Friday, December 28, 2012

#200: Fiscal Cliff Volatility; $NFLX; Milk Prices; $AMZN

A Fiscal Cliff Mini Deal?

$$ - All we're focused on today is the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling.  The latest is that there may be a mini-deal on the fiscal cliff that just kicks the can down the road.  Obviously, since the government likes to spend money, the debt ceiling will go up.

There may be a lot of Kabuki Theater between now and when the deals are made.   But the deals will happen.  I'm sure of it.

Stocks down again.  Down 3% in 8 days according to CNBC!

White House meeting a last stab at a fiscal deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid partisan bluster, top members of Congress and President Barack Obama were holding out slim hopes for a limited fiscal deal bef... Read more

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Fiscal Cliff Randomosity

  • $$ - The stock market is stuck until a deal on the fiscal cliff is done. I know. Boring. I guess the next 2 days are about positioning for 2012 taxes or 2013 "predictions" if everyone hasn't done so already.
  • I finally watched Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation today. I wanted to do it the other night, but $NFLX was down and for some reason that created all kinds of problems in my Roku box - it was giving me an error message that it couldn't connect to the internet, although I think it was. It just wouldn't work on anything until Netflix came back up. NFLX was up today, by the way!
  • I liked Christmas Vacation. Not as much as the others, but entertaining enough.
  • Retail sales also came in a little light. Holiday-related sales rose 0.7 percent from October 28 through December 24, compared with a 2 percent increase last year. I'm partly to blame. While I did do most of my shopping online, I didn't spend as much as in 2011 or prior years.
  • I don't feel good about bonds in 2013.
  • $AAPL iPad 5 imminent? Sheez. The Apple release cycle of once-a-year could be "the good old days" soon.
  • By the way, I did most of my shopping on $AMZN. Yes, Amazon Prime and all.
  • By the way, the Lakers have won five in a row. Are they back?
  • George H. W. Bush is in intensive care. Let's pray for his health. I think if it wasn't for Ross Perot, Bush would have beat Clinton in 1992 and served 2 terms.
  • Timothy Geithner says the US will hit the debt ceiling by Monday. No worries. They'll extend it. If it's one thing the government likes to do, it's spending money. And no matter what kind of fiscal cliff deal they come to that raises revenue or "cuts" spending, the deficits will continue and the national debt will continue to rise. It's the way it is until it stops, or something stops us from doing it.
  • Looks like Senator Harry Reid is working with President Obama on a fiscal cliff deal. And then they'd need 30 Republican votes with the minority Democrats to pass it in the House. We shall see...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Obama Flying Home to the Rescue

$$ - As we tear down Christmas the next few days, it's nice to know that President Obama is coming home to work on a fiscal cliff deal.

I still think we're going to get a deal. This week... Next week... Next month...

Obama to fly to home early as 'fiscal cliff' looms

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama will cut short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday even... Read more

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

$$ - The stock market hasn't given us much of a Santa Claus rally! We have history on our side. We have market seasonality on our side. We have the Federal Reserve on our side. But on the negative side, the bull market that started in March, 2009, is getting long in the tooth. In addition, taxes are set to go up next week! CNBC reported today that Christmas sales year-over-year are down.

I believe that there will be a fiscal cliff deal that leaves taxes unchanged for most Americans while raising taxes on the "rich." I think everyone believes that, which is why the market hasn't sold off too much.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the bull market end in 2013, though. But I'm going to play the seasonality for now, remain long, and enjoy Christmas.

To all of you, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Going over the cliff: What changes, what doesn't

$$ - What happens to your paycheck if we go over the fiscal cliff?

(Hint... It won't be fun).

Going over the cliff: What changes, what doesn't

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Fiscal Cliffmass Randomosity

  • $$ - The market is volatile. A funny thing happened on the way to the Santa Claus rally - fear.
  • Volume has been high, too. Usually the market volume tapers off as the year winds down. With this kind of volatility, you have to wonder what happens next week with the government basically giving up on solving the fiscal cliff. Although, don't we all know that a deal will be made pretty soon? With tax hikes and sequestration coming, they won't let it happening. Despite all the Kabuki Theater.
  • Great WSJ on that, by the way.
  • I remain long. 100% plus beta. So NDX and small caps mostly.
  • Blogging and audioboo a little light this week. Out shopping, looking at lights. There's a neighborhood near here where 100 homes put in the effort and made quite a display. Very nice.
  • Anecdotally, malls don't seem too crowded. I did do most of my shopping online, but needed somethings from Best Buy. The sunday before Christmas, that store was empty. Seriously.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gun Stocks Are Getting Destroyed

Guns... A contrarian play? $SWHC $RGR. Everyone is in shock and horror over the classroom killings, but is the right to own guns going to go away?

I don't think so.  As a matter of fact, an over zealous government may actually lead to increasing sales. 

Gun Stocks Are Getting Destroyed (SWHC, RGR)

guns cartel

Like yesterday, the stock markets are up, while gun makers are get slammed.

Smith & Wesson is down 9%.

Sturm Ruger is down 6%.


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

#199: Market, Apple Stock, Fiscal Cliff

Friday, December 14, 2012


$$ - Today's events make it difficult to discuss the market. A horrible act of violence has struck once again, and I don't have the words to express my sadness and sorrow. 

I will go on to the market, which is what I try to mostly discuss on this blog.


I'm still bullish. I know we seem to hit a snag, and the Nasdaq and NDX can't escape from the heavy hand of $AAPL. Apple stock continues to fall, and today there's word that sales in China aren't as robust as hoped for. Instead of $1000 targets, we're hearing the bottom is in the $400s. From one extreme to the other! We'll see what happens.


Apple's loss seems to be $GOOG gain. Google is grabbing the positive news headlines in growth land because of surging sales of Android phones and now a #1 hit at the iPhone iTunes App Store with the release of Google Maps. Growth funds and ETFs have to own something, and maybe Google is the prize.


Today I did some reallocation, just to grab some stock losses to offset some of the big gains for the year. But I'm still 100% long with beta. But the beta is getting sucked down with Apple! I also have a heavier weighting in the small caps. Someone once told me that small caps outperform from December to June.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Strong Market Day!

  • A nice day in the market, and even $AAPL was up!
  • SP500 up 5 days in a row!
  • The market was stronger, but then Harry Reid came out and said that there's no progress on Fiscal Cliff stuff.
  • I think the talk of $AAPL stock in its death throes is a bit overdone. Yes, they face challenges, but their products are great and people love them!
  • Michigan approves right-to-work laws, making mandatory union membership a thing of the past. Workers can still join if they want to. Or not. Up to the worker. Nice. Why should anyone be forced to pay union dues?
  • Is the news getting more and more crazy? Maybe there are always bad news stories in the headlines, but now a Portland mall shooter.
  • Now we have a few weeks where the regular TV shows take a break and we get the in-between stuff.
  • For all my worries about fantasy football, I'm in the playoffs in both of my leagues.
  • North Korea has a successful missle test. I'm sure that will bring more peace and stability to the region. Not.
  • Lakers lose on the road to Cleveland, and Coach blows up at reporter as I was watching on Lakers TV. Kobe Bryant scored 42.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Sunday NFL Randomosity

  • $$ - Is the NFL just a vehicle to sell Cialis?
  • The Fiscal Cliff still in the headlines. Will people sell stocks to lock in taxes at 2012 rates instead of risk higher rates in 2013? The $600 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the beginning of next year includes higher rates for capital gains, making tax-related selling even more appealing than usual. Yes, I think people will do some tax planning. Why wouldn't they?
  • Bob Brinker asks his guest today (David Wessel), given that around 46% of the US pays no income taxes and there's a call for the 2% (the rich) to pay their "fair share," are the 46% who don't pay income taxes paying their fair share?
  • Seems like there is a lot of angst about $AAPL stock. Is the big run over? Every big stock run eventually ends. I don't know if this is it for Apple, but doesn't it fit the profile of an overloved and overowned stock where people believe nothing can over go wrong? Meanwhile, behind the growth is a change in leadership and competition from Google in the mobile space. Plus, now we have the company changing it's strategy of releasing iProducts yearly to some other schedule of multiple releases per year? Hmm... I don't own it, but I do own the $QQQ and AAPL is heavily weighted...
  • I bought a Jawbone Jambox on Black Friday. For myself, of course - Merry Christmas to me! Anyway, it works great. I have it on listening to Brinker while watching two NFL games on, while blogging. LOL
  • Hmm. 49ers cheerleaders.
  • Seems like we wil get some tax hikes. The Republicans seem to be falling in line for a tax hike. “There is a growing group of folks who are looking at this and realizing we don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year’s end,” Sen. Corker said. “So a lot of people are putting forth a theory, and I think it has merit, where you go ahead and give the president the rate increase on the top 2 percent, and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements.
  • What I don't hear is any talk about spending cuts. Does anyone think that today's $16.3 trillion deficit won't be $22-25 trillion at the end of Obama's term? And then they'll talk about how they made cuts, when they didn't...
  • Greece and Spain are still in the news. But you have to dig a few pages back to find them. Still a big deal. Just overshadowed by what's going on regarding the fiscal cliff, and UK prank phone calls going bad.
  • South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin has signed with the Dodgers, who expect him to be part of the rotation next season. Isn't that about $200M total on two pitchers in two days?

Fox Business Block Stock Picks

$$ - What are the Fox Business Block stock picks today? As you know, at the beginning of the year I wrote down their picks for 2012, and we'll track those in a few weeks. What are they picking today?

  • Fox Bulls and Bears stock picks: $MAT, $MOH, $GOOG, $BF-A. Meh. If I had to take one of those, I'd probably pick the Google.
  • Fox Cavuto on Business picks: $LNG, $WAG, $F. Uh, I'd go with Adam's pick, Walgreens. For the long term, of course.
  • Forbes on Fox picks: $MMS, $UTEK. Tech stocks! Well, I think those are some volatile names!
  • Cashin' In picks: $NFLX, $AKAM, $SMFG. Those seem like risky picks to me!
I don't recommend any of these and won't follow up, just interesting. Some of the details of their comments will be at later. I like the shows where they review their best and worst picks. There are both, for sure!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

#198: Thoughts on Apple Stock - $AAPL

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The iPhone 5

Bought my $AAPL iPhone 5 tonight. Even received decent trade-in value for the old Apple iPhone 4. My first impressions are that this thing is speedy compared to the 4. In addition, some of my most resource intensive apps are loading really quickly. I use Cyclemeter for the dog walks and bike rides, and it was painful on the 4, but loads and runs quickly on the iPhone 5. Downcast is a podcast app, and it is also speedy. 

The big news is that I switched from ATT to Verizon. I know it all depends where you are, but right now when I'm in the office ATT data network is almost non-functioning, while Verizon (via my iPad) is great. So I had to make the switch. But ATT worked everywhere else - hopefully, I will get the best of both worlds on $VZ!


I bought a cheap case for the iphone 5. It's too slick, and I think it will slip out of my hand and crash down on the ground in short order. So, I'm looking to upgrade.


More comments in the days and weeks ahead. I know many of you are way ahead of me on this, so I won't get too bogged down blogging about my new iPhone.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Bob Costas

$$ - Next NFL halftime, Bob Costas will speak out on the new Israeli settlements in Gaza...

A Gun Control Halftime Show: Should Bob Costas have Spoken out on Belcher Suicide?

KANSAS CITY (CNN)- There are a few things you can usually expect out of an NFL halftime show. A debate about gun control ... Read more

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

#197: Market Thoughts

The California Fiscal Cliff

$$ - Good Lord, the Democrats have the super-majority in CA and want to be able to raise library taxes.  There's a fiscal cliff at the Federal level, but don't forget that CA is already imposing higher income taxes on the rich, an increased sales tax for everyone, and now want library taxes!

Tax! Tax! Tax!

Senate Democrat wants lower hurdle for library taxes

PK_YOLO LIBRARY 0274.JPGSen. Lois Wolk, a Davis Democrat, said Friday she will write a constitutional amendment making it easier for voters to pass library taxes and bonds.

Wolk's announcement came a day after Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said he will write a measure lowering the vote threshold for school parcel taxes. Democrats won supermajority control of both legislative houses in November's election, enabling them to place constitutional amendments on the ballot without GOP votes.

The latest proposal would lower the threshold for library parcel taxes and bonds from two-thirds down to 55 percent...

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