Wednesday, October 31, 2012

$FB - Facebook dips on staff sell-off

$FB - Facebook: Shares falling as folks are allowed to sell restricted shares. Over 225 million shares are eligible to be dumped, right? Will the temptation be to get out while the gettin' is good? If I owned the stock, I'd be worried that the thing will be in the single digits down the road.

But maybe that's just me!

** Facebook dips on staff sell-off **
Facebook shares fall 3.8% on the day employees became eligible to start selling restricted shares in the social networking giant.
< >

Halloween Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market was opened with generators today.
  • On the seasonal front, we're at the end of October and tomorrow is the first of November. We should see seasonal strength here not just from the monthly paycheck money coming in, but the end of the unfavorable Sell in May period and to the favorable market from November through April.
  • Other than Hurricane Sandy and the various election polls forecasting various outcomes, I think the big news this week was $DIS - Disney, getting Star Wars (Lucas films). Yes, there will be more Star Wars movies. Maybe this is an apology for John Carter?
  • Ichan pounces on $NFLX - Netflix. You know, there is a lot of competition there these days.
  • As I type, Asian shares falling. Reason du jour is that while China's PMI has improved, it hasn't improved enough to convince folks that the slowdown is over/bottomed.
  • $FB - Facebook, is going to have a tough time moving up. In addition to all the shares that were locked up being unlocked, investor Jim Breyer is dumping $81M worth.
  • Not that many trick or treaters here as the hour goes past 8pm. And it just started raining. Where did all the kids go? And the last few were teens! Must be over for this year.
  • Futures down last I checked. Weigh that against seasonality!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market closed again! Last I saw, futures were down. I'm watching the hurricane news and pictures, too. This stuff draws our focus away from things like stocks, Libya, the economy...
  • So, after the mess and economic impact from Hurricane Sandy, big move up for stocks on the clean up and reconstruction efforts?
  • Apple fires a couple of guys. One guy for the Apple Maps fiasco. The maps app works for me mostly. But I put in directions for a Korean restaurant a few miles away, and the app took me 3 miles in the wrong direction on the freeway, had me exit to a side street and then go in the reverse direction until I arrived at the restaurant. So, it got me there the long way.
  • Buy signal on the black box last week, so I'm long and high beta. Didn't feel right at the time, doesn't look right now. But it is what it is. Long.
  • Is Romney up in the polls? Is Obama up in the polls? Who knows! Depending on the surveys. We're seeing D+7 polls showing Obama with small leads. We're seeing R+2 polls showing Romney with large leads. I think this favors Romney, but we won't know until we know who shows up! I think Republicans show up and are more excited in 2012 than in 2008. So the D+ number is going to be smaller. But don't underestimate the number of people who want entitlements!
  • Giants win World Series. I hate the Giants (as a Dodgers fan). But I usually cheer for the National League against the American League. Pretty difficult for me to do this year. So... hmm. Small cheer for the NL. A sweep, too.
  • NBA starts tonight. I forgot to set my weekly fantasy basketball line up. 2012 starting off like 2011 for me. OOOPS.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spain anti-austerity protests draw thousands

$$ - Oh yeah, Spain, too...

Spain anti-austerity protests draw thousands
MADRID (AP) — Several thousand people marched to Spain's parliament in an anti-austerity protest Saturday, but were held back from surrounding the bui... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Germany: No to new Greek debt haircut

$$ - This one time, in European band camp, a country named Greece spent too much money.  So this Euro stuff is still happening, even if the headlines are all politics right now.  Looks like the current events are much the same as they've been the last few years over there.  

Germany: No to new Greek debt haircut
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's finance minister has dismissed the idea of governments and other public creditors taking a hit on their Greek debt holdings, a... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

$AAPL - Thoughts on Apple Stock Randomosity

  • $AAPL - Thoughts on Apple stock...
  • The stock has corrected quite a bit since hitting $705. There are bears and bulls telling us where the stock goes next. On the one hand, the stock is undervalued at 11x earnings and consumers love the Apple ecosphere. On the other hand, Apple has had a long run and faces the issues many other stocks have had after long runs. The stock is over-loved, over-owned, and the need for consumers to constantly upgrade to the latest hardware is diminishing .
  • By the way, I don't own any Apple stock. But I do own the QQQ, which is about 110% Apple stock from what I read. (Okay, maybe not that much but you know it's way too large of a percentage. Add in Amazon and Google, and the Nasdaq 100 is more like the "Nasdaq 3 + 97 other ones")
  • Heading into earnings this past week, I was thinking about buying some shares. After all, it was heading down into earnings, and I've made money before by going the opposite way the stock is moving ahead of the conference call. This time, I decided not to. It turned out not to matter, as the stock has basically been flat since the conference call. Not the 5-10% move I was expecting!
  • After the earnings announcement, the stock was halted initially. Thats usually not good news. But the stock didn't do anything.
  • Anecdotally, a lot of my android phone coworkers have jumped on the iPhone 5 bandwagon in recent weeks because of the (finally!) upgrades to LTE network and a bigger screen. While some of the Android phones still have better tech specs, at least the iPhone is now in the modern age with the faster wireless speed. Plus, they wanted the Apple iTunes ecosphere with the music, apps, etc.
  • That being said, you wonder about the future upgrade cycle for both the iPad and iPhone. After all, how many more megapixels on the camera do you need? It seems like this may be a problem for all mobile device manufacturers going forward. The mobile devices are providing enough technology to meet the needs of consumers. It's like the PC business. Do you need to buy a PC every other year or is the one you bought a few years ago still hanging in there? So we see what is happening to $DELL and $HPQ stocks, right?
  • Apple said the reason is that they're having trouble meeting demand for the new iPhone 5. Here in Sacramento, I haven't heard of any issues getting a new iPhone.
  • On Apple's earnings call, executives attributed the guidance estimates to a shorter December quarter and a stronger U.S. dollar.
  • Another issue with Apple is that the product release cycle stretches out over a year. Nothing new will be announced for awhile. So the initial excitement over new products lasts a few months, then folks just wait for the next release. Why upgrade if you know the next product is going to be announced in a few months?
  • There is also a lot of competition from Android phones. There are some high quality Androids available. But I think with the latest iPhone 5 upgrades, maybe there is more reason to stay with or go to Apple.
  • I have the March 2012 "new" iPad. So it's a little sad that a November 2012 "new" iPad is being released. I was thinking about trading mine in and upgrading, but I don't think spending the extra money on top of the trade-in value is worth it.
  • Now, all that being said, I'm upgrading my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 in a couple of weeks. I want the LTE speed and the bigger screen. I'm also leaving ATT for Verizon. ATT is a bit spotty in Sacramento and barely works at my office, where Verizon is full bars on phone and data.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Black Box Buy Signal!

$$ - Buy signal on the Black Box. Buying stocks. All in. As you know, I have been in cash and low beta stocks since the spring following a modified sell in may strategy. My portfolio outperformed the SP500 by nearly 7% year to date. I don't feel that good about it since I missed a big move in the summer. It should have been more! But, I will take it.

Of course, the buy signal doesn't feel right. Tech stocks are crashing. Economic growth is slow. Companies are announcing layoffs. We have the fiscal cliff and partisan gridlock ahead, no matter who wins the election. And the Vikings lost a prime-time game at home - to the Bucs.

Many bricks on the wall of worry.

Fasten your seat belts. It only gets more interesting from here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#195: Market Thoughts, Obama, and More on $AAPL iPad Mini, #FB

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#194: Thoughts on the Debate, $AAPL iPad Mini, and the Market Crash

Stock Market Thoughts

  • Everyone wants back in $AAPL! Up over $24 today after the big plunge recently.
  • Back from a few days in Reno. The stock market plunged as I was driving up on Friday. And for most of the drive back today, the market was plunging. But once again, the market reversed course late in the session. Usually that's good news.
  • But the bottom line I THINK is that everyone wants in $AAPL. After the intense pull back, the iPad mini event is here. Kind of funny how the stock went over $700 and crashed down over 10%. Now it bounces as it approaches the iPad event and earnings. I was thinking if Apple pulled back today I'd get some. But that play may have happened. Now I'd be worried about a sell off! LOL
  • So the stock market still seems a bit iffy. We're getting near "last chance" for sell in may to pull out a win before November.
  • I'm still in low beta stuff and cash. I guess I'll need a strategy for getting back in, as it looks as if Sell in May won't play out. Not doing anything yet. Just over a week in calendar days to go...
  • In Reno, I did really well in sports bets. If I did this well all the time, I'd go up there every weekend. Of course, bad news is the drive home was through the first winter storm in the Sierras. Snow. Snow. Snow. Bad traffic. Took forever!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chipotle Falls Hard on Earnings Miss

$CMG down 12℅ ah on earnings miss. Don't blame me, because I eat a lot of burrito bowls there. And they have actually been raising prices to offset higher commodity prices and labor costs. Or so we thought. 

So we are seeing some poor earnings results and even more layoffs.  I wondered earlier if all the poor expectations about a bad third quarter earnings season was a contrarian indicator or not.

Maybe not. Maybe the crowd got that one right.

Shrinking Profits Thursday

Shrinking profits Thursday for $GOOG and $MSFT, while Newsweek going digital only.

Google Inc. GOOG -8.01% prematurely released its quarterly earnings midday Thursday, reporting that profit declined 20% as total costs jumped and advertising prices continued to slide.

"Falling advertising prices" has been a theme this past year for internet websites, as suddenly somebody realized that nobody reads or clicks on those ads.

Microsoft Corp's quarterly profit fell a greater-than-expected 22 percent, as sales of computers running its Windows operating system dipped and some revenue was deferred ahead of upcoming releases of its core Windows and Office products.

The sharp decline surprised investors, who had underestimated the effect of weak personal computer sales, sending Microsoft's shares down more than 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Is this a surprise, either? We've seen bad PC numbers from $INTC, $DELL, and $HPQ, why not the company that provides the operating system? (And who wants to buy an expensive Surface tablet when you can get an iPad?)

“We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue,” Ms. Brown said in a message co-written with Baba Shetty, the recently hired chief executive.

I went looking at the old Newsweek covers circulating around the web. Wow, that's some history right there!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Market Thoughts

$$ - Earnings seem to be disappointing, but the market as a whole seems to be shaking it off. I was surprised we didn't see more selling today. Blame options expiration or the Presidential election year cycle - Anyway, we held up. 

I'm still hanging on to the Sell in May strategy, but it doesn't seem to be playing out and the month of October is flying by.


Still planning on dollar cost averaging should Sell in May fail, and then look for some other pullback to get more aggressive.


China's Quarterly GDP Rose 7.4%

$$ - China's GDP up 7.4%, which if you do the math is one-million percent higher than ours.  The interesting thing is that is supposed to be the slowing economy, right?

China's Quarterly GDP Rose 7.4%
BEIJING--China's gross domestic product rose 7... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Monday, October 15, 2012

Amazon and Apple and eBooks

$$ - the price for ebooks from $aapl and $amzn are outrageous. These are digital copies! The price to distribute is marginal compared to printed books.  If you want to increase sales, cut prices!

Amazon and Apple customers to get credits for price-fixed e-books

In April, the Department of Justice sued Apple and five major publishers, alleging they colluded to raise the price of e-books... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Kremlin Cracks Down on Big Tobacco

$$ - you have to think that tobacco companies are going to have a rough future at some point.   I say that as an owner of a tobacco stock. But the health consequences are real and countries that are trying to finance health care will be cracking down on unhealthy habits.

Maybe fast food is next...

Kremlin Cracks Down on Big Tobacco
The Kremlin is finally getting tough on Big Tobacco, with a determined push to pass strict antismoking rules that is aimed at ... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Retail sales strong!

$$ - Good news! Retail numbers came in strong. It's amazing with the gasoline prices surging that folks can find money to spend.   So this is really good news.

Retail sales post another strong gain - USA TODAY

ABC NewsRetail sales post another strong gainUSA TODAYShoppers at Santa Monica Place shopping mall on Aug. 17, 2012 in Santa ... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Friday, October 12, 2012

'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' author files for bankruptcy

$$ - I read Robert Kiyosaki's book. He's filing for bankruptcy. For some reason, this news does not surprise me. There is no get rich quick scheme. Work hard and be patient.

'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' author files for bankruptcy

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestselling "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after losing a nearly $24 milli... read more


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Market Thoughts

$$ - Market thoughts: We all called "sell in May" dead. I felt it, too. As the Summer went on and the market rallied off the late Spring lows, it seemed like the typical seasonal pattern had failed. The market shook off the Euro crisis and sluggish US economic data to rally to 5-year highs. Apple surged over $700 on the iPhone 5 launch. 

Now it is mid-October and those fears are back and the market has pulled back a bit. The IMF warned about slowing global growth. Greeks are rioting in the streets. 3rd-quarter US stock earnings are projected to be lousy. Even the US jobs numbers are questioned as part-time jobs surge and labor participation rate falls. Meanwhile, a bad Apple maps app gets the blame for an Apple correction that had the stock fall 10%.

I remain with some cash on the sidelines and in low-beta holdings. As I said in past weeks, believing that sell in May had ended, I would give it through October to see what happened. If the market remained flat or up, I'd end up dollar cost averaging in. If the market fell apart, I'd get more aggressive. It looks like we're pulling back and with the market at oversold levels, I'm thinking about getting the portfolio back to a beta on par with the SP500 - if not more.

This is just a few days after the market hitting 5-year highs!


Anyway, check out the RSI(2). See?

Dow Posts Largest Percentage Drop Since July

$$ - The selling continued today. (Imagine if $AAPL had been down!)
The reason du jour was earnings from $AA and reduced guidance from $CVX.  Although it seems that with the IMF warning about slowing global growth and European financial woes, there is plenty on the wall of worry. 
Note: The market is basically at support and oversold.  Check out the  RSI(2).

Dow Posts Largest Percentage Drop Since July

Filed under: Alcoa, Chevron, Market News _By Rodrigo Campos_ NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell for a fourth day on Wednesday, weighed d... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Asian Shares Fall

$$ - The market mood has shifted quickly.  From giddiness about new Fed stimulus (and from other world central banks) just a couple of weeks ago, back to concern about weakening global growth and poor earnings numbers.
Did things really get this bad, this fast? 

Asian Shares Fall
Asian markets were lower on Wednesday amid growing worries over the global economic outlook, while Japanese car companies continued to fall following... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Jack Welch Stands by Comments

$$ - Jack Welch stands by his comments about last week's jobs report.
I don't want to choose sides here, but going from 8.3% unemployment to 7.8% in two months while not adding very many jobs (200,000ish) seems a bit suspicious.
But we'll go with the 7.8% number because "it's the way it's always been" estimated, right?

Jack Welch: I was right about jobs report

Jack Welch elaborated Wednesday on his widely-debunked criticism of the latest government jobs report, claiming in an op-ed that the reported 7... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

#193: Stock Thoughts

Stocks indexes slip

$$ - Blame the IMF or $AAPL for the market swoon?  Apple is selling off like no one is ever going to buy an iPhone again.

Stocks indexes slip following gloomy IMF forecast

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks hit their all-time highs exactly five years ago. And corporate earnings reports that begin Tuesday will help determine whether... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Monday, October 08, 2012

Companies Brace for Tough Third Quarter

$$ - Contrarian alert!  Is EVERYONE expecting a bad 3rd quarter earnings?

EVERYONE?  Just asking.

Markets Keep Rallying as Companies Brace for Tough Third Quarter
U.S. companies are bracing for what could be a rough earnings season next quarter, with Wall Street analysts forecasting the first period since 2009 w... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Japan Stimulus

Even Japan wants to get in on the money printing game! $$ 

Well, seems like the central banks are going "all in."

Asian Markets Rise Amid Japan Stimulus Hopes
Most of the Asian markets rose Wednesday amid investor hopes that the Bank of Japan would announce stimulus measures to bolster the country's economic... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

California gas prices hit record

I paid $4.69 for regular gas a couple of days ago. $$

Sticker shock!  They say refinery issues are the reason.  Governor Jerry Brown has requested that CA switch from the summer blend to the winter blend.  

These are the kinds of things that add up to slower economic growth.  If we're spending money at the gas pump and sending money to Saudi Arabia and Canada, then we're not buying iPhone 5s and subscribing to Netflix.

California gas prices hit record

Gas prices in California hit all-time high after a 50-cent a gallon spike in just the last week... Read more

Sent via Pulse/

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

#192: Romney wins Debate; $AAPL stock and iPad mini; $HPQ stock drops 13%; Oil under $90

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

#191: $AAPL Stock Selloff, Romney vs Obama, Stocks Meander;