Thursday, August 30, 2012

#188: Bernanke, Romney, and News of the Day

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#187: Market and Taxmageddon

Why Not a Million MPG?

$$ - Double US fuel economy by 2024? Why not a million miles per gallon? Set the bar higher - to the moon!
I'm not sure if the technology will exist by 2024 to create cars that get 54.5 mpg, or if consumers will even want to buy them.  I hope both are true.  But whenever I see politicians set some goal like this, I'm thinking to myself that it's just some pie-in-the-sky pipe dream that has no chance of really happening.

Rules to double U.S. fuel economy by 2024
New rules require nearly doubling fuel economy average for cars and light trucks by the 2025 model year... Read more

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Waiting on Stimulus - LOL!

$$ - So the first sentence of this story says it all: "U.S. stocks opened mixed Monday, as investors wait for central banks to decide if the global economy is in need of further stimulus measures."

We know from last week that the market rallies on news of stimulus, and falls on news of no stimulus.

If the markets are watching the economic news and it comes up positive, what happens?  Do stocks go up because the economy is improving or do stocks tank because stimulus is less likely?


Stocks: Choppy start to the week

U.S. stocks opened mixed Monday, as investors wait for central banks to decide if the global economy is in need of further stimulus measures... Read more

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Monday Thoughts, $AAPL, and Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

$$ - Just returned from a kayak trip at Lake Tahoe. $AAPL ripped, but the stock market didn't seem to do much while I was out paddling. Volume was low. I need to read the news of the day. Feel out of touch. No stock moves and I haven't even ran the black box yet!Apple won their lawsuit against Samsung and the new iphone is just weeks away. Is there any catalyst to cause selling in Apple shares the next couple of weeks? Probably not, and thing is a huge percentage of the Nasdaq 100.


The North Shore at Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places. At least in summer. When the snow falls - brrrrr, I'd rather be in Southern California! Rented a kayak and paddled around North Shore near Kings Beach. Beautiful late summer day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

#186: Market Thoughts

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Which Country Goes Bankrupt Next?

$$ - In this age of countries promising too many unfunded benefits to citizens, who goes broke next? Belize?
Really? Belize?
We have had our eyes on some of the European nations.  Even some US states and California cities.  
Which Country Goes Bankrupt Next? (Hint: It's Not Who You Think)

Filed under: Rumors When Greece defaulted on its government bonds in March, it was the first country of any size to take such a step since the grea... Read more

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Another Facebook co-founder Dumps Shares

Another $FB - Facebook co-founder dumps some shares after lock-up period, netting about $9 million bucks.  He didn't wait too long after becoming eligible to sell shares.
Supply. Supply. Supply.

Facebook co-founder Moskovitz sells shares

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz sold off a small portion of his stake in the company, scoring him nearly $9 million... Read more

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Market Reverses After Fed Minutes

$$ - The market was on its way down today when the Fed minutes were released and juiced the market. Why?  The Fed indicated that they were ready to do whatever it takes to bolster the economy.  
It seems that whenever the market is down, some banker somewhere says something to spike the markets.
Anyway, so the market went higher.  Reading around the web, everyone seems to think we're going higher.  I keep thinking that the market volume is so low and folks are taking advantage of the last few weeks of summer, that nothing much may happen ahead of Labor Day.  Maybe somebody takes profits.  Maybe the market tanks in September.
My thoughts are that Sell in May is still in effect and we're just at the top of the trading range.  I also think September may be horrible.  I wouldn't be surprised if profit taking sets in ahead of Labor Day - but that assumes folks come home from their vacations to sell!

Fed Moving Closer to Action

By Jon Hilsenrath And Kristina Peterson The Federal Reserve sent its strongest signal yet that it is preparing new steps to bolster the... Read more

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stocks Fall...

$$ - Take a look at a YTD stock chart and it looks like the market broke through resistance and then fell down. Pretty close to where a double top would be. Maybe Sell in May's demise may be overplayed. Many folks have been predicting that the market will be off to the races, but today was a little setback. We shall see what happens going forward.$AAPL fell hard from its highs today. $DELL broke down after hours. $BIDU is struggling here.


First fantasy football draft. Auction draft. Went and got Aaron Rogers in this QB centric league. And then a bunch of riff-raff.

Monday, August 20, 2012

#185: Stocks, $AAPL, $FB, China, Phyllis Diller

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What if there was no iPad Mini?

$AAPL - Apple, iPad mini rumors swirl, but what if they didn't make one? If they make one, wouldn't it cannibalize their iPad sales? Is it a different audience?
I do have to say that after 2 weeks, the Google Nexus 7 $199 tablet is pretty darn good.  Not as good as a $499 iPad, but almost.  And for $199.
The Rumors Swirl: Is the iPad Mini for Real?
Should** Apple** produce a smaller version of its mega-successful iPad? The implications for whether Apple throws its weight into the smaller end of t... Read more

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Stimulus Expectations Weaken

$$ - Wasn't the past few weeks rally based on all this stimulus across the globe?  Asian stocks down due to weakened stimulus expectations. Of course, what this probably means is that this is just a set up for a huge reversal when whatever country once again says that they're going to stimulate their economy. LOL.


Asian Markets Fall As Stimulus Expectations Weaken

Most Asian markets fell Monday as investor confidence was dragged down by the lack of stimulus measures from policymakers to support the global econo... Read more

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Eddie Murray Insider Trading?

$$ - I missed this: former baseball star Eddie Murray charged with insider trading. Good grief! $ABT


Baseball great Eddie Murray charged with insider trading

Former Baltimore Orioles star Eddie Murray has been accused of insider trading by the SEC... Read more

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Thar 2007 Feeling

$$ - the no fear market.  The SP500 is closing in on the highs.   Is the bear market done?

At the local Indian casino and I have never seen it so crowded.  Maybe the economy is much better.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is Sell in May a disaster in 2012?

$$ - There's a stock strategy to "sell in May and go away" until November. Historically, the market has performed better November-April. In Presidential election years, sometimes the market breaks its historical pattern.

Is that what is happening in 2012? There are still a few months left in the "summer season," but here the market is near the highs for the year. I think some folks might be throwing the towel in on "sell in May" this year.

I'm thinking about it, too!

But, being patient. If the market continues higher, then I will probably have to come up with a strategy for getting back in. Probably dollar cost average until the next correction, then try to get in... We shall see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Churning Day Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market churned a little today. Didn't go anywhere. So, feeling a bit toppy. Plus, the news flow seems like it would send the market tumbling if it were a few months ago. Nobody seems to care right now. Either we have a London Olympics hangover or everyone is on vacation.
  • Groupon ($GRPN) was down 27% today - its own daily special if you will.
  • Joe Biden was in Virginia but announced to a crowd that he was in North Carolina. Ah, the campaign season is going to be interesting with Joe Biden in front of the mic again!
  • American retail spending surged in July.
  • Yes, the Dodgers won again tonight. Chad Billingsley has won 5 in a row.
  • Chad Johnson loses his job, and his wife files for divorce. (Evelyn Lozada.)

Facebook Insiders Can Sell Stock Thursday

$FB - Facebook: Insiders can sell stock on Thursday.  Will the next leg down start?  This will be fun to watch.  I have no positions in FB.  I don't know what to expect, but I have a hunch there will be a bit of supply hitting the market as folks locked in try to salvage some value out of their shares, in the fear that the stock price will go even lower in the months ahead.

Facebook insiders can sell stock as 'lock-up' ends
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook's early investors and a handful of directors will become eligible on Thursday to sell stock they own in the social ... Read more

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Groupon Shares Drop 14%

$GRPN - Groupon: Stock tanks 14% on revenue miss.  Don't be surprised. Everyone is spamming our inboxes with deals of the day these days. Why would Groupon stand out in a very crowded field?

Groupon shares dive 14% on revenue miss

Second-quarter earnings beat expectations, but investors punished stock for revenue miss... Read more

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Market: Zzzz...

$$ - Is the stock market making you a bit drowsy? We have seen five weeks in a row of gains, while the market had been on a six-day win streak until today. Things seem to be okay, at least nobody seems to care any more if things aren't okay. The Olympics stole our attention for awhile; now, the Presidential election race seems to have moved front-and-center.So. Who is paying attention? Volume is light!

Well, I find myself with very little cash but still low-beta holdings. I've been using my NEW short-term black box system. But when the market goes up five weeks in a row, one can be fooled by success. Yet... We shall see.

Anyway. On to the news surfing. Nothing new for me other than I am invested, but short-term focused and flipping things within a few days. More on this as I work the NEW system and get comfortable with it.


I miss the olympics.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Ryan as VP Candidate

I like the Paul Ryan choice. He's smart, energetic, and well-spoken.  He will do well.  I don't know if the country has the appetite for the hard decisions that have to come.  But those decisions have to be made now, or they will be made for us.  (See Greece, Spain, et al).  Deficits do indeed matter.

Ryan: Obama has 'record of failure'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, wasted little time tearing into President Barack Obama on Saturday... Read more

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Carbonite Stumbles post-Rush Limbaugh

$CARB missed growth targets due to Rush Limbaugh decision; stock falls 15%.
Remember the Rush Limbaugh vs. Sandra Fluke clash that caused Carbonite to withdraw its ads from the conservative's talk show?  Oops. The company missed and the stock tanks.
Lesson learned? Advertising helps drive revenues.  Advertise.

Carbonite (CARB) CEO David Friend admits the decision to withdraw from sponsoring the Rush Limbaugh show after the radio host called a woman a "slut" on the air didn't pay off for shareholders. CARB's Q2 results missed growth targets and its stock price fell 15%. Friend says that while he stands by the decision, the move caused "a bigger hole in our revenue than we thought."

Carbonite (CARB) CEO David Friend admits the decision to withdraw from sponsoring the Rush Limbaugh show after the radio host ... Read more

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Goldman's Entire Outlook For The Economy

$$ - The outlook for the economy from $GS - Goldman Sachs. Will they be close?

Goldman's Entire Outlook For The Economy And Markets In One Huge Slide

Here's a slide from Goldman Sachs' latest US Weekly Kickstart. Please follow Money Game on Twitter and Facebook. **See Also:** * The S&P 500 Is B... Read more

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Friday, August 10, 2012

#184: Stock Thoughts; Stimulus; Dividend Stocks; Dwight Howard to Lakers; Real Estate; Black Box

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Thursday Night Market Thoughts and China

$$ - Stock market thoughts tonight... This morning, I thought it was funny that the TV folks were almost celebrate a slowing Chinese economy, because that would allow China to "stimulate" their economy.  It used to be that when economies slowed down, folks worried about recessions, layoffs, jobs, and other economic concerns. Now it's a reason to celebrate, because it means that the central bankers and government can increase debt and stimulus!
It's all backwards. We should want stronger economies, which would reduce the need for additional debt.  The best way to reduce debt is a growing economy that would increase tax revenues and lessen the need for debt. Although, these days I suppose the government would just spend the money and still deficit spend.  It's just what they do.
The market has had a nice run and is back near the highs. It does feel a bit toppy, yet the market may be pausing and catching its breath.  I still have cash on the sidelines and low-beta stuff, but I've been rotating cash in and out of some sectors trying to play oversold bounces.
I've been working on a black box that trades in the short term, and after testing and tweeking, I am trying it with real money.  So far so good, but the market is near highs.  That makes all systems look good, right?
Still expecting the market to turn back down sometime around here.  Looks like the markets in Asia are reacting to slowing Chinese economic data.  We shall see if that carries over to Europe and the US.
Volume is light...  Don't short a dull tape, right?  But that can also create some volatility.  Maybe.

Asian Stocks Fall as China Exports Miss Estimates; Corn Rises

Asian stocks fell for the first time this week and copper retreated after worse-than-expected Chinese trade and loans data added to evidence that the... Read more

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The Japanese Consumption Tax

$$ - Japan's version of the Tea Party. Housewives with frying pans protesting the doubling of the consumption tax! 
Japan has a huge deficit, and the government is proposing to take the consumption tax from 5% to 10%.  This is something to watch, because there are folks who want to do that here in the United States, too.

Housewives With Frying Pans Protest Japan Tax Hike as Debt Soars

About 200 housewives marched down a shopping street in central Tokyo, beating pans with ladles and shouting slogans criticizing a government plan to ... Read more

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Lakers get Dwight Howard

$$ - The rich get richer. Dwight Howard to Lakers. 
Lakers agree to acquire Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum

(Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press / August 9, 2012) Dwight Howard is coming to the Lakers in a four-team deal that includes... Read more

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Contrarians Watch for a Correction

$$ - Contrarian alert! Is the stock market about to take a tumble? Here's a column from Hulbert who notes that bullishness is back above where it was at the May highs.
My thoughts... It is still the summer season, and as the market goes higher I've noticed the tweets and blogs asking "How is that Sell in May working out for you this year?"
Truth be told, similar to every year.  The market gets range bound, and folks get bearish at the bottom of the range and bullish at the top of the range.  Maybe it will be different this year.  While Sell in May works most years, it doesn't work every year.

Starbucks and the Cashless Society

$$ - Hey get ready for the Mark of the Beast, $SBUX - Starbucks, is expanding mobile payments. The way this works is that Starbucks would know when you walk in the door as your phone would signal the cash register and your picture would show up. As you order your drink, you just tell them who you are and the transaction happens automatically.

Starbucks Puts Its Bucks In Square To Bolster Mobile Payments

Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), the No. 1 chain of coffee shops, said it had invested $25 million in Square, the start-up specialist in mobile payments, wh... Read more

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China Stimulus Hopes Fuels Asian Stocks

$$ DEBT ALERT!  It seems as if China is now joining the US and Europe in trying to stimulate their economy. It's as if nobody has any money of their own anymore. The only money being created is via credit and the printing presses.

Asia stocks edge higher on China stimulus hopes
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets edged higher Thursday after China's inflation rate eased, adding to hopes that Beijing will do more to stimulate th... Read more

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Fire at Chevron Richmond Refinery

$$ - The $CVX - Chevron, refinery provides about 25% of the fuel for Northern California.  Or so that's what I thought I heard on the news.
Folks are wondering what that means for our fuel prices here.  Given the rally in the market and the recent move up in oil prices, gasoline prices should be moving up.

Fire Still Raging at Chevron Richmond Refinery; No Casualties
Fire erupted at Chevron Corp.'s (CVX) Richmond refinery in California Monday and is still raging, company and local officials said.The fire at the 245... Read more

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The Google Nexus 7

The $GOOG - Google, released the Nexus 7 tablet not too long ago. i just got one. If you remember the story, I had an ASUS Transformer Prime from the holidays until March, when it was stolen. I subsequently bought an iPad 3, aka The New iPad, and have been very happy with it. But after winning some money on recent trips to the Silver State, I thought WHAT THE HECK, and splurged the $249 for the Nexus 7. I'm a tech geek. I'll probably get a $MSFT - Microsoft Surface tablet, too. It's not job related, but it sort of is as a "continuing education" exercise. At least that's what I tell myself.


The iPad 3 is better. We all know that coming in, but it's priced higher. Much higher. But $249 for a 16-gig tablet? And the Nexus 7 is fast. The apps work well. It seems better than the Transformer Prime, even with similar specs. Maybe it's the non-metal backing that hits the wi-fi signal better. I don't know.

Anyway, I had already bought a bunch of apps and was able to reload them. Some aren't compatible with the Jelly Bean operating system OR the Nexus 7. Not sure which. The Google Play app store (or whatever they call it) just says that "this app ain't gonna work on your device, fool."

One difference is that the video isn't as crisp. Maybe it's the display or the apps, I don't know. But as I surf the web on the iPad and have the Olympics on TV, I put the Rockies-Dodgers game on the Nexus 7. Not as crisp as on the iPad.

Even less crisp watching the Dodgers lose 2-0 to the LAST PLACE ROCKIES.

I like the light weight. I downloaded the Kindle app and will probably use the Nexus 7 as my reading device of choice. The tablet came preloaded with some music, the 2011 Transformers movie, a bunch of apps, and $25 credit at the Google Play app store. Nice.

So, that's that. When's the Surface coming out? Maybe I'll hit the casinos before then and see what Fate has in store...


European Vacation Market Thoughts

$$ - The stock market had another up day, although late-day selling is something new, right? The stock market is up at the top of the summer's trading range, if one believes in the Sell in May stuff and that it is working this year. It's nothing unusual to see the market move sideways and for folks to be bearish at the bottom of the range, and bullish at the top of the range. But whenever it's at the highs or lows, it can be a little unsettling if you're leaning the other way. So now, if you're mostly in cash and low beta stuff, it doesn't feel good to see the market back near the highs.

Meanwhile, there doesn't appear to be a negative catalyst out there. The last we heard from Europe, was that Super Mario Draghi was going to save the Euro. Then they all went on vacation for the month. Er, okay. US earnings continue to be up and down, neither hot or cold, but consistent with the mediocre economic readings we get on a weekly and monthly basis.

So, what to do?

I'm not doing anything. Still the same. Low beta stuff and cash. I don't think the correction is over. But I did miss the ride back up the sideways trading range. Drat. I believe we're heading back down, but who knows if the market will get below 1300 again. We still have the bulk of August, September, and October ahead of us.


Friday, August 03, 2012

#183: My Thoughts on the Stock Market Today 8/3/12