Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday at the Funplex

  • Yes, I work at the "Fun Factory" but in honor of the B-52's latest song, we'll call it the Funplex. Who doesn't feel like a "daytime waitress at the Taco Tiki Hut?"
  • Continued leadership by the Nasdaq. We're in the monthly strength period here, as the 401(k) money gets dollar-cost averaged into the market. This should carry us a few days into June, and then it gets interesting again.
  • Closed my YGE position.  Bleh.  Not a winner, but not a big loser. Still 100% invested at this point, mostly in Nasdaq.
  • CNBC's Mark Haines scoffed this morning at the notion that inflation was only in the 3% range.   Mark, you've been spending too much time at Barry's site.  Higher energy prices aren't inflationary, they suck away folks discretionary cash and send it to OPEC.  This leaves less cash for the Cheesecake Factory and shopping at the mall. 
  • Speaking of...  Never pay retail again!  After sending their walkin' around money to OPEC, folks are trying to stretch their remaining dollars.  I've noticed Costco and the Wal-Mart superstores are very crowded.  I can't see why anyone would pay extra to shop at the Raley's or Safeways these days.  A box of Corn Flakes is a box of Corn Flakes.  So I expect these major grocery outlets and retailers to be lowering prices to compete.  Don't they have to?
  • Although, some folks will drive an extra 20 miles to save a nickel per gallon on gasoline, and I'm not sure that makes much sense.  Especially when you consider the long line at the Costco filling station.  Heck, I'll go across the street and spend an extra $2 if it saves me 30 minutes of waiting.

  • Laker Girls deserve a break before the Finals, no? Well, not a break from here. It's Laker Girls morning, noon, and night here!
  • Streaming internet video to your big screen TV is coming.  You can do it now, but it takes a little research (and an HDMI out on your video card would help).  They'll make it easier, and costlier, soon.
  • Man, internet connection here is dying.  Posting this and leaving!  As my boss would say, "My fun meter has maxed out for the day."
  • It is all about fun here at the Funplex.  LOL.
  • Celtics-Pistons!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Send the Spurs Home Randomosity

They're in the Kill Zone

  • Game Five tonight!  Can the Spurs beat the Lakers in LA?  I think LA knows that the Spurs are a dangerous team.  Don't yield an inch.  Send 'em home.
  • Whatever it takes to keep the Laker Girls dancing.

Market Anticipates Lakers Going to Finals

  • Meanwhile, the stock market is reacting favorably to something.  Surely, oil going up or oil going down should get some of the credit.  But today, we've received the news that the fear of recession was exaggerated.  1st-quarter GDP was revised upward to .9%.  I don't think we'll see 2nd-quarter GDP go negative, either.
  • While the economy has been sluggish, the stock market has reflected that and should now anticipate faster growth ahead in the 2nd half of 2008 and 2009.
  • Yahoo Finance is giving falling crude prices partial credit.
  • CNBC chimed in this morning saying "Sell in May but Don't Go Away."  I think we hear every year that this will be the year that the seasonal-thing doesn't play out.   I'm not sure what Bubblevision was implying, because I hopped in the shower after the teaser and before the story.  Maybe someone who watched can chime in in the comments or on voice mail!

Don't Miss Your Free Throws

  • Nanny Goats in Panties on Timeshares.  Great story, and IMHO,  I think timeshares are a scam.  (Found her via the Sacramento Top 25).
  • Hillary lists non-assassination reasons to keep running. LOL.
  • If you're a video game fan, Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4) coming out in June.  The 12th?  I believe one can buy the new Playstation 3 bundled with MGS4.  I was thinking about getting a Blu-ray player, and since the PS3 plays those, why not?  (I currently own the LOSER Toshiba HD format, HD DVD).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Psst! It's Because of Oil Prices!

Yes, there will be nothing but Lakers Cheerleaders until the Lakers are knocked out of the playoffs! Or until I think of something else!  Well, the Laker Girls have something to be happy with, even though there were some questionable calls late in the game.  But LA had the lead most of the way and c'mon, Kobe didn't even get to the charity stripe once. 

So the market made a little comeback today, and according to IBD it was because of a rebound in oil stocks.  Oil prices rose to $131 on the Nigerian concerns.  But just yesterday, Yahoo Finance said it was declining oil prices that spurred buyers' interest and led to the rebound in the market.

Take the blue pill, Neo, and stocks go up.  Take the red pill, Neo, and stocks also go up.  (Neo not pictured, by the way).

Might as well give oil the credit for the Lakers winning game 4 last night!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Game Four Randomosity

Rebound, Rebound, Rebound

  • The market rebounded smartly after the mid-day swoon. Lower crude prices are getting the game ball today, per Yahoo Finance A drop in crude prices lent support to Tuesday’s buying interest. In turn, market participants lifted the major indices during afternoon trading to finish near their best levels of the session.
  • Tech led the way, and that's exactly what we want to see.  We're also closing in on month-end strength, as 401(k) contributions hit and are automatically dollar-cost averaged into the mutual funds with the best track record for the past three years.
  • (That last line is an attempt to be funny, as investors tend to invest in fundas that have been working the past few years, leading to underperformance in the next three years).

Get the Ball to the Playmakers

  • Adam Warner interviews Brian Shannon.
  • Boy, look at the bears in the Tickersense poll!  Note that the number of participants has declined over the past year, too.
  • Jason at The Trend stated over the weekend:  It's pretty obvious the 200 day SMA was a wall for the S&P 500, S&P 600, Naz, and Dow Industrials. That failure will likely keep some wary of entering the market until it's broken and if the bear market is intact, then the final ABC move may have started but this is all conjecture at this point and we'll need to see more data over the next two weeks.
  • Woodshedder is implementing the RSI(2) strategy!  The system creates a long entry into one or more ultralong or ultrashort ETFs when their RSI(2) closes beneath 10. The system triggers an exit from the ETF when RSI(2) closes above 80. The buy or sell is made the morning after the signal is generated. I am currently using only the ETFs which average at least 100K shares traded per day.

Keep Home Court Advantage

  • Well, I've made a few changes to the blog to clean it up a bit.  The links on the side are now from blogrolling, instead of HTML links that spread down the sidebar.  A neat thing about that is that recently updated blogs are notated with an asterisk!
  • I deleted some dead links and will be updating it with some new ones, soon.
  • I've added a link to the Sacramento Top 25 blogs in the header.  Click on it once a day for me, okay? 
  • I've added a subscribe by email function at the top, to have the content delivered by email.  Handy!
  • I removed the Podcast widget, but you can still visit the links to listen.  I may resume Podcasting in the near future.  I find myself just repeating what I blog here... without the cheerleader pics. 
  • Oh, and that's Laker Girl Annika, btw.
  • The voice mail is still active, and if you have a microphone on your PC you can leave a voice message. 
  • The Google finance widget shows the market indices.

Gloomy Tuesday

  • After the SP500 fell 3.5% last week, the cries that the "bear market rally" is over and that we've resumed the bear market. I'm not of that belief, but it is extremely convincing with the gloom and doom in the headlines.  Who knows, maybe I'll end up being the last bull to capitulate; and that'll be The Bottom!
  • Today, news is out that home price declines accelerated in MarchThe pace of home price declines accelerated in March and there are no hints that the decline might be ending soon, economists said.  Home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas have dropped a record 14.4% in the past year, Standard & Poor's said Tuesday.
  • I filled up with premium this weekend for $4.39.   I only fill up twice a month, so it doesn't impact me too much.  But boy, folks are sure vocal about it.  Across the gasoline island, everyone was having a conversation about it and how pretty soon it'll be $5 and $6.
  • These are the two things that are most visiable to folks.  They're underwater on their homes and gas prices are up.  What'd I hear on the radio this morning?  I think that 1/3rd of car purchase in past years were from home equity.  Scratch that!
  • Translation?  No matter what happens to the economy, the mood is dour and the Republicans are going to get slaughtered in November.  It doesn't matter who the Democrats put up.  It's going to be a cake walk.
  • Good news?  Hybrid sales are soaring!  These folks will be cutting their fuel use by more than 50% if they go from 20 mpg to over 40 mpg and drive the same routes.  Congrats!  We should all do this.  Imagine the impact to our oil consumption.
  • Today the pic is of Laker Girl Allison!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thanks, Troops!

Thanks to our soldiers and their families.

My Dad was a Marine.  As a kid, I took his corporal stripes and had my Mom sew them to my jackets, sweatshirts, and windbreakers.  I mentioned in that blog entry about having the old film converted to DVD.  Watching the DVD, I'm walking around in an LA Dodgers windbreaker, with corporal stripes on the sleeves. 

At one time in my life, I thought looking back on that, that it was pretty silly.  But now?  I think at 11 years old I had the right idea.

Thanks, Dad.  And thanks to all of your friends who stood by your side.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dear Obama; Dear McCain

Dear President-elect (whoever you are),

I think the government should make the interest people pay on their loans tax deductable for cars that get over 40 mpg tax.

Of the 21 million barrels of oil a day we use, 13 million is imported. People could choose to declare war on OPEC by cutting their fuel use by 50%. The simple way to do this is make sure the next car gets twice the mileage as their current vehicle. In addition to ridesharing, mass transit, combining trips, etc. Get the 50% less use by combining these sorts of things. And let the government pitch in with tax policy that encourages car buyers to consider the 40 mpg cars or better.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mint Julep Friday!

The market selling off yet again.  Normally, I'd expect Friday to move in the opposite direction of the weekly trend.  But watching The Oil Channel (CNBC), there seems to be a sense that the Sell in May effect is going on, and investors would rather be on vacation.  Who can blame them?  The market has given back a lot this week. 

I think this week's catalyst had to be the FOMC comments on negative GDP for the first half of 2008, even though we didn't even have in the first quarter, and their comments on the threat of inflation, also nowhere in the numbers.  At this time, I expect the market rally to continue once everyone realizes that the Fed is wrong and that 2nd half 2008 and then 2009's growth will be stronger.

Pass me a mint julep and some rose-colored sunglasses!

That's Los Angeles Laker girl Vivian!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yingli and Yangli

  • The problem with bringing my lunch to work? It's 10:15, and I've already mowed down the cheese puffs.
  • My dumb stock buy this month?  Yingli Green Energy (YGE).  It made my list a few weeks ago. I was waiting for a pullback in the stock, got it, and went in.  Had an early bump, but I'm near flat on it.  The volume is all wrong.  The earnings report was sold, even though it was pretty good.  Hasn't hit my stop yet.  Not a big position.  Closing in on the 50dma.
  • First time jobless claims drop.  Good.
  • At least Yahoo Finance ( is honest today:  Stocks took a dip all the way into negative territory without any clear driving force, but have made their way back into positive ground.  In otherwords, stocks seem to be meandering around and we have no idea why.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oopsie Randomosity

Market Thoughts

  • A mea culpa for not following the sell signals from the Black Box at the end of last week.  I also complained about the lack of volume in the buying, and we sure saw it come in today on the selling. 
  • I think we can say that there were signs that the rally was tired.  I'm hearing folks quick to jump on the bear market wagon.  Lets not go there just yet.  We have given up about four weeks worth of gains in just two days.  It's like the last month just didn't happen.
  • I'm remaining long here, aware that we have seasonal patterns (sell in May) to face.   No, one can't time the market with a calendar, but combined with other things that are going on I think it can help.
  • And I'm also aware that moves against the trend can be sharp, volatile, and stomach churning, only to seem the trend resume.  So lets see what the bulls have in the tank here and if they can resume the rally.

Political Thoughts

  • You know, I can get caught up in mudslinging and the frustration of politics.  The post a few ago on oil (OPEC) was one such thing.  If the number one issue for people is the economy, right now it's because of energy. 
  • Meanwhile, politicians rarely seem to mention it.  The news headlines are more concerned if Obama is a Muslim or if McCain is a doddering 72-yr old geezer.  This is the time of year where we bring out abortion, flag burning, gay marriage, and school prayer.  It's all rather ridiculous.
  • I'd love to see a politician of either party just run on one issue:  Energy.  He or she could announce, "If you elect me it's going to be status quo on everything except energy.  We're going to engage in an effort to restore our energy infrastructure and end our reliance on countries run by crazy dictators and regimes who are hostile to the United States."
  • And that's it.  Put school prayer and flag burning on the back burner for 8 years.  I think those can wait.

Around the Dial

  • Okay, I watched American Idol last night.  It took me about 8 minutes.  DVR, baby.  I listened to about 30 seconds of David Archuleta.  I think he's really boring and every song sounds the same, but he can sing.  I'd never buy a CD of his crooning, just not my thing.  I prefer David Cooke's singing, because he can do different styles.  He makes even boring songs sound good.
  • Kristi Yamaguchi takes Dancing with the Stars.  She was the best by far.

Blog Shots

FOMC Bathtub Cheese

Stock market tanking after the FOMC release:

At its April 30 meeting the FOMC decided to cut the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to 2.00%, in what it called a "close call."  The Fed expects unemployment will "increase significantly," raising its 2008 forecast to 5.6% from 5.25%. In addition, many officials forecast negative GDP growth in the first half, and the Fed cut its 2008 GDP growth forecast to between 0.3% and 1.2% from between 1.3% and 2.0%. However, inflation risks have increased, with the Fed raising its core-inflation forecast to between 2.2% and 2.4% from between 2.0% and 2.2%. Dallas Fed President Fisher and Philadelphia Fed President Plosser dissented against the rate cut on inflation concerns.

Again, worried about the inflation gremlins that don't show up in any official release numbers and seem to be only cooked up by inflation conspiracy theorists and those who sell black market bathtub cheese.  They forecast negative GDP growth for the first half, when the first quarter was .6% and likely to be revised upward to 1%.  And in the second quarter, folks are rushing out with their rebate checks to Best Buy, Costco and the Cheesecake Factory. 

I'm not buying the gloom and doom or the bathtub cheese.

How to Declare War on OPEC (and Win!)

President George Bush went to Saudi Arabia last week to beg for oil. "Please pump more oil for us.  Pretty please, with a cherry on top."  He was laughed out of town.  Our next President, be it Obama, McCain, or Nader, will be put in the same position of begging for oil.  Am I the only one who thinks that this is ridiculous?

Lets face it, the politicians in the United States have failed us.  There is no drive to drill for more domestic oil offshore, inland, or in ANWR.  Producing ethanol has been a disaster.  We need more nuclear power plants to think about electric cars.  We could generate synthetic fuel from coal, but that hasn't been in the news headlines, either.  Our leaders seem content to let us pay more for oil and spout drivel about some future technologies that don't exist at this time.  It's time for us to forget about our self-serving elected officials, grab our pitchforks, and march on OPEC ourselves.

The easiest way to declare war on OPEC and win is to cut gasoline consumption by 50% or more.  The United States uses approximately 21 million barrels of oil a day.  We import 13 million barrels of that, and domestically produce 8 million.  If we can cut our oil consumption, we can decrease the amount of oil we import, especially from those countries who are hostile towards us.  Imagine the side benefits of not sending money to countries who fund terrorism!

Each of us needs to play a roll.  This is a war we can win without firing a single shot.  If we fill up our tanks four times a month, we need to figure out a way to get that number down to two times a month.  This means a more fuel efficient car, less driving, carpooling/ridesharing, utilizing mass transit, working from home, or whatever combination of these things cut our consumption by 50%.

Our politicians aren't going to do this for us.  This war on OPEC has to be fought by each and every one of us as individuals.  We are the Marines here.  Gear up and lets roll!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marketwatch Flip-Flop

Too late to see both headlines over at Marketwatch now, but the first one was (paraphrasing): Market surges as recession fears dwindle.  The headline after the close was (paraphrasing):  $127 oil stymies bulls.

Uh, okay! 

Lets try to rationalize the Marketwatch flip-flop.  I think we can do it using what we know from my last post.  The buyers were enthusiastic this morning hearing "no recession ever again," and sent stocks higher  But once they heard "free Oreos on the highway," they left their desks and went to pick up some double-stuffs.  Thus, the sellers the only ones left at their trading desks to drive the market down, rationalizing that if folks are spending all their discretionary income on fuel to drive down the highway to pick up free Oreos, they won't be able to shop.


Free Oreos on the Highway

"Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway. "


"Mahoney says no charges have been filed but both lanes of traffic remain closed while authorities remove the cookies."

"Remove?" Hmmm....

From Yahoo Finance:  Stocks continue to sport solid gains as all ten of the major economic sectors are trading in the green. 

Everything green.  Free Oreos on the highway.  Life's good.

Who Needs a Nap?

The stock market is up. I think the blame for that is that everyone is beginning to realize that although the economy has been sluggish, we haven't had a recession and we're not going to in 2008 or 2009.  Anticipating future growth!

I always feel like I need a day off to recover from my days off.  I still have that foggy haze in my head and the body is feeling a little out of sorts.  Back here at the Fun Factory, and I can't even recall what the heck we're working on. 

I think that's the measure on whether or not your vacation was a success or not.  If you come back home and you can't recall what was going on from three days ago, it was a great escape.

The team is quick to update me with what I "missed" on Friday, although to be honest, I'm not sure I missed it.  (h/t Office Space).  Anyways, they're telling me about this meeting and that meeting, repeating hallway conversations, and forwarding me emails.  How come all this happened on Friday when I wasn't around? 

Wait...  Big Boss just came by and said that Friday was very quiet.  Now I'm thinking my team is just snowing me on all their supposed activity.  Ore maybe they're just keeping the big Boss out of the loop and throwing that monkey on my back.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fremont Street

Giving Fremont Street a tumble. Crowded down here tonight.

Release the Hounds

Greyhounds by the pool most of the day. Getting my drink on as they say. Tons of basebal bets in the queue.

This is the Harrahs piano bar. Good place to hang in between innings...

Uh Oh


Friday, May 16, 2008

No Photos Allowed


So the plane sat on the runway for two hours before taking off.

I am at the Orleans. It is almost Miller time.

Stupid Celtics. Took the road team and the points. Doh.

Going to Las Vegas

Uh oh. Flight delayed! They say there are high winds and the FAA is delaying flights. I am meeting some friends there and their flights weren't delayed.


I am going to go see Dennis Miller at the Orleans tonight...

The market seems to be taking a pause after a nice week. Staying long. The black box has given a few sell signals on things but the first sell signals are usually wrong or just indicate sideways action. I've learned to watch for distribution at the close in addition to the sell signals for a better tell. The black box is much better with buy signals...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where's the Volume?

Of course I like this move up in the markets this week! The playbook is working this month.

But if we had to stick a jab at this rally, don't you think the volume should be a bit more convincing?  To be honest, I often think that these rallies on light volume can be prone to big give backs when the heavy volume comes in.  I'm also prone to take profits too early in these moves, but staying patient here.

I remain bullish on the economy and the market.  Another feather in the cap for the economy is the continued low inflation numbers.  Of course, this is in the rear-view mirror.  The Fed is most likely done with rate cuts, and the next thing we'll be looking at is a pick-up in growth and that'll be the time to keep a closer eye on inflation.

JMHO, of course!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Inflation Has Peaked!

American Idol judge Paula Abdul raises her hands to the audience and asks, "Don't my hands look like bunny rabbits?"  But we love Paula, and she's part of the family!

SF Fed President Janet Yellen says that inflation has peaked"My forecast is the most likely outcome over the next couple of years is that total and core inflation will moderate from present levels," Yellen said in a speech to a business group in Vancouver.

Uh, core rate is around 2.0%.  Is this peaking?  My definition of peaking may be different that Janet's.  2% just doesn't seem like a very big number.  Food and energy have been more volatile, but the number (including everything) is 3.2%.  Again, doesn't seem like a big enough number to get labelled "peaking."

I get the feeling the Fed is always looking at the rear-view mirror and reacting to data that has happened in the past.  As an investor, I'm looking to the future and trying to anticipate what's coming next. 

Interest rates are down and I don't think they'll be coming down more.  With rates down, I think we can anticipate a faster growing economy in the future.  Along with a growing economy, we could anticipate (down the road) a tightening job market, wage increases, and the like.

Yes.  That's right!  Growth!  I wouldn't be surprised if by later 2009 or into 2010 we see the Fed raising interest rates.  Because by then, they'll be looking at the rear-view mirror at what has happened in 2nd-half 2008 through 2009.

The stock market anticipates the future, so I continue to believe that the trend is up.

Just my opinion, of course.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Smokin' With Cheryl Randomosity

  • Lets relax with Cheryl Burke, have a smoke, and contemplate our next dance routine. 
  • (Yeah, from last week's image search for Cheryl Burke pictures.)
  • So has Hillary just started her 2012 campaign?  Never to early to start!
  • HP to acquire EDS.  Nothing like a little M&A activity to get the juices flowing.  Hope you had the kids' college funds leveraged to the hilt in EDS prior to the announcement!
  • Didn't Dennis Millar have a TV game show called "Amnesia?"  I forget.
  • All those rumors of Cheryl Burke having an affair or fling with Drew Lachey?  I have no idea, but I do know that dancers do it on the dance floor!
  • Goldman Sachs likes Russian stocks"Russian stocks offer "exceptional value" and the benchmark RTS stock index may surge 20% over the next 12 months, with the catalysts for a rally likely to come from soaring oil prices as well as a decision to cut oil taxes."
  • Adam Warner all over the solar powered bikini and FSLR.
  • Madd Money writes that Jim Cramer is bullish on technology.  Ahead of summer?  Hmm, I thought I've read in the past from JJC that he doesn't like buying tech this time of year as we head into what is normally a weak quarter for tech.  Well, I probably have; he'll be right no matter what!
  • If Doctor Richard Kimble is still searching for the one-armed man, he needs to check Dancing with the Stars!  The guy is Cheryl Burke's dance partner!

Emotional Rescue

  • Over the weekend, I had a chance to watch the home movies I had converted from old Super 8 to DVD. Tears of joy watching those.  Lots of film of family gatherings and outings.  I'm eager to have the rest of the film converted.  Really came out well.
  • Of course, that's the kind of thing that reaches down to grab me at my emotional threshold.  Which is usually safeguarded and kept far out of harm's reach.  Again, tears of joy. 
  • Anyways, back to non-emotional reality, or maybe to rescue...  We begin options expiration week with a thrust up as (Insert Yahoo Finance Reason du Jour:)  "The stock market rallied more than 1% on Monday as investors were encouraged that the market held up to an earnings warning from FedEx and a substantial loss at a major bond insurer."
  • Okay, file that in the top ten of horrible reasons for an advancing market.  Doesn't that basically read:  The stock market rallied because the market held up.  Wherever you go, there you are.
  • It's Options Expiration week.  The playbook says that we should rally if the prior week is weak.  And it was.   Looks like the QQQQ bounced up off the 200dma, eh?  Of course, the SPY still looks as if it bounced down off its 200dma from last week and is approaching it again.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thinking About Butterflies Randomosity

  • AIG is getting spanked afterhours! Down over 7% as I type on an earnings report reporting "losses in the billions."
  • Hey, it's only $7.8B.  Lets all hold hands and think about butterflies together.
  • Market thoughts?  Still long.  A little worried about consolidation from the move off the lows?  Sure.  Tough to play that, but will probably play on the edges.  I suppose it's in my nature.
  • Dr. Jeff:  The Individual Investor Experience.
  • From Barry Ritholtz:  GDP Alternate Measure.  It's the whole conspiracy theory thing about understating inflation and overstating GDP.  Maybe "alternate universe?"  Sure, but those make for good Twilight Zone and Star Trek episodes, no?  And Barry's always a good read. 
  • I enjoy reading blogs (and such) to see other opinions.  It's about considering my views against the well-thought out opinions of others.  Looking for cracks!
  • From Babak at Trader's Narrative:  Up Against Resistance With Little Fuel.
  • Just an observation, but I was looking at the contents of a few of those emerging market ETFs.  Especially those that invest in the BRIC countries.  Lots of energy holdings.  I know energy is going parabolic and will never go down again, but...
  • Gawd, I wish we had a massive nuclear power plant construction effort going on.  Other countries are constructing more nuclear power plants while we sit around and think about butterflies.
  • WAIT!  STOP THE PRESS!  Georgia Power to spend $6.4B on new nuclear power plants!  Thanks for the heads up, Mover Mike!

The Stock Next Door

  • I wonder if the Girls Next Door get stock options?
  • Playboy stock hammered yesterday on earnings. 
  • The Girls Next Door TV show is a hit and definitely refreshed the brand and brings the bunny into the family room. 
  • With the Internets, nakedness is free these days.  You'd think if they had positioned themselves correctly, they could be a huge benefactor from folks surfing in the privacy of their own home office.
  • The web is about online communities and forums.  I'll have to do more "research" later and see what they've got going on.  From the article linked to, they're trying to get more trendy with the online community stuff.
  • Playboy casting on YouTube!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pre-Op Ex Wednesday Randomosity

  • What could be nicer than a little sellin' on the Wednesday pre-options week?
  • Getting the blame?  Yahoo Finance blames $124 oil that "touched off concerns that the stock market's recent gains might have been premature while consumers grapple with rising energy and food costs."
  • I haven't done any grappling today.  You?
  • Eh, the inflation crowd has been wrong.  The last core PCE number was 2%.  I know, they want to include food and energy.  Energy isn't as big a percentage of the economy anymore, and people make other food choices. 
  • Heck, Burger King has a Dollar Value Menu.  The Whopper Jr. is $1.  You don't have to buy the $2 soda.    So, for $1.08 (with CA tax) you can have a Whopper Jr. and a cup of water.  Without the mayo, that's 290 calories according to the nutritional propaganda.
  • Is it just me or do the Celtics look a little vulnerable?
  • Obama blasts Hillary in North Carolina.  Hillary squeezed out a close win in Indiana, thanks to Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos."  But Hillary remains in.  Merely a flesh wound, Hillary.  Keep going.  What the heck. 
  • The Kansas City Royals keep playing baseball, even though they have no chance of winning the American League.  I don't see why Hillary can't keep campaigning.  (She may want to put the Royals on the schedule).
  • I still like the financials.  Heck, Hank says the credit crisis may be "fading!"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Randomosity de Mayo

  • Round 2 in the NBA playoffs? Hoo, this is getting good.
  • So, I think Microsoft is better off without Yahoo.  And I think Yahoo better do something quick.  But the whole MSFT-YHOO saga has been almost as entertaining as Hillary-Obama.
  • Interesting thing is that after gap up giddiness, MSFT closed lower for the day.  YHOO down 15%.  Yowch.
  • With AC/DC coming out with a new CD, why not AC/DC night on American Idol?  David Archuleta singing "Highway to Hell?"  Instant classic!  I think you'd have a hit with that right now, David! 
  • (Yeah, just kidding.)
  • Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton have touted the gas tax relief for the summer plan.  Silliness.  Pandering.
  • Oh, and oil is at record highs. Woo, drive-drive-drive!  Hey, the faster we run out of the stuff, the faster we're on to the next thing.  (paraphrasing, h/t Dennis Miller).
  • Is it a crime to swamp MP3 files for free if the band is offering their music for free?  Nine Inch Nails freebie.
  • Economy Refuses to Tank.  Bears Weep
  • Iron Man getting chatted up here at the Fun Factory today.

Monday Market Thoughts

  • Market thoughts? Well, since we've had three nice weeks in a row, I'd expect the pre-options week weakness to rear its ugly head this week.  And since I'm bullish on the economy, I'd think this would set up a decent trade into an options week rally.
  • Just guessing.  Never a recommendation.
  • Speaking of taking a pounding, have you been watching Washington Mutual lately?  I see a new office being build close to my neighborhood, but the stock acts as if there is mucho wrong with the balance sheet there.  So if the market continues to rally and financials participate and help lead... Contrarian angle there?  Maybe.  (No positions for me on this one).

Yahooed the Pooch

Microsoft decides .... Uh, no thanks.

Congratulations to Microsoft shareholders! And my sympathies go out to the Yahoo shareholders.  The Yahoo workers were also anti-Microsoft, and wanted Yahoo to resist.  I wonder how those workers are feeling today, especially if they own a lot of YHOO stock?

Yahoo stock had gone from $18 to $29 late friday in anticipation of MSFT's offer.  Microsoft upped their bid from $31 a share to $33, but Yahoo wanted $37.  Too rich, and Microsoft opted out.Without the buyout, Yahoo stock is getting pounded today.  Will it go back to $19? 

Friday, May 02, 2008

Market Seasonality, YO!

I closely watch market historical patterns. The first thing I'd like to say is that nothing works 100% of the time.  But as a rule of thumb, I think following the month-end and holiday patterns works fairly well.  I also observe weakness before options week as generally a good entry point.  The seasonal Spring-Summer vs. Fall-Winter pattern is another interesting one.  I think if we keep our eyes on the day-to-day, I think we can anticipate and increase our returns based on some of these patterns.

Along that line comes a column from Mark Hulbert on Sy Harding's MACD adaptation of the "Sell in May" seasonal market pattern.  Worth a read, IMHO.

Not a recommenation, just an observation.  And as Yogi Berra might say, "It's hard to do predictions, especially about the future."

And nothing that has worked in the past is guaranteed to work in the future.  Also from Yogi, "The future ain't what it used to be."

If you notice, down in the article is a comparison between how Sy Harding versus Jeffery Hirsch.  Each appears to follow the formula a bit differently, and have achieved different results.

(And that's a picture of Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars.  Has nothing to do with market seasonality, but I couldn't force my fingers to type in Sy Harding in the Google image search.)