Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Night Live

Well, quite a week in the market.  Quite a month. The market seems to be anticipating better days ahead. Even the job numbers out today were less horrible than expected.

Quite a week for me medically, as I’ve had a cavity filled, found out I need reading glasses, and was stung by something that caused my whole arm to swell up.  The latter required a trip to the doctor, a tetanus shot, and antibiotics.  Thank goodness we don’t have Obamacare and that I don’t live in Massachusetts, as I was able to see my doctor right away without being placed on a waiting list for a few months waiting for an appointment.  Looks like I get to keep the arm.  For now…

A few things to read:

As for me, I don’t know where he was born and I really don’t care.  I enjoy watching the back and forth between those telling the “truth” and those telling the “lies.”  I’m just not sure who is who.  Or is that whom?  I read somewhere once that people seem to define "truth" as "information that supports my position." They define "lies" as "information challenges what I think I already know."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Tired Thoughts

  • Did you get the feeling early this morning that today would be the day the market got tired? We burst out of the gates, went sideways, and faded at the end of the day.   Still in the green, but late-day selling is new to this rally and may be a sign that the move up is getting tired.
  • The market does seem to be pricing in an economic recovery for later this year and into 2010.  Beyond that?  Too early to tell.
  • Brett Farve has decided to stay retired.  Or has he?  He says he's still practicing.  Just retire Brett and let folks move on. 
  • I'm glad I didn't take the Vikings to win it all in 2009-10.  Now they're back to the quarterback doldrums.
  • Looks like we're going to get some sort of health care package out of Congress sometime this year.  I think this will be one of these things were costs grow at a faster pace than projected, leading to more deficit spending.  Interest payments on the national debt represent money that can't be spent elsewhere, and slows down economic growth.  But why worry about that?  Live in the now, baby.
  • Disney's 3Q profit falls 26%.
  • Could MSG cause weight gain?

Picture is of Ashley Tisdale.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Randomosity

  • Whoa, is this thing plugged in? The market was down slightly most of the day but managed to close in the positive. Advancers led decliners, and volume was light. 
  • The market has come a long way (baby) the last two weeks.  I think a lot of folks are frustrated that they missed it.  Many have been trying to short the rallies and that certainly hasn't worked.
  • Sarah Palin steps down.  I imagine she's going to go out on the talking circuit and cash in.
  • As Barry Ritholtz noted over the weekend, we've had many stocks report better than expected earnings because of cutting costs.  Amgen todayBiotechnology company Amgen Inc. said Monday second-quarter profit jumped 40 percent on a tax benefit and lower costs following a restructuring program, despite a continued decline in anemia drug sales.
  • Verizon says "Hey, we can play that game!" and announces 8000 job cuts.
  • Senate group omitting Democrats health care goalsAfter weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.
  • Michael Vick reinstated to the NFL.  Remember, he's a fantasy stat killer.  So should Vick sign with a team and be named the starter, those receivers go to the bottom of the fantasy draft list. 
  • If you're married, stay marriedIt's not clear if the dissolution of a marriage directly affects health or if some other factor is at play. Still, "marital loss does seem to be a powerful force damaging health," said sociologist and study co-author Linda Waite. "And it seems to work about the same way for men and women, and for emotional well-being and physical health."
  • Another reason to love summer... Watermelon!  Sugar water (nature's gatorade). 

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Night(ish) Randomosity

  • erin andrewsEconomist’s View asks if Ben Bernanke should be reappointed?   Pros and cons at the link.  I think he should.  Predicting the future is a tough job, and the economic cycle has not been repealed.  I think the government has partnered with the Fed last year and this year to create a fiscal and monetary policy that will (eventually) lead to economic growth.
  • I should never have opened up the Oreos this morning.  Just saying.
  • Carpe Diem notes that the Federal minimum wage has increased, and that’s leading a Tennessee grocery store to reduce worker hours starting Monday.
  • Picture is of ESPN’s Erin Andrews.  I was surfing and found a top Google trend list, where folks are looking for a peephole video of Erin undressing in her hotel room.
  • Barry Ritholtz looks at the recent earnings and notes that they’ve mostly benefitted from “cost cutting and layoffs — rather than top line growth.”  Agreed.  Of course, that’s the first thing we should expect coming out of a recession as companies are still reacting to the economic slump from historical numbers.  Companies don’t traditionally start adding workers right away.  Instead, they’ll ask folks to work more hours until they’re sure things have turned around.  That won’t come until later.
  • Say, California increased the minimum wage last year.  Just saying.
  • Greg Mankiw wades into the national health care debate, and says it may be an issue of trust.
  • Hat tip to Greg Mankiw for the link to Donald Marron, who notes the latest CBO does of reality on health care.  When the CBO initially blew the whistle on high costs and deficits last week, the President said something about appointing a commission or appointing a czar to find additional savings.  Well, “CBO estimates that the proposed legislation would save a paltry $2 billion over the next ten years, less than 1/500 of the 10-year cost of health reform.”
  • More on the California budget, as officials concerned about new budget woes.

YouTube Surfing (and Killing the Day!)

So after watching some of the Fox Business shows, web-surfing, eating leftover pizza, and a few stacks of Oreos, I think I'm ready to start the day.

Bike ride... LOL. Enjoy the day!

In Edit: Video is Auto-Tune the News. LOL.

Saturday Morning(ish) Randomosity

  • bips-blackIt’s Saturday.  Lets loosen up the tie and get casual for the weekend.  The stock market continues to ignore the current news and earnings reports from the rear-view mirror.  Of course, we all know the market looks to the future, right?
  • I remain long the stock market.  Nothing to do here just yet except to ride the wave. 
  • WSJ op-ed… The Economy has hit bottom.  The article doesn’t say whose bottom.  I’d think using the plural, “bottoms,” would be more accurate.   
  • The big news this weekend is that the government thought about sending troops into Buffalo back in 2002 to arrest the Lackawanna Six terrorists, but Bush ultimately said no.  Of course, it would’ve been a big violation of the constitution for the government to do this.  We know George Bush would never have done anything to violate the constitution.
  • Accrued Interest writes California’s Budget: Unfortunate that I know the truth?  By my estimation, California actually closed about $15 billion of its $26 billion deficit. Maybe less.  This is a fantastic read for the weekend.  Basically, it won’t be long before we’re reading about the big California budget deficit again.  The new budget just kicks the can down the road and relies on too rosy economic predictions.
  • President Obama, who is on TV more than Leave it to Beaver reruns, again hawks health careA new study by the White House Council of Economic Advisers…  Oh, this study is produced by Obama’s White House.  I’d rather rely on the CBO.  What do you think Obama’s White House Econ Advisers are going to recommend?  Whatever their boss wants!  Ignore.
  • ETFs to fight inflation.  Of course, there is no inflation right now.  But someday, when the jobs numbers start going gangbusters and wages start rising again, maybe we’ll see it.  For now, employers continue to fire people and cut wages.  Oh, and taxes are scheduled to go up next year when the Bush tax cuts expire.  And who knows how much taxes will go up with Obama’s health care package.  All that means less discretionary income for folks to buy stuff. 
  • Downloaded the new version of Windows Live Writer for the home PC to help with blogging.  Looks a lot like the previous version!
  • Rice University has some stuff up on Global Warming.

Friday, July 24, 2009


  • The market has been on a great run to bust through resistance. Even with $MSFT having the bad earnings. Of course things are bad in the rear view mirror. We know that, right?
  • Work is busy so I haven't had much time to browse the news of the day.
  • I have been watching the health care debate here and there and am glad to see it tabled for the summer. I think the CBO blew the whistle on projected costs. Hard to imagine how we pay for it without sacrificing economic growth.
  • Football season coming. I think adding Farve to the Vikings makes them an NFC contender.

Update: Pic is of Eureka's Erica Cerra.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Streak

Boy, if there was ever a time to be in beta QQQQ bull ETFs, the past nine sessions have been it! The gurus have been saying that things are too poor for the market to advance. But the market looks to the future, not the past or the now.

It would be nice to see some distance put between the index and previous resistance.

Friday, July 17, 2009

TGIF Market Thoughts

The market has had a great run. I still think we're in a trading range for the Summer, but no reason not to enjoy this run. The right moves have been going long or more agressive near the bottom of the range and getting more conservative at the top of the range. I know that sounds obvious, like a "channeling stocks dot com" commercial. But adjusting portfolio beta based on expectations is a way of managing risk. Right or wrong. And eventually when the current theme ends, it will be wrong. But it's working now.

The Nasdaq has an 8-day win streak. (Wow, really?) I think it caught most folks off-guard. Sentiment still seems bearish. I haven't lightened up or switched to something less aggressive. I'm still of the belief that the economy is recovering and the overall market trend will be higher. Of course, I also believe that it will be difficult to make too many gains over the Summer. So, my market thoughts have remained the same and I remain long. Hey, if you can't withstand a 7% pullback in a bull run, it'll be tough to make money in the long run.

I know my blogging has slowed down in recent weeks. Work has been busy and I've been taking some time off and going here and there. (I was in Reno last weekend). I don't like to announce when and where I'm going in advance (or during), because of some of the latest headlines regarding how folks are watching social networks and blogs for "crimes of opportunity." I don't want to be an enabler.

Time to jump in the pool. It's over 100 frikkin-frakkin degrees here in Sac!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Earnings Rally

  • The $INTC earnings news last night greased the skids and the market took off today. It tamped up all day long. Volume was strong. Tech and small caps led. Nice!
  • New Senator Al Franken asked Sotomayor if she remembered the one case TV lawyer Perry Mason lost. Isn't that what we expected from the SNL vet?
  • The week is flying by.
  • I noticed that the TV show The Cleaner had Grace Park smoking a cigarette in last weeks show. She also used the words "ass" and "shit storm." Its cable but sometimes catches you by surprise.
  • So is the market still going sideways for the Summer? Probably. I have remained long. Still thinking we are headed to an economic recovery.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Rally!

  • Nice move up in the stock market. Volume was decent. Financials did well, and I don't think the market is going anywhere without financials participating.  Still in the Summer, though.  Be patient.
  • Tony Romo called it quits with Jessica Simpson the night before her 29th birthday, reports.   Maybe I should put some cash on the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl, now that it's safe.
  • The Best Places to Live!  This year's list prioritizes the economy, as that's where folks have their most concerns.
  • Natalie Portman joins the cast of action flick Thor.
  • Spent the weekend in Reno. Always fun.  Seemed pretty crowded compared to other recent trips.  

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Friday Once Over

  • Who can blame Presidents Obama and Sarkozy giving her the once over? Anyone who has not shot a glance at a nice rear end, please step forward. 
  • Another day where the stock market does nothing.  I hope you're enjoying your Summer and not paying too much attention to this.  Ask the Presidents, there are better things to pay attention to.
  • The Michigan sentiment numbers came out worse than expected.  Well, the unemployment number sucks.  We're battered with bad news constantly.  Housing continues to tank.  International strife around the globe's four corners.  Celebrities are dying left and right.  The Yankees are winning.  What could be worse?
  • $20 gallon gas would be worse.
  • Heading to Reno. There will be some rear-end watching. I admit it.  LOL.   Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thursday Night Randomosity

  • The stock market closed in the green. Advancers led.  Financials and semis did well.  Oil broke a losing streak.  Jobs number came in "less bad" than expected.
  • T. Boone Pickens'  huge wind farm scrapped
  • The New York Yankees have the Minnesota Twins number.  Beat 'em again today for the sweeeep.
  • The Michael Jackson memorial price tag?  $1.4 millionLos Angeles officials say Tuesday's memorial service for Michael Jackson cost the city $1.4 million to cover security, traffic control, and other services, according to the Associated Press. The figure includes $1.1 million in overtime pay for the 4,173 police officers securing the Staples Center, Forest Lawn cemetery, and other areas that attracted fans and media, the Police Department said in a statement.
  • C'mon, we all know Michael Jackson is still alive and he faked his death.  Now the money is rolling in from sales and he's laughing all the way to the plastic surgery table.  In Hungary.
  • Global warming agreement at the G8 summit.  Meeting here in L'Aquila, all parties agreed that global temperatures should not rise by more than an average of two degrees above pre-industrial levels.  Somebody better fax that memo to the Sun.
  • G8 members also agreed to work toward an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. While developing nations have committed themselves to negotiating cuts, they have not yet agreed on specifics.  The specifics are that the jobs will go to the developing nations, who are more than happy to expand their middle class.  And say, that (growing middle class) seems like a good idea for investment dollars, no?

As you can see in the picture, Michael Jackson is not dead. He is performing at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas as a "dealertainer."

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hump Day Thoughts

* At least the market recovered from weakness today. I'm in the summer doldrums and just trying to make it from weekend to weekend. My indicators (aka the Black Box) has been on a sell signal for a while (it was early), but I'm not doing much other than moving some things around. We'll see if that matters or not. Right now my portfolio is going down.

* Earnings season on deck. At least I think it is. LOL. Alcoa today, and they were not as bad as feared.

* I was reading some of the archives. What struck me as horrrrible was when I was poking fun at those citing the inverted yield curve back in 2006. Oopsie. They were right. I was wrong.

* I'm in first place in Fantasy Baseball. Love the app for the iPhone. Listened to the Rockies today.

* Google to release an operating system that will utlimately compete with Microsoft Windows and Linux. I don't know, do we really need a new operating system? Is Google bored and looking for something to do? Are they retaliating for Microsoft's Bing search engine? (Which is pretty good, by the way).

* With Michael Jackson's service yesterday, I was hoping the news would die down and we could all move on. Together. Man, it's still in the headlines and dominating the radio shows.

* When I changed my commenting system to Disqus, it blew away all the old comments. Not that there were that many, but I miss them. Sob.

* I love Google Reader for reading blog feeds.

* Watched a 2001 movie starring William Macy and Neve Campbell called "Panic." Man she's hot. Shudder. Movie? Eh, somewhat entertaining. Middle-aged crisis where Macy finds himself unhappy with his life situation and stumbles into Neve.

* Now there's an idea in there somewhere.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tuesday Night Update

  • global coolingjpeg IBD has the market uptrend under pressure.  Surprised they didn't change that one to something more dire.  Just saying.
  • Despite almost a dozen years of cooling temperatures, the global warming crowd is mandating white roofs in California's hottest areas. ...  What caught me was this from the reader comments: Shame on you deniers! What a marvelous idea Rosenfield has, we shouild also follow up with a thin layer of white paint on all the worlds oceans, dark grreen vegetation and the granite in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Overall, not a bad idea as it will save folks some money on energy. Of course, this means that homes in CA will also be cooler in the winter, requiring more natural gas and electricity (from coal and nat gas) to heat their homes.  Maybe they need reversable roofs, black for winter and white for summer.
  • Torchwood coming back July 20th.  Set the DVR!
  • Dr. Who the week after.  Last one with David Tennant.
  • Didn't watch the Michael Jackson funeral.  You?   While everyone is remembering him fondly, also remember the lesson learned from this.  Seems to me that he squandered his talent.  The last 15 years (or so) were a complete mess.   And we have another talent that has fallen to drugs.  Insane.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday Blahs

  • kara-dioguardi The market acted like I felt today:  BLAH!  The ISM came in "better" than expected, but still below the magical growth number of 50.  Decliners led advancers, but volume was light.  I think a lot of folks decided to make it a longer weekend and didn't even bother to phone it in today.
  • Maybe the market is just watching and waiting for the Michael Jackson funeral service tomorrow.
  • I was just watching Kendra via the DVR.  Topless indoor skydiving?
  • Perhaps the "jumping the shark" moment for Al Gore's global warming was when he released his movie, An Inconvenient Truth.   Global temperatures continued to plunge this past month.
    Planet Earth has dropped 74°F since Al Gore released his "Inconvenient Truth."
      Meanwhile, the politicians forge ahead with cap-and-trade.  Hello, McFly?
  • The Economics of Climate Change.  Very.  Good.  Read.
  • John Hussman says the market will deliver a 7.8% annual return over the coming decade.
  • Hey, American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi got married!  Pictured.
  • Al Franken goes to Capitol Hill.  The Al Franken Decade officially begins.  I think the Dems should replace Pelosi with Franken.  At least we'd mostly be laughing with him.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The 5th of July

The holiday isn't over until Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum shoot down the alien ship!

Asian markets down as I type.

Yea, just an excuse for a patriotic bikini.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July Randomosity!

  • moon-bloodgood-burn-notice2 Taking a break from thinking about the stock market - mostly.  The market holiday rally didn't happen, that's for sure.  Earnings season is on deck, and it will be interested to see how companies report their numbers and future guidance.  I believe the economy is improving and the unemployment numbers are lagging indicators.  I think it's likely that the market is in consolidation from the Spring rally and may be in a trading range during the traditionally weaker Summer season.  No need to go out on an investing limb here.  Dollar cost average in, protect gains from the rally, look for spots near the bottom of the trading range, etc. 
  • Hey, how did I miss this?  Moon Bloodgood joins the Burn Notice cast as a last-minute replacement for Jennifer Esposito.  As if I needed another reason to watch.  Great summer show.
  • Adam Warner all over TheStreet's newest investment guru Ron Insana.  Looks like TheStreet has not missed a beat since giving Lenny (Dykstra) the heave ho. Enter Ron Insana, fresh off his wildly successful stint as a fund of funds maven.  As always, Adam's a must read.
  • Drove to Bodega Bay yesterday and down the coast via Highway 1 to Point Reyes.  Did a little hiking.  It was definitely cooler on the coast with a solid fog bank hanging in all day.  But it was very scenic and nice to get away for a day.
  • Phil Jackson coming back to coach the Lakers.  And I thought maybe Sarah Palin was going to be announced as the new coach.
  • From Calculated Risk, Another Wave of Foreclosures.
  • Sarah Palin: What the hell?  Is it scandal?  Is it the 2012 election?  Is it a TV gig with Fox or a stint as Michael Westen's adversary on Burn Notice?  Is she Penthouse Miss July?  What's going on?  And SNL is on Summer Break! 
  • The environmentalist knuckleheads want to make the 4th of July "greener."  Seems that fireworks threaten the environment.  Good grief.  As always, it's best to ignore those nincompoops!
  • Quote of the day:  Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.  -Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer Swoon

The stock market did exactly the opposite of what I thought it would do this week. Getting the blame for the meltdown today was a poor jobs report.

The stock market found little to celebrate heading into the long holiday weekend.

Major stock indexes fell more than 2.6 percent Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones industrials to their lowest level in six weeks, after the government said the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high and employers cut far more jobs than expected.


Since hitting multi-month highs on June 12, the Dow has fallen a total of 5.9 percent, while the S&P 500 index has lost 5.3 percent.

Looks like the Summer Swoon is here. 

Employment is a lagging indicator and does take time to turn around even if other economic indicators are improving. 

Of course, even those who are employed may be facing declining salaries via pay cuts.

If there is a silver lining, it is very unlikely that any of this is impacting Jessica Biel (pictured). 

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

July 1st Rally!

  • Stock market up because the bad news isn't as bad as people were expecting. Hooray, semi-bad news!  Manufacturing index sinks less than expected.
  • Oil back up over $70 as supplies fall.  Of course, at this time demand isn't in a major uptrend.  We're dealing with Nigerian issues and then China wanting to increase their reserves to 150%.  Gee, it would be nice if we were to expand our domestic drilling, start using natural gas for cars, and build new nuclear power plants.  But it seems as if the Lord hath hardened Pharaoh's heart and we will burn oil until we have to go to war over it.
  • The government won't fund GM past July 10th.  A senior member of President Barack Obama's auto task force testified Wednesday that the U.S. government will not continue to fund General Motors Corp.'s operations if the automaker doesn't get approval to sell its assets to a new company within the next 10 days.
  • Cheerios for dinner! General Mills profits doubleConsumers have been pulling back on their spending at restaurants during the recession and heading to grocery stores.   I have cereal for dinner quite a bit.  Not to save money, just because I don't like to cook and I don't want to go out every night of the week.
  • Seven U.S. states from California to Connecticut began the fiscal year today without spending plans in place as they battle over tax increases and other measures to balance budgets amid declining revenue.  I recall a book... "Empire of Debt?"
  • A new Doctor Who movie to be announced?  (Love that show, btw.)

Picture is of Freema Agyeman, who plays Martha Jones on Doctor Who.