trial balloon floating around somewhere is the "lets make the tax cuts permanent" trial balloon. I really don't want to use the past tense here, because we have until the tax cuts expire later in the decade before this balloon could crash and burn. Since this would result in massive tax hikes, this balloon might wreak havoc on the US economy. Oh, I know the liberals will say that this just "restores" the tax rates; but, it is a tax hike from today's levels. That means more cash out of your pockets, deducted from your paychecks, and sent to Uncle Sam for spending on what he deems best.

* I was watching CNBC while home today (Veterans Day, you know), and saw somebody ask whether or not there was going to be a year end rally. Well, of course you know and I know that the market bottomed in October when everybody was bearish. Since then, the market has rallied quite a bit. Despite some less than stellar semiconductoer news from TXN and INTC, the semis have rallied smartly, too. So, isn't the market rally underway? I know the crowd gets the middle of the trend right, so they're probably piling in at this point. More power to them. But to see CNBC talk about it like it's on the horizon is kind of bizarre. We're in a rally, dudes. And check out MSFT. Yeah, CNBC was going to talk about them, too. I missed that segment, though It was in the $24s a few weeks ago...

* Have you tried the sun-dried tomato Wheat Thins yet? I'm undecided on whether or not I like them or not.

* I think most politicians would go to casinos that advertise "loose" slot machines.

* The third trial balloon is the Tax Reform Committee's recommendations on overhauling the tax code. Since this initially has included limiting the home mortgage interest deduction and eliminating property tax deductions, it's like this trial balloon has huge lead weights tied to it. I don't know if it'll ever leave the ground.

* Crossing Wall Street discusses the market action today: Well, heck. November’s turning out to be a pretty good month. Indeed!

2006 Election Preview

I know the Democrats may not have finished off the champagne from last tuesday's election wins, but the media is now starting to focus on the 2006 election cycle.

If the 2006 elections were held today... (from the WSJ):

Even with today's horrible approval ratings, the republicans are projected to carry the Senate, 53-43-1. Of the three rated "tie" 2 are leaning (D) and one leaning (R).

Haven't found House polls, but the Dems need to net 15 wins to take control. Most political opinions I've read think the Democrats can manage gains in the high-single digits. Not enough to win the House. The redistricting defeats in CA and OH probably saved this one for the GOP.

The WSJ link has governor's races, and the Democrats do look to net out quite a few gains there. Currently 28 GOP and 22 Democrat. Forecast shows 22 GOP, 25 Democrat, and 3 rated tie. This includes the projected wins in Virginia and New Jersey by Democrats, and assumes Arnold will lose to Angelides in CA.

Thanks, Troops!

Hey, I'm on the defensive, Muck!


* It's Veterans Day, so let me start with a message to those who have served and are serving this country:  Thank you.  It's not an easy task.  It often seems that the over-the-top anti-war antics of a few cast a doubt on whether America supports our troops.  We do support our troops.  Again, thank you.

* San Francisco's KGO radio had a debate last night between their talk show hosts.  They debated the Iraq War, the Supreme Court, energy, etc.  You can go to their website and download their archives.  It was from 7pm-9pm PST (on their archive page). It sounded as if the talk show hosts were about to come to blows over Iraq.  (In the 8-9pm hour).

* France is still in chaos.  It's truly incredible what's going on over there.  France tried to avoid the war on terror, but it seems embroiled in it now.

* Yeah, the bears have been on the run for 3 weeks.  Looks like we have a shot of 3 weeks in a row of gains.  I don't often post charts, but here's one of the Nasdaq 100:

* I use TC2000 as my charting and scanning tool.

* Is Target selling upside-down Christmas trees or not?

* Rapper 50 Cent has a film out, Get Rich or Die Tryin' that was pulled from theaters after a shooting in Pittsburgh. 

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stocks, Politics, Beach Sand

* Lets start out with the markets. I'm hoping the pre-options week consolidation/pullback sets up a nice rally for next week. I'm still aggressively long. I'd really like to see us move up and over this trading range. Puh-leez.

* Remember the days when Cisco's John Chambers would come out on earnings day, and do a song and dance about how wonderful everything is? Boy, those days have changed. He said something about weaker sales, and Europe not being as strong as they'd thought. Something like that.

* But then we have Intel. Boosting share buybacks, and boosting their dividend. Say, a side thought here... Many companies are boosting their dividends maybe because of preferential tax treatment of dividend due to President Bush's "tax cuts for the rich." But what happens when those tax cuts expire? Just thinking out loud here.

* If one applied contrarian investing strategies to politics, would President Bush be a buy here? How about the GOP? Load the boat? Liberal blog sites seem to be convinced that Bush's approval ratings are going to 0%, and that the 2006 elections are going to be a Democrat landslide. I haven't seen folks this convinced about anything since January 2005, when folks thought the US dollar was going to $0. Or March 2003 when they thought the Dow was going to 5000. Or August 2005, when folks thought the Minnesota Vikings were going to the Super Bowl.

Bush has seemed to make some "fundamental" moves that are promising. Bernanke and Alito seem to be mostly popular. GDP at 3.8%. Unemployment at 5%. Stock market rallying. Are those the "positive divergences" we're seeing down here at a 36% approval ratings? Or is Bush in a downtrend? Don't fight the trend? Maybe Bush will build a base down here, and then turn up on high volume.

* On the Vikings going to the Super Bowl comment? I got suckered in that last one, and drafted Daunte Culpepper for my fantasy team. Now THAT was buying high... Sheez. Never buy the hype. Never sell the fear.

* Do you watch "Lost?" Well, last night was a good one, huh? Man. They do good TV. Suspenseful. So now, they're going to launch into a story line about the "tailies," or the folks who were in the tail section of the airplane and landed on the other side of the island. We'll find out what happened to them. And we have to wait a whole flippin' week...

* "Lost" kind of cheats you on the hour-long show. The first few minutes are always the last few minutes of the previous week's show. Isn't that cheating?

* Gold looks like it could rally technically, but fundamentally I don't see a long term catalyst. Not for me. Not that I haven't ever traded gold short term, but I prefer stocks right here.

* The Wall Street Journal and Barrons websites are free this week. So you know.

* Lets check out the blogs....

* Andrew Tobias (Can I call you Andy?) has a book recommendation for XMAs on Beating the Market. Aren't there a lot of those out there already? How are they working?

* Bill Cara is a blogging fiend. My RSS aggregator can't keep up with him. I see a story on the top of my feed, and I click his general blog title (instead of the story), and I have to go 5 entries down to find the one I wanted to read. Of course, I read them all. There are some good entries, but this one rang so true: What's up with all these restatements? I hear ya, Bill. (Can I call you William?)

* The folks at Angry Bear agreeing with Larry Kudlow? Somebody send some fleece down to Hell, and might as well include a few crates of ice skates! Kudlow on the New Contract with America. Well, more of a left-handed kind of agreeing. Send a note along with those fleece shipments that "You might want to dress in layers."

* I'm not too happy about the GOP cave-in on ANWR. In case you didn't hear, the Congress threw out ANWR and offshore drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic. Folks, we need more energy. We need to reduce our reliance on oil imports. Sure, with gasoline falling recently, maybe everybody wants to put this on the back burner. But we can't make gasoline out of thin air, and I don't see Toyota developing cars that run on windmill power. I guess we'll open the ANWR discussion up again down the road when oil is $4-5-6 a gallon. Lots of entries up on this over at Michelle Malkin's blog.

* Just in case you're looking for a recipe on Arisi Upma. Any recipe that says to grind something until it has the consistency of beach sand, gets my attention.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Owens, Kennedy and the Paolos Will Not Return!

* Enough with the election recaps. Moving on...

* The stock market meandered higher, and hopefully consolidating the recent spike up. The weeks prior to options expiration tend to be down, and maybe that'll set up an options week rally. We're not seeing much down action, so hopefully any move up will take us up and over the recent trading range.

* "The next sea change is upon us," Bill Gates.

* Terrell Owens? I think the Eagles are doing the right thing. I don't think it's healthy to have that kind of attitude in a locker room. He's a great receiver, but he brings people down.

* It seems as folks are getting comfortable with the higher costs of energy. At least gasoline prices have fallen recently. But we haven't seen the first heating bills yet, and natural gas prices are soaring. The mild weather days have nearly ended, so it'll be interesting to watch the reactions as the energy bills come in. As for me, I've bought my fleece and have stacks of blankets at the ready. Didn't get the pellet stove this year, but maybe over the next summer I'll look into it.

* In the weakest story line of Desperate Housewives, Page Kennedy (the actor that plays the dude chained up in the basement) was fired.

* In the Amazing Race last night, the Paolo family was eliminated. Buh-bye. Geez, sometimes I was pulling for them, and at other times they were getting on my nerves. I haven't really found a favorite yet. Down to 4 teams, and I'm not cheering anyone on. I think it's funny that the Florida team (Weavers) who pray about everything, seem fairly mean spirited to the other teams.

* Kobe Bryant is scoring like a team that has no other scorers! Oh, you think I'm forgetting about Smush Parker? Seriously? Do you think opposing teams plan a defensive strategy around "Lets stop Smush and make Kobe beat us?"

* Paul Kedrosky writes about Newspaper Circulation Woes. So, what's the answer? If they charge for online access, will folks just go elsewhere (ie, news aggregators like Yahoo or Google)? I wonder how many folks subscribe to online WSJ or NYT?

* What do you think about big pharma or tobacco (as an investment)? My worries are that someday, medicine will be socialized. And, should the GOP lose out in the next election cycle, won't the Democrats go after big tobacco like they did in the 90's? Maybe I should add "big oil" to that mix, too. Lots of folks angry about the profits oil companies are making.

Arnold Lost; Status Quo Won

Arnold suffered a big setback last night. No doubt about that. When he was elected in 2003, the nation was just rebounding from a recession. Governor Gray Davis had botched the energy crisis and implemented an extremely unpopular car tax. Arnold represented a change against that status quo.

Two years later, the economy has been expanding for over 3 years. Tax revenues are once again surpassing estimates. The car tax is gone.

People went to the polls yesterday and voted to maintain the status quo. They're complacent. They're content with the political process in CA. They're not wildly upset about energy prices.

People rarely change course when they're content.

Arnold's "year of reform" might've played well in 2003, but not after 3 years of economic expansion.

Yesterday was a huge win for the status quo in CA.

(Even with Prop 75 failing, I imagine union members now know they can opt out of the political fees. I don't think this was common knowledge before. I imagine lots of state workers and other union members are filling out their "opt out" forms today. I found this on a quick Google search, for those looking for more info: How do I cut off the use of my dues for politics and other nonbargaining activities?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cheerleaders Gone Wild!

* Today is election day. Voting? I can't get fired up over it. Nothing on the CA ballot strikes my fancy either way. I think 77 is the right thing to do, for the sake of Democracy. Gerrymandering has made it so that nationwide, only 10% of seats in the House of Representatives are contested. The other 90% are locked up. I'll probably stop after work to vote.

* Looking for the mugshots of the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders? Link. Oh, more on their story here.

Witnesses said the women were having sex in a stall with each other, angering patrons waiting in line to get into the restroom at the club in the Channelside district.

* The market? Kind of interesting today. First chance at a pullback, so we'll see if it's bought up quickly or allowed to linger. Lots of bears not happy that they've missed this move, and they're aching to get long.

* I'd think Comcast and other cable companies are raking in the cash with cable and internet fees. Now, TV on demand. NBC and CBS will offer shows for download for 99-cents. Who needs a Tivo?

* Are we witnessing a new French Revolution? Violence rages in over 300 cities in France. Welcome to the war on terror, folks.

* Those puggles sure are cute. Hybrid dogs!

* I was going to comment that Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) was taking a hit in the markets today, but then I brought up a 2-yr chart. I guess people like cheesecake. That stock is still near the top of its trading range.

* Jumping on the bullish bandwagon. Always a concern, but the crowd usually gets it right during the middle of the trend.

* Here's a shocker... US newspapers suffer from circulation fall. Of course, I didn't find it in the papers. I have all my news feeds bloglined. Now this link will take you to a Financial Times article, which is for subscribers only. Here's a test. Instead of subscribing, go to Google and search for a free version of similar story content. How long did that take? NOT LONG.

* A Freakonomics take on the Raiders-Chiefs game on sunday, titled Loss Aversion in the NFL. He's good.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


* It was quite a week in the stock markets. I wonder what folks who were left on the sidelines or those who are bearish will do now? Wait for a pullback? I've been reading the message boards, and those who were wrong near the lows of the correction seem to be morphing into bulls. If they do buy into this market, we could keep moving higher. I think we'll be up 10% off the lows (in the SP500) sometime within the next few months. I'd like to see us go up and bust through the top of the recent trading range before we pullback. Kind of a "make no mistake about it" kind of move.

* NBA? No Kobe Bryant magic thursday night. Sheez. Bad news in Miami, as Shaq twists an ankle and is out for 2-4 weeks. The once offensive juggernaut that was the Sacramento Kings, need Yahoo Maps to find the inside of the hoop. And just who is this Delonte West point guard fella in Boston? (Hey, I picked him up for my fantasy hoops team because I had Chucky Atkins. HAH!)

* Andrew Tobias has a blog. And even if I disagree with his political points of view, doesn't mean I can't enjoy reading his blog. From a recent entry:

A sign recently seen in Washington: “Would someone please give him a [explicit sex act deleted] so we can impeach him?”

* Well, sometimes when folks are wrong on the latest move of the stock market, they like to comment about how dumb everybody else is. In otherwords, the stock market shouldn't do that, and the only reason it is, is because the world is full of stupid people. At least, that's the impression I get from reading Bill Cara today. That's okay, Bill. I do think you're a smart guy and you are blogline worthy.

* Bingo is an addictive and frustrating game. I went to a fundraising event recently, and had to endure losing straight bingo, picture frame bingo, letter-T bingo, etc. You know the drill. I'm sitting there, dabber in hand, thinking how dumb and pointless it all is as I addictively blot out the numbers on my cards. All the while, praying that I don't have to suffer the crowd moans and screams when the number-caller yells out "O-69."

* The Paul Kedrosky Crow Countdown. He's been wrong with the iPod to Beanie Babies comparison, but I think that's probably the right one over a longer period of time.

* Can you lose money in real estate? Read Kiplinger's.

* If anybody was doubting the viability of the video iPod, I have a one word rebuttal:
Porncasts. Yeah, so how about some advertising slogans that were junked, like "Now you can take your porn with you." Porn sells.

* The End of Pensions. Is this the next big crisis? I think so.

* I'm at work today, so that's why I'm blogging in-between doing actual work. I'm not sure why I'm here when Tennessee-Notre Dame is on.

* Blogger is out, so this is a "save and post later" sort of thing. OH WELL...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More Quick Hits

* Now it seems as if the bears are having a "come to Jesus" party and getting long on the market. I do like the market action. It was rough buying in a few weeks ago when everybody seemed so bearish and negative, but that's always the time to do it. No matter what your gut is telling you. Now the conversion from bearish to bullish begins, and once that's done we'll be in a brand new trading range.

* On CNBC, you can even sense the change in mood from bearish to bullish. And of course, all the gurus are saying that it was so obvious and claiming that they were on the right side of this thing. Well, you be the judge on that one!

* Greenspan's up on the Hill, and he says he's worried about inflation. While folks usually spend hours parsing the meanings from Greenspan's Fed-Speak, he was very obvious when he remarked consumers were likely to be "quite surprised" by the heating bills they receive this winter. (Get some fleece, folks.)

* Kobe Bryant, in the Lakers opener in Denver last night, nailed a shot in over time with .6 seconds left to give Los Angeles the victory over the Nuggets. Welcome back, NBA! (And you too, Phil Jackson.)

* Did you read the book Freakonomics? It's a great read, and challenges some of our pre-conceived points of view. I wondered over the weekend "Hey, I wonder if Steven Levitt has a blog." Instead of guessing, I just did a google search and found it here. Apparantly, it's worth almost a million bucks, too. Of course, I could've saved the Google search step and just typed in the www. freakonimcs URL. That was a little obvious, eh? By wasting the time doing a Google search, I was battered with hundreds of links to other websites that talk about Freakonomics, including those that just sell herbal male enhancement products that put Freakonomics in their web description. Sigh.

* President Bush is ready to cough up $7.1 billion to fight the bird flu. You know, President Bush is a spendin' kind of guy. He's Mr. Moneybags. If anyone reading is thinking that the caricature of Monopoly's Mr. Moneybags should be changed to resemble President Bush, I wouldn't have an argument with that.

* Maine is running out of room for its trash. In just 5.5 years, there will be no more space. What will they do when Oscar the Grouch hangs up the "Closed" sign and sends the dumptrucks elsewhere? I've often wondered about the logic of landfills. We constantly generate trash, week after week. It has to go somewhere. This is one of the few topics that I agree with the environmental folks, in that we have to be a little smarter about how we package products.

* Michelle Malkin has a new book out, just in time for the holidays. Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone wild. I find her blog an extremely entertaining view of how things appear to the Right. She writes well, and has the uncommon ability to mix in humor with her daily ramblings.

* From Blame Bush, Bush Drowns Three Children in San Francisco.

* I'm rapidly becoming a fan of Bill Cara's financial blog. I'm not evaluating his rightness or wrongness about market moves, but his writing style is entertaining and he puts out a lot to think about. Read his latest Shift in Tactics entry.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Market Moving!

* Too busy to blog, and eating leftover Halloween candy to keep me going.

* The market? Hey, looks like the bears were wrong! I'm liking what's happening to my MSFT and QQQQ, and even the semiconductors (SMH) seem to be moving in a big way today. I think this whoosh higher will continue until the bears are converted to bulls. Looks like that's underway.

* Politics? I think Alito is a slam dunk. Sure, there will be posturing and such like there was with Roberts. But I think he's in.

* On the Amazing Race, the "Brady Bunch" got eliminated. While the parents were sticky sweet with their support of the kids, at least they were. Compare that to arguing and bickering going on in some of the other families.