Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! And Rush Limbaugh!

Thank you all for coming here and reading my rantings over the years. I know it's slowed down a bit in 2009 as I have been a slaving work monkey, but I will press on.

I'm not much one for New Year's resolutions. But if there is one I would press on all of us, it would be to be safe and healthy. We heard late last night that Rush Limbaugh (never pictured) was in the hospital with chest pains.  Over the years, Rush has hit the headlines with alleged drug addictions, trips to foreign countries for alleged visits to prostitutes, allegedly being overweight, and smoking cigars (alleged). He also has a job that involves arguing all day long.  Seems like a stressful occupation to me.

I don't think it is society's business to tell Rush how to live his life, but the consequences of his choices over the years seem to have caught up with him.  We are all a product of our own choices.  Every step we take and every decision we make has consequences.  That's the kind of message Rush Limbaugh delivers everyday on his radio program.  He now becomes an example for the rest of us to take note of.

Be safe.  Be healthy.  Make good decisions.

Have a wonderful New Year!
 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Predictions for the Next Decade

One thing about predictions is that it's easiest to predict the status quo. In otherwords, the way things are now will continue indefinitely. Like this: Link

So what does it say? Low stock returns, low interest rates, and high unemployment.

It makes sense, but consider the rosy optimism of January 1st, 2000.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Favorite 2009 Cartoon

Lots of cartoons in 2009, but this on Obama's Nobel Prize was a dandy!





Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Dow 1999-2009 Adjusted For Inflation

Looking at the stock market in 1999 dollars. Yikes!

The Dow today stands at 10520.10, but in 1999 dollars, the benchmark index is only at 8140.38. Some analysts say looking at stocks without adjusting for inflation gives investors an exaggerated view of performance over time.

Link


The common wisdom is to "build wealth slowly over the long term." Still wise words, along with "patience is a virtue."

Newspaper Subscription Websites

With a new year coming in less than a week, media sites are looking at adding fees for visitors.

Ads alone are proving inadequate, and in the next several weeks, some publications are expected to take the plunge by erecting pay walls.

Link


The Internet is one of the last free markets out there. People who want to pay for websites certainly can, but many more will gravitate to free content.

Have at it, folks. I wish you the best of luck. But I think people will quickly delete your links from their bookmarks if you try to charge a fee.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Thoughts and Randomosity

Santa Claus puts massive bid under market to help the market close at the highs in today's shortened session. (I just wanted to write the headlines, instead of reading about consumer optimism, short-covering, technical buying, etc.
For those of you who don't believe in Santa Claus, maybe it was some of those other things.  But as for me, Virginia, I believe.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.  Enjoy the season and the company of friends and family.
Some Christmas Eve randomosity....
  • SP500 bottoms vs. recessions.  Typically, the markets bottom 3, 4 or 5 months in advance of the recession’s end. However, it has been as much as 7 months (1954) and in 2001, the market did not bottom until 12 months after the recession’s end.
  • But wait, Paul Krugman says we're not out of this by a long shot.  So what about our current situation? It’s just like the two previous “postmodern” recessions, only more so, since the bubble before the slump was in housing itself. This suggests a long period of jobless growth; so does the international evidence on the aftermath of financial crises.
  • Some TV channels having Christmas marathons!  You know, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, etc. 
  • Christmas Eve, and the Senate is loading up the health care sleigh with goodies!  Senate OKs health care bill.
  • Fasten your seatbelts, because it's going to be a bumpy tax ride.  I think we all realize that the government only spends more money, and with national health care coming, the government will need more money.  Yes, your taxes will go up.  It may come directly, it may come indirectly as companies pass on their tax hikes to you.  But, you will pay more.
  • The Meaning of Blogging from DJ at Wizbang.  For me, it's a diversion from the day to day, and a way to meet other folks around the globe.  I do enjoy the emails and comments.  I also spend time on Twitter. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Randomosity

  • I'm 100% long the stock market and see no reason to do anything different through year-end. We're seeing nice ramp-ups into the end of the year in the sectors that have done well in 2009. Sweet.  Of course, January 4th could see some shifting, but that's not today's business.
  • Wow, California lost almost 100,000 residents in 2009.  But they call that an improvement, as over 300,000 left in 2006.  They say folks are staying because they can't unload their homes.  Heck, with the no foreclosure rule, some have figured out that they can stay in their homes without making any payments!  But, net-net,  folks are still leaving.  Just look at this Google search.
  • I mentioned in November that I was re-watching Lost.  I'm a few episodes in to season 5 and they're all back on the island!  It's been really fun to go through the series again.  Thank goodness for online streaming to the family room TV via the Netflix Roku box.
  • I roll my eyes about activists concerned about global warming.  Today we learn that it's not CO2 causing global warming, but CFCs and cosmic rays.  Hey, and it's peer-reviewed!  In my eyes, the gist of it all is that science marches on outside of politics.  When Al Gore said that the science was settled, every alarm bell in an open mind should've gone off. 
  • Not Penny's Boat.
  • Does Amazon buying Netflix make sense?  Maybe.  Can Netflix survive all by itself as other content providers (cable companies, sat dishes, Apple, etc) make it easy to get online video to TV?  Maybe it is in Netflix's best interest to align or be bought by Amazon.  Or Apple.  Or Microsoft.  Or somebody.
  • On the Roku box I mentioned above, Roku has expanded their online offerings for streaming Amazon movies, MLB.com, and other web videos.  I still just stream Netflix content at this time.  Maybe that's where all my free time is going these days.  LOL.
  • So, how you doing?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The US Dollar and Foreign Stocks

Just thinking out loud, but if we (the US) are heading into a stronger economy an rising interest rates, the US dollar will rise. My thought here is that mutual funds and ETFs that invest in foreign companies and have assets denominated in foreign currencies have seen share price appreciation due to the declining dollar. What happens if that trend reverses?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chasing High Dividend Stocks

Interesting perspective from the WSJ on chasing dividend paying stocks in this low inflation environment.

With the income from bonds withering away, investors are piling into dividend-paying stocks. Investors should be cautious.

...

Don't forget that even today's 2% to 4% bond yields aren't as paltry as they look, because inflation remains close to zero. The 6% interest income you remember earning a decade ago came at a time when inflation ran about 3%. You might protest that inflation, as officially measured, is understated today—but it is probably no more inaccurate now than it used to be. In real terms, you are only slightly worse off now than you were then.

Link




What is a Santa Claus Rally?

A good column on what exactly is the Santa Claus rally. Many definitions, but the historically most accurate is that the week between Christmas and New Years tends to be bullish. From Mark Hulbert.

I remain long the market and short on time. Work is crazy but I see some less stress after next week.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Microsoft 7 Bugsapalooza

Nobody should ne surprised that Microsoft $MSFT is dealing with software bugs and issues.

Microsoft launched Windows 7 in late October to much fanfare. But, just like with previous Windows upgrades, complaints about bugs have already started rolling in.

Link


As a software developer, this is the nature of the beast.

More important to the industry and us as investors is that Windows 7 is a strong product and will lead to PC purchases. For example, I'm about to order a new Dell. Same with many friends and coworkers. I don't think we are alone.

Yes, there are bugs and there will be bug fixes. What's new?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Economic Recovery

About 9 months after the atock market bottomed and put on a tremendous rally, we are now seeing employment numbers improve. I believe the numbers will continue to improve into 2010.

I think the remaining stimulus money should not be squandered. With our growing deficit and the economic recovery gaining traction, any excess money should be used to reduce the deficit.

I remain 100% invested.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Taxing Stock Trades

The latest brain freeze out of our government is a tax on stock trades.

A growing chorus of Democratic lawmakers and liberal economists are pushing hard for a tax on stock trades to pay for job creation.

By levying a small fee when stocks, futures, swaps, options and other securities are bought and sold, supporters of the tax believe the government can take in between $120 billion and $240 billion annually. That money could be used to fund additional government stimulus to help put the nearly 16 million unemployed Americans to work.

Link


The big issue I see with this is a decline trading volume. That is up to $240 billion out of people's pockets. It could reduce liquidity in the markets It's a very bad idea.

Innate Male Behavior

Agree with Tobin Smith.





Rationalization? Sure. It does happen a lot.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Randomosity

  • Well, it will be interesting to see if the market bounces back tomorrow. We are hitting the end of the month and beginning of December, which could see the monthly dollar-cost averaged cash enter the market. Or not. I hope we bounce back from friday.
  • I ordered vegetable udon at a Japanese restaurant tonight. It was a bowl of noodles with just a few sprigs of brocoli and a few carrots, very finely shredded. $9. The broth was okay, but come on $9? The free bowl of miso soup with a few tofu cubes was more hearty.
  • As I lamented on Twitter, I am playing the last-placed team in 2 fantasy football leagues. They have the highest scores in their respective leagues this week. Me? Second highest score. In both leagues. Good grief.
  • Almost done with re-watching season two of Lost. Michael jsu came back and shot Anna Lucia and Libby, while Eko and John found the monitoring hatch under the drug running plane.
  • RSS Player is back in the iPhone app store. Improved version. Crashes here and there but pretty good. During the time it was unavailable I used Drivecast. Will continue to use both. Drivecasts fast forward is broken in current version but dude says next version submitted to apple.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Dubai Delay

Well, the historical pattern where the market does well on the day after Thanksgiving could be toast.

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries rose the most in almost two weeks after a Dubai proposal to delay debt payments set off a slide in stocks and higher-yielding assets worldwide.

Link


The credit crunch continues.

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish all of you who read this blog a very happy Thanksgiving. I appreciate the comments and emails.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interest on the National Debt


I was catching up on some podcasts this morning on the drive in, and listened to Bob Brinker's (not pictured) Sunday show. He mentioned that with a $12 trillion national debt, if the prime rate was to go to 5%, we'd be paying $600 billion a year in interest. That's interest only.

Should interest rates rise. No worry of that, right?

Well...

Picture is of *the other* market timing radio pop star, Gwen Stefani.  After all, Brinker ain't no hollaback girl.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thawing Turkey and Sea Lion Randomosity

  • It's Monday. It's Thanksgiving week. One of my favorite weeks of the year! It seems as if the market also is pricing in a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings and fixings. Market went up about 1.2% across the board.
  • Of course, thawing turkeys are being denied the credit for today's ramp. We have headlines of the day about a weak dollar and better than expected home data getting credit for buyers being over-the-top excited about stocks today.
  • Have you seen the recent flap about global warming data being faked? It doesn't really surprise me, human behavior being what it is. But you wonder how deep this rabbit hole goes, Neo.
  • Have you bought your Hide the Decline t-shirt?
  • LOL, Weird Al Yankovic. Ah, I think I like his versions of songs better than the originals. At least when I try to remember lyrics, I'm singing the Weird Al versions. Really.
  • Is it just me, or is the WSJ website a real computer resource hog? Good grief.
  • Did you read about the guy in Sacramento who was arrested for shooting a sea lion? Foy said that, upon questioning, Legans admitted shooting the sea lion with a 12-gauge shotgun on Nov. 11 while fishing from his boat in the Sacramento River near Verona. A shotgun allegedly used in the crime was confiscated from the home as evidence. "He said he was tired of sea lions taking his fish," said Foy. Sea lions are a protected animal.

Friday, November 20, 2009

TGIF Randomosity!

  • cigar As I sat down this morning to blog, the market was tanking, er getting smoked, yet again.  But work intervened and when I came back to my office, things weren’t so bad.  Obviously, the market got hit with the Dell news (as did Dell!).  The WSJ said investors wanted safety today.
  • Hat tip to Market Power (twice) for the link to the College Athletic Graduation Data.  Kind of interesting, and good to know that rates are on the rise.
  • Everyone is rolling their eyes when they hear that employment lags in this economic recover.  Mark Thoma explains why it may be until 2013 that we see employment recovering.  Oh, and there are graphs.  I like graphs.
  • Eyes on health care this weekend!

Sixty votes in the 100-seat Senate are required to clear Saturday's vote, meaning that all 58 Senate Democrats and the two independents that generally vote with them will need to hold together. All 40 Republicans are united in opposition.

"We are not assuming a thing. We are working hard to bring all Democrats together for the 60 votes necessary to proceed to this historic debate," said Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. "I'm hoping that we can muster our ranks."

  • So, I have Dwayne Bowe on my fantasy football team.  Good grief, he’s suspended for 4 games.  So I’m going through the free agent list and looking at picking up some other cast off.
  • I don’t really have an opinion on Sarah Palin’s new book.  Sorry.  I don’t think I’ll read it.  There are many blogs out there commenting on the book.  I wonder how many have actually read it, compared to how many love or hate Palin, and are just reciting talking points?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dude, I Hope You Didn’t Own Dell

Dell reported that their fiscal third-quarter profit fell 54%.

Officials offered less than robust outlook on end demand. Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said demand had stabilized but a significant uptick was unlikely until 2010. Dell’s shares are down about 6% in after-market trading.
In the post-earnings conference call, officials said desktop PC revenue declined 26% year-over-year. Mobility fell 14%, servers down 6%, storage down 19%, according to our colleagues over at Digits.
Link
You know, this is sad news for the 3rd quarter and all, but I’m guessing that 4th quarter demand (and forward) may increase with people upgrading PCs and moving to Windows 7.  I’m speaking for myself, as I am planning on a new purchase in the next few weeks. In addition, friends and family are also in the market now that Windows 7 is out.  I’m guessing Dell will get most of our business.  Just saying.
But bad news in the rear-view mirror, that’s for sure. 
Is the 26% year-over-year decline in desktop revenue really that shocking?  I can’t think of anyone buying right before the Windows 7 release.  Even with a free upgrade to Windows 7, it’s much easier to just buy a PC with the operating system already installed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DOW Theory Buy (Recently)

In case you missed it, the DOW Theory buy hit last Monday

As Mark Hulbert (not pictured) reports, the action on the Dow Transports last Monday finally triggered a Dow Theory buy signal, which has been enough to persuade some erstwhile bears to grudgingly turn bullish. Of course, Hulbert notes that there may nevertheless be some Dow Theorists who remain dismissive of this buy signal due to the lack of any extended correction since the market's March low.

Richard Russell (not pictured, either), editor of Dow Theory Letters, is one of the technical analysts who, in light of the joint new highs of both the Dow Industrials and the Dow Transports, are now officially bullish on both the secondary and primary trends of the stock market.
There you go.  Good to know, I suppose.
But heck, Gary Kaltbaum was talking about “momentum tops” on his radio show today.  Of course, he was hedging this way and that way and being rather unspecific with regards to making any sort of market call.  As usual. But he does have an entertaining radio show.
I remain 100% long.
Pictured is Monica Raymund, from Lie to Me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Market Valuation


Mark Haines (not pictured) made a comment this morning on Squawk Box about market valuation. Many folks are complaining that market valuation is too high considering the weak economy. We have unemployment over 10%, homeowners are facing foreclosures, and there is an overall sense of gloom. Haines said that early in an economic recovery, valuations would be higher because corporate earnings haven't caught up with the turnaround.

Corporate earnings are reported looking at the rear-view mirror. We're not at the point where things in the rear-view mirror look anything close to rosey.

And for federal and state tax revenues, things look even worse as those lag the economy based on tax years. We know the federal deficit is closing in on $2T. California may be looking at a $25 billion hole.  As the recovery progresses, then tax revenues should increase.  If the stock market closes out a positive year, maybe we'll even see some capital gains taxes roll in.  In states like CA where we rely heavily on the rich to pay taxes, as the rich prosper the state prospers.

Anyway, nice comment by Haines.  I think looking when looking at data points, it is important to look around and see where we are in the economic recovery, rather than apply a strict and rigid historical model.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Randomosity

  • Hey, two blog posts in one day!  I think I can, I think I can…  Brought to you by a sexy race girl. Just cuz.
  • Did you see where Warren Buffett doubled his Wal-mart holdings?
  • While we’re debating government-run health care, it may be important to see how government-run mail delivery is goingThe U.S. Postal Service reported a $3.8 billion loss in the 2009 fiscal year, and plans to propose to Congress in 2010 that it drop Saturday delivery.  Nice!
  • Hey, the Fed sees no asset bubbles"The prices of assets in U.S. financial markets do not appear to be clearly out of line with the outlook for the economy and business prospects as well as the level of risk-free interest rates," said Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn.  Should we file this in the folder with the internet stock bubble and housing bubble the Fed also didn’t see?
  • Arnold Kling:  No Bubbles Here.  Move Along Now.
  • Hey, niacin is good for the heart after all.
  • I have little interest in Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue.  You?  Heck, $30.   Review up at WSJ
  • Speaking of, I recently subscribed to the online and print version of WSJ.  It really is a well-written newspaper, and contains more than just recycled AP news stories.  I’m enjoying the hard-copy for a change of pace.  Old school, baby!

Monday Ramp

  • Seems like a big deal to break 1100 on the SP500. If we can hold it today. Technically, the market seems fine. Fundamentally, it sure seems as if we are going to have some issues with higher market valuation.
  • I remain long and don't see a compelling reason to sell just yet.
  • Monday Night Football between Ravens and Browns. What a clunker. I will probably watch. LOL.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Game Day

I'm still long the stock market. Haven't seen too big of reason to sell. I think the economy is recovering, and the bump up in the productivity numbers was nice to see at this point. It may be a bit before companies start hiring folks, but it seems as if we're on a normal economic recovery trajectory. Of course, interest rates are near 0% and gold is around $1100. There is that.

I've been dragging with this head cold the past week. Or swine flu. Whatever. I had a sore throat early last week, now just have a stuffy nose. Was only at work on Monday and Thursday. Thursday was a bit questionable. I didn't get much done, and opted to stay at home on Friday.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Home Sick

Bleh. Fighting a cold or flu. I think the former. Anyways, on the sofa watching movies for two days straight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Market Getting Smoked!

  • image Whoa Nellie, the market is tanking.  Yesterday, we had a feel good bump but today we’re getting a feel bad thump.  We had an early “quote delay issue” and then Traders also pointed to comments from billionaire investor Wilbur Ross on Bloomberg Radio Friday, saying a "huge crash in commercial real estate" is beginning, as adding to the worries across the financial sector. Mr. Ross, the chairman of W.L. Ross & Co. LLC, said occupancy and rent rates are falling while the rate of return that potential investors are seeking is rising.
  • So, yesterday is looking like a one-day wonder in this down trend. I thought maybe it was end of month stuff kicking in, but it all seems a bit larger than that.
  • Inexact climate models:  Is the earth warming?  Is the earth cooling?  It all seems to be a guessing game with each side (alarmists vs. deniers) providing their quotes from science gurus far and wide, but the politicians want to take immediate action!  "There is a lot of room for improvement" in the models, says Mojib Latif, a climate scientist in Germany and co-author of a paper predicting the planet will cool for perhaps a decade before starting to warm again -- a long-term trend he attributes to greenhouse-gas emissions. "You need to know what you can believe and can't believe from the models."
  • Hey, if you want to reduce CO2 it seems the best way is to build nuclear power plants and run cars on natural gas – until scientists figure something else out.
  • Did you see that spending dropped .5% in September?  Wasn’t me. But with the cash for clunkers ending and a soft job market, folks are worried.  Hey, employment is just a laggggging indicator!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Slide Continues

  • The market continues to sell off this week. Kind of refreshing, in a way.  I think we need to reset before we can move higher.  I'm not expecting anything ominous, since I feel that the economy is recovering and we will see slow to moderate growth going forward. 
  • Of course, I didn't see anything ominous in 2007, either.  Just being honest.  
  • I mentioned yesterday that I had tried to upgrade my iPhone RSS Player to listen to podcasts.  It's still not working but seems as if it will be resolved very soon.  In the meantime, I've been using Mediafly.  Try it.  It's free.  I'm not sure if I like it more than RSS Player, but it has some other features that may keep it on my iPhone.
  • NBA has started, and I'm in 2 fantasy basketball leagues.  Geez, can't help myself.  One is a total stats league, another is weekly head-to-head.  Should be interesting.
  • Speaking of, the NBA has an app for the iPhone where you can listen to the audio streams of the games.  Similar to what MLB did with baseball.  Cool.  Just $9.99.
  • Kind of interesting to watch the Health Care debate in Congress.  I have no idea what will come out, but many moderates have said that they won't support it.  Different polls say different things, but I haven't talked or emailed with anyone who likes the idea of a government public option. I know those folks are out there, but sometimes I wonder if the "excitement" about a public option is just a few people making a lot of noise.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday's Reversal and Distribution Randomosity

  • The market had a nasty reversal yesterday. Opened up nicely and then just cratered.  IBD has the market under pressure and noted that we've now had 9 higher volume declines, calling it "worrisome."  IBD also tells investors to carefully mind their holdings.  (LOL).
  • Well, the Washington Redskins also had a distribution day on Monday night, with another high volume loss. 
  • Is Harry Reid gambling on a health care public option that allows states to opt out?  I think it would be funny if all 50 states opted out.  Hey, would it still be nationalized health care if everyone opted out?
  • Perhaps the Washington Redskins need a public option. 
  • I love RSS Player for the iPhone, and was looking forward to the new release out yesterday.  Unfortunately, it didn't install correctly.  The software writer has notified Apple of the problem.  But RSS Player has been my most used app, as I listen to lots of podcasts.  Frustrating! 
  • Back to the work at hand...

 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Market Thoughts

  • The market took a break this past week.  Is it more than a break?  We’re heading into month end, which should be a positive, but the market has had such a run and has seen a bunch of distribution days the last couple of weeks.  I remain 100% long, but I think we’ll see a correction soon.  Why remain long? I just don’t have a feeling for timing or severity the correction. I believe we’re out of the recession and that we’ll see slow to moderate growth in the coming year.
  • How an insurance mandate may make people worse off.  Good column.  I like the phrase “mandate creep.”  You know it will happen.
  • Invest like the best.
  • Silicon Valley Office vacancies near 20%.
  • US Empire in Decline"People have predicted the end of America in the past and been wrong," Ferguson concedes. "But let's face it: If you're trying to borrow $9 trillion to save your financial system...and already half your public debt held by foreigners, it's not really the conduct of rising empires, is it?"  I think he’s right, as folks expect more and more from the government instead of self-reliance.  But hoping he’s wrong.
  • Summary:  Lots of negative news headlines.  Maybe that’s the best reason to stay bullish.
  • From Mark Cuban, the DVR vs. Internet video.
  • Speaking of, I powered through Stargate Universe this past week. Like it enough to keep recording it.  It has similar dark undertones to Battlestar Gallactica.  Another day in Fantasy Football where I play the last place team and they score like crazy. 
    Even though my team is scoring like crazy.  What a frustrating game.  LOL.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sy Harding Abandoning Seasonal Strategy?

  • monica Is Sy Harding (not pictured) abandoning his market timing seasonal strategy?  I think this is a pretty interesting column for what is supposed to be a non-emotional investing strategy. …although the remarkable performance of STS was achieved by strictly following its entry and exit rules, this time we are going to use our other strategy, our Market-Timing Strategy, currently neutral on the market, to determine when the STS re-entry will take place.
  • Steve Jobs (not pictured, either) made $103.5 million in the market on Wednesday.  How’d you do?  (Hat tip to Crossing Wall Street).
  • Monica Raymund from Lie to Me.  Hubba hubba.
  • Not a good day in the market.  If you left an hour early, you missed a lot.  I remain 100% long at this point.
  • The Lesson of State Health Care ReformLike participants in a national science fair, state governments have tested variants on most of the major components of the health-care reform plans currently being considered in Congress. The results have been dramatically increased premiums in the individual market, spiraling public health-care costs, and reduced access to care. In other words: The reforms have failed
  • Black Thursday was 80-years ago!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

DOW 10K: Easy Come, Easy Go

  • dichen-lachman Everyone was excited. At least for a little while.  It is amazing that we first hit 10K in 1999.  One would think the market has been unplugged for 10 years.  It’s been a roller-coaster of highs and lows.
  • Pictured?  Dichen Lachman from Dollhouse.  Hubba hubba.
  • Say, what was really in that balloon?  LOL:  “The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ballots”  More good ones at the link!
  • Something is wrong with Wall Street.
  • Something is wrong with me.  Working way too much.  On a huge-dollar project, and as someone told me “You’re getting a lot of visibility.”  Better end up good, huh?  Otherwise, it can turn into one of those Brady Quinn – Derek Anderson fiascos.  Anyways, I haven’t given up on blogging or the desire to do so.  Honest.
  • Bought a new wireless keyboard and mouse.  Overall?  Like it!  Less cables!  Sometimes, it seems as if the keyboard misses a keystroke or two.  Wait!  You think maybe that’s more attributable to my typing skills?
  • I’m listening to Motley Crue, Saints of Los Angeles.
  • SuperFreakonomics isn’t even on sale yet, and the attacks on our chapter about global warming are already underway.  That’s the funny thing about the emotionally-charged beliefs about global warming.  The alarmists are quick to attack. Read the link.  Maybe you’ll be surprised at what Steven Levitt really believes about global warming.
  • State revenue falls most since 1963. U.S. state tax collections tumbled the most in almost half a century in the second quarter as the economic recession curbed levies on incomes and sales.
  • Meanwhile, the debate continues on how much exactly health care will cost you.  Look, it’s going to cost more than what you currently pay.  There are over 40M people who currently do not have health care, will now be going to the doctor.  Increasing demand absent of increasing the supply of health care (doctors, nurses, medicine, facilities) will lead to increased costs.  The estimated additional costs are somewhere between an additional $800B (CBO number) and $2T (Joe Biden number).  And then government estimates are usually a bit short by some exponential factor.
  • On tap for today?  Watching college football and drinking BEER!  Life is good.  Just saying.
  • Hey, moved the USB dongle for the wireless keyboard to the front USB port, which is closer to the desk, and that seems to have improved my typing skills.  Woot!
  • Hey, it is okay if we disagree politically, right?  Lets agree on football and beer, and let the rest fall by the wayside.
  • Ending the blog entry with a little Ray Davies.  Cooler, calmer and more collective.  Or, maybe that should be reflective.  Bring on football and beer!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Randomosity

  • The market had a great week.  There were a lot of grumblings last week after two weeks in a row of negative returns, only to bolt back up this week.  I’m still 100% in.  No reason to do anything else right now.
  • Why Lady Ga Ga? I though the Saturday Night Live episode last weekend was pretty good.  So take this picture and “throw it to the ground!”  Nice butt shots on the Disco Stick performance.  LOL.
  • Wow, interest rates are really low.  Under 5% now for a 30-year fixed rate.  It’s great if you’re not upside down on your house!  It may not last, as Bernanke said higher rates are coming with an improved outlook.  Have to act quickly on this, IMHO.
  • Have you been following Mike Murphy’s goal of turning $2000 into $1M?  Hulbert with the details.
  • I think it was cool that Ga Ga was in some skits, too.
  • Working a lot lately.  Starting to grind me down.  Working today, but taking a break. I forgot how blogging is a little like therapy for me.  Blog more, Muck.
  • Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.  Now there’s a brain teaser.  Good commentary:  “Something doesn’t feel right.”
  • Tax hikes to cover government workers’ pensions?  A taxpayer group found an apparent link between high public employee pension costs and tax hikes in a study of 17 cities in San Diego County.
  • Tech stocks have had a great run, and next week the big earnings numbers start rolling in.  Intel on deck…
  • Nobel Prize for best place to live?  Norway.  You’ve gotta be frakkin’ with me now.  Hey, sign me up for a summer vacation.  But live there year round?  Norway, the land of fjords, Vikings, vodka, and blonde hair, is now also the most desirable place to live, according to the United Nations
  • Disco Stick.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Pre-season Rally!

The market rock and rolled again today. Amazing that we're seeing this after the quarter-end and early month 401k adds. We had two negative weeks in a row, and now when you think that we'd see some weakness, two nice days up.

Go figure. Screw historical patterns. Ride the trend.

Earnings season about to get under way, so maybe this is all pricing in some forward-looking optimism.

***

NBA pre-season games? WHAT? Wow, here we are!

I see Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers in the one-game playoff. Amazing that 162 games later, it all comes down to one game. Why even play the other 162? Heck, with extra-innings, too. Maybe they should have just played extra innings from the start and not waste all our time.

Work is very busy. I'm sad that I don't have much break time or lunch time to surf the web and keep up with my favorite blogs. Usually, I venture around and comment on stories and blogs, but really have been so under the gun at the Fun Factory that I don't have time to glance at the iPhone.

The other sad thing is lack of work outs and exercise. Yeeesh, gotta get back on that or else that Halloween candy will take a toll...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Moonshot Monday

Wow, I'm checking the market numbers over a veggie burrito. Nice way to start the week. Especially after we have had two negative weeks in a row.

Remaining long.

•••

I'm about ready to dump Tony Romo on my fantasy team. Good grief.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Slide Continues

Looks like the month-end and quarter-end rally was a bit overhyped and the tone of the market has changed. There doesn't seem to be much positive economic sentiment out there.

I remain long, but watching positions closely. Maybe the market makes a stand at the 50dma and this is just a pullback.

I think it does appear as if the economy is weakening, though. On the car sales numbers, it is obvious that the cash for clunkers program had a short term effect that accelerated sales, now the numbers will be bad for a while.

•••

Phew. Friday. Time flies when you're drowning in work. Nobody at my job is even taking lunch breaks these days.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exactly the Opposite Wednesday

The market is doing exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be doing. Here's why:

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell to 46.1 in September rather than rising to the 52 that economists expected.

Maybe this is where the double-dippers start high-giving each other.

Still have paydays and 401k adds this week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Giving Back a Little

The market gave some back today as consumer confidence dipped. Pardon me, but I think consumer confidence is a poor forward-looking indicator. Consumers are dealing in the now, often times with problems of the past. But, who cares what I think? The market seemed to turn around as the number was released.

I still think with month-end and quarter-end, the bias should be to the upside this week.

•••

My coworker has lost 12 pounds in 21 days on a low-fat, vegan diet. I noticed she dropped a few, but good for her. And she feels great and is excited about it all. The amazing thing is that her story has energized some others to do the same.

Already the middle of the week! I am so busy at work that I don't even have time for a web break or much time for lunch. Next on the agenda this week are job interviews for 3 software developers. So maybe those who we hire will feel more upbeat about the economy in the next consumer confidence survey!


Megan Fox pictured. Thought the Saturday Night Live last week was poor, but she looked great!

Monday, September 28, 2009

End of Quarter Ramp

The market shot out the gates today. We have month-end strength and quarter-end ramp in effect as the race to be in the winners begins. Seemingly, anyways. It makes more sense than being excited about Iran' s nuclear program.

When it happens it seems obvious. Everyone wants to print those winning stocks in the quarterly literature.

I remain invested. No reason to sell, yet

***

Iran's nuclear program presents a problem. My thought is that they are trying to enrich uranium for bombs and that the world will not be a safer place when they have nukes. And when they can supply nukes to terrorists.

My new boss likes to have status meetings at lunch time. What? That's cruel and unusual punishment.

Fantasy football driving me nuts. Injuries!

Chad Pennington out for the season and Chad Henne to take over. I didn't have much hope for the Dolphins. Nice to watch Henne and see if he can play the game.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday at the Clothes

The market seems stuck in selling.  Nothing dramatic, but the tone has changed where folks are more interested in selling and taking their gains compared to risking money for more upside.  We’re also in the lull after options expiration week.  Next week we begin the march towards the end of the month and quarter, so it will be interesting to see if the buyers step in at lower prices to pad their quarter-end portfolios with the names of winners.  I remain long, and will not sell ahead of next week.

***

Watching the fantasy football health report.  I hate how many coaches are hiding player statuses and how too many players are game-day decisions.  It used to be more open.  One great example this year was opening weekend and how Arizona’s Boldin was Questionable while Breaston was probable.  Boldin played, Breaston sat.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Market Slides Again

If I had to guess, I'd say the market is trying to put in its September-October slide. Everything seems to be set up for it.

Reading around here at lunch, and it looks like there is lots of talk about the US dollar. Easy to understand, because we (the US) are spending so much money that we don't have, it's hard to see any turnaround. Yes, it had a big bounce today but that's in a very impressive downtrend.

Remaining 100% long stocks, keeping an eye on stuff but not in panic mode.

***

My home office is in disarray and torn apart. Bringing in some new furniture this week, a new LCD TV, and a new PC next month (Yo! Windows 7!).

Maybe I'll try one of those energy efficient LED TVs. Something that wouldn't contribute to the heat in the office. Although I'll need the heat the coming months! Hmm...

I've been in cleaning mode this week, throwing away stuff, shredding stuff, and trying to get ready for the New Look. Can't wait.

Blogging activity will (should) return to normal as this new work project I'm on settles in and the home activities calm down. I miss posting the cheerleader pictures and random stories from around the web. Just haven't had much time to surf around!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Not So Bad Day

Another day where you would think the bears could take the market down. But they didn't. After an early scare, I thought that this was the day the bears are going to get us. I was watching that last hour, but it just wasn't bad.

Maybe the scary thing is that I'm starting to feel like the market may never go down again.

***

In one of my fantasy football leagues I'm stuck with the ugly need that the Dolphins Ronnie Brown have a big offensive night. Lord help me.


UPDATE 9:25pm: Thank you, Lord!

And Michael Irvin on Dancing with the Stars? Yikes. No fantasy points for that.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cage Dancing Sunday Night!

Cage dancing at the new Dallas Cowboy's football stadium?

Heading into post-options expiration week in September, it looks as if the stars are aligned for the most anticipated pullback since, well, the previous most anticipated pullback (after Labor Day weekend). It makes sense to me, but I'm still long until the market gives me a real reason to do something different.

***

Man, another great weekend for football. I spent 2 days in a casino (again).

Romo looks bad. Last week I benched him in fantasy football for Matt Ryan. Today I sit Ryan and start Romo. Good grief.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Rally Day

Another strong day in the market. I remain 100% long, even though the bear argument of a pullback, correction, or double-dip recession makes more sense than anything coming from the bulls. Maybe that is what makes a "wall of worry" and why the market keeps going up. Yes, the market is pricing in something better ahead, I guess. Either that, or we're creating another bubble. Just hope I can figure out when this one is going to burst before the popping sound.

Remaining 100% long until there's a reason not to.

***

Just a quick entry today. I have a new job within the Fun Factory that is really kicking my butt right now, working with new folks and learning who the players are. Then there's the technology, too. Having fun along the way, of course.

If the economy is recovering, I think it will be good news for the Democrats in 2010 and 2012. I think the ACORN thing will blow over. Most folks have a short-term memory.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Randomosity

  • Tom Brady made Suzy Kolber work for the post-game comment!
  • Ben Bernanke says recession is "very likely over." Bernanke said the economy likely is growing now, but it won't be sufficient to prevent the unemployment rate, now at a 26-year high of 9.7 percent, from rising.  Hey, maybe you won't keep your job, but it's good to know things are better.
  • Say, was it the real Ben Bernanke or identity-theft Ben Bernanke?
  • "Male, pale, and stale" is out for Calpers.  Now CalPERS officials cite studies, including one of their own, that conclude companies with women and minorities on their boards generally produce more value for investors than companies run by boards of directors that are virtually all white males.  White men are nothin' but trouble.
  • What I want to know, is what is the mission of Calpers?  Is it political activism or producing returns to provide for the retirements of their members?  Lets checkOur mission is to advance the financial and health security for all who participate in the System. We will fulfill this mission by creating and maintaining an environment that produces responsiveness to all those we serve.  And white men suck.
  • Average health care costs jump 5% for families.  Despite a drop in inflation, the annual cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance coverage has risen 5% this year to $13,375. But lets also add Employers picked up the lion's share of that tab. Companies paid an average of $9,860, while their workers picked up the other $3,515.
  • I think it's important to add in what the employer is paying, because folks believe their not getting raises while this shows that employers are indeed spending more on employees.
  • Hey, it's Tuesday.  The day after quite a football weekend. 

 

 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Misconduct Monday

Yeah, you get fired but at least you had some nice parties.

Hello, Monday

Market had yet another chance to sell off, but didn't. We had the whole trade war with China plus Obama warning Wall Street about excesses. The market started out in the hole, but climbed up the rest of the day.

Do I feel skittish and does the bear case make sense? Of course it does. Remaining long and wondering when the rally will stall out.

***

Was in Reno all weekend long betting on football. Wow, some great games.

I always feel disconnected from the news and current events after a weekend away.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Market Looks Good

Quick entry to note that the market looks good. No reason to fight it, despite the historical worry about crashes in September-October. I remain 100% long as the market moves up and internals look good.

***

Heading to Reno this weekend to bet on sports and enjoy the opening NFL weekend.

Chris Collinsworth... I think he was okay tonight. It may be awhile before he's worthy of Frank Caliendo impression.

I think Apple's conference was a little disappointing. Just iPod stuff. Nothing that makes me want to spend money. So, meh.

I am looking forward to buying a new PC and new Microsoft operating system Windows 7 this Fall. I may not rush out on October 22nd to buy it, but within a month after the initial adopters take the early bird hit (in tech issues, etc).

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Tuesday After

Well, the Friday-Tuesday Labor Day rally thing worked out. I know I said Monday, but we were all at barbeques yesterday, right?

I think gold is the fun one to watch here as it tries to close above $1000. It was mighty close today, rally above and then closing below. It almost seems as if $1000 is a psychological barrier. You have to wonder if it takes off when it breaks through that. I suppose *everyone* is saying that though, right?

You probably know the arguments for rising gold and commodities, right? The dollar is going down, interest rates are low, America is deficit spending, and President Obama asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling. There are no plans in sight to curtail deficit spending.

Another play would be copper, ETF is JJC. But it's up over 100% this year already. Some more diversified plays here.

Same for oil, which has rallied. I think as money is fast and loose in a recovering economy, oil demand will increase.

No, I don't own any gold, copper, or oil at this time. I guess I'll just sit by and let other people make all the money on those trades.

***

You know, I really wasn't at a barbeque yesterday. I ended up watching a DVD, "Passengers." It was a little slow but I kind of liked it in retrospect.

Already watching NFL injury reports, and the season hasn't begun! Darn that fantasy football! One more draft, tomorrow night. That will make THREE. Good grief.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday All-Sports Randomosity!

  • image  San Diego Chargers star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman (not pictured) was arrested Sunday and accused of choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality TV star Tila Tequila, as she tried to leave his suburban home.  Merriman said he was trying to stop her from driving.  I think taking away her keys would be step #1, with choking being way down the list a ways.
  • Alex Van Pelt named Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator.  Alex, you may want to live out of the suitcase for a little while first.  Just saying.
  • Vikings took away John David Booty’s #4 jersey and gave it to Favre, cut him from the team, and now hired him back to the practice squad.  Pr-pr-practice?
  • Virginia turned out to be William and Mary’s tune-up game.  Al Groh may want to keep his suitcases at the ready.
  • Lou Holtz…  Yeah, it was tough listening to him yesterday.

***

Okay, so I’ve been planted on the sofa for the weekend watching college football.  Feels great.  Loved the BYU upset of Oklahoma.  BYU handled Oklahoma’s offense with Sam Bradford in the 1st half, but no doubt BYU had an edge in the 2nd half.  Still had to execute the offense, but stopping that last drive was a bit easier with Bradford’s shoulder on ice.

Friday, September 04, 2009

TGIF!

The market ended the week with a rally. The market seems like it just doesn't want to go down too much. I heard Bob Pisani mention on CNBC that if Friday before Labor Day is a rally, it's likely Monday will be a rally. I didn't validate, but sounds good to me. Would that be an opportunity to lighten up? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it. But the "September Swoon" almost seems too crowded. I've heard everyone mention it.

Remaining long heading into the weekend and opening College Football weekend!

***

One fantasy football draft down, two more to go! ... Labor Day weekend already? Good grief. I don't like the dwindling daylight hours, but FOOTBALL... Megan Fox picture today!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New Month, New Tone

More late day selling. Tone of market has changed. Or maybe it's confirming some of the toppiness behavior exhibited in recent weeks. IBD changed their stance last night to market under pressure. The market seems to have priced in the improving economic numbers and is wondering "what's next?"

Overall, I remain long-term bullish. I remain long, but may lower my beta or even raise a little cash. Maybe a little of both cash raising and beta lowering. I'll blog when I do it!

Laszlo Byrini made a great comment this morning on CNBC, about how in many bull periods we rarely see pullbacks of more than a few percent. If that's the case here, is it really worth trying to capture a 2-3% move?

****

Heading to the California State Fair today! I tend to skip the fried greasiness, but love the vendor space where they sell little gadgets and gizmos. ... I have three fantasy football drafts over the next week, starting Thursday night! ... September? Sheez!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Last Weekend in August

Heading in to the week, 401k additions could help keep a bid under the market in the month-end seasonal thing. I still feel a correction is coming sooner rather than later, but have held on to my longs as the bears haven't been able to gain any traction. Yet.

Here's a good commentary on the deficit and taxes. Nobody seems to care about all the red ink being produced in Washington DC these days. But it does matter.

***

If feels sad that August is ending and we head into September. I think that's a psychological hangover from childhood. As an adult, work is 52 weeks a year! Plus, football season is starting! ... Went to a barbeque/pool party yesterday in the 104 degree heat. Lots of shady spots and a pool made it nice outside. ... Watching Little League World Series.

Friday, August 28, 2009

TGIF!

The week ended with the same sort of choppiness that has been the norm lately. I still have this feeling that a whoosh down is coming sooner rather than later, but remain 100% long at this time. If I had to make a guess, it'd be that we'd see the market stay afloat this next week heading into Labor Day but then run into trouble after the holiday.

That's just a guess. I've heard and read similar guesses elsewhere, which makes the guess suspect. LOL.

I'm still long, concentrated in tech and small caps. It's tempting to rotate into lower beta holdings and maybe take some of the amazing gains off the table. Again, haven't done that yet.

****

* I'm in three fantasy football leagues! Good grief! Drafts over the next 2 weeks.

* I was looking for NFL gear on the NFL site today, and adding things like gym shorts, pajamas, and jersies to my shopping cart. But when it came to check out and pay, I thought "$300 for a bunch of crap? Nah." Then closed the window. A cyber version of filling up the grocery cart, then abandoning it in the aisle.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here Comes Month-End

The bears have had chances to take the market down, but the market has held up. Now we are approaching month end, with 401k adds coming. Folks are more upbeat about the economy, too.

I remain 100% long.

I'm wondering what will happen to interest rates and the bond market down the road. Not today's worry. But soon.

****

On my way back from a local Indian casino. Not nearly as many folks out gambling. I know it's a Wednesday night, but it used to be more crowded. Maybe folks are dealing with new car payments after getting cash for their clunkers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Market Feels Squishy

It feels as if the market is getting a bit squishy on us. For quite a while, the market showed us softness in the mornings only to close strong. But now, we're starting to see a bit of the opposite. In the mornings, we're getting a pop and then the selling begins. We seem to be forming some resistance. I remain long, but for the short term, I'm wondering how much higher we can go.

***

I see the Post Office is offering $15K buyouts to encourage folks to retire. ... Beer prices going up? Bastards. Right ahead of football season, too. Forget cash for clunkers, we need cash for cerveza...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reversal Monday

Financials reversed today and the market went with them. Early on, it looked like it was another day in the park.

IBD's summary tonight says that Nouriel Roubini warned about a double-dip recession in Sunday's Financial Times. Seems like I've read that before, so not sure that's exactly new news.

Rumor out tonight that Presidnet Obama will nominate Ben Bernanke to a 2nd-term.

Month-end coming up, and I wonder if we'll get some tape painting? Hard to get a feel. The market has done opposite of what I expected this summer. I've been long and looking for a reason to get out, but haven't seen one. I know it's coming, and I hope I'm not asleep with a preseason NFL game on when it happens.

****

Other stuff... Audrina Patridge's Carl's Jr. commercial doesn't exactly make me want a hamburger... Up to 50% of us with the Swine Flu this year? Now we'll all be wondering if we have it with that first sneeze. Remember when it was called H1N1? That didn't last long... Do you watch Psych? LOL... The secret in Fantasy Baseball for pitching stats is to start pitchers at home, not on the road. At least that's my secret. Don't tell anyone!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

IBD Whipsawed! Uptrend Resumes

I hope you weren't whipsawed by IBD this week. They went from a market in correction Tuesday morning to uptrend resumes this Monday morning. Even worse, is if someone acted on that first thing Tuesday or Wednesday morning, that was near the lows of the correction.

The market resumed the rally and closed out a strong week.

You know, I keep expecting seasonality to be a factor. But it's been the exact opposite. We're rallying this summer. I haven't sold anything and I'm looking for reasons to sell. Nothing yet. I've been close a few times to at least reallocating to a lower-beta, but haven't.

****

Blogging has been light. Work is overwhelming and I feel out of touch with current events. I assume health care is still the rage of talk shows? I did hear that the Miami Dolphins have two players with the Swine Flu. Working this weekend, but I have managed two bike rides and jumping in the pool afterwards.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Looking for Divergences

Heck, IBD has the market in correction, and here we are near the bull market highs. IBD may be right. The correction may have started and we're just retesting previous highs. If so, then it's time to look to see if there are divergences in MACD, volume, etc. And there are.

As you can see, the MACD and volume are trending down as the market is making an attempt at the recent highs. As is the RSI. I wouldn't blame anyone, even myself, for lowering beta here. My hunch is that IBD is correct.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Summer Correction… ?

  • image IBD changed their market position after Monday’s close to “Market in correction.”  After today’s positive move, IBD notes in Wednesday’s edition that the volume wasn’t great and retains the same view as yesterday.
  • Just want to note that.  At times, I follow a seasonal investing strategy that has me out of the market in the Summer months. Fortunately, I have remained long this summer.  But the market has come up quite a ways and a correction makes too much sense.  I don’t believe the bull market is over, however. 
  • Brett Favre signs with the Minnesota Vikings.  He just can’t hang ‘em up.
  • HP revenue drops.  But keep in mind, that Windows 7 comes out in October.  My thoughts are that will lead to a very nice upgrade cycle for PC makers.
  • Sony cutting PS3 prices by $100.  Not a bad deal for a gaming machine, blu-ray player, and a streaming media box for the TV.  I have one!
  • Inflation a no-show in July, and companies don’t have pricing power.
  • Speaking of, everyone keeps looking for a bottom in the real estate market.  Historically, home prices go up with inflation and wage growth.  We’re not seeing either of those last two.  No housing bottom until that changes.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday at the Clothes

  • Well, even with the selloff today there was a flurry at the end of the day to close up off the lows.  Enough to keep the SP500 over 1000.  Market down almost 1% for the week, so the win-steak is over!
  • Belichick to NFL:  I’m afraid the Death Star is fully operational.  Tom Brady back last night and plays the first half very nicely.
  • Oil down to just over $67.  Lots of talk about how if the world economies are improving, then that will increase demand and thus prices.  Of course, oil has come up already from the mid-30s.  Maybe some of that is priced in.

Friday Thoughts

  • image Well, it was bound to happen eventually.  The market pulling back large as I type.  SP500 now under 1000 again.  The last hour may be interesting, but seems like the bulls have been rescued lately by last ditch efforts in the last hour.  We shall see!
  • Working from home today.  Work has been very busy and stressful of late.  I think one sign of economic recovery is that while companies have cut back employees, the work is increasing and existing workers are having to pick up the slack.  Companies won’t rush to hire back; they just let folks go!  Companies will want to see more stable signs.  And those signs usually show up in the rear-view mirror as they analyze company numbers.  So it could be a bit.  Which means we’ll all be worked harder!
  • Consumer morale down. U.S. consumers' gloom deepened in early August as worry about scarce jobs and falling income… Yeah, people are worried.  It’s difficult to see the stock market advance and the financial articles talking about a recovering economy when in the real world, your wages are cut and you’re seeing people lose their jobs.  While there seems to be a disconnect, the stock market is looking towards the future, while the company is looking at and reacting to the numbers from last quarter.
  • I created a new AudioBoo.  No headset, so the audio is much better this time.  Boo #2 is about Blockbuster and the DVD rental business.  Blockbuster reported poor earnings yesterday in an environment where people are renting more movies.  Yikes!  Here’s the embed, but you can always listen via the widget in the sidebar or by visiting my AudioBoo page
Listen!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Randomosity, and AudioBoo!

  • The market continues to rally, despite how we’re being told that it shouldn’t continue moving up with out a pause.  Yes, the Nasdaq looks a little tired, but could be regrouping.  I agree that we need a pullback, but not sure how severe that would be or how quickly folks would get back in.  The economy is improving, so the rally should take us higher at some point.  Yes, as always, never in a straight line.  Trying to time the wiggles is pretty difficult in a bull trend.  I prefer to ride it out.  I may shift allocations here and there, but that’s about it. 
  • For now.  Subject to change, as always.
  • les paul Les Paul pic today.  You understand.
  • Blockbuster hit afterhours today.  Who goes to Blockbuster anymore?  It’s all about Netflix and Redbox now.
  • I downloaded the free iPhone app AudioBoo to record up to 5 minutes of chatter, then upload to a website.  Added a widget in the sidebar to listen.  If you want to do this and have questions, comment or email me and I’ll give you a cheat sheet.  Now the first recording didn’t go well, as I was on a headset outside.  Maybe it was the wind or other background noise that fried the recording.   The gist of the 3 minute talk was that Sell in May hasn’t worked out too well this year! Will try straight to the iPhone mic, indoors, next time!
  • Cool AudioBoo stuff…  You can subscribe to your favorite feeds in iTunes.  Your favorite feeds also has an RSS feed, so you can subscribe in an iPhone app like RSS Player, too.  Even better!
  • Michael Vick signs with the Philadelphia Eagles.  So, keep in mind that if you draft Eagles’ wide receivers for fantasy football and Donovan McNabb gets hurt, your receivers are worthless!

Cash for Clunkers Stimulus

This worked out better than any of the other auto stimulus packages. Low interest rates and a recovering economy helpng out, too.

DETROIT (Dow Jones)--Ford Motor Co. (F) boosted its production plans for the rest of the year as consumers, spurred by the "Cash for Clunkers" program, continue streaming into showrooms to buy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090813-712491.html


I know folks have pointed out that foreign car companies are selling more cars in this program. But, many of those foreign cars are built here!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking for Catalysts!

  • Note to self: The beginning of the NFL pre-season is not a stock market catalyst.
  • The stock meandered around (mostly down) for the day, and closed slightly down. The market has had an amazing run and is quite extended.  It would be normal to get some profit taking and sideways action until the buyers regroup.  It also seems as if we're waiting for some news to react to.  The Fed meets this week, so that could provide some catalyst for something.
  • Sorry, Vince Young.  You're just not a market mover!
  • I remain 100% long, and realize that a 5% to 7% pullback is likely somewhere on the horizon.  Many have been trying to front run that, and have guessed too early and missed the next bump up.  I believe the market is pricing in a better economy.
  • Man, granola sure is a messy snack.  I need to vacuum my workspace here.  Sheez.
  • People are searching less for "great depression" these days. H/T to Carpe Diem.
  • Weekend?  Worked some, as things have been hectic at the Fun Factory.  Also finished season 3 of Heroes via Netflix streaming.  Got a bike ride in.  Hung out with friends a couple nights.  I'm kind of into the Blue Moon beer these days.
  • Ted Nugent, Double-Live Gonzo, Cat Scratch Fever.  LOL.

Friday, August 07, 2009

TGIF!

  • Since March, the market has been anticipating an improving economy. We could be seeing the data flow matching market expectations.  The jobs numbers came in better than expected and the unemployment rate fell below 10%. 
  • Political ramifications? I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the Republicans, but the economic cycle seems to favor the Democrats in the mid-term election cycle in 2010 and even out to 2012.  The economy may look pretty good as folks head to the election booth.  Folks tend to vote their wallet ahead of any other issue.
  • It's Friday.  Quite a week in the market and here at work.  More blogging on the weekend.  I'm beat!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wednesday's Rescue Randomosity

  • Just when we thought the market would never go down again... It went down! The blame goes to a "generally unimpressive batch of economic data."  LOL.  Well, have had quite a run and any excuse for a breather, right?  Even after the morning dive, the market climbed it's way back up the rest of the day before falling in the last hour.  Nothing to dislike.  Expect a rest at some time.  We're also near the end of the monthly strength period, so the 401(k) adds are done for now.
  • I remain long, overweighted in the NDX and small caps.  It's been a nice run.
  • (I'm getting use to the newer versions of Windows Office software and the iPhone automatically capitalizing the first word in sentences.  Good Lord.)
  • Euna Lee, Laura Ling, and Lana Lang released from North Korea.  Er, okay, not really Lana Lang.  That'd be Kristin Kreuk and I have no idea if she's anywhere near North Korea.  But if she is, I hope President Clinton goes over there and gets her out, too.  And speaking of, I have the Legend of Chun-Li DVD from Netflix.  I know it probably is horrible, but with Kristin and Moon Bloodgood, I figurd I HAD to give it a spin.
  • I do think Laura and Euna coming home is good news, by the way.  I didn't want that to get lost in the shuffle of me making an excuse to put up a pic of Kristin Kreuk.
  • Negotiations over extending cash for clunkers program stalls in the Senate. You know, people seem to like this program.  What's a few billion more in debt at this point?  It's is eventually going to turn into an episode of The Cleaner, where the addict will be forced to give up the junk.  At some point Akani (Grace Park) is coming over to tie you up.
  • Cisco earnings fall 46% but beat expectations.  LOL.  Who cares what their earnings are, as long as they can beat a low-ball estimate?
  • A 53-year-old man who told police he is secretly engaged to marry Miley Cyrus has been charged with attempting to stalk the teenage "Hannah Montana" star...  Good grief.
  • Man, work is reallllly busy.  One sign the economy is recovering despite the bad news in the rear-view mirror.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

I took my car in for service this weekend and ended up touring the local automall. It's Cash for Clunkers mania.

The three major U.S. automakers accounted for 47 percent of the first 80,000 "Cash for Clunkers" sales, the U.S. government said Monday.

 Through Saturday afternoon, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has processed 80,500 transactions, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

...

The Ford Focus is the top-selling vehicle in the program. Four of the top 10-selling vehicles are manufactured by Detroit's Big Three.

...

Thus far, 83 percent of trade-ins under the program are trucks, and 60 percent of new vehicle purchases are cars.

What I observed here in Sacramento around noon on Saturday was that the Toyota dealership was packed.  Not just the car lot, but the tables inside where folks haggle prices and such.  I saw a few folks around Ford.  Virtually nobody at Chrysler or Chevy.  Honda had a few folks milling around.  Nissan seemed empty.

Of course, the government program isn't being run very well.  Not exactly a shocker, but may create confusion for buyers and car dealers.

U.S. Senate Democrats sought a path forward on Monday to replenish the "cash for clunkers" auto sales incentive while the White House warned the program would cease at week's end without more money.

Republican doubts, potential procedural hurdles, and limited time for action muddled the outlook for supporters of a proposed $2 billion extension.

"They want to get something done this week," said a Democratic party source who was not authorized to speak for attribution about the matter. "The devil is in the details."

The first opportunity for the Senate to consider a remedy will be Tuesday after Democratic leaders huddle with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss "clunker" prospects, health care legislation and other priorities

Stay tuned!

Of course, maybe a question is why older cars are excluded?  Seems like the oldest and dirtiest cars would be prior to 1984.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Night Live

Well, quite a week in the market.  Quite a month. The market seems to be anticipating better days ahead. Even the job numbers out today were less horrible than expected.

Quite a week for me medically, as I’ve had a cavity filled, found out I need reading glasses, and was stung by something that caused my whole arm to swell up.  The latter required a trip to the doctor, a tetanus shot, and antibiotics.  Thank goodness we don’t have Obamacare and that I don’t live in Massachusetts, as I was able to see my doctor right away without being placed on a waiting list for a few months waiting for an appointment.  Looks like I get to keep the arm.  For now…

A few things to read:

As for me, I don’t know where he was born and I really don’t care.  I enjoy watching the back and forth between those telling the “truth” and those telling the “lies.”  I’m just not sure who is who.  Or is that whom?  I read somewhere once that people seem to define "truth" as "information that supports my position." They define "lies" as "information challenges what I think I already know."