Monday, March 29, 2010

iPhone HD? Whaaat?

Tonight’s buzz is about $AAPL new iPhone HD, to be announced by Apple on June 22nd. And an iPhone for $VZ.  If you believe the WSJAnd Engadget!  I don’t care too much one way or another about the Verizon announcement.  I know some do.  It’s good for $VZ stock, though.  Less good for $T stock.

From the WSJ

Separately, Apple plans to release a new version of its current iPhone this summer, continuing its practice of annual upgrades at about the same time of year, said people briefed on the matter. The model is likely to be thinner and have a faster processor, two people familiar with the device said.

From Engadget:

Soon after the news broke, we were informed that the next-generation iPhone would be announced on June 22nd (a Tuesday, naturally) and would be dubbed the iPhone HD (a name that has been tossed around before).

John Gruber's just weighed in with some more tidbits, in his characteristically polite way. Gruber says the next model will have an A4-class SoC, a 960 x 640 display, a front-facing camera, and that iPhone OS 4.0 will enable third-party multitasking.

Well, and here I am coming up on my 2-year contract expiration.  An iPhone or that Sprint HTC Evo 4g?  Leaning Apple, because no 4G network in my area just yet.  And in 2 years, there will be another phone…


Could the whole thing just be a bunch of stinkin’ rumors?  Of course.  You never know with Apple.  For how long has a Verizon iPhone been rumored?  Or multi-tasking operating system?  Or a front-facing camera?  Hmmm?

Friday, March 26, 2010


  • imageThe stock market seems to have taken a pause late in the week after making a new high since the March 2009 low.  $$
  • South Korean naval ship sinkingSeveral people died in the sinking, caused by an unexplained hole.  The WSJ says A South Korean naval ship sank following an explosion near a disputed maritime border with North Korea late Friday…
  • Also, 4th quarter GDP number revised downward.
  • Bill Gross disputes what the CBO, Congress and President Obama are saying about the health care reform bill reducing deficits.  “Long-term bondholders beware,” Gross wrote in a monthly investment outlook posted on Newport Beach, California-based Pimco’s Web site today. “No investment vigilante worth their salt or outrageous annual bonus would dare argue that current legislation is a deficit reducer. It will add $562 billion to the deficit over the next decade.”  (Bold my add).
  • AT&T plans a $1B charge tied to health care benefits. Yeah, these are coming in droves.
  • Did you watch LOST this week? Felt a little desperate trying to explain the story of Richard.  Instead of flash backs or flash forwards, it seemed the whole episode was about Richard. (But I liked it).
  • My two-year deal with ATT on the iPhone ends in the months ahead.  I’m waiting to see what the next iPhone will feature, but did you see the new Sprint HTC EVO?  Wow.
  • I thought I might catch a break at work this week, but the pace continues to be hectic.  That impacts lunch time and break time, thus blogging and tweeting time. 
  • I need to get some kind of workout in.  Me and Michelle Rodriguez (pictured).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello, Monday. Hello, Melissa.

  • image Monday, back in the government health care saddle!  $$ Market up! Melissa Lee seems unfazed.
  • What the health care bill means for you.
  • Amazon develops Kindle app for the iPad.  Kind of interesting.  Does this make folks want to buy a Kindle when they can get the same functionality on the iPad via an app?  I think the Kindle is dead. 
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius says that, despite a new CBS News poll showing widespread skepticism and confusion, Americans will be "enthusiastic" about the health reform bill passed by the House of Representatives once they understand it.
  • Greece and debt…  Prospects of Greece getting a European aid package grew more distant Monday after Germany made the strongest suggestion yet that the International Monetary Fund should handle a bailout if Greece is threatened with insolvency.
  • What makes a single guy undateable?  Guys who eat salads?  Really?
  • imageWith the health care debate all but over, Americans turn their focus back to the important things in life, like Dancing With the Stars!  I’m going out on a line here, but I don’t think Buzz Aldrin lasts too long.  Thumbing through the profile pics of the new dancers, I’m pulling for many weeks of Erin Andrews and Nicole Scherzinger.
  • The porn star ex-wife of Sandra Bullock's hubby has reportedly decided to take him to court to get custody of their daughter.  Jesse James' ex-wife, Janine Lindermulder, will fight for custody after it was revealed last week that he had an affair with tattooed temptress and Hitler-loving hussy Michelle "Bombshell" McGee.  WTH, I guess I live a real boring life.
  • IRS warns of Dirty Dozen tax scams!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


image Spent the last 5 days up in Reno betting on March Madness games.  Went enough over 50% on the games to come out a little ahead.  The last game I had was Purdue –2.  A push in OT.  I’m now hoping for Cornell, Northern Iowa, or Saint Mary’s to win it all.  Knock off the big boys!

I see that the health care bill is most likely going to pass.  I glanced at the Congress folks making spectacles out of themselves.  It’s a sad day in America, IMHO.  When I read about the tax in rental income, I wondered how well this was thought out.  Don’t folks realize that any taxes on rental income will be met with higher rents?

Anyway, vote ‘em out in November.  I’m done thinking about it for now.  I imagine the tax accountants will be working overtime figuring out the best ways for their clients to minimize the damage from this bill.

A quick check of the markets? We’ve had a great run and ran into some giveback Friday.  Stock futures look down.  I suppose the news of the day is impacting that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March Madness and Health Care

No blog activity as I'm up in Reno betting on March Madness games. Not following Wall Street the past few. But it's hard to miss the news about the imminent Health Care vote.

I think passing HCR would be a very expensive mistake. I believe that the projected costs understate what the actual costs will be. This won't save any money. It will be a budget nightmare.

All I have to offer is my opinion and maybe the history of government programs and projections. One thing the government never projects is the impact on human behavior as people try to avoid taxes and fees.

We will see how it goes.

Not today's business up in the sports book, though. Go St. Mary's!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Have you seen the iPhone app Show of Hands? It takes a poll and you can view the results bases on a few demographics.

Nevada and Iowa are all about Ginger!

Both political parties prefer Mary Ann, especially the Republicans!

If you lead a poll-driven life, check it out! Today's questions included "Is Google Skynet?" and "What's a better investment, wind or solar?"

Saturday Randomosity

  • image Climategate Was an Academic Disaster Waiting to HappenLast fall, emails revealed that scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England and colleagues in the U.S. and around the globe deliberately distorted data to support dire global warming scenarios and sought to block scholars with a different view from getting published. What does this scandal say generally about the intellectual habits and norms at our universities?.  Nice opinion piece from the WSJ.
  • President Obama to revamp No Child Left Behind“…the Obama approach would set firmer standards for success while lifting nearly all the measures that the Bush law uses to try to prod change at failing schools. Obama aides describe the plan as "tight on goals, loose on means."  Good luck.
  • If your iPad battery fails, Apple will sell you a new one for $99.  Plus shipping.  Ouch.  I can live without an iPad 1.0, but I know folks will be lining up for one in April. On-line pre-orders have been brisk.
  • I’m really waiting the next generation of the iPhone.  My cargo shorts pockets aren’t big enough for an iPad.
  • I like Pandora Radio.  I have the iPhone app, and also added the channel on my Roku box.  Sweet.  I even added a Taylor Swift channel!
  • March Madness ready to happen.  I’ve loosely been paying attention to conference tournaments, but I don’t really start paying close attention until Thursday. Everything else is pre-season.
  • Promised myself I’d get outside today and exercise.  Winter is almost over!  Time to dust off the cobwebs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Story

image I went to Target recently to pick up the most recent Taylor Swift CD as a gift.  After filling up my shopping basket with a few other items, I made my way to the checkout counter.  The shortest line belonged to the young cashier who had tattoos up and down all skin visible, piercings everywhere, and a hair style that I hesitate to call a style.  The style was “Whoa, what a concert last night. Just woke up and somebody died my hair black and blue.”

As the cashier slides my items across the bar code scanner, he stops at the Taylor Swift CD.  He glances at it, then looks up at me and says, “You’re getting this as a gift, right?”

Yes.  But I like Taylor Swift.  I’m listening to her right now, Romeo.

But it’s a good story.

Fantastic Friday

image Running some stock scans to see if anything has changed on the Black Box.  $$  I don’t have today’s numbers yet.

While I have remained 100% long for quite awhile, it is interesting to watch and try to anticipate what the Black Box will do next.  It is still on a sell on the weekly and a buy on the daily.  So, mixed bag.  Certainly tough to stay on the sidelines while following the weekly if the daily is on a buy and everyone seems to be getting more and more bullish.

Speaking of, just some anecdotal stuff I’ve noticed lately.  My favorite Friday night restaurant was just a 15-20 minute wait most of last year and early this year.  The last two times I was there the wait was over an hour.  Likewise, rush hour traffic seems to be much worse, and the Indian casinos have been much more crowded recently than last year.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday Randomosity

  • image The market was a big yawn today.  I suppose we are slightly overbought, and coming out of monthly strength.  $$
  • I don’t want to bore anyone with too-frequent stock charts from the Black Box, but the charts don’t look that great to me.  I’m still 100% long because I don’t see a reason to sell, either. The economy is improving.
  • I’ve also noticed restaurant wait lines at my favorite places seem to be longer.
  • US sales tax rates hit record highBut Vertex Inc…reports that the average general sales tax rate nationwide reached 8.629% at the end of 2009, the highest since the Berwyn, Pa., company started tracking data in 1982. That was up a nickel on a taxable $100 purchase from a year earlier and up nearly 40 cents for the decade. The highest sales tax rate in the country now stands at 12%.
  • I thought Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin did great hosting the Academy Awards. I found myself fast-forwarding through most everything except for their stand-up bits. LOL.
  • Sandra Bullock!
  • More fee disputes over local TV coming.  Gee, remember when local channels were pulled in with an antenna on the roof?
  • Busy at the Fun Factory.  It’s been a crazy 6 months.  Or longer?  Geez, who is keeping track?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Oscars

I start watching the Oscars about 30-60 minutes after it starts so I can take advantage of time-shifting on the DVR. Here's the Twitter feed!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

HCN on the Black Box

On today’s Bulls and Bears, Pat Dorsey recommended $HCN.  It’s a Health Care REIT! Lets take a look at the stock on the Black Box.  Looks like the last buy signal was in early 2009, with a sell signal in Fall 2009.  Since then the stock has meandered around.


image Yahoo Finance shows a nice summary and shows over a 6% yield on HCN.  The stock has been very volatile over the past year as the health care debate goes back and forth.

I’ve noticed (via my eyes only) that the stocks mentioned on the Fox business shows seem to get a little bump after the weekend.  I don’t know if that’s generally true or shows a selection bias only when I remember and bother to look at their picks the following week.

I don’t own any HCN, but will keep an eye on it.  Good luck, Pat.

Double-top Watch

No sell signal yet on the $QQQQ, but watch out for a double top.  Here is the Black Box daily


Here is the Black Box weekly:


I remain 100% long, as the Black Box is not a religion but just another opinion.

The Year over Year Returns

This is a great weekend to do your year-over-year returns, as the stock market bottomed on March 9, 2009.  $$

If you've been long, you should look pretty good.

I have the SP500 returning about 67% over the past year, excluding dividends. 

Friday, March 05, 2010

SMH on the Black Box

My guess is that a Black Box sell signal on the $SMH daily is coming up pretty quickly.  It’s best to not outthink the Black Box, as it hasn’t given a sell signal just yet, and there are usually multiple signals within a short period.  Not always.  And of course, the Black Box has been known to make a bad call now and then.  I have the trading bruises to prove it, too.


On the weekly, the $SMH remains on the sell signal.



The market is leaving the friendly confines of the 401(k) additions that happen the first few days of the month, too.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday Randomosity

  • image Production problems in $AAPL iPad to delay launch?  Phew, as long as it didn’t delay lunch.  It’s being called a bit of a news scoop. However, the WSJ also has a column up that disputes some of the rumors.
  • Seems like only yesterday Anna Kournikova was the internet top search item and virus at the same time.  Time flies!
  • Democrats revolt over energy. Summary:  Yucca Mountain and the EPA to regulate greenhouse gasses.
  • Greece first, now Spain?  Non-performing loans?  Is “non-performing” trying to sugarcoat “bad?”  If there are good loans and bad loans, couldn’t we call the bad loans “silver medal loans?”  Anyway, keep an eye on banking problems…
  • President Obama pushing a deadline on Health Care to the Democrats.  Hey, Barack!  These folks have to run for an election this Fall!
  • American Idol is horrible so far this year.  Just saying.  But I’m heading off to watch the results show. There.  I said it.
  • Syracuse Orange:  College Basketball Dynasty?  28-2 this season!

NFLX on the Black Box

Yesterday I mentioned $NFLX, and here’s what she looks like on the Black Box.   Uh oh…  But also note that there was no buy signal back in October.  I love my Netflix as a movie delivery system, though.  Until the next thing comes along, then I’ll do that.  Usual caveat about the Black Box is that sometimes, when I most need it, it fails.  I don’t own any $NFLX as I type this.  But I did receive the next movie from my queue in the mail yesterday!


Besides the lack of a buy signal in late 2008, notice the non-signals in 2009 while the stock was making some pretty big swings. 

How does Netflix look like on the Black Box daily?


I was curious.  After yesterday’s article that I clipped I wondered how the stock looked on the Black Box.  I think this set of charts shows both the allure and the caveats of the Black Box pretty well.

I don’t own Netflix stock, but I use the service and love it.  I think I’ll keep spending my $10 a month on movie service and skip buying shares, though.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Putting the Brake on Netflix

I'll let you take a look at $NFLX technicals and fundies, but I'm a bit worried about their future because of technology. Marketwatch has an article up on company that sends us movies by mail and streaming to our PCs and TVs.

I have the Wi-Fi set up and the Roku box hooked to the TV and spend a lot of time watching Indie movies. I watch more movies via instant streaming than via DVD these days. I think the whole industry is heading towards streaming content to our TVs and believe that eventually it will be cable companies that send this content into our family rooms. Ease of use will win over Wi-Fi hook-ups. Plus, a lot of folks are using those Red Box kiosks from $CSTR.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More on Verizon and ATT

A follow-up on $VZ and $T prospects going forward. Here is an article that looks at the technological differences between Verizon and ATT.

With Verizon years ahead of everyone else with its expensive fiber optic network and the Apple iPhone eventually headed that way, AT&T could start looking a little pale by comparison.

And already the worries have started. AT&T shares were downgraded to neutral Tuesday by HSBC analyst Richard Dineen who sees a limited upside ahead for Ma Bell.
"There's really no single crushing development," says Dineen of his downgrade, who likes Verizon's position in the two-player Big Phone race. But the looming prospect of a Verizon iPhone weighs heavily on AT&T.


As I mentioned the other day in the Black Box entry on $VZ, the stock doe look interesting down here.

(Disclosure: no positions in either stock as I type).