Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Late Night Thoughts...

GOOG! It's all downhill from here, Muck!

  • "Nobody in the world" wanted to step in front of those Google earnings.  That was the fear.  And it was realized after the company announced earnings.  This market has endured weak earnings from other companies.  Will the buyers step in and buy it up?  Are those folks who have been on the wrong side of the market in January licking their chops at a chance to get in and try to play catch up?  Or, is this the start of "the end?"  Stay tuned!

  • Oh, I'm still long.

  • American Idol was in Las Vegas tonight.  Pretty bad singing.

  • I missed the State of the Union.  All my plans earlier of picking up a pizza and heading home were quickly forgotten on the walk from the Fun Factory to my car.  I came home.  Worked out.  And then turned on Fox around 8 for American Idol.  Didn't even think about President Bush's speech until I clicked on My Yahoo.  "Hmm, forgot about it."  So I read the summary.  America is addicted to oil.   Okay.  Now the Democrats will oppose alternative energy, if Bush is for it.   I didn't check the Democrats counter speech, where I'm sure they just went on about how horrible they think Bush is.  What a silly government we have.  But, it is the best that money can buy.

  • I did read that Cindy Sheehan got arrested for doing something moonbatty.  And she wants to run against Diane Feinstein in CA?  C'mon.  DiFi is going to wax that nut.  It won't be close.  

  • Did you see those paintings of Greenspan CNBC was showing this morning?  Apparantly, somebody is going to auction those off on EBAY.  No thanks.  Those paintings were creepy.  Ooh, found a link to one.  $23,000.  HHAHAHAHAHHHHHHAAAAAH.  NOWAY.

  • G'night.

Tuesday Trifecta (Fed, GOOG, Bush)

  • The actor who plays the President on 24 does a good job of creeping me out.

  • Speaking of creeping me out, see Google afterhours? For those of you who were part of the internet mania, don't you get the feeling that at some point in the future, this stock is going to be in the single digits? I just don't know about this whole pay-per click revenue model. I wonder if companies will say "You know, nobody ever clicks on our ads" and then cancel their ads. We'll see. Just thinking out loud.

  • (I owned GOOG at $158, and sold it at $170 back in the day. What do I know?)

  • Greenspan did his last gig as Fed Chairman before he heads out on the speaking circuit. Can you imagine Greenspan getting a big fee for his speeches, when nobody can understand what he says? Well, he didn't give investors warm fuzzies today with his parting comments, but I think folks are now just seeing what Helicopter Ben will do.

  • I think I have time to pick up a pizza before President Bush's State of the Union. I think he's going to push alternative energy and health care savings accounts. He should push conservation. Drive less. Eat less. And exercise more. That'd help out energy issues and health care issues right there!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Manic Monday!

  • Quick thoughts on the market?  SURE!  It's just biding time until tomorrow.  Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day.  There's a trifecta of market movers with Greenspan's Last Dance, Google's Earnings, and President Bush giving the State of the Union.  Of these, the most important is Greenspan; the most impotent is Bush.

  • But did you see the alternative energy stocks today?  Man, the speculation is that Bush is going to push for energy independence.  So the speculation players bought them up today.

  • Minestrone is a good winter soup. 

  • 24 on tonight, so don't forget to set the DVR if you can't watch it.  Don't worry about catching 7th Heaven, though.

  • Cloture vote for Alito was a slam dunk.  The Senate is going to vote to approve him.  Clearly a qualified dude.  Even if folks disagree with him philosophically, at least he's a quality pick.

  • I haven't been blogging much or surfing lately because there is actually zero gaps in my work day lately here at the Fun Factory.  Has me pondering other job opportunities.  I like the work here, but coming in on weekends and spending long days week after week is wearing me down.  I'm trying to stay focused and not make any snap decisions.  But I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been talking with folks at the Salt Mine about coming back there.



Saturday, January 28, 2006

Random Thoughts for Saturday

  • Even though my previous post indicates some creeping doubt about the markets going forward, I am long the market.  I don't have sell signals yet from the Black Box.  Not that it's a crystal ball, but I do use it to adjust beta rather than relying on my emotions.
  • Caught up in Battlestar Galactica.  It's one of the better sci-fi series. Watching TV via DVD is so much better.  No commercials, and no cliffhangers.  My just-as-geeky buddies are recommending Firefly and Serenity, so I'll put those in the on-deck circle.

  • If Greenspan (and Bernanke) are done raising short term rates, then loans that are based on the short-term rate are done going up for now.   All eyes will be on Greenspan this next week.

  • I don't like it that Wall Street Journal has made Barron's an add-on subscription.  Current subscribers to the on-line WSJ got jilted in this deal.  I'm cancelling.  F'em.  The internet has diminished the value of their publications anyways.   JMHO.

  • I should've went in to the Fun Factory today.  I have so much work to do.  But can't get motivated.   The requirements I'm getting are on such shakey ground, that as a developer I feel like I'm spinning my wheels.  And then respinning them in a few days.   I've already raised the flag on expectations...

  • I was in college when Challenger crashed 20 year ago. I remember walking into the classroom and the TV was on to the news. Seems like it happened just yesterday.

  • I recorded the Fox business block and watched it this afternoon.  I have to admit that I'm feeling the euphoria, too.  I hear one guy mention CY, and I look it up and put it in The Black Box.   I hear another guy mention JNJ, and I'm back on the PC bringing up the chart and looking at the dividend.  It's contagious, this bullishness.  Heck, I'd like to be in the next stock that's going up 20% in a few weeks or after a mention on Cramer's Mad Money.

Investor Euphoria



I was thinking about the market and investor enthusiasm.  We're in this Mad Money time where folks are getting excited by Jim Cramer's picks, reminding me of what was happening in early 2000.  We're seeing some excitement over earnings.   And feelings of relief that Greenspan may be done raising rates.  (Well, he'll be.  Bernanke is in the on-deck circle.)

Are we reaching the time where folks feel we're "all clear" for a new bull market, even though we're at all time highs in some index trackers and near bull market rally highs in others?  Could we be near the blow-off top of this 2002-present bull market, when folks finaly feel okay with getting back in the market?

Could this happen when the Fed does their final rate?  Could this be a sell the news event?

Just thinking out loud here.  I remain long the market, but I'm starting to feel on edge about the euphoria.  Even on today's Bulls and Bears shows, the folks who were bearish in late December seem gung-ho about the market for 2006.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Rally

The GDP comes out this morning weaker than thought, and the market rallies. Maybe because this means the Fed is done. And with most companies doing well, maybe we're scaling the wall of worry. More later, when I'm not on the Treo...

Master P is just a horrible ballroom dancer. But I think it's funny folks are voting for him.

North-South game this weekend, and I'm interested to see Jay Cutler from Vandy...

Fun Factory is busy.

Next week is Greenspan's last call. Wonder if that'll be a sell the news event as we head into a new Fed era.

On the Treo, so sorry for the lack of graphic...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Overworked and Underappreciated

  • At least that's my current state of mind. I need to go through a few weeks of being Underworked and Overappreciated here at the Fun Factory.

  • I haven't looked at the market stats today. Generally, I don't like it when the market opens up positive and closes weak. But, it wasn't that weak. We have end of the month stuff coming up. But sentiment might be getting too positive. February isn't a great month historically. I'm still long at this point...

  • American Idol was hillarious last night, with the singer who studied the Paula and Randy voice coaching DVD.

  • One thing bothering me about the market, is this whole Jim Cramer effect on stocks because of his show. This morning on CNBC, whoever was going over the Nasdaq said something similar to "This stock warned, and it's down. This stock exceeded, and it's up. And this stock is up 8% because Jim Cramer mentioned it." I don't think that's healthy for the market...

  • (Now watch folks get a slingbox so that they can watch Cramer at work and tune in to his picks! More power to him, though. He's quite the infotainer).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Catching Up...

  • Too busy to think about anything other than work. I did catch the playoffs on sunday, and the Seahawks-Steelers matchup looks like a dandy.

  • Stocks have rebounded some, and I still have my aggressive position from friday. I'm watching the internals as we move back up, to see if we're getting weaker or if we're going to new highs. I still think the market has around 5% in it, as measured by the SP500. But the question for me is if we'll get a pullback before we march higher or not. I remain long for now, but I'll run my stock scans tonight and see what's what.

  • I don't like the character of the President in 24. I miss David Palmer!

  • Speaking of, Samuel Alito was recommended along party lines in a 10-8 vote. Now to the Senate he goes!

  • Seahawks, by the way.

  • Did you see the movie The Island? Reminded me of Logan's Run. Not a bad flick, though.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Market Slip and Slide


  • Somebody strapped the market to a snowboard today and shoved it down the slopes.  I'm sure there are lots of ways to make excuses for it... (keep reading).

  • First excuse...  "Well, the market ran up too fast earlier in January, we had too much bullishness, and we're just getting some healty profit taking and consolidation."  Rebuilding the "Wall of Worry."

  • Kobe just can't do it all by himself for the Los Angeles Lakers.  As a news reporter said here this morning, "It's Kobe Bryant and 4 guys named Smush."  Kobe's having a great year, though.  It does seem as if he's just trying to rack up stats.

  • Second excuse...  "Iran is spooking the market and driving oil prices higher, this will hurt consumers.  Especially those who shop at Wal-Mart."
  • Have you tried Pita Chips?  They're low-fat pita bread that are baked or something.  The problem I'm having, is how to figure out if they're stale or not?  I don't think one can tell. 

  • This weekend?  Netflix'd a few.  "The Island."  I don't have high expectations going in, so I hopefully will enjoy it.  And Season 2 Disc 1 of Battlestar Galactica.  Boomer came out of the closet and showed Adama (bang!) that she's a Cylon.  Will Adama survive?  Of course, the series is already in season 3, so don't spoil it for me.

  • Third excuse... "Earnings by Yahoo and Intel show that the economy is slowing, and that all these over-owned big caps are going to be sold hard.  If you own anything, own a bunch of small cap 4-letter tickers that nobody has ever heard of, but promise to do something interesting someday with energy or semiconductors somewhere down the road."   (Obviously, not a game for me to play, so I'm jesting a bit with it.)

  • Fourth excuse...  "Inverted yield curve predicts a recession ahead."  (Well, that can stir an argument because folks will start to ask just which Treasuries you're using to come up with that.)

  • Wilson Pickett passed away.   He wrote some good songs.

  • Fifth excuse... "Lamar Odom's poor clock management."  (OOPS, that's the Lakers' excuse for losing to the Kings last night!)

  • Sixth excuse... "We get big corrections (most) every election-year cycle."  (Double true!)

  • OK, I think we've seen a tremendous amount of volatility this options week.  Not only that, but we've combined that with the first week of earnings that contained some surprises on both sides.  Heck, I'm wondering if the selling in Intel has gone too far.  I did add some tech back to my portfolio today, hoping for a bounce next week.  Not a recommendation, of course. 

  • Fear and greed rule the markets, so I'm going to peruse the blogs this weekend and read the bull and bear cases.  I think greed was running high last week when folks thought they had to just buy anything and get long.  Which of course tends to happen near the end of a run. 

  • I really gotta quit eating these pita chips.

  • Barry Ritholz on The Bull's Sheet.  Good read, since he's been trying to make the Bears' case for awhile.  Good line from BR:  "It’s still too early to cue the fat lady, but I can see her backstage, sipping on a nice cup of tea with lemon and honey. "

  • One thing for sure, you can find whatever opinion out there that you're looking for.  Nobody will be right 100% of the time.  I certainly am not. 

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Lakers-Kings (Plus More!)

  • Jerry Rice didn't do so well on dancing with the stars tonight.  But Master P has to go... 

  • Jason ponders if the market is near a top.  I'm wondering the same thing.  I don't have sell signals yet, but I did check out the Black Box tonight and it looks like it could generate a sell signal soon on lots of things.  But, no sense guessing about it.  I remain long, but in low-beta stuff.

  • Got the Lakers-Kings game on.  Back and forth, late in the 4th.

  • You know, nobody seems to be talking about oil.   Oh it's mentioned here and there.  But where are the newsreporters at the pumps asking customers how they're coping with this?  I think because we've mostly adjusted to higher energy prices.  It's not a big deal for most folks.  I think companies like Walmart have mentioned that low-end customers have slowed their spending.  But is anybody else?

  • Lakers-Kings goes into overtime, because Lamar Odom is a bone head.  Then the Kings run away with it.  Nice game by Kenny Thomas, though. 

Thursday's Quick Hits


The markets came back roaring today.  Check out the semiconductors.   Makes me feel that I should've hopped in yesterday and been more impatient!  I'll have to run my Black Box later to see what it's saying as we go back up near the recent rally highs.  So stay tuned!  I'll try to update before Dancing with the Stars.  (Jerry!  Jerry!  Jerry!)

I've noticed that the small stocks are moving a lot quicker than the big names.  That generally causes me to raise my eyebrows because sometimes that's where the speculators go.  I've noticed that the action gets hot and heavy when we're close to the end of a bull move, as folks who have missed the move try to catch up by speculating in the fast movers.  And I'm tempted, too.  I see some of these small names that I've never heard of moving 4-5% a day, and I'm thinking I WANT SOME, TOO.  If it starts to seem too easy, I get a little worried.  We shall see. 

On Lost last night...  Kind of a bizarre show.  I'm wondering why The Others didn't shoot them.  Why do they care if they live or not?  The Others warned them to stay on the other side of the island and mind their own business  Of course, this sets up the oncoming battle where Michelle Rodriquez's character "Aslan" will lead them into battle.   Oops, mixing TV with movies... 

I'm heading home.  Another hectic day at the Fun Factory.   I think it's going to ease up a bit after next week. 

Lakers-Kings tonight.  Maybe I should watch that instead.  Hmm....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday's Late Quick Hits

  • The market had a rough start today with the Yahoo and Intel earnings weighing it down. But the market rebounded quite well, as it anticipated more positive earnings from companies after hours today. Tomorrows open should be interesting. I didn't change my positions today. Remain mostly long in low-beta stuff with some cash on the sidelines. I wanted to buy something today, but just because I was feeling the itch isn't a reason to be impatient.

  • I've watched the opening rounds of American Idol, and I'm getting a bit bored with the bad singers. I do like to see folks melt down, though.

  • Did you see the story about the guy who lost weight to escape from prison?

  • It's also options week, so market volatility should be the norm. Oh, and the month of February isn't usually a good one for stocks. Although if we're selling off ahead of it, folks are trying to front it and therefore it's all meaningless! And if that weren't enough, we also have the election year cycle where we get a pretty big selloff and a rally. Sheez!

  • Lost is on in a few... hoo!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quack Quack!

Tech is crap, Muck!

  • Yahoo and Intel seem to have nuked the afterhours.  (Did you check the YHOO ticker?  SHEEEZ!)  This should make for an interesting opening tomorrow morning.  While I have the low-beta value stuff, I'm looking for a chance to buy back the semis and tech that I sold last week.

  • Just like that, the market euphoria is probably going to be replaced by fear.  Suddenly, everything is wrong with the world again.   Sentiment can change so quickly. 

  • 24 saw the conclusion of the Airport Hostage situation last night.  They do good TV.

  • Tonight?  American Idol debuts!  I used to like these qualifying rounds, but now I'm wondering if people are serious are trying to be the next William Hung.  You know what I mean?

  • I didn't mention this about the Lakers earlier today, but they're playing well right now.  Kobe is doing his normal thang, and the rest of the team is playing like they've gotten comfortable with each other.

  • You know who else is playing well and who the Sacramento Kings gave up on a little early?  Gerald Wallace.  Have you seen his numbers per game lately? 

  • Fun Factory is really busy.  But somebody made my day today by saying "You're just so cute."  Awwwwwww... shucks.  Of course, baby ducks are cute too, so I'm not sure what she meant.  Quack Quack!

  • Don't sleep in tomorrow.  Bubblevision will be fretting the market open with the negative tech earnings today.  Heck, I might even listen to Cramer's podcast tonight to see how he's taking this news on his Yahoooooo.

Daytrading With The Stars!

  • So the market is pulling back a bit after the New Year run-up. But I think the euphoria heading into earnings set up the potential for selling on the news. Folks seem to be selling before the news! I think that can make for some attractive buying opportunites. I remain invested in low-beta stuff and have some cash on the sidelines, waiting for some fear before I shift back into overdrive.

  • We have Dancing with the Stars and Skating with the Celebrities. OK, how about a market-themed Daytrading with the Stars? We could give celebrities a terminal, team them up with trading pros, and watch them daytrade stocks. Losers get eliminated weekly. Think of all the fun as they post spam messages on Yahoo message boards! And then folks like Cramer could be on the judge panel, "What were you thinking when you bought that stock?"

  • Did you catch the Lakers-Heat game? I was flipping back and forth between commercials in 24 over to the game, and caught the skirmish between Shaq and Lakers 18-yr old Andrew Bynum. Shaq did a rebound dunk over Bynum, and then a few seconds later, Bynum posted up Shaq and left him in the dust for a dunk. On the way down, Bynum bumped into Shaq, and Shaq threw an elbow at the youngster. Double technicals. Right call.

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK Day Quick Hits

Aslan doesn't really die, right?

  • Nasdaq is up 5% for the year.

  • Did you catch the opening 2 hours of "24" last night?  Jack didn't stay in the witness protection program for long!  Former President David Palmer shot.  Former CTU agent Michelle killed and David wounded.  Chloe on the run.  And who is the suspect?  Jack.  Jack lives!  Anyways, looks like another good season for the series.  Although...  Airport hostages?

  • I think I'm going with some folks to see Chronicles of Narnia.  Which is a good time to bring up the Saturday Night Live skit again!
  • No sports on.   The market is closed.  Sheesh.  Might as well go to the movies.  (I think the Lakers-Heat game is on tonight...)
  • Freakonomics on Cheating in the NFL.  I disagree, though. I just think there are some missed calls or bad calls.  The Refs are watching these things in real time, and we have TV with 5000 camera angles and slo-mo replays.  It's always obvious to the viewers.

  • The Alito Supreme Court vote has been postponed until January 24th.  C'mon.  Just get it over with.  Why the suspense? 

  • Interesting article on younger folks shunning cash for plastic (credit cards).  These young consumers so consistently reach for debit and credit cards that Visa USA has anointed the age group "Generation Plastic," or "Gen P."

  • The NBA trade deadline is coming.  The best way to keep up on the rumors!  Ron Artest seems to be the top rumor guy.  There are rumors that have him going about everywhere...

  • I watched the Jessica Alba Into the Blue movie.  Not a bad film, since I went in with low expectations.  Kind of a similar plot to the Nick Nolte movie The Deep where he dives and finds drugs.  Yes, Jessica Alba is hot.  But I think she needs to tone up a bit.  (Just being picky).  I see via IMDB that she's slated for Sin City 2, Sonic, and Awake.

  • MLK DAY! CNN was wondering if this should be a national holiday. I think we could get to the point where we have too many holidays. There were lots of great people in American history. Maybe we should have a Great Americans Day and leave it at that. Not that I don't want more holidays, though.

  • OK.  Chronic-What!-cles of Narnia time....

Remember to vote for The Learning Curve in Blog Survivor!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday's Quick Hits

  • OK, so that Steelers-Colts game turned out to be a great game.  I'm not sure if the Steelers should've just taken a knee instead of trying to punch it in with Bettis there at the end.  I think the latter.  I don't want Peyton Manning to have the ball at the end of the game.   Try to score and end it.

  • What?  What do you mean the markets are closed tomorrow?  Sheesh.

  • Yeah, Panthers are just better than the Bears.  The Bears seem to need a little more spark and drive at the QB slot.  Grossman recently returned, and maybe he'd be okay with a season full of games under his belt.  I don't think Orton would've improved the situation.  Next week's games should be great. 

  • 2006 Prediction?  Gold prices fall, and oil prices ease but remain stubbornly high.  Gold is all hype at this point, as the moon shot predictions come out everyday now.  Where were these folks when Gold was under $300?  Probably dreaming of DOW 40,000 and loving the new economic paradigm!  With the world economies growing, we just need more energy.  So oil will continue to be in demand.  We really need to have a "Plan B" for energy.  Seriously.

  • "Can you sign this melon?"  (I love the "That's Peyton, P-E-Y" Peyton Manning commercials.)

Remember to vote for The Learning Curve in Blog Survivor!

A List of Goodbyes

  • The Patriots lose to the Broncos. Or, did the Patriots lose to themselves, with the Broncos being the beneficiary? I get the feeling that if they played each other 10 times, the Patriots would win most of them. But hand it to the Broncos for making the most of the opportunities.

  • It's late in the 3rd Quarter, but the Colts look to be on the verge out. The Steelers are outplaying them by a country mile. Teams who were great in week 10 sometimes aren't so great later in the season. The Colts haven't played a meaningfull game for a long time, and when it counts they're getting their heads handed to them. 21-3 as I type!

  • The Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire. Here's a good list of the tax cuts and their expiration dates, Sunset Provisions in the Tax Code. Excerpt:

    The bad news – and it is potentially very bad news indeed – is that virtually all of these phenomenally effective pro-growth tax cuts are about to "sunset" over the next several years. Moreover, there is a massive tax increase coming in the form of the Alternative Minimum Tax, the threshold for which is scheduled to fall to $33,750 from $43,500 on January 1, 2006 (as I write in mid-December). Residents of high income/high local tax states like NY, NJ, MA and CA will be hit hardest – exactly the kind of productive, job-creating, high-investing citizens you least want to mess with.

  • Tatum O'Neal, who was voted off the Dancing With the Stars contest. Did you like her attitude? The actors and actresses need some coaching on their speeches pre and post-dance. Don't make excuses. Don't whine. Don't complain. Don't act like a spoiled 12-yr old. How about taking some Kevin Costner (in Bull Durham) cues for how to speak in an interview? My substitutions included:

    "We gotta dance them one dance at a time."
    "I'm just happy to be here. Hope I can help us win."
    "I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out."

  • Tyco, which is splitting into 3 companies. Is that a goodbye or hello to two new friends?

  • And goodbye to Shelly Winters, who passed away this past week. When I think of her, I think of her role in The Poseidon Adventure, trying to escape the overturned ship!

Remember to vote for The Learning Curve in Blog Survivor!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday's Quick Hits

  • The markets?  Three day weekend, with monday being MLKjr day.  Tuesday, earnings start off and I think we're getting IBM and Yahoo.  That should keep it interesting.  I think there is a combination of optimism about earnings and investor angst for missing the move up.  I'm not sure if we'll see folks selling the news or buying the dips this week.  It's also options expiration week.   I'm still long, although via lower beta stuff; and I do have some cash at the ready to put to work somewhere.  I haven't run my Black Box scans for the weekend, yet.  Later...

  • I'm at work.  I know...  Lame way to start a 3-day weekend.  Just have tons to do in a short timeframe.  Remember last month when I was whining about somebody starting a project in December near the holidays?  Well, it got off to a slow start due to vacations and such, but deadlines didn't change. 

  • I Netflixed the final disc from Season 1 Battlestar Galactica, and there was only one episode on there.  Oh, deleted scenes and other bonus garb.  But kind of sad to have only one episode.  Then there were the cliffhangers of Boomer on Galactica shooting Adama, Boomer on Caprica being pregnant, Starbuck on Caprica, the President in the brig, some folks and Baltar stranded on Kobol, and the Apollo mutiny against Tigh..   I moved up Season 2 in the Netflix queue and I started recording Season 3.   What a well written sci-fi drama.  (I think even non-geeks might like it).

  • Remember to vote for The Learning Curve in Blog Survivor!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dancing with the Quick Hits

First... Remember to vote for The Learning Curve in Blog Survivor!

  • Lets start off with the markets, which have been extremely strong this year. Even the pause after the recent ramp has been met with buying. My guess is folks want to be in this market right now and feel angst for being too bearish before New Years. Coming up next week will be earnings and options expiration. That sounds more like a recipe for volatility than pumpkin stew. If companies come out and say good things, will people sell the news? If companies report bad things, will dips be bought? I think we're due for some sort of pullback, which was why I booked profits in my most volatile stuff. But I'm still long on the market, in a less aggressive way (boring index and dividend stuff). I'm bullish, and should some of this newfound optimism wane a bit, I'll get aggressive again.

  • Yes. I did watch Dancing with the Stars again. I think Tatum O'Neal has to go. Master P, too. And can't you tell the stars don't have that sports-interview down? Instead of saying "I'm giving it 110%, and with some hard work and good Lord willing, I'll improve every week." we get this "Well, I'm really an actress not a dancer" whining stuff. Or Master P's refusal to wear dancing shoes. What's that?

  • After a holiday season of backsliding on my veggie diet, I'm back in the fold. I wasn't eating too much meat, but definitely lots of candies. I brought it all to work and unloaded it. I'm back to cereals, bagels, veggie sandwiches, etc.

  • I'll end up working over the weekend again. Many people say "don't take your job home with you," but it's part of my life and I like my job. It partly defines who I am, and how I approach everything in my life. The feelings of being burnt out have vanished, even though the workload hasn't. I've had more stuff heaped on me today, but that happens everyday. If I didn't like it, I'd choose to do something else.

  • Just to be honest and to show that my Black Box gets 'em wrong sometimes, I got a sell on gold on Jan 5th. Gold is up since then...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thursday's Quick Hits

  • Howard Stern is filing to dump his Sirius shares. He's no dummy. I don't know if SIRI will make it over the long run. They're sure spending lots of cash. It'll be interesting to see how the stock does.

  • Lost began the second half of the TV season with some background on Mr. Eko. Very interesting story on where he came from.

  • In the Alito hearings for the Supreme Court, Democrats were raging that he's not answering questions. But those same Senators seem to spend too much time making politcal statements during their thirty minutes.

  • Iran seems not to give a whip on what the world thinks of their nuke program...

  • The San Diego Chargers say that they're not interested in trading Philip Rivers. Heck I'd be frustrated in permanent backup role. Pays a ton tho...

  • Still reading Jeremy Siegal's Future for Investors book. The section on late 90's stocks like AOL and Cisco was a fun read. I remember his column on AOL at the time my then coworkers scoffing at it...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Did Ya

Profit taking?

  • I think there's a latter day Kinks song named Did Ya.  Which is kind of what I'm contemplating this wednesday afternoon.  As in "Did ya ever think you'd feel burned out, maxed out, and trying to run on all cylanders?"  I'm getting tons done, and the light at the end of the tunnel is coming.  (I'm not the type who thinks it's an oncoming train.)  But for now, I'm swamped.

  • Since I'm swamped, it's hard for me to read much news or stay on top of the markets.  I do run some scans at night which led me to the idea of profit taking today should we get a bump up.  I'm starting to think everything is getting extended.  One of the signs is when folks start talking about trading options.  Yes.  I'm hearing that again.  Yeesh.  I know how that one will end for most folks.  Whenever the market has a move up like we've had since October, it always looks easy in retrospect.  And some people made a ton.

  • Yes, I'm a low-beta man in the market now.  I participate at a reduced rate no matter which way the index goes.  I am still long.  I am still bullish about the economy.  I do think the market will go higher this year.  But I'm willing to take some gains off the table for now.

  • I'll be humming Did Ya for the rest of the day now!

  • Lost has a 2-hr show tonight.  Something to look forward to.

  • Market orders to sell on the See's candies in the office.  My coworkers are handing out holiday candy.  I'm trying to steer clear of those aisles.

  • Take a look at some of the links on the sidebar.  Those are some good blogs.

  • I've thought a little about Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget for CA.  He's spending tons.  I don't think it's a Republican vs. Democrat thing anymore.  I think as Americans, we all want everything now.  And credit is the way we live our lives.  I understand the politicians grabbing on to the same concepts.  Whether it's a big screen TV or new lanes on highways, we all want it NOW!

Profit Taking for Dummies

  • I've booked the profits I've had in semis and QQQQ since early October. I'm still net long, but in less volatile stuff. So we shall see how that decision works out over time. Not a recommendation of course.

  • What happened to the Sacramento Kings? How about staff turnover. This looks like a team struggling to get to know each other. Lots of turnovers. And defense has never been seen much around these parts anyways!

  • Work is keeping me super busy. Haven't had time for much else.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tuesday's Quick Hits

  • The markets? I sense that there are a lot of frustrated bears who have missed this move and now believe that the trend has changed. So they are anxious to get in and play catch up.

  • I lost seven fantasy football players over the weekend! I'm toast.

  • With a TV lull last night, I watched the last Star Trek movie. Nemesis I think. Not as bad as I remembered it.

  • Iran going ahead with their nuclear program. Keep an eye on this.

  • Alito seems to be using the Supreme Court Nominations for Dummies book. His answers are pretty good so far.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Er, Uh, Nevermind

  • Forget what I said about Kitna. And Carson Palmer blew his ACL. Still some time to go in the 4th, but Pittsburgh looks IN CONTROL of this thing.

  • I go to read Barron's online, and find out that they now want an additional $20 per year in addition to their WSJ price. Uh, no thanks. As a matter of fact, I think I'll cancel the WSJ online, too. It was only worth it when the online access to both was included in the price. Now I'd just rather all the financial blogs out there.

  • Vince Young is going pro! So will the Houston Texans draft him or Reggie Bush? Maybe they could trade Carr to the Dolphins for Ricky Williams and a pick.

  • Notebook battery dyin'...

  • So we're heading into the week prior to options expiration. I think normally they tend to be a little weak. Especially after a gonzo week, and heading into options expiration. We shall see!


  • I have the Bengals QB in the Fantasy Football playoffs league. Second play... Carson Palmer's knee gets whacked. So Kitna steps in and so far has done me okay.

  • I picked Seahawks and Bengals for my Fantasy team.

  • The market... Will those who read the sunday business section get excited about the market tomorrow and ramp it up on the open?

  • I'm not working today. I've rearranged my home office. Did some cleaning while watching the early game. And now just fired up the notebook in front of the Steelers-Bengals game.

  • I Netflixed Fantastic Four this weekend. I went to my Netflix queue and bumped up all the Jessica Alba movies to the top.

  • Speaking of Netflix, I'm on disc 3 of 4 on the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Not a bad series. I like this series on DVD thing. Zip right through them. I don't know what happens to Helo and Boomer on Cylon occupied Caprica, but he just found out she's a Cylon.

  • I was reading the performance of various technology ETFs, especially the semiconductors. Powershares has done well. I don't know the difference between them and others. I know SMH is heavily concentrated in INTC and TXN.

  • Halftime. Back to home tasks...

Saturday, January 07, 2006


  • I came in to the office today.  I have been so busy at a high and low level, that I've been neglecting my team.  I'm here trying to get answers for their mounting questions and concerns, so that they can be productive folks this coming week.

  • Despite what the media is reporting about 2005 stock market returns, they don't seem to be including the dividends.  I did a Google search.  The SP500 returned just under 5% in 2005.   The total market (Wilshire 5000) returned around 6%.

  • Last night I went to the local Indian Casino and broke even.  I consider that a victory, to be honest.

  • The nice thing about working on the weekend?  I can set my own schedule.  I'm only here for a few hours.  Quiet.  Lights are dim.  Computer network is fast.  I have my speakers blaring.

  • For playoff fantasy football, I'm taking lots of Seahawks and Bengals.  I'm not even watching the games today!  Pathetic!

  • I've accomplished quite a bit in between writing these sentences.  I think I'll wrap it up and head home.  Still have time to catch the late game. 

Friday, January 06, 2006

Emotions Are the Enemy

  • I've been so busy that I've been unable to follow the financial blogs that I normally read on a daily basis.  It's almost as if I haven't seen my friends in a while.  I miss you guys.  I need to do some catchin' up.  Later, if I can!

  • Instead of jacuzzi and beer to unwind from this week, it's going to be the casino.  Oh, and beer.  Had to work beer in there somewhere.

  • I missed the Arnold state of the State speech last night.  I didn't read up on it today, but I think it's bonds, bonds, and more bonds.  Oh, and don't raise taxes except for water fees and some truck tolls but those aren't taxes those are fees and tolls.  Whatever anybody wants, just put it on the charge card.  We'll worry about it later.  Or, somebody else will worry about it if we've all left the state with our assets in the future.  Glory hallelujah, Clinton signed the legislation ending the source tax, eh?

  • Trying to find anybody out there arguing the bear case. They were out in force last week, but maybe they're busy covering their shorts this week!  Of course, we'll have to keep an eye on the bullishness.  Here's a bear case from Contra Hour.

  • I sometimes wonder how folks who don't pay attention to the market will react when they pick up their weekend newspapers.  Last weekend, they probably were reading of the inversion in the yield curve, and were scared to death.  I hope they didn't sell first thing this week!  Now this weekend, they'll see how strong the market was, and even see some predictions for Google that are waaaay up there ($2000).  You think these folks will have market orders ready for the open on monday morning?  Gap open?  Hmm.

  • I get caught up in the emotion of investing, too.  The Nasdaq is up over 4% this week, and I'm in beta stocks (QQQQ, semiconductors, etc).  Emotions are the enemy. 

  • Playoff football?  Well, the Seahawks were 20-1 to win it all back before the season began.  I plunked down some cash on that while in Nevada.  So I'm the biggest Seahawks fan ever at this point.

  • TGIF!

Cha Cha

Wanna be my Cha Cha partner, Muck?

  • Wow.  I was debating taking a little of my QQQQ off the table this morning on the morning ramp.  Fading a strong open tends to work well, especially on a friday where the week has been positive.  We're also coming out of monthly strength cycle (401k additions) and heading into pre-options week, which sometimes can be negative.  But people continue to put money to work.   The market pulled back a little, but moved up quickly.  It's important to stay focused and not get too excited. We're at new highs since this bull market began in 2002.   Folks might start to notice.  Rallies can go on for longer than one thinks.   Still early.  Maybe folks will pile out later today.

  • Yes.  I watched Dancing with the Stars last night.   I don't know. I'm a sucker I guess.  I was reading (Jeremy Siegal's Future for Investors) during the dance numbers, but enjoyed the pre-dance comments, and then the reviewers comments.  Tia Carrere looks like a happy mom, huh?  Tatum O'Neal acts like she's 14.  Jerry Rice seems to be taking this seriously.  George Hamilton and the ESPN sports guy got on my nerves a bit.  I don't think ballroom dancing is a good venue for joking around.  Drew Lachey seems to be taking this seriously, too.  The rapper only had a week to prepare, but he still looked to be sleeping through his Gangsta Cha Cha.  Oh, the female wrestler. Who was that?  Geez, I should start watching female wrestling I guess.

  • I'm thinking on a friday where I'm working to the bone and feeling wear and tear on the mind, is a good day for Mexican food at lunch.

  • Be back...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

How to Say I Love You!

  • Even though it's 2006, you remember the market drill right?  Whatever the weekly trend is (up or down), fridays tend to move in the opposite direction as traders book profits ahead of the weekend.  And there are profits for the longs this week.  For sure, for sure.  Woo.

  • The Fun Factory is wearing me out this week.  I'm behind on my new design, because pre-existing projects and production enhancements are sapping all of my time and energy.   I'm ready for the weekend.  So ready.  All I want to do is sit in the jacuzzi and drink beer. 

  • My dad.  LOL.  He sent me a Miami Dolphins calendar.  I rarely hear from him.  No note.  Just a return address on the package.  Nothing says "I love you" like a 2006 Miami Dolphins calendar.  I love you too, Dad.  I have it hanging in my office.

  • What?  No bowl games tonight?  HUH?

  • No links lately, but too busy to read the web.  I'm anxious to read how folks are taking this January rally. I think many are befuddled.

Hook 'em Horns!


Just a few quickies...

  • Hook 'em Horns!  USC Trojan's defense looked like little kids out on the playground trying to tackle Texas Longhorn's Vince Young!  Looks like Texas plus the points was the right call!  Of course, in hindsight, the money line probably would've paid off nicely on that one...

  • The market?  The Nasdaq continues to lead today, and you have to be impressed with the semiconductors.  I don't care about the DOW but I'd like to see the SP500 power ahead a bit more.  Looks like this surge is tiring a bit, but the bulls look to be in control for now.

  • The Black Box sell on gold?  So far, not a bad sell signal.  But, it's early.  Lots of gold bulls out there.  Geez.  I don't like gold as an investment.  But it does make pretty jewelry.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More Quick Hits

  • Folks can get in a big argument about The Laffer Curve and supply-side economics.  But without taking sides, I thought Andrew Tobias made an interesting comment today:  the interest we paid this past year on the National Debt was equivalent to about 40% of all the money we paid in personal income tax. 

  • Lindsay Lohan?  Drug use and bulimia?  I thought she looked a little washed out the last time I saw her.

  • Jason at The Trend on the possibility of new market highs this week! 

  • This is a good one from Ticker Sense, on Bear Stearns' history of Google recommendations.   Is it their fault?  Does everyone get caught up in the emotion of it all?

  • The American Bar Association (ABA) gave a thumbs up to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito today.  Aren't those hearings coming up?

  • Well, the big money comes in near the end of the trading session.  We've had two strong closes in a row.  Better than the first two days of 2005!

Wednesday's Quick Hits

  • Is that the SP500 back at the previous highs already?

  • Just one survivor at the West Virginia mine. What a tragedy.

  • The Black Box had a sell on Gold last night, FWIW.  Doesn't seem that obvious, because if the Fed is (almost) done, then you'd think a weaker dollar is coming.  But who am I to argue with the Black Box?  I don't own any gold.

  • Diet fads cycle back and forth.  Here's a study showing that women who ate a low-fat diet lost weightPost-menopausal women who cut their fat intake and eat more high-fiber, high-carbohydrate foods such as fruits and whole grains tend to lose weight, not gain it as some diet books claim, a study said on Tuesday.   Not a shocker.  It's all about total calories consumed.  There isn't a magic formula of "eat all you want of XXXX and never gain a pound."

  • What a game last night for Penn St.

  • I think Texas plus the points tonight could be a winner. USC is an incredible team, but looking at how the Pac-10 is doing and some of the teams that put up a battle against the Trojans (like Notre Dame), I'm wondering if the Trojans might have some trouble with the Longhorns.  Texas did beat Ohio St.  Should be interesting!