Sunday, May 31, 2009

3 Months in a Row!

  • The stock market closes the month with a rally and that's three months in a row!
  • The headline news tends to lag the stock market. The news is still looking at first quarter numbers. States like California are budgeting based on tax returns from the 2008 tax year. While the stock market is looking to the future, it will take the numbers in the rear-view mirror a little time to catch up.
  • GM to declare bankruptcy tomorrow. Back in December I said that giving money to the car companies was postponing the inevitable. Here we are. And even the restructuring seems to be postponing the inevitable. After $100B in tax dollars.
  • Wow. Lakers vs. Magic. Should be a good series.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Randomosity

  • Much of the gains from Monday's market ramp were given back Tuesday. The big culprit seemed to be the government bond auction, as buyers want higher interest for US debt.
  • Lets face it, the US budget is a joke. The government is spending trillions that we don't have. The dollar is tanking. The government is meddling in private enterprise, with predictable results. Chrysler is bankrupt and GM will declare bankruptcy soon. Gee, and the government wants to direct "green energy" and create national health care. Anyone want to guess what the results of those endeavors will be? Shouldn't be difficult to predict.
  • Anyway, don't let it ruin your Summer. While it is true that the US government seems to be a giant snowball rolling downhill, getting larger and crushing everything it comes in contact with, there's not much you can do about it. We can over analyze it and complain, but as always our own future depends mostly on us as individuals. Don't go into debt, and save, save, save. The American dream is still possible, even if the government makes it more difficult to achieve.
  • Phew, I feel better. Thanks for listening.
  • Meanwhile, the Lakers win at home. And while I am a Lakers fan, I do recognize that the home team seems to get the best of "the whistle," as George Karl might say. I still wonder if the NBA tries to extend these series as long as possible to rake in as much money as possible. But I don't want to get all conspiracy on you and start talking about David Stern flying around the country in black helicopters at night to meet with NBA referees...
  • As I type, the market has reversed and is now in the green. We do have month-end strength coming up. Heck, maybe it's here, as we get month-end portfolio rebalances and 401(k) money added to funds.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Market Rippin' Tuesday (Plus Jon and Kate)

  • Stock market surged! Looks as though consumer confidence got a bump as folks are feeling better about the economy.
  • For those waiting for the inevitable GM bankruptcy, read in the link above that GM recovered from a loss in excess of 10% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the United Auto Workers union said the government will provide massive additional financial assistance to GM. Also known as "throwing good money after bad." But hey, the Federal government owns the printing presses and can print as much money as they want.
  • I think that GM stock is going to $0. I really do. I don't own any. I'm not shorting any. Just an observation.
  • Light volume today. Heading into month-end strength later this week as the 401(k) additions flow into mutual funds.
  • Jon and Kate plus 8? Wow, that was quite a show Monday. What a difference a few months can make. Big train wreck in that relationship. And you have to feel for those kids. The whole show has changed from watching the kids grow up to watching the paparazzi and the mean looks between Jon and Kate.
  • Critics pan Season 5 debut of John and Kate plus 8. "It would be so much clearer if they would just say their version of what happened," Kelber writes. "This is just more complicated than it needs to be. It's not like they aren't used to sharing the details of their lives, you know? We saw Jon's hair-transplant surgery as it happened, and Kate recovering from her tummy tuck, and the kids going through potty training. Most of that was probably too much information, but now we aren't quite getting enough."
  • Meanwhile, the Nuggets beat the Lakers to tie the series up at 2-2. I always wonder if David Stern makes the call to lengthen these series out a few games for more NBA revenue. Am I the only one who thinks so?
  • I downloaded an app for the iPhone called "Pocket God." There's an island full of Oogs, and they worship you, their God. You get to basically torment them to no end. Fun and cruel at the same time. Fun to show folks, but not sure how long it will keep anyone captivated.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener

  • The Summer stock market selling season looks to be under way and I would understand anyone who has taken or considering taking chips off of the table. The difficult decision is figuring out when to get back in, but the key to remember is that one can get back in.
  • The market continued where it left off yesterday, and continued to fall. Economic concerns ruled the day. The dollar was pounded, treasuries were pounded, natural gas was pounded, and gold rallied. Market volume was relatively light, but there have been plenty of distribution days recently so I don't think that's much solace to the bull case.
  • The favorable ratings for former President Bush and Vice President Cheney have gone up. What? The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Once the country went to the other side of the fence, it's amazing how similar the view is. But you only get a chance to hop the fence in the even years.
  • Cheney has been fun to watch. He's the Charles Barkley of politics. Cheney needs some sidekicks like Earnie and Kenny!
  • Sometimes the toughest decision of the day is what kind of picture to put up with the blog entry. I never tire of Grace Park. But I do try to find something in the news that ties in to something I'm writing about. If not or I'm being lazy, then I just go with Grace. Or Lakers Girls. But I found out that "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles" is not being renewed. So lets go with Summer Glau today. I liked that show. But I do like the sci-fi and adventure themes more than the hospital dramas. It must just be me. Oh well, see you soon on something else, Summer.
  • Underappreciated rocker? Greg Kihn!
  • American Idol: As a coworker commented, there really hasn't been anyone as original and dynamic as Adam Lambert. Also that Kris Allen was "a dime a dozen" type. I was never a fan of Adam's shrieking and some of his reworkings didn't quite work. If that's what made him unique, it was hit or miss. We'll see how the music sales go. I don't think it was an "upset." Heck, Adam was in the bottom two the previous week with Danny Gokey, and you know the majority of Danny's votes had to go to Kris.
  • Both Adam and Chris will do well. I think Allison Iraheta will do well, too. She was my favorite this season. Love the women rockers.
  • You know, just to get back to energy for a second, I think a pullback in natural gas is interesting. Sometime when you have nothing better to do and you're watched enough Mika Tan videos for the moment, read all the bull-bear cases for UNG. Plenty of views from both sides on the future of natural gas.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Reversal (with Grace Park!)

  • So we have a negative MACD divergence on this recent bounce over 900 on the SP500. Volume is higher on down days. Oh, and a big reversal today after the market was up.
  • So you know. It'll all be obvious in hindsight, and predicting the future is a tough gig, but it looks like the market wants to stop going up. The signs are there.
  • It's kind of funny how the news reports the market. Just two weeks ago, the market was going up despite the bad news. The news was all priced in and the market was looking forward to a growing economy. Last week, the bad news was driving the market down, and the market was looking forward to a double-dip recession. This week? The bad news is still coming in, but the market was up, then listless, then down.
  • Since the news has remained consistantly bad, yet the market has been all over the place, it must be something else driving market prices. Global warming? Tim Geithner speaking engagements? The return of Grace Park in The Cleaner? (Well, the latter isn't until Summer, but the market does look to the future...)
  • Life at the Fun Factory has been tapping all my energy the last week or so, that's why "light" on the blogging. It happens. And I haven't been out reading the others (see links in the sidebar) lately. Still getting in the workout afterhours, but then just melting into the sofa. It'll change. And I'm pretty glad that the daylight is lasting until way after 8pm here. That at least makes it feel like there is some time after work to do something.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Vote

  • American Idol: I voted for Kris Allen. I think the judges were leaning Adam Lambert.
  • Market paused today. I do sense a creeping optimism that things are improving. But that can be so fickle. Anyway, I already feel in holiday mode so I am sure Wall Street does.
  • President Obama pushing a new higher vehicle MPG goal to 2016. This is probably the right thing to do - if we can technically do it. It will raise the price of cars, unless automakers shift more factories overseas. Cheaper labor, you know.
  • Shawn Johnson wins Dancing with the Stars. She was the best last night. I think that freestyle routine was good. Surprised Cheryl Burke didn't come up with something better for Giles.

I guess with an entry title of The Vote, I could have talked about the CA VOTE today. But clearly, that was the third most important vote this week!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rally Monday!

  • Nice rally on Wall Street! Volume looks a little light at first glance, though. The past week we have seen rallies on light volume and sell-offs on heavier volume. That usually doesn't turn out to the bulls' advantage over the long term.  Financials had a great day, and the market does need those to keep moving up.
  • Craigslist CEO asks for apology.  Hey, how many folks are tearing out their rose gardens as I type because they no longer need to barter with the Craigslist "rose" currency?
  • ATT may offer data plans cheaper, but will it cost you more?  Think about it, as they make a lot of money with overage charges on text messages, why not get the same thing going with data usage?
  • Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon to marry girlfriend (neither pictured). No wonder Miranda and Steve couldn't make it work.
  • Critical concession talks between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers are being overshadowed by a public spat about the automaker's plans to import vehicles from other countries while it closes 16 U.S. factories.  Again, the union doesn't seem to understand that those union contracts are what led GM here. 
  • I saw Star Trek over the weekend.  Great flick. 
  • Folks are upset that SlingPlayer mobile for the iPhone only works over wi-fi, as ATT doesn't want to see heavier data drains on their network.  HELLO.  You can download the Orb app and stream content from your PC to your iPhone over 3G.  That includes TV hooked up to your PC, videos on your PC, music on your PC, and any content available on your PC. 

Picture is of Annie Wersching, who plays agent Renee Walker on 24.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Five Percent, Just Like That!

  • The market fell about 5% this week. I know the gurus think the seasonality thing is just a big joke, but er uh....  Sure, it may just be blind (bad) luck that the market tends to do worse May-November, but here we are again.  Well, so far anyway.
  • Euro zone economy contracted for 4th consecutive quarter.
  • GM to cut 1100 dealers.  Combined with Chrysler, that's pushing close to 2000 dealerships closed.  I'm thinking that even if those dealerships aren't the top sales leaders for the companies, those sales will go to other dealers like Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, etc.  Could  it be tens of thousands of cars?  Hundreds of thousands?  Or will buyers go the extra mile to get the Chrysler or GM car they want?
  • Mayor Kevin Johnson is recommending Sacramento join a growing list of cities that have declared a "state of fiscal crisis" in anticipation of the state's borrowing $2 billion in property taxes from local governments if next Tuesday's ballot measures fail.  Suddenly the talk of a new arena for the Sacramento Kings goes not on the back burner, but buried deep in the pantry somewhere.  (Behind the large Costco-sized box of Cheez-its and 30 cans of chicken soup).
  • Don't let the bad news get you down.  Looking for a silver lining? President Obama's finances are just fine, thank you very much. 
  • ...and it's the weekend.  Cheers!

Pic is of Eliza Dushku, who may get a second season of Dollhouse.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Light Volume Rebound Thursday

  • The market rebounded a bit today on lighter volume and had to fight off some selling near the close. Not exactly the most bullish action out there, as the market seems to be in a corrective phase following the recent bull rally.  Nothing unusual about this pullback just yet.  The market doesn't move in one direction forever without moving in the other direction here and there.
  • One thing that does pop out is how many sectors hit (or came close) to 200dma in this rally and bounced back down.  Comparisons to 2002 bottom and rally?  Maybe.  Plus, seasonality stuff, too.
  • American Idol finale pairs Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.  No surprises in the results from last night.  Danny Gokey faded at the end, but can still sing.  I still like Allison Iraheta better than Adam or Kris.  But America voted...
  • Chrysler to elminate 789 dealershipsMany of the dealers' sales are too low, the automaker said, with just over 50 percent of dealers accounting for about 90 percent of the company's U.S. sales.  Bad time to be in the car biz.  Although once things are lean and mean, the remaining companies could clean house.  Think about it.  With the bad press around US companies, Toyota, Honda and Nissan could gain market share, sales and profits.
  • Obama to expand housing plan.  (Plan or pain?)
  • Free Viagra for the jobless.  With nothing else to do, might as well keep it up all day long.  "Everybody knows now a neighbor, a relative who has lost their job and is losing their insurance. People are definitely hurting out there," Dr. Jorge Puente, Pfizer's head of pharmaceuticals outside the U.S. and Europe and a champion of the project, told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Wednesday. "Our aim is to help people bridge this point." 
  • People helping people.  It's beautiful.
  • Commodities Contrarian Contango.  Kind of a George Costanza "just do the opposite" thing.  LOL.

Pic is Erica Durance, who plays Lois Lane in Smallville. Season finale tonight...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Same Data, Different Result

  • Sure, the market fell today. But it's the same market that was going up with the bad news earlier. It's not like the underlying data has changed much.
  • Despite that, weak retail sales and home foreclosures get the blame today.  Volume seems to be picking up, so it'll be interesting to see how long IBD keeps their "market is in a confirmed uptrend" comment in the Big Picture.
  • IBD is out at 5pm EDT, right?  Minutes away...  Drum roll...
  • I've been writing about the seasonality stuff recently.
  • Natural Gas (UNG) pulled back. Interesting entry over at Adam Warner's on UNG that anyone who plays it may want to read.
  • Green Shoots Withering from WSJ blog.
  • SlingPlayer Mobile comes out for the iPhone, but is limited to wi-fi only.  No 3G network.  So if you're in your house, you might as well just go into the family room and watch the TV.  Just saying.  And at a hotspot, you only have 2 hours a day.  You can use a mobile version on a Windows mobile phone all you want with ATT.  But not the iPhone.  Read about it.
  • Of course, you can cut out the middleman and just get the Orb app for the iPhone and stream your TV and PC content over ATT's 3G all you want.  Till the cows (the size of schnauzers) come home.  I don't know why anyone would pay for Slingbox + SlingPlayer mobile.  But that's just me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keeping the Crown Randomosity

  • In what will soon be the biggest crisis facing President Obama, oil sneaks above $60. Retail gasoline prices rose again overnight and are now up nearly 40 percent from the start of the year, while the price for crude on Tuesday topped $60 a barrel for the first time since early November.
  • The nation has no energy policy and no plans to reduce imports of foreign crude.  The world economies are improving, and energy demand will increase.
  • Donald Trump says Miss California Carrie Prejean can keep her crown.  Miss California has been under attack since making her statement on marriage at the Miss USA contest.  "It's the same answer the president of the United States gave; it's the same answer many people gave," Trump said. "She gave an honorable answer; she gave an answer from her heart."
  • General Motors (GM) shares fall to 76-yr low as executives dump stock.  Hey, now that's insider selling to pay attention to!  Bankruptcy around the corner, and most likely the current shares are worthless.
  • Was at the dentist this morning getting a temporary crown.  Fun?  No way, Jose.  Not even close to fun.
  • Playing with RSS Player for the iPhone.  Nice podcast player.  Can skip ahead through downloaded podcasts in 30-second increments.  Better than holding down the FF button forever trying to advance, and praying that you don't double-clutch and FF to the end of the podcast and have to start over!
  • Financials down again. 
  • Volume was light yesterday, FWIW.  Not sure about the numbers today. 
  • Waiting for glue to dry before I can eat.  Last crown I had popped off, so being more careful this time.  LOL.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Distribution Monday

  • Another poor day for the market both numerically and technically. Decliners led 4-1, financials took a beating, and energy retreated.  On a positive note, the Nasdaq 100, which lagged last week, was in the green. 
  • It'll be interesting to see what IBD has to say today.  Definitely another distribution day, and they seem to be adding up here as the market looks tired.  Will this be another year where the Summer seasonality (sell in May) works?
  • Dodgers 1-4 without Manny.  Just saying.  And that's at home.  Now they go back East.
  • Downloaded RSS Player for the iPhone.  Basically, you can subscribe to podcasts and play on the iPhone without syncing to iTunes.  99-cents.  I'm listening to Tom Sullivan right now! 
  • I was a $NFLX movie hound over the weekend (again).  Watched 4 movies at home.  One on the DVD and three streamed off Netflix to the TV.
  • I didn't go see the new Star Trek movie.  Yet.
  • Chloe from 24.  Hey, she's on Twitter!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Market Continues Winning Ways - Energy Up

melissa lee Despite the warnings that the rally won't last forever, the market went up again this week. 

So many people are predicting a pullback, and perhaps that won't happen until they drop that premise and start talking about all the money on the sidelines waiting to come in.  That would be a sign that the pullback is close.  In addition, if we start seeing some frothiness in speculative stocks, that would be another sign.

If you read IBD, you've noticed their comments in The Big Picture about the number of distribution days the past couple of weeks.  Also increasing.

Yes, a correction is coming.  But selling and trying to front-run the pullback has been a loser so far.  Lots of percentage points left on the table trying to do that.  Might as well wait until we see more distribution, heavier volume selling and lighter volume buying.  Maybe you won't get out at the top tick, but maybe you won't be frustrated fighting the trend, either.

Meanwhile, the economy is improving, and we're starting to see that reflected in energy prices.

Natural gas rose significantly and closed at $4.29 per contract, up 4.7%. The natural gas contracts have ended the session higher everyday so far this month; they are now up over 27% over that time period.

Crude oil finished near session highs. The June contracts netted a 2% gain to close at $57.85 per barrel. The June futures contracts are now up ~14% for the month.

As these prices work their way to the fueling stations and monthly energy bills, consumers will turn their focus back to energy.  I believe the public will turn on President Obama's plans for "green energy" (windmills and solar panels), and begin to again cry "Drill! Drill! Drill!" and demand more nuclear power.  I believe the Democratic party leaders will have to drive this.  The Republicans try, but run into a powerful environmental lobby that funds the Democratic side of the aisle. 


  • alyssa milano Where to start...  Market rallying early through mid-day.  Nasdaq again lagging.  Jobless rate up to 8.9%.  Oil up to $58.  Bond market showing that it may be broken - inflation coming?  Yeah, that's the worry with the oodles of stimulus spending.  More later as the day unfolds.
  • Dodgers home win streak ends with the Manny Ramirez suspension.  Quite a game last night.  The bullpen fell apart, but the hitters tried to fight back late and couldn't do it.  It'll be interesting to see how the bums do with Manny out.  It will affect them.  Can they hold on until July 3rd?  Just play near .500 ball and then gear up for the home stretch?
  • I think if you've missed the initial bump in natural gas (UNG) and oil, it will pull back. Whenever I chase anything, I buy right before the pullback.  Don't you?  Patience!  And if it doesn't pullback, it's okay.  There is always something else breaking out that will.  Check out health care right now - hey, are folks becoming more defensive as we pull into Summer???
  • California voters looking at the propositions on the May 19th ballot, and the polls show that the voters are rejecting them.  Except for the one that limits Legislature pay when there is a budget deficit.  LOL.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Selling (and Yunjin Kim!)

  • Market staggers on news that Dodgers' Manny Ramirez (not pictured) is suspended for 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
  • Frustrating.  As a Dodgers fan, not for the market. Heck, the market is due for a pullback.  Maybe the Dodgers are due for a pullback, too; but, Manny won't be back until July 3rd!  Hopefully, the market up trend will resume before that.
  • Volume was higher than average today, so looks like the pullback everyone has been anticipating for the last 140 points on the SP500 is here.  That's the trouble with guessing the top. 
  • Doug Kass made a decent Tweet on Tuesday, that he was playing the market as if Monday was the blow-off top for the market.  Close!
  • It's also the week before options, and sometimes we see some weakness leading to a buyable dip before an options rally.
  • I plan on trimming the sails a bit, and will have to see if we continue to get continued distribution days on volume and rallies on lighter volume. 
  • Allison Iraheta booted off American Idol.  That's a shame.  I think she should've ended up in the final two with Adam.
  • California propositions to raise taxes appear headed towards defeat.  As you know, the state has a chronic deficit problem due to Big Spending.  Already one of the highest taxed states in the nation, citizens seem to be telling the government to cut spending. 
  • Of course, the government threatens that the first thing to be cut is education and fire fighters, and felons will be released from jail.  That's what the government leads with.  How about cutting spending from the Acupuncture Board?  Certainly a few folks could be let go from there before we let the rapists out of prisons, right?
  • Check out all the agencies in CA.  Tons of agencies nobody has ever heard of. 

Pic is of Yunjin Kim, who plays Sun on Lost.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Melissa Rycroft Rally

  • Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Melissa Rycroft (pictured) in Dancing with the Stars semi-finals, market rallies.
  • Okay, I'm on the second-most popular smartphone so I can't cut and paste a financial summary, but my reason is as good as any!
  • I heard on the radio that jobs data wasn't as bad as feared. Oil is surging to new monthly highs, signaling economic improvement as well.
  • Dodgers now 12-0 at home to start the season, tying the 1911 Detroit Tigers.
  • Check out the Nasdaq. Just above 200 dma.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bank of America Needs $34B

$BAC may need $34B. h/t to @DougKass via Twiiter, noticing that this was also taking down the futures.

These numbers are getting mind numbing.

Interesting to see how this impacts tomorrows action.

Cinco de Mayo Randomosity

  • On Cinco de Mayo, the market takes a siesta from the rally and pulls back. Volume very light today.  Technically, no worries.  I think in the back of "everyone's" mind is that at some point this consecutive weeks up streak will end.  We also have seasonality heading towards us.
  • I remain long, but watching.
  • Oil prices pulled back a bit today, but remember that they've gone from the $30s to close over $54 yesterday.  As the world economies recover, demand will increase.  The US isn't doing anything to improve our energy infrastructure, so expect energy bills to go up.  People forget that one of the reasons for consumers cutting back in 2008 was near-$5 gasoline.
  • As Congress discusses global warming, scientists are worried about a mini ice age. The sun is the least active it's been in decades and the dimmest in a hundred years. The lull is causing some scientists to recall the Little Ice Age, an unusual cold spell in Europe and North America, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850.
  • Time for a new Al Gore film about glaciers expanding and covering the planet.  I'm sure the crew can photoshop a polar bear in Cabo San Lucas to help Gore get another Oscar.
  • We're at the point where blogging seems so 2003 and Twitter is the new fad in town.  So there's this rumor that Apple is going to buy Twitter.  A source who’s plugged into the Valley’s deal scene and has been recruited by Apple for a senior position says Apple and Twitter are in serious negotiations, with the goal of unveiling a deal by June 8, when Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference launches in San Jose.
  • Cinco de Mayo lunch?  Dos Coyotes.  I thought the place was going to be packed, but no volume there, either.

Above picture is of Lie to Me's Monica Raymund. Yes, again. LOL. Look, it was either Monica or this festive cartoon pic. While the cartoon pic does have its charm, it came in a distant second in my internal polling numbers.

Cinco de Mayo is a big deal here. Some downtown streets are closed for a block party. What is Cinco de Mayo? Read about it!

I will go nowhere near downtown today, as cultural events downtown sometimes turn out the gangs and a big Police presence. Too bad.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Does Sell in May Work?

  • Nice day in the market. From Yahoo Finance: Brightening news about the economy sent investors rushing into stocks Monday and put Wall Street close to break-even for the year.  Gains in housing, financial and materials stocks pushed market indicators up by about 2 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 165 points, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nearly 3 percent and came close to erasing its losses for 2009.
  • Kind of amazing that after such a big rally, we're just back to even!  Monthly strength still in effect.  But seasonal shift could be on the horizon.
  • Speaking of, Cashin' In addressed market seasonality on Saturday.  Most of them thought the idea was ridiculous.  Except for John Bradshaw Layfield.  Well, read 'em:

Jonathan Hoenig: Seasonal anomalies are a bunch of "malarkey." Go by the Super Bowl index or the Big Mac indicator or any other indicators people come up with. The market, in the summer of 1961, has nothing to do with the market in the summer of 2009.

Wayne Rogers: It's hard to ever argue with history, in the sense that history tells you something. But Jonathan is right in the sense that you might as well get a Ouija board.

Jonas Max Ferris: If you blow back 100 years, this period actually does OK. Stocks do better from November to May. But they have a positive return from May to November.

Tracy Byrnes: 2007 saw an increase as well, May to October. It was up maybe 5 percent. But still, it was up. I think, so, Wayne is right. This is a different market, different time. You look at where we are right now. You cannot compare, unfortunately, to what has happened, because things are so different now.

John Bradshaw Layfield: Absolutely. Sell in May.

  • BlackBerry Curve takes over iPhone as most popular smartphone. So, how did the Curve manage to overtake the iPhone 3G? Well, as the NPD group notes, availability on all the big carriers always helps (the iPhone is, of course, still only on AT&T), as well as its $99 (with a new two-year contract) price tag. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless probably helped boost Curve sales with its "buy one, get one free" promotion, according to NPD.  I'd add that corporate use of BlackBerry is larger than the iPhone.
  • Ron Howard says the Vatican obstruced Angels and Demons.

Picture is of Fox Business Network's Tracy Byrnes.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Is CA on the Brink?

If the ballot measures fail and the recession does continue unabated into 2010, the budget gap could widen again into the $20 billion range. But the governor and legislative leaders may have fired all their political bullets in February, leaving them with few options beyond wholesale spending cuts in education, health and welfare services and even prisons to close the gap.

- Dan Walters, “Foundation of budget deteriorates”, The Sacramento Bee, April 12

Pasted from my iPhone!

Interesting election coming up later this month. What will CA do it the props fail? I'd link to seeking alpha but I'm on the iPhone.

Edit: Added link. All the propositions are losing in the polls, except for the one that limits legislature pay raises during times of budget crisis. So you have to wonder what will happen should all the tax hikes fail...

Lets see who's talking about the Dodgers today on Twitter:

Friday, May 01, 2009

TGIF and Monica Raymund!

  • Energy stocks caught the buzz today, and the markets closed the week up. Low volume day and the market was choppy.  Still fits into the churning at the top theme.  Monthly strength period winding down, so we'll see if the mo-mo can last.
  • Big surge (5%-ish) in Natural Gas. Watching $UNG.  One day wonder or the start of the ramp in energy prices?  I think the latter, because the economy has turned the corner and energy demand will go up. 
  • Supreme Court Justice David Souter is going to retire, and President Obama plans to replace him by October.  You know, if President Obama is serious about reaching across the aisle to work with the Republicans, why not nominate a conservative, the very way George H.W. Bush nominated Justice Souter 20 years ago?  (LOL)
  • Couple arrested for sex on lawn at Windsor Castle.  Classy! No room at the Inn, as they say...  "The couple did not care who was looking and just kept going as if they were in their own bedroom."  Japanese tourists filmed the couple, who only stopped when police officers arrived on the scene, witnesses said.  Who has the Youtube link? 
  • President Obama gave you a tax cut, right?  Right?  Right?  Millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise next spring. The government is going to want some of that money back.
  • Hopefully, you're saving your tax cut so you can send that money back in to the IRS next April.  Nice.
  • h/t to Orange Punch for this:  “Californians, by a roughly 3-to-2 ratio, are unwilling to pay higher taxes to help balance the budget.” - San Francisco Chronicle.  But, I bet folks still want lots of programs and zero cuts...

Picture is of Monica Raymund, who plays Ria Torres in "Lie to Me."

Shoe Friday Randomosity

  • So yesterday was a bit churny in the market. There was high volume, an attempt to blow past resistance, failing, and falling back down. Today seems more of the same. Not sure on volume, and it is Friday.
  • Pat Dorsey gave a pic of $ETE last week on Bulls and Bears.  At the time it was yielding 9%, rallied a bit from the weekend.  I often watch the picks from the gurus.  If I buy, it's after the initial weekend bump.
  • Michelle Malkin's starting a #shoefriday tag on Twitter.  Yes, this picture is of my shoes.  Cheap Adidas.   Dirty Adidas.  So you know.  Lets see if folks on Twitter pick up the tag and run with it. Follow along with me:

  • A top Mexican medical officer accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of being slow to respond to the country's warning about a health crisis that turned into a global swine flu scare. With President Bush no longer at the helm, everyone will have to find someone else to blame.  Might as well be WHO.  It's your fault, Roger Daltry!
  • U.S. government health officials warned dieters and body builders Friday to immediately stop using Hydroxycut, a widely sold Canadian-made supplement linked to cases of serious liver damage and at least one death.  YIKES.