Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Prediction - Arizona +7

I was in Reno last night staring at the wall in the Sports Book, wondering what to do in Sunday's Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. This game could be a blowout in either direction. I won't be surprised at whatever the outcome is. I could easily rationalize a bet in either direction.

The Steelers have a fantastic defense and a ball control offense. Anyone who played fantasy football this year knows that Pittsburgh's defense kills fantasy stats. And Arizona's offense is a fantasy offense. The Steelers defense gave Joe Flacco some time to pass and he doesn't have the same kind of receivers that the Cardinals have. But the defense has been good at home and on the road. The Steelers offense can mount mind-numing 8-minute drives. Willie Parker is healthy. Ben Roethlisberger has been gritty and smart. But that offensive unit is a bit suspect. I don't think the offensive line is that great, as Roethlisberger has taken some hits this year. Hines Ward may not be 100% healthy, and those other wideouts seem to drop a lot of balls.

Who would've thought Arizona would be here? I've certainly been wrong about the Cardinals during the playoffs. The Cardinals offense is fun to watch and has done well against some good defenses. Kurt Warner is smart in the pocket and quick to recognize the defense. He has Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Breaston running routes. Warner has been quick to release the ball to a variety of targets when the pass rush comes. The running game has improved in the playoffs, but it is going up against Pittsburgh's defense. The Cardinals' defense has surprised me and has shut down running backs Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, and Brian Westbrook. That defense has also limited the impact of big name wideouts (Roddy White, Steve Smith).

At some point you have to stop staring at the wall in the Sports Book and pick a side. I stepped up to the counter and called out for the Cardinals +7. I also took the over on 46.5 points on the game. I think the probabilty is higher that Arizona either wins straight up or Pittsburgh wins a close game, compared to Pittsburgh dominating the scoreboard for 60 minutes.

It's just a guess. I just hope it's fun to watch.

I also made a ton of proposition bets. A ton. Parlayed the number of interceptions, field goals and sacks in a 3-pick parlay. Each quarter, I have bets on the over-under and point winner for the quarter. I bet on players to score and not score touchdowns. I bet on what would happen on Warner's first pass and Ben's first pass. Just stuff to keep the game interesting. I told the guy at the sportsbook that I'll probably be so hammered during the game, that I won't be able to keep track of all of these proposition bets. He laughed and said, "Just bring the tickets back up, and we'll sort them out." LOL.

Good luck. Enjoy the game.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hot N Cold Randomosity

  • Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" (Hot and Cold) seems to describe the market from yesterday to today. Indecisive as can be.
  • Cafe Hayek has a post up about a petition against the Obama stimulus package.  Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.
  • Curious about Sony's ($SNE) earnings?  I always look because I'm a fan of their products.  I have a PS3 that I mostly use as a blu-ray DVD player and only an occassional gaming machine.  Looks like $SNE is doing okay with their PCs, TVs and blu-ray related technology.   They lost out in their gaming strategy this go-around.
  • Crossing Wall Street has the YouTube clip up of Charlie dropping the f-bomb on CNBC.  Nice!
  • I had this nasty veggie wrap for lunch.  Sauce was just gross.  I had to get some mints to ctl-alt-del my tastebuds.  YUCK.  But now I feel short-changed on lunch, you know?
  • Free Money Finance back with some money saving tips.  Free lunch at Costco!  Between that and free happy hour at Embassy Suites (as long as nobody is checking room keys), meals are taken care of!  Check out the comments there. LOL.  "Also makes for a nice, inexpensive first date."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Low Volume Randomosity

  • Nice up day in the market, but volume was a little light. New lows far outpaced new highs.  If one was watching the bad news on TV, one might think the DOW is closing in on 3000.  From Yahoo Finance, Action was choppy and trading volume was light this session, but stocks were able to close higher for the third straight session.
  • Wondering what to give up or not give up in this economy?  Free Money Finance goes over a list of what others are (and are not) giving up.  I was shocked to see "gym membership" at the top of what people aren't going to give up.  Really? 
  • Boy, you watching Battlestar Galactica?  I'm struggling to watch it.  But since this is the last season, I feel like I have to.
  • Financial-services giant Northern Trust Corp. is shutting down all 17 of its exchange-traded funds, a move that could point to further consolidation in the ETF business after years of frothy growth.  I think that's a good thing.  Remember ETF mania in 2006?
  • Peter Schiff was wrong!  From Mish.  It looks like even though Schiff got the market call right, his investment thesis centered on shorting the dollar in a hyperinflation bet, and buying foreign equities rather than shorting US equities.
  • Follow that more at Trading Goddes site, in Blogger Wars.  Hmm, an inflationist vs. a deflationist.  Whoa. 
  • I thought the Nicolas Cage movie Bangkok Dangerous was watchable.  Via Netflix, of course.  The Netflix commenters didn't like it as much.  I didn't know it was a remake of a 2000 title of the same name.
  • Add Economist Mom to your blog feed reader.  From her About page, It is a place “where analytical rigor meets a mother’s intuition”–where honest math and sound economics is communicated in a way that makes common sense and is relevant to our daily lives.  Okay, Diane.  We'll give you a read!
  • iPhone app?  You can follow President Obama's approval ratings with Change.  Change lets users tap their support or disapproval for President Obama’s handling of a wide range of issues. The economy, war on terrorism, and other issues are part of about a dozen that are included.  Better than a tax cut for the middle class, because it's free!

Monday, January 26, 2009

John Maynard Keynes - All Growed Up!

Thanks to Greg Mankiw for a great link on everyone's favorite cult hero.

I'd link to you Greg but I can't cut and paste on the iPhone.

Anyways, we are in an era where everyone is looking for stimulus spending on anything and everything in the name of fixing what's wrong. Are weeven trying to fix the economy or is this just an excuse to spend for the sake of spending?

It all started out as fixing the housing industry and folks who are stryluggling month to month. Now money is flying everywhere. Banks and insurance. Car companies. Renewable energy. Birth control

Like a big snowball rolling downhill and suckin up everything in the path.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Night Randomosity

  • Sunday night. The calm before this week's market storm. 
  • Oh, and we have a Fed Meeting next week, too.  "The two-day FOMC meeting that concludes on Wednesday should be relatively uneventful," said Richard Moody, chief economist at Mission Residential, in Austin Texas.
  • Cafe Hayek with a great link in Government Does Not Know Better.  Quick excerpt within an excerpt:  The truth is: It is not government's function to create jobs. Putting people to work is easy, as demonstrated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA), more accurately known as "WPA: We Piddle Around." The bigger challenge is to create wealth.
  • Did the musicians Milli-Vanilli it at the inauguration?  Well, Obama inherited lip-synching from the Bush administration, right?
  • Is there an iPhone app for Texas Longhorns fans?  Of course.  Go LonghornsAs the section titles indicate, Go Longhorns brings together the latest news from multiple sources, schedule, and roster information for a number of the most popular UT sports teams. At the moment the sports covered are: football, mens and womens basketball, and baseball.  There you go.
  • When oil prices dipped, who out there thought that oil prices would stay low for very long?  Big rise last week.  OPEC has cut production and the world's economies won't be in a slump forever.  In addition, won't borrowing another trillion bucks in stimulus weaken the dollar and send the price of oil (and commodities) back up?  Just thinking out loud here.
  • I thought about moving to Austin, Texas.  At one time back in the day.  Didn't do it, though.  Maybe then I'd have wanted that app.
  • Oh, another iPhone app?  You can let your friends know that you scored with Booty GongSimply press the “Ring the Gong!” button and select whether to ring your own Gong or to notify a friend. Choose your friend’s mobile number and a text message will be sent to them notifying them of your experience

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Abby Joseph Cohen Update

Al Gore and Abby Joseph Cohen discussing the economy?


Whatever they conclude, I want to fade that 'til the cows come home. Global warming is so 1990's, since the Earth may now be cooling. And Abby's record? Read on.

I want to thank Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis for the linkage. Back in 2006, I fell out of bed during a CNBC interview with Abby Joseph Cohen. (You know, that was a poorly constructed sentence.) Anyways, it prompted me to do some internet digging to find the history of Abby's calls, and I blogged SAY WHAT, Abby Joseph Cohen?

Just an update, I searched for Abby on Google today and found these:

  • March, 2008: Abby Joseph Cohen, the most bullish investment strategist on Wall Street this year, will stop making Standard & Poor's 500 Index forecasts for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

  • ==> 2008 was not the best year to be the most bullish. But did she, has she, stopped making forecasts?

  • May 16, 2008: 2009 will be year of growth.

  • ==> Uh oh. What's the definition of "stop making forecasts?"

  • Jan 4, 2009: 2008 Predictions Gone Awry. On the prestigious Barron's 2008 Roundtable, prominent Wall Street analyst Abby Joseph Cohen predicted the Dow would end the year at 14,750. (It finished at 8,776.)

  • ==> My math teacher used to say, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." That call would help in neither.

  • Jan 1, 2009: Leading the bulls is Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs. She's calling for a big jump in the S&P 500 index, to end the year at 1,150. Cohen expects the market leaders to be energy and technology and she thinks U.S. stocks and high-quality corporate bonds will pay off when the economy stabilizes, around midyear.

  • ==> I think that's what we're hoping, right? Lets hope Abby is right this time.

    Saturday (and Grace Park) Randomosity

    • A few days in to the new era of Hope and Change, and President Barack Obama (not pictured) is running into some opposition not just from the Republicans, but from Nancy Pelosi (also not pictured) and other leading Democrats. President Obama used today's radio address to stress the need for "unprecedented action."
    • Am I Grace Park's biggest fan?  I've been watching the Canadian TV series The Border.  But only starting from Season 2, Episode 7.  That's when Agent Liz Carver (Grace Park)  joined the cast.  I've only made it through that one so far.  Not horrible.  Maybe I'll watch the the first season and S2E1-6.
    • I'm long the market.  I think we're near "the bottom."  Of course, the transports are worrisome, no?  But I continue to believe that it's not over for the US.  I believe that the low interest rates and stimulus will work to stimulate economic growth.  But right now, no one seems to have faith. 
    • The president pleaded for urgent action, saying, "if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse."  Obama's remarks came as he is lobbying for a quick congressional passage of a $825 billion dollar stimulus package to pump up the economy.  That's another nearly trillion on the deficit, by the way.  I suppose he's trying to gain public opinion his way to give him the green light to spend like crazy. 
    • And now, after 8 years of silence, the Republicans are finaly trying to act like spendthrifts.  Right.  They didn't do any better on their watch.  I can't see how anyone can take them too seriously when it comes to balancing the budget.
    • The Aftermath of Financial Crisis, from Barry Ritholtz.  A link and excerpts from the Barron's column this weekend, and also links to Barry's previous comments.  Worth a peruse.
    • I do wish President Obama well, but I am already suffering from Obama Fatigue.  Maybe it was the long campaign season.  But his speaking style is really getting to me.  You know what I mean, it's the TV-preacher thing.  I keep expecting to hear, after every uplifting sentence, "Can I get an amen?"  Remember Arsenio Hall's stand-up TV preacher bit?  Like that!
    • It always seems like *this* will be the week work lets up a bit and I'll have a few more minutes to blog.  Still hasn't happened.  Work is crazy.  Nornally the holidays would be slow, followed by the big bang in January.  But the Fun Factory was hectic over the holidays and continues to be so.  Hectic. 
    • Bookmark this one for future reference.  Econobrowser has a concise summary of macro performance under the Presidents.  Cool chart.  I like charts.  Noice.
    • There's a Grace Park video on Youtube where she's being interviewed about her role in The Border.  What's funny is when she's asked about her prep work for her role as Liz Carver.  She had to dig deep down to come up with something, I thought she might blurt out, "No.  Not really. No prep work whatsoever. Want to go grab coffee?"  Link.
    • Listened to Gary Kaltbaum's radio show last night while working out.  He noted that GE is now yielding about 10%-ish.  They spend about $12 billion on their dividend.  So, they could cut that to 5% and save the company $6 billion.  Would they do it?  Seems to me that we are in an era of shrinking dividends.
    • Richard at Move the Markets has an interesting one up on DJIA Distortion.  Well, the Dow and SP500 are market-cap weighted.
    • And I'll take you out with a Grace Park vid.  Can I get an amen?

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    Does Anyone Trust GE?

    It is always interesting to hear what GE has to say. And another thng completely whether or not to believe it.

    -- Post From My iPhone

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Up and Down and All Around

    If you don't like the market numbers, just wait it out. We are in a new era of Change. If there is anything consistant with this market, it is change.

    Unfortunately, as I finish my bagel (for lunch!), the change has us heading back down.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    The Obama Bull Market

    YeS, the market tanked on inauguration day, but most of that was recovered today.

    Obama will get the credit or blame for what happens next, but the foundation for the next market move has already been set.

    The Fed has cut rates. The government is spending at least a trillion in stimulus. Energy prices are way down.

    I think it is just a matter of time.

    Apple Growth is Flat

    $AAPL beats their own lowered guidance.

    But if you take a look quarter by quarter, their days of rapid growth seem over.

    No longer a growth stock?

    I do love the iPhone, though. Despite the lack of native cut and paste.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Don't Forget About Energy

    I think we have taken our eyes off of the energy situation the past couple of months, as gasoline has fallen below $2 a gallon.

    We still need a plan for energy diversification to help lessen our reliance on importing oil.

    The US has lots of natural gas that could be used for some percentage of our vehicle fleet. Electric cars are coming, but we will need nuclear power to generate the electricity to charge those batteries.

    The topic of energy has moved to the back burner, but it won't take much to bring it back to the front burned.

    Investment angle? Natural gas?

    Big Rally to Follow inauguration Day Collapse?

    It is probably better to inherit an economy when it is near the lows in the economic cycle than when it is near the highs of the cycle.

    Think about the economic growth for Reagan and Clinton. Think about the economic woes that hit Bush 1 and Bush 2.

    Check out the Bloomberg column. I'd link to it, but the iPhone doesn't do cut and paste. Maybe we are about to launch into a mighty bull market.

    Nobody seems to be expecting that.

    Inauguration Randomosity

    • I think it was on CNBC this morning that it was mentioned the stock market is down on inauguration day 72% of the time.
    • Check.
    • Financials down over 16% today. The market will have a tough time rallying if the financials are getting smoked.  And they are getting smoked world-wide.
    • As a friend said in an email, "Today was a beating."  Totally.
    • I watched some of the inauguration today (via iPhone).  I know it's a big event, but I was looking for some real news somewhere, and that's been tough to find today.
    • The best thing about the inauguration is the picture of Obama's daughter Sasha giving him a thumbs up.  And that's pictured!  Great photo.  "You did good, Dad."
    • $C closed at $2.80.   WOW.
    • Fox is trying some new TV pilots.  I'm scared to try any because the ones I've liked get canceled.  (Uh, Journeyman.)
    • Are those women on Rock of Love (Bret Michaels) skanky or what?  They look like burnt-out druggies to me.  Bleh.
    • "If you own financial shares, maybe today Obama was the sideshow." - Up is Good Down is Bad.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    TGIF Randomosity

    • Today was my official first bike ride of 2009.  Quite rusty I am.  Felt great with temperatures in the mid-60s.  I did have a few geese chase me as I cycled by their nests. 
    • From Yahoo Finance, For the second straight session financials led the stock market lower, but then failed to fully participate in a broad-based rebound.  One still has to wonder how a bull market will emerge when financials make up a big percentage of the SP500.
    • I'm bullish.  Looks like a retest of the lows to me.
    • Circuit City is dead, Jim.
    • White House sees strong economic recovery early in Obama Administration.  Ah, so we can call economic growth "the Bush recovery."  What are the odds Larry Kudlow says that?  LOL.
    • California State Controller John Chiang announced today that his office would suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, as a result of the state's cash crisis.
    • My coworkers have brought in the sign-up sheets for Girl Scout Cookies.  I always buy a bunch.  I'm home searching through the pantry for snacks, and I see last year's boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.  LOL.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Lost's "Hurley" on US Airways Flight?

    Whoa! Lost's Hurley on the US Airways flight that landed on the Hudson River today?

    Okay. I used Microsoft Paint. Shame on me. LOL.

    Jim Rogers - Inflation is Coming

    I've mentioned it a lot lately. I agree with Jim Rogers.

    I'd love to post a link, but I'm on the iPhone. No cut and paste! Try a google search for this and it comes right to the top

    Inflation is what we should expect with expansion of the money supply. Consumers will have more money with lower energy costs and whatever Obama provides via stimulus. In addition, interest rates are lower.

    Jim Rogers, "... throughout history, whenever you've had gigantic printing of money and spending of borrowed money, it has always led to higher prices."

    Retest Thursday?

    Birds take down US airplane. Nice landing in the Hudson River.

    Nice reversal in the market today. Does today count as a retest of the previous lows? I think so. Close enough.

    New bull market next? With all the pessimism out there and the economic stimulus flowing, maybe things will turn around while folks are looking the other way.

    Thursday Early Randomosity

    • $BAC (Bank of America) may need billions more. Pay attention. When a failing business model is given billions, it's still a failing business model. Watch the car companies, too. Just continuing to do what you're doing isn't "change."
    • House Democrats almost finished with $850B stimulus bill. The overall price tag for the package is $800 billion to $850 billion, with $300 billion to $325 billion designated for tax cuts and $500 billion to $525 billion dedicated to infrastructure spending and aid to the states, according to a senior House Democratic aide. And hopefully, there is some money in there for mental health, to help out some of these American Idol contestants. Yikes!
    • The picture is of Sparkle Nguyen. So you know.
    • Is the danger ahead lower prices? But while many cash-strapped Americans would welcome paying less for what they need to buy, many economists now say the possibility of deflation, or lower prices, is the greatest threat to the U.S. economy. Yeah, just a few months ago they were worried about inflation. Keep an eye on all that stimulus (Obama bucks, Bush bucks, low interest rates, lower energy prices, etc.) Throwing trillions at the economy (stimulus) is not deflationary.
    • The iPhone blog on Steve Jobs.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Steve Jobs

    Maybe the market is on it's way to retest the lows, but the news of Steve Jobs health has Apple down sharply after hours.

    Prayers for him

    Very ugly day in the markets today. Citigroup down over 23% and is now well under $5. Ugly internals.

    Just a guess, but the retest of the lows is wildly anticipated.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Rally up to Inauguration?

    Just thinking to myself. Possible rally in the market due to optimism about Obama's message of "hope and change?"

    I think we're all ready for something new.

    Except for American Idol. It's more of the same, and I'm watching it anyways...

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Rabbit Ear Randomosity

    What's the biggest issue facing Americans? The economy? The war in Iraq? Afghanistan? Gitmo torture? Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts? President Obama and the stimulus package?

    No. None of the above. It's the switch to digital TV in February. Will seniors still be able to watch "Good Morning America?" Will "Leave it to Beaver" reruns still come in?

    These are dark times for those with rabbit ears mounted to their TVs. And especially for those who haven't received their government coupon to get a digital converter box.

    The market continues to fade. Everything looks bleak. I'm still leaning to the "retest of the lows" scenario. No leadership in the market on the recent rally.

    Remember when "they" were telling you that you had to own alternative energy because Obama was going to spend like crazy on windmills and solar panels? Have you checked out what's happened to those stocks and ETFs lately?

    Good football games this weekend at least on paper. I need the Steelers to make a run to have any chance in fantasy football playoffs...

    Monday Selling

    Stocks tumbling on worries that economic conditions are worsening.

    Or we could be on our way to retest the lows because that's just the way these things seem to work out.

    I think there is a big concern about job safety out there. I hope folks have 6-12 months of a rainy day fund and have little if any debt outside of their mortgage.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Time to Read Atlas Shrugged?

    Check out the WSJ column on Ayn Rand's classic novel, "Atlas Shrugged" and the actions of our politicians today. 

    For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

    In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?

    These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act." Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion -- in roughly his first 100 days in office.

    The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to "calm the markets," another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."

    If you haven't read that book, now would be a great time to hunker down under a Snuggie and go through it.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Bailout Saturday Randomosity

    Everyone wants a bailout

    • Banks. “With 20/20 hindsight,” the bank-capital injections have achieved their objectives and the decisions on TARP will “prove to be the right ones,” the Treasury secretary said.
    • Automakers. With auto sales continuing to plummet, analysts expect the automakers to ask for more once the new Congress and Obama administration take over in January. And the finance arms of the Big Three are expected to seek bailout money set aside for banks and other financial institutions as well.
    • Home buildersBuilders want a package of subsidies that would bring mortgage rates to just under 3 percent for the first half of this year. They also favor a tax credit of up to $22,000 for home purchases.
    • PornLarry Flynt says, "With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

    Gimme more

    • Obama says his stimulus plan will save over 4 million jobs"The jobs we create will be in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries," Obama said on his weekly radio and Internet address. "And they'll be the kind of jobs that don't just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to lead the world in the long-term."
    • If you're an office worker looking for a job, I hope you know how to put up guard rail, lay asphalt, and build windmills.  "These made-in-America jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, developing fuel-efficient cars and new energy technologies pay well, and they can't be outsourced," Obama said.


    • I thought maybe as a side gig, I'd build some iPhone applications.  You can make thousands with applications that make fart noises these days.  In what’s got to be the most incredible moneymaking story this year, developer InfoMedia (Joel Comm) created an iPhone app called iFart Mobile that has made them nearly $10,000 a day ($9,198 in one day alone).
    • I thought I'd go more high brow, and work on the vomit sounds.  Somebody beat me to that.
    • Did you catch President Bush at the dedication of the new USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier? 
    • NFL Playoffs time, baby.

    Friday, January 09, 2009

    As go the first 5 Days...

    • So goes the year... The first five trading days was slightly down for the DOW, and slightly up for the SP500. Overall? Flat.
    • Today? Big selling. Still have some time to go and we'll see if we get a lift in the final hour. More later.
    • Kind of a lackluster college championship, but the Florida Gators pulled off the big win. They're probably happy they didn't have to play Utah...
    • CNBC says that whenever Barney Frank speaks, the market goes down. LOL.
    • But seriously, I think we'd all be better off if the government did less, not more. It seems that the more the government meddles in the economy, the worse things get.
    • Employment is a lagging economic indicator, but things sure look bad.
    • CA state and city governments are having all kinds of financial trouble. I wonder if the next thing to get a look at are public employee pensions. So next time someone blames Proposition 13 for the problems of struggling governments, that person is using the wrong "p" word. The correct word is "pensions." Read it. It's amazing how much taxpayers are putting into the pot for government workers.

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Obama Wants Stimulus

    Seems to me the more the government intervenes, the worse things get.

    I know. He was elected to do something. Anything.

    With the costs of the proposed stimulus package running almost a trillion bucks, with a deficit running over a trillion bucks, with off the books accounting for Social Security and Medicare, and who knows how much for Iraq, there is a lot of money out there.

    Watch out for inflation.

    Thursday Randomosity

    • You have to think that the eventual outcome of all this stimulus, lower fuel prices, and low interest rates will be a big ol' surge in inflation down the road. As in a big surge.  And that'd be bad.  Really.
    • According to Hustler's Larry Flynt, the porn business needs a government bailout. (And that's adult star Tara Kai in the pic). Red-blooded Americans are "too depressed to be sexually active," says Flynt
    • I guess when the government is giving out billions, everyone wants a cut.
    • Orange Punch wonders why the government is responsible for  helping people convert to digital TV.  Drive-time radio this morning had a caller who made the obvious point. Where are our coupons for when eight-track tapes were made obsolete by cassette players? Hey, for that matter, where’s the coupon for the CD players that made cassette players obsolete?
    • For those of you who blog and have an iPhone, the latest version of Blogpress now allows typing in landscape mode!  Woot!  Very cool.  I can type like crazy in landscape mode.
    • I watched the first episode of the Bret Michaels Shot of Love tour Bus thing on VH1.  Total trash.  But I watched it anyways.  I don't know what to say.  I felt kind of scummy watching it.  It's that trashy.

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    Wednesday Thoughts

    • I was going to write about yesterday's positive market, but I see today we're giving it back. So, nevermind.   LOL.
    • One thing that did stick out yesterday, and throughout this rally, is the lack of leadership.  Hard to imagine that a new bull market is underway without leadership.  So that gets back to the idea that we probably will retest the lows. 
    • Staying long. Playing around the edges.
    • Is "Buy and Hold" dead?
    • Blow-up doll sex bandit.  An Australian man broke into three adult shops, had sex with blow up dolls named "Jungle Jane" and then dumped his plastic conquests in a nearby alley, local media reported Wednesday.
    • Have you noticed gasoline prices are rising again?  The sad news, is that this comes as SUV sales have surged with lower gas prices.   Fool me once, twice, all the time... Shame on me.  You'd think folks would have figured it out by now.
    • Of course, oil will go up.  It's a limited resource.  Lets get moving on nuclear energy and natural gas vehicles.
    • Pricing in a job apocalypse.

    Monday, January 05, 2009

    Dad's Stuff

    Strangest thing. It is getting close to Dad's birthday, so he's been on my mind. Had a dream last night about him. Can't remember the particulars.

    But today in the mail, I received a package from his wife. In it was my Dad's achievements. Things like birth and death certificates, high school and college diplomas, pictures of him in local newspapers as a kid, all his stuff from the Marines, and documents from his parents (my grandparents). Even a few of his school projects. Stuff like that.

    So sifting through all of that has me in touch with my inner self. Such as it is.

    Monday Randomosity

    • New year, and new girlfriends for Hef. LOL.  These are the twins.  Yes, indeed.
    • Check out the market internals from today.  More advancers than decliners.  Just saying.  We don't like to see the market go down, but if the majority of stocks are advancing even though the indexes aren't, is it horrible technically?
    • Remember the last couple of years, I laughed at those worried about inflation. Even the Fed members who were yapping their mouths about inflation.  They were wrong.  Now, the Fed is really trying to grease the skids of this economy.  And Obama will do the same.  So is now the time to start anticipating an inflationary economy down the road?  Probably.  That's my guess.  May not show up for a bit, but these guys are trying to get this thing going again.
    • Could be the next bubble is in Treasuries.  Anyone want to buy long-dated Treasuries here?  C'mon.  No way. 
    • The folks who want to inject even more government regulation (”read interference”) into your life insist that the wheels have fallen off the economy because of too little government regulation over the past three decades. Wrong.  From Orange Punch.  Click the link to read the crazy numbers of regulations George Bush has added during his terms.
    • Add a $175 tax per dairy cows to fight global warming?  Those alarmists have crazy covered!
    • Where did you come from?  Where did you go?  Where did you come from, Cotton-eyed Joe?
    • I've had my iPhone for about 2 months now.  I've added about 6-pages worth of apps.  The new-ness of it all has worn off, but I love this phone.  Can't imagine going back to the "old way."  I don't search blogs and the app store much these days, but did see that Craigslist has an app out now.


    Monday Market Thoughts

    • I suppose at this point, some folks are looking at the current rally and thinking that it looks familiar to the September 2002 bottom and subsequent rally. I believe that rally was about 20% or so, followed by a retest of the 2002 lows in March 2003.  (I mentioned this earlier, but I like to repeat myself.  LOL).
    • So is that carved in the stones?  That's my best guess.  If this rally fades, then the lows of 2008 could be retested and that would complete the Deja Vu.
    • I remain 100% long, but that doesn't mean I won't try to dance along the edges a bit with regards to beta.
    • Have you put up your new 2009 calendar yet?  You could do worse than Kim Kardashian's all-new calendar for 2009.
    • Are we finaly through with the Holiday Programming?  It's been about all I could handle.  Lets get back to our favorites.  Bring back Heroes and Lost.  Lets give Jack Baur a shot in 24.  Where'd we leave off in Life on Mars?  It's important!
    • Here are the TV battles and schedules.
    • President-elect Obama looks to move swiftly in passing an economic stimulus package once in the big chair.  The specifics are still lacking, but my guess is that it will be heavy in tax cuts for those who don't pay taxes and also building lots of roads and bridges. 
    • Apple's ($AAPL) Steve Jobs stuggling with his hormones. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause -- a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy.  Stay tuned.  Sounds strange.
    • Matt Smith takes over as Dr. Who in 2010.  So is he now "Dr. Who-elect?"
    • How overbought is the market?

    Friday, January 02, 2009

    2009 Guru Predictions

    Coming off a horrible 2008, the Gurus are hoping to make a comeback in 2009. In the real world, I'd hope that most of these folks would have some stops in mind in case these picks don't work. Of course, most folks don't trade that way in reality and "hope" that their losses will rebound and they can somehow get even. But that's not what these TV segments are about. These picks usually represent the stocks to buy for the calendar year.

    Here are the stocks to own from the Fox Business Block gurus and closing prices on 12/31.

    Bulls and Bears

    • Gary B. Smith: Fannie Mae (FNM: $.76)
    • Tobin Smith: Quanta Services, Inc. (PWR: $19.80)
    • Pat Dorsey: WellPoint (WLP: $42.13)
    • Eric Bolling: Google (GOOG: $307.65)


    • Patricia Powell: 3M Co. (MMM: $57.54)
    • Charles Payne: Apple (AAPL: $85.35)
    • Adam Lashinsky: Walgreen (WAG: $24.67)
    • Matt McCall: iShares High Yield Corporate Bonds (HYG: $76.01)

    Forbes on Fox

    • Evelyn Rusli: URS Corp (URS: $40.77)
    • Jack Gage: Energizer (ENR:$54.14)
    • John Rutledge: Apple (AAPL: $85.35)
    • Victoria Barret: (CRM: $32.01)

    Cashin' In

    • Jonathan Hoenig: Tokyo Stock Exchange REIT Index (JRE: $21.70)
    • Wayne Rogers: Abraxis Bioscience (ABII: $65.92)
    • Jonas Max Ferris: WADDELL AND REED FINANCIAL (WDR: $15.46)

    My prediction?  I think that the policy of the Fed and stimulus spending from the Obama administration will lead to a rebound in the economy later this year or in 2010.  But that will start to show up in stocks in 2009, as the market starts to discount the future.  I think it's possible that we retest the 2008 lows once again, but that a new bull market will begin.  The first year gains from the bull market will be substantial, so I'm predicting a 20% rise in the SP500 in 2009.

    2009 Starts Off

    • Whether you like it or not, it's 2009! Happy New Year!  I  hope this finds you happy and healthy.  Oh, and also reading this on your portable device from the treadmill at the gym.  You haven't broken that "get in shape" New Year's resolution yet, have you?
    • Yes, that is "Latika" (actress Freida Pinto) from Slumdog Millionaire.  Quite a good movie.
    • The stock market rolls on and trading should be fairly light for a day in-between a holiday and a weekend.  The market up sharply while the financial networks are ever bullish and talking about the "January Effect."  Sharpest opening day since 2003, they say. 
    • In March 2003, the market ended up retesting the September 2002 lows, and then beginning the amazing bull market and economic run to 2007.   There was an amazing stretch of GDP quarters running over 3% during that stretch.


    How did 2008 Guru Picks Do?

    At the beginning of 2008, I listed stock picks from the gurus on the Fox Business Block. Lets see how their "must own" stocks of 2008 did.

    Bulls and Bears:

    • Tobin Smith: Emcore (EMKR $15.30 to $1.30)
    • Pat Dorsey: American Express (AXP $52.02 to $18.55)
    • Gary B Smith: Bank Of America (BAC $41.26 to $14.08)
    • Scott Bleier: Marteck Biosciences (MATK $29.58 to $30.31)
    • Patricia Powell: Potash of Saskatchewan (POT $143.96 $73.22)


    • Gary Kaltbaum: Oracle (ORCL $22.58 to $17.73)
    • Charles Payne: Washington Mutual (WM $13.61 to $0)
    • Jill Schlesinger: BLDRS Emerging Markets 50 ADR Index (ADRE $55.04 to $27.31)
    • Peter Schiff: streetTRACKS Gold Shares (GLD $82.46 to $86.52)

    Cashin' In:

    • Wayne Rogers: BE Aerospace (BEAV $52.90 to $7.69)
    • Matt McCall: CNH Global (CNH $65.82 to $15.60)
    • Jonas Max Ferris: Nakoma Absolute Return Fund (NARFX $23.06 to $22.06)
    • Jonathan Hoenig: CurrencyShares Mexican Peso (FXM $91.98 to $73.81 )

    There you go.  Peter Schiff wins with GLD, followed by Scott Bleier with MATK.  Nobody else finished in the green with their pick.  Do you think you should follow their must own stocks for 2009?

    In Edit: It's only fair to list my prediction for 2008. Yikes.

    I'm 100% long. The Presidential Election Year is normally a good one for stocks.  Years ending in 8 are usually good.  So despite today's fear and gloom slamming stocks, I think we're heading higher.  Buying opportunity!

    My prediction?  SP500:  1675.   Continued slow growth, low unemployment, low inflation, and no recession.  Housing will continue to slide, but housing inventories will begin to come down as new construction continues to slow and people decide to just live in their homes and make their monthly payments.