Thursday, March 27, 2008

Red Hat

I haven't followed Red Hat much for the past 7 years, but saw this headline and thought it noteworthy that the company survives here in 2008! Who knew you could make so much money selling free software?

(Yes, I know they sell services... bah).

RHT up over 7% afterhours.

Before we go to the news, lets go to the RHT message board at Yahoo!  Noteworthy messages:

  • Trade4ezmoney says:  Gap up in the morning, $20 and $21 by monday!
  • cpasific says:  Watch it drop like oracle, it sucks!
  • yenoham2000 says:  Great quarter, MORONS!

Red Hat earnings rise 7%.

Red Hat Inc. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 7 percent as the software distributor worked to expand the footprint of its open source products with costly internal investments.

The Raleigh-based company said it earned $22 million, or 10 cents per share, in its first quarter under new CEO James Whitehurst, compared to $20.5 million, also 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Red Hat said its revenue rose 27 percent to $141.5 million in the quarter ending Feb. 29.

Whitehurst said Red Hat is positioned to benefit from any economic downturn as the company pitches its free software to organizations looking to cut their tech budgets.

Thursday Randoms

  • Remember to set the DVR to record the finale of the Celebrity Apprentice tonight! It's been a nice surprise this TV season.  We're all pulling for Trace Adkins, right?
  • The market...  Bleh.  I don't mind a couple of down days as long as what follows is a march to higher highs.  Stay tuned.  I remain 100% long.   Updating the numbers for the Black Box now...  It'll take a while to run my scans.  I doubt there will be any changes.
  • Yesterday I was complaining how horrible CNBC's Fast Money is.  Well, the Fox Business Network show Happy Hour is even worse.  Holy smokes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ORCL Getting Smoked Afterhours

Sales slide at Oracle.

Watch out for falling technology spending!

Even though Oracle’s third-quarter profit was in line with Wall Street expectations, the business software maker’s revenue fell short of expectations, sending its shares tumbling in after-hours trading on Wednesday and causing investors to worry if sagging tech spending is weighing down the company.

Stocks Get Smoked

  • Just when we all thought there would never be another down day in the market again, stocks get smoked! 
  • Reason du jour?  Same ol' stuff that we already know about.  Weaker than expected durable orders, health of the financial sector, blah blah blah.  Read it at Yahoo Finance.  The advance-decline numbers weren't so horrible today, though.
  • Looking at the playbook, we're heading into monthly strength at the end of the month as the 401(k) contributions hit.  I remain 100% long, Alfalfa.
  • This Fast Money show is crap.  It does have that feeling of the ESPN pre-NFL gameday show, though.  Right?  Why not bring on Steve Young and Coach Ditka?
  • On American Idol, I think the guy with the dreadlocks needs to go.
  • From Think Big, Historical Rolling 10-year Total Return of the SP500.
  • Now Cramer is on... At Penn St.  Sheez.  Horrible.  Over to Fox Business.  Neil Cavuto does a good show.  He's talking about the housing slump.  You know, homes here have suddenly started selling like crazy.  Prices aren't going up, but homes are receiving multiple bids.  We'll see if it lasts heading into summer.  Might be awhile before home prices increase.  I'm in Sacramento, where we've seen about a 30% drop year over year in prices.  Yeowch.
  • Along that line, we knew we could count on Barry Ritholtz for pointing out that new home sales are the the lowest since 1995.  The big question for BR is... What happened after that?
  • It's time to "start filling up your pockets with money!"  Adam Warner covers the Lenny's DEEP in the money options trading strategery.
  • Is it the weekend yet?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Monday After

  • Back home after the first weekend of March Madness. Went to Reno for four days in a smoke-filled sports book.  I think it'll take me a few days to recover. 
  • Woo, look at that stock market.  I watched the Fox Bulls and Bears show, and everyone was pretty bullish.  That usually concerns me, but I've been of the mind that the market prices in the future, and that the bull market is not over.  This correction that we've had is just more severe than our normal 5% pullback.  And every correction carries with it some headline-grabbing drama.
  • I'm continuing to hold longs here, and remain bullish.
  • So Hillary wants the government to buy up homes?  Seems like a bad idea to me.
  • Detroit's mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a sex scandal.  Oh I should say "Democratic" mayor, but there is enough slime to go around for both parties that it doesn't even matter at this point.
  • Barry Ritholtz says Bottom Callers Run RampantLooking from a sentiment perspective, its hard to say that the we've seen the sort of fear that typically accompanies a lasting market bottom. There's still plenty of speculative juice around.  Seems like BR is looking at this as a counter trend rally in a bear market.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Madness!

Heading to Reno to watch the first four days of March Madness!

16 games Thursday.
16 games Friday.
8 and 8 for Saturday and Sunday.
Plus NIT today and NBA here and there.

And the rest of the time, I just wasted.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bernanke Cuts Rate .75

Bernanke Cuts Rate .75.

In the text, Bernanke says that not only can he cut rates, but that he can cut a jig and would like to be on season 7 of Dancing with the Stars, as long as he can partner up with two-time champion Cheryl Burke.

Dancing with the Fed

  • Carrie Ann Inaba seemed a little flushed last night, as she said "I think I'm going to like season six" of Dancing with the Stars.    Her and Bruno, I 'spose.
  • So yes, it's a new bull market and all.  At least until the next hour when the Fed announces their rate cut and verbage.  Hey, if Bernanke wanted to have some fun, he could raise rates by .25.   That'd be enough to send the DOW down 1000, don't you think?  "Psych!"
  • All this recent volatility in the market makes me think we're near a turning point.  But I've thought that before during this (what I call a) correction.  I'm not in bear market mode.  I think the Fed moves and government stimulus will work later this year, and that the stock market will begin to anticipate that pretty soon here.  If it hasn't already.
  • With the Miami Dolphins' Jason Taylor in Dancing with the Stars, I'm debating on wearing my Jason Taylor jersey to work on mondays.  It's either that or a Kristi Yamaguchi jersey.  What say you?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day! I did not wear green today, so feel free to cyber pinch me.
  • Well, another day, another down day.  Ho hum.  The usual.  I'm so used to the prevaling Bear Market Mode, that as long as the market doesn't lose more than 2% a day, I consider that a good day.  "Phew, only lost 1.5% today.  Reason to celebrate!"
  • I'm still a bull.  The Fed's moves and the government stimulus package will work.  So I'm ignoring the bears and working on my March Madness brackets here.   Remaining 100% long
  • I had KFNN on this morning on the drive in.  They have "Two guys and your money" hosting the drive show.  I don't know anything about them, but they were saying that we've had four months in a row of negative returns, and that this has only happened 4 times in the last 15 years.  And we haven't ever had five months in a row of negative returns.  I didn't fact check this.  But kind of amazing if true.
  • Right Wing Nut House comparing Brad DeLong to Paul Krugman to Larry Kudlow, and with other comments on the economy (Read it!):

DeLong is a happy medium between Paul "The Sky is Falling" Krugman and Larry "Don't worry be happy" Kudlow. Krugman has been predicting catastrophe for so long they kicked him out of the Cassandra Club for being wrong so often. Kudlow has been seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for so long that he's been declared legally blind.

  • As I've been typing, working, lunching, etc., the market has recovered into the clothes with the DOW in the Green!  Ah, Happy St. Patrick's Day indeed.  Not so for the other indexes.  So feel free to pinch them, too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

God Link America!

  • Who wants to watch Saturday Night Live tonight? C'mon.  Lots of "stuff" out there for an opening sketch!
  • Dr. Jeff with Bear Stearns bailout implications.
  • Bill Rempel is getting more aggressive.  BE Aggressive, B-E, Aggressive.  B-E, A-G-G, R-E-S-S-I-V-E.
  • Uh oh, Cody Willard says, "So today, the government lies to us again about inflationary pressures running rampant throughout our economy."  Cody, I disagree with you.  Economy is flat,and higher energy prices are sending more money to OPEC.  Who is chasing the price of goods and services higher here?  Nobody!
  • My thoughts:  Inflation remains mild as oil has gone from $12 to $110 a barrel.
  • Running out of time here, so I'll close with...
  • Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, teams with Veggie Tales.  Excerpt:

The pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, has become nationally-known in recent days for a sermon about Jesus of Nazareth — a poor, black man who was oppressed by rich, white people at a time when no one like Sen. Obama was available to rescue Jesus by bringing change to government.

The movie, tentatively titled “Jeremiah and the Giant White Turnip”, will use Veggie Tales’ trademark computer-generated vegetable characters to re-tell the story of Jesus and the whole “of Nazareth” family, starting with their early battles against institutional racism in housing policy, when there was “no room at the inn.”

The Rev. Wright will do the voice of a bitter brussels sprout who pleads with God to ‘damn America‘, because Sen. Hillary Clinton has never been disparaged as a black man.

And the 20000000dma is...

A "new indicator" to add to the arsenal! The 600dma of the put-call ratio!  (From wndysrf commenting at Clearstation).

Another new, all-time world record high in stock market pessimism today.

The 600-day Put/Call moving average finally broke out and reached a shocking .97 today.

The 500-day Put/Call moving average accelerating upward like a Saturn V rocket and is just a hairs breadth from reaching 1.00.

The Equity Put/Call ratio was redlining the last two hours of trading today, didn't back off one bit. Check it out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

$500 Hammers and $4000 Hookers

The Government Overpays for Everything!

  • $500 hammers. $4000/hr. hookers.  Is there no end to the government overpaying for stuff?
  • At $4000/hr., the rate is $66.67 per minute.  According to Dr. Dean Edell, the "right" amount of sex is between 7-13 minutes, not including foreplay or afterplay.  Skipping the before and after, and getting right down to business, would run you between $466.67 and $866.67.
  • I wonder if Eliot Spitzer went through the government contracting process to hire the hooker?  Did he put it out to bid and review proposals?  Did he give any kind of preferences to minority-owned or women-owned businesses? Was this a Haliburton no-bid in Iraq kind of thing?
  • "Kristen" is the girl.  Born Ashley Youmans and now going by Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the 22-year old says "I love who I am."  When the Emperors Club VIP said it was sending Kristen, a call girl it described as a "petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds," Client 9 (Spitzer) was pleased.  "Great, OK, wonderful," he told the escort service's booking agent, according to a federal affidavit.
  • Ashley should write a book.  Dontcha think?
  • Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, Silda Spitzer, should file for divorce, write a book, and run for Governor. Dontcha think?

Bulls Getting Screwed

  • I'm just staying long.  My "black box" timing system has been on a buy for awhile, but it's been wrong.  It's right about 80% of the time, and this time it's clanking in the 20% category.  Nevertheless, I remain 100% long and riding it out.  I still believe we're experiencing a correction similar to 1998.  Complicating the bull scenario is constant banging of the bear drum by campaigning politicians and their subsidiaries, the "Main Stream Media."
  • What does the Number One Market Timer On The Planet, Steve Todd, have to say?  Intermediate term bearish, long-term bullish!  Which is kind of a way to be right no matter what happens, right?  Anyways, he says "When you think about it, the market did pretty well considering the negative news background. What it needs is a follow through to the big push yesterday to give the rally some staying power. As the chart we show to E-mail subscribers demonstrates, the market surged from an oversold condition, but still needs to break the pattern of lower lows and lower highs. The odds favor that this will happen, but let's see."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oil and Hookers!

Over a barrel

  • Oil hits over $110 today. Headlines are reporting the record price-per-gallon of gas every 5 minutes. Here's the answer:  Drive less.
  • Whenever I say that, I get a few emails about how cruel and heartless I am, and how evil Big Oil is.  "Muck, I live in Sacramento and work in Los Angeles.  I have a 7 hour commute in each direction, 5 days a week!"  It's an exaggeration of course, but you get the idea. 
  • The fuel-saving option is to work closer to home, live closer to work, utilize mass transit, ride share or carpool, telecommute from home, work an alternative work schedule (four ten-hour days per week), and/or combine driving trips to use less fuel. 
  • The non-fuel saving option is to cut spending in other areas:  Bring a sack lunch, don't eat out, drink tap water instead of bottled water or sodas, quit Starbucks, cut down or eliminate meat and dairy consumption.
  • Or mix-n-match.  Most folks have options.


She Who Shall Not Be Named

  • So I don't know about premonitions, time travel, or seeing the future.  Except for what I see on TV like Star Trek, Journeyman, and Miss Cleo.  But sometimes life is strange.
  • Last night I had a dream about she who shall not be named.  I haven't really thought about her for quite awhile.  Cliff notes if you choose not to read the link or are short on time is that Cupid blasted me with an arrow not set on stun many years ago, she's married and on the opposite coast, yadda yadda yadda, and very infrequently we exchange emails.  Ah, just checked:  Last September. I will always feel emotionally and spiritually connected to her.  Nothing I can do about that it seems.  Helpless.  Hapless.  Hopeless.
  • The dream:  I was playing golf with her and her husband.  Both of them were hitting par on every hole.  Me?  I was in the rough, behind trees, and my chip shots were sailing past the greens or going backwards.  Playing so poorly that I was just picking up my ball on every hole.  And we're chatting along the way about this and that.  The husband is telling me on every shot, that I'll never make it.  Meanwhile, she's encouraging me and telling me "you'll do better on the next hole."
  • I wake up.  I think, "Ugh. Stupid subconscious."  Why not dream about Grace Park instead?  Choose wisely, subconscious!  Let sleeping dogs lie, for goodness sakes.  Why bring that up again, you know?  So now she's on my mind while I'm getting up and about.
  • So back in the real world, I'm carpooling to work, and my phone buzzes with a message that I have an email.  Guess who?  Yeah, she who shall not be named.  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?  Nothing for months, then in the same day a vivid dream, followed up by an email.
  • Er.  Argh.  Unfrikkenbuhleevable.  Truth is stranger than science-fiction.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shake Your Money Maker

Pay for Play

  • At least Eliot Spitzer stayed true to the progressive wing of the Democrats, paying a "living wage" for the hookers from the Emperor's Club. According to the Website, the Emperors Club charged $1,000 per hour for a three-diamond prostitute, and $3,100 per hour for a seven-diamond prostitute. The Website also offered the Emperors Club's most valued clients "membership" in the "Icon Club," a status which allowed the clients to access restricted areas of the Website and permitted them to schedule appointments with the most highly-ranked prostitutes, whose fees started at $5,500 per hour.   (h/t:  Michelle Malkin)
  • There are rankings?  Are there "hooker evaluation forms" that must be completed afterwards?  (Customer service... Knowledge of subject matter...  Materials provided...  Enthusiasm...  Content...)
  • Received an email from Lynn this morning who wonders, if Spitzer is client #9, who are clients #1 through #8?  Good question!

Ben Bernanke Got Bank

  • "What can I get for $200 billion?" asks Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke.  U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday after three losing sessions, with investors' spirits lifted by the Federal Reserve's move to loan as much as $200 billion in securities in a bid to boost liquidity in the financial system.
  • The short-term answer is a rally on Wall Street, as all the indexes are up about 2% as I type.  I remain long, but almost expecting a sell-off as I'm worried about the one-day wonder thing we've seen in recent rallies like this.  Nevertheless, I'm not selling anything.  I think the recession fears are overblown or mistaken; a point made by UCLA today.


  • I'm not sure the Saturday Night Live (SNL) skit last Saturday about the 3am call to Obama (and then to Hillary from Obama) was THAT funny.  Hillary with a cold cream mask?  Okay, somewhat funny.
  • The Spitzer thing derailing the fight between Obama and Hillary.  The battle today is for Mississippi, right?
  • So, after all this mumbo-jumbo about how "every vote counts," the superdelegates are really going to select the next candidate for the Democrats, right?  Is that how this is shaping up?  Why bother with having the primaries at all if this group of 600+ insiders and political hacks get to make backroom deals?
  • Meanwhile, have we all forgotten who the Republican candidate is by now? 

University of San Diego Toreros

The University of San Diego Toreros beat Gonzaga and are going to March Madness!

("Toreros" looks very close to "Oreos." Just saying.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Politics and Hookers!

The Democratic Party was rocked Monday by the revelation that N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been connected to a prostitution ring.

The Times reported that Spitzer was identified as "Client No. 9" in a federal investigation into the Emperor's Club VIP, the subject of a federal indictment of four people last week.

  • Bumpersticker idea:  Vote for Client #9!  (Too bad not Client #69).
  • Campaign slogan:  The Voters Come First!
  • Afterthought:  "Should've gone to Thailand."
  • Excuse:  Just went in for a deep-tissue massage, officer.
  • Victory speech:  "I came from behind!"
  • Rationalization:  "With campaign finance reform, each dollar spent was met with matching government funds.  Just trying to help out the disadvantaged."
  • Deflection:  "At least nobody was taking advantage of an intern."

Got any?

(Hey, anything to distract us from the stock market!)

In edit: Wow, Spitzer resigned. I guess it was easier to give up the "day job." So to speak.

Superdelegates? Supertraders!

Superdelegates? Supertraders!

The Democrats have Superdelegates.  This way, if the voters decide on a certain candidate, the Superdelegates can step in and select a different candidate to represent the party.

Why not have Supertraders on Wall Street?  That way, if sellers send the market down, the Supertraders can step in and send the market higher.

Wait...  I think they call that the Plunge Protection Team.


Friday, March 07, 2008

TGIF Randoms

Covering the Action

  • Adam Warner and Photoshop is like peanut butter and jelly, with Lakers girls. Check out his posts from this week and YOU WILL SEE!
  • Here I am away from a TV, and Roger is on CNBC
  • What'd that guy on CNBC say this morning?  That the time to buy was when Cramer was cowering under his desk? 
  • Cactus over at Angry Bear doesn't believe the unemployment numbers.  I've been saying for a while, somewhere in the past three to six years, unemployment figures have transcended their genre, moving from the realm of dry statistics into Republican fantasy.   I don't believe the blog's title.  Shouldn't they be Happy Bear now?
  • Gary Kaltbaum says LOOK OUT BELOWMost major indices are now closed at bear market lows... as FINANCIALS continue to lead the market down. My best guess continues to be that lows will be taken out and as I said last time... do not be surprised if we see a tad bit of panic selling if lows are taken out. At the very least, this remains no hill for a climber.  But what if one is not a climber of hills, Gary?

Bob Brinker Mania!

It's Just Politics!

  • Liberal Larry says in Hillary Conquers Hope that It was a long, hard-fought battle, but with last night's resounding victories, Hillary finally gave a knock-out punch to Hope & Optimism, and is well on her way to defeating Logic & Reason in the general election.
  • Powerline has a poll up answering this week's hot question of who does America want answering the phone at 3:00am.  Press 1 if you'd like to speak with the President in Spanish.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just Another Down Day

  • So the market was down again today, defying those who keep trying to tell us that the market never moves in a straight line.We can play the blame game, but the reality is that we have as much bearishness and gloom here as we had bullishness and hope at SP500 1565. It's all about credit. It's all about oil. It's all about the falling dollar. It's all about [insert gloom here]. We can find reasons; they're in the headlines everyday!
  • We'll only know in retrospect if this is a bear market or a correction. I'm still in the latter group. Anyone else declaring what it is, is just guessing. Because who really knows for sure? I'm sure if one is out of work, it's pretty bad. But if one isn't, have you even noticed any personal damage from the subprime stuff?
  • Howis the put-call ratio doing? Holy smokes, look at that altitude! Mt. Haleakala has nothing on the $CPCE!
  • That'd be bullish, according to my trustworthy handwritten notes.
  • I remain long and not doing very well in 2008. I don't even feel bad or depressed about it. Why? Because I have the Fed on my side cutting rates. I have the government on my side with a stimulus package. Employment is still doing well. Inflation is realtively non-existance at the core, which really is what matters despite what is being reported in the headlines. Energy prices really haven't had much of an effect on the core rate as oil went from $12 to $100.
  • Food has gone up in price, too. But we're using it for fuel now. How dumb is that? I'm not even sure how economically viable is to produce ethanol in the first place. Lots of energy used to make the stuff.
  • Work is going well. Sure, the first day back from vacation was ROUGH.
  • Catching up on TV. I finaly caught an America's Next Top Model, and although I'll probably watch, it's getting a little long in the tooth. But Tyra Banks has shed some pounds for sure.
  • I didn't watch Star Trek Deep Space Nine and only briefly saw Star Trek Enterprise. But have been recording them as they're aired late-night and on HD-Net (respectively). Not as bad as they seemed to be when they were running in prime time. Or maybe it's just this Star Trek void we've had for years.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Brett Favre for Federal Reserve Chairman!

  • The true measure of whether or not a vacation was long enough is if you can remember your passwords when you come back to the office. Unfortunately, I could.  It wasn't a long enough break!
  • Well, whenever I've been unfocused from the markets for a bit, I like to tune into a few radio shows to listen to the money topics du jour.  Gary Kaltbaum is convinced we're in a bear market and likely to see lows at twice the damage we have already.  Bob Brinker calls this a correction and thinks the Fed was asleep at the switch last year, but will cut rates again.  Everyone is reporting that Warren Buffet believes we're in a recession.
  • OK.  Enough with the "idol" speculation.  I'm still bullish and believe that we're continuing to trade in the correction channel.  I like the low volume down here, and hopefully we're basing for a move back up.
  • Blu-ray won the HD format wars, so who out there is buying a Playstation 3?  Just an idea. 
  • Brett Favre retiring! Hey Brett, your thoughts on interest rates...?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Maui Redux

Here are some of the things I did while in Maui...

Whale watching on a cruise by Pacific Whale Foundation. Saw a whale breach the water just about 50 yards from the boat. Totally out of the water. Amazing. You can join the Pacific Whale Foundation here. Pretty inexpensive and a worthwhile cause. IMHO, of course. Tax deduction and free t-shirt, too. LOL. Oh, the whale watching pictures were pretty crappy, so how about this hula girl instead?

This isn't my picture, because I didn't have an underwater camera! But I was snorkeling in West Maui at Kaanapali, and two sea turtles were about three feet from me. Pretty incredible. One swam off, while the other just looked at me. When it went up for air, so did I. When it went down, so did I. This went on for at least a couple of minutes, then the turtle swam off. The ocean was nice this day, while other times out there were much higher waves and a strong current pulling outward. (Undertow or riptide, I'm not sure which is correct here. But it was strong. A guy on the other side of the island was swept out to sea that day.)

The road to Hana is an amazing journey. (This actually is my picture. Click to open a big picture with better detail). Make sure to have some sort of guide book to know where to stop. Nothing is well marked. The day I went there were very few cars out there, so without knowing where I wanted to go, I would've driven by all those small turnouts along the way. I thought the road from Hana to the Seven Sacred Pools was more "white-knuckle" than the rest of the trip, though. Oh... and do get the banana bread. LOL.

Lahaina is a fun visit. I went here multiple times. Fun atmosphere, lots of shops. And places to eat. Whale cruises take off from here. Pretty crowded place and parking is frustrating, but not impossible. Very pretty beach. Oh, and the banyan tree, of course. (Not pictured).

The drive to the top of the Haleakala volcano was actually more harrowing than the road to Hana. I hit a ton of clouds up there. Made for some great camera shots above the clouds, though. But no clear shots down the crater. There are these signs on the road that indicate "Nene crossing." What's a Nene? A couple of them did jump out and cross the road ahead of my car! Cute lil' buggers, though. If you click on the picture, it'll open up to a pretty big picture where you can see the valley below between the clouds.

Also went to the Ioa State Park with the famed needle. Why not throw in a pic? The first time I went up here it was lightly raining in the parking lot, but by the time I started walking up the trail it was pouring. I had a light waterproof jacket with me that saved me from being drenched. The rain was literally coming down in buckets. Like standing in a waterfall. I went up to the park a second time and the weather was much better. There's also a walk down to the stream and around some garden area.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the Hula Pie at Leilani's. They actually have a website with a picture of a Hula Pie.