Monday, April 30, 2007


  • Allergy season in full swing here, and I'm trying to maitain my composure. Not easy!
  • Went to the A's game yesterday against the Devil Rays.  With the 580 freeway collapsing, I thought it'd be a big headache.  But ended up using their BART transit train and had no issues.  Oh, $7.50 for a Miller beer there.  Yowch!
  • WARRIORS!  Remarkable, but who doesn't like to see Mark Cuban lose?  LOLOLOL.
  • CNBC Stock Gambling Contest:  Moved up to the top 13%... Earnings stocks working. Selling all the earnings darlings today, and adding COG, CMP, FEIC, TFX, WEC, EE, MRO, and UA. 
  • More later.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Miami Dolphins admit typo with #9 selection.

"I had some mustard on my finger from a hot dog when I was typing up the draft pick," admitted Dolphins coach Cam Cameron. Adding, "You know, I wanted to type in Quinn but hit the G and we ended up picking Ginn. It's not the worst typo in the world. I mean, it's not like I typed in 'Jamar Fletcher' or something."

(Jamar Fletcher being the Fish' draft pick ahead of Drew Brees a few years back).

I don't get why they passed on Quinn, other than they have a whole bunch of needs and maybe are looking at somebody in round 2 that they think will make a good NFL QB. Ginn is a nice WR, but there is outrage out there in Dolphins fan-dom. Hey if they land Beck or Edwards or Kolb or Stanton, and they end up being a quality starter hooking up with Ginn year after year in the end zone, all will be forgiven....

Friday, April 27, 2007

NFL Mock Draft!

I've wasted a good part of the day reading NFL fan blogs. In most of them, they have other teams making unintelligent draft day decisions so that their Messiah falls in their lap.

Example, Miami Dolphins and Brady Quinn.

It goes like "Everyone ahead of *us* seems to like the free safety out of Division II school Rhode Island A&I Tech State and although he is 18, 5' 4", 137 pounds, and played only 2 games in his freshman year due to a severe knee injury, osteoarthritis and broken hip, has tremendous upside. Brady Quinn to the Dolphins at 9."

When the Fish are Biting!

  • Teradyne stock reported on April 18th that net revenue had fallen 29%. Normally, one would expect that investors would react poorly to this news.  But the semiconductor stock caught a bid and has been in rally mode with the rest of the market.  Just shows you that sentiment can be more important than reality when it comes to stock price action.  That's what makes trading an extremely difficult game.  If investor sentiment were poor, TER might've been taken out to the woodshed.  But the fish are biting. 
  • When investors are in this mood, it's as if the speculative juices are flowing.  Earnings announcements get increasingly volatile as folks are chasing and anticipating the next 5% gap.  Now if sentiment were poor, companies like TER could report that they are having a 29% growth in revenues, and the stock would go down.  Exactly the opposite of what's happening now.
  • Speaking of difficult games, in the CNBC stock gambling contest, I am now in the top 19% thanks to AAPL yesterday.  I then rotated into MSFT and DOX for their earnings after the bell.  Good so far.  Today, I am dumping my MSFT and DOX at the end of the day, and buying 5 potential beauty queens.  Four of them report earnings after the bell today, and one before the bell on monday.  I don't own any of them with real money; this is just for CNBC gambling purposes only!  CCJ, MSTR, PCU, CHRT and HERO. 
  • The only comment on the latter is that since the TV show "Heroes" is on monday, I just had to go with Hiro.  Er, HERO.  Kind of like betting on football games depending on which team has the coolest helmets.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Randoms (and Shilpa)

  • Richard Gere has an arrest warrant out for him! An Indian court ordered the arrest of Hollywood star Richard Gere Thursday for kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event this month saying it was an obscene act committed in public.  If kissing is an obscene act in India, don't let them catch you at foreplay. 
  • Do you have your NFL mock draft sheet filled out?  The draft is this weekend!  Will the Raiders take Calvin Johnson or JaMarcus Russell? Trying to figure out who will be superstars and who won't is like guessing stock gaps after earnings reports. 
  • By the way, MSFT is doing me well for the CNBC stock gambling contest in afterhours and after earnings trading.  But DOX is not.  Darn that Lenny.  Note to self:  No more "2 stock" diversification in the contest.  Just go with one.  Make or break, baby.
  • Dolphins' QB Daunte Culpepper writes a letter to columnist Armando Salguero regarding the overhyped QB's status.  Let me paraphrase, "blah blah blah blah IT HURTS!" 
  • Looks like ol' Bill Cara is a bit unsettled with the bull run in stocks.  Let me paraphrase what *I think* Bill is saying, "Smoke and mirrors!" 
  • Troy McClure and the Vix, from Adam. 
  • Jordan Kahn is long LVS and short AMZN.  And she sang great on American Idol tuesday night, too.  What? Not the same Jordan? 
  • You knew Larry Kudlow wasn't going to just let DOW 13,000 go by without saying something about how great supply-siders are:

Question: What do Neil Cavuto and most of the folks over at Fox News; Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, and much of the intellectual inventory over at Forbes magazine; Larry Kudlow, Art Laffer, Don Luskin, Brian Wesbury, and most of the other money types who pop up around 5 p.m. EST each weekday on CNBC; the crowd over at the Wall Street Journal editorial page; and the full complement of writers right here on NRO Financial have in common?

Answer: They stuck to their models when the financial world was awash in pessimistic hysterics, and reminded all who would listen that the underlying economy was strong, that the 2003 tax cuts would do their magic, and that smart investors and entrepreneurs would act accordingly and put their money to work. They were ridiculed. They were shouted down. They were attacked. And they were ignored by the vast hoard of pundits and talking heads. But in the end they were right.

Dow 13,000.

  • OK, KLo.  I'd like to be a card-carrying member in that optimistic club you mention!
  • Interesting stuff on the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge from the other Larry, Larry Nusbaum here.
  • Bottom line?  Trading Goddess doing well with VDSI. 

Speculation: A Milton Bradley Game!

  • Speculation: A Milton Bradley game. (Remember those commercials>)  Yes, it looks as if investors are throwing caution to the wind and we are in the speculative phase of the market move.  Look at these huge moves on earnings.  This could go on for a bit.
  • In that light, in the CNBC stock contest I'm selling all of my AAPL and USNA at the close.  I'm buying stocks of companies reporting earnings after the bell, and today picking (mostly at random) DOX and MSFT.  I went to Earnings Whispers to find who was releasing earnings today.  Plus, looking at the Yahoo DOX page, I found a link to an article by Lenny Dykstra today positive on DOX.  Now if that isn't a recipe for "gap up on earnings" I don't know what is!
  • While I'm just making random earnings plays in the CNBC stock gambling contest, in the real world I'm doing very little.  Tempting to chase something or guess, because the money is hot right now.  The cheerleading is fanatical.  DOW 13,000 sliced through like a hot knife through butter.  Quickly, analysts are pumping DOW 14,000 now.  I remain with a low beta portfolio which is doing fantastic, some cash, and still own a little QID.  Also a few mo-mo names which are actually a little wobbly despite the run-up in the indexes.

In Edit: The RFMD earnings gamble cost me in the CNBC thing. Dropped to top 24%! Hopefully AAPL is pulling me up today. LOL.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Refusing to Participate

  • Well, the Los Angeles Lakers are refusing to participate in their series with the Phoenix Suns. Last night the Suns drubbed LA by almost 30 points.  Sorry, Laker Girl Lisa.  I'm afraid that no amount of cheering and high-kicks will help.  Kobe's a great player, but Phoenix has a great player and many very good ones.  
  • In that light, while the market is advancing yet again today, there seem to be fewer and fewer stocks making new highs even as the indexes push higher.  At some point, that will matter.   But quite a rally going on and CNBC is really cheering DOW 13,000.  There does seem to be some euphoria gripping Wall Street and anyone who is short might be scrambling to duck and cover at this point.  Shorting has been extremely painful.  Picking tops has been a losers game.
  • I did watch the finale of the Pussycat Dolls show last night.  The top three finalists were all pretty capable of filling that role.  I was wondering why they weren't on American Idol?  Asia was the worst singer, so maybe Melissa or Chelsea will show up somewhere else.
  • Missed American Idol.  Sanjaya is gone.  The "entertainment" factor has left the building.  Now all who are left are good singers.   And it's just a matter of time before the bald guy is eliminated and the other white guy with short hair.
  • Oh, selling the big earnings loser RFMD and buying USNA today for the CNBC stock market gamblilng contest. USNA has earnings tonight along with my other CNBC holding, AAPL. Again, I don't own any real shares with real money. And rarely play earnings, as that is usually a recipe for disaster. Like RFMD last night!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Save the Paper, Save the World

  • Save the paper, save the world. Sheryl Crow has the magic button on how to solve global warming. If all we did was use one square of toilet tissue “per sitting,” we could save the planet.  Uh, well.  Cue the laugh track.  I mean if this is the serious answer on how to stop a serious problem, then is the problem really that serious? 
  • The bulls remain in control.  As they have been since the late February hiccup.  And longer term since the lows last summer.  It's been a great run.  The question is whether or not one wants to chase it?  I added a small mo-mo today, but not a large position and with a short leash.  My fear is that what happened in late February where 3 months worth of gains are wiped out in 2-3 days is going to happen again.  Just thinking to myself.  I think the Cramer vision of 14,000 DOW is not his alone.  Hype is building. 
  • Swing and a miss!  Holy smokes, my first CNBC earnings gamble is tanking afterhours as RFMD is being taken out to the woodshed.  Hey, that's why I don't trade in front of earnings with real money!  No doubt I will be losing my top 20% ranking in the CNBC contest tomorrow.  I have Apple tomorrow, and might dump my RFMD loser and double down on AAPL.
  • I should've went with AMZN, which is roaring afterhours.  But heck I don't even use them anymore because kids are swiping UPS deliveries from porches in my hood.   Of course, that seems to have been priced in.  LOL.
  • One square of toilet paper per sitting? 
  • Should the Raiders draft Calvin Johnson or a QB? 
  • Maybe the sell signal heard around the world will be when a major financial publication lists that pension funds are back in control of their obligations.  Just being snarky.

In Edit at 8:43pm: Next time your in the bathroom, try tearing away "just one square" from the roll. See if you can do it without deviating from the perforation.

Cramer Predicts BIG Summer Rally!

  • Oh this morning's Squawk, Jim Cramer boldly predicted that we were going to have a big summer rally and DOW 14,000 is going down. He said that we have to go through 13,000 to get to 14,000!  Yeah.  Well.  It's Cramer.
  • Selling all my RAD and BRCD in the CNBC contest.  Adding RFMD and AAPL.   RFMD has earnings today.  Apple has earnings tomorrow.  Normally I wouldn't play earnings and I don't own any shares in the real world, but I'm just swinging for the fences on earnings reports.  This is desperation time.  I'm in the top 20% of the contest, and what's the point.  How I manage my real portfolio won't cut it here in the CNBC world.  And they won't let me buy the smaller stocks I normally flip.  So, why not?   I will sell RFMD tomorrow and buy something that reports earnings tomorrow night.  I will sell APPL thursday and buy something that reports earnings on thursday.  ETC...
  • Heroes was back last night.  Is it just me or are these long hiatuses just killing shows?  I was able to get back into it, but it was too long of a break.  C'mon. 

Monday, April 23, 2007

Random Kind of Thing

  • Stefani wins The Apprentice! She seemed like the logical choice.  James had lots of charisma and "can do" attitude, but Stefani seemed like the front runner for the past few weeks.
  • My coworker is from another country, and likes to add the words "kind of thing" to most of his sentences.  For example, "I just printed it kind of thing."  And, "I sent you an email.  It has the attachments kind of thing."  Seriously.  And I let it go for the past 2 years, not really thinking much about it.  But he just gave a presentation, and now that phrase is stuck in my head kind of thing.
  • Anyways, today could be counted as a consolidation day of sorts in the markets.  Not much of anything going on and since this is the post-options week, a good sign for the bulls.  As I linked to yesterday, this may be the year seasonality matters.  From reading around the web, I think bullishness is rampant but that can go on for quite awhile.  There are probably many folks like myself who find themselves a little underinvested on this ride up.  But I'm not one to chase it.  There will be corrections in the future, and that is where I will reallocate.  Of course, who knows from what level kind of thing.
  • TXN noice after the bell, though.  Up over 9% afterhours.  Interesting comments up on semiconductors at the WSJ blog.   It could be time to buy semiconductor stocks – and the rest of the market, says Tobias Lefkovich of Citigroup Global Markets. The Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International group said Thursday that three-month, rolling average chip-equipment orders were up just 2% year-over-year, which to Citi is very close to a “buy” signal for those stocks. “Moreover, the chip stocks have often been a lead indicator for the rest of the tech stocks and the general market,” he writes. “As a result, the recent order trends are a meaningful piece of news for many skeptical investors, in our opinion.”
  • Who cares about the race between Stefani and James?  How about the race between Obama and Hillary?  Obama pulls even in the polls!
  • Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks last night.  It's only one game in the best-of series, but am I the only one pulling for Mark Cuban to lose?  He didn't look happy last night and the Warriors seem to have the Mavs' number.  Eh, just one game.  So far.  Hey, just noticed Howard on the same topic.  Rightio.
  • Are you following the Jim Cramer audit blog.  Hello, underperformance.  Er, Booyah!  Hat tip to The Shark Report.
  • Adam's Randoms includes Shakespeare, Sheryl Crow, and the NY Yankees.  Hey, the Yanks are sure spending a ton of cash to underperform a coin flip.  Kind of thing.
  • It's Sarkozy vs. Royal in French Election.  Lets see, if I'm following this correctly kind of thing, and I may not be, then Sarkozy is the conservative and Royal is the Socialist.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Randoms (and Lauren)

  • In an earlier blog entry, Joz commented that she thought Lauren was more attractive than Mylinda.  And Lauren was ranked #2 right behind Mylinda Tov as the most attractive suitcase model on Deal or No Deal.   So here is a picture of Lauren Shiohama, and a link to her other pictures at the DoND site.  You be the judge! 
  • I'd have to ask my Friend Ross, but how would Lauren's teeth look in black light?
  • Well if I was looking at my stock market playbook, I would say that if we've had a strong market during opions expiration week, then we'd be looking at some weakness in the following week.  And that's where we are.  So I do expect some sort of profit taking this week.   But the playbook has been broken as of late as the market just wants to go up no matter what.
  • Barry Rithholtz notes the falling volume in the market as the stock market rises.  Hmm, that's not usually a good thing.  And I do agree with BR as he notes, "Even worse than low volume is the increasing volume during selloffs, and decreasing volume during rallies. This suggests to me that we are now transitioning from a period of accumulation (institutional buying) to a period of distribution (broader selling)."  Add that brick to the wall of worry. 
  • From Mark Hulbert, how to tell when good news really isn't.
  • Marginal Revolution on Rich, handsome men.  How does status play into facial attractiveness?
  • Money Musings notes from Money Mag that in a poll, 49% of folks have no emergency fund.  YIKES!  It doesn't matter until it does. 
  • Pension Watch on those pension troubles heading our way.  Take a look at some of the problems in Hawaii and New Jersey.  With the market rallying the past 4 years and being at all-time highs, some have forgotten about pontential issues facing pensions.  And what if a real correction does come again?
  • Sy Harding reminds us of the market's seasonality.  Will this be another year to sell in May and go away? 

Sunday Sermon: Thou Shall Not Kill

Thank you all for coming to the service this Sunday morning.  I know it's been a difficult and trying week.  I'm having a difficult time trying to find my funny bone and to say something witty or clever, so I'm not going to.

This past week saw yet another horrible tragedy.   A madman mass murderer took the lives of 32 people at Virginia Tech.  We are also reminded this week of previous acts of madness.   It is the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School killings.

The first reaction most of us have is to fix it.  Is there an Easy Button we can push to stop this kind of madness?  Lets pass a law.  Lets ban guns.  Lets fortify our schools, shopping malls, and grocery stores.  Lets station National Guard troops at every intersection.  Lets impeach Dick Cheney.

Comedian and radio talk show host Dennis Miller had this to say about this nation's gun control laws (and I paraphrase):  "The Founding Fathers had no idea the technological advances that would come in weaponry where we would see automatic and semi-automatic weapons with horrific killing capacity.  Maybe we should modify the Constitution to only allow the right to bear the kind of arms that were around at the time of the Founding Fathers.  Maybe you should be able to own a flintlock or a musket."  There is a seam of rationality to that, Dennis.

Sadly, I don't believe there is a quick fix and I believe that we should avoid a knee-jerk response to this massacre.  The simple reason and plain truth is that we can't legislate against crazy.  We should take reasonable steps to increase security without infringing on our freedoms and the American way of life.  The unfortunate reality is that there will be a next time.  We will suffer through the pain again.  Creating yet another gun law won't stop a crazy person.  Erecting barriers and increasing security won't stop a crazy person.  Maybe the only impact we can make is to be more involved with those close to us and intercede if we believe there is a reason to do so.  Yet this is a large net and an imperfect one at that.

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Sacramento.  I'm going to end the sermon early today and let everyone go to enjoy the day.  Life is indeed too short and too precious.  Spend time with the ones you love and make sure they know how you feel.

As always, in lieu of passing around a plate for your tithes and offerings, I ask that you simply donate to your local food bank to the extent that you can do so.  Share your good fortune with others.  Peace.

Friday, April 20, 2007

You Cap It! Zach Thomas Edition

You cap it! Miami Dolphins' linebacker Zach Thomas edition.

We're getting dangerously close to the NFL Draft. This is the day where fans of cruddy teams have one day of hope and optimism. That the free safety picked 18th from some school nobody ever heard of, will be the Messiah.

Zach Thomas, "I got your 'Messiah' right here, baby."

Market Thoughts

Alright, so when the market does things that go against one's predictions, it can be a bit frustrating. No doubt some of this will come out in my comments as the market continues to DEFY ME! But that's okay. I don't want to sound overly pessimistic, but patience has been my best ally. While I do appear to have been wrong about the market, it doesn't mean "game over."  It just means that I will adapt yet continue to do what has worked for me.  What has worked for me just didn't work "this time."  But I think going forward, it will.  By adapting, what I have done is focus more on the short-term trading aspect in my portfolio.  This has led to some nice trades, even while my longer-term portfolio languishes the market due to having a QID hedge and some cash.   

And before I move on to the market thoughts, what do you think about Sanjaya Malakar being booted off of American Idol this week?  While the judges (especially Simon) seem to have been pulling for Sanjaya to be voted off, I think this leaves a bit entertainment hole in the show.  There are some good singers left, but it's all a bit boring. He might not have been able to sing, but he was just goofy enough to keep us all watching.  Will Sanjaya parlay his journey into a career?

  • Long term:  The market internals seem a little weak for me to buy into this.  Seems like we're all focused on the DOW making a new record.  The Nasdaq 100 doesn't seem to have been doing much for 6 months now, except for bouncing around in a channel.  But the market has climbed the wall of worry of inflation vs no inflation, falling dollar, rallying gold, slowing GDP, Iran, Iraq, Bush sucks, subprime lender blow-ups, falling real estate, budget deficits, and the Sacramento Kings missing the playoffs.  But that's what bull markets do.  No one can deny that the bull market that started in September of 2002 (or March 2003) is still alive and well, despite those calling for recession or armageddon.  Since we are at the highs in the market, I have no intention of chasing strength and will continue with low beta holdings, cash, and a QID hedge for the longer term portfolio.
  • Short term:  Big gains for me here recently, as there has been some mo-mo and merger stuff happening in some of my names.  I have sold off quite a few the past week because even though there are some stocks basing, they are so extended.  I remember from my IBD readings that things get a little risky on that 3rd or 4th basing action in a rally, so I'm still looking but feel that these little buggers will be just as dramatic when (if?) the sellers do show up.

  • CNBC stock contest:  I've been in cash all week, and while I did suffer early on it served me well yesterday.  By doing nothing this week I am now in the top 20% at rank 208,070.  But the contest ends in early May, so I'm just throwing caution into the wind right now.  So I'm going to say "no deal" to the banker and select Mylinda Tov to open the suitcase!  I went through my stock charts last night and CNBC won't allow me to use the stock names I wanted, so I'm just going with RAD and BRCD up to the max I can buy.  We'll see how that works out.  Might be the suitcase with $.01.  What the heck. Oh, and Mylinda has been voted as the hottest Deal or No Deal suitcase model. Lauren is riding right on her butt, though.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Glycemic, Schmlycemic!

BREAKING NEWS... The type of carbs has no effect on weight loss.  Low glycemic, high glycemic.  Whatever.  Makes no difference.    Turns out the "glycemic load" is a pant load.  Sold a lot of books, though.

Just eating fewer calories seems to be the trick.  LOL.

Long bagels; Short diet gurus.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NBA Action: Laker Girl Lisa

[0607_lisa_02.gif]No secret who I'm cheering for during the NBA playoffs.  It'll be Laker Girl Lisa!  You might want to follow that link and click through Lisa's slideshow.  Trust me.

I have a lot in commen with Lisa.  Her trade is cosmetology, and every month or so, I get a hair cut.  Coincidence or "God's plan?"  

Part of the stock market continued its winning ways today.  I think the atmosphere is getting a little thin as volume was a little lackluster and the Nasdaq suffered a bit.  In addition, after the bell Yahoo choked their earnings report.  Maybe we've come to expect this from Yahoo, even though she's down in size afterhours.  But there was Intel and IBM, too.  Nothing really great here, and maybe nothing to justify the day-after-day rally of the past few weeks.  The futures are down a bit, so early tomorrow we'll see if folks who have been left behind in this rally will buy the dip or if we'll finaly get some correcting or basing action.

I've sold some of my mo-mo small caps and booked the gains.  I do still have some.  They've had big moves and with their volatility, any move in the other direction will be just as dramatic.  Longer term holdings remain the same with low-beta stuff, cash and a QID hedge.  Sure wish I had increased the QID hedge late today.

For the CNBC stock contest, I remain in 100% cash.  Slipped in the rankings the past 2 days from the top 21% to the top 26%, but maybe will improve in the days ahead if the market pulls back and those folks at the top are in volatile mo-mo names. 

VA Tech

I've only caught bits and pieces of the Virginia Tech shootings. More now as I surf the web and read some of news and local stories. It's just horrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to those college kids, their families and friends.

The View

  • Am I guilty of underestimating this bull run?  Absolutely.  Am I going to chase it?  Absolutely not. 
  • In the CNBC contest I bailed on my ASFI friday, and did you see that stock today?  Holy smokes.
  • I went to a funeral today, and was out of action for most of the day.  I did sell a mo-mo stock as it was up over 10% for the day at the time of the sale; but, it was up over 20% by the close.  Go figure!
  • I'm about ready to sell everything and just go fishing until we get some volatility.
  • I tried watching Dancing with the Stars, and was bored to tears. Except for... Carrie Ann Inaba.  You know that was coming, right?  Well, I think what's bringing me down is the lack of a sports hero.  Drexler just isn't Rice or Smith.  He's horrible.  Can't rally for Ono.  And while Cheryl Burke is great, she's with a dweeb.  LOL.  But... Carrie Ann...
  • Recorded 24 tonight.  You know, that show is amazing.  So improbable and unbelieveable.  Yet, I'm hooked!!!
  • OK, it's late. Long day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Sermon: Don Imus

Welcome brothers and sisters to the service today.  Don Imus has been fired from his radio broadcasting job.  I'm obviously not in favor of censorship, but I don't think this is the case.  This was a story of the free markets prevailing. Imus said what he did.  It was a ridiculous thing to say.  Rage grew and advertisers pulled out. He was fired because he was no longer generating revenue.  He became a liability because people spoke out.  People gathered together and those who paid to put Imus on the air realized that their business model was in jeopardy.

Imus was a successful broadcastor with a long career. It was a dumb thing to say but with his 40 year shtick, not surprising.   What do we expect from a so-called "shock jock?"  He has pushed his luck before. He has said things that have offended people.  But he finaly hit the wrong nerve.  Enough is enough.

Now we all know about forgiveness, and who here wouldn't be surprised to see Don Imus back on the air somewhere else in the future?  He has done charitable work and no doubt will continue to do so in the future.  So after some time, maybe he will be forgiven and back in some radio chair somewhere.

In the meantime, this may not stop here.  There are threats that other "shock jocks" may see some pressure to tone it down or be removed from the airwaves.  Lets stay tuned.

Thanks for coming to the service today.  If you're in a giving mood, please donate some of your good fortune to your local food bank.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The View

It's been difficult for me to write about the market.   My timing model (the Black Box) is best at timing the Nasdaq 100 and Semiconductors.  Since last Fall, the QQQQ really haven't done anything but go sideways.  There have been chances to make gains trading the channel, but the Black Box doesn't quite work like that.  So instead of just repeating myself that the market is due for a correction and that I remain careful, I'm going to discuss a long-term and short-term view.  Just for something different.

  • Long term:  (Here comes the repeat).  I remain with cash and a QID hedge, while my long positions are mostly in the total stock market ETF, the VTI.  I believe that we will see another trip down to the lows seen in early March.  I think that the market will probably hit some complacency in the week(s) ahead, and that'll lead to a selloff.  I think that'll it will happen very quickly and wipe out the gains since the March lows, trapping bulls here at the highs.
  • Short term:  One has to be pleased as we head into options expiration week that every dip gets bought, and that reactions to news and earnings seems to keep the upward momentum going.  We're all bored with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, inflation, housing, sub-primes, etc.  Nothing matters right now except that folks want to buy and chase stocks.  I am continuing to play the short-term mo-mo stocks.  Some of these are getting quite extended, but that's where the action is as folks seem willing to assume more risk to chase what is moving most.  And that's what I'm doing, too.  But of course, limiting it to a small amount and ready to pull the plug as soon as things look shakey.
  • CNBC Contest:  After selling "everything" yesterday, I remained in cash today.  I will look to reload next week into a maker or breaker.  Being in cash cost me today, as I slipped in the rankings.  Rank 180761 (Top 22%).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

CNBC Contest Thoughts

  • The market rocketing higher after yesterday's worrying about the Fed. If you're getting the feeling the market will never go down again, I don't think you're alone.  It's contagious.
  • CNBC stock contest?  Rank 149863 (Top 21%)!  Still sitting with KOMG, AFSI, and VRGY and about 40% cash.  But, I'm selling 100% at the close in case friday sees some profit taking after the market's nice run.  Besides, I kind of want to just go for it.  Not like it's real money.  And can't win playing like I am right now.  So if I get crazy and risky, I might see that ranking fall. But who cares, right?  Will run scans and throw all of the marbles at something tomorrow.
  • I think my strategy might be to find something on my scans that has earnings soon.  As long as the whisper number is close to the expected number, then in this market environment maybe it'll pop.  "They" say never gamble on earnings, but that explosive pop is exactly what one needs to have a chance in this CNBC thing.  That'd be the magic button for the CNBC contest!  Again, it's not real money anyways.
  • American Idol?  Goodbye, Haley Scarnato.  Goodbye, Haley's legs.  Goodbye, Haley's boobs.  Wasted that text vote for nothing!

Just Like 1996

The market? Was that it for the consolidation?  The DOW was up 10 days in a row, the longest streak since 1996.  And yesterday we get a brief pause, followed by some early morning anxiety today, and now back up.  Off to the races.  Before I give out market thoughts, lets hop in Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine and take a look at 1996.

  • 1996 was the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.  Ah yes, thank goodness poverity is a relic of the past.
  • The Dallas Cowboys beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl in January...  Chicago Bulls win the NBA Championship over Seattle...  Yankees beat the Braves in the World Series.  Kentucky beats Syracuse in the men's NCAA Championship.
  • "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski is arrested at his Montana cabin.
  • The Onion launches its satirical news publication on the Internet.
  • Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland.
  • In August, Osama bin Laden writes "The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places," his first open call for war.  Also, Iraqi forces launch an offensive into the northern No-Fly Zone and capture Arbil.  In November, UNSCOM inspectors uncover buried prohibited missile parts. Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM teams to remove remnants of missile engines for analysis outside of the country.
  • Fox news debuts in October.
  • Star Trek: First Contact opens in theaters, and becomes one of the top grossing Star Trek films ever.  
  • In December, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan gives a speech in which he suggests that "irrational exuberance" may have "unduly escalated asset values".
  • Best motion picture of the year: The English Patient.
  • Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole for all the Presidential marbles.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol

  • American Idol watch... It was a very boring night, other than watching JLo. I thought the songs and performances were lackluster. 
  • When Haley Scarnato shows those long legs and shakes her boobs, I can't text my vote in fast enough.  Simon is right on her strategy of wearing as little as possible.  Works for me.
  • Sanjaya Malakar had his best performance of the contest.  Not the most entertaining.   Believe me, it's more fun to see him prance around with a whacked-out hair style and sing horribly.  But he actually sang well.  And maybe the eye play with the camera was a bit creepy.  But I doubt he gets voted off this week.  And aren't a lot of folks turning to see what the heck Sanjaya is going to do?
  • Melinda... Lakisha... and the rest.  Eh, boring.
  • Oh, thank goodness on Dancing with the Stars, Leeza Gibbons was voted off the island.  I couldn't take her talking anymore. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


  • I know it doesn't ever getold making money as the market goes up day after day after day after day.  After day.  But isn't it boring?  None of the general rules are working.  Except maybe that "April is usually a good month for the market."  For those of us trying to move around the wiggles, there aren't too many wiggles happening.  But still, being long has been wonderful and hopefully that's where you find yourself during this run.
  • Does this mean that the correction is over?  It's hard to argue the case for a correction.  Sure, we're extended.  But anybody have any other theories?  I remain with some cash on the sidelines with some QID as a hedge.  Also in a little of the mo-mo small caps.  I'm continuing to play it as if the correction isn't over.  But sure "feels" like it is.
  • Aspirin underutilized for heart attack prevention.  "There are many people that should be on aspirin," he continued, "and unfortunately we found that large numbers of people at relatively high risk for heart attack and stroke just aren't getting a recommendation from their doctor, or if they are getting it they aren't hearing it." 
  • Don Imus to be suspended for two weeks.  After he returns, he'll serve two more weeks of detention and will have to clean the chalkboards at CBS.
  • If you liked the showdown the Congress and President Bush have been having over Iraqi war funding, then you'll love this week's episode of  "24x7 Gridlock" entitled "Stem Cell Research."  In this week's episode, George calls Nancy a Dem-Ho-Crat.   Set the Tivo!
  • Not doing well in the ratings is "Desperate Housewives."  At least not as well as it used to.  I haven't been watching, so I suppose I can take some of the blame.
  • So Battlestar Galactica ends its season a few weeks ago, and then promos that new episodes are coming in 2008?  2008?  What the frak is that?
  • Adam notes the lack of volatility in the market in Compression Depression.
  • Movin' on up... CNBC stock challege 152654 (Top 24%)!  And Willie Garson hanging on to the celebrity lead.
  • Have you touched Trading Goddess' little button?
  • Brutaly boring day according to DayShark.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Cheerleader Tryouts

  • Was the market even open today? Very flat with a slight and barely noticeable negative bias, but on light volume.  Seems like I'm not the only one feeling a bit worn out after the weekend.  Oil prices sank today, even with Iran touting their nuclear program.  Maybe we're just bored with that storyline.
  • I have one question for the San Francisco Giants regarding their signing of Barry Zito:  "How much did THAT cost ya?"  Holy smokes.  And the rest of their money they just wasted, I guess.
  • CNBC stock contest thoughts... I have 3 stocks in the challenge, AFSI, KOMG and VRGY.  Also have about 40% cash.  Rank 162363 (Top 29%) as of right now, whatever that is in the CNBC non-real time world.
  • Here is what's going on at the Denver Broncos Cheerleader tryouts.
  • Just as the weather warms, we're warned about the bad health effects from hanging out at chlorinated pools.  How come it's always the fun stuff that causes problems?  Riddle me that, Batman.
  • Here is some MP3 player technology from Sandisk and Yahoo that gets a big yawn from me.  "Sansa Connect lets users listen to typical MP3 songs, but also has a built-in Wi-Fi wireless communication connection, allowing users to download songs from Yahoo's service without first linking to a personal computer."  This really is no big deal, folks.  You can already stream music from your PC to your PDA or smartphone via WiFi or a broadband wireless phone deal.  Oh, and movies and pictures, too.  Oh, and internet radio.  So... Big deal.  Besides, Apple is coming out with their iPhone within a couple months and that'll outshine the Sansa, IMHO.
  • OK, so market thoughts...  I haven't formed many right here.  I'd expect a swoon this week at some  point because it's the week ahead of options expiration.  On the otherhand, earnings season is kicking off.   How's that?  It'll be interesting to see how the market reacts to good news and bad news as tells to where we're headed.  During good times, LA could be nuked and the market wouldn't care.  During bad times, world peace could break off and the DOW would be down 500 points.  Probably lots of folks who are undecided.

Las Vegas (Again)

  • I went to Las Vegas over the weekend. Lost money, of course.  Man, the place was so crowded. 
  • Stayed on the strip but spent some time downtown watching the Indy racers.  I think Vegas has done a nice job revitalizing Fremont Street and the older part of Las Vegas.  Might have to stay down there next time.
  • Didn't catch a show this time. It was basically non-stop gambling.
  • The weather was warm with some overcast.
  • Airports suck.  I'm at the point where I just check my bag rather than deal with the security fiasco.  I know after 9/11, we have to check for everything.  But now there's this governmental monstrosity in charge of security, and it sure slows everything down.  Hopefully, they're doing their jobs and stopping potential threats.
  • It's about a 9 hour drive from Sacramento to Las Vegas.  Not a trip I want to make by car. 
  • Got home late last night.  Back to the grind. 

Thursday, April 05, 2007


  • The market having a nice week, maybe to ring in the first week of baseball. It's a big Spring Break party on Wall Street.  Tomorrow is a holiday, and I'm a little surprised that folks haven't booked gains.  But maybe the big rally on tuesday was panic covering by the shorts who have been wrong about the market and just wanted out.  If so, then they could fuel more rally as they panic buy next week.  But my thought is that the week before options expiration might see some jitters on Wall Street.  That's my working theory.  Things seem a bit extended.
  • Look at the NDX chart.  Gap fill, eh?  And on weak volume?  Hmm.  Well, bear thoughts have been wrong.  Not that bull thoughts have done much better.  Seems like conviction by either camp is met with a volatile shake-out.
  • Gina Glockson out on American Idol.  She wasn't that bad, but just didn't leave an impression.  And outclassed by others.  But she can sing.  Sanjaya Malakar still on, but since he's in the middle of the pack you can predict that there aren't too many more weeks for him.  Unless we all unite and text in our votes!  LOL.
  • Shocker:  Most Americans don't eat smart and exercise.  REALLY?  "Only one in seven Americans exercises enough and eats enough fruits and vegetables, and men are worse than women."  Let me think about that over some beers and nachos.
  • Adam's Randoms.  He notes the link to Ticker Sense showing that the US stock market returns for the quarter rank 65th in the world.  So not only are these other countries achieving better results in education, now stock market returns?  I'll have to think over THAT with more beer and more nachos.
  • Cheney accuses Pelosi of "bad behavior" in Syria.  Gee, what was she doing over there, Dick?
  • Bottom Fishing with the Trading Goddess.  Makes me want to get out my fishing pole, TG.  She's trying to catch some AV.

CNBC Stock Contest Thoughts

CNBC stock contest thoughts!

  • Stocks that show up on my scans are mostly not allowed in the CNBC contest for whatever exclusionary reasons.  In addition... No ETFs.  Can't short or by negatively correlated ETFs.  YEESH!  OK, so I can't bring my real world methodology to the contest.  Sold all my large caps yesterday leaving me only with VRGY.  Adding KOMG at the close today.  It's a "pending" order and after the close I'll be at 40% long with those two, and 60% cash.  Currently at rank 152304 (Top 29%).
  • My thoughts were to unload before the weekend and raise cash.  If we see some weakness early next week, I'll add some names for a potential options expiration week run.  If we don't see any weakness, then I'll just chase whatever eligible stocks that are hitting my scans.  I'm thinking the market is a bit extended, though.  Consolidation ahead of options expiration would make some sense.  Although no way to play that at CNBC's contest. 
  • The "Trading With the Stars" celebrity traders list sees Willie Garson at the top of the pile.  (Where's Carrie Ann Inaba?)
  • There is also a blog that follows the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge.  Mark Koba writes about Willie's ascension to the top of the celebrity pile, "Wow--a big move and an exciting day for the celebrities in "Trading With The Stars." In a big upset--really big--actor Willie Garson propels himself from last place to take the top spot on a HUGE gain with his trade on Robbins & Myers. All our celebs showed gains in their portfolio except for Ernie Hudson who lost out on AgioDynamics which he held a day too long, erasing his earlier gains and dropping him into last place."
  • (Can't bet the Come in this contest, Ernie.)
  • I go to add the blog to my RSS reader (bloglines), and there is only one other subscriber.  Maybe it's Carrie Ann.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Market Rallies as Tensions Ease

The stock market trended up most of the day as oil prices fell with tensions in Iran easing. Iran's President Ahmadinejad saying he will "pardon" the British "prisoners."

Ahmadinejad told a news conference broadcast round the world he was willing to forgive the sailors, seized in the Shatt al-Arab waterway on March 23, even though Britain was not "brave enough" to admit it had made a mistake and they had strayed into Iranian territory.

I really have to wonder what was said between England and Iran behind closed doors.

Bull Dog Pundit says "How humiliating it must be for Britain to have to accept such a “gift” from a tyrannical dictator not because the dictator was scared of being attacked militarily for such a hostile act, but because the dictator wanted to show the world he could get away with it."

GOP Vixen on the backdoor deal?

Ed wonders, Did Iran Blink?

  • Note:  For the CNBC stock contest, I'm now in the top 38% at rank 198144!  Selling most everything today to reset and refresh.  Will try to concentrate in just 2-3 names.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


  • Golf only goes so far! Seems like some are bored in retirement.  Maybe they don't need any retirement planning?  I know some folks who have retired and went back to work after a few months.  Just for something to do.  But I think the reality is that many folks won't have the option to retire in the first place.
  • I hope you're sitting down, because the reason du jour for the stock rally today is "Stocks rise as Wall Street rallies on home sales data."  Stronger than expected.  But what about those 50 million blogs out there saying that the real estate crash is going to create a recession, depression, and kill stocks?  Not today's business, I guess.
  • Some guru on Bloomberg radio was saying that today's rally was due to traders wanting to be flat before the weekend, and getting out of their shorts before the volume dried up this weekend.
  • Great Expectations from Adam on sentiment.  So many think we haven't seen an intermediate low yet.  I guess I'm in that camp.  At least as far as time frames go.  But maybe I'm wrong.  It's a good read.
  • A downgrade on Google?
  • From PK, the list of top cities for quality of life.
  • Jason wonders if the 2nd Quarter will be the End of the Bull.

OK, going home on time for once.

The Pharmacy

I hate going to the pharmacy. It's a big time killer.  And no doubt everytime I go I end up behind folks who really needs a lot of customer service and slow down the line.  You know the kind.  They don't have refills.  They don't have a prescription.  They have 50 refills but 3 aren't ready yet.  They phoned in their refill but the computer has no record of it.  They think they have refills remaining, but the computer says they don't.   They need a refill but their doctor is out of the office and they need someone else to authorize it.  That's the kind.  You've been there.

This happened again today.  Normally, I get my asthma meds via mail as much as possible.  But this time, something changed so that I could not get it refilled via mail.  I had to have a consultation with the pharmacist.  You know what for?  You want to know what for?  The propellant in the canister changed, and it tends to clog more often.  So the pharmacist said that I had to wash my inhaler more frequently.  "At least once a week, Muck."  That's it, and he handed me the sack-o-drugs and wished me a nice day.

Time down the drain?  40 minutes.  I drove there in my sports car burning fossil fuels, thus causing an average 2.3 degree rise in the planet's temperature today.  And also contributing to smog, which worsens asthma for untold numbers in the county. 

That's it.  Vent over.

Do Three Rights Make a Left?

  • The stock market enjoying the normally bullish seasonal effect of money flowing into 401(k) plans. In addition, this is also a holiday week of sorts with Easter coming up.  I believe this week is traditionally one of the strongest of the years.  I'm continuing with some mo-mo stocks to play it in the shorter time frame, but for the longer time frame I am keeping the majority of holdings in a more conservative posture, with some cash on the sidelines, and a little QID.  Which isn't doing that well today.
  • The trip to San Francisco yesterday was nice.  Weather was mid-60's and sunshine, with no wind or fog to deal with. 
  • Driving in SF is always a challenge if one doesn't know exactly where one is going or if road construction obstacles have changed the playing field since one's last trip.  For the most part, left turns are outlawed in SF.  That means in order to make a left, you have to make 3 right turns sometimes and overshoot your target so you can backtrack and hit it from an angle where you can make a right turn or can drive straight in.  It's annoying yet comical.  By the time I was headed out of the city, I was ready to get the heck out of there.
  • For the CNBC contest, as I mentioned last week my plan is to remain long until later this week when the seasonal effect should end.  I'm thinking I'll sell either tomorrow or thursday.  CNBC only lets you trade end of day, so I don't want to be caught in a rush for the exits.   Probably tomorrow's close, so I can have another day to rotate into some more safe harbors.
  • Didn't your parents always tell you that two wrongs don't make a right?  In SF, three rights make a left.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

  • Yes, it's my birthday so I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to.
  • Not much blogging or surfing today.  Heading to SF in a bit.
  • I won the March Madness office pool when Gonzaga lost.  So there.
  • And the winner is... Nintendo's Wii!  I think because it's more of a hit with the general population.  The XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 (PS3) are impressive, but have they changed gaming dramatically?  Not really, just better pictures, speed, and in-depth gameplay.  All impressive.  But what about Fun?  Are those consoles more Fun than their previous versions?  Hmm.  Wii's controller did it for Nintendo.  But don't worry, the other gamers will do it, too.
  • What would a monday blog entry be without Carrie Ann Inaba?  Yes, Dancing with the Stars is on tonight!  She's got your foxtrot right there, baby.
  • CNBC saying that golfing mania is dying. Yeah, I agree.  But the culprit may be things that tap disposible income.  Think about it.  A round of golf isn't cheap.  And when gasoline costs more and your monthly utility bill costs more, cuts have to come from somewhere.  So maybe folks are golfing less.  
  • Maybe folks are just golfing on their Nintendo Wii's. 
  • Uh oh, Japanese kids becoming obese"There's a worldwide trend toward more weight problems in children, and Japan is no exception, as it has taken up habits more like the West." 
  • Stephen Collins of Seven Heaven a celebrity CNBC trader in first place?