Saturday, March 31, 2012

Barron's Predicts a Republican Senate

Barron's is predicting a Republican win in November -- at least in the Senate, and increasing control in the House.  This is even if President Obama is re-elected for a second term.   Barron's says this is good news for investors.

Power Shift

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More on Best Buy

Anyone else getting that Circuit City vibe with Best Buy $BBY? Seriously, it seems as if most of the stuff we buy we can get without taxes and shipping fees from amazon. We buy music from iTunes. We stream movies online or via Netflix. Walmart is taking a lot of video game and gadget business too.

Best Buy says they want to focus on mobile technology in an Apple world and where Google wants to create an online store.

Will Google Open a Tablet Store?

Is Google about to open a tablet store? (From the Wall Street Journal via Seeking Alpha).

Not just any Android tablets, mind you — co-branded ones that bear Google’s name along with that of the manufacturer. Google does many things (some better than other), but they’re definitely not in the consumer hardware production game. Instead, Google is said to be working with hardware experts at Asus and Samsung (and presumably Motorola at some point), and is also considering the possibility of subsidizing the tablet’s price to fall in line with devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

I think this is an interesting approach to compete with Apple. Right now, the android market is very confusing. There are many tablets by many manufacturers with many different configurations and sizes. Maybe consolidating the android tablets into one market will make it easier for consumers.

#158: The Fed; Is Best Buy a Goner? Is Blackberry a Goner?

#157: Global Fear! Magic Johnson and the LA Dodgers!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Was the Rush Limbaugh Boycott Effective?

Did the boycott of Rush Limbaugh work?

No, it did not.

Natural Gas for Transportation

It's probably time to think about using natural gas for transportation. Nice job of cnbc to get this article up.

Natural gas prices are at lows not seen since the 1990's. Diversifying our energy sources would help lessen the need to import or drill for more oil.

Although we should do that, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

#157: Stocks Tail Off; Dennis Rodman is Broke! $PFE Split?

Monday, March 26, 2012

VIX at April 2010 and 2011 Levels

As the article shows, the VIX is now at levels similar to April 2010 and 2011. For those who like seasonal market timing, it looks as if history is about to repeat itself all over again.

The Hunger Games!

The Hunger Games drove Lions Gate Entertainment $LGF up 4.47% today as the film raked in $214 million in its opening weekend. The movie was the third largest opening in the history of the universe.


I may have been the only person not to have seen the movie.


I wonder how much popcorn and soda were soled because of The Hunger Games? Sure, $214 million in ticket sales but how many large tubs of buttered popcorn and 44 ounce sodas were sold?

#155: The Hunger Games; Trayvon Martin; Big Day in Stocks

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marion Barber Retires at Age 28

Marion Barber retires at 28! Image the pension crisis if everyone retired at 28. Cops in CA retire with 3% of their salaries at 50. 

28?  After 7 years!  Often injured!

(I know, it's the NFL and careers are short...)

Marion Barber retires at age 28
The Chicago Bears announced Friday that running back Marion Barber has retired... Read more

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Soaring Oil Prices Risk Recession

From the Financial Times: 

Soaring oil prices risk recession

But how many gallons of gas do folks use per month? And consider that interest rates have dropped considerably so people may have lower monthly house mortgage payments, equity lines of credit, and credit card bills.  Many cars have been sold at near 0% loans, and folks are buying cars with higher fuel efficiency.

So, will higher oil prices impact people now the same way as in 2008?

Sent from Zite personalized magazine iPad app.
Available for free in the App Store.

Poof! 1900 T-Mobile Workers Let Go

While AT&T ($T) says "Told you so" over T-Mobile's 1900 layoffs, isn't the reality that if the acquisition went through many positions would have also been cut? Here's what AT&T said:


"Only a few months ago AT&T promised to preserve these very same call centers and jobs if our merger was approved," Cicconi chided. "We also predicted that if the merger failed, T-Mobile would be forced into major layoffs."


So, maybe not. But when companies acquire or merge, you would think there are some cost saving synergies somewhere.


Sad for the 1900.

Peyton Manning Saved Millions in Taxes Picking Denver over SF

Did Peyton Manning pick Denver over SF because of state income taxes?

"Cal-Tax said, a taxable income over five years of $86.4 million, which would mean $8.9 million in taxes for California under the current system or $11.5 million under Brown's proposal, against $4 million in Colorado."

As the article points out, Florida has no state income taxes.  Maybe David Garrard is the true brainiac here...

TGIF Randomosity ($SODA, $OART, new iPad and Christine Nguyen!)

  • imageToday’s randomosity includes iPad news, Christine Nguyen and a bikini, stocks, and Leo Laporte (not pictured).
  • Loving the new iPad!  Quick and pretty.  About the heating issue?  Can’t fry chicken on it!  I really haven’t noticed much heat or warmth at all. 
  • Stock market feels like it wants to correct here.  Just saying.  I still have a large cash position, but as I’ve mentioned in the audioboos and podcasts and other blog entries, I’m dancing around with some of the high-volatile biotechs.  And other stuff.  Hard to sit on a pile of cash at 0%.  Trying to add value, right?  LOL.
  • There’s an article up at Seeking Alpha on long-term potential for Sodastream ($SODA).  To be honest, I have a Sodastream.  It was fun at first, trying all the different flavors.  I’m having a tough time finding diet decaf varieties locally, and have had to order them from the company.  In addition, there is the replacing of the CO2 cartridge.  Plus, it doesn’t really taste as good as Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke.  Really.   So… The Peter Lynch thing on this?  Eh, not an investment for me.  Pass me a bottled pop.
  • On Leo Laporte’s iPad Today show, he mentioned that the folks who were experiencing iPad heat issues should take their iPad back to Apple and get a replacement.  Agreed!
  • As I type… Mixed tape on the market.  Dow and SP500 up while the Nasdaq is down.  The market has reversed from a down open.
  • I was checking the TV schedule and saw “Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet.”  Didn’t watch it, but found some Christine Nguyen videos on YouTube…  An idle mind and all!  Here are Christine and Syren, in bikinis, in a clip from the movie.
Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet
  • The iPad A5 chip is in the lower left corner, if you’re holding the iPad in landscape mode with the Home button on the right.  That’s where the warmth would be. 
  • The maker of Etch-A-Sketch, Ohio Art ($ was up 141% yesterday.  Thanks, Mitt Romney!  The stock is down 31% today, as I type.  Looks like someone took the profits and the stock is being shaken upside down today…
  • So how did Christine Nguyen get that job in Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet?  It was this outstanding audition!

Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet

  • Run, don’t walk, to your DVR and search for Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet.  Record and never erase. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Chinese Stock Market

Quote of the day comes from Jim Rogers: "I hope that the Chinese market collapses so I can buy Chinese shares.”

That's the spirit, Jimmy.

#154: Stocks Lower on China, Whitney Houston Cause of Death, Baseball Player Salaries

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#153: Apple iPad Runs Hot, Tebow Runs to Jets


#153: Apple iPad Runs Hot, Tebow Runs to Jets (mp3)

Podcasts/Audioboos:    RSS Feed     iTunes

Show Notes
Wednesday March  21, 2012:  Audioboo #153
Stock Market
News of the day. Stocks mixed, oil up, interest rates rising, Spanish rates up, best time in a generation to buy stocks, iPad heats up, Saints suspended, home sales, President Obama's Home stimulus package, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius C... 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#152: Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos; China Growth Slows; Mitt Romney Wins Illinois

Monday, March 19, 2012

#151: My Thoughts on the new iPad, Apple Stock $AAPL, and the Markets

It’s an Apple Economy!

It’s an Apple economy! Not only must we own $AAPL, we must own every company that has anything to do with iPads and iPhones.  This seems to be the only thing in the American economy that is working!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Bought the New iPad

imageYes, I bought a new iPad today.  $AAPL.

It is loading apps right now as I type. 

Quick observation is that I just got back from Reno, and decided to cruise by the Apple Store to check one out.  When I got there, there were millions of people in the store, but the line outside to purchase was very short.  I asked if there were any new iPads in stock, and they said yes.  White?  Verizon?  Yes!  Yes!

The very friendly Apple Store employee handed me a white ticket with the new iPad model I wanted, and I stood in line.  Three people later, I had a new iPad and was headed out the door.

I’m surprised that they had some in stock.

I spoke with a few folks in line, and they hadn’t intended on buying one today but since there was a very short line, they did the same as I did.  None of them had tried one or played with one. They were previous owners and just wanted to upgrade.

When I spoke to the very friendly Apple Store employee, he also asked me if I had even played with one.  When I answered no, he said that is what everyone says.  Talk about brand loyalty!

Tick tock.  Waiting for sync…


As you know from the blog or the podcast/audioboo, someone stole my Android Transformer Prime tablet a couple of weeks ago.  Rather then get another Android, I decided on the new iPad.  Lets face it, Apple knows how to do this better than the other guys -- so far.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Concerns About Dividend Growth Stocks

My concerns about dividend growth stocks as an investment strategy...

If the tax rates on dividends increases, then investors may look for other more tax efficient investments. Companies may recognize this and decrease dividends in favor of capital gains, stock buybacks, or stockpiling cash.

Dividend stocks have also had a great run and may suffer from the "what's been working lately" analysis. In an era of declining interest rates and near zero yields on CD rates and treasuries, folks are chasing yield. If interest rates increase, the yields on CDs and treasuries will be more attractive and less risky than stocks.

The headlines are full of articles touting dividend stocks. This is usually a contrarian indicator that may warn that this investment style is closer to its end than to its beginning.

Be careful. Remember that investment themes change and rotate over time. What has worked over the recent few years often times tends to lag over the next few years.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BRB, In Reno Watching March Madness

In Reno watching and betting on March Madness games...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#150: Stock Market Rips Through 13,000; Bernanke, Banks, and the Barking Dog

The Get Me In at Any Price Market

Stocks are ripping to the upside, as folks want in at any price. The 13,000 barrier was smashed today.

The Fed noted that everything is fine, but that they'll keep rated near zero just in case. Higher energy prices? No problem.

Of course, I have a bunch on the sidelines and am missing some of this rip. It looks as if I was guessing the wrong way. I was looking at a double top and a potential for a reversal on any Fed news -- didn't happen.

The market wants to go higher. People want in.

Jolt Cola Market

The market ripping more to the upside and slicing through Dow 13,000.  The Feds reiterated their commitment to keep interest rates near 0% forever, or at least until 2014.

With the morning rip I half expected a sell the news reaction on Bernanke’s news release.  Not yet.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sold Some Stocks Today!

imageI sold some stocks heading into the close today.  Rotated some into low beta, and am in cash with other.  My thought is that we are retesting the previous top as volume trails off.  Seeing negative divergences.  I’m wondering if the seasonal sell signal comes a bit early this year.

There is also a lot of bullishness.  I look at the increased attention to IPOs and biotech cheapies where folks are trying to play catch up and pick up quick cash.  We know how this ends, right?

I don’t think that this is the end of the bull market, but we are at the highs.  This would be near the logical spot if we are still in the secular bear market that began in 2000.

We are due for a pullback that at least creates a little bit of worry.  Maybe a spring/summer trading range into the Fall.  Or maybe we just keep going up to the moon!

Nobody knows for sure, right?

The Google Maps Snafu

Did you read where $GOOG maps lost $AAPL and Foursquare, and Yelp may be next?

Google started charging for high-volume Google Maps users, and Apple and Foursquare have switched to OpenStreetMap.

Apple had integrated Google Maps into iOS, but no more.

How will this impact Google going forward? With iOS dominating mobile computing and outpacing desktop and laptop growth, this is something to keep an eye on.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wall Street Erases Weekly Losses (Almost)

The market has rallied back the past two days, and who gets the credit? Greece! Stocks rose on Thursday, recovering most of the week's losses, after Greece moved closer to a bond swap with private creditors to avoid a messy default.

Well, okay.  Greece continues to get the media's attention.

So, the market has bounced back to near the recent highs.  Anyone have any concerns or sense of foreboding about that?  Lighter-volume retest of the highs?  Could this be a well-telegraphed opportunity to lighten up?  The market is basically at the highs of the trading range that has defined this bear market from 2000-2012 (so far).  Just saying.

I certainly hope that the market goes higher.  But I'm not sure I'd bet that this happens now or later this year.  I haven't done much and remain 80% long, but as I've mentioned before I have lowered my beta.  Haven't done any more of that, but it is on my mind.  Maybe this is because I'm caught up in the emotion of trading stocks, too.  It is difficult to sell when "the fish are biting" and speculative stocks are moving higher.  It works while it works.   And it's fun, right?

#149: The New iPad; Peyton Manning; Mitt Romney; Windmills vs Birds

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The First Big Loss of 2012

imageToday was the first big stock market loss of 2012.  And the Mayan calendar predicted it.  Well, maybe it was this reason du jour:  The Dow dropped more than 200 points on Tuesday, handing Wall Street its worst day in three months on renewed fears of a disorderly default in Greece and concerns that China's slowdown would hit global growth.

Remember just a couple of weeks ago when the Greece crisis was solved for the second time?  Looks like we’ll need a third time. Now that Greece is getting paid for bailouts, Rush Limbaugh was quick to label the country a Euro slut.

I remain about 80% long.  It’s not like the market was going to go up forever.

The Black Box timed this sell signal right on the number, but it has been wrong with the last few sell signals. It tends to work best in a sideways market.

If I had to make a prediction, it would be that the market is in a pullback and folks will get another chance to sell on a double-top.  Maybe that will be the top before the summer and the end of the favorable stock market season.  I’d expect the market to then rally into year end.  Despite the selling, it should be a good year for stocks.

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Chevy Volt; iPad 3 or HD; Nutrisystems

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Gas Prices Up 26-Days in a Row!

Gas prices up 26-days in a row! It will matter when it matters, but nationally the price is $3.76 while here in Sacramento it's in the mid-$4 range!


Isn't affecting the crowds at BJ's, Cheesecake Factory, or Thunder Valley Casino.

I think that the economy is better. There are more people working. In addition, interest rates are close to zero percent and many folks have refinanced their homes at rates below 4%. Maybe some of the money goes to the pump, but there may be enough left over to have a little fun, too.

Again, oil prices eventually will hurt folks. But when?

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Market Thoughts and Trading on Emotion

The market shrugged off a weak ISM number and potential Saudi pipeline disruption to rally. The Dow failed to retake 13,000 and it does look a bit like it's churning. But the number of stocks making new highs, aka the internals, look good. Of course, that is the rear view mirror tonight. Tomorrow may be something else. And if we go down, then the churning here at the highs gains traction.

And don't look at a monthly chart of the market. Don't do it. If you believe that we're in a secular bear market and the market is likely to reverse down near the top of the long-term trend, don't look at the monthly chart. It will scare you.

Oil rallied up to $110 on the rumored hit to the Saudi oil pipeline.

I remain about 80% long, plus or minus. While I reduced some beta last week, I haven't made any rebalancing moves this week. Although, I continue to think about it! The market is going to correct back to the 50-day moving average someday. Everyday we get closer to that event. Truly, we do.

I don't know about you, but whenever I have cash on the sidelines, it is very tempting for me to trade individual stocks. As in high-frequency. So, I've been doing that in very small sizes and having some good fortune. Everyone is a good stock picker when the market rallies, so I'm not attempting to gloat here. Rather, I'm just making the point that even though I'm fairly disciplined, I'm subject to the emotional temptation of trading when the market is hot. And that sort of thing works as long as it works, and then it doesn't work anymore.

For example, highly volatile biotechs with calendar news events on the near-term horizon are very tempting to try and get on the right side of the roller coaster ride. These kind of stocks are like crack. Or maybe like gambling.

And we all know I like to gamble, right?

Just saying.

posted from Bloggeroid