Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Randomosity and Emilie Ullerup

CNBC mentioned how strong the first trading day of the month has been recently. It's been up six months in a row and thirteen of the last fifteen. It looks to tack on another win today

(It did on 2/1, so that makes 14 of the last 16 months)…

  • imageSo, lackluster volume today. But, this makes six straight monthly gains for the Nasdaq and SP500.
  • Amazon to start selling the Kindle at ATT stores.  So, that was somewhat unexpected.
  • What? A new deep water drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico?  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement announced Monday that it issued a permit to Noble Energy Inc. to continue work on its Santiago well about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La. Drilling will resume nearly one year after BP's blowout created the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.
  • Governor Walker to release his vision for Wisconsin’s future tomorrow…that will include major cuts to schools and local governments to help close a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall.  Shocker, Walker.
  • Watching Clippers-Kings.   Really.  Well, I picked up Jason Thompson (Kings Forward) for tonight’s game.  Why not?
  • Charlie Sheen (not pictured):  “I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special.”  Er, well.  LOL.
  • Dancing With the Stars cast announced. 

***

Finished watching Stargate: Atlantis via NFLX streaming.  I liked the series.  Now on to Sanctuary, which seems a little rough at the start.  But the picture is of Emilie Ullerup.  Just saying….

Stocks up Early Monday...

Stocks up early Stocks up early on data and comments from Warren Buffett.

So Buffett said he's looking at acquisitions. Of course he is doing this as stocks are near two year highs in this bull market. Seems like that is the kind of thing that happens. Companies pay a premium or overpay. Then again, I suppose the argument could be made that it took a few years of profits before companies had enough cash to buy other companies.

The data was mixed. The best news was the 1% jump in personal income. Folks are going to need that to buy gasoline...

Hope this finds you well!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Night Randomosity and Natalie Portman

Oil nears $100.  Natalie Portman wins Best Looking Actress.  $AAPL announcing iPad 2.  And Duke Snider dies.

  • Well, higher oil prices - that’ll put a joy into filling stations around the country tomorrow. Crude-oil futures move closer to the key $100-a-barrel level in electronic trade, amid political uncertainty in the Mideast and North Africa.
  • imageKing’s Speech came out on top at the Oscars.  Haven’t seen it.
  • Duke Snider diesTo his mother, he was Ed. To everyone else, he was "The Duke of Flatbush" -- revered by a borough of baseball fans and forever remembered in a song that romanticized a golden era.
  • India’s economic growth “slows” to 8.2%.  Quick! Cut interest rates to 0%!  The expansion was below the 8.6% growth estimated in a survey of economists by Reuters, and also lagged the 8.9% increase recorded in the previous quarter ended Sept. 30.
  • I bought the MLB.tv subscription, and was a little disappointed that the spring training games aren’t available for streaming to the Roku or PS3.  I used my iPhone and the TV adapter for a bit today, though.
  • February jobs growth and oil prices in spotlight this week.
  • Natalie Portman won Best Looking Actress in a Movie Named After a Dark Bird.  Haven’t seen Black Swan, either.
  • This is also the end of month and beginning of March, so expect money to be flowing into 401k plans and buying stocks.  At least that’s the normal thing. Especially with confidence numbers up lately.   
  • Also, Apple has an EVENT on March 2nd.  Yeah, iPad 2.  (Of course, I will upgrade my iPad.  Duh.)
  • Good grief, Muck.  Go to the movies!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Were Due, Right?

Sp500 declinesWe were due, maybe overdue, for a market correction. $$

We just had the Biggest weekly decline in three months.

Yet, the market held up okay towards the end of the week. We reversed the slide on Thursday, and Friday saw decent gains. Granted, Friday was options expiration. But we saw the NDX lead, and that's usually a good thing.

The week ahead will be interesting. The Middle East continues to flare up. Unions are battling the Wisconsin governor. Apple has a news event scheduled on the 2nd. The Federal government may shut down.

An there will be a new #1 team in college hoops, as Duke just lost to VA Tech.

Additionally, it's the beginning of March. The beginning of the month usually sees inflows of 401k dollars.

Stay tuned...
***

At the local Indian casino. Very crowded. No sign of recession here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

TGIF Randomosity and Melissa Lee

  • imageIt’s Friday, people!  Stocks reversing week-long slide, even though Libya is still in chaos.  I guess enough is enough, for now. 
  • Who gets rich off of $100 oilFor consumers, the return of $100-a-barrel oil is nothing but bad news. But investors see an opportunity: They're piling into unconventional energy stocks, betting that high oil prices could translate into big profits for some smaller U.S.-based oil companies.
  • I don’t discuss individual stocks much on this site.  I try to keep it general.  I don’t think I’d do anyone any favors by mentioning tickers.  You can get that from Jim Cramer.  He mentions a lot of tickers every day.
  • Speaking of Cramer, he had some good coverage on Natural Gas yesterday.  You know I’ve been wondering why we’re not pushing Natural Gas cars. Good segments. You can catch it on the CNBC iPhone app or the Mad Money podcast on iTunes.
  • MLB at Bat 2011 is available for the iPhone and iPad.  As an extra treat for those who download early, the MLB will be streaming around 150 spring training games this season as part of the free MLB.tv mobile preview.
  • Treasury yields sliding.  Nothing like a little oil shock and global turmoil.  Treasuries rallied a bit, sending yields further lower, as investors continued to fret about political unrest in Libya and rising oil and gas prices.
  • Thank goodness it’s Friday.  Raining and windy here in Sacramento.
  • 4th quarter GDP for 2010 was reduced from 3.2% to 2.8%.
  • Hollywood goes to China.

****

Picture is of CNBC’s Melissa Lee.  Check out those legs!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Market Thoughts

With oil and Libya in the headlines, it's easy to dismiss some of the other economic news coming out. After all, the market is always subject to short-term headline risk, but over the longer term, it's the economic data that matters.

Today was a mixed picture. We had jobless claims drop, which was a good thing. We had new home sales drop, which was a bad thing. Although, to be honest, it is winter. Not exactly smack dab in the middle of home buying season.

Just saying.

But data is data, and as we cruise into the final days of February the economy is melting the snowbanks, if you know what I mean. The economy is growing slowly. Status quo.

And back to the headline risk, the whole oil thing is a real problem. I don't want to beat on this drum 24x7, but when folks are paying close to $4 a gallon, it means that there is less money left over to spend on other things. That's part of the reason we had a second bear market the past decade.

Tomorrow brings protests in Saudi Arabia. Fantastic. More turmoil from where we get oil.

***

Speaking of turmoil, we have celebrity issues from Charlie Sheen (not pictured) to Lindsay Lohan. While the stock market could care less, it is sad to watch these once promising talents circle the drain.

And... snow in Sacramento this weekend?

#66: Obama and Geithner on Oil, Moammar Gadhafi, Boeing, Sacramento Kings

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oil Shock Randomosity and Moon Bloodgood!

  • Oil up to $98 a barrel, after teasing the $100 mark today. The April contract hit an intraday high of $100.01 a barrel, the first time oil reached an intraday high of $100 since Oct. 2, 2008.  Good times.
  • Moon Bloodgood to star in Falling Skies.

imageToday TNT released a brand new television spot for the new sci-fi show "Falling Skies." With executive producer Steven Spielberg at the helm, this alien invation show might be just the ticket for science fiction fans who are still in "Battlestar Gallactica" rehab.

(…blah blah blah…)

Moon Bloodgood ("Terminator: Salvation," "Journeyman") co-stars as Ann Glass a therapist who works with the kids who have survived the invation.

  • Okay.  Sold.   Coming in June.  And I don’t think the verb in the last sentence is a euphemism for anything, but it could be. Potentially.  Especially if every escape, rescue, and troubleshooting scenario requires Moon to get into a bikini or lingerie.  Must watch TV.
  • Oil going to $220 a barrel?  Kiss the stock market goodbye.  Oh, and I can’t imagine the problems the government worker pension funds would have.
  • Hey, Apple was up today and announced “an event” for next week.  iPad?  Macbooks?  Mum is the word on Steve Jobs’ health. Hope you’re doing well, Steve.
  • In Japanese, “tsuki” means “moon.”  Just saying.
  • Rising oil prices raise the spector of a double dip.  Ya think? Most economists reckon that the price of oil would have to rise to at least $120 a barrel, and stay there, to threaten the recovery. "It's definitely unhelpful," says Comerica economist Dana Johnson of the rise in energy prices. "But we would really need a far more massive increase in crude prices for me to really start worrying."
  • Bored with the NBA?  NFL Scouting Combine Kicks off ThursdayA group of 330 hopeful players will make its way to the annual NFL Scouting Combine where they will run, jump, lift and interview in an effort to improve their draft status this week.  NFL Network, baby.

#65: Libya and Oil Whack Markets; More on Weightlifting

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heads up, $NFLX. Here Comes $AMZN

Amazon takes on NetflixHeads up, $NFLX! $AMZN is now going to offer free streaming to Amazon Prime customers.

If you've listened to the Audioboos, you know I missed riding Netflix all the way up. Frankly, I was worried about competition. Too worried, perhaps. The stock has had a huge run and has been one of the leaders.

But competition is a good thing. It's been coming on from Apple and Google, and Amazon previously streamed movies. But this new all-you-can-stream platform is real competition.

I'm not ready to cancel my Netflix subscription just yet. But now there is another option.


Meet the New Recession Catalyst

Oil pricesMeet the new recession catalyst, same as the old recession catalyst: oil.

Yes, indeed. Here we sit, still relying on crude, and not doing much about it. Has President Obama done anything to reduce America's dependence on oil? Did President Bush before him? Or Clinton, Bush I, or Reagan? No, no, no, no and no.

I hope I got enough noes in there. You get the idea.

We have lots of natural gas available right here that could be used in a new fleet of flex-fuel natural gas cars. At least Honda has a natural gas Civic on the market.

Well, if we are facing $4-5 gasoline, then Obama is going to get a second recession in his first term. And that'll flush hope and change down the drain. The stock market cyclical bull market will end, and the secular bear trend will resume.

I was hoping we would see SP500 hit 1500 before 666 again. I don't know. Seems like things are lining up, though.
***

Still long with beta under 1. Also own some oil plays, which are moving up.

In week two of bodybuilding. More on an Audioboo to come...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Contrarian Alert: A New Smartphone ETF!

smartphone ETFContrarian Alert! There is a new ETF that concentrates in the smartphone companies.

The smartphone business is hot. Everyone seems to have an iPhone or Droid phone these days.

But I remember the hype in early 2000 about the B2B companies and the mutual funds that came out investing in that sector. How'd that work out? Well, pretty good, initially. But then, the bottom fell out in the bear market.

So, what does it mean this time?

Who knows... But it is interesting to watch this happen after we've had the 2-year bull market.

Money Coming out of Gold

money leaving goldIt's another confirmation of the 2011 theme: Money coming out of gold.

Now that we've had a 2-year rally of 100% in the SP500, it's a natural emotional reaction for investors to chase what has been working lately.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that investors were fleeing bonds for stocks. Now add gold to the list.

Of course, there are some external events (that we all know about for now) in the Middle East. If something unexpected happens, that could send folks back into metals. In addition, we also have inflation numbers starting to move up.

Friday, February 18, 2011

#64: Stock Returns, Wisconsin Protests, Middle East Protests

The SP500 is 22.1% Undervalued

SP500No worries. The SP500 is 22.1% undervalued.

Do You Want to Invest Like Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffett strategyDo you want to invest like Warren Buffett?

Here is a column that suggests one way to be like the Oracle of Omaha is to buy the SP100 (OEF).

The SP100 has a bunch of the big names that Buffett seems to favor. The article mentions some of the names, and you can also view them at the OEF link. But these are household names. XOM, AAPL, IBM... Etc.

Many folks like to buy Berkshire Hathaway - BRK-A and BRK-B. But at some point, my guess is that Warren Buffett will retire and no longer run the funds. Maybe the OEF is a way to play Buffett without owning Buffett.

Here is a chart comparing the two since the bull market began two years ago. You can see that there are some volatility differences along the way. MSN Money has the beta of OEF at .96 while BRK-A is .46.

OEF and BRK-A


Thursday, February 17, 2011

#63: Is Steve Jobs Dead in 6 Weeks? Inflation, and Credit Card Swipe Fees

Shrugging Off the Data Randomosity

  • The market is up today because you're shrugging off the data! U.S. stocks piled on a vertiginous two-year advance on Thursday as investors dismissed a rise in jobless claims and consumer prices to focus on positive earnings and regional business activity.

  • vertiginous : That's taking the word "vertigo" and turning into an adjective. You don't see that one everyday. So I guess the writer is suggesting this two-year rally is at dizzying heights.

  • Irina Shayk and the allure of the Russian girl. Yeah, she's the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl. Looks alluring to me. Who doesn't like sexy Russian models?

  • Are Apple's subscription rules fair?

  • Why is there so little imflation? There is a simple reason "everyone" expected higher numbers: they were looking at money supply, not circulation.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#62: SP500 up 100%; The Dell Dude; Apple Subscription Model

SP500: 100% Since 3/8/09

SP500 up 100%On March 8th, 2009, the SP500 was at 666. Then, a bull market started.

We are up double that now. (Aren't bull markets fun?)

The reason for today's rally was Dell earnings (seriously) and mergers. Sanofi-Avantis is buying Genzyme.

This is the first time folks have been excited by Dude You're Getting a Dell in a long time. More on that in an upcoming Audioboo.

Yes, there may be some Israel and Iran tensions in the background, but nothing is messing up this trend for now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Randomosity

kansas state cheerleader

  • James Dines says to go with the flow. For now. He has a pretty good track record recently. I have no idea of his longer term record. Anyway, he warns that eventually, it will all end badly. But Dines is obviously concerned that the “Top” might be imminent. His equity section is headed: “DESULTORY MARKETS AHEAD.” And I think DESULTORY, especially typed with the caps lock on, is bad.

  • Emerging Markets falling out of favor. Heck, looks like a stampede for the exits. In January, about 43 percent of professional managers were so fond of emerging-market stocks from areas such as Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, they were holding supersize portions in the portfolios they manage. Now, only 5 percent of global fund managers are favoring emerging markets. That's the lowest level since the stock market hit bottom in March 2009...

  • The Trading Goddess with free stuff for investors! I'm not sure which is my favorite free iphone or ipad investing app. It seems that many of the brokerage companies have free apps available for their customers, too.

  • China's inflation to hit us at - Walmart? Yikes!

  • There was a lot of celebration over Mubarak's resignation in Egypt, but it seems like the whole middle east is rebelling right now.

***

If you listened to the recent Audioboo or watched the Youtube video, you know that I have started back into bodybuilding. I'm sore. And that's a good sign from what I recall. It's just, well, I'm sore. I didn't get sore sitting on the sofa streaming Netflix movies, you know?

Economic Data Lackluster

Economic dataA flood of economic data came in a little weak. (Probably due to global warming).

But it seems like any kind of weakness is being bought, with investors sidelined with money coming in, so the downside is limited,” said (Phillip) Streible of the recent trend that has stock declines luring buyers into the market.

Yes. No matter the news of the day, buy some shares of Netflix.

Of course the market has bounced back since I started writing this entry. The uptrend is strong with you, Skywalker.

At some point, it will end. For now, enjoy. The hallmark sign of bull markets is that all news is bought up. Any slight dip in the markets is a reason to load up.

Read the link for the economic news. Basically, weaker retail and sales data, higher import prices, a rise in business inventories, blah blah blah.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Randomosity

Valentine lingerieThe market loves me, the market loves me not... Split tape, with the Dow down but the SP500 and NASDAQ up.

  • Reason du jour? Lack of volume. Energy and commodity shares lifted Wall Street to modest gains on Monday, but the lowest volume so far this year indicated the equity rally may be near a top.

  • Maybe the low volume indicates that traders were lined up at See's Candies and Victoria Secret today.

  • Office romances to avoid. Most people who've set foot in a workplace have considered sleeping with a colleague at some point during their career. "Considered." Lol. Like there's logic behind the human sex drive.

  • Warren Buffett (not pictured) liquidates Bank of America stake. $BAC. Wouldn't it be nice to know before Buffett makes his trades? I can't think that there is an advantage to knowing after the fact!

  • I'm still long but in lower beta stuff.

  • If you watched the YouTube video or listened to the Audioboo, you know I'm on a journey of better fitness through bodybuilding. Yesterday was chest and abs day, and am I sore. Yikes. I will post my fitness routine soon.

  • Victoria Barret (hubba hubba) writes that Silicon Valley is back to 2004 employment levels. I thought that was pretty good news. If there has been excess capacity in anything, it's been IT. Remember when everyone was going to be a web designer?


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Inflation or Deflation: Which is it?

Inflation or deflationThe big Econ debate is "Inflation or deflation?"

I'm not sure where I stand. I'm not an economist. Even if I were, there seem to be many sides of the debate to choose from.

Anyway, this column is on the inflation side.

The problem here is that Bernanke quite simply does not believe that inflation is what it’s always been; as in a symptom of declining currency values. To Bernanke, inflation results from too many people working and prospering, thus his statement that the Fed would only change course if the economy began to grow “very quickly.”








#61: Youtube version - Dow 13% from Highs, Chevy Volt, Arianna Huffington, Weight Lifting

This is an attempt to make a Youtube video from the podcast (audioboo) via Windows Movie Maker.

Download now or watch on posterous
Number_61.wmv (29771 KB)

Or.. Watch on Youtube (FASTER)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

#61: Dow 13% from Highs, Chevy Volt, Arianna Huffington, Weight Lifting

Friday, February 11, 2011

Latest Wall of Worry Item Goes Poof

Mubarak resignsMubarak resigns and stock market rallies.

Well, it's not like the stock market has cratered with the unrest in Egypt. Yes, there were some concerns about the Suez Canal and the flow of oil, but after the initial one-day scare, the market seemed to brush it off.

Besides, oil prices are rising in an environment of rebounding economies. And there is also a (narrow) margin of crude surpluses of 4 million barrels a day.

Now it gets interesting. Egypt's military has taken over. What happens next? And what happens to the other gulf states? Will the people see the success of removing Mubarak and try to change their governments?
***

Can you find the hidden image of Kelly Ripa in the picture? Don't get frustrated! Relax the eyes, and it will become obvious!

Housing Prices Continue Slide

Housing prices continue to fall, and interest rates are above 5%.

Will rising interest rates keep buyers away or make buyers act fast before rates go even higher?

My thought is that rising home prices need rising wages for workers. We are still in an environment where companies aren't hiring. Profits are up, but there hasn't been a need to increase payroll or compete for talent with higher wages and benefits.

Until people have more money to spend, they won't be chasing home prices. In addition, people were recently stung with bear markets in housing and stocks. Who could blame anyone for waiting for a better deal rather than chase prices higher?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Flat Market Day, John Chambers

The Bears drove the market down early again, but it's just tough to fight this uptrend. Let's check the Fox Business iPad app summary:

fox business

From Yahoo Finance:
Stocks were hit hard at the open by sellers who were focused on disappointing guidance from Cisco and Akamai Tech, rather than a better-than-expected initial jobless claims report, but the major averages rallied when it became clear that buyers remain in control.

Is that really what happened? Heck, John Chambers himself came on CNBC this morning. Maybe it was his appearance that turned it around.

Anyway. I remain long, but with reduced beta from the January sales. I think the market is way overdue for a pullback. The longer we go, maybe the more dramatic the pullback will be. But this thing is going on and on, and the lagging economic numbers are catching up. Did you see the unemployment claims today? Lowest in 30 months.

Bonds have been getting smashed. As I said at the beginning of 2011, I believe the theme for 2012 will be money coming out of bonds and gold, and into equities.

Hope you're making money. This is what bull markets are all about!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

#60: Ben Bernanke, The Deficit, ATT Uverse and DirecTV

Hump Day Randomosity and Christina Aguilera

Christina AguileraWe have had seven days of gains in the market. $$ Anyone out there fighting the trend? Ouch!

  • Are stocks really overvalued? Well, bring up a chart of your favorite stock or the Dow, and check to see how far above the 50dma it is. I think there are a lot of over-extended stocks, but there are also a lot of shorts out there. While we don't know when and where, eventually the market will bounce down to the 50dma.

  • Christina Aguilera to sing national anthem at the Grammy's.
    She's either a glutton for punishment or damn well out for redemption. Either way, this Sunday's Grammy Awards may just have a ratings smash on its hands.
    . Why not? Who doesn't believe in second chances? But set the DVR...

  • Spain faces 20% unemployment. Ouch. That's going to be tough. I wish them better times. Maybe they need more empleos verdes.

  • Ben Bernanke says unemployment to remain high even after recent drop. Hey, no way 36K jobs caused the unemployment rate to fall from 9.4% to 9%. Lots of folks no longer being counted.

  • Lawsuit filed by folks who bought Super Bowl tickets, but didn't get a seat. A lawsuit has been filed accusing the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones of deceiving hundreds of fans who bought Super Bowl tickets and had no seats, or who felt the seats were inadequate.. That's been a big story in the news. These folks were screwed. Pay 'em.


Monday, February 07, 2011

#59: Stocks Ramp, AOL buys HuffPo, and Aguilera Blows the SSB

Stock Trend Continues

Christina AgualaraThe market rallies because AOL buys the Huffington Post? Really?

Okay. Maybe the reasons du jour are big piles of cash leading to mergers and acquisitions, increasing dividends and share buybacks. But the market continues to advance.

This just shows how markets behave when trending. In bull markets, all news is reason to buy. Egyptian riots? $4 gasoline? Budget deficits at all levels of government? Underfunded pensions? Collapsing European economies? A nuclear Iran and defiant North Korea? An employment picture where people just quit looking for work while the government extends unemployment benefits forever?

It all means that stocks are undervalued.

So why fight the trend until it matters? The bottom line is that the headline news doesn't matter much. The trend is all about how investors react to the news.

Right now, investors want out of gold and bonds, and into stocks.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Stocks in the Year of the Rabbit

The Super Bowl is over, so let's take a look at the market as we race into the Year of the Rabbit.


Ooh lah lah.

The monthly strength period winds down as the paycheck money has been dollar-cost averaged into the stock market. Earnings season is still in play, but winding down a bit as many of the big names have reported. Oil prices are rising due to a rebounding economy domestically and internationally. Oh, and Egypt continues to be in the headlines as protestors continue to protest.

And I didn't even bring up the Glee special after the Super Bowl. (That's on as I type, and the Glee cast are all dressed up as monsters singing the Thriller song. Or some version of it).

February tends to be one of the weaker months of the year. Or, as I like to say, the tenth best month of the year on average.

This is where it may get a little interesting.

The bull trend is going strong, even though sentiment continues to be too bullish. But sentiment does that sometimes, and it can last longer than anyone thinks it's possible. At some point it will matter, but who's to say when that will be?

I reduced my beta in January but continue to be mostly long with a little cash.

A little less cash after the Steelers loss. Hey, I was moving on, right? On to the NBA and don't the pitchers and catchers report in MLB soon?

Super Bowl: Commercials and the end of my Win Streak

I've been on a big win streak in Super Bowl bets, and that ended today. I suppose it was inevitable to regress to the mean and throw some money back to the casino.

Packers deserved the victory. I thought the Steelers imploded with the three turnovers and the Mendenhall fumble in the second half where the Steelers were driving in Packers territory was a momentum killer.

Meanwhile, Rodgers made the plays when he had to and Jordy Nelson caught the ones that mattered.

There was only one commercial I liked, and that was the kid dressed up as Darth Vader trying to use the Force. I can't remember what the ad was for, a car I think, but it was cute and fresh.

The other early commercial that was funny was the kitchen remodel where all they did was put a few budweisers in a bucket of ice.

The Go Daddy spot was worthless!

Super Bowl Pick,Go Daddy Girl, Lingerie Bowl Randomosity!

  • imageThere is the Super Bowl and Lingerie Bowl.  But there is also the Go Daddy girl.
  • I pick the Steelers to win.  Or at least with the 2.5 points.  And the over 44.5.
  • More than anything, it’s just a contrarian play.  All I’m hearing is “Packers, Packers, Packers.”  And that makes me a bit nervous. 
  • My heart says Packers, but I put my money on the Steelers.
  • I liked seeing Danica Patrick as a Go Daddy girl.  And this year we’ll be seeing Jillian Michaels, too. 
  • Don’t forget, there are iPad apps for the Super Bowl, too!
  • I also talked about my Super Bowl pick in an Audioboo.
  • Maurkice Pouncey is out, for those of you watching the Steelers offensive line.
  • Internet buzz points to a Packers win.  Yeah, more contrarian stuff to be aware of.  Internet chatter has mentioned the Green Bay Packers slightly more than the Pittsburgh Steelers during the last week, and if the last two years are any guide, that means the Packers will win today's Super Bowl game.
  • Have you ever gone to the Go Daddy website and looked at the unedited version of the Go Daddy commercials?  I think I did that one year.  After all, they promised us something more exciting on the web, right?  I can’t remember if there was or not!
  • imageLingerie Bowl today as wellFor the first time, the Lingerie Bowl is being played in Las Vegas between Eastern Conference champions the Philadelphia Passion and Western Conference champions the Los Angeles Temptation, who won the glory a year ago. Both teams come into Lingerie Bowl VIII at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center with 5-0 records.  I don’t have any money on that one, and since I’m at a party I’m sure we’ll be watching the Black Eyed Peas  And I get Fergie.  But Lingerie… whoo.
  • Picture is of G-N Kang, of the Philadelphia Passion.  Beat LA!  Beat LA!
  • Anyway, back to the Super Bowl.  Go Steelers!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Watching the Crowd

Mark Hulbert Mark Hulbert at Marketwatch reveals that folks tend to think the market is okay now, but could run into trouble later.

How would they be proved wrong? Many ways. For example: One way, for example, would be for the stock market to embark right away on a significant correction, followed by strength later in the year.

And it is February, not the best month in the month. Well, maybe it's the 10th best month of the year.

So the problem with being a contrarian is that sentiment can run in extremes for quite awhile before reaching the tipping point. It's not an exact science, like global warming. Oops. Did I really type that?

My bottom line is that sentiment is not a reason to buy or sell. It's interesting to watch, because when the market does reach an inflection point, many or most will be leaning the wrong way. But before that happens, price and volume will be showing cracks in the stock market. The leaders will be rolling over. We'll see distribution days. We'll see heavy volume on down days, and light volume on up days. The divergences will be there.

If we're there and paying attention, and not sipping mint juleps expecting higher and higher returns.

Go Daddy and the Super Bowl Weekend

It's super bowl weekend, and that means Go Daddy. Oh, and football.

This is just an excuse to put up a picture of a Go Daddy girl. Maybe I'll post some more over the next few days.

The super bowl is big business. Anyone who thought it was just about the Steelers and Packers are wearing blinders! This is about sales and advertising. Advertisers want eyeballs on their products, and the super bowl is the delivery means.

Plus, heck, we like to watch super bowl commercials! Especially new commercials. If it's a retread, sighs will be heard from family rooms around the country!
***

The stock market doing well. I thought folks might want to take some off the table ahead of a weekend when riots are happening in the middle east.

But, no.

Jobs Report Weak Due to Global Warming

Us jobs Blame the weak jobs number on global warming: The U.S. economy added 36,000 jobs in January, far fewer than economists had expected because of severe weather, but the unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 9 percent.

As we all know, Snow = global warming: "Even though this is quite a cold winter by recent standards it is still perfectly consistent with predictions for global warming," said Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at Department of Physics, University of Oxford. "If it wasn't for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly."

While the "Climate Dynamics Group" tries to get their story straight, let's take a look at how the market is reacting: Stocks traded flat on Friday as investors attempted to reconcile conflicting messages on the U.S. economy from the January jobs report.

Let's see. It's snowing because of global warming, and the unemployment number is coming down because of weaker than expected job numbers.

I think I understand now why the market is shrugging at it all today.

TGIF!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

$VZ to Slow Data Speeds

Welcome to Verizon! I hope you enjoy slower data speeds! $VZ

Hey, this isn't how you beat the competition. Consumers want fast and uncapped data. You offer that, you gain market share and revenue. The stock price goes up. Everyone is happy. Everyone not on a Verizon phone suddenly wants a Verizon phone.

But not this. This is wrong-headed.
***

Still on ATT. No positions in either stock.

Betting on the Super Bowl $$

Not a shocker, but Las Vegas make a killing on Super Bowl bets! $$

The only year Las Vegas lost money was when the Giants beat the Patriots.

I've played my role. As you know, I went to Reno las weekend and placed a little wager on the Steelers.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thoughts on The Daily

The DailyI downloaded The Daily app for the iPad. #thedaily.

Eh.

It's not that it's bad. It just overkill for what it does.

I'm not going to give a complete "review" of the new app. Why not try it out for two weeks while it's free? Maybe I'll change my mind.

That is, if I open the app.

I can't see myself spending $39 a year on it at this point. But I wish them well.

You can read a review here.

Mubarak Strikes Back Randomosity!

  • imageWell, the market was flat today despite the escalation of violence in Egypt.  Egypt-Shmegypt! 
  • Although, Egypt is getting the blame for the listless market.  Unrest in Egypt “is the sort of event risk that is difficult to hedge, so many will prefer to be better safe than sorry,” said Arnab Das, the head of global market research at Roubini Global Economics in London. “Another trade or oil shock, so soon after the systemic global financial crisis and last year’s double-dip fears, could hit global recovery, fragile as it is.”
  • The Suez Canal is still open! 
  • imageBut oil prices inch higher.  Yes, some of that is Egypt, but it’s relatively flat today with the escalation of violence.  Have you seen what this is all doing to the oil stocks?  They’re going to the moon!  They had already rallied quite strongly on a stronger economy and increasing oil demand, but throw a little bit of unrest in the mix, and up they go. 
  • The Daily was released for the iPad.  I downloaded it.  It’s pretty slick.  Does it justify a $.99 a week or $39 a year subscription price?  Eh, we’ll see.  The first two weeks are free, so there’s a chance to give it a good look and see if it’s the right interface for digital news.  But with the decline of the print media, somebody had to put a bold face on “what’s next.”  Maybe The Daily has done it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday Market Thoughts

monthly strength Earlier I wrote about the monthly strength period. Here's a picture of how things really look if you had only invested the first day of the month, and sat in cash the rest of the month. (h/t Bespokeinvest.com). IMPRESSIVE!

Anyway. We've now had seven months in a row where the first day of the month is positive. And that's fourteen of sixteen. Sweet.

As you know, I sold a bunch of beta (think Nasdaq and NDX type of stocks) on January 18th. I think that's the date, as it was two weeks ago today. It looked good initially as the market crapped out over the next few days, rallied last week, and then fell apart Friday with the events in Egypt spooking investors.

Today, the market had one heck of a rally. Reason du jour is that, eh, Egypt-Shmegypt. The Suez canal is still open!

Where do I stand? I remain mostly invested, although nothing in the high-beta stuff. As I mentioned two weeks ago, I'm mostly in the generic VTI and VGI at this point.

Just a reminder... February is the 3rd worst month for market returns. You wouldn't know that by today, or by 1986 when the Dow returned over 8%. But history is history. There must be a reason February is a bit gloomy (most of the time). Oil prices are rising and you may have seen that at the pump. I think the fear premium of Egypt is partially to blame, but we also have an economy that was growing at 3.2% in the last quarter. More energy for the growing economy.

Oh, and the first of the month is over. There will be no gains for the rest of the month. ;)

Apple Blocks Sony e-Reader App

Well. Apple blocks Sony's e-reader app. Is this the kind of thing that could help Google and Android?

I have to admit, the Apple ibook reader isn't my favorite. I'm a little partial to the Barnes and Noble Nook app. But I've bought ebooks from Apple, Barnes and Noble, Amazon's Kindle, and the Google book reader apps. I think the latter is probably the least expensive option. Of course, Bluefire Reader is out there, too, and allows the reading of the library epub format.

But will Apple shut down all the competition or demand "tribute" to the King?

Apple is famous for their closed systems. It's as if the world revolves around Apple. We've been able to laugh it off before the iPhone and iPad, as Apple products fell into a small market niche. Now, Apple has a few mainstream products that are widely accepted and have large market share. Who's laughing now?

This may present an opportunity for Google and its line of Android smart phones and tablets. If Google can undercut on price and deliver more choice, they will win hearts and minds.

The Monthly Strength Pattern $$

Race girlsCNBC mentioned how strong the first trading day of the month has been recently. It's been up six months in a row and thirteen of the last fifteen. It looks to tack on another win today.

I read somewhere that for the past year or so, all of the market gains could have been had by investing only on the first of the month, and being out of the market the rest of the month.

Norm Fosback identified the monthly strength period and holiday trading patterns. I wrote about the Seasonal Timing System trading patterns at the link.

As the saying goes, "You can learn a lot from history."