Sunday, September 30, 2007

Linking in America

  • The SP500 is up 7.6% year to date.

  • The New York Mets lost their 7-game lead and lost the division to the Philadelphia Phillies. As a result, the National League is delisting the METS. They will now be known as the New York METSE.OB and play in the Over the Counter League.

  • Jason at The Trend takes a look at the end of the quarter, and also has a one word answer to the question of whether or not the stock bubble in China can be sustained.

  • Bonfire of the Flippers from Sacramento Landing. In August, 41 percent of the Manteca homes sold at courthouse foreclosure auctions were owned by people who never lived in them. This will probably go on for a little more.

  • The Bond Dad sees a lot he doesn't like in the stock charts.

  • Remember when everyone was worried about the inverted yield curve? Mark Hulbert notes that it has steepened. That usually would be taken to mean that the risk of a recession has lessened. I think it is significant that it hasn't received more attention.

Trading Goddess! (and market stuff)

  • I received a friendly invitation from Trading Goddess to contribute blog entries.  Why not?  
  • As an introduction, I am Muckdog and I blog at The Learning Curve.  I became interested in stocks and investing back in 7th-grade math class where the teacher had us each pick a stock at the beginning of the year.  Whoever had the stock with the greatest appreciation at year end, didn't have to take the final exam.  I didn't win.  But I did learn how to read the stock pages and followed the business news.  While I do trade individual stocks and options, I mostly invest in ETFs and time the market over the intermediate term. 
  • It's the end of September, and everyone seems to be gearing up for the "strong months" of the year for the stock market.  After all, the stock market never goes down in the Fall, does it?  Is that a safe assumption here in 2007?
  • Market seasonality would suggest that we avoid the market in the late Spring through Summer and get long in November.  Or modify that a bit and after Summer weakness, we should look for a market bottom sometime in late September through October to provide a launching pad for the seasonaly strong months, but that "market bottom" doesn't seem to be on the radar.  The market seems to have bottomed in August. 
  • Unless this is a "double top."  LOL.  It is October.  And October is sometimes a scarey month for the market, but it all ends up with bagfulls of candy for everyone at the end, right?
  • The level of fear in the market is still quite high considering the stock market is close to taking out the previous market highs.  The equity put-call ratio isn't as high as it was near the market lows in August, but it's not showing complacency in the market, either.
  • The Fed is cutting rates.  Just like cockroaches, when there is one rate cut, there are probably more. 
  • Yeah, Bernanke is cutting rates with unemployment below 5%, the economy growing at a slow yet sustainable pace, and wages rising.  So is this to bail out the market, help folks who are cash-strapped with mortgage payments and credit bills, and/or grease the 2008 election skid for the GOP?  Kind of interesting.  Times are that bad.  So maybe it's just a slight easing on the brakes.  I think rates have been too high and the jawboning of inflation threats ridiculous.
  • President Bush spoke out against the expansion of the children's free health care thing Saturday morning on his weekly radio address.  The Democrats countered with a 12-year old boy saying how much he liked his doctors and he pleaded with President Bush to sign the bill.  I was thinking, "Why don't you bug your parents to make a career move so that they can purchase health care insurance?"  Social programs should be a temporary safety net until folks get back on their feet, not a replacement for personal responsibility.   [/vent]
  • Okay, I'll keep the political comments to a minimum. Until 2008.  Don't you wish the politicians would do the same?  Heck, it seems like they've been campaigning all year, and the election isn't until NEXT November!!!
  • As you know, global warming is the biggest problem facing Americans next to torn ACLs impacting Fantasy Football line-ups.  When Trading Goddess offered an environmentally Green company car as a perk to contributing, how could I turn down a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder hybrid?  (They called it the "Spydrid" in the showroom.  How cute is that?)
  • The Lamborghini Spyder miles per gallon is 10 city and 15 highway, but the "Spydrid" gives Big Oil the finger as it cruises by gas stations getting 12 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway.  Actual results may vary.
  • Yes I am obviously kidding about the "Spydrid."  But check out the fact sheet on the Spyder.  Estimated monthly payments of $4299 per month.  Now before you blow that off as "unaffordable," let me throw out an idea.  If you are facing a mortgage loan interest rate reset in the coming months and are upside down on your mortgage, why not let the bank foreclose, toss them the keys, and pick up the keys to a new Spyder instead?  Sleep in the car!
  • As long as you have a non-recourse loan. 
  • On a personal note and to follow up on friday's entry...  I didn't call her.   But the weekend isn't over, yet.  And there are beers in the 'fridge just in case.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lets Go, Mets! M-E-T-S!!!

  • I can't believe September is over already. Where does the time go?  Where does a division lead go?  (That's a NY Mets reference there.  Blowing a 7-game lead?  C'mon, fellas.  Did you play all season for THAT?  Can't wait to get out on the golf course?)
  • Erin says this has been the best September for the stock market in 9 years!
  • The PCE year over year?  1.8%.  Inflation-Shminflation.  Good news.
  • Consumers spending more than their making.   Ain't that always the case?
  • Rudy Johnson out this week for the Bengals.  I picked up back up RB Kenny Watson.  Not sure that's a great start against the Patriots monday night, FWIW.  But better than starting Reggie Bush on a bye week.  Or even starting Reggie Bush on a non-bye week these days.  LOL.
  • She emailed me wednesday.  What, two years since last contact?  Sheez.  She searched for me on LinkedIn and emailed me.  So I emailed her back a two word reply, then she emailed me back a sentence.  Then I sent her a longer email and a pic.  She sent me back her cell phone number.  I haven't called.  Eh, whatever (to paraphrase Avril Lavigne).  Maybe I'll suck down a couple of beers tomorrow and then call her.  No reason to talk to her without a two-beer buzz.  Or maybe I'll just take the kayak out and not call her, watch a movie, and then drink the beers anyways.  That sounds like the best option, actually.  hahah.
  • So her email was touching and teasing a little.  You know the kind.  Not like "I have my hand in my panties and I'm thinking about you."  Nowhere close to that, actually.  I'm taking some liberties with my interpretations here.
  • Uh, where was I?
  • Rudy Johnson, out.  Hamstring. 
  • So the Kelly Hu pic is up because that's kinda sorta who she looks like. 
  • Week 1 in TV land and I'm already behind in my TV watching!  Okay, so the weekend plans are not to call her, drink some beers, and watch the DVR recordings.  Oh, and kayak.  Eh, screw the kayak.  It's kind of chilly out there.  Cloudy.  Maybe a bike ride.  Or maybe just watching football.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marcia and Jan???

  • "Marcia! Marcia!  Marcia!"   The Brady sisters explore the L-word, h/t to Adam Warner for the find.  Adam also takes a look at the BEP covered call fund.  Look at the yield on that thing.  Holy smokes.
  • Nickelodion 10:00pm:  The Brady Bunch.  Marcia and Jan have a slumber party.  (Repeat).
  • The biggest controversy out there isn't about getting the troops out of Iraq, Hillary vs Rudy,, or the Iranian President Aquavelvajad* speaking at Columbia, it's when will DirecTV get those new HD channels up?  (*Dennis Millerism.)
  • Of course the NDX closed at a new high today.  Why?  Every mutual fund manager must show AAPL and LVS in their list of holdings by the end of quarter.  It's a mandate.
  • Jason at The Trend wonders if it's Correction Time?
  • Lowe's adjusted their earnings targets lower, and the stock sells off 6%, while Home Depot sells off 2% in sympathy.  Remember how standing in a line at LOW or HD was a test of your patience?  The lines were long and slow moving.  Even short lines were slow moving.  I was in both stores recently.  No lines at all.  On a weekend.  Went in, checked out, moved on. 
  • Where was a line?  I noticed cruising around that the In-n-Out burger and McDonalds pretty much ALWAYS have a long line of cars in the drive thru. 
  • Self-named "Wall Street Rock Star" Cody Willard moved his blog.  I didn't even notice the moving trucks.  Update your feed subscription.  LOL.  Anyways, perusing through his recent entries had me scratching my head.  Stealth Bear Market from 9/13.  NDX at new highs on 9/26, Rock Star.
  • Oh, I know the argument.  Individual stocks aren't participating while the index moves higher.  Right?  But trying to identify sectors or stocks before the move is tricky business.  It's obvious in hindsight (ie, charts are a great way to predict the past).  Which is why diversification across sectors is generally the best way to participate in a growing economy.  Even if a lot of stocks are struggling. 
  • Anyways, Cody is going to be on the new Fox Business Network.  And according to a write up at realmoney, he said his goal in life was to be a hoops player or a Wall Street Rock Star.  So I wish him well.
  • I wonder how Fox will do with that business network?  I bet they do well.  Not as well as that Brady Bunch rerun, of course.

Market and NFL Thoughts

  • The market? Kind of in a lull before the month-end stuff.  The month-end stuff begins tomorrow (thursday) as the paychecks go out and the 401(k) money gets dollar-cost averaged into mutual funds.  But it is also the end of the quarter, and you can see the high-flyers holding up well in the malaise.  Stocks that have been leading (AAPL, LVS, etc) have been moving up this week despite the market flatlining.  In addition, notice how the NDX is continuing to move up.   Of course, decliners are leading advancers, so that's the kind of divergence I don't like to see.  Eventually, that matters.
  • I remain 100% long with beta.  I realize that we're approaching October, which often times has a remarkable selloff and bottom that creates a rally launching pad.  But we'll likely be entering the month with the market near all-time highs.  Not like we had much of an August-September swoon this year.  So, at this point I'm not pushing the sell button.
  • The Fed is in easing mode, and with retail sales taking a hit I can't see inflation problems being anywhere on the radar.  If sales are slowing, how do retailers move merchandise sitting on the shelves?  They have sales!  They cut prices!  Neither of which is a symptom of inflation.  At least, I don't remember that from my economics classes.  I might've cut class that day, though.  Look at what housing companies are doing recently.  "$100,000 off!" 
  • New Orleans Saints RB Deuce McAllister likely out for the year with a torn ACL.  You know, the Saints looked pretty bad out there last night.  What's wrong with Drew Brees?  Is it the offensive line?  And what's with RB Reggie Bush's running style?  Was he doing all that stutter stepping last year?  Just looks wrong out there.  Now he'll be the main guy back there with Deuce out.
  • The St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson out with a groin injury (ouch).  All the Fantasy Footbal vultures picking up backup RB Brian Leonard on the news.  He is going up against the Dallas Cowboys defense, and the Rams haven't looked like an offensive juggernaut this year.
  • Other Fantasy Football RB no shows this year?  LaDanian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Larry Johnson.  

Monday, September 24, 2007

TV, NFL, Fed, Ex-GF

  • Got the DVR set for Journeyman, Heroes, the Bionic Women, etc? This is kick-off weekend for new TV.  Hooooohah.
  • Three words:  Carrie Ann Inaba.  Dancing with the Stars! 
  • This release from the Fed:

U.S. economic growth trends below average in August and there is little
inflationary pressure over the coming year, according to data released by the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

  • There you go.  The Fed rate was too high and combined with higher energy costs (acting like a tax increase on folks), the economy is growing below trend.  Thus, no threat of inflation.
  • I guess the market rolled over on that.  (If we're trying to find a reason).  We've had a strong move up, and EVERYONE seems to be predicting a retrace to 1500 on the SP500.  The so-called month-end strength begins later this week.
  • Boy, that Steelers-49ers game was the easiest one to predict before the weekend.  What shocked me?  I think the Packers beating the Chargers and the Giants beating the Redskins.  Donovan McNabb always seems to perform well when the media spotlight is on him.  Maybe someone should insult him and question his ability every week.
  • What didn't shock me?  Rex Grossman looking horrible.  But I can't believe that Brian Griese is the answer in Chicago.  And just because Leftwich is going to Atlanta doesn't mean the Bears have to enter the Joey Harrington era, either.  Give Jake Plummer's agent a call, eh?
  • Dolphins lose 3 in a row.  But that STUPID Ronnie Brown who couldn't do squat in the first two weeks has a monster day and I lose in the Fantasy League.  Good grief.   I'm also 0-3, but have the 3rd highest point totals in a 12 team league.  Go figure.  Last week I lost to LaMont Jordan and Carson Palmer.
  • Lunch with an ex-gf today.  She dumped me back in the day but has Kept in touch with emails here and there, with an occassional lunch. 
  • The ex-gf looks good.  Kind of fun catching up.  I can't remember specifically why she dumped me.  It was a dramatic conversation at my house, though.  I remember that part.  I was surprised when she quit me, because I didn't see it coming.  I thought it was all wine and roses up to that part. 
  • Then it was over.  Period.  End of sentence.  "Lets be friends."
  • Which actually, the strange thing is that we have kept in touch on a semi-infrequent basis.
  • Today she was telling me that she doesn't want to work at the same place that her husband does.  Because then she'd have to worry about who she's having conversations with or going to lunch with, and would have to manage rumors.  Interesting, huh?
  • Anyways.  Keep things light and flirty, end on a hug, and "Lets do it again soon."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Thoughts

  • As we close in on the weekend, longs have to be happy with the stock market this week. The SP500 gained about 2.8% for the week.  Too bad it doesn't do this every week.  The SP500 made its move above the 50dma this week, too.  Remaining long with beta at this point, but aware that a pullback back to 1500ish wouldn't be surprising.  Probably won't try to play it, but the rule book does suggest that the week after options week tends to be weak if options week was strong.  But month-end is also happening next week. 
  • Summer ends tomorrow, and Fall begins Sunday.  Farewell, Summer.
  • More on eating vegetarian.  Check out the podcast page and an interview with Casey Kasem.
  • The Ken Burns mini series on World War II looks interesting.
  • God responds to lawsuit.
  • Home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rainy Thursday

  • Rainy weather hits Sacramento!  Feels like Fall.
  • The market relatively flat here after the fireworks early in the week.  And in case you didn't notice, oil is at $82.  Jobless claims fell, too. 
  • The economy continues to move ahead despite all the complaining and worrying.  Ridiculing the President because they dislike him seems to blind those folks to the economic data. 
  • It amazes me how the Fed seems to report the news more than forecast the news.  Ben Bernanke says today that "More delinquencies and foreclosures can be expected in the subprime, adjustable-rate mortgage market as borrowers face interest-rate resets."  Well, hello, Chairman.  Who doesn't already know that?
  • What's happening in Sacramento?  From Sacramento Landing comes Central Valley Slaughterhouse.
  • Randy Moss complains that he's getting the ball too much"I'm already tired of doing all the damn work around here," said Moss, who caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown in what he called a "grueling" afternoon. "Would it kill Tom Brady to maybe look for Donté [Stallworth] once in a while? Or maybe even try and hand it off? No, it's 'Throw it to Randy! Throw it to Randy!' all day long out there. It's like suddenly I'm the best receiver in the world as far as they're concerned."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Whoop! There it is!

  • The market? Whoa, Nellie!  What a day.   Breaking out over resistance we are.  Nice to be long.  Just in case you've been in a cave today, the Fed cut rates .5%.  The market was up before the news, but then took off as the announcement was made.  "Today's action is intended to help forestall some of the adverse effects on the broader economy that might otherwise arise from the disruptions in financial markets and to promote moderate growth over time," the Fed said in a statement outlining its decision.
  • Barack Obama proposes a middle class tax cut by raising taxes on the rich.  Obama's tax plan, set to be announced in a speech in Washington, includes a cut of up to $1,000 for working families, a mortgage interest credit for low- and middle-income homeowners and the elimination of income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 per year.  If you qualify and want a $500 check, Obama's your man.
  • Hillary's promising free health care, as long as you're willing to pay for it.  LOL.  The Clinton campaign estimated the program's cost at $110 billion, which would be made up through modernization of technology, constraining prescription-drug costs and discontinuing President Bush's tax breaks for households making more than $250,000 annually.
  • So, since government estimates are normally wrong by a factor of 3 to 10, it'd be more than that.  And you can only spend the money from eliminating the Bush tax cuts once; you can't spend the same money multiple times.  And who pays for those "modernication of technology" costs?  Pricey item that.
  • A University of Florida student tasered at a John Kerry forum.  Looks like whenever Cindy Sheehan decides to run for President, she has a Vice Presidential candidate at the ready in Andrew Meyer.
  • If you're watching TV, you can't escape the iPod Nano commercial with Feist singing "1, 2, 3, 4 tell me that you love me more!"  Catch the buzz!  Pretty catchy, even if I'm burning out on it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Drew Brees Indicator - Week 2

  • The Drew Brees Indicator seems to be working again in week 2. The New Orleans Saints played a horrible game and Drew Brees looked ineffective, even though his stats were somewhat saved by a late TD drive.  The market is selling off again.  Will the market rally near the close to make it look less awful, just as Drew Brees did yesterday?  Stay tuned.
  • Lets face it:  Tomorrow is the Fed.  Expect volatility.
  • Lots of chatter about Greenspan's book.  Blasting Bush and praising Clinton?  Lets face it, Bush and the GOP Congress were pretty wreckless with spending.  We're back to gridlock now that the Democrats have taken over Congress.  And maybe that is the best form of government.
  • As Mark Cuban said in his Politics blog entry "When I vote in any local or state election, I vote for the candidate who I think will do the least. Not the least of anything specific, just the least amount of everything. The perfect candidate for me would be one that would walk around kissing babies."
  • The NFL ticket on DirecTV is pretty sweet. 

Friday, September 14, 2007

When the Smoke Clears...

  • Next week is going to be an interesting week in the markets. I was thumbing through the Stock Traders Alamanc, and then I realized whatever the historical trend is may not matter.  There is so much mojo and smoke in the air next week that we'll have to wait until it clears.  I think it all spells volatility.
  • It's an options expiration triple witching week.  The Fed is going to make their rate cut announcement and commentary.  Plus, we'll have the Drew Brees Indicator in play on Monday, and that'll depend on how he and the New Orleans Saints do at Tampa Bay on Sunday.  The Saints have had 10 days to think about that opening Thursday night loss to the Colts.
  • My guess is that Drew Brees will have a great game on Sunday because the Monday before September Triple Witching, the DOW is up 15 of last 17.
  • (Maria just said that it's quadruple witching.  Not sure how that'll affect Brees on Sunday, or if that invalidates the Stock Traders Almanac text).
  • See?  Mojo, baby!  I think trying to game it is just guessing at best.  My thoughts are bullish and I remain 100% long.
  • The Fed will rule the week.  This will most likely be the first rate cut in a while. 
  • We're also entering the latter half of September.  Historically, the first part of September is bullish, while the latter part is bearish. At least that's what I recall reading somewhere.
  • Oh, the picture?  Katie.  Yes, she does have a MySpace profile if you want to see more pictures.  LOL.
  • Sports locks of the week?  Well, I was horrible with the locks last week but had a great week at the sports book.  This week I think Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Denver and Jacksonville are my favs against the spread. 

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Want My DirecTV

  • I broke down. I made the switch to DirecTV.  I subscribed to the NFL package. 
  • I'm bullish and 100% invested here, but why do I have a nagging fear about a sell the news reaction to a Fed rate cut?  Nah, shake it off, Muck.  So many folks are predicting that, that it'll either never happen or it'll be a self-fulfilling prophecy that will happen in advance of the Fed meeting!  Right?  Uh, right?
  • Sir Alan Greenspan says he was late to see the storm gathering around mortgage lending practices and commended his successor Ben Bernanke's handling of the crisis.  Greenspan must not be reading the internets, because there are lots of blogs out there that were documenting the craziness of it all.  Nobody questioned how people making $40,000 a year were qualifying for $500,000 houses with no money down and a negatively amortized loan that would refinance in 2 years?  While at the same time, the Fed was raising interest rates?  Yeah, complete shocker, eh?  Here's what I said in March 2005.
  • I was thinking about what Cramer said yesterday on Squawk about how he didn't like ETFs and how he'd rather buy individual stocks because he "likes to outperform."  Pffffft.  Yeah, right, Jim.  You know about those sites that are tracking your picks, right?  
  • Of course, the first thing I did when I got the DirecTV was... "Where is CNBC on this thing?"  But then I quickly went to the NFL Network where they were rebroadcasting the Giants-Cowboys game.  That's channel 212.  LOL.
  • And soon, Fox Business Network.  They announced their anchors.  I was hoping for more strippers, less Stuart Varney.  Maybe that's just me....  The new anchors are David Asman, Cheryl Casone, Rebecca Gomez, Dagen McDowell and Stuart Varney, who will all retain their roles at the Fox News Channel.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gimme More!

  • I'm no chubby chaser, but Britney Spears doesn't look *that* fat to me.  Heck, here at the Fun Factory she'd be in the lightweight class.  Yes, she could've made a better costume choice.  I'll go with that.  And the whole number was pretty painful to watch.  Maybe she was just afraid to move in the costume.
  • The market was ... eh, boring.  Since I've been 100% long and see no reason to change, I'm not too worried about it.  Yes, I do think that we're still in the Summer's trading range.  Breaking out of that has been impossible so far.  I haven't been trading much at all lately.  Just staying long.
  • When one is long, I think it helps to try to work out the bear case.  I think they'd say that everyone already knows the Fed is going to cut rates.  That it's priced in or that we'd see a sell the news reaction.  The bears might also say that the dollar is going to get hammered with Fed rate cuts.  They'd say that the mortgage recession is much larger than people realize, and that the financial sector is in trouble.  They may say we're in a recession, and that the consumer is tapped out.
  • The Bears might also say how can one stop LaDanian Tomlinson and still lose to the Chargers?
  • Eh, I think all of the bears fears are in the papers daily and that the Fear of these things is already in the sentiment numbers.  But so far it has been difficult to break out. 
  • Like the Patriots really need to cheat.  Sheez.  And ProFootballTalk wonders if the Pats also use radios on defense.  (h/t to Adam Warner for the link to 'em and also for keeping track of where Biana went off to).
  • Jason has The Neutral signal on!
  • If the market has you down, Roger says Take a Step Back.  And I agree about the Stock Traders Almanac.
  • In edit: Adam (in the link above) notes the controversy over Eli Manning's status. Is he out for a month? Suiting up this weekend? It's a big secret. The only ones who know the real status of Eli Manning are the New England Patriots, because rumor has it they stole a copy of the Doctor's report.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back from Reno

I went to Reno for the weekend. I was on fire with the NFL bets, except for the two I listed below as "locks" (Dolphins and Eagles), and the Giants on Sunday night. Also did well with the college bets.

Whenever I come back from a trip to Nevada, I feel like I need to be in detox mode for a few days. Too many beers. Too much smoke. Too many late nights.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Rita PLUS the Drew Brees Indicator

  • Hmm, big controversy on Rita Cosby's voice. I think it's a little creepy that folks are devoting time on YouTube uploads comparing her voice from time to time.  Yet, I realize that everyone needs a hobby.  So I'm go with the flow on this one.
  • Starting from September 6th, 2007, there is a 100% correlation between New Orleans Saints' Quarterback Drew Brees and the SP500.  If Drew Brees sucks, the market sucks the following trading day.  I'll keep an eye on the Drew Brees Indicator all season long.
  • Adam Warner weighs in on Financial Blogs and You.
  • My thoughts on financial blogs?  Info-tainment.  I believe everyone has to find their own way through the financial maze.  I don't think anyone is going to get rich following hot stock tips from a blog.  I tend to read blogs that are more general and high-level.  How I apply (or don't apply) those concepts or thoughts depends on my interpretation and style.  And if the blog throws in some humor and wit, it quickly becomes a favorite.
  • Maybe Rita Cosby should do a financial blog.  Or a financial podcast or vcast so the voice controversy can continue!
  • I like the Dolphins and the Eagles this weekend to cover.

A Can of Whoop-A$$

  • The market looks worse this morning than the New Orleans Saints did last night!
  • Weak payroll numbers. On the one hand, earlier this week the market was worried that the economy was stronger than expected and that the Fed may not cut rates at the next Fed meeting.  On the otherhand, now the market is worried that the economy is weaker than expected and that the Fed is now forced to cut rates at the next meeting.  See?  Lots of fear and worry out there.  Not a good thing on a friday before a weekend, as folks may head for the exits and pick up their beer and snacks for a football weekend.
  • Fear is a good thing if you're a bull.  Lots of bad news in the headlines from housing foreclosures and a housing recession, to weaker job growth.  But doesn't this mean that we're NOWHERE close to inflation? 
  • The Saints were just hammered last night.  It was on the road against the Colts, and the AFC has been the stronger conference in recent years.  I think the Saints will be fine competing against the NFC teams.  But their offensive line looked a little weak last night, and Brees didn't look crisp.  But lets give credit to an outstanding game from the Colts.  They looked every bit as strong as they did last year and look very poised to keep their dynasty going.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Are You Ready?

  • Are you ready for some (Thursday night) football? Saints vs Colts!  Of course, I'll be here at work late, but I'm recording it and will probably catch up by FFing through the commercials once I get home
  • Don't tell the advertisers that, though.   I don't watch commercials, and I don't click on web ads.  I just don't do it.  But they say this thing called "advertising" is big business. As long as people pay attention to it.
  • I also don't listen to commentary about Michael Vick.  So lets hope tonight is about the Saints and the Colts.
  • So the market today...  Ugh.  Who wants to talk about it?  Still bullish.  Still 100% long with beta.  Today's reason du jour for the stock market is positive economic data.  Summary:  Unemployment claims fell, productivity increased, and some good news from some retailers.  And the reason we weren't up more?  Fed jawboning.  Don't worry, there will be another reason du jour tomorrow to explain either the move up or move down. 
  • Everyone has been looking for the sector that would repeat the huge growth that tech stocks had in the late 90's.  For awhile, oil stocks were the new tech stocks.  But lately, tech stocks have been doing great.  We can now say that tech stocks are the new oil stocks.   Thus, if I remember my math correctly, this means tech stocks are the new tech stocks.  Follow?
  • Although, I still wonder what's going on at Apple.  Maybe there isn't much demand for the iPhones.  I've seen them at the stores just sitting there on the shelves.  Folks look at them, but then go to the next display and look at less expensive phones.  Maybe AAPL is marketing a great product that is overkill for most folks.  Plus, who has the money to spend to be replacing their cell phones and MP3 players every few months?
  • Popcorn lung?  You know, I can't stand that butter flavor on microwave popcorn.  Too much salt, too.  I just have a microwave bowl and plain popcorn.  Some folks call that boring, but I like it.
  • Japanese leeches. "Yamabiru will climb into people's socks and stay for about an hour, growing five to 10 times in size. Unlike with water leeches, people don't immediately realize they've been bitten. Only later when they see their blood-soaked feet, do they realize what has happened," said Shigekazu Tani, the institute's director.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Volatile Malaise

  • The Summer's trading range isn't going down without a fight. The market sold off today, as we drift back down into the Summer's volatile malaise.  Now there's a word pair for you that might keep you up at night.  But doesn't it seem as if we've had extreme volatility, yet have been drifting back and forth from day today?  Sometimes, we've had the moves in the same day!
  • Nothing here changes my bullish views.  Pedal to the metal.  If one could figrue out the spikes from minute to minute and day to day, one could make a killing in this market.  But what I try to do is more intermediate term in nature.  So I'm not going to micromanage the volatile malaise.
  • As of late, the Fun Factory has been extremely hectic.  I think the tide may finaly be rolling out a bit.  It's been busy.  Meetings up the wazzoo.  Projects up the wazzoo.  Working with new folks.  Things that make one just too busy to take a break and check the Yahoo headlines from time to time.
  • I don't see a lot of bullishness on the chart of the equity-only put call ratio.  You?
  • Apple cuts the price of the iPhone.  Kind of interesting.   Either because of slackening demand at the price point, or an attempt to gather more market share.  Maybe some of both.  I figure after the initial hype, maybe folks realized that it wasn't a life-changing experience.  Many devices do similar things.  But it is cool and at a lower price, more folks will bite.  I think Apple will also face some stiff competiition on their TV-thing from Sony as time goes on.
  • I kind of like the Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins this weekend.  Straight up.  Why?  Miami's defense has been tough, and they added a bit this year with Joey Porter.  So I figure even a modest improvement in offense could be a big turnaround in wins and losses.  This is a battle of two weak 2006 teams.  Even on the road in Washington, I think the Dolphins are going to win this one. 
  • Sports odds here!
  • The role of financial blogs at A Dash of Insight.  Good one, Jeff.
  • Central Control vs. Free Markets looks at the economies of North Korea vs. South Korea.  From SCSUScholars.
  • So what's the deal?  Is Antarctica warming, cooling, or both?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Roaring Like a Lion

  • The first trading day of September roars in like a lion! I'm still 100% long here with beta, and now wondering what lies ahead.  I'm bullish on the market and the economy, but a little wary of the calendar here.  More later on this one.
  • We're in the monthly strength period, in case you didn't notice.  This is when the dollar cost averaging lemmings throw cash in their mutual funds.  (I'm one of the lemmings!)
  • I feel so unplugged from the news after the long weekend.  Plus, spent some time working over the weekend.  Don't worry, I had some beer time in there.  Watched a little college ball.  What's up with those Michigan Wolverines?  Holy smokes.  First time that sort of thing happened, and it means Michigan is instantly out of the #1 hunt.
  • We are living in a world where one can get their news on YouTube, though.  I haven't been following the 2008 election speeches.  First of all, we all know it's going to be Hillary vs. Rudy.  Second, IT'S 2007!  But every speech and gaffe is quickly up on YouTube for instant ridicule. 
  • I'm glad I don't live in a hurricane state.  Geez.  Here I am complaining about  20 mph breezes in Sacramento.   I can't imagine 160 mph winds.  Plus, in addition to the hurricane, you'd have Geraldo around all the time.
  • The second fantasy football draft is in the books.  Drafted 9th in a 12 team league.  By the later rounds, the talent pool thins out quite a bit. 
  • Man, day is almost over and it feels like I have so much left to do...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pass the Sports Page

Maybe Larry Craig should have said that he thought two taps of the right foot meant "Pass the sports page." (Hat tip to Dennis Miller).

Things have been crazy like funky at the Fun Factory. I was down a few folks last week with vacationing, and a new project is kicking off. I'm even working over Labor Day weekend. WHAT IS THAT?

Anyways, the market was up 1.3% for the month of August. I remain pedal to the metal with 100% longs and a higher than normal beta. We're up near the top of the summer's trading range and September is historically a weaker month, but I'm not going to try and guess a pullback to the lows here. Maybe we'll get a sell the news reaction when the Fed cuts rates. It'll be interesting to see what happens after the holiday as folks position their portfolios.

I had the first fantasy football draft this past week. It was a silent auction draft, were franchise owners all start out with $500 and bid on players for each round. First time with that style, and it was a lot of fun. The next draft for me is monday night...

Have a great weekend!