Friday, April 28, 2006

Where'd $30 Billion Go?

  • Wow, Microsoft down 11% as I type.  How much money just evaporated?  $30 billion?  MSFT has been in a trading range for the past 4 years, and I've been in and out of it from time to time.  As it drifts lower, I'll have to watch it again.
  • I think we better get use to the idea of a nuclear armed Iran, as they tell us to shove it.
  • The Black Box was status quo last night after giving some buy signals the day before (that I mentioned yesterday).  I decided not to take any action on them.

  • I think Kellie Pickler has a future in something.  She definitely has a media-friendly presence.   I listened to Jim Cramer's radio show yesterday, and he was mentioning her in the same sentence as Jessica Alba.
  • This idea about giving Americans a $100 gas card is ridiculous.  As is the idea about a 60-month tax break on the federal gas tax.  Liberals have been wanting higher fuel prices to encourage conservation.  Now that prices are higher, they're realizing folks don't conserve because we all have to get places and that fuel isn't a huge expense in our budgets.  We can simply adjust by eating out less, renting movies instead of going to the theaters, cutting a few cable channels, and stuff like that.  The answer seems to be to increase supply and refining capacity for the short term, and for the long term becoming more fuel efficient and developing alternative energy sources to meet all our energy needs.  It's not that complicated.   Open up ANWR and other sites for the short term.  Get the clean coal stuff going.  Build a few new nuclear power plants.  And get going on ethanol.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Silly Love Songs

Money, money, money, money.... Money!


I ran the Black Box last night, and it liked pharma.  Specifically, PPH, BMY, LLY, and JNJ.  I didn't buy any today, though.  It also liked IBB, and looked like we could stage a bounce in the QQQQ and SMH.  So I went to bed last night thinking that if we got a dip today, I'd buy some QQQQ and IBB.  Why?

  • Monthly strength (401k contributions and such).
  • Down multiple days in a row on Nasdaq after post-options week lull, heading into a friday where shorts would be tempting to take profits and a day where monthly strength picks up.

I didn't do it this morning.  Why?  Look at the picture.  That was me this morning.  I woke up and saw the Nasdaq down about 14.  "Cool!"  But I decided to take a shower and get ready for work before I did anything.  Oops.  Market was up by the time I was leaving. Since I'm not too excited abou the market heading forward (summer and election year cycle), I decided to let the fishies swim by for the day. I think some folks will lighten up on strength over the next week. We'll see. I don't know about the Black Box and the Pharma picks. Something to watch, but I probably won't do much with that.

Oh, Kellie Pickler is finaly gone...  Phew.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Island Girl

  • Michelle Rodriguez, gets 5 days of prison after being found guilty of drunken driving.  Is there a prison on that island?  She has quite a history.
  • Haven't had time to ask the Black Box about the market since I arrived back from LA.  I'll run some scans tonight.  Post-options week, no reason to do anything IMHO.  But we do have month-end strength scheduled to start either tomorrow or friday.  If we're down this week, it may start on friday since traders may book profits ahead of the weekend.  That could start a rally for a few days.   But I'm thinking that folks may use any monthly strength to lighten up ahead of summer.  Maybe....  Eh, I'm not doing anything right here.  If the Black Box indicates something interesting, I'd take a look at it.
  • I caught the last two singers on American Idol last night.  Taylor did bad, and Chris did well.  Only saw the clips from the others, and going from that I'd think that Kellie Pickler and Paris would join Taylor in the bottom three.  I'm not a big fan of Elliot, though.  So I'd like to see him voted off the island.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Walking in LA

  • President Bush has a plan to lower oil prices. Much to the Democrats' chagrin, it does not include "Making Dick Cheney pay for it." But seriously, as we get into May and the summer driving season, I don't see demand waning for fuel. Besides, how big of a deal is it for most Americans? Sure, some struggle with it. But for most, another $1 a gallon is just $15 a trip to the gas station. People spend more weekly at Starbucks.

  • In LA for the past few days. Not actually LA, but this whole area is "LA" to most folks. Lets just say SoCal...

  • The market continues to do what it did before the huge up day last week. Just mostly grind lower while the bulls say "Everything looks okay." Maybe. I remain in low-beta holdings and have some cash on the sidelines from the tech sells a few weeks ago. Not rushing into anything. Pos-options week tends to be weak after a decent options week. We do have the month-end strength coming up, but many folks exit the market for the summer around that time. (Sell in May and go away...)

  • Study shows secret to gas-free beans. Gee, where's the fun in that? Imagine if those were around when Blazing Saddles was filmed. I mean, what about the campfire seen?

  • Sin of all sins... I missed 24 last night! Out of town in LA, and don't have the DVR going. Geez.

  • It's nice here in SoCal. I used to live down here, so it feels like home in so many ways. Lots of memories. But the traffic is just nuts. And so many people. Heading back to Sac tonight. Where the traffic and crowds are also getting quite thick...

  • Borrowing a line from Office Space about missing work... "I not 'missing it.'"

Monday, April 24, 2006

Very Quick Thought...

I feel comfortable with my low-beta holdings and nothing tech centric, as I continue to wonder about election year cycles and seasonal tendencies. Lots of negative divergences and semiconductor sell signals last week from the Black Box. Nothing to do here but watch as far as I'm concerned. Let the gunslingers take the risk with beta. Post-options week, heading into May, the fear of gas prices going to a bazillion dollars a gallon... Eh, no thanks.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


  • Hey, after watching American Idol on tuesday night, I had an idea on a career move Paula Abdul could make should the popular show decide to make a change in the judging booth next season.  Instead of mentioning the career move idea explicitly, somewhere in this blog entry I have placed a clue.  I know, it may be tricky to find.  But discerning readers should be able to pick it up.  I have faith in you.
  • When most folks who want in the market are already in the market, I think we see the market start to churn a bit.  Folks move from one sector to the next, trying to eek out gains above and beyond the returns of the major index.  Especially folks who were underinvested or late to the party.  They're trying to make up for the time they were out.  I don't know if this is happening now, but it's something I look for.  The Black Box generated a sell on some semiconductors last night, but as you know I bailed out of those a few weeks ago.  And who knows about that Black Box, this run may not be over yet.
  • I was very disappointed that Lost was not on last night.  As a matter of fact, I'm leaning more and more to just watching series by DVD.  The unfortunate thing is that you miss that real-time water-cooler-at-the-office thing, but on the other hand you get the commercials, clip shows, or pre-empting by olympics or TV specials.  (Pssst... Don't tell the advertisers.)
  • Fantasy hoops is over, and I backdoored my way into second place.  The guy was sneaking up on me in turnovers, so I benched my players the last two games.  It worked, but barely.  He finished with 2 more turnovers than I had, and knocked himself down a point which was enough to move me up.  Another guy almost caught me in steals...  Nailbiter!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Grill Factory

  • Man, I got grilled in a meeting here at the Fun Factory today.  One of those where I was pulled in at the last minute and assumed to be the expert on something that I had no information on.  "Huh?"  I tried denying any knowledge whatsoever, but that didn't satisfy the herd.  Then I tried to make up stuff (ie, educated guesses with lots of caveats), and things got worse.  Finaly, I tried to be dismissive with "get back ta ya laters."  No dice.  What's a muckdog to do?  I threw out some information, and ran like hell.  I left the meeting with tons of nervous energy.  Some would call that anxiety.  I don't know. 
  • Then I saw the market.  You know, another good day.  Considering yesterday's blast off to the moon.  Earnings afterhours look so-so, but when the fish are biting nobody seems to care.  Lots of bricks in the wall of worry that nobody cares about.  Is gas on the way to $4?  Does anyone care?  Will Iran have nukes?  Whatever!  Interest rates moving up?  Tell it to your momma, boy!
  • Not that I'm justifying or rationalizing anything.  Just saying. 
  • Seriously, price is the ultimate stock market indicator.  It always works.  The Black Box does what it can, but sometimes it isn't right.  So what's a muckdog to do?  No worries, mate.  Patience is the best ally.  There are always more set-ups coming.  Don't cry over spilt semis.
  • Wednesdays.  Lost.  I love Lost.  I hate commercials.  I think I'm getting to the point where I record everything and watch it later.  Don't tell the advertisers, though.  I think there's a new America's Next Top Model on, too.  Tyra Banks is too funny.

  • I see this article where Hu Stands Firm on Chinese Currency, and I think Kelly Hu?  If she had anything to say about the Chinese currency or anything else for the matter, I'd probably listen.  I thought she was great in Martial Law.  Undercover officer in a bikini.  What's wrong with that?
  • This is the last day of Fantasy Basketball.  I have a slim hold on 2nd place.  So it'll be interesting to see what happens tonight.  I'm hoping that the stars mail it in and the subs get a lot of playing time.
  • Intel wasn't so great afterhours, but it's up anyways.    Hey, that's what bull markets are all about.

Buy the Dip?

The bulls seem pretty happy today, as the market "consolidates" the gains from yesterday.  Now I'm a bull, but I did a little cautious a few weeks ago when I sold my beta (tech, semis, and small cap growth).  In one day, the market reversed the decline of the past few weeks.  Pretty incredible.  Now the bulls like Revshark over at realmoney say to look for the dip buyers who are underinvested. 

I fall into that category, having dumped my beta.  I consider myself to be an underinvested bull.  Am I looking for a dip?  Not exactly.  Definitely not immediately.  I might've been more aggressive had the market continued its April slide.  But since we haven't, I'm content (at this point) to let the gunslingers stare down market seasonality and the election year cycle.  Let them play that game of chicken.  I can wait until near the end of summer or fall before looking to get more aggressive.  Money market funds aren't paying too bad, and the gains from the first quarter this year were better than all of last year.

What's the hurry to buy the dip?

  • Black Box thoughts from last night...  Sells on banks and small cap growth.  Sells on oil and gold, but the Black Box "no habla" gold since it never seems to get the gold market right.  Also, the Black Box thinks that the bounce in tech and semis looks weak.  It could be wrong on one or all of these things, though.
  • The bottom 3 from American Idol last night?  Elliot the Hobbit, Ace, and Kellie.  Although if Kellie gets a few "cute" votes, then Paris might fall into the bottom 3.  I think McPheeever and Chris Vin Deisel did the best.
  • Also, I had Saturday Night Live recorded, so after Seacrest's quip about the Taylor Hicks spoof I fired up the DVR.  Eh, wasn't that funny.  It's on the SNL news bit, in case you want to fast forward through it to find it.  The Disney cartoon vault was the best bit of the night, IMHO.  In a "searching for something at least a little bit funny in SNL" kind of way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Market Rippin' Tuesday

  • Market ripped higher today, and is on fire afterhours with TXN and YHOO reporting.  Everyone is super excited about the market right now.  Except for me since I sold my tech 2 weeks ago.  While we've been grinding down the past two weeks, we seem to have rallied back in just one day and will gap up tomorrow.  Nice victory for the bulls.  I remain mostly long in low-beta stuff, with some cash on the sidelines.  This is options week and the kickoff to earnings season, so we could see some wild volatility.
  • Bush picks Portman for budget.  My first thought was Natalie Portman, as Queen Amadala.  He seems like a well-spoken guy, though.  CNBC wondered this morning if folks were buying this game of musical chairs.  This guy used to do this, and now he does that.  Another person was doing this other thing, and now they're going to do this.  Etc.
  • I liked Elizabethtown.  Definitely a chick flick, though.  Not as funny as I wanted, but Kirsten Dunst was kinda kooky.  When I see her in this kind of story, I think "Meg Ryan."  Also, having watched a couple of the Lord of the Rings movies, I kept thinking Legolas with Orlando Bloom, too.  But he didn't have to kill any Orcs in Elizabethtown.
  • "24" has been very entertaining this year.  Extremely goofy, but entertaining.  Last night, Jack told the Secretary of Defence Heller about the voice recording, and it just went goofball after that.  But then if it didn't, the series would conclude in less than 24 hours.  Can't have that!  So, more tying up in rooms and impossible escapes ensue...
  • More people were watching that 2300 level on the Nasdaq than watch Leave It To Beaver reruns.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Candy

  • Favorite Easter candy?  I don't think there is a bad choice, from bunnies to peeps to eggs...
  • I have to go with jelly beans.  I really love dark chocolate Easter bunnies, but something about jelly beans make them a favorite.  Probably goes back to something that happened to me as a kid that I can no longer remember, but shows up yearly as an affection for jelly beans.
  • One of my coworkers just told me she doesn't "celebrate" Easter.  At first I thought of the religious context, but then I thought of the fertility context.  I wonder what she really meant?  "No church" or "no wanton sex?" 
  • Isn't the American way to embrace all events and make them your own?  Any excuse for a get together?  Any excuse to overeat? 
  • Not a marshmallow peeps fan.
  • The foil wrapped eggs are more trouble than their worth.

  • Netflix flicks for the weekend...  Lord of War and Elizabethtown.  Yes, the latter is a chick flick, but I'm including a pic of Jessica Biel to justify my selection. (Hey, I sat through Stealth!)   What's not to like about chick flicks, anyways?  Usually some romance, some comedy, and a happy ending.
  • Ever notice that in a bowl of jelly beans, people tend to pick all the colors except for white and yellow?  Yup.  Those seem to be least liked. 
  • Lord of War?  It was on the top of my queue.  I have no idea what to expect.
  • I think folks go either way on the black jelly beans.  Either one loves them or hates them.  My grandfather would always pick out all the black jelly beans and say "You can have the other ones."

Quick Hits

  • I missed this yesterday, but the Investors Intelligence survey showed a jump in bulls, with bulls at 53.2% and bears declining to 24.5%.
  • Earnings season mediocrity.  Worth a read, as we head into earnings season.
  • A Utah school books the wrong Jon learned that it had booked Jon A. Stewart, a former motivational speaker, businessman and part-time professional wrestler from Chicago. Funny.
  • The problem from unlimited on-demand videoIf creating a hit TV show can be so uncertain that it’s success or failure  can vary by timeslot and/or network, how difficult will it be to create a hit in a purely video on demand world ?  Pretty good stuff from Mark Cuban.  I just wonder where are people going to find all this free time to watch all of this entertainment?
  • Sunshine in Sacramento!  Holy mackeral.   Feels great.  Of course, 'nuther storm heading this way.  Sheez.

Black Box Thoughts

  • Looking through the Black Box scans last night, looks like we're set up for a bounce in the market.  The negative divergences that accompanied the last move up have been worked off this week, so it looks like we're due for some sort of bounce.  Wouldn't be surprising, with today the last trading day of a weak week in the market.  Profit takers might want to book their gains so that they can buy some chocolate bunnies for the weekend.  Or pay their taxes!  In addition, the volume today will probably be pretty light, and we all know the saying "don't short a dull tape."  Next week is options week, and they tend to be good if the week preceding was weak.
  • I still am mostly long with low-beta stuff, and still have some cash on the sidelines from last thursday's sells.  When will I put that back to work?  Not sure.  I'm not too bored, because money market interest is quite a bit higher these days.  It's not like sitting in the penalty box anymore!  The gains from the first few months of this year have been pretty nice.
  • But it does seem as if this latest pullback is more of a consolidation than anything ominous.  If I had to make a guess, and I often do, I'd say that the market is most likely going to retest the previous highs and we'll see what the Black Box has to say when we're up there again.  However, the thoughts running through my mind are about seasonal weakness and the election year cycle.   Nobody seems to be paying much attention to those two.  There are other bricks in the wall of worry in Iran and oil prices.  Maybe they'll catch the blame for any correction this year. 
  • I imagine I'm just going to let my low-beta holdings ride for the time being.  But I'll continue running nightly scans and won't hesitate becoming more or less aggressive if the Black Box gives a thumbs up or thumbs down in the days ahead.
  • As always, just putting down my thoughts so that I can learn from them down the road.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hump Day!

I'd quit pushing the button down in the hatch, Muck.

  • The market was a little dull today.  Feels like Spring Break week is winding down.  Passover.  Good Friday.  Easter.   Chocolate bunnies.  Looks like the semiconductors are poppin' afterhours, though.   So, thinking out loud...  pre-options week and pre-tax filing day, maybe this round of selling won't have much legs as we enter next week.  Volume should be light tomorrow, and I wouldn't want to be short a dull tape.  I'm interested in how investors react to earnings.  Will they sell the news or ramp 'em up?  We shall see.  I'm looking to put my sideline cash back to work on weakness, but we'll have to run the Black Box scans and see what she says.  Last night, she wasn't leaning one way or the other.
  • Caught up with The Apprentice last night.  Lenny had to go.  I suppose Leslie had to go.  The best talkers in the bunch seem to be Charmaine, Lee, and Andrea.  Maybe that's what it takes to be an Apprentice.  BS your way out of trouble!  Although, I cringed when Charmaine decided to interject after being excused from the boardroom.  If Donals says "go back to your suite," why try to add additional comments?  You're safe!  Go back!  I realize she wants to keep a strong team, but I almost thought Trump would make her stay behind in the boardroom.  That kind of stuff happens on that show!
  • I think it may actually be sunny here in Sacramento tomorrow.  We haven't seen much of Mr. Sun.
  • Lost is on tonight!
  • Work at the Fun Factory has slowed considerably since last week.  I found myself going to many meetings today that I normally ignore.  Of course, that generated some more stuff to do, so I'm a happy camper.   I find that I enjoy work more when I have tons of stuff to do.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday Quick Hits

  • Americans believe "everyone is fat but me!"  Hey, other than sticking to a healthy diet and exercise program, folks are probably doing well with their health maintenance program!
  • Starting with the market... Seeing more selling today.  Getting the pre-options week weakness.  The unusual thing this week is that friday is a market holiday.  So it'll be interesting to see how the traders decide to position themselves ahead of options week.  Volume could dry up thursday.  It'd be tempting to put some cash to work on any wednesday weakness.  Not sure.  I'll plug in the Black Box tonight and see what she has to say.  I'm still mostly long low-beta stuff, and have cash on the sidelines from last week's sells.  Last I looked, the 200dma of the Nasdaq was around 2245ish.  Just another marker out there.  I think a 5% pullback from the highs on the SP500 would be around 1245ish.  (Forgive me if I'm off a bit on the math).  I'll have to do a sentiment check, too.  I think the put-call ratio is over 1, so that could be cause for a bounce of some sort.
  • On 24 last night?  Well...  How come Jack didn't record the voice recording on his PDA phone, and email it to CTU?  Every 14-yr old knows how to do that these days!  I'm sure Jack has EVDO, right?
  • I happened to watch 7th Heaven last night  I guess it's going off the air, but it was kind of funny.  And the DVR was recording (not one but two episodes of) The Apprentice.  I'll have to catch up.  Unfortunately, there are about 15 recordings of whatever on my DVR.  I wonder what happens with free spaces goes to nil?  Hmm.
  • KLo on France's attempt at labor deregulationThe big three in Old Europe are still wedded to statism, unionism and watered-down socialism. Growth is slow, unemployment high. While U.S. cowboy capitalism has spread to Ireland, and to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe (and even Norway and Spain), the big three Euros can’t get it right. They will fall further and further behind in the global boom that has taken the American model as its lodestar.  He probably has a good point or two in that column.

  • Ricky Williams is appealing his latest positive test for drugs.   Lawyer David Cornwell and Williams met Monday with NFL counsel Jeff Pash in an attempt to have the league overturn the test.  Big stakes there for the Miami Dolphins. 
  • I think getting an XBOX 360 isn't as tough as it used to be.  I still don't have one, but a few of my coworkers here at the Fun Factory have been able to walk into a Best Buy and get one.  The supplies sell quickly they tell me, but seems like if you want one and are willing to get to a store early, you can get one.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pigs are Pigs

Had my eye on that soda, Muck...

  • The Fun Factory 'fridge is a nightmare.  I work with pigs.  And I may be insulting the pigs here.  For that, I'm sorry.  I rarely use the 'fridge, but today decided to put a soda in there.  Then decided not to. 
  • The market?  Didn't do much of anything today.  Was it even plugged in?  I suppose the big news was the new ETF for oil, USO. 
  • 24 on tonight!  More good news for fans of 24.  Kiefer Sutherland has signed a deal for three more years of 24!  I suppose this means they'll have to find new castmembers, since so many were blown away this year.  Since we had a Lord of the Rings Hobbit on the show this year, how about Sin City stripper Jessica Alba?  (Just thinking out loud.)
  • How has the market done in the week preceding April 15th?  Hmm...

Quick Hits

  • Ugh.  Monday.  The forecast for Sacramento all this week... RAIN!  Drove through it on the commute in.  But the good news is that the weekend weather was pretty fantastic.  Won't help the folks on levee watch around this valley, though.  River levels are very high and some levees south of Sacramento are in danger.
  • OK, quick market thoughts... It's pre-options week, and this tends to be a shakey weak.  Especially if we've rallied in the prior weeks.  The Black Box continued to show some worries about the market.  After selling all my tech, semis and small cap growth on thursday last week, I have cash sitting on the sidelines at the ready for something.  The good news is that money market rates are up, so being on the sidelines isn't as big of a bore-fest as in previous years.  Earnings season kicks off this week so that should create some volatility and afterhours drama.
  • Disney is going to offer some of their programming for free via the internet.  (Desperate Housewives, Lost...).  At least for a two month free trial.  They think the advertisements will make it cost effective.  I dunno, I fast forward through commercials when I record something on my DVR.  Don't you?  But I guess we should keep that lil' secret between us.
  • Speaking of DVR, Lenny Dykstra made his Fox Bulls and Bears debut on saturday. Oh my goodness.  Did you see that?
  • France scraps the youth employment law.  If you've been following this, this was France's attempt at addressing their chronic unemployment problem.  The problem is especially acute with young folks, where the unemployment rate is over 20%.  This new law would let companies fire folks.  The problem is that French companies don't want to hire workers because they can't get rid of them when business slows of if the worker turns out to be a poor performer.  I guess this means that those protesting the laws are happy being unemployed.  I can't think French companies would rush out and hire folks in this kind of environment.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Market Thoughts


  • The market sold off quickly after the opening euphoria.  The jobs number came in at over 200,000 but that was a little lighter than expected.   Fridays tend to move opposite the weekly trend as traders book profits.  And this week's trend has been a good one.  While I did sell my tech, semiconductors and small cap growth yesterday morning, I'm not in a hurry to buy them back.  I think we're due for a round of consolidation after this run.  Monthly strength period is now behind us, and we have earnings season starting next week.  That'll keep volatility high so there may be some chances to play swings, but not sure if I'll do that. 
  • Baskeball season winding down.  I'm in 2nd place in my Fantasy League, but it's a tight race!  The funny thing is that I have no idea of the actual NBA standings, but I can tell you stats from all the players!
  • Caught up on The Amazing Race last night.  That show had some pretty easy challenges.  The couple that got eliminated (Mike and Lori?) were kind of weak.  It was just a matter of time.  I'm pulling for the hippies.  They're just funny.
  • President Bush also came out and tried to talk up the economic numbers.  Did you see that?  Geez, if he's going to talk up the economy, he needs to do it with an upbeat presentation style.  The content was great, but the delivery was very poor.
  • We also have the seasonally weak period (summer) coming up fast.  Not sure how this trend has held up the past few years, but some folks might try to front-run this and book the nice gains we've had since October.  In addition, don't forget the election cycle swoon that tends to happen.  No worries. No hurries.
  • Also caught up on America's Next Top Model, and I think they blew that elimination round.  Jade needs to go.  Good grief.  Did you see that commercial attempt? 

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Quick Hits (Stocks, TV)

  • After the sale... It seems unavoidable to second guess my decisions.  Yet, there is nothing to gain from dwelling on it.  Profits have been booked.  Monthly strength period is over, so my next theory is that the market will experience some weakening ahead of options week and earnings season.  I will be watching for buying opportunities there, and I'll also start watching utilities for a potential summer run.  There's always the next trade in the on-deck circle.
  • I'm debating on that summer baseball package.  I wouldn't miss it if I didn't have it, but I am a Dodgers fan stuck in Sacramento.  Watching Vin Scully last night was great, and reminded me of earlier days living in SoCal.   It's not about $159.  It's whether or not I want to hunker down in front of the tube watching Dodgers games all summer long!  Hey, that doesn't sound half bad...
  • Thursday night is kind of a dead zone for TV.  This is the night I usually catch up with my DVR recordings.  I have The Amazing Race and America's Next Top Model to watch.  So, I suppose the glass is half-full.  Oh... And the free baseball preview. 


  • Speaking of money, baseball and TV, former Met and Phillie Lenny Dykstra will be on Fox's Bulls and Bears this saturday morning.  LennyD now writes a column for's realmoney website on trading options.  He likes DEEEEEP in the money calls.  He is also a frequent guest on Jim Cramer's realmoney radio show.  Always an interesting segment on the show, whether you agree with LennyD or not.  Especially when folks call in and ask him questions.
  • Here's a study that says Korena pine nuts suppress appetite and may help folks lose weight.  Thus, a new diet fad is born.  You know, I'm not so sure folks overeat because they're hungry or because they just like to munch.
  • Gold hit $600, and I've been wrong about the metal.  That's for sure.  I'm still not interested in buying any, but thought I'd admit to being wrong about it.
  • Libby says President Bush cleared the leak of confidential material regarding Iraq, so liberal bloggers will have something to blog about for the next 3 years.

Farewell, Beta!

  • Sold my tech, semis and small cap growth this morning.  Basically lowering my beta.  I still am mostly long the market at this point.  A few warning signs? Sentiment seems to have made the swing from bearish to bullish.  The put-call ratio was near .5 this morning.  The Black Box has been showing some negative divergences on this advance up.   And I'm aware of the election cycle and seasonal tendencies.  I may be wrong, of course. 
  • American Idol has been a complete dud the past 2 weeks.  I've completely lost interest in watching it.  Good grief.
  • Lost was interesting last night.  More on Hurley and his issues.  But maybe the most interesting was the "other" held captive in the vault.  We know he's an "other" now, and he mentioned some pretty creepy things about the island.  He also mentioned that he never pressed the button, and that the counter just automatically reset... Hmm... 
  • I think Michelle Rodriguez needs a bigger role on that show.  Hubba hubba.
  • Did you read that Massachusetts has created a statewide health care system?  Here's an op-ed from the Sacramento Bee on it.  It looks as though we're going to have a government takeover of health care, even if it marches across the land state by state.  This forces employers to either cover employees or pay into a state fund.  Of course, maybe companies will just decide to not hire new employees with all these new costs.  (That's part of the problem in France's high-unemployment troubles).  Or maybe employers will just leave Massachusetts, or expand hiring of folks overseas.  (Offshoring).  It'll be intersting to see what happens...
  • Free preview of Major League Baseball on the pay-per view channels.  I watched the Braves-Dodgers game last night (in between Lost commercials!).  Man, Vin Scully is great.  You know, I'm thinking about buying the baseball package, so that free preview may be hookin' me...  It'll make telecommuting more fun, too.  Instead of CNBC, I can have the ballgame on.  I just hope that when I'm net meeting, nobody can hear Vin Scully in the background...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quick Hits

  • OK, at 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1 am wednesday morning, the time-date will be 01:02.03 04/05/06.  So invite some friends over and do a shot of tequilla to mark the occassion!
  • The market continues to grind higher, which is probably frustrating traders.  This is what trends do best.  They just grind along their way.  I think buy and holders tend to outperform those trading in and out when the market is trending up.  My Black Box doesn't seem worried about the market action, either.  Still long.  Still strong.
  • Remember, The Amazing Race has moved from tuesdays to wednesdays.  Not a problem for those with DVRs, as they know when there has been a time shift.  (I love that show, by the way).
  • Mints.  I can't eat just one.  Mint.  Mint.  Mint.
  • I have three trade offers in my Fantasy Baseball league.  You know what?  We had our draft over the weekend, and I just did the auto-draft and don't even know who I have.  I like to go a couple games before looking.  In Fantasy Baseball, it's hard to take one or two days and quickly judge a player.  It's a long season.  One of the thing that kills me in Fantasy Baseball is overtrading.  Say, it's a lot like the stock market in that respect...

  • It's been raining so much here in Sacramento.  Kind of like living in an aquarium the past month.  We had 20 days of rain in March.  Now in April, it's rained everyday so far.  Everyone here at the Fun Factory has the news websites up checking to see where the strongest rain cells are, and watching to see if there is any flooding going on.  Yeesh.
  • The Perfect Seasonal Storm from Mark Hulbert.  He talks about 2 seasonal patterns bearing down on traders in April.  First, the "sell in May and go away" pattern.  Next, the election-year cycle.  Pretty good article.

Bucket of Gators

  • That was domination last night by Florida.  Congratulations to the Gators.  What a tourney run.  (Just don't make 'em play the NIT champs...)
  • The market is up, and the put-call is right around 1.  Doesn't anyone believe or trust this move up?
  • Millions are protesting in FranceThe focus of the protests, the First Job Contract (CPE), gives firms the right to summarily lay off the under-26s any time during a two-year periodThe government says it will encourage firms to hire staff and so reduce high youth unemployment, but unions and students say it undermines job security. Well, the government is in a damned if you do, and damned if you don't position.  Either protests continue because of high unemployment or because of this CPE measure.  Pick yer protest.
  • On 24 last night, we learned that the high-up insider in the government responsible for what is going on is... (spoiler for DVR fans coming)... President Logan!  Ah, the Vice President was just a decoy.  Had me fooled.  What are Logan's objectives?  Who the heck knows.  I suppose we'll find out more next week.
  • Tonight is country music night on American Idol!  (Hey, I suppose that means Pickler can sing Bucket of Suds again!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

NCAA and Baseball and...

  • Getting ready to head home from the Fun Factory to watch the Florida-UCLA championship game.  I'm pulling for the Bruins all the way.  Go UCLA!  Florida is favored by 1 last I checked. 
  • The market was bizarre today.  I didn't have a chance to watch it due to the goin's on here at the Fun Factory.  But I'll be running my scans looking for worsening of the "negative divergences" I saw over the weekend.  Just speaking off the cuff, I wouldn't be too surprised to see the Nasdaq pull back near the breakout point (previous resistance).
  • I see Yahoo Sports has a baseball "opening day blog."  Gee, what's that like?

1.  Entry 1:  Here's the pitch.

2.  Entry 2:  Low and outside.

Comments 7:

RU Wild:  That was a strike!  The ump is on crack!

In There:  What's the batter looking for?

StockDr:  I just bought 1000 shares of GOOG.  It's going to $800.

In There:  StockDr, quit spamming this is a baseball board

StockDr:  I'm trading and watching.  Got a problem?

In There:  Go F'yourself.  This is a baseball thread.  I'm sending a complaint to the board host you loser.

3.  Entry 3:  The pitcher shakes off the next signal.

Comments 5

RU Wild:  He can't throw the heat.  Arm trouble in the spring.

StockDr:  Sold my GOOG for $2 profit.

In There:  Get lost, Dr Loser.

Barbie18:  For a good time, cum visit my site! 

RU Wild:  This blog sucks.  I'm just going to watch the games on TV.

  • UCLA!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Some Weekend Links

I'll have to inspect those sites, Muck.

  • A whole culture seems to have popped up and is following Jim Cramer.  Here's Madd Money, another blog about Reverend Jim.  Hey, who cares if the guy can pick stocks or not at this point?  He's a media sensation.  He's the Donald Trump of Wall Street.  I'll leave it to you if that's a good or bad connotation...
  • ETF sector week in review at ETF Investor.  Look at those Powershares on the list.  They've taken the ETF world by storm.  I use 'em.
  • Gannon on Investing has a newsletter and a podcast.  Interesting.  Haven't checked either out, but am downloading the podcast now.  <i>This podcast wraps up Buffett week. The entire show is a discussion of the kind of business Warren Buffett looks to invest in. The discussion focuses on owner’s earnings, return on equity, and earnings growth.</i>
  • I just noticed Adam has a list of weekend links up over at the Daily Options Report.  His blog is worth a daily read, IMHO.
  • I like the nickname "Shark."  Over at The Shark Report, the Shark talks about precious metals.  <i>So is this a good time to buy precious metals/equities? </i>  (You'll have to click the link to read his thoughts...)  I noticed on his right-hand column, he has a heading for "Shark Terminology" that has nothing under it. Nor does it link anywhere.  Maybe sharks don't have much terminology.  (Geez, this is starting to sound like an Andy Rooney bit.  I'm stopping now.)
  • Maya has a review of Opa! Opa! up on Postcards from Sacramento.  She wonders, What possesses someone to put pickles on a falafel sandwich? Maybe that's a question I'll ponder in my new year. 
  • Basic Instinct 2 Re-Edited on Wuzzadem.  I won't spoil it.  Go take a look.  You know, you might want to bookmark that sight and go through some of his entries. 
  • The Kirk Report gets a good review in Barron's.  Notice Kirk talks about the wall of worry in friday's entry.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Daytraders of the Traveling Pants

  • I really enjoyed the movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."  Four teenagers begin their summer, and while out shopping for clothes they buy a pair of jeans that mysteriously fits all their body types.  They each go their seperate ways during summer vacation, but agree to take one-week turns wearing the jeans.  The story follows all of them and their experiences while wearing the jeans. 
  • The Fox Business Block this morning was a bit loud and uneventful.  They tried to tackle illegal immigration, global warming, and the new Basic Instinct II movie.
  • Can you imagine "Daytraders of the Traveling Pants?"

  • Sacramento set a record for the number of rainy days in March.   TWENTY.  Oh, and basically all this next week... MORE RAIN!  The time "springs forward" by an hour tonight, but the average high temperature here (70's) seems like it'll never come.
  • LSU-UCLA, George Mason-Florida.... Booyah!
  • There does seem to be a rotation into the Nasdaq the past week or so.   I've been bullish, but I have to make sure that I don't get emotionally bound to this position.  I'm out reading bear views (and there are plenty), trying to see if they make sense to me.  One out there that I think could be an impact is higher fuel prices this summer.  I know we may have insulated ourselves against higher energy prices, and just accept them as a permanent condition.  Heck, I drive less, too.  But it'll be interesting to see how this affects us this summer driving season.
  • "There's a little bit of loser in all of us." - Bailey.