Friday, November 30, 2012

Jim Cramer

$$ - Jim Cramer looks at next week saying it all starts Sunday with Tim Geithner on Meet the Press.

Yeah, right. Geithner. 

Meet the Press. Lolz.

Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Next Week's Game Plan

_Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive **"Mad Money" Stock Screener**._ * * * NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Next wee... read more


Fiscal Cliff Pop Quiz!

$$ - Fiscal Cliff pop quiz before the fiscal cliff zombie apocalypse.

Fiscal Cliff Pop Quiz: Fun Facts from the Forthcoming Economic Apocalypse

Filed under: Economy, Money and Politics For months, politicians have railed about the fiscal cliff while pundits across the political spectrum have... read more



$$ - I still think the most likely move is up in this market. We are now at month end and the beginning of December where money is added to retirement plans. 

While the news is dominated with the fiscal cliff chatter, the market seemed rather calm today. Especially when Boehner said that talks really hadn't progressed very far. 

I don't know what's going to happen.  I'd guess that tax rates are going up and that spending will also go up. 

My gut feeling is that the move to the upside is going to hit a wall in 2013.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Market Thoughts

$$ - First, I'm still long the stock market and with beta. I believe the most likely outcome for the rest of the year is UP.

But it's a rocky ride, huh? If you're like me, you're tired of the market volatility due to a press conference from one of our political leaders. First, we're close to a deal. Then, we're nowhere near a deal. Next, they say something is going to be worked out. As the releases hit, the markets turn on a dime.

Is this any way to run a stock market?

It's crazy.

That all being said, it does seem like everyone agrees that there will be tax hikes. The short term consequences on the stock market and economy will be a slowdown. So, my thoughts are that even though we should see somewhat of a year-end run, I think the market gets dicey again in 2013 as tax hikes take money out of people's pockets. Combine that with any spending cuts (hahah, yeah right), and there could be GDP contraction heading our way.

Not. Good. For. Stocks.

But, I'm long right now. I'm thinking "sell in May" (or somewhere near that neighborhood) could be a very good strategy next year. Will have to wait and see...

December Dividends and Cashing out

$$ - Many companies are racing to payout dividends in the 2012 tax year to avoid whatever tax hike comes in 2013.  Investors have also been said to be dumping dividend stocks.  First, investors avoid any increase in dividend tax rates in 2013.  But then they also get the 15% capital gains tax rate of 2012.  Who knows what capital gains taxes will be in 2013?


I've also done some tax planning, but I don't think it is good to base investment decisions on taxes alone.  Making money is always goal number one.

Companies' Last Tax Dodge of 2012: Paying Out December Dividends

Filed under: Investing, Wal-Mart Stores, Taxes, Stocks in the News Ethan Allen was a businessman, a writer, and an American Revolutionary War hero. H... Read more

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XBOX 360 vs. Wii U

$$ - While the XBOX 360 is showing its age (as am I), I don't get the Wii U, either.  I guess I need to try it, if I actually felt like buying YET ANOTHER gaming console-thingy.  Probably not.

Time to realize I don't need to buy every gaming console released.  So many games for the XBOX 360 and PS3 sit unwrapped/unopened.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Schools Nintendo's Wii U in the Holiday Sales Game

Filed under: Company News, Technology, Microsoft, Nintendo, Shopping Well, the gloating didn't last long. Nintendo's (NTDOY) Reggie Fils-Aime -- t... Read more

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Republican Tax Hike?

$$ - The Republicans seem willing to raise taxes following the Obama win and looming fiscal cliff.  Taxpayers will be facing not just rising federal taxes, tax hikes at the state and local levels, too.

One of the selling reasons for 2012 is to pay taxes at the 15% capital gains tax rate, rather than risk a higher tax rate in 2013 and  beyond.  Especially if some of the holdings are in inefficient investments that pay out dividends and capital gains through out the year.  Maybe we will even see the return of tax efficient investing!

GOP senator: Fair to put raising revenue on table
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator said Sunday "it's fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table" as part of the solution to avoid the loomin... Read more

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Stocks up on Black Friday

$$ - Bottom line: Stocks up over 3% this Thanksgiving week. Including a nice half-day 172 point move up in the Dow on Friday!

Are we all a bit concerned that the market has moved up so quickly after being so oversold? Usually, we like to see the market pause a bit and then state a fierce move up on high volume to confirm the up move.

But, it is what it is.  Heck, the market has taken back nearly all that was lost post-election.  

The big news today was Black Friday and the Walmart picketers.  Turns out that the picketers weren't actually the Walmart workers themselves, but union folks!  Yeah, union folks would get a big payday if Walmart workers unionized. Isn't that what it's all about?  I'd hate to see unions destroy Walmart.

Did you do some shopping today? I did some online shopping and got some GREAT deals.  Wooo.

Stocks up on Black Friday

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Effect: More than $240 Billion

$$ - Hurricane Sandy may lead to more than $240B in rebuilding. We heard it said during the hurricane that the hit to the economy would eventually see billions spent to rebuild and repair.

Wow.  $240 billion.

Sandy Seen Boosting U.S. With as Much as $240 Billion Rebuilding
John Cataneo is working his 20 employees overtime and still can't keep up with demand from customers who need plumbing repaired after superstorm Sand... Read more

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog, and listening to the audioboos. 

There are many things for all of us to be thankful for. Today is a day to reflect not just on thanks, but prayers and contributions to those who need it. The country has been hit by a hurricane, and companies continue to downsize, lay off workers and reduce work hours. Lets pull together not just for today, but forever.


Enjoy the time spent with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkeys and Truces Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market continued it's weekly advance. Reason du jour? Peace!
  • Jim Cramer says to sell $HPQ and $BBY. Nice timing. LOL. The stocks have already crashed. My opinion is that there is little value in these companies. I don't know if they will turn it around or not. HP seems like they make one bad decision after another. Best Buy seems like a 1990's place.
  • Yeah, peace in the Middle East. Lets face it, peace is better than a ground invastion. But I'm not sure any of the underlying issues have been resolved.
  • Anyway, I remain 100% long and strong with beta. I'm bullish. Black Box is on a buy. The market is in the favorable season. Don't fight the Fed. And my favorite indicator: The Cheesecake Factory and BJ's are packed with customers waiting-waiting-waiting for a very long time for a table.
  • For some reason, the US markets are closed tomorrow.
  • Speaking of, I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Market Thoughts

$$ - Here we are in the normally bullish Thanksgiving week, and the market is delivering. Yesterday, the market rallied strong on hopes for a deal on the fiscal cliff. The President and the Republican Congress will most likely make a deal before the end of the year. 

When the market rallies so strongly, one has to worry if it was a one-day wonder or something more significant. Fortunately, the market did not give back the gains today. It was nice to see a pause. Now, in the days ahead, it would be nice to see a strong day on high volume.


Or so, that's what they say.


I remain 100% long and strong, expecting a rally...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Laid-off Hostess Workers

$$ - 18,000 Hostess workers are about to hit the work force. I'm hoping whoever ends up with the Hostess brand names will end up finding places for the workers.  But I agree that these folks will have a tough time finding jobs with the same kind of salary and benefits going forward.

Love Ding Dongs, FWIW.

Laid-off Hostess workers face tough job market

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Hoping for a Fiscal Cliff Deal

$$ - My thoughts on a fiscal cliff deal? It's going to happen.  There will be tax hikes and promised spending cuts. The fiscal cliff is all over the news and both political parties realize that they can't just ignore it this time.  They will reach a deal.

This means tax hikes on the rich - for sure!

Does it mean tax hikes for anyone else???

Stocks: Hope on fiscal cliff deal

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Back from Las Vegas Randomosity

  • $$ - Back from Las Vegas, where I compounded recent stock market losses with casino losses!
  • The official media reason du jour for the stock market weakness after the re-election of President Obama is the "fiscal cliff."
  • The official right-wing blog reason du jour for the sell off is four more years of Obamacare, regulations, and other Obamacrap.
  • The official left-wing blog reason du jour for the selling is George W. Bush.
  • So this week brings Thanksgiving, and the expectation is that history favors a move up in the market.
  • Technically, it seems as if the market is in some risk of breaking support. Barron's tech column makes the point that we could revisit the Spring lows. Would that be a big shocker?
  • A funny thing happened while we have all been preoccupied with the fiscal cliff, Eurozone problems, and the Justin Bieber - Selena Gomez break up. Hamas and Israel are firing shots at each other, and Israel is massing troops at the border. Just saying.
  • Meanwhile, the whole Benghazi thing seems to be spinning out of control. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday that Obama administration political appointees removed references to al Qaeda-linked groups from intelligence agencies’ accounts of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Somebody is going to be in trouble.
  • Strikes at Walmart heading into Thanksgiving. Strikes and protests aimed at disrupting the retail giant Walmart during next week's Black Friday sales events began on Thursday with walk-outs at a number of stores and the promise of more actions in the lead-up to what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
  • More later. Too many overtime games on Red Zone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Randomosity

  • $$ - The market had another bad day. After starting out down and reversing up, the market fell into the close. Not a good sign.
  • Here we are in a supposedly bullish period. Thanksgiving is coming up. Christmas is around the corner. We have market seasonality with us.
  • I remain long after the buy signal the Friday before Halloween. Initially, it seemed like a great call after the hurricane Sandy closed the markets and the markets rallied in the days after. Then the election happened. Since then, I've lost just a couple of percent. Nothing hand-wringing. But still. I remain 100% long and in higher beta kinds of things. I do still own some dividend stocks, but not very much. Thinking about rotating out of those into more tax efficient growth things. We shall see.
  • Is all the selling really do to Barack Obama winning another four years?
  • Daily Job Cuts: A website that shows companies laying off employees. On a daily basis!
  • Looks like Paula Broadwell works out at the gym. I saw her on some news show, and her arms looked ripped.
  • Cisco earnings and sales topped street estimates after hours. Maybe that will help things! After the earnings announcement, the company's shares ($CSCO) rose more than 1 percent in trading after the closing bell.
  • I read on Twitter that Doug Kass likes $AAPL. I like Apple products. The iPad and iPhone are great! The stock... eh, everyone's already in right?
  • I do listen to Glenn Beck occasionally on the radio. Regarding today's media, I do agree with him and wonder sometimes if we're getting the whole story. He's at The Blaze.
  • There is a lot of discussion on the war on obesity. Bloomberg cut soda sizes. LA is promoting meatless mondays. I'm a guy who has seen my share of 40-pound gains and 40-pound losses. I don't think the government should start passing regulations, though. Oh, btw, I've been holding at a slim 150 lbs for a few years now. Secret? Carbs! I eat a lot of rice and bean burritos. Not very much meat and no dairy. Maybe a few ounces of chicken a week. And a daily walk with the puppy.
  • On this day in history: 1789 - Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
  • I don't know what's going on at $MSFT, either. Seems to me that they're in trouble. I read over the weekend that the Surface isn't selling that well, even though some of the reviews are coming in okay. I don't know how their latest Microsoft 8 operating system is being accepted, but is there really an urgent need to move to the next product cycle?
  • (Oh, and maybe AAPL is heading in the same direction, too).

Friday, November 09, 2012

#196: Election Thoughts, Stock Crash, and $AAPL

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Election Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market is down over 2.3%.
  • Reason du jour? President Obama was re-elected! Peter Schiff: "I think what's going to happen in Obama's second term is going to be a currency crisis; a sovereign debt crisis. It's going to be the same thing that is happening in Europe or Greece," he says, "but it's going to be a lot worse."
  • Everyone kept their jobs. Obama gets four more years. Senate is still Dem. House is still GOP.
  • They say taxes will go up. Heck, let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. Those 47% who aren't on the tax roles? Put 'em back on!
  • "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken
  • California voters passed a tax hike, and gave the Democrats a super majority in the Assembly and Legislature, so that they can hike taxes whenever they want.
  • So my thoughts are that the debt explodes higher, unemployment and GDP woes continue to be problematic. The reason the Republicans may not ever win another national election is because of the growth in low income demographics and the shrinkage of higher-income demographics.
  • Okay, enough about politics. Back to the normal blogging stuff. Just wanted to vent.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Election Eve Thoughts

$$ - Election Eve! Market did something today. Anyone paying attention? Anyway - Go Romney! That's my prediction.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Election Thoughts Randomosity

  • $$ - There is an election Tuesday. Here are my thoughts.
  • Historically, the market performs better under Democratic Presidents, but it also does well under Republican Presidents.
  • Most likely, no matter the Presidential race outcome, there will be gridlock in Washington.
  • I think the biggest issues are Obamacare and the Fiscal Cliff. I suppose we could throw in the EPA. Both sides have different approaches to those things. But with gridlock, expect little more than the status quo.
  • The polls are all over the place, and all based on turnout of Democrats vs. Republicans, and giving some sort of weighting to the Independent vote.
  • Tonight, a D+11 poll has the race tied. No way the turn out is D+11, though. Going from memory, that was a 40% Democrat, 29% Republican and 30% Independent turn out. Nope. Won't be anywhere near that. I'm expecting the (D) and (R) numbers to be very close to each other, and the (I) vote to break for Romney close to double digits.
  • So, I think Romney wins.
  • But... Lets be honest. There has been a huge demographic change since the days of Reagan, in that more and more people depend on government programs and entitlements. It is getting tougher and tougher for the GOP to win national or state-wide elections. Romney was blasted for his 47% comment, but maybe that number is closer to 50% or greater. There are many folks who want and need a government that provides stuff for them. That favors the Democratic Party.
  • So would I be shocked if Obama wins? No. I just think it's unlikely due to Republican enthusiasm and Obama's track record for the last four years. 2008 was a combination of Bush fatigue and enthusiasm for Obama, in addition to a weak GOP candidate in McCain. Now the GOP has its strongest candidate since Ronald Reagan. Many people have Obama fatigue, and feel like he focussed too much on health care and not enough on the economy.
  • No matter who you support, life will go on.
  • If Obama wins, we may end up changing our investment strategy. Maybe we ditch dividend stocks and go back to tax efficient investing. Who wants to pay that new dividend tax rate plus the Obamacare tax on top?
  • If Romney wins, maybe we get out of stocks if the government really does cut back on stimulus.
  • Anyway... Futures were slightly positive when I checked.
  • The Redskins Indicator: Romney will win.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Big Rally Thursday Randomosity

  • $$ - Last Friday was the buy signal heard round the world. After two days of a closed market and a meandering Halloween, the market surged today on better than expected economic data. Or was it?
  • Seems to me that the market was pushing everything up today no matter what. Even in the after hours earnings today, it seemed that even mediocre news was causing stocks to lift.
  • Anyway, it is also the beginning of the month and the beginning of the "favorable season" for stocks, November through April.
  • My thoughts on the market? I'm bullish, long and with beta. My best guess is that we see strength from now until the end of the year. Not in a straight line, of course. Maybe. But probably not. I'll keep an eye on the Black Box, but leaning to staying long and being patient.
  • Last I looked, Linked In beat and was up 8% after hours. That's a stock I never thought would make it. I never go there. I did at first, but then everyone said to go to Facebook. LOL.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers are 0-2 and on their way to an 0-82 record and the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Convince me otherwise! Okay, they started out 0-2 last year, too. But wow - turnover city, even though the big three (Bryant, Howard, Gasol) had big scoring nights.
  • In Asia, Apple rolls out iPad mini to shorter lines. It will be interesting to see what happens here tomorrow. I don't think this is a must have item. I may go check out the larger iPad, but don't think I will get it (and trade in the March 2012 version).
  • Curt Schilling accused of fraud in Rhode Island over his software company, 38 Studios. Wow.