Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Market Stuff and Links!

  • Natural Gas hit a low in September when investors thought the weather would be sunny and 80 degrees through the winter. Investors were caught off-guard when the weather cooled and the price for Natural Gas has since gone up.  Remember my blog entry in September?  I linked to a CBS Marketwatch article that said gas prices were headed lower and I questioned that asking, When is a good time to go long on natural gas?  Right then, apparently.
  • Added a few money links to the growing list on the sidebar.  Stock Trading 101 has daily market commentary.   Trading Goddess has stock insights with flare and humor.  And check out her SBH "Coverage Initiated" entry.  I think you'll like it for a couple of the same reasons I do.
  • Popcorn for lunch?  I like mine slightly burnt.  Not too much.  Medium-well, if you will.
  • Casey is planning on a podcast next week:  Conversation with a mortgage felon.
  • I'm feeling much better as the day goes on.  Woo!  I think I'll head back in the office... tomorrow.
  • From Blame Bush!  Can the Black Community Survive Hurricane Kramer?
  • Pretty impressive move by the markets this afternoon, by the way.  I've been thinking that the technical damage from the Stock Market Armageddon on monday would create some fallout, but so far so good.
  • Barry Ritholz on energy.  And more on energy from the WSJ market beat blog, Video Guide to Oil Trading which covers the two new securities from Claymore Securities.

Analyst Disclosure

One of the interesting bits on CNBC is when a stock analyst has a guest spot and recommends a stock. Because of conflicts, it's a bad idea to have an analyst talk their book while keeping things a secret so CNBC puts an "Analyst Disclosure" graphic on the screen.

I noticed recently that a graphic was displayed that showed an analyst has no conflicts. He didn't own the stock. He wouldn't buy the stock for his mom or grandma. His company didn't own the stock. No "other" conflicts. Yet, he was recommending it. Why?

More Sick Day Thoughts

  • The market opened up okay and then dropped on some weak economic news from the Chicago PMI.  We're now bouncing a bit mid-day after that, but keep an eye on that last hour of trading.  I know we all like to guess and forecast what the market is going to do, but that last hour could actually tell us. 
  • My thought (and here I go with a guess), is that the market drop on monday created some technical damage and many may want to book some gains or rotate into lower-beta names.  I sold a bit more on the bounce after this morning's drop, raising a bit more cash.  Not anxious to short anything, just watching a bit.
  • Watching a bit of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera!
  • Sore throat.  Congested.  Tired.   Staying home again today.  Ugh.  I have logged on to work twice already.  I need to stop and just chill.
  • Investors Business Daily on climate change (aka, global warming), Take a Deep Breath.  In short, they're calling the global warming crowd hysterics and fearmongers.  I think it's all about money.  Fear sells.  There is a whole cottage industry built up around global warming that has a vested interest in keeping the fear alive. 
  • Casey Serrin was on CNBC this morning in a feature discussing those folks who are in a world of hurt over real estate.  They're over leveraged and upside down in their mortgages.  Casey hosts the I am Facing Foreclosure website, which details his travails in the world of real estate.  Make sure to read the comments on those posts, which contain extremely diverse and emotional opinions and outbursts!
  • I don't get the NFL Network.  No NFL for me tonight.  Drat.  But I must remember to make fantasy football line-up changes...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Achoo! Snif.

  • Two days after the big sell off, the market is trying to recapture the previous highs. I think we have to respect the effort, but realize that some of the action may be due to sector rotation and folks moving money to a "safer haven."  For those of us with diversified portfolios, perhaps it doesn't matter just yet as the indexes advanced.  But take a look at some of the tech names. Google was downApple was down.   Research in Motion was downThe semiconductors ETF was down, and continues it's downtrending year.  (See the weekly chart).  When the market changes direction, it doesn't always ring a bell to alert folks.  Sometimes what happens is that the leaders start to turn down and money churns elsewhere.
  • Home sick today.  Yet, via the marvels of modern technology (aka telecommuting) I find myself directing my staff over at the Fun Factory.  Not sure I'm getting much rest, but at least I'm sniffling here at home and in my sweats.  And for some reason, I'm craving chips and onion dip.  I'll regret that later I'm sure.
  • On the search engine whoring front, I've been getting some referrals from search engines looking for Bianna Golodryga and Erin Burnett (in a bikini).  Bianna seems to be getting some major attention out there.  Shocker!
  • I'm watching Cramer right now.  He has more energy in one hour than I do in a whole week.
  • GDP was revised upward.  Interesting.  Still slower than the brisk 3%-plus rates we ran quarter after quarter.
  • OK...  I better try to rest up some.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The N-Word

  • Of course, here at The Learning Curve, the "N-word" refers to the Nasdaq and nothing else. Yesterday, that was certainly a dirty word!  We saw a huge distribution day and some major damage done to the leaders of this rally.  GOOG and RIMM got hammered, and continue to look weak today as the market tries to figure out where it wants to go.  I continue to remain in low beta holdings with some cash on the sidelines.  I've trimmed some of my short-term plays and booked some gains, as it is difficult to trade on the long side when the market is up against a headwind. 
  • It'll be interesting to see how the market closes as the last hour of the day is usually the most telling as far as how the institutions are leaning.
  • Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have a new priority when they take control in January:  Ending racism.  Nancy and Harry hoped to tackle health care, global warming, and the minimum wage.  But with Michael Richards (aka Seinfeld's "Cosmo Kramer") launching into a tirade last week, the priorities have been shuffled.  All they have to do to end racism, is ban the "N-word."  That should do it.  Then we can finaly move on.
  • More... Jesse Jackson calls for an end to it. Paul Mooney says he'll give it up And MSNBC going for ratings sweep rankings, is going to show a documentary on the N-word.
  • No word from Nabisco on whether or not they will assist in the War on Racism by renaming their Saltine Cracker to something less offensive.
  • You're going to need a bigger family room with that new 70-inch plasma TV!
  • Yesterday I mentioned catching up on the TV series Jericho, still worried that the series may be cancelled and I'd be left in limbo.  It looks like I can delete the episodes of Nine from my DVR.  Cancelled due to low ratings.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Stock Market Armageddon

  • If it truly is Armageddon in the stock market, lets "Armageddon It" with Def Leppard.
  • We've gone what seems like forever without a significant pullback in the market. I've mentioned that I was expecting a selloff in the Sept-Oct timeframe that didn't happen, but raised cash and lowered beta at that time.  Now it seems like everyone was assuming the coast was clear and that the market would ramp into year end.  Doesn't always work out like everyone expects.  Now we have to wait and see if there are dip buyers out there who feel underinvested, or if we're so bullish now we're expecting the dip to be bought.  I'm going to remain hesitant deploying new cash for now.  No reason to get all excited by the first major distribution day we've seen in awhile.  Maybe there are more coming.
  • Hey, it's Cyber Monday!  The busiest online shopping day of the year!  (I did mine yesterday).  I buy some stuff online, but I prefer to buy electronics at the stores.  I love Costco for that.  They have a great return policy.  I could probably walk in there with a receipt and a 20-yr old Sony Walkman (cassette player) and say "It stopped working" and they'd give me a credit for something else in the store.
  • Here come the bears!  Herb notes that more decline is on the way because of lack of insider buying.  I don't know Herb's outlook, but just a comment on bears in bull trends or bulls in bear trends.  Notice that if they're wrong about the trend, then whenever a day finaly goes in their direction, suddenly they feel vindicated?  Sure, they may have missed a 15% move over a few months, but boy do they get excited on the first 2% move that goes their way.  And yes, this could be the start of something messy.  We can't discount that.  But we must allow ourselves to be somewhat amused along the way.
  • Speak of the Devil, Herb is on CNBC as I type!
  • Speaking of Armageddon, I caught up with CBS' Jericho over the weekend.  Not a bad show.  I hate to get sucked in and have a series cancelled, but I bet that's what happens here.
  • Free preview of Investors Business Daily and their Daily Graphs.  Not bad.
  • If USC beats UCLA, then it'll be Ohio State vs. USC for all the marbles.  Otherwise, Michigan will get in.  I agree with folks who say that Michigan had their shot at Ohio St.  Lets see what USC can do.
  • While I did order the 2007 Stock Trader's Almanac, maybe the best gift idea for your trading buddies would be a  2007 CNBC Swimsuit Calendar.  Erin Burnett, Melissa Lee, Bianna Golodryga, Rebecca Jarvis, and Becky Quick.  Who'd be the bikini cover girl on that one?  Bianna?  It'd be a big seller.  And the days of the calendar could have some trading tips from some of the other anchors on the station.  It could outsell the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit calendar.  If not swimsuits, then maybe a lingerie calendar?  Something to compete with Victoria's Secret.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Stuff

  • Inspired by multiple Thanksgiving halftime performances, John Fogerty was kind enough to fly here today and perform "Rock and Roll Girls." Yeah, baby.  Click play, grab some leftovers, and scroll down for some Saturday stuff.
  • Cody Willard introduces us to TubeRevolution, which is yet another video sharing community thing.  I noticed Doug Kass has a video up from his K&C gig last week.  Cody mentions on his blog that The feature I think I'm excited about is TRiM -- TubeRevolution instant Messenger. TRiM keeps no records and does no tracking of anyone's usage at all. And it bypasses any and all firewalls and corporate check points. Free yourself from the tyranny!
  • Overloaded on pumpkin pie yet?
  • I had some credit on a book store gift card, so last week I bought William O'Neil's "The Successful Investor."  Of course, most may know about CANSLIM and the O'Neil strategies.  He has a wildly successful newspaper in Investor's Business Daily.  I'm half-way through the book over the long weekend, and it often comes across as a 200-page ad for the IBD.  It seems more condensed and rushed than his earlier book, but does include coverage of the 2000-2 bear market.  I'll write more on the book later, but one of the early chapters in the book that I think is the hardest thing for most investors is the "cut and run" strategy of taking losses.
  • Yesterday I mentioned the falling-dollar theme.  Econobrowswer wonders would that be so bad?
  • Mark Hulbert on Norm Fosback's seasonal timing method.   It's the Energizer Bunny of systems.  Keeps working. 
  • I asked awhile back, what if nobody bought the Microsoft Zune?  Well, in iPod vs ?, Barry Ritholz has some MP3 sales numbers from Amazon's top seller list.  iPod is rocking that list, and Zune comes in at #16. 
  • NakedShorts highlights Jim Cramer's "Watch TV.  Get Rich."  book booyah.  And of course the running one-liner of the week, couldn't Fox get the book publisher to cancel this one?
  • Random Roger up with his Big Picture for the week of 11/26.  How have managed mutual funds stacked up against the SP500 index the past 20 years?  How have owners of those mutual funds performed in the same period?  And why was the dog growling at the end?
  • Does it bother you that John Fogerty doesn't enunciate the consonant on the last word of the lyric? World is "worl." Girls is "girl." Etc.
  • Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

  • The last thing I'd do on the friday after Thanksgiving ishead out shopping. While I do shop early, I'm more of a "Cyber Monday" guy than a Black Friday guy.  And when I do hit the malls, it'll be weekday nighta after 9pm.  No crowds then!
  • The markets drifing lower shocking everyone who anticipated a strong day after turkey day.  It happens.  One of the interesting themes emerging out there is the weakness in the dollar and the potential surge of commodities (aka, stuff that hurts when you drop it on your foot).  The action out there is thin and we've seen a big dose of strength since summer. 
  • Nintendo's Legend of Zelda has been an incredible video game franchise.  Nintendo is releasing the latest Legend of Zelda Twighlight Princess, at the same time as the Wii.  The new Zelda game has received rave reviews since its release with some critics calling it one of the best Zelda titles yet. According to, the title has an average rating of 97 percent among critics.
  • Hat tip to Barry Ritholz entry on Fox to air fake news show.  Uh, will anyone be able to tell the difference?

  • The new will be live on 12/04/2006!   What will they have to offer that isn't already available on hundreds if not thousands of financial blogs and news sites?  Stock charts? Blogs from CNBC anchors? Bikini pictures of Erin Burnett, Becky Quick, Bianna Golodryga, Melissa Lee, and Rebecca Jarvis? And will they be able to make zillions in revenues off of click-ads like Google?  (Because we all know how people love to click on the web ads!)  Or will they feature clever product placement ads in live video shots?  Melissa Lee for Starbucks?
  • More from Controlled Greed on Kerkorian's cutting and running on GM.
  • When you think of turkey leftovers, maybe you automatically click to Larry Kudlow's blog where he's bloggin Just Say No to Class Warfare.  While I do agree with many of KLo's points in his column, doesn't it all sound a bit tired after the election?  Despite his pounding on the table on class warfare, the reality is that we have gridlock in Washington DC and the Veto Pen will rule the day.  Excerpt: Unemployment is at historic lows. Household wealth is at an all-time record. More people own stocks than ever before in our nation’s history. Tax-free savings accounts are proliferating everywhere. And the middle class -- which aspires to be richer -- owns a larger piece of the rock than ever before. Living standards have been rising, and rising, and rising.
  • Be safe out there.  Lots of crazy folks in the malls....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pass the Window Dressing!

  • I'm mostly about the potatoes and dressing on Thanksgiving. With gravy. 
  • Google hanging on to $500+ as I type.  I suppose somebody out there is clicking on those ads out there.  It just isn't me.  It probably isn't you.  It's somebody else somehow somewhere doing the ad clicks.  I dunno.
  • More on the Google ad-click revenue thing as it relates to newspaper and TV ad revenue.  I quit the local newspaper because I read the news online these days.  And I pretty much record everything on a DVR these day and watch it later so I can zip through the commercials.  So are retailers really getting a bang for buck when advertising on GOOG, newspapers or TV? Heck, my local newspaper keeps trying to get me back by offering the paper for next to nothing! Think they need to show subscriber numbers to advertisers?
  • Reflecting on the year and what to give thanks about, it's all quite humbling.  I realize how fortunate I am.  Yes, I had to work hard and put in tons of effort.  But do you realize how great this country is?  To be able to control your own destiny and make choices! 
  • Kirk Kerkorian selling 14 million GM shares!  Hoo, that's a whole lotta supply.  Look at the GM 5-day chart for what's happened since November 20th.
  • Ready!  Set!  Guhhh... Hurry up and do nothing!  The neutal signal is on, according to Jason!  He thinks MSFT could move towards $40 with Vista release coming up.   But what about decreased XBOX 360 sales and those empty Zune aisles?
  • Lets pretend we had a 5% pullback in "the market."  With the SP500 trading near 1400, that'd be a 70 point drop to about 1330.  Just thinking out loud, that's all.
  • The football rule of thumb is don't bet against the Detroit Lions at home on Thanksgiving.  They're playing the Miami Dolphins, and the Dolphins are favored by 3 points.  That's a tough spread, but Miami has been playing really well and I think they'll cover.
  • Dallas is favored at home by 11 over Tampa Bay.  Normally, I'd take the points but the Bucs have been hapless and on this one I will take the Turkey Day homer Cowboys and lay the 11.
  • The third game tomorrow is Denver going to Kansas City, and it looks like the spread is even.  I think Denver is the better team and I'm just not sure about KC.  Taking Denver at even.

In Turkey Mode!

  • 212% of the time, the day before Thanksgiving and the friday afterwards are positive days in the market. The other 187% of the time, maybe not.  I'm of course using nonsensical percentages because we all know about this and it should be priced in as we drift higher.  The financial news channel has been bleating this good news out all month, for goodness sakes.  They also are stressing how the rest of the year should be positive.  Although have you noticed the hesitation in folks' voices when looking beyond the end of year?  If this is truly on their minds, then folks will try to anticipate it and book profits early and often to avoid the Christmas rush.
  • You haven't waited to do your Thanksgiving grocery shopping until the day before Thanksgiving, have you?
  • I have to be honest, I don't like chasing strength in extended stocks.  I love strength coming out of stocks basing and near moving averages.   But when stocks are miles above a reasonable MA?  Seems like it bites me when I get too aggressive.  And then I kick myself for being a dummy and chasing an extended ticker.
  • Even though I lowered my beta and raised cash in September, I have been buying individual names here and there for short-term trades.  Aware of course that someday the bottom will fall out.
  • This will be hot on shoppers shopping lists friday.   Better line up at the doors around 6am to get one.  Think of the hours and hours of non-boring fun your kids will have with Frog dissection kitsThe $40 kit came in a cloth bag complete with a vacuum-sealed formaldehyde-treated frog, scissors, magnifying glass, forceps, probing sticks, ruler, instruction booklet on how to explore the animal's innards, and a moist towelette.
  • Adam has some randoms up!
  • The folks over at Angry Bear are expecting Nancy Pelosi to show some fiscal leadership.  Hmm, that's the one thing I don't expect from her.  But I do expect lots of gridlock  And ol' Charlie Rangel seems chompin' at the bit to raise taxes somewhere.  But in a slowing economy and with a Presidential veto pen at the other end of the street?  More gridlock.  Charlie does have a blog!
  • Uh oh, don't tell Cramer that somebody isn't happy shopping at his Sears!  Free Money Finance has a shopping experience bad story at SHLD.
  • Second dot-com boom?
  • Herb Greenberg rehashes his comments from CNBC this morning.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Who's Your Butterball?

  • Another reason to be skip the turkey and be vegetarian over the Thanksgiving holiday. You have no idea where your Butterball was last weekend.  
  • Not only did President Bush pardon this turkey, he invited it away for an extended weekend down at the Crawford ranch.
  • Well, the market chopped around today but finaly closed higher. Lets go to Yahoo Finance for their summary of the market:  Wall Street drifted to a slightly higher finish Tuesday as investors shied away from taking new positions in a holiday-shortened week.   Investors' hesitation came after Wall Street snapped a six-session winning streak on Monday, concerned that a recent run-up has driven some stocks too high. No big moves were expected before Thanksgiving, although retailers remain in focus ahead of one of the biggest shopping days of the year on Friday.
  • So does that describe you, dear reader?  Feeling shy today?  Concerned that some stocks are too high?  Are you heading out shopping friday?  Or, are you looking for a lil' Butterball action?
  • Greg Mankiw asks, What should the Dems do?
  • Check out Howard Lindzn's comments on ERTS (Electronic Arts) and the Madden NFL franchise, and follow the link to Wallstrip.  I do watch Wallstrip, but not everyday. 
  • Is the Handwriting on the Wall for contrarians?  Read Mark Hulbert, who writes the summary near the end of the article, The bottom line is neatly summarized by Michael Burke, editor of Investors Intelligence. Based on his reading of newsletter sentiment, he recently concluded: "The sentiment readings are now bearish. Although they don't signal an imminent decline, the increased optimism say's it's a good idea to start planning an exit strategy. We are in the seasonally strong six-month and three-month periods of the year and there is no reason why stocks can't go higher for a while, but the handwriting is on the wall."
  • How is Jim Cramer's Action Alerts portfolio doing?  Hat tip to Dayshark, who writes up more on Cramer.  David, after reading the opening sentence where you mentioned Melissa Lee, I was hoping for more, well, Melissa Lee!  But more Cramer stuff there on some of his recent stuff.  Oh, if you want more Cramer, check out Madd Money's Radio Recap!

The Bianna Bounce!

  • Hey, the market's up. As if I need an excuse to post a pic of Bianna Golodryga.
  • One of the signs of a market top is when the market leaders faulter.  I think we'd have to say that Google and Apple have been the popular leaders of this bull market.  Apple hit an all-time high today, and the mighty Google is also at an all-time high.  GOOG has "more room to run" according to the "other" Jordan.  Yes, the market is extended but the leaders are forging ahead.
  • The VIX is an indicator of market volatility, and it is showing incredible complacency.  It hasn't been this low since 1994!  The VIX is a lousy market timing tool by itself, but one has to wonder what it's trying to tell us at these levels. More on the low VIX from Adam.
  • A better sentiment indicator IMHO is the Investors Intelligence survey.   As of last week, bulls outnumbered bears 56.4% to 22.3%.  This is a big number, folks.  Too many bulls out there at this point.   Not that many bears left.  Keep an eye on the market, because I think when the pullback happens there will be a ton of homegamers quick to lock in their gains.
  • On Heroes, saving the cheerleader didn't seem to be that big of a deal considering the build up.  Looks like the painter, Isaac, already painted the future showing Peter had saved the cheerleader.  Although the painting didn't reflect the act of saving itself.  But it was easy to predict how Peter would survive And who knows where Hiro is.
  • Green Pea flavored soda, anyone?  Anyone?  After introducing the world to new soda flavors like fish taco and salmon, Seattle specialty beverage maker Jones Soda Co. is offering a new flavor: Green pea.  Green pea, along with other unusual sodas such as turkey and gravy, dinner roll, sweet potato and antacid flavor, will be part of the company's $10 to $15 "holiday pack" of bottled drinks available nationwide.  Anyone?  Eh, throw a few shots of Jack Daniels in there, how bad could it be?
  • The OJ Simpson book and TV special rangs among the dumbest ideas ever.  Uh, hello?
  • Barry Ritholz on the continuing decline in home sales and housing prices.  Prices have dropped like a stone in my NorCal hood, BR.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Contrarian Thanksgiving Play?

  • It's Thanksgiving week, so being a contrarian this week might be tough. It'd be like being a contrarian on Thanksgiving day and betting on egg salad sandwiches instead of a turkey.  Everyone on the planet knows that this is a bang-up gung-ho to-the-moon week for stocks.  The bulls are running and volume should be thinner than usual as the week progresses.   The market could surprise everyone and do something different, of course. 
  • Ohio State beats Michigan on saturday in a pretty exciting game.  Michigan remains #2 in the BCS bowl, but don't bet on a rematch just yet.  USC still has two games.  One against Notre Dame and the other against UCLA.  If USC wins those two, they might propel to #2 setting up a showdown with Ohio St. for all the marbles.
  • "Stupid Investment of the Week" honors from CBS Marketwatch.  The Blue Fund, a fund for Democrats that invests in companies that support Democrats.  Something like that.  Seems silly to me.  Hat tip to The Duck Stream.
  • Save the cheerleader.  Save the world.  Fall break finale for Heroes tonight!
  • DOW finished down, but Nasdaq finished up.  I'm still thinking turkey wins over egg salad sandwiches for thursday dinner, though.
  • I didn't even know there was a Playboy reality series on E! TV.  3rd season?  Where the heck have I been?  (I knew about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders reality show, but haven't watched it.)  I hope Netflix has the series on DVD.  Something to watch during halftimes of the bowlgames-named-after-autoparts-companies. 

Friday, November 17, 2006


  • Hope you owned some X today. (That'd be US Steel).  Just saying.  The charts weren't predicting a buyout rumor.  Although, the Yahoo message board speculated that the rumor was purely an options expiration pin move.  (Gotta love the Yahoo boards for the ultimate battle of good vs. evil.)  Of course, the emotion on the commodities was bleak due to the housing slowdown. 
  • People still watch CSI
  • ABC gave Lost a 3-month winter break and is subbing with Day Break.  Day Break bombed.  I thought it was kind of slow, but I kind of got into it as the day kept repeating and repeating. 
  • Playstation 3 frenzy!  Easier than flipping stocks!  On Friday, hundreds of new PS3 owners made their own profit by reselling their $600 machines on Internet auction site eBay Inc. As of midday, 564 had sold for an average price of $2,711, and 2,037 more units were on offer, according to eBay Marketplace Research. Outlying bids reached $30,000.
  • Universal suing MySpace for copyrights.  Interesting.  This has to be the tip of the iceburg, and I wonder when this will happen to YouTube?  Especially now that YouTube is owned by Google (trading near $500 a share).
  • Bo dies the day before the big game.  Ohio State and Michigan play tomorrow.
  • Have a great weekend!

Quick Hits

  • The market pullback reason du jour isthe weak home building report.  OK, we've just had 5 straight days up and it's friday.  Friday's tend to be profit taking days ahead of the weekend.  There are definitely profits out there.  Plus, it is options expiration day, and who knows what kinds of shenanigans happen on the third friday each month.  (What does that mean?  See Adam's We're Pin Jamming entry!)
  • Watching CNBC this morning, they reviewed Starbucks (SBUX) earnings and noted that the company spends more on health care then they do on coffee beans!  SBUX gapped down about 6% this morning and appears to be flatlining near the lows of the day.
  • HP (HPQ) reported that their earnings quadrupled, but that the SEC was investigating the spying scandal.  Shares opened down, but are rebounding.
  • I realized last night that I'm a few episodes behind in Battlestar Galactica.  Is it just me, or does the SciFi series seem to be bogging down a bit here?  Although, nice side shot of Grace Park nude.  (Yes, that is a blatant search engine whoring technique).  C'mon, if we're going to be blatant here, how about BG's blatant attempt to hook the tech geek crowd by including a Cylon Asian babe in the cast?  Pure ratings stunt!

Shat-tacular Performance!

I checked my year-to-date performance last night, and found that (drum roll) I am beating the SP500 by .50%. I don't check that often, because it can lead to an emotional response in either direction. Either I get too much ego or performance anxiety. This one led to the latter.

I made three major moves this year. In April, I sold down my beta, increased lower beta holdings and increased cash. This worked out well as the Spring correction began in earnest in May. I reloaded the beta and went 100% into stocks near the lows in June, which also worked out quite well. By September, the portfolio was rock 'n roll for the year.

Then the Black Box misfired and gave a sell signal. I again sold the beta, increased lower beta holdings, and increased cash. This is my current position. Why my portolio has advanced as the market has been in a straight line up since the summer lows, it has underperformed the market. Hence, my goal of outperforming the SP500 is on shaky ground right now.

Going forward, I don't see this as the time to increase beta or throw new cash at the market. If the market continues to advance day after day, then my small edge over the SP500 will evaporate. If the market faulters and pulls back, then I'm in a good position to take advantage of any opportunities.

Thanksgiving week is normally a good one for investors. This is no secret. Will the historic trend continue again this year, with the market extended? I've run some scans and limit the results to stocks that are not too extended above the 50dma, and there isn't much out there.

These are my thoughts, and serve as a journal of my trek down The Learning Curve of investing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Status Quo Mo Mo

  • The stock market is as good of a crystal ball as anything, and I think it appears as if the Fed has achieved their soft landing. Gridlock in the Federal government should be a good thing for the next few years, as not much legislation will come out of Washington DC.  The stock market is in the process of pricing this all in, and by the time we recognize it the price move will mostly be in. 
  • The Fed also has to worry about the tight labor market (and upward pressure on wages).  But they don't want to raise rates with the GDP having slowed down and risk a recession.  They don't want to cut rates and put more pressure on the labor market (and wages).  Status quo for awhile?
  • Emmitt Smith wins Dancing with the Stars over Mario Lopez.  No surprise there in a popularity contest. 
  • Blogging the Bible (story).  The blog at Slate.  From the blog of 1 SamuelDavid is such a horndog that he would pick up a widow at a funeral!
  • The most interesting soap opera in Washington DC is Independent Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman.  He currently is aligned with the Democrats, giving them the reigns in the Senate.  But he could caucus with the GOP, giving the tie-breaker to Dick Cheney.  He could switch parties.  He could take a cabinet job with Bush, leaving the GOP governor in Connecticut a chance to appoint a GOP senator.  Is Joe the most powerful man in the Senate right now? 
  • Ugly Chart's Top 10 Reasons Why (He) Visits Your Stock Market Blog.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bad News is Good News

  • Home Depot reported decelerating earnings yesterday. Stock was initially down but closed up over $1 by the close.  DR Horton reported a 51% drop in income, and their stock was up almost 10% yesterday.  That's how you know we're in a bull market.  Bad news is good news.  Someday it will matter, but that's not today.
  • I'm at this mall the other day, and there is a little snack stand selling bottled water for $2 a bottle.  Right next to the snack stand was a drinking fountain.  Nobody is at the drinking fountain, but the bottled waters are selling like hotcakes.  Go figure.
  • Desperate Housewives video gameIn the game, players assume the role of a new female neighbor that moves into the neighborhood. She interacts with the characters from the series to solve a new mystery.
  • Market is on a moon-shot as I type. WOW!  SP500 is over 1400!  Breatk out the party hats!  Lots of breakouts, and even though I noted the extended charts of individual stocks, it just doesn't matter right now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Emmitt or Mario?

* Who should win Dancing with the Stars? Emmitt Smith vs. Mario Lopez. I think Emmitt will get the popular vote.

* OK, the real reason for the late night post... WHAT THE HECK is this William Shatner Show Me the Money show? It's so slowwwwwww it's horrrrible! I can't imagine it being on for too many weeks.

* Looking at individual stocks tonight. Many names are quite extended above their 50dma. Just saying.

Just Like Old Times

  • During the late 1990's, portfolio managers had a tough time beating a buy and hold strategy. Simply put, why waste one's time trading in and out when owning a quality index fund or managed fund would give good enough performance?  Seems like we've been in this pattern since summer, too.  The market grinds higher and doesn't give many opportunities.
  • The healthier you are, the richer you'll get"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." And it won't make you rich either.
  • The Black Box still doesn't like tech or semis.  It wasn't until yesterday that the Nasdaq finaly reached new bull market highs, as it has trailed the DOW and SP500.  I've been using some small cap scans that seem to be working, but what isn't in this "everyday is an up day" environment?
  • The integration between the internet and home entertainment continues, as Tivo will allow folks to download internet content and watch on their TVs.
  • The Vin-Man is back!  Vinny Testaverde signs with the New England Patriots.
  • Save the cheerleader.  Save the world.
  • Uh, Microsoft's Zune sales slow?  Maybe you thought I was crazy when I asked sunday what would happen if nobody bought a Zune?

Monday, November 13, 2006


  • In 1992, the debate between Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and James Stockdale was famous for Admiral Stockdale's use of the word "Gridlock." It made for some great Saturday Night Live sketches with Dana Carvey playing Ross Perot and Phil Hartman as Admiral Stockdale.  (Couldn't find any on YouTube).
  • Each political side firmly believes that the other side is delusional.  Which is why Gridlock is the best form of government money can buy.  Let Bush and Congress cancel each other out for a few years. 
  • The market continued up today, and YES!  That was the Nasdaq making new 5-year highs!  Yes, here I am in low beta holdings and some cash.  No worries.  I think chasing the market is always a bad idea.  The market will do what it wants to do even though I realize that a correction is needed.  My point of view is that when I'm off on the intermediate timing of a move, I keep any speculating to short time frames.  Kind of like choking up andshortening up the swing of the bat to avoid a strike out.  The longer we run without a correction, the more severe the ultimate correction will be.  No reason here to swing for the fences.  The time to do that was in summer near the lows, and fortunately that's when I was most aggressive.
  • MNF!  It just ain't the same on ESPN.  But I have a couple players going tonight for fantasy football...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Links

  • Microsoft's stock has moved quite a bit since the summer lows. I wonder what would happen if the Zune came out and nobody bought it.  Just another variation of a tree falling in a forest without anyone there to hear it.  Is the Zune a big deal?  What happens to MSFT if it isn't?
  • Barry says the Republicans got Bushwhacked on the Economy and quotes from Barron's permabear Alan Abelson.  We heard during the campaign that only the rich were benefitting from the economy and that everyone else was struggling.  Is that the case with you? 
  • I haven't watched much NBA yet, but the hoopla over the new ball is funny.  Mark Cuban weighs in.
  • Adam weighs in on the economy and how it influenced the election, but more importantly asks about the Best Band of the 80's.  I checked my MP3 player and have 35 Motley Crue songs stored.  Uh, you know my answer.
  • Gee, haven't checked my bloglines subs for awhile.  Lock limit down on some of those.
  • Did you just see the field goal attempt that was short by the Giants, and the Bears returned it 108 yards for a touchdown?  That's my fantasy football defense!
  • I think the Democrats winning both the House and Senate is the best thing that could've happened to the right wing talk shows like Rush Limbaugh.  Now he has something to talk about and complain about.   And Captain Ed is blogging about Senator Joe Lieberman switching parties to the GOP, which would give the Senate back to the Republicans.  Now THAT would be funny.
  • From the previous blog entry's comments, Seven of Six links to Britney Spears pre nup agreement!

The Sunday Buzz

  • I took a few days off from blogging. I've read a few books and watched some football.  As I mentioned previously, I like to go back and re-read some of the previous trading books just to see them with more-experienced eyes.  I re-read the Market Wizards book from Jack Schwager.  The 1990 version.  I've also started The New Market Wizards from 2005.  Next in the queue is Entries and Exits by Alexander Elder.  Of course, I've read a couple novels, too.  Not just trading books.
  • The markets are moving sideways it seems.  I remain with a good cash position and low beta stock holdings.   Don't see a reason to rush into anything more volatile right now.  Semis and tech don't look good.  I've been trading some small caps, but that's been mixed lately so I've slowed down.
  • I haven't been on the web much the last few days.  I have followed the political stuff as the Democrats swept into Congress.  I've also read the plans for the "First 100 Hours" when the Democrats take over in 2007.  They are (emphasis mine):

We will restore civility, integrity, and fiscal responsibility to the House of Representatives. We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.

We will make our nation safer and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

We will make our economy fairer, and we will begin by raising the minimum wage. We will not pass a pay raise for Congress until there is an increase in the minimum wage.

We will make health care more affordable for all Americans, and we will begin by fixing the Medicare prescription drug program, putting seniors first by negotiating lower drug prices. We will also promote stem cell research to offer real hope to the millions of American families who suffer from devastating diseases.

We will broaden college opportunity, and we will begin by cutting interest rates for student loans in half.

We will energize America by achieving energy independence, and we will begin by rolling back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for Big Oil.

We will guarantee a dignified retirement, and we will begin by fighting any attempt to privatize Social Security.

  • I'll be keeping score along the way. The Democrats have mentioned that that may target the alternative minimum tax first, and I think that'd be great and most Republicans would be in favor of fixing that.
  • Cold here in Sacramento.  Yeah, 50's.  I know, nowhere near as cold as back east or north, but we're fair weather folks out here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Can of Whoop Ass

  • Now I haven't been paying too much attention to the post-election speeches, but we have to be honest and say that the Democrats opened up a can of whoop ass on the Republicans last night. The House goes easily to the Democrats, and the Senate looks like it may go that way, too.
  • The stock market didn't expect the Senate to change control, so the market futures have gone down.  Not much.  The reality is that there is still gridlock because the President has the veto pen.  Bush will not sign anything that raises taxes, but the previous tax cuts will expire because Charles Rangle has said this is what he'll let happen.  In addition, there may be a push for more green energy, which Bush would most likely support.  Defense spending should continue to stay high because we are at war and terrorism is a real threat here at home.  I imagine Bush would veto stem cell initiatives as well. Pelosi says she's going after drug companies, so it'll be interesting to see what happens there.
  • Saturday Night Live may be funny again with gridlock!
  • Of course, the market futures could also be selling off a bit because of the unexpected Britney Spears and Kevin Federline divorce announcement.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voter Suppression Tactics!

Britney files for divorce from what's his name. Uh, Kevin Federline. Was this news held by Karl Rove until election day to help suppress the vote?

If you're following the left wing or right wing blogs, then you know that there are lots of stories like these out there.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

A market angle... Does anyone think that the expected outcome will result in any market volatility tomorrow? (Uh, the election not the divorce). What if the Democrats take both the Senate and House? What if the GOP retains both? The market probably prefers gridlock. Or maybe the market does care about Britney and Kevin.

Vote Early, Vote Often!

  • I mentioned this the other day, but again check out the SMH. This latest move up has been on light volume, and today we've kissed the 50dma and dropped back down. Just saying, that's all.  I sold mine back in September.
  • Vote early and vote often!  And if you do take any video of polling location mayhem, please upload to YouTube ASAP!
  • Microsoft to offer TV shows and movies via the XBOX 360.   For a small fee, of course.  I think all of this technology is going to make it hard for NFLX at some point.  Investors don't seem to realize this just yet, take a look at the NFLX chart!

  • Poor Kinross Gold (KGC).  Gold is moving up, yet KGC is struggling due to a downgrade and an acquisition.  Oooh, speaking of, Tye Burt the CEO of KGC just came on CNBC.  "Demand from India and China..." is what I got out of that interview with Burt.  I had no idea he was going to be on.  Honest.  KGC looks ugly on the chart.  Big drop on the news yesterday, and faultering more today on the downgrade while gold is doing fine.

Election Day on the Markets

  • Voting fraud in Philadelphia? In precincts 7, 19, 51 in Philly, PA, the crowds are going wild. Inside several voting locations, individuals have poured white out onto the polling books and the poll workers are allowing voters to go into the polls and vote without first registering. Several individuals are on hand demanding that voters vote straight Democrat.  Well, it's early and starting out ugly.  Bring a camera with you to vote.  You never know what you might catch, record, and sell to a media outlet later.
  • The market starting off strong on voting day.  The DOW has reached new highs already, after 6 straight down days (that ended yesterday).  I'm still net long with lower beta holdings and some cash on the sidelines.  I've been trying to flip positions on the side with some luck, buying breakouts.  You know the drill.  Not holding for too long as I wonder about the increasing possibility of a correction and sideways market. 
  • If you've concentrated your holdings in duct tape related stocks, this bit of news may concern you:  Duct tape no magical cure for warts.  Here come the "sell at market" orders.  Of course, shrewd traders probably already have a buy list of alternative wart treatments.
  • Lost my fantasy football game by 1 point this weekend.  Plaxico Burress didn't play, the bidding window was closed so I couldn't pick up a newWR, and my other WRs were on byes.  OUCH.

Voter Disenfranchisement Day!

  • It's officially Voter Disenfranchisement Day, which means you can expect to see roaming bands of conservative senior citizens attempting to keep young Blacks and Hispanics away from the polls. In addition, Karl Rove has ordered cloud seeding in the South, as rain threatens voter turnout.  If all that fails, offshored DIEBOLD programmers working for $10 a day have broadband connections at the ready to insert the following logic in contested races:

void switchVote(){
     if (vote==blue) {

  • The markets staged an impressive rally yesterday.  Price is the ultimate indicator, but volume was a little light.  Advancers had it all over decliners, though.  The futures look to be pointing slightly up, but we could see some election day volatility.
  • We're set up for election day, and it'll be interesting to watch the news and see what kind of stories trickle out.  I was teasing with the geeky comments above, but there are those out there who seriously believe there is widespread voter fraud going on in this country.  Make sure you get out and cast your vote today.  And watch out for those blue hairs!
  • On one hand, I'm not too concerned about gridlock in the federal government.  It'd basically move the government to the sidelines for the next two years as they fight and squabble with each other, and cancel out each other's legislation.  On the otherhand, taxes are scheduled to go up in a few years, and the Democrats certainly have no interest in extending the tax cuts. 

Monday, November 06, 2006

Quick Hits

  • Watching CNBC this morning, and they noted that the DOW has been down six days in a row. Does it seem like that?  I realize that this is true from following the markets, but doesn't it still "feel" like we've been going up day after day?  Another interesting thing is that early strength seems to be sold off.  And what do we have this morning?  Yeah.  So will this recent trend continue, or are the Miami Dolphins coming to town?
  • Where are you going to get your election news from tomorrow?  It'll be interesting to see how early the rumor sites are covering the exits. 
  • Bad news for lice.  I'm not going to shed a tear for them. This new dryer device kills the little things and their next of kin, too. With no remorse.
  • Hey, we've made it through the first 30 minutes and the market opened up, did a head fake down, and is now rumblin' and stumblin' up.  It could-go-all-the-way...
  • What is happening as the Chinese gain wealth and have more exposure to the Western diet (think fast food)?  They get fat!  (Just like us).  "An increasing number of Chinese are eating more fat and junk food but less grains and vegetables, leading to a high number of cases of high blood pressure and diabetes."  Oooh, investing angle on this one.  Metabolic syndrome related diseases and treatment.  Diet and weight loss companies.  Etc. 
  • Investing From the Right sees no "meaningful reduction in defense spending" no matter the outcome of tomorrow's election.  I tend to agree.  The Democrats haven't offered any specifics other than they want a time table.  (I have one of those laying around here somewhere for my "want to be a billionaire" goal. Lets see, number one on the list is "starting in 2000, win a $100 million lottery annually for 10 years." I'm 6 years behind in my time table.)
  • Interested in reading about the favorite positions of Malaysian youth?  And we're "not talking about opositins during a football game or the Middle East position."  This is about "spooning, galloping and tea bag positions."  The Malaysian government takes on free speech! 

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who do the Voodoo?

  • I don't know what your view on spirituality, demons, or other planes of existance. But the 2006 Miami Dolphins "football" team which has looked horrible, just beat the formerly undefeated Chicago Bears. The Bears were a 2-touchdown favorite at home in Chicago, playing a Dolphins team that has had trouble moving the ball past the line of scrimmage. Nothing can really explain it except for paranormal activity.

  • Coming out of the monthly strength period, which wasn't that strong. Election tuesday, but not sure the market would dislike gridlock or status quo. Not sure it'll matter much. But it'll be fun to watch. Lots of hype and nastiness going on.

  • OK, back to the games.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Weekend Dedication and Other Stuff

  • I just read Barry Ritholz blog entry Stock Traders Almanac 40th Anniversary Edition. "A few of you have written sending word of the dedication in this year's Stock Traders Almanac 40th Anniversary. I was tremendously humbled to have it dedicated to me." First of all, congratulations to Barry!  What a great honor from a great book.  Second, I'd like to join in and dedicate this blog entry to Barry Ritholz.
  • Look at the SMH since the peak in October.  Higher volume down days.  Lower volume up days.  Just saying.  How is the market as a whole going to move on without the semis?  Look at the QQQQ. Similar?  Eh, sorta but not as dramatic.  The leaders of this move up could be Google and Apple.  How are the leaders doing?  Chart on GOOGChart on AAPL.  They don't look horrible at this point.  Still.  I dunno.  Something to watch.  Check out what Alphatrends has to say on the QQQQ trendline.  He's a technical dude with a video! 
  • GOP frustrated that voters are focusing on the guns and not the butter.  Lets face it, the GOP has done a horrible job in selling the strong economy.  Almost as if the Republicans are in self-destruct mode.  Perhaps that's just what happens after a long time in office.

  • Hot pants and miniskirts will soon be legal in South Korea!  Now if that doesn't excite the Republican base for tuesday's election, what will? (Oh wait, don't answer that question!) I'm not sure why the story had the picture of the bikinis, either.  Not really related, but maybe it was the only South Korean model shoot on file.
  • Byrne asks "Whatever happened to the Five Dumbest?"
  • Jason's sell signal is still on at The Trend.
  • I have a couple editions of The Stock Traders Almanac. It's been awhile since I've bought one, though. Now I'm going to search for them and read the dedications.
  • I added some widgets from MyBlogLog to the right. I like the recent readers widget. Join up, and visit my page!
  • Dr. Brett has a new book. Enhancing Trader Performance.  I don't know who he dedicated it to, but I'm going to add the book to my Amazon shopping cart.

Decision 2006?

  • What makes Saturdays so nice is that the complicated decisions are dialed down.  Diet Pepsi or Diet Root Beer?  Notre Dame game or Wisconsin?  Meerkat Manor or something from the DVR? 
  • Charting tools?  I use Telechart.  Or TC2000.  Or TC2007.  Whatever the Worden fellas are calling it these days.  I just use the end of day "gold" service.  Not to shamelessly plug their service, but it's darn fast.  I work for a living and don't look at charts much during the day.  I do all my scans when I get home and take a look at what comes up.  Doesn't take but a few minutes.  Used it for quite awhile now, so very familiar with the quirky PCFs and EasyScans, etc. 
  • I also have Amibroker.  This is where I backtest ideas.  Not a big fan of data mining, especially because automatically applying a method over history may not reflect what one would do when it's "live and in color" (aka, your own money!).  But it's a powerful tool and fortunately links to Telechart data.  (Using the free Yahoo quote data is really time consuming, but it is free).
  • I'm currently re-reading the Market Wizards books.  Great books.
  • I'm afraid to turn on the news networks, because I know it'll be Democrats screaming at Republicans, and Republicans screaming at Democrats.  Polling data is suspect, but everyone seems to be expecting the Democrats to win the House by a slim margin and the GOP to retain the Senate by a slim margin.  Gridlock would be great.  Divided we stand, united we spend too much money.
  • OK, I think it's Diet Root Beer time...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blogger's Block

Sometimes I'm here at the keyboard wondering what to blog about. Blogger's block.  It always helps to open up the RSS reader and see what other folks are writing about.  Usually the first blog I check out is Adam's, so I commented on his Random Thoughts entry...

  • That widget from mybloglog is a bit disheartening when it shows 4 of 5 of the top links from yesterday were "0 comments."
  • Since unemployment is on its way to 0%, I can't imagine there'd be that many more jobs to add in the first place. Well, except for all those new DIEBOLD programmer hires the last few months.
  • But we're all probably getting a little complacent now that the economy has been in bullish mode for a few years. We assume it'll go on forever.

It usually doesn't take me much longer to go to Barry's Big Picture, where he wonders in the Incredible Talent Pool, Zero Competition entry if he's revealing a secret locale where to find young lovelies.  I haven't left a comment there yet, but it all seems so obvious. Let me do that.

  • Was that you lurking around the shoe department?   Might also want to try heading over to cosmetics where they do the make-overs and asking "I'm a little concerned about my TV spots and looking best for the camera.  Can you ladies show me some tips?"
  • Oh, and not even the second coming of the Great Depression will keep women away from the shoe department.  Not a great read on the state of the overall economy, me thinks....

After those two, then the next stop is less predictable.  I usually hit the Yahoo headlines and see what's going on.  Lots of politics these days, so I suppose I'll have more to say on that in the days, no hours, ahead.  And I also traverse most of the blogs I link to on the sidebar, see what's on folks minds.

Eh, lunch time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rain Jackets Needed

  • First rain storm of the year blowin' through. So watch out on those roads.  After a long summer, people in CA forget how to drive in bad weather.  Unfortunately, I didn't work from home today so I'm about to head out in it.
  • The market? Speaking of storm clouds... I still have low beta holdings and some cash from the sells in September, and still flipping some small caps although that has slowed down as the stock market seems to be swooning here a bit.  I'll have to check scans later, but I'm feeling comfy-cozy in low-beta stuff.  The semi sales in September seem to have been the right call as they've gone nowhere since.  Tech has been strong, though.  Missed out on a couple big ticks there.  But managing risk and protecting capital is key.  IMHO, anyhoo.
  • "The vows of abstinence break far more easily than latex condoms," said Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. surgeon generalPushing for sex education.  The square peg goes in the square hole, and the round peg goes in the round hole.  Any questions?  Haven't we been providing sex education now for quite awhile?   Even with education, when folks are in their teens and twenties the sex drive is pretty high.  Or when your older and drunk, too.  Education-shmeducation at that point.  Decisions are made.  I guess the key is "be prepared."   Maybe we need a "don't leave home without it" commercial on condoms.
  • Normally, we're in the 401(k) additions period of the month, but none of the normal monthly seasonal stuff has been typical in this bull trend.  Perhaps that's a better way for sideways markets.  You know what I'm talking about.  The beginning of month stuff, pre-options week, options week, end of month, etc.  We do have some strong holiday trends in November to be aware of. More later...
  • What do I think about John Kerry's botched joke?  Everything is too political.  I recognize that it was a bad joke.  Although I do think Kerry is a bonehead, I seriously doubt he hates the troops or was insulting the troops.  C'mon.  The Republicans posture on it, because for some reason they can't take advantage of the strong economy.  Easier for them to capitalize on a botched joke than a 4.6% unemployment rate and a tight labor market.  How sad is that?  Then all the Democrats vying for 2008 (you know who you are Hillary) see an opportunity to get their mugs on camera.
  • There are only two teams in politics.  Can you imagine the NFL with only the Cowboys and the Raiders?  "Who do we have on Sunday Night Football this week, Al?" 
  • Kerry's joke not hurting Democrats at the polls, which is important if polls matter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Drink Drink Drink

  • Coffee keeps diabetes away. Even decaf!  Good news for Starbucks.  That $3 a day is now part of your health maintenance program.  Maybe your HMO will offer some sort of copay in the future.  A copay coffee card!  Or maybe you can withdraw cash out of your Health Savings Account to pay for your daily grind.
  • The market is starting to act a little fishy.  We have to be careful not to be scared into thinking a big down day means the bull market is over.  After all, we've gone quite a ways without consolidation.  The one-day wonders are more profound in the opposite direction of the trend.  While the trend drips-drips-drips and grinds in one direction, the counter move may be swift and fear provoking.  Notice how a big dip like today brings the bears out of the woodwork.   I hope we consolidate sideways with low volume, but does anyone think it'll be that easy?
  • The election may provide an emotional catalyst for stocks, but the end result won't be much.  If the Democrats win the House, then we'll have gridlock.  The market likes gridlock because the Democrats and Republicans cancel each other out, and this prevents large scope legislation from being enacted.
  • Red wine molecule helps mice live longer.  For those of you worried about the longevity of your mice.  Me?  I capture the little buggers and let 'em go by the river.  But I'm not serving them wine. 
  • Oh, seriously.  All this research is good.  Imagine the ramifications if we can isolate things in coffee and wine that promote good health well into the golden years.
  • We're in the Wild Wild West days of the internet.  Lots of content out there and we expect most of it to be free.  But we're seeing a transformation and consolidation of information.   Google buying YouTube and MySpace clamping down on copyrighted material will create more structure and standards on the web.  Even the ability to generate revenues for charging for copyrighted materials, instead of that crazy revenue click-on-da-adz model.  Here's a view from CBS Marketwatch, called Pride vs. Publicity.  I prefer the web to remain like the Wild Wild West, but I have my doubts that it will be.  Keep your charge card at the ready.
  • Something to think over your red wine and coffee tonight...

The Learning Curve Reviewed!

  • You never know what you're going to get when someone reviews your blog, but the folks at I Will F'in Tear You Apart took a look at The Learning Curve.

I bring up my "Jewish Momma's Boy" syndrome for the single purpose that The Learning Curve is absolute heaven to my little eyes. I'd almost venture and guess that Muckdog, like me, is an engineer of sorts. Everything is so neat, organized, and well planned that I seriously might bust a nut just looking at it. It's a smorgasbord of tech-geek awesomeness, which makes me almost want to hunt him down and find him just so I can hug him, give him a manly smooch on the lips, and then kick him in the nuts for not rolling up those goddamn archives. C'mon man! You allow the reader to choose whether the links open in a new window or the current window, but you can't make your archives into a drop down menu?

The content adds to the smorgasbord of tech-geek awesomeness, with a dash of financial and political commentary. It's one of those link fest blogs-you know, the ones that kind of rehash things and then give you the link for the actual info, but he does it in a way that shows a bit of his own personality, and is often humorous. I personally love it, but I can see how it's not for everyone.

Well dude. , in the most manly, non-homosexual, lets go grab a beer and hit up the strip club kind of way.

Check 'em out, and submit your site for review! (Of course, you never know what you'll get...)  Add 'em to your subs for constantly new sites to check out.

  • The market looks very suspicious here.  Kind of worried about the longs.  Not so much in the low-beta stuff, but I have been trading some more volatile small caps that seem to have a Halloween hangover.
  • Only 38 kids showed up last night.  Bad planning as I ended up with lots of less-favorite candies in the leftover bucket.  Brought them in for the diabetic coworkers.  Just kidding, but that's who seems to be picking at them.