Monday, October 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Prices

Peanut butter prices are skyrocketing! I knew something was wrong; Costco hasn't had salted peanuts in the shell for a long time.

Kraft is raising peanut butter prices by 40%.

Conagra is raising peanut butter prices by 20%.

The core CPI doesn't include food and energy. But, if the core CPI doesn't include peanut butter, then the core CPI is a bunch of junk. Who can live without peanut butter?

#121: Market Sells Off on Halloween! Refinancing, Spending, and More!

Wall Street Still Vulnerable to Headlines

Wall street fallsYes, Wall Street is still watching the headlines from Europe. Today's were bad, so stocks tumbled.

The Black Box may be right after all. Stay tuned.

And this is supposed to be the favorable part of the month!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black Box Update

The Black Box is on a sell signal, but that looks close to being invalidated.

It's not the first time the Black Box has given a signal a little bit ahead of the move. We are also in the favorable season and in the monthly strength period.

I still have some cash, long low-beta stuff, some oil, and some small caps.

My thoughts are that pullbacks should be bought. The Europe stuff seems to be resolved for now, and America is in gridlock through at least the 2012 election -- positives for the market!

Americans Spend More!

Here is a column that wonders how Americans can spend more while incomes are basically flat.

I have a couple of thoughts.

The payroll tax is lowered this year. That's a couple of percent.

Interest rates are lower. That means payments are down on cars, homes, equity loans, and such.

Wow, Chris Johnson is a Fantasy Football bust. He can't do anything. Last I saw was 5 rushes for 1 yard. Really.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monster Rally Thoughts

Wow.  So, Europe comes up with a deal for Greece.  It means that bond holders get a 50% haircut, not including any inflation erosion over the years.  But basically  $.50 on the $1.  I guess you can understand why the bond market took a hit!  Consider that in some of the other struggling economies like Spain, Italy, the US, California…  Hey we’re  not there yet, but it is fuel for thought.

Combine that with a 2.5% GDP that was far above what the folks who are calling for a recession were thinking, and we have a huge day for the markets.


What a World Series game tonight. 

Typing this via the iPad app Pocket Cloud, which lets you control the PC from your iPad.  So this is via Windows Live Writer – on the iPad!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Black Box Update

Still on a sell signal for the $QQQ


I remain in some cash, low-beta stuff, and some oil.

The market doesn’t seem to want to go down, though.  I guess we can give credit to Europe!

Wednesday $AMZN Randomosity

  • So, $AMZN was down today over 12%.  A little panic ahead of the Amazon Kindle Fire release.  I think the Kindle Fire will sell well and that Amazon will make a ton on apps.  Of course, the PE multiple of Amazon is pretty high as it is.
  • imageYes, Europe was the reason for the early selloff and for the late rally.  “The market is up today because our expectation bar had been set significantly low for today’s European summit, so we were expecting a numberless communiqué, so with that being the base case, we’ve shifted our focus to better-than-expected earnings across the board,” said Art Hogan, equity strategist at Lazard Capital Markets.
  • Baseball needs to finish the World Series by October, not start it in October. Rain out and game postponed.
  • The Motley Fool (remember them?) say investors are missing one thing about Amazon.
  • The Democrats have a new plan:  New taxes on the wealthy.  Hey, isn’t that the old plan?  Revenue would be raised mostly by bumping up the high-end tax bracket and limiting deductions for upper-income earners, those familiar with the talks said.  I don’t see that getting by Congress.
  • Actually, the Motley Fool folks have a good daily podcast that goes over the news of the day.  Really!
  • I can’t remember the last time I shopped on Amazon.  Really. 
  • The NBA meeting again…  Yawn.  Maybe they should cancel the entire season, and then see if folks want to bargain for the 2012-3 season, and if not, cancel that, too.  Eventually, I think they’d reach a deal.  Maybe even in my lifetime. 
  • Picture is of Greek Playboy model Vasso Vilegas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#120: $NFLX - Netflix Stock Crash, Stocks Swoon on Europe, and the Obama Refinancing Plan

Monday, October 24, 2011

$NFLX: Ouch! Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers!

Whoa, $NFLX! Netflix losing 800,000 subscribers just as the country is embracing web streaming would seem to be a bit of a head scratcher.

Of course, when you have a company that raises prices and divides their offerings into two companies -- one for streaming and one for DVDs, then reneging but keeping prices high, is it any wonder why customers are checking out other options? There are other options available from Amazon, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Apple, and Google. Plus, if one wants the latest DVD, there is a Redbox vending machine just a quick drive away. And Redbox videos are $1!

Ultimately, I think it was the price increase that caused folks to look at other options. That's the feedback I've received from friends and family. (So, it must be true!)

Read the link. It is a good overview of what is going on with the company.

#119: Occupy Wall Street, Stock Market Rally, and Reno

Sunday, October 23, 2011

At the Casinos

Well, this weekend is kind of a last-gasp nice-weekend trip to Reno. The weather over the Sierras will soon turn ugly do I thought I'd take a trip over the hill and bet on some college and NFL games.

Should have stayed at home!

Lots of close losses.

When it comes to gambling I think it is a losing proposition and I come here planning to lose. Mission accomplished! But we all had fun...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#118: Occupy Wall Street; Moamer Qaddafi is Dead; Wall Street Euro-Flip

Market Thoughts and the Black Box Sell Signal

The Black Box reiterated a sell signal yesterday. I remain invested in low beta stuff with some cash and oil.

What is holding me back from raising more cash is the time of year, which now has a bullish bias. Of course, we have rallied up sharply from the lows to the top of the trading range.

It seems to me that the economy will continue to grow slowly and that Europe will continue to be an issue. Do you see a way out of the trading range or reason for investor conviction at this point?

Earnings are mixed and former stock leaders are not leading. Which can be trouble.

So I'm thinking the Black Box is going to be right. Again. And that I should raise more cash!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#117: $APPL Earnings; Herman Cain and 999; Europe!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Black Box Sell Signal

I’m not saying the Black Box is 100% right all the time, but check out the $QQQ:


Again, it’s just one indicator among many and it did miss the early October buy, right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Does the Seasonal Timing System Work?

Here's a column that takes a look at Sy Harding's seasonal timing system and looks at its performance versus using strict calendar dates and versus just buy and hold.

Turns out that buy and hold has a better return.

In summary, evidence from simple tests on available data for SPY does not support belief that Sy Harding’s Seasonal Timing Strategy is a compelling improvement over a buy-and-hold strategy or that the MACD signal refinement improves seasonal entry and exit.

So, what about using your gut feeling near support or resistance during the Spring and Fall? Like the key reversal day at 1100 for a buy?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#115: Seasonal Stock Market Buy Signal?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Google Earnings Rock

Google ($GOOG) reported earnings today.  Impressive.

image…easily surpassed analysts’ expectations, reported that revenue climbed 33 percent and net income rose 26 percent.

“When I look back over the last quarter, the word that springs to mind is ‘gangbusters,’ “ Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, said in a call with analysts after the earnings were announced.

“The quantification of mobile revenues gives us an indication that Android is cementing Google’s position in mobile advertising,” said Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. “Google’s ability to diversify away from the parts of its businesses that are maturing is impressive.”

Here we have a company that is really growing gangbusters with the Android phones and tablets, now combined with domination in searching.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#114: Stock Market, Sodastream, and a Root Canal!

#114: Stocks, Sodastream, and a Root Canal!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

#113: Alcoa, Apple, iPhone 4S, the NBA and Anecdotal stuff!

Alcoa Reports Earnings and Drops 5%

AlcoaThird-quarter earnings started off with a thud as Alcoa reports. You know the drill, worry about slowing growth and earnings.

Hey, at least it wasn't Europe today!

The market was mixed. A nice pause after yesterday's fireworks.

Tech earnings will be interesting. Lots of money going into mobile devices.

Do Trading Ranges Last Forever?

Last week's key reversal launched the market back up towards the top of the trading range.
Trading range
Now that we are here, will the market go back down or is this a resumption of the uptrend?

Is "Sell in May" over?

Seems like it, but I wouldn't rule out another headline news event from Europe that brings the market back down close to 1100 again.

My positions are the same...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday Randomosity

  • Mortgage rates average under 4% nationally. Although, as I mentioned in the podcast and on the blog, I haven't actually been able to find a rate under 4% in CA. I'm not calling anyone a liar here, just haven't been able to find that kind of rate yet.
  • I am torn whether or not the stock market turned the corner last week and is on the next leg up (or at least back up to the top of the trading range). The volume on subsequent rally days was a bit light. But, so many folks had joined the bear camp. I think any trip down near the 1100 mark on the SP500, and I will get more aggressively long. Stay tuned. You'll read about it here if I do it!
  • My fantasy team is struggling. Lost a bid for a bye-week WR, so struggling with Mike Williams and Mike Thomas in the starting roster playing against the guy with Adrian Peterson. Hello.
  • Netflix now 61% off its highs. YOWCH. Well, you know why I never have invested in Netflix if you listen to the podcast and read the blog. But really, combine a lousy marketing decision this summer with competition, and it is easy to understand why the air is coming out of this balloon.
  • So, for my podcasts on Audioboo, I've downloaded n-track studio for the iphone. Previously, I've used the Audioboo app. It is no frills, no intro or outro music or mixing in other tracks. I've also used VC Audio Pro, which limits you to about 7 minutes before you max out and can't email the podcast to Audioboo. Now, I have n-track studio. It has the capability to import tracks from your iTunes music library, and then edit the tracks. No email size limit that I can see. I tried a 20 minute broadcast, and it worked. Not that I'm going to talk for 20 minutes on a podcast, but nice to know I CAN!
  • Down by 10 in fantasy. YIKES. still have 2 guys, he has 3.
  • If you're thinking about the new iPhone 4S, and 200,000 of you have already pre-ordered, here is a comparison of the Sprint, Verizon, and ATT plans.
  • A final written word today... Steve Jobs. I've been listening to the tech podcasts from the Wall Street Journal and Leo LaPorte and ... (etc). So many words spoken on the greatness and skill set of Steve Jobs. He was very much admired by everyone. I listened to Jobs' 2005 Stanford graduation speech, and it is amazing. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

#112: NFL Picks; The Economy; Occupy Wall Street

Friday, October 07, 2011

#111: iPhone 4S; Market and Europe; the Deficit

Am I Eligible to Upgrade to the iPhone 4S

I just checked ATT, trying upgrade to the iPhone 4S. I have a fat gift card at the ready, so why not?

Well, I bought my iPhone 4 in July 2010.

And the answer is...

Sure. I can get the iPhone 4S 16-gig model, as long as I sign up for a 2-year contract and pay $449 plus an $18 upgrade fee.

Hahahahah. ROTF LMAO.

I'm sure I will share that story with the Verizon store sales staff in July 2011, when I buy the latest Android phone with a 4-inch screen and 4G data service.

I guess I will use the gift card on headphones. Lots of them.

TGIF - But Market Closes Lower

StocksThe stock market eased up today but still had a nice week. Is this just a pause in the downtrend or a reverse in the market?

It's kind of sad that the market is driven by what happens in Europe everyday. I suspect that will also ease as we head into earnings season. I don't think the economic news here is horrible, but it is slower than we'd all like to see.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The October Bottom

Market seasonality has favored selling in May near a rally high, and buying in September or October, near a retest of the lows.

Did you do that this week? Did you "load the boat" with stocks?

It certainly seems as if we've retested the lows and are now back in an uptrend. Does this carry through until the end of the year or beyond?

I haven't changed my portfolio allocation, and didn't buy at the retest this week. Oops! I will watch how the market performs over the next few weeks and if we venture near the lows again, I will put the sideline cash to work and move from low beta to high beta stocks.

#110: Steve Jobs Dies; A New Bull Market?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

#108: New iPhone 4S and the Stock Market Reversal

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fugly Market

Europe, Greece, or Curtis Painter, this market sucks. $SPY

What is supposed to be monthly strength is just melting away the points on the averages. Everything is ugly.

I remained positioned in some cash, low beta stuff and some oil. The QQQ and VB trade is back in the red again. Lol.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Saturday Night Randomosity

  • imageStocks due for a rally this week, followed by two weeks of down?  That’s what this guy says.  He says this market is lining up perfectly with the 3rd year presidential term pattern.  Got it?
  • I went to a Sacramento Mountain Lions game tonight. Yeah, UFL. It was actually fun to watch, and the Omaha Nighthawks came away with a game ending field go at 2 seconds left in the 4th quarter.  The picture is of Daisy from the cheerleaders, the Lady Lions.
  • You’ve heard about the Wall Street protests?  Probably not.  It’s a band of rag-tag lefties marching on Evil Capitalism.  It all has the feel of a classic street protest with one exception: It's unclear exactly what the demonstrators want.  That’s the problem.  “Economic Justice” seems to be their cause, but that means taking money away from those of you who work, and cutting these folks a bunch of checks.  Protest on, Garth.
  • Oh, and the stock market is in the monthly favorable period, right?  First four days of the month stuff, right Norm Fosback?
  • Bank of America is charging $5 a month for you to use your debit card for purchases.  Wells Fargo and Chase charge $3 a month, by the way.  So what’s the plan, close the accounts and go some bank that doesn’t charge the fees?
  • And for those who want to invest like Warren Buffett, $BAC is now $6.12 a share.  So, you can get in now at a lower price than when the Buffett deal was announced.