Friday, May 18, 2007

More TGIF Randoms!

  • As David notes in the comments of the previous blog entry, the closing high record of the SP500 is 1527, but the intraday high was actually 1552. I'll leave it up to you to choose your own benchmark.  Me?  I like closing numbers over the longer term.  High and lows are important I think when looking at shorter-term stuff, like when a stock is hammering on support. 
  • A lot of search engine hits by folks looking for Carrie Ann Inaba nude.  Can't say I blame you.  And I have a treat for folks on MONDAY.  Because that is Dancing with the Stars day, my I don't have to run day. 
  • Big weekend plans?  Tell me about 'em!
  • Looks like the efforts to save the whales has resumed here in the "City of Whales," West Sacramento.  The plan is to pipe in some music.  Maybe some Gwen Stefani this time.
  • And Microsoft acquires an online advertising company, as more and more software is going to be distributed free but with advertising to cover costs.  I've said it before, but I'd like to see this revenue model expand to things such as my cable company, utility company, etc.  Instead of billing me every month, why not provide the service for free and just mail me a bunch of advertisements every month?  Save postage and use email if you like.  I think we can make this work.   ;)
  • Check out Adam's Deep Thoughts, and notice the twitter widget in the upper right hand corner of the blog.  Some "what am I doing..." market thoughts. 
  • Oil up over $65 a barrel again.  Great news!  Just ahead of the summer driving season!  Lets see a show of hands out there from folks who think that Big Oil is manipulating oil prices.  Wow, lots of folks.  You can put your hands down now.  From CBSMarketwatch, Heightened tensions in Nigeria, where labor unions were threatening a two-day strike later this month to protest recent presidential elections, raised fresh concerns over the flow of crude supplies from the country. Nigerian output has been hobbled this month by rebel actions aimed at its oil fields, knocking out more than 200,000 barrels a day.  The market also continues to fret about low U.S. gasoline supplies heading into summer. The industry has been plagued by unscheduled refinery outages, keeping margins high for producers whose units are running.  So own stocks of oil producers who have their refineries online 24x7?!?!?!?
  • Bad news on tomatoes preventing prostate cancer.  They don't.  And the "it gets even worse" news, "In fact, the researchers found an association between beta carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer."   Of course, I don't think the study is in yet on chocolate chip cookies preventing the disease.  So there is some hope for those of us who didn't fall for the eat-50-tomatoes-a-day thing.
  • Seriously, one day we here something is good for you.  The next, it's bad for you.  Have we reached the point to where we can conclude that we should eat things and exercise in moderation?   Extremes are bad news.
  • More on market seasonality (sell in May and go away) from Sy Harding's weekly freebie
  • Housing is falling much faster than reported, from Barry Ritholtz.  (I'm getting the last-name spelling down, BR).  Here's where I am on housing.  I think it's bad for the folks in dire straits.  If somebody is getting their negatively amortized mortgage of $400,000 refinanced at higher rates and they only make $40K, then those folks have some problems.  They are forced to sell or let the bank have the keys.  No doubt this is happening more and more as we hit year 2 of the housing slide.  (The housing market peaked 2 years ago, so those risky loans are starting to hit their dates).  But my overall feeling is that the economy is growing and people have jobs.  I believe that while housing prices are falling, most of us will just continue to make our monthly payments and live our lives.  The catalyst for a free-fall would be a recession.  So the Fed better keep close watch on interest rates, because with the GDP at 1.3% and interest rates too high in my opinion, now is not the time to be hawkish.   Got that, Ben?  Inflation is very low, dude. 

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