Friday, December 29, 2006

The Last 2006 TGIF!

  • Well, I'm not one to get too sappy over the past.  But 2006 has been a great year for investing.  It was a little choppy in the middle and has been a little flat overall since November, but no complaints here. 
  • Last year I did "the year in review," but I'm going to pass on that effort this year.  I'll go over my major trades and portfolio moves this weekend.
  • I have Kentucky +10 against Clemson.
  • The market has edged down a bit.  It's a 4-day weekend for the market, and it'll be interesting to see how we deal with the crosscurrents come next week.
  • Adam on Apple.  You know, I was watching CNBC this morning and it was just goofy how the "visionary" Steve Jobs was seemingly given a pass on this options stuff.  It was entirely strange.  The stock seems to react to any Jobs-related news with anxiety, perhaps rightly so.
  • Howard's no wimp on Apple, as he's been on the AAPL roller coaster with both arms raised high in the air.  "... I started out down 5 percent and am now up 4 percent three days later..."  Wheeee!  I hope you were smiling when that "hidden" camera snapped your pick on the drop down!
  • Housing Bottoming? from Barry Ritholtz.  "it may be a bit premature to declare that housing has bottomed just yet. In addition to so many bottom pickers (the sheer number all but gurantees they will be wrong), the historical data simply doesn't support so early an end to the downturn."  I agree with BR.  Housing cycles are a bit longer than 1-year.  The housing market seems to have peaked in early 2005.  We are in our 2nd-year, and it wouldn't surprise me to see this drag out 5-7 years.  In addition, my thoughts are that the stock market and economy have been on a nice 4-year run, and we're due for something more severe than a slowdown.  That may be a catalyst for more heartache in real estate.  But I do hope I'm wrong about this.  I hope folks are paying down debts and have some rainy-day money ready just in case.
  • The Trading Goddess normally opens up with pics of hot chicks, but an interesting entry up on Setting Goals and Staying on Course"Money can't buy you love, as The Beatles pointed out, but it can buy you opportunity."  Then open up the rest of the blog for the pics.  Woot.
  • Shocker!  Microsoft admits to Vista flaw
  • Nintendo's Wii wins the pre-Christmas sales wars on next-gen video game sales.  My thoughts... Wii is less expensive and the new controller brings something new and exciting to video games.

Chat with Muckdog!


  • I'm currently on Google Talk as "Muckdog." Also on Yahoo IM as "Muckdog411." I'll be on for a few hours, so say hello!
  • Market is up a smidge, as Apple rebounds because of whatever reason du jour. Volume low. Market will be closed on Tuesday.
  • More in a few...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Game Off...

  • It's been difficult this week to think much about bulls vs bears. We're in Santa Claus rally mode, and it seems like "Game off, Garth."  Who is interested in flipping trades right here?  I've been content to just stand pat with a lower beta portfolio and cash on the sidelines.  There will be plenty of time to think about "what's next?" after this weekend. 
  • I'm not much of a New Year's Resolutions person.   But I'm going to take a look at where I've come this year and where I want to head next year, and set a plan to do that.  One of the big improvements I've made this year is in short-term trading.  I've had the Black Box for the intermediate timing I do for a few years now, and that's been working fine.  (Except for September's sell!)  
  • More reflections as the year winds down.
  • From Market Power, What Killed Heavy Metal Music in the 1980's?
  • $50,000 worth of broccoli stolen!  Think of what THAT'S worth on the black market!
  • Oklahoma State just went up 7-0 on Alabama in the Whatever Bowl, and I do have money on that game; but unfortunately, I can't remember who I took.  Ticket is at home!   LOSER!
  • Intellectually recreational?  Thoughts on the Ken Fisher book from Investing From the Right.
  • For sale on EBAY, a romantic vacation!   Adam Croot, who had planned the holiday to propose to his partner, was dumped by her just weeks ago.  But rather than lose the money on the non-refundable flights and hotel deposit, the 39-year-old decided to go anyway and find another woman to join him, for a payment of 642 pounds ($1,259).
  • From Liberal Larry's BlameBush, Forditler DeadYes, I’ll admit that even with my barely concealed glee over the death of another ReTHUGniKKAN warmonger, as well as my with my narcissistic inability to say anything genuinely nice about anybody who doesn’t share my political views, I’m tempted to begrudgingly concede that at least he wasn’t Bush and show a little reverence for the man. But to take the high road now would betray everything I stand for. The reason BlameBush! continually rises above other progessive blogs is that I am never afraid to speak the truth as ugly and fabricated as it may seem.
  • I haven't been paying attention, but have you seen that Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) is down to $3.55?  My thoughts on music and content delivery are that we'll all soon have smartphones that can stream stuff from the web and our own PCs at home.  There will always be an audience for news, sports and talk, but even radio and TV stations can be streamed over the web now with a smartphone.  So I'm skeptical of yet another service that wants my subscription dollars when I can get the content elsewhere for $0 above the cost of my smartphone monthly bill.  Just thinking to myself.  Not interested in satellite radio whatsoever.  Not as a subscriber or investor.  No need.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Santa Claus Rally Yadda Yadda Yadda

  • Santa Claus rally yadda yadda yadda. Ho Hum. 
  • Look at the action in AAPL today.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  The stock gaps lower on the shady stuff, but recovers fully.  Don't be messin' with the Santa Claus rally, Bubba.  Of course, now that my senior citizen coworkers are finaly catching on to the iPod craze, I'm wondering how much life is left in AAPL and if the kids will be switching to smartphones.  Just thinking to myself.  None of that matters right now.
  • The only cure for hangovers?  Probably.
  • And man keeps drinking beer during arrest for drunk driving.  Sounds dumb and funny, but actually quite sad.  Police say a man they pulled over for driving drunk continued to swig his beer during his arrest. ... Allain allegedly continued to drink a 40-ounce bottle of beer, telling officers, "You can charge me with whatever you want. It's not going to stop me from drinking and driving."
  • Mark Cuban on Google + YouTube (Gootube), is it nothing but commercials and fake porn?  He makes a good point.  I get pretty bored with YouTube after a bit, but I still go there searching for stuff at least a few times a week.
  • Sheraton is looking for a Chief Beer Officer.  Hat tip to Business PunditPut down that beer and finish answering the questions!  I wonder if the former person who held that job just got picked up for chugging a 40-ouncer while being arrested for DUI?
  • Howard (think "Wallstrip") wants to know how to expand the conversation.  I think what's happening on Wallstrip is quality, but I don't find myself clicking there more than once a week.  Not sure why.  I enjoy it when I do.  There's an interesting synergy of information and entertainment ("infotainment") that needs to happen to make Wallstrip a hit. I think you're mighty close if not there.  Maybe the fix is the same as the cure for hangovers?

President Ford

Former President Gerald Ford passed away yesterday. He was 93.  Links of interest...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Day After

  • Ah, James Brown, the "Godfather of soul!" I think we're all familiar with James Brown, and it feels as if we've all lost a friend.  Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. 
  • Market thoughts?  Santa Claus rally?  Sure feels like it, unless you were leveraged in TELK (Telik Inc.), which is down about 70% as I type.  (Bad news on late-stage testing on their cancer drug.)  The market has had a nice 2006, and I doubt that anything will change over the next few days.  Enjoy the holiday complacency, because there will be plenty to deal with in 2007.  Including a market that from November-December, looks a lot like the market from April-May.  Just sayin'....
  • About 9pm on Christmas Eve, I came down with the stomach flu.  Either that or something I ate.  I immediately thought about Omni's comments and her blog entry Did You Know You Could Vomit Through Your Nose?  It started with stomach cramps and they got more severe.  Hundreds if not thousands of trips to the bathroom later, finaly things settled down.  I about blacked out on one trip to the restroom, and collapsed on the sofa for a bit.  Anyways, stomach is still touchy, and all I've had to eat since Christmas Eve is a few pieces of plain bread.  I've been drinking water, and some Gatorade because I figure I need the carbs. 
  • So, I didn't do anything for Christmas.  I'm visiting family later this week for the gift exchange.  But I did win my Fantasy Football league!  Two years in a row.  As I tell my friends, its time to start talking about a "dynasty."  LOL. 
  • I don't spend too much time playing video games anymore, although once and awhile I fire up Madden '06 or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  But they are tons of fun and one of these days I'll upgrade to the next gen.  Anways, somebody got me Guitar Hero for Christmas.  I was too under the weather yesterday to shred, but I'm planning on it tonight...
  • Van Halen:  David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?  I preferred the latter, until everything started sounding like "Poundcake."  But I also liked the David Lee Roth version.
  • Liberal Larry's Christmas Survival Tips.  rotflmao.  I gotta add Larry to my links.
  • Adam notes the TELK downgrade in his Random Classics.  I'll also join the downgrading party, Adam.  Why not?  I'm going to downgrade it from "You'd have to be a fool to own this one" to "Told you so."  Ah, owning a company that has less revenues than your neighborhood newspaper boy. Check out TELK's numbers. Maybe TELK could put some revenue-click-ad model on their website, like Google.
  • Another hat tip to Adam (via Howard) is the link to World's Most Beautiful Women Bloggers.  But only four women made the list?  Not to complain about Amit's choices, because they're definitely pretty.  But have a few beers and expand that list, dude.
  • In the "Fool and his money" department, I have bets on every bowl game from here on out, except for those on the NFL Network. Just to spice it up.


In edit: It's lunchtime, and before I could even think about it my stomach sent me an urgent "You've got to be kidding me, Muck" message. Good grief. Although, this is keeping me away from the holiday junk food.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

More Last Minute Blogging

  • I went down my Christmas list, checking it twice, and fortunately finished my shopping yesterday and can just relax today and watch football.  I'm in the championship game of my Fantasy Football league and have a big lead ... so far.
  • For those getting a bit tired of looking at their navel lint, Bill at NO Doodahs shows 4 years of stock market history on one chart.
  • Cactus' My 2-cents on the Krugman Piece from Angry Bear is a nice piece on tax cuts and deficit spending.  The sales pitch is basically that running big deficits is not a bad thing because you’re spending it in ways that produce larger returns than they cost. But if the deficit is large enough, and the government is spending on enough things, that is unlikely to be true – there are decreasing returns to everything, including, obviously, government spending.  As I was reading, I was thinking that this is like investors using margin to leverage their investments and thus return greater rates of returns.
  • Mark Cuban weighs in on the Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump war of words in Trump the Chump.  Cuban certainly isn't bashful on his point of view, and also comments on Rosie's and Donald's blogs.  Neither of which I've read, and Rosie's seems to have taken forever to load so I closed the window!
  • The Economics of Gifts, from Greg Mankiw.  Yeah, Professor, it's a strange custom and potentially very stressful if one gets the wrong gift.  But I'm easy and it won't hurt my feelings whatsoever ... I'll take the cash.
  • Larry Nusbaum on Where Gurus See 2007.
  • WuzzaDem on Jeb Bush: First E-GovernorGov. Jeb Bush's official portrait unveiled at the governor's mansion shows him in his office standing standing next to a picture of his family with his trustworthy BlackBerry.  Ah, that's why RIMM stock is moving.  Although being associated with a Bush...
  • Casey Serin of I Am Facing Foreclosure is Banned From Google for Click Fraud.  Kick a man when he's down; it's the American way!  Seriously, I'm still wondering how that Google click-revenue model works.  Who is doing the clicking?  Anyways, good column up there on click fraud and all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Last Minute Blogging

  • I want to invest in the company that makes placebos.  There must be one heck of a price pop when the placebo beats a drug undergoing drug trials. 
  • Many folks are wondering if the market will rally through year end.  We've had a bit of a pullback this week although the bears weren't able to create any panic on Wall Street.  So was the close today enough of a bottom to get in for a rally next week?  I decided not to add any QQQQ at the close.  We'll see how I feel tuesday morning.
  • Most seem to believe the market is extended and ahead of itself.  The economic data definitely shows that the economy has slowed recently; yet, this doesn't mean it won't accelerate again. 
  • Why not visit Henrietta over at Stock Trading Insights, and join in on 2007 predictions?
  • The CIA redacting a NYTimes Op-Ed piece?  Hat tip to Dr. Brett.
  • Gannon on Investing lists some of his favorite sites.  I agree.  Great sites.  And a nice commentary for the links.  Check 'em out!
  • For those keeping score, the Santa Claus rally was supposed to start today, according to the Schaeffer market blog.  Maybe Santa is out shopping at the Liquor Mart getting a last minute stocking stuffer for Miss USA Tara Conner.
  • And if you want to "caption it!" on a Tara Conner picture over at Adam's site...
  • Interested in a view on today's news about Liberty Capital aquiring a larger stake in DirecTV?  Check out the Barron's blog ...Those Satellites are Pretty Cool.  My take is that while DirecTV is very cool because of their sports packages, at some point those sports packages will be available elsewhere.  Then where is their edge? 
  • Michelle Malkin has nearly 2400 blog entries in 2006?  And the rest of the time she just wasted...  Well, she has some follow-ups to earlier stories, for those interested.  In the "whatever happened to..." style.  Nicely done, MM.
  • Can you imagine Jim Cramer trying to write up follow-ups on his blog entries over at TheStreet and Realmoney?
  • In the war of words between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump?  Uh, well.  It makes for an interesting segment on the entertainment news shows.  I like The Apprentice more than The View, though.

Who's Thinking About Butterflies?

  • First of all, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. 
  • The stock market has been good to us this year.  I will be writing more year-end reflections next week, but we all should really consider this 4th-year in the bull market a nice blessing.
  • Over at realmoney, Jim Cramer writes a column What's Behind Sluggishness at AIG.  In case you've haven't been watching TV and those AIG commercials, it's obvious:  They're thinking about butterflies.
  • I think it was Bob Pisani this morning who mentioned that $10B has been removed from stock mutual funds recently.   And gone where, Bob?  I'd think that money has to be invested somewhere. 
  • It would seem that a Santa Claus rally is likely, with stocks swooning this week.  Last year we didn't get the rally in the last week, but most of the time we do.  I might throw a little cash at the QQQQ near the end of the day.  We'll see. 
  • Need to head out at lunch and really finish Christmas shopping... be back!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

RIMM Shot!

  • In the most anticipated event in Decemeber, Research In Motion delivered their earnings in the afterhours and beat the number! One of the leaders in this bull market, it has stumbled a bit after making a recent high.  Their profit grew 49%, and that's better than a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking!  I don't want to spoil your Christmas gift, but the Pearl is selling well...
  • Barry Ritholtz, dedicatee of the 2007 Stock Trader's Almanac, on recent economic data points, asks "Is this what a soft landing looks like? (We think not)."  Maybe it does, BR.  A 2% GDP in the rear-view mirror is slower than we'd like, but it's okay considering all those quarters of consecutive 3%-plus quarters.  Every big win streak comes to an end, and thankfully so for those 1972 Miami Dolphins.  Also, it's probably good that new housing permits are falling to bring down some of the excess inventory out there.  Transports are hit with energy costs that they haven't been able to pass on (see the CPI), and competition from all sources including the 'net are hurting margins at Circuit City, Best Buy, et al.
  • Doesn't it seem like forever since prime time episodes of your favorite TV shows? 
  • How's Adam doing in his fantasy football league, anyways?  That and RIMM Bop for more on Research in Motion.
  • No, I didn't finish my shopping at lunch.  Rainy weather and bad traffic slowed down the Muckmobile.  Will try more after work to stick a fork in this year's gift-shopping mayhem.
  • Is tonight Brett Favre's last game?  In an attempt to draw all 23 viewers that have access to the NFL Network via their TV provider, the NFL Network is advertising Favre on other channels with the song "This could be the last time."
  • Miracle on Wall Street, or Nightmare After Christmas from the WSJ blog on the Santa Claus rally.  Will the last 5 trading days of 2006 plus the first 2 of 2007 be good or bad?  My thoughts are that the market sure looks toppy and extended, while the negative divergences don't look too inviting.  Yet, the 2007 Almanac discusses the 7th presidential year success (as if it really matters) and there is a big crowd of folks anticipating a selloff in January it seems.  Should be interesting.
  • Stay warm!
  • In Edit: ARGH! I use read receipts in Outlook, and nothing hurts more than "Your message was deleted without being read on ..."


In Edit: Fixed spelling of Barry's last name! Duh!

The 7th Year

  • I was thumbing through the 2007 Stock Traders Almanac over a bowl of soup last night, and noticed that January in the 7th year of Presidential terms has an incredible win streak going. It would be interesting if those contemplating a selloff in January have it entirely backwards.  Also noticed that the first 5 days of January are a great predictor of how the market will do for the year.
  • If I had a dime for every nickel I have, I'd have twice as much money.
  • As I type, the Philly Fed report shows some economic weakness and that seems to have initiated some selling.  That and maybe people front-running the anticipated massive selling that awaits us in January.  Volume should lighten up through the rest of the year, but that doesn't mean it doesn't matter.
  • If your Christmas Eve plans included running nude through the streets in Zhengzhou, China to discourage the use of "excessive packaging" in the wine industry, better make other plans!  Did they really say "excessive packaging?"
  • Al Gore caught warming globe to increase box office profits?  "We have accounts from concerned citizens that Mr. Gore purchased a Cadillac Escalade SUV several months before [his film] opened in theaters," said Kimberly Blume, spokeswoman for the California-based environmental group Friends Of The Earth. "Not only did Mr. Gore use his new gas-guzzler to make short trips to the grocery store, he also left the vehicle running 24 hours a day in the driveway of his Tennessee home with the air-conditioning on full-blast."
  • Heading out at lunch to finish up Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Song Remains the Same

  • Yes, the Song Remains the Same in the stock market as neither bulls or bears seem to be able to press their case.  Today's action seems almost the opposite of yesterday's, as stocks started off down only to recover later in the day.  The big difference of course is that yesterday's breadth was 2-1 to the negative, while today the NYSE was up and the Nazamataz was down.  I sold some of the shorter-term plays and raised more cash, and that's probably where I'll stay until the market decides what it wants to do.  Probably not much until after the holidays and the end of the 2006 tax year, but there is always the chance that folks will want to book 'em.  I'm out of their way.
  • So I see this title "President Bush plans to expand size of US military," and I envision President Bush making a speech about recruing "taller" people or serving out second helpings of mashed potatoes at chow time. "It's called the Second Helpings Plan, and if a soldier wants thirds, we're not going to turn him away."
  • Adam's Random Trek includes a video that is absolutely Shat-tacular!
  • Barry Ritholz comments on the PPI number and also about trackback spam.  Regarding the latter, if BR needs a leader to conduct a War on Trackback Spam, Donald Rumsfeld is STILL looking for work.  Regarding the latter, last week we had a CPI number that said "Look ma, no inflation."  This week we had a PPI number that is the highest number since the Ottoman Empire.  I think a negative and a positive cancel each other out, so pass me some eggnog (with extra nog).  No, but seriously, light trucks up 13%?  Who didn't use a limit order???
  • Women wrestling in mashed potatoes!  Ooooh, sexy...  female participants allegedly pulled up each others' shirts as about 30 to 40 people watched during matches staged while the tavern's doors were locked.
  • If you must watch the second half of the Song Remains the Same video...

Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down

  • Investment controls in Thailand scare the heck out of the emerging markets.  The SET Index, Thailand's benchmark, plunged 15 percent, the biggest slide in 16 years. Stock indexes in Hungary, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Turkey all lost more than 1 percent. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Markets Index, which tracks 25 developing markets, fell 1.7 percent from a record to 880.23 at 12:47 a.m. in New York.
  • And yes, I did have to edit that picture of Kobe Tai just a bit.  Ahem. With "safe search" set to on, it's not easy to find a picture of her.  And you certainly don't want to set "safe search" to off...  Well, maybe that's a personal decision.
  • The 10 Things You Need to Know, from Minyanville's Kevin Depew.
  • Ah, the French troops had Bin Laden in their sites, but were told not to fire.  Hmm.
  • PPI came out today higher than expected, and Fed dude Richard Fisher said "Whoa, dudes!  Inflation!"  Calls himself a "party pooper" for suggesting that higher interest rates may be needed.
  • I've closed out most of my small cap short-term trades.  After a nice run, it seems as if they're reversing, churning, stalling, sputtering, etc.  Just increasing the sideline cash for now.   No reason to be the hero, Hiro.
  • Donald Trump gives Miss USA Tara Conner a "2nd chance" for her "misbehaving" (underage drinking?)  She's not fired!

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's All About You

  • I'd like to congratulate you for being Time's Person of the Year.  Well done.  And to be honest, I was hoping it was going to be me. 
  • Well.  So the VIX was a little over 9, and folks are saying "Well, the VIX just doesn't matter anymore."  As before folks could finish enunciating that last consonant, it mattered.  Or maybe it just suddenly dawned on folks that the market is overextended?  Breadth about 2-1 on the downside as the markets reversed down from the big open.  I remain long with lower beta stuff with some cash on the sidelines.
  • Harrah's agreeing to a $16.7B buyout.  No, not me.  Although you'd think with all the money I lost there this weekend, I'd at least own piece of it.
  • US doctor to wage a war on obesity.  Well, if he's looking for somebody to lead that war, Donald Rumsfeld is available.
  • Go Brain, goExcessive drinking can damage brain cells but the brain can repair some of the harm, a team of international researchers said on Monday.  Whew!  Just sayin'...
  • If you picked "corn" or "wheat" in the office pool, you lost!  Marijuana the largest US cash crop!
  • Skype to lauch Web TV service.  Maybe they'll have some luck getting the NFL Network.  Currently, only about 23 people in the nation can watch the NFL Network.  Or, the NFL "NotWork."

Trading Above a Record Clothes!

  • The market rushed out of the gates higher this morning (of course it did), but since has faded a bit. It's a bit sad to see the CNBC header "DOW Industrials trading XX above record close," only to see the number decline as the minutes tick by. And the Nasdaq and SP500 are in the red (WHAT?) as I type.
  • Yes, I quit coffee but after a weekend trip to Las Vegas, I think I need something to get the juices flowing.  Lordy sakes.  Got home late sunday night.  I need a few days off to recover from my few days off.  Starting off with water and we'll see how the day progresses...
  • Interested in winning a copy of Ken Fisher's new book, "The Only Three Questions that Count: Investing By Knowing What Other's Don't."  Book review at Value Blog Review!  Not a candidate for the shortest book title ever, though.
  • If you have some orange juice, aspirin, and a bowl of chicken soup handy, please stop by and visit the Trading Goddess and wish her well...
  • I think the market will finish strong or flat to close the year, as I think the desire to defer taxes may be higher than the desire to lock in profits.  Of course, prioritizing tax planning makes for a lousy investment strategy, but people do it anyways.  In addition, volume will lighten up the closer we get to the holidays.  And there is this old thang about never shorting a dull tape. 

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Viva Lost Wages II!


  • About 3am last night, I realized that this wasn't going to be a winning trip. I fought back throughout the day close to even, but that proved to be tough resistance and my luck bounced down from there. Casino Royale has this very small craps table they call The Tub. Some of my cash went down the drain there.

  • Many folks are talking about negative divergeces as the stock market advances. But I don't think that strategy works when the market is in a trend. Maybe on a pullback and retest.

  • It was raining here yesterday...

Viva Lost Wages!

* Yes. There are casinos outside of Wall Street! I'm on the strip and losing to the House...

* I took a break and walked for awhile, listening to Bob Brinker's radio show. Of the few calls I heard, what amazed me was how worried folks seem to be of a top and that the market is extended. This despite bullish sentiment on Wall Street. Folks seem worried about protecting their gains.

* Weather cloudy and cool.

* Going to try some craps....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Inflation, Shminflation!

  • The market started off strong early, but has since faded a bit. Still going strong as most folks are willing to postpone the tax pain 365 days.  The big question is whether or not sellers are sleeping in tents in the parking lot, lining up to sell on the first day of January.
  • Probably the biggest financial news today is that the inflation numbers came in very tame.  This probably comes as a total shock to Fed member Jeffrey Lacker, who was the lone vote for hiking interest rates earlier this week.  In early trade Treasurys soared after news that headline consumer prices were unchanged in November while foreigners increased their purchases of Treasury instruments in October. The bond market cheers signs of tame inflation.
  • Miss USA Tara Conner in danger of losing crown due to bad behavior. (Tara's pic!)  A spokeswoman for the contest declined to give any details on Conner's misbehavior or comment on online reports about incidents of inappropriate conduct at New York bars. "Miss USA is a role model. There are moral rules that we go over with them," she said, but declined to outline the rules under which the winners accept the title.  (snip) Under beauty contest rules, if Conner were removed, the first runner-up would assume her duties. She is Miss California USA, Tamiko Nash.
  • Don't forget to stop and get a Reality Check on inflation from Barry Ritholz, today.
  • Third friday of the month means what, traders?  Pin Effects!  (From Adam).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Clearasil

  • The bears are going to need some Clearasil to fight today's breakout. And it happened right out of the gate.  Almost like a teenager on the way to the first date notices acne all over.  Too late to do anything about it.  Yes, it makes absolutely no sense and the market is overextended.  Yet, who wants to sell and incur the tax bite in April?  Lack of sellers.  Folks playing catch up.  Whatever.  The market refuses to put in a top just yet.  Advancers trouncing decliners.
  • Lets all wish Senator Johnson a speedy and healthy recovery.  While some political blogs are speculating what would happen if the Democrat lost his seat in the Senate and the Republican Governor appointed a Republican to replace him thus giving the Senate back to the GOP, lets ignore that noise.  Somebody is hurting, and lets pull together and hope he's okay.
  • Yo quiero Taco Bell.  It was the lettuce.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Claptrappin'

  • The market managed to stay green into the close. Advancers led by a smidge on the NYSE, while decliners had a small lead on the Nasdaq.  Over on realmoney, Jim Cramer hands out the warm fuzzies and insists that we're digesting, not stallingRight on schedule I'm hearing that because the stock market is stalled here, it's about to head down. I'm hearing that the stock market is failing.  And I have to laugh. Where do people get this claptrap? 
  • If they only had a brain, from The Naked Economist. 
  • I hope you had the portfolio leveraged to the hilt in Tenaris today.  Lookie, lookie.  Unfortunately, I didn't.  No stalling in that one today.
  • Claptrap is a funny word.  Think about it long enough, and it loses all meaning.  It itself becomes claptrap.
  • "Jeffrey Skilling, reporting to jail as ordered, sir."
  • Who won the "pick the closing price of VSEA" contest at The Trading Goddess site?
  • Speaking of warm fuzzies, recession-shmrecession from Larry Kudlow in Looking Good GoldilocksToday’s remarkably strong retail report dealt a big body blow to the recession scenario.  I agree with you, KLo.  But the market sure seems extended to me.

What's Coming Around the Bend?

  • The market started off strong out the gate, and since has reversed and is languishing around the flat line. When markets start off strong and fade as the day goes along, it smacks of distribution by the big fellas.  Even with bullish sentiment running extremely high, there seems to be an undercurrent of "I want to get out before it tanks."  There is some thought that folks will wait until a new tax year to book profits.  On the otherhand, the profits are there now and may shrink if one waits.  As I heard someone once say, "One way to avoid taxes, is to let your profits go to $0."
  • There is a new addition to the links on the sidebar:  Wall Street Fighter.
  • Sell signal is on at Jason's.
  • The Christian video game, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," is creating a bit of controversy.  Players are charged with recruiting, and converting, an army that will engage in physical and spiritual warfare with the antichrist and his evil followers.  Also, After you kill somebody you need to recharge your soul points and to do that you need to bend down in prayer.  Sort of a "Grand Theft Auto: Spiritual Warfare."
  • Speaking of spiritual warfare, Fox websites received more hits than Yahoo websites. 
  • Are music sales slowing down at the iTunes store?  What does this mean for Apple and their stock?  iPods continue to dominate in the MP3 player market, although I'd think the new cellphones that combine features will eat away at that.  Plus, I think at some point the new smartphones will take over.  Can't text your buddies on an iPod.
  • Thinking about the TV show "Heroes," I was thinking about the guy who can read minds.  Have you noticed that when anyone can read people's minds and thoughts in the movies or TV, that the thoughts are always in the person's voice?  Yet, sound is created by air flowing through the vocal chords.  So what would a person's thoughts really sound like?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

10-1 Snoozer at the Fed

  • The market swooned back and forthlike it was taking shots of J├Ągermeister throughout the day.  Fear of the Fed hawkishness turned to relief when the Fed did nothing and the market recovered from earlier panic selling.  For those of you who look at MACD divergences, check out the Nasdaq.  Also notice that volume on down days exceeds the volume on up days.  Just saying. 
  • Alcohol in moderation may extend life.  (And a few shots of J├Ągermeister may help create life).
  • The Fed left rates alone on a vote of 10-1.   Yes, that one vote was from Jeffrey Lacker, who seems to be drinking from a different bottle.  Lacker continues to see inflation gremlins where none exist.  But the good news is that this was Lacker's last vote, as he is no longer a voting member.  Here is the Fed press release:

Economic growth has slowed over the course of the year, partly reflecting a substantial cooling of the housing market. Although recent indicators have been mixed, the economy seems likely to expand at a moderate pace on balance over coming quarters.

Readings on core inflation have been elevated, and the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain inflation pressures. However, inflation pressures seem likely to moderate over time, reflecting reduced impetus from energy prices, contained inflation expectations, and the cumulative effects of monetary policy actions and other factors restraining aggregate demand.

Nonetheless, the Committee judges that some inflation risks remain. The extent and timing of any additional firming that may be needed to address these risks will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information.

  • Adam on volatility.
  • Latest link added to the sidebar is I am Facing Foreclosure by Casey Serin, a 24 yr old real estate investor from Sacramento CA. After going to a few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix 'n flip. I made some mistakes and fell flat on my face with millions in debt and facing foreclosure. Trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and blog my lessons to help others in trouble

Fed Freakies!

  • Everyone sure is jittery ahead of the Fed! Yes, the Fed Freakies come down from their Freakies tree today to jolt the the market.  We've seen lots of complacency heading into the meeting today, as folks have assumed that the Fed will stay status quo for the time being and perhaps start cutting rates in 2007.  Now folks seem to be worried about a hawkish Fed.  I'm hoping the Fed members are tipping glasses of eggnog and have no plans to spoil everyone's Christmas.
  • Win some 49ers tickets in a contest from Trading Goddess!
  • Steel sector getting whacked hard today, after quite a run.
  • President Bush said to unveil new Iraq plan in early 2007.  My guess is that President Bush has put "new Iraq plan" on his Christmas list, and hopes Santa Claus comes through.
  • Speaking of Christmas miracles, I made the playoffs in all three of the fantasy football leagues by eeking out victories by the smallest of point margins this weekend.  Hooo!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Are We Not Men?

  • We are NUVO. Did you see what happened to NUVO today?  80% loss!
  • Whew, a few days away from the PC and malaise breaks out!  I'm starting to feel complacency about where the market is headed the next few weeks.  Sure, we all know the market is extended and that the sentiment surveys show 117% bulls with some folks so excited about this market that they voted twice.  But why would anyone sell in the next few weeks and pay taxes in April 2007?  Why not wait until January and postpone the tax hit until 2008?  It's difficult to forecast mass selling the next few weeks. 
  • I have raised cash levels as far as I'm going to for right now, with the rest in low-beta holdings.  I don't have any short positions.  I continue to trade a little with small cap stocks using typical break out mo-mo strategies.  At some point, that'll stop working.  Not just yet, though.
  • In The Amazing Race, the "models" came out on top. I was hoping for 'bama, but a big miscalculation on French airports cost them. 
  • Two more reasons to exercise.  Just sayin'...
  • Fed meets tomorrow, so that could create some jumpiness in the market. 
  • For those who saw the Hu Dat Girl entry and wondered, "Why did Muck remove the original racey Kelly Hu picture and replace  it with Kelly in leather?"  Here is the Maxim Kelly Hu picture.  See? 
  • If all you want for Christmas is an Adam Warner podcast, you're in luck!
  • What the hell is hemoencephalography?
  • When will the housing market bottom?  Barry Ritholz with some commentary.  I think that housing moves in approxmately 7 year cycles, give or take.  I remember in the 90's when neighbors were just walking away from their homes and letting the banks have them.  There seemed to be one or two on every street.  That was near the end.  I don't think we've seen much of that yet.  Probably because unemployment is so low.  As long as folks have jobs and can make monthly payments, panic won't set in.
  • Trick to dieting?  From the local TV news I have on right now...  The water diet!  Not just gallons of water, but 1 eight ounce glass before a meal, another during a meal, and a third after a meal.  And heck, not only will that fill your tummy but you'll get some exercise making lots of bathroom trips throughout the day!

Friday, December 08, 2006

TGIF!

  • The market got a little soggy into the close, but all in all not a bad day considering what could've happened. The leaders were back leading again.  I think the market is acting tired, but who knows if the bears can get any kind of momentum heading into year end.  It just doesn't "feel" likely. 
  • I've heard some say that there is tons of money on the sidelines from underinvested bulls or bears.  But according to Investors Intelligence, there are 59.8% bulls and only 23.9% bears.  In early July, the bulls were in the low 40s and the bears were in the 30s.  So we have seen many bears convert, and also the undecideds or correction minded folks have joined the bull camp.  That all reduced potential buying power.
  • Many say that funds will try to "catch up" on performance at year end.  But how can they really do that by chasing extended stocks?  Wouldn't that be even more risky?  It would seem that the only way would be to rotate into other sectors and try to catch a move there.  That could mean sectors that are just showing strength within the last couple of weeks could have some stocks that aren't as extended.  Just thinking out loud.  I dunno.
  • Boston Gal on Young and In DebtIt is hard to get people to think about things like saving money this time of the year, but the first step to gaining control of your finances should be to have the basic tools in place.  I think people leave school without an understanding of how money works.  Too bad we don't have some sort of investment curriculum in high schools.
  • I call to cancel my cable internet, having switched to DSL because of speed and price.  The cable company asks, "What if we lowered your monthly price?"  Hello. I'm not the first in my hood to make the switch, so you'd think they'd be more proactive with these offers to retain customers.  Just thinking outloud.  I told them no thanks!
  • Stock trading like duck hunting?   Quack, quack.
  • Boston Red Sox signed J.D. Drew.   5-years, $70 million.  Gee, how much are the beers going to cost Red Sox fans this year?
  • Grad school is the new college.  Barry Ritholz looks at the labor numbers and wages.  Yeah, he's working hard even on a friday.  Holy buckets, BR.  And Howard (aka "Bones") reaches out to Barry on a comment thread about Wallstripping with Lindsay.  Hmmm...
  • TGIF!

Hu Dat Girl

  • Ahem. Here is the promised Kelly Hu picture.  On wednesday, I mentioned that Kelly will be going up against the American Idol results show in ABC's "In Case of Emergency."  Plot outline:  A group of thirtysomethings who all went to the same high school are reunited and realize their lives didn't turn out as planned.  Any excuse to put up a Kelly Hu pic, baby. In edit: Changed pic to something a little less, uh, racey...
  • OK, lets focus.
  • The market curiously started down this morning.  No doubt it was the bullish outlook from Abby Joseph Cohen on CNBC this morning that worried investors as she boldy predicted that by the end of 2007, the SP500 would be at 1550 and the DOW would be at 15500 (10% higher).  Those of you who aren't familiar with Abby, may want to read a previous blog entry SAY WHAT, Abby Joseph Cohen that speaks to her year 2000 predictions.  The market seems to have shaken off the early contrarian bets.
  • Sure, I could've put a picture of Abby Joseph Cohen instead.  Sure.  Could've.
  • Kelly Hu won the Miss Teen America contest in 1985.  She also won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993 and was a finalist at the 1993 Miss USA pageant held in Wichita, Kansas.
  • Payroll growth was up 132,000 in November, while unemployment ticked up to 4.5%.  "The idea of the economy hitting a hard landing or falling into recession just doesn't carry water when you get these kinds of unemployment reports. It's not here now. You'd need a lot weaker job growth to say the economy has fallen into a painfully slow period of economic growth," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial.
  • Kelly Hu has also been interested in martial arts since her early childhood, when her older brother would arrange for her to fight neighborhood boys.
  • In the category of copying someone else's comments and passing them off as your own, Random Roger found "Koko's" financial blog was doing this.  Updated today at Roger's in Progress on the Koko Caper.
  • Wallstripping with Lindsay, as she interviews Todd Harrison.  Todd used to write for TheStreet.com's Realmoney and now blogs over at Minyanville.
  • Boy, try to call a top in THIS market.  What a waste of time!  Advancers leading decliners today.
  • Kelly Hu currently resides in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California where she is co-owner of a restaurant, "Basic Bites".  (Yahoo map - Warning, sounds like healthy food...)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Randoms...

  • Your first thought might be that there is some dirt in your eyes. But yes, that is red on your screen.  The market did sell off today.  The market leaders, AAPL, GOOG, and RIMM, all finished in the red.  But AKAM was up huge.  Decliners and down volume picked up into the close.  The Big Picture at IBD should be an interesting read tomorrow.  (Or tonight, for those of you who get tomorrow's paper today).
  • Looks like the BCS got it wrong!  No team is worthy of playing Ohio State"This year, our computer took hours to process the polls' relevant data—by which I mean the opinions of the nation's finest sportscasters, sports-radio hosts, coaches, color commentators, and ESPN The Magazine contributors—and determined that no championship game is necessary. No team in America deserves to even step on the same field as Ohio State, let alone actually play in a game against them."  Outstanding.
  • Nintendo Wii safety concerns...some gamers complain they are facing unexpected costs after losing their grip on the console's remote control and smashing their televisions and other appliances.
  • Minimum wage debating at Angry Bear.  Does it really make a difference?  I fall on the side that raising the minimum wage is a zero-sum game.  The only thing that will truly help those working at the minimum wage over the long term is improving their employable skills and making themselves more valuable.  I guess that puts me in the capitalist pig category.
  • Another thursday, another football game on the NFL Network, and another game available to relatively few households.  What's the point, fellas?  Are cable companies using the NFL Network as a bargaining chip to get access to the NFL Sunday Ticket, only available on DirecTV?
  • "I think this year more than any other year proves that the BCS is working," ESPN College GameDay anchor Lee Corso said during a live broadcast from Ohio State's campus. "The system does an excellent job taking into consideration things that poll voters don't even think about: strength of schedule, whether or not the team won their conference, total distance the teams' fans are willing to travel for bowl games, average amount spent on souvenirs by alumni, and grade point average. After all those things, it's Ohio State, baby. And only Ohio State."  Corso then put on the costume head of Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye and was met with cheers from thousands of students.
  • Cody on the semi-glut.  Sell semis; buy tech.
  • Six signs it's a scam, from da Fools.  (#7, being on da Fools website!)
  • A Terminator TV series"The Sarah Connor Chronicles"  takes place after the events depicted in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and follows Sarah Connor, a modern warrior and loving single mom to 15-year-old son John.
  • Bush awaiting more input before acting on a course of action in Iraq.  What's he waiting for, a 2x4 upside the head?
  • Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis, who said that despite his team's two losses, weak schedule, and unremarkable defense, he still felt in his heart that Notre Dame deserved a chance at the title

Digital Subscriber Line

  • I've made the switch from cable internet to DSL at the home office. Why?  The DSL company offered twice the speed for $15 less a month.  That's a 12-pack of Coronas plus a couple limes.  Yeah, don't quote the Man Laws to me. (Man Law:  Don't fruit the beer.)
  • The market went up.  The market went down.  The market rebounding some.  The advance-decline line is slightly positive on the NYSE and slightly negative on the Nasdaq.  Down volume slightly higher.  Looks a little indecisive out there.  I remain with mostly low-beta holdings and some cash on the sidelines.  I've noticed that my short-term small cap trades have been doing well so I wonder if we're seeing some sort of rotation going on. 
  • I haven't mentioned the Black Box recently, but she gave a big sell signal again last night.  I've learned that the Black Box is more reliable in a trading range than in a trend.  When the market is trending, the Black Box is less accurate.  I think that's why it's been working really well for some of the larger cap stocks that haven't moved much in recent years.  Since the "sell signal" in September, the market continued to trend up in a straight line and the Black Box was just wrong.
  • Of course, the DSL set-up wasn't so smooth.  The installation CD wouldn't load.  So after 10 minutes on the help line, Jamie had me going.  "Say, Jamie. While I have you on the line, do you have a webcam?" 
  • Apple (AAPL) lower on news that their iPhone might be delayed by a few mornths.  Unless it's a PDA/Smartphone, I'm not interested. But folks with a large inventory of songs from iTunes might be.
  • Actually, I prefer a slice of lemon in my Corona.  But I'll take lime.  Or no fruit.  Heck, I just want the darn beer.  C'mon. 

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quick Hits!

  • In the world of money today, the market is pulling back a tad. Looking at the calendar, we're at the end of monthly strength due to the 401(k) contributions and in the week ahead of options week.  Normally, I'd expect some pulling back this week ahead of options week, and then a rally.  But with the market near highs, maybe we'll see weakness during options week.  Even though it seems like we've come a long way without a pullback, those who have tried to anticipate a correction and short the market have been taken to the cleaners. 
  • As an analyst said on CNBC this morning, if folks took profits now they'd incur a tax hit in 2006.  Why not wait until 2007 and postpone that until April 2008?  Of course, that'd create a bad market vibe after New Years.  But may be a theory to keep near the front burner. 
  • Today is the wrong day to ask for "extra" green onions from Taco Bell, as they pull green onions from their stores due to fear of E. coli. 
  • Iraq:  "Grave and deteriorating."  But isn't asking Iran and Syria to help like the Fire Department asking arsonists to help with putting out fires? 
  • SAT question of the day: Ohio State is an 8-point favorite over Florida and Michigan is a 1-point favorite over USC. Oddsmakers said Michigan would be a 6-point favorite over Florida. Why don't we have a college playoff?
  • Yahoo! shuffles deck, a vid from Forbes on all the changes going on at Yahoo!
  • Trying to avoid a ratings beating from "American Idol," ABC is moving "Lost" to 10pm on wednesdays.  ABC will broadcast "Knights of Prosperity" at 9pm, about folks who are trying to rob Mick Jagger.  And "In Case of Emergency" at 9:30pm.  The latter show features Kelly Hu, for all of you who are Kelly Hu fans.  Just saying.  (I'm at the office today, so no Kelly Hu pic for you...  I promise one later, though.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Else is New?

  • Bad news for dieters who ride the bus in SF, as officials installed advertisements in several San Francisco bus shelters on Monday that give off the scent of freshly baked cookies. I know a certain someone who won't mind that even one bit.
  • As Kirk notes about the new CNBC website, CNBC has a stock screener!  Doesn't everyone have a stock screener via their online broker?  I'm still waiting for the screener that'll pick stocks that are going to double in the next month, but I haven't seen that as one of the search criteria just yet.  *Hoping*
  • Jim Cramer's Realmoney radio show ended last friday.  Those of us subscribing to the podcast always find out "yesterday's news today."  Anyways, entertaining show.  But he is all-media, and how he managed to do a TV show (and a guest spot with Erin Burnett during the day), plus a radio show, plus blog at TheStreet.com, and keep track of all the minutia of 7000 companies was beyond me.  Oh, and write books.  His new one Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich is in stores now!  ExcerptUse tips as a contraindicator. Whenever you start getting "tips" about a stock, that's a good time for you to stop buying, start doing some homework, and probably sell the thing. Uh, and maybe one wants to short tips received via the TV? Just thinking to myself here, Jim.
  • Hoo, and speaking of webpage redesigns, looks like they're not making any more land over on Barry Ritholz's The Big Picture!  By that, I mean Barry is using every inch of real estate available in his new 3-column layout.  What's new at Barry's place?  He has some videos inserted.  He has some pictures.  He includes a prominent link to his premium service.  And of course he has the same outstanding day-to-day content as always.  He also includes a blogroll, which curiously lacks a link to The Learning Curve.  That's okay, I ask nothing in return for linking to you, BR.  We can still be the best of pals. In Edit: BR's links have been updated (and growing)! Check 'em out!
  • And much like the CNBC.com web site, Barry does not include pictures or videos of Bianna Golodryga, either.  Nor does his site give off the scent of freshly baked cookies.  Any chance of a stock screener in the future like I mention above?

The Running of the Bulls

  • The market bulls continue to run over anyone standing in their way. Picking a market top is extremely difficult. Those trying to short the strength are taking a beating.  Fighting the trend is a losing strategy!  That's why I prefer a more moderate strategy.  I've moved some cash to the sidelines and lowered beta, but continue to look for short-term set-ups and am quick to book gains and move to the next one.  If the market continues up in a straight line, I'll underperform.  If the market churns here near the highs going nowhere, I'll outperform.  If the market turns south, I'll outperform.  Theoretically, anyways.
  • Speaking of fighting the trend, Robert Gates says the US is not winning in Iraq.  So, that would mean we're losing.  Nobody would say that politcally, but isn't that what "not winning" means?  Or is this like the "deferred success" that UK teachers wanted to tell school kids who are failing?  Hey, maybe we should call the Iraq War "deferred winning."
  • In bull markets, good news is good for the stock market, and bad news is good for the stock market.  When folks want to buy, they buy.  Every downtick reassures folks that this is the "early innings" and that they're getting in at the ground floor on prices.  Sure, ignore the buyouts at ridiculous prices.  Buy Station Casinos at $82 a share; could've had it for under $10 a few years ago.  But now, $82 is a deal!  Ground floor!
  • New York has voted to ban transfats from restaurants!  So if you want some really crappy fries, go to New York!
  • Britney Spears tops Yahoo searches...a surge in online voyeurs seeking recently posted pictures of Britney sans panties didn't hurt.   Shocker!  Britney sure seems to have gotten in touch with her inner wild child.
  • Cliffhanger on Heroes last night.  And Sylar is on the loose yet again.  Gee, who'd have predicted that one?  Although did you predict which Hero would die?  The one who did was my second choice.  Close.  But like a stock chart, it always seems obvious in retrospect.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ground Control to Major Tom

  • All systems go, Ziggy! We have a moonshot on the stock market today.  While the initial thought is that this invalidates all the wall of worry stuff from last week's distribution action, we might want to watch for churning at the top.  That is, high volume volatility, fuss and muss while the market doesn't make new highs.  Of course, as I type this the SP500 is at a new high, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  Lets watch the close.
  • CNBC.com unveiled today!  It's what you'd expect from their website.  News of the day.  Highlights from guest spots.  Video on demand.  Based on search referrals to The Learning Curve, I think there will be lots of demand for Bianna Golodryga videos!  Hey, maybe they can make some money with a live webcam feed.  Just saying.  "Read the news to me, baby."
  • Diabetes is an epidemic, folks.  Eat healthy and exercise.
  • Japanese consumers braved the winter weather to buy a Nintendo Wii.  I wonder what the motion action controller does when you're shivering?  Ought to make for some interesting game play.
  • C'mon.  Michigan had their shot against Ohio State.  While I do feel that Big Blue is a better team than Florida, it was the right call.  Besides, now we have a heckuva Rose Bowl between USC and Michigan!  The "other" number 1 game.
  • Of course, I'm pulling for everyone to finish with one loss, except for Boise State.  Just for fun.
  • I haven't found any RSS feeds on the new CNBC "mega-site." And no profile or pictures of Bianna. "Uh, hello? Oversight committee?"

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rub Some Dirt on It!

  • A few clips from IBD this weekend...

Down days that end with stocks showing resilience are a sign of a stubborn market, one that’s reluctant to squander recent gains. So they still think the market's headed up for now.

More monetary tightening may still be needed to control inflation, Chicago Fed Pres. Michael Moskow said in a speech, noting that “inflation has been too high.” He continues to be wrong.  Hmm, should somebody with the name "Moskow" be a Fed member?

I always wanted these x-ray glasses as a kid.  Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Int’l Airport has begun using a new federal X-ray system that scans passengers’ bodies to detect weapons and bombs.The technology, called back scatter, has been criticized as revealing too much by producing what foes contend are virtual nude images of passengers.

  • Shake it off!  Rub some dirt on it.
  • Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, dubbed Finland's sexiest man, broke up by text message with the girlfriend he had met on the Internet, she said in a magazine interview.  Lemme guess: g2g, gf.
  • I wonder if anyone has done a correlation on how stocks perform when Britney Spears wears panties vs. when she doesn't wear panties?  Oh who cares about the stock performance, it'd be a top-selling newsletter.  As Cramer says, there's always a bull market somewhere.
  • Rules of Trading, hat tip to Barry Ritholz.
  • Congratulations to the UCLA Bruins,who upset the USC Trojans yesterday to make the BCS selection today a "pieces of paper in a hat" draw for who gets to play Ohio St for #1.
  • Will Social Security be there when you retire?  Technically, Social Security is taking in more money than it needs right now — it’s just that the Treasury keeps borrowing those funds, as much as $1.9 trillion, Professor Mitchell said. Luckily, the Treasury has given the Social Security administration I.O.U.’s for all the money it borrowed. But those I.O.U.’s may never be redeemed, she said, because given its current fiscal path, the Treasury is unlikely to be able to repay that money.
  • The sell signal is still on over at Jason's.
  • Michelle Malkin on Bypassing Internet Censors.  And Michelle has a video up on Hot Air about Britney Spears.  Ahem.
  • Over at I am Facing Foreclosure, the pressure mounts on Casey Serin.
  • Can 600 Economists All be Wrong?  From Greg Mankiw on raising the minimum wage.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Who is in Control Here?

You know who, Mucky!

 
  • The market sold off hard today and then staged a session-end rally trimming losses into the close.  The question is who is in control here, the bulls or bears?  The bulls might argue that since we recaptured some losses towards the close that maybe things are shaping up for another move up.  After all, we've come a long ways and a rocky day here and there is no reason to abandon the trend.  The bears might argue that ahead of the weekend those who made quick profits with their shorts were covering to book gains, and that the tone of the market has changed with monday's sell-off and weak retracements, leading to today's sell off. 
  • It's your job to decide who is right!  It'll be obvious a few months from now.  We'll all look at the middle of a historical chart, when it so easy to predict what will happen next.  On the right edge of the chart it's a bit more tricky!  I remain somewhat invested with low beta holdings, some of the "safer havens," and a mounting cash position on the sidelines.  So put me in sunglasses and give me a Rum Rummer! For now...
  • A friend forwarded an email with a friday commentary from Sy Harding"Investor concerns are growing that the stock market may be running out of gas. However, gold and bonds have been in accelerating double-digit rallies. That should not be surprising, since both gold and bonds are the most popular ‘safe havens’ when economic, political, or currency uncertainties arise. And right now there seem to be uncertainties in all three areas.  Economic uncertainties are developing from increasing signs that the economy may be slowing into a harder landing than Wall Street is telling investors to expect. Political uncertainties have increased since the mid-term elections indicated the country wants change, while the form those changes might take are yet to be known. Currency uncertainties have popped up with the accelerated plunge in the U.S. dollar over recent weeks."
  • I don't have the NFL Network because my cable company doesn't carry it.  Have no idea what happened in last night's game.   I wonder how many folks have the NFL Network?  I wonder how their ratings are on their NFL games so far? 
  • Ol' Todd Salamone doesn't seem too worried about the market going forward.  "Considering all of the bad economic news out there, we didn't see a monster sell off," said Todd Salamone, senior vice president of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati. "This was a pullback that may have been needed to strike a little bit of fear that would be enough to create another unwinding. A lot of negative sentiment can be unwound."
  • Semiconductors (SMH) look bad, though.  Just saying.
  • Pop culture stuff... Party girl Linday Lohan is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.  The Penguin, Danny DeVito, goes on The View after a few.   Britney Spears is trying to create a new "no panties" fashion trend.
  • Eat lots of onions and garlic to lower your cancer risk.  Also lowers your risk of a good-night kiss.  You know, I wonder if can consolidate a few of these healthy-diet ideas into an easy daily menu plan?   Eat dark chocolate, onions and garlic, wash 'em down with 2 glasses of red wine every day, and live happily ever after!
  • Oh, back at work today.  Miss a few days at the Fun Factory, and you miss a lot!  They're running me around today trying to get me up to speed on all I missed.  Look folks, the weekend starts in an hour.  Lets just take it slow and pick things up in a couple days, eh?
  • I mentioned the other day that The Nine was cancelled.  After spending some hours on Thanksgiving weekend catching up with all episodes of Jericho, I worried that it may face the same fate.  Not so!  Jericho a ratings hit!
  • Busy weekend ahead... Make it a good one.  And if you're standing in long lines at the mall waiting for an MP3 player, go to the Zune aisle.  Nobody there.  You know, I may pick one up after XMAS if stores try to clear some shelf space.  If I can find anyone else in the vicinity, I'll be able to swap songs with them via wi-fi!  Lordy knows, with onion and garlic breath I'll have to hope that there is some decent range in that wi-fi!