Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
End of quarter window dressing in the stock market? Or the end of the correction?
I suppose if we want to list a few reasons for the rally, they're quite obvious. First, the end of quarter often sees the winners and leading stocks ramp up. The Big Boys want to be long the best performing stocks and list them among the top portfolio holdings. Next, we have the end of month where payroll hits and the market lifts. But we haven't hit the end of month, yet. That starts tomorrow. Oh, and the holiday pattern with the 4th of July. We've also had a horrible market since the beginning of May. Maybe folks are taking profits, closing shorts.
Whatever the reason, stocks are now up 3 in a row and 4 of 5, right?
Again, like I wrote yesterday, the 50dma is getting closer. That seems the logical destination from here.
Did you watch The Voice finale? Me neither.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yes, the rally is on low volume. Yes, it’s the end of the quarter (window dressing) and approaching end of month (paychecks invested into 401k plans). But, the market did hold the 200dma and we were very close to a double-bottom (March lows).
So, is this the trading range? I’ve been writing for awhile that I thought we’d retest the March lows and that the summer correction would be a frustrating trading range between the highs and the March lows. Now we have a double-bottom potentially in. Is this it? Or will the brief rally we’ve had peter out?
The SPY 50dma is at 131.89. That may be the number to watch.
Still long in the SPY trade, some low-beta stuff, oil, and some cash. My thought is that the correction isn’t over, yet.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I'm leaving Las Vegas, Sheryl Crow! A little lighter in the wallet, somewhat dehydrated, and a little worn out.
Stocks are up as I type. Maybe on the Michelle Bachman running for President news. Or Greece. It's usually Greece, right?
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Las Vegas economy seems to reflect a better economy than recent years. I know the housing market sucks, but I haven't seen these kinds of crowds on the strip in years.
The new City Center is teaming with folks. I couldn't believe the crowd at the Cosmopolitan.
Took in a Las Vegas 51's game at Cashman Field last night, where the visiting Tacoma Rainiers had a 7-run seventh an blasted the hometown heroes.
But it was Roberto Alomar bobblehead night. So, everyone was a winner.
Losing at the tables and slots, keeping the drink glass full, and covering up with sunscreen.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Market sucks. No updates for a few as I am in Las Vegas.
Bottom line is that Sell in May has been a winner. The bounces are coming mostly on lighter volume. Lots of fear in the air about Greece and the Euro zone, plus middle east turmoil and worries about a double dip recession in the US.
Hey, at least fuel prices are coming down. I think that's mainly a 2012 election strategy by President Obama.
Anyway, I still think this is a summer correction. I am still in my SPY trade, but may actually become more aggressive soon. It's not really that bad out there.
IMHO of course!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Ben Bernanke killed the stock rally today. Basically, the Fed reduced economic growth forecasts, said that the slowdown was partially due to Japan's earthquake, and well, who knows what. They're not sure. The Fed is going to keep interest rates near 0% for the time being, but will end the stimulus soon.
I guess it's up to us, now. Get out there and buy cheesecake and iphones, because the country needs you.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
So, $VZ has a shot at taking large numbers of subscribers from $T. The new strategy? Ending unlimited data.
Yeah, it's like they're trying not to convert ATT subscribers. Sure, data isn't expensive and consumers are using more and more of it. But at the same time, the way the markets tend to work is that consumers are looking for high quality at the best price. So if Verizon has somewhat better phone and data service, combined with unlimited usage, it would seem as like they're a slam dunk for new phone shoppers.
But no. Cap the data. Hope for the best.
Lets face it, it doesn't matter if stocks rise or fall, the reason for it is always Greece.
Seriously. The headlines write themselves. Whatever happens, just write "Market *rallies/sells off* as Greece fears *escalate/eases*."
But the bottom line is that this all seems to be happening in a news vacuum where we are waiting to see what is really happening in the US economy.
That's what I think, anyway.
Still in low beta stuff, some cash, some oil, and the SPY trade - which is amazingly close to break even.
Also still on a weight lifting break, second week in a row. Just dealing with some aches and pains. But I have been cycling every night.
I'm a fan of $AAPL rumors. Here's one that says that Apple will release a new iPhone in September. It will have a faster chip and a better camera.
So... I'm really waiting for faster data more than a faster iPhone. But still, I do have an Apple gift card burning a hole in my wallet.
I've also been very impressed with the recent Android phones. I think what's winning me over is the bigger real estate - ie, more screen.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The market decided to go up today. Reason du jour? Er, easing concerns over Greece?
So the story is that stocks were down early because of Greece, and up later because of Greece. But the reality is, nothing is resolved over Greece.
But lets face it, the market needs some sort of bounce, right? Even the worst bear markets have countertrend rallies. And even corrections have bounces.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
- Before I mention stocks, I want to say that Summer is so much better than Winter. Pool, bbq, beer, and friends. Outstanding.
- Oil is declining, and there are a few reasons. First, lots of crisisisis in the world. You know - Greece. What this means is that folks are a little worried about world currencies and are moving to the "safe" dollar. Dollar goes up, and the prices of commodities go down. But the other reason is that if there is an economic slowdown world wide, or even USA specific, then the demand for oil goes down. I'm a little less worried about the latter, as I think there is just a period of slower economic growth rather than a recession. So demand for crude will remain steady and trend up, while the supply of crude will stay steady. I think this leads to higher prices eventually, so I'm staying long my oil play. Even if it swings back and forth in the short term.
- Alyssa Campanella of Los Angeles wins Miss USA. Really. Pictured! Whoa, Nellie.
- Stock futures down as I type. Lots of fear out there. You think, geez, it's not really that bad. It's not like 2008 with the housing collapse coming down around us. So I think it's just a correction. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to think about rotating back into higher-beta stocks. Really. Yes, it would be catching a falling knife, and I think any rally sees a retest of the lows. So the other side of the argument is to wait for a low and then buy a retest. But, hmm.
- Oh yeah, still in my SPY trade. It's only down a smidge anyway. Not close to my stop on the downside, and not near my target on the upside - which would be close to the 50dma.
- So, I don't get the whole sunscreen ratings system coming down on us. Do you? Other than stay out of the sun and wear protective clothing. Then we have spray and rub-on sunscreen. So the government, instead of tackling economic issues, is setting SPF rules. Why not just announce that they're playing the fiddle?
- Melon. That's the other reason I like Summer. I'm having some cantaloupe now.
- Miss USA pageant about to start here, but we know the winner! AHEM. SET THE DVR. Damn, these girls are hot. In their early 20s. LOL. How do you single it down to ONE? In Las Vegas.
- So I'm in hiring interviews, and it's amazing when the young hot ones come in. Last week, one said "It's getting warm in here, I hope you don't mind if I take my jacket off." And, I think - I THINK - the whole thing was for me. LOL But, if I end up hiring her, it's purely based on her qualifications. Purely. And I really do mean that, because if I have to work with her, I need a hard worker.
Took a week off from lifting weights. Didn't really end the aches and pains, so I'm just going to hit it all again starting tomorrow, and then may take another week off. Not sure. Just trying to balance things out. I may slow down on the weights and increase cycling for the summer, and then rotate back to the weights when we change back to standard time.
The important thing is the commitment to exercise and fitness, no matter the form it takes.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
- AARP expects Social Security benefit cut. "It's AARP's belief that at the end of the day there will be a package that affects both the benefit and the revenue side," David Certner, the group's legislative policy director, told CNNMoney. I expect the retirement age to increase, but I have no inside info.
- So, Nasdaq down five weeks in a row, but the Dow and SP500 ended their six-week slide. And it’s never good when the Dow leads. Well, I think it’s “never” good. Market trends are usually lead by the Nasdaq, right?
- What a Greek default means. While Greece itself will be the hardest hit in a default, the ripple effects of such a move could rock the European banking sector to its core and even create a liquidity event not seen since the dark days of 2008. Even this loan-thing Germany is talking about is just a, well, loan. It doesn’t help Greece get out of its problems. The loan just pushes out the default date. Anyway, that’s the problem with socialism, right? There has to be some sort of private sector growth to fuel government spending.
- The Fed will release their quarterly growth, inflation, and unemployment forecast on Wednesday. Set the DVR. Chairman Ben Bernanke made that clear in early June when he said, “U.S. economic growth so far this year looks to have been slower than expected.” He also called the recovery “uneven” and “frustratingly slow.’
- Do you really need Bill Gross or his bond fund? Well…. lol.
- Green Lantern wins the Friday box office contest. $21.6 million. Maybe they should donate all proceeds to Greece.
Heading out for a bike ride…
Thursday, June 16, 2011
- Today's icky stock reason du jour: Greece. Of course. The mood among premarket participants this morning was hurt by ongoing concerns related to the fiscal, social, and political troubles of Greece. (More here). Yeah, what they need is a loan - to borrow more money. All it does is postpone the inevitable.
- So, even with the Dow up and SP500 barely up, the Nasdaq was down. That's never a good sign for the bulls. The Dow is made up of "safe" stocks, in that they are very large cap, very liquid, pay dividends, and generally have lower beta and are less volatile than Nasdaq stocks.
- Research in Motion reported, and to nobody's surprise it is very obvious they are losing to Apple's iPhone and the Android phones. Duh. Who didn't see that coming? By the time the company upgraded the Blackberry, it was far too little and far too late.
- Pandora shares almost 50% below their IPO peak. Hey, even those who bought at the IPO price of $16 are underwater. Unless, they were able to sell in time. Minute to win it, as they say!
- Hugh Hefner's bride to be Crystal Harris, who basically left him right before the wedding, is the July Playboy Playmate. Hef changed the cover to put "runaway bride" over her.
- Anthony Weiner resigns. LOL. Well... I'm sure home life will be lots of fun, eh?
I bet folks loading up on $P (Pandora) yesterday are having some buyer's remorse today. Shares fell below the IPO price.
I was thinking back to 1999-2000 IPO mania, where any company announcing a web presence would see their stocks soar. Even Sunglass Hut putting up a retail front end, right? (I traded $RAYS at the time - lol).
Now, it's Social Media websites that are the darlings.
Pandora is below the IPO price.
And have you seen LinkedIn lately?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Stocks gap down on inflation and Greece news - who is hoping for a reversal?
Seems like we should get some exhaustion gap with a reversal soon, huh? After six weeks in a row of selling the market is trying to throw a seven here. Seems like sentiment is running near extremes. Check out the put-call ratio!
Nevertheless, nobody wants stocks yet...
I remain in some cash, low beta stuff, oil and still in the losing SPY trade. Still within the pain threshold on the latter...
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Well, it was just one day, right? That’s about all we have to hang our hat on these days. But it is what it is.
So if you click the link, you will see the 60-minute bars on the SP500 and what Michael Ashbaugh is talking about.
Reason du jour? A bevy of data brought buyers back into the stock market today. Their support spurred the broad market to its best single-session percentage gain in almost two months.
Yes, that does include a flurry of economic data.
So, between a bevy and a flurry, and we get a big, one-day rally.
It is options expiration week. It is the seventh week, after six weeks of down.
It also seems that within a few points, the market retested the March lows. So that could be the trading range we’re in.
I’m still in my SPY trade and can see the break even point just a few dimes away.
Monday, June 13, 2011
- Options expiration... Max pain at $132 on $SPY?
- One of the things I've wondered, is if $APPL iCloud is the beginning of the demise of the home PC. Think about it. Right now we need the local storage for music, videos and pictures. But if all that is in the iCloud, do you still need a PC tower? Some will. Many won't.
- I'm not the biggest hockey fan on the planet, and rarely (as in never) watch a game. But with nothing else going on today, I turned over to the Stanley Cup where Boston was up 4-0. WHAT? Why bother at that point. Changed over to the news. LOL.
- Eating some microwave popcorn. Just being honest.
- Futures are up (as I type), yet Greece debt was just lowered: Greece became the lowest-rated country in the world according to Standard & Poor's, which downgraded it on Monday and warned that any attempt to restructure the country's debt would be considered a default. S&P has put Greece on Double Secret Probation.
- Well, maybe some will probably want a PC tower and lots of storage for their porn stash.
- Max pain is one of those things that when it works, you're like "well, that was max pain." I'd imagine they'd like to pin it, right? But I don't know...
- Well, the Republicans had their first big debate of the pre-season, right? Heck, Primary 2012 is now under way. Sheez. I didn't watch it or listen to it. It's all noise right now.
- Taking a week off from weight lifting. Did go on a bike ride, though!
So the market started off like it wanted an options week rally. Then, poof. Gone.
The overall sentiment is in the toilet. No matter how crowded the restaurants and casinos seem to be. I think the low growth environment is okay for those who have jobs, and frustrating for those who are looking for work.
Then the high fuel prices.
Last week, I said that it would be difficult for the market to go down six weeks in a row. I'll say the same thing about seven weeks in a row. It seems unlikely. But that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Still in my SPY trade, cash and low beta stuff. And the oil play. On the latter, I may just be in a buy and hold forever mode.
Taking this week off from weight lifting. Having some over training aches and pains. So I will be out on the bike instead!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Pandora ($P) will begin trading on Wednesday.
I have no idea how they make money, or if that will even matter on Wednesday.
But I do use Pandora. A lot. As a matter of fact, it’s the reason I haven’t bought new music in a very long time. When I want to listen to a genre of music, I put on a music channel on Pandora. Done.
It seems like they play a quick ad every 30 minutes or so. I guess that’s their way to make money.
Anyway, Pandora’s ability to make money will eventually dictate stock price. But that won’t be the issue Wednesday. Everybody wants some, right?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Why yes, the market is down 6 weeks in a row and is nearly 7% off its April 29th high.
I must've jinxed it last week. My bad!
Anyway, the reason du jour is global economic slowdown. Hmmm...
I blame it on summer. But there are some legitimate worries about the end of government stimulus. I also think that federal, state, and local governments are dealing with too much debt at this point.
Every summer sell off has its reasons. I still think that the economy is improving, and that will ultimately lead to higher stock prices. But just not now
The market is down about 1% as I type. Reason du jour? Weak trade data from China, the delay of the Ally Financial IPO, and worries about Greece.
So much for an options week rally! And I guess this means yesterday was a one-day wonder. I suppose the weak close yesterday was a clue, eh?
I was hoping we would bounce up for a few days and establish the summer's trading range. But now we have to wonder if the market is heading lower.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Just when things seemed to be getting worse, exports fuel stock rally.
Hey, we all needed that, right? The drumbeat of negativity was getting too loud.
So... Is this the summer trading range? Seems like that March low was an important number.
This could just be a one day winder but we will take it.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
- The Yahoo Finance headline is amusing: Pessimism Continues to Prevail. Or, "Losing is Winning!"
- Reason du jour for the stock market weakness? The Fed's Beige Book said that economic growth was slowing. But also remember that Bernanke said that the Fed believed that economic growth would pick up later this year. Maybe that's priced in?
- Of course, higher oil prices are hurting folks. And our best pals OPEC have decided not to increase oil production.
- Hey, wouldn't it be nice to see our President take the lead and announce a federal program to encourage natural gas cars? Bob Brinker and Dr. Bill Wattenburg have talked about it.
- Bill Gross said that "Bonds are toast!" One thing I've learned in life, is never to take a Bill Gross prediction too seriously. But, it sure is a convincing argument. Read the link. It makes sense.
- Anthony Weiner. LOL. Well, what do you say? He's toast. That's for sure. If you''re not reading James Taranto on this, you're missing out.
- I had such a great day at work today. Very energizing. Lots of positive feedback from the folks that matter. I was starting to thinking about leaving the Fun Factory and - heck I don't know - applying for a $200,000 lifeguard job in Orange County. Know what I mean?
- So how is the exercise program going? Still lifting weights. In week 16. Had some struggles the past few weeks sticking with the plan. But did it. Substituted some exercises here and there, and doubled-up after missed days, which is difficult and impacts me for the whole week. Cycling is down the past month due to bad weather and lack of time.
The lower we go, the worse the news gets! Or at least the predictions.
Now, lets cut Jim Rogers some slack. He's had some terrific calls and has largely been right for the past decade. The US debt numbers are staggering, and there is no desire to reduce government spending. The more the government spends, it seems the longer the crisis goes on.
I recall someone who said (paraphrasing), "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara desert, within 5 years it would run out of sand."
Still, I don't recall too many news headlines like this one prior to the beginning of May. And it seems the headlines get more and more dire the lower the SP500 ticks. Maybe it's good news for a reversal of sorts.
I recall it wasn't that long ago that I said I suspected that the market was in a trading range that would see the indexes revisit the March lows. Heck, we're almost there already.
Still long the SP500 for a trade. Hasn't hit my stop at this point. Being a little patient right now, and still riding a lot of this in low beta stuff, cash, and still some oil.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Today was a bad day in the market. I don't know if we blame Ben Bernanke or the Summer Doldrums, but the market tried to move up, and was just crushed in the last hour.
I'll be uploading two audioboos later, one from yesterday and one from today. Not that those will help, but they've been on my iPhone for a couple of days and my thoughts are there.
On the other hand, I heard some techies today talking about a "tweezer bottom" in the market: The price action has trended downward then 2 consecutive days of equal lows signal support. This could signal a short term bottom is forming.
Again, no crime sitting summer out. I remain in cash, some low beta stuff, oil, and a lame SPY trade (with a mental stop in mind should this thing deteriorate. Seriously, it was in the black with an hour left in the trading day, and then whoosh down!)
Monday, June 06, 2011
- Yes. The stock market was down. Audioboo coming.
- Lenny Dykstra jailed on new charges ...allegedly leasing cars using phony businesses and credit information, and with drug possession. Er, okay. Nice job, Nails.
- Well, there are many lessons to be learned from Mr. Anthony Weiner and the use of social media. Say, how does this affect social media IPOs? If it's taboo to put pictures of your pocket rocket online, does that affect valuations?
- So, Apple's WWDC? I guess it's a Mark of the Beast sign: You won't be able to listen to music unless you have an iCloud account and an Apple iTunes ID. This is how Satan works, people! Make it seem cool at first. "Your music anywhere, all you need is this simple ID." Then? "WORSHIP ME!"
- Anyway, financials were down 2% today, lead by BAC. The stock market has been down four days in a row, for those keeping count.
- Yes, I went long SPY today. Just for a trade. I was thinking we'd get a bounce or a reversal. I thought we were near a bouncing point on the charts, but maybe it's going straight to the 200dma and the March lows. I don't know. Hanging tight for now.
I had to look up when the Dow last had SIX down weeks in a row.
The last time the Dow fell for six consecutive weeks was in October 2002, and the longest weekly streak ever—eight weeks—came in 1923.
Google (and the Wall Street Journal) to the rescue.
Stocks weak on worry that recovery is weakening.
And I'm the idiot who went long the SP500 on the initial swoon this morning. What was I thinking? Should have waited for the last hour but I thought we might see a reversal. Oops.
Well the 200dma and the March lows await, I suppose.
Having lunch. Tostada.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
So, the market has been down 5 weeks in a row. First time for that in 7 years they say. I don't know if they're right, but I'm just going with it. Sounds good, and I'm not in an arguing kind of mood. Lets run with it.
Seems to me that there ought to be an up week coming, right? If it's been 7 years since 5 weeks in a row down, I can't imagine how long it's been since 6 weeks in a row. I'm not going to look it up, but I bet it's been a long time.
Asian shares are down. They say (yes, them again), that it's because of a weak US jobs report on Friday. Which is strange, as we're outsourcing our jobs to Asia. You'd think that a positive GDP here and lack of jobs growth means that the job growth is happening somewhere. Either that or we're working longer hours, productivity is up, or something, right? Eh, not feeling like looking that one up, either. Again, lets run with it. Asian shares are selling off on weak US jobs data. Fine.
I looked at the Black Box, and it's not saying much. It's been on a new sell signal since the beginning of May. Just one thing. As you know, I don't follow it as a mechanical system. It's just one thing. And now I've said "It's just one thing" twice. Well, thrice. But it's a helper not a hinderer.
But what the Black Box does show on the charts is that the 50dma is somewhere above where the indexes are, the 200dma is somewhere below where the indexes are, and the March lows are down there somewhere, too. Seems likely to me that eventually, our trading ranges goes down there somewhere.
But before we do that, we have that issue of 5 weeks in a row down, and how likely would it be to have 6 weeks in a row down. Plus, with the 50dma now above us, who thinks maybe we'll see the indexes bounce up and kiss the 50dma line? Anyone?
I'm just thinking out loud. That's all. But tomorrow when I wake up, if the US stock averages are down because Asian markets were down because of Friday's US jobs report, then I may think about making a long play.
Typing this in Blogsy.
Made two trips to the casinos this weekend. One at Thunder Valley and one at Red Hawk. Actually had a bit of luck again. On the slots, believe it or not!
Picture is of Piper Perabo from Covert Affairs. Just saying....
Friday, June 03, 2011
- After 4 days in a row of market advances, stocks have come down 3 straight and were down 2.3% for the short week. The reason du jour? Jobless data.
- Now Iran announces they have two nuclear warheads. (Watching CNBC).
- John Edwards: He’s a heartbreaker, not a lawbreaker.
- Why high oil prices are here to stay. You know, declining dollar, summer driving season… I’d add cutting back of drilling due to environmental scares plus the additional need for oil due to recovering world economies.
- So the jobless data… Only 54,000 jobs added and unemployment up to 9.1%. While the White House and economists cautioned that the poor data was likely a monthly blip, it fueled allegations that Obama's economic policies are failing, 18 months ahead of the next presidential election.
- Vegetable scare hits Europe! As scientists scramble to find the source of an E. coli outbreak linked to raw vegetables that has killed 18 in Europe and sickened nearly 2,000, consumers are swearing off lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes just in case.
- Nice comeback by Dallas last night. Obviously, that was after I blogged about Miami being ahead. LOL. Well, it’s been Dallas’ story this post-season. They’ve been able to come back and win.
- Haven’t heard too much about this in the news, but there are protests in Syria. A Syrian city that was bombed into submission three decades ago after a crushed uprising became a new center for protest and violence Friday, as activists said troops opened fire on a crowd of thousands and killed at least 34. Still, people nationwide poured into the streets in unprecedented numbers, defying the crackdown and a government chokehold on the Internet. It’s kind of a big deal, right? The whole region is coming unglued. Not that there was much sanity there to begin with, but unrest in that part of the world can also contribute those higher energy prices, right?
But that was Tuesday.
Since then, a slew of underwhelming economic data has come out. The stock market is now headed to its fifth consecutive week of declines.
As you know, I raised cash on Tuesday. I’m thinking a bounce is likely, maybe back to the 50dma. But we are mired in a 15 week trading range, and I’d even say that March low looks like an interesting benchmark, eh?
It’s Friday. I’ll audioboo/podcast later. Sitting in cash, some low beta stuff, and watching my oil stocks lose their gains. LOL. OIL!!!
Time to lift weights. Slowing down this past week or so. I modified my routine a bit, so hopefully that will get me back into a rhythm.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
- Who else is a little underwhelmed at the prospects of $AAPL (Apple’s) WWDC with no new iPhone or iPad announcement? Do I really care about the iCloud? Not that sexy. I’m going in with low expectations, so maybe there’s some WOW room somewhere…
- The stock market held up okay despite the weak retail and jobless reports. Kind of a ho-hum day compared to the last two. "Companies are just not hiring the same number of workers that they laid off two years ago, and that's leading to a very stale jobs environment," said David Loesser, the president of the Estate Planners Group.
- With the stock sells on Tuesday, I’m now sitting with cash, some low-beta stocks, and some oil.
- Should have dumped the oil stocks a while ago, huh? But I tell ya, with basically zero energy policy from our government and the plan is “just import oil,” then I know oil will eventually just keep going higher eventually. There’s no reason for it not to.
- Groupon filed for their IPO. That one will be nuts.
- Miami up over Dallas as I type. Not a shocker, IMO.
- I don’t get the Lakers hiring Mike Brown as head coach. I guess let the rebuilding years begin…
Gasolone prices affecting folks ability to buy stuff.
Retailers numbers came in lower than expected. Hey, if we are spending more at the pump and less at the malls and restaurants, what does anyone expect?
This is why higher energy prices aren't inflationary.