Monday, December 28, 2015

The Last Week of 2015

  • imageYou know, I still shake my head at how “low oil prices” are a negative for the economy.  I get the job losses in some of the oil boom areas.  What I wonder is if these are the only kids of jobs that have been created? 
  • Watching the last Monday Night Football game of 2015.  SAD!
  • Low temps in SoCal not seen for 100 years.  Brrr…  But the days are in the mid-60s.  Take that, Dakotas!
  • All the jobs we normally hear about are the ones paying minimum wage, 29 hours a week, filled by college grads with Liberal Arts degrees.  Well, if you can’t get a job on a rig, where else you going to find work?
  • Losing my fantasy super bowl.  Ah nuts.
  • Maybe if you can shoot the rock, you can get a job with the Lakers. Or Sixers. 
  • Remember when AJ McCarron played for Alabama?  He looks okay with the Bengals.
  • Still debating on some tax loss vs. tax gain selling and balancing.  I have a few stinkers, but I actually think they’re okay.  I’m just early for cryin out loud!
  • Well, my part time job this week is watching bowl games and streaming Netflix.  Sometimes a guy’s gotta work two part time jobs.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day After Christmas

  • imageI’ve enjoyed listening to opinions on where the price of oil is headed. $USO
  • So some folks are predicting $20s or teens.  Heck, if the price is low it must keep going lower.  That’s what the charts say!  I also know many trapped longs are hoping for a huge oil rally so they can get somewhere close to break even on earlier buys.  Some of these stocks have cratered in 2015.
  • With a strong dollar, and the Fed Hell bent on raising rates in 2016, it’s hard to imagine commodity prices that are denominated in dollars seeing much price appreciation.  Absent runaway demand or a crash in supplies.  Don’t see either of those two by the way.
  • Kind of funny how cheap oil prices are seen as an economic downer.  Shouldn’t we all be spending those dollars saved on gasoline on STUFF?  Or maybe it’s all going to new iPhone purchases and monthly cell phone bills.
  • It’s the day after Christmas already! Now we will be subject to “The Best *** of 2015” shows, lists, and columns for the rest of the year.
  • I think a Christmas tree after Christmas, with all the presents long gone, is a sad thing.
  • Traffic is crazy.  Stores are crowded.  Returns.  Gift card buys.  After Christmas sales.
  • I don’t know why Kirk Cousins just took a knee in the redzone with 5 seconds left, and the clock ran out, either.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

  • imageFirst, Merry Christmas to all!  I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends.
  • As far as investing goes, this is the time of year where I reflect on what happened to the portfolio in 2015 and how I want to plan for 2016.  And which bowl games I should bet on.  Those things.
  • First, one of the major mistakes I ALMOST MADE early in 2015 was thinking about selling McDonalds (MCD).  Nobody liked it early in the year.  Too much competition on every corner.  People wanted healthier options.  Etc.  Well, the stock has been one of the big winners in my portfolio this year.  No matter what the crowd was thinking earlier in the year, they missed it.  I almost fell victim to the crowd-think.  But I didn’t.  Phew.
  • Applying that to 2016, what stocks are buyable here?  Energy?  $IBM?  $WMT?  Those are Dow laggards, right?  The whole Dogs of the Dow idea in a nutshell.  Is IBM yesterday’s news, too big and slow to make it in the world of new tech?  And what about Walmart?  Amazon and the online world too much for the old retailer?  HMMMM…. Just thinking out loud.
  • Energy?  EOG?  XOM?  I heard on the news how Saudi Arabia is pumping and pumping to drive out the American competition on the oil market.  But heck, the new budget just allowed oil exports from the US.  I don’t know.  Just thinking out loud.  Again.
  • Big winners in my portfolio… Facebook.  Disney.  Well, Disney WAS a big winner until recently.  Yah, ESPN woes.  I still like the magic kingdom, and see nothing but blockbuster movies and crowded theme parks for years and years.  And I watch a lot of sports, so I’m not canceling my cable just yet.  Buy what you know, Peter Lynch.
  • Facebook…  I still see it going to $1000 someday.  Not in a straight line, though.  And there will be a bear market or two along the way where the stock gets trashed. But I think it will be around and growing.
  • Also thinking about some of the drug companies that have been sold off from their earlier 2015 highs.
  • That’s about it on this Christmas eve. Where I just went to Target and it was packed to the rafters with last minute shoppers.  As was the Starbucks inside the store, with long lines of folks buying gift cards and big drinks with whip cream.
  • Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Market Meanders

  • Well, an interesting reaction to the Federal Reserve .25 rate hike.  Initially, the market rallied.  Then the market fell hard for two days.  For the same reason the market went up!
  • Since then, rally mode.  Seems as if the folks who wanted to sell have done the deed, and have gone on Christmas break.  Is the rest of the year trending up?
  • I haven’t finished Christmas shopping yet!
  • This is the first time I have blogged on my new Surface Pro 4, using Open Live Writer.  Not sure how this app will make things look!
  • Oil prices tanking.  Seems like we’re hearing about how oil drilling is slowing down.  The kind of thing that eventually will help lead to higher prices as supplies come down.
  • Haven’t seen Star Wars yet.  Long lines everywhere they say!
  • So… Disney stock struggling.  Seems like “sell the news” wins the day.  Although most stocks have had a tough sled lately.
  • I’m not sure how long it will take Chipotle to recover from continuing bad press on bad food.  Eventually?  I keep thinking WHEN to dip a toe in, but this hasn’t been a “one and done” kind of story, has it?
  • Happy last minute shopping!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December Swoon Market Thoughts

  • This just in: December’s bullish period actually starts this next Friday. So you know.  That’s the official word from The Mount.  Sorry if everyone got excited too early in the month.  Can we get a do-over?
  • You know, the economic data is a bit mixed.  I think the Federal Reserve is looking for any excuse to raise rates.  Not sure economic data is it.  It’s seems like the economy is slowing down to me.  Maybe that’s why the market is flat, in anticipation of slower growth.
  • You’re going to need to add to your winter wardrobe. It looks like the nations of the world gathered in Paris to save the world from climate change, and we have to turn the global temperature thermostat down by 2 degrees. 
  • I wonder how the market will do the last year of President Barack Obama? 
  • The last year of George Bush: –37%.
  • The last year of Bill Clinton: –9.1%.
  • The last year of George HW Bush: 7.7%.
  • The last year of Ronald Reagan:  16.8%
  • The last year of Jimmy Carter: 32.4%
  • The news is all about the terrorism.  I suppose with recent events and political candidates out campaigning, that’s the new normal as well.  But it makes the news hard to watch.  I turn on the Fox Business Block (Cost of Freedom) this morning, and I want to see some financial analysis of the markets.  Plenty of other shows cover politics and world events.  But instead, we get Gary B. Smith, aka “The Chartman,” talking current events.  Ugh.  And I like me some Gary B. Smith talking stocks and economics.  Miss that.
  • In the college football lull period between the end of the conference championships and the bowl games.  The networks provide some college basketball games, but I’m not quite ready for that, yet.  You?
  • I am still keeping track of how the Fox Business Block gurus are doing versus the market and each other.  QQQ is in the lead, followed by Gary B. Smith.  I will do an update at the end of the year.  Also following the IBD 50 and Motif IBD 25 portfolios.
  • To change the climate, the world leaders have decided we must cut the dreaded CO2 emissions resulting from you living your life.
  • There is a scientific way to win at rock-paper-scissors.  So you know,
  • Jonathan Honig and Wayne Rogers don’t even make stock picks on Cashin’ In anymore.  Fox puts their stock picks online, sometimes.  Sometimes Fox posts a broken link.  Or no link.  It’s like the show has given up on “business” since Eric Bolling took over.
  • Obviously, I am a proud climate denier.  I believe the goal of those in the climate change movement is to accumulate money.  Either for themselves via a salary, or via a climate change slush fund that can be used to expense their lifestyle against.  You know, the latter is like certain charitable funds set up in the name of a good cause, then the folks running the thing hire family and friends, expense their travel, party, and avoid taxes.  I’m looking at you, Hillary Clinton.  Just speaking my mind on this.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers have won 3 games.  Only the Philadelphia 76ers have won less:  1.  And that one win came against… The LOS ANGELES LAKERS! 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Saturday Market Thoughts and San Bernadino

  • It’s funny.  On December 1st, we were told how great the month of December is for stocks.  Best month of the year!  And with the index up nicely the first trading day, clear sailing ahead, right? Not exactly.  The stock market then was swept away by fear.  Fear of a rate hike.  Fear of terrorism.  Fear.  But then Friday came, and all was forgotten.  The jobs number was good, which should have created a dog pile reaction on fear, but instead the market had a huge rally.  So when all was said and done, did the market really do anything this week?
  • Yes.  San Bernadino.  I mean what can I say?  The pessimist inside of me says that this is the new normal.  This has nothing to do with guns.  We’ve had guns our whole history.  This is a change in our country.  And have you noticed the arsenal the police roll onto the scene with?  The police is now a military unit.  Seems to me that they are planning for more of this, too.  Yes.  Fear.
  • Fimageootball playoffs today.  Should be some good ones.  I like that the NCAA now has a small playoff system set up.  At least this is better than just picking two teams.  I think it needs to expand to 8, though.  We don’t need 68 teams like March Madness.  But definitely it’s hard to pick the top 4.  The top 8 would include some teams that are really close in talent.
  • I’m sort of amazed at how low oil prices are.  It is cold out there.  And the supply seems to be sufficient and slightly above what we need.  And since oil is traded in US dollars, and the dollar is gaining strength, I suppose that’s another reason commodities are overall lower.  I still have this gut feeling that it wouldn’t take much to drive oil higher.’'
  • In the biggest news of the day, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West had a baby boy today.
  • I find it hard to watch the news channels after terrorist attacks.  Hashing and rehashing with incomplete information.
  • I think it’s great that Mark Zuckerberg will give away 99% of his Facebook shares.  Another example along with Bill Gates, of the rich folks giving back.  This is so much better than the government soaking it up in taxes and wasting it.  Maybe the money will do some good.
  • Donald Trump’s lead in the GOP polls continues to grow.  Ugh.
  • And by the way, declining oil prices will mean job cuts.  I’m looking at you, North Dakota.
  • So, on Black Friday I bought a Kindle Fire 7” tablet for cheap.  It’s actually quite zippy.  What don’t I like about it?  It runs this crippled version of Android that links to the Amazon app store.  So not all the Google apps are available.  But heck.  It was cheap.  And it’s not bad just to leave on the coffee table to grab for news. Of course, I have over half a dozen tablets now that can do the same thing. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

December Stock Rally!

·       The December. Best month for stocks of all the months they say.  Party on, Wayne.  The market inches up near the all time highs… again.
·       So, $YHOO to spin off the core Internet business?  Leaving Yahoo with… uh, what?  Remember when Yahoo was the internet home page?  Kind of like the evolutionary process from the local BBS, to AOL, to Yahoo.  Kind of sad to see it wither away.  Not sure where they went wrong.  Maybe the competition is better.  Still good for fantasy leagues, although I think most of my leagues have moved on to ESPN.
·       Good column at Barrons on $JNJ.  I’ve owned Johnson & Johnson for awhile.  I just think it will always be around.  No more tears.  I use it in my dividend stack of stocks, and don’t expect it to be a growth monster, but should move up over time while paying out cash.  Maybe it gets interesting if they break it up.
·       Streaming The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime.  Pretty good.  So far.  I’m about half way through…  Jessica Jones next on the $NFLX – Netflix.
·       Did you read where Donald Trump wants $5M to participate in the next GOP debate?  He’s not my guy, but I’d be tempted to not pay him.  Call his bluff.  Can you imagine him telling the Climate Change conference that he’s not going unless they pay him money?  Wait – that’s probably true for most of the folks that go to that, right?

·       I keep thinking that I need to reallocate my portfolio.  Maybe towards the end of the month.  It’s very high beta right now.  At least the trading portion.  I do have most in SPY.

Monday, November 30, 2015

End of November

  • Stocks basically flat for the year.  A sideways correction?
  • Will the Fed finally raise rates in December? 
  • The biggest threat to the planet was ended today, when the MRI on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski showed no tear, only a bruise.  
  • None of the "sure thing" Fed hikes have happened yet.  So the recent economic news has seemingly been robust enough to increase rates. But there are also some lackluster economic numbers.  We shall see. 
  • Sometimes, instead of a crash, the market trades back and forth in a narrow range.  At the same time, earnings growth continues.  This has the effect of lowering PE multiples and high market valuations without the stomach churning drop in share prices. 
  • Carolina Panthers undefeated, you say?
  • My fantasy football season seems to be unraveling. Injuries and mediocre players.  When you have to sit Sunday morning and analyze which players to start and sit, you have a mediocre team. Should be obvious. 
  • Anyway, I'm still 100% long after going all in late this summer.  
  • Just thinking out loud, but in regard to stocks: Clinton's last year in office sucked.  Bush's last year in office sucked. And here comes Obama's last year.  Sell stocks?

Friday, November 06, 2015

Energy: Selling Exxon and Buying EOG

Selling $XOM and buying $EOG.  I don't want to hold a stock as it goes through a federal investigation of climate change, and if that results in billions of fines or penalties.  I'm scared. 

Want energy exposure of some sort so going into $EOG.  Smaller dividend.  Also riskier.  Should benefit with higher energy prices. If we ever have those again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sell Rosh Hashanah Buy Yom Kippur

  • Today is Yom Kippur.  Are you buying stocks?  
  • Hillary Clinton killed the biotechs yesterday by lashing out at high drug prices.  Well, I don't want to be bipartisan.  Maybe it was Ben Carson's comments regarding a Muslim President that sent the drug stocks tanking.  Maybe!
  • Reason du jour for stock sell off:  Slowing global growth.  It's always something... 
  • I'm long stocks. Might buy a little more today.  Almost fully invested as it is, so riding this down.  Not too worried about the long term, but looks pretty volatile right now.
  • Colts 0-2.  Hey, out of control beard Andrew Luck, you were supposed to win the Super Bowl!
  • So, Fear of the Walking Dead has been pretty good. Yes, the last episode was a brief pause in the downfall of LA.  Sort of.  I mean you can see that life has changed and it won't be getting better.  But we know how things look a few weeks down the road due to The Walking Dead, right Rick Grimes?
  • Russia is expanding their military role in Syria, as if they paid no attention to how the US fared in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Or how the Soviet Union did back in the 80's trying that.  Tough to occupy a country when they ultimately don't want you there.  The reality is that while this is being seen as Russia flexing their muscles, they will lose some lives and spend a lot of money trying to do that.
  • I think Donald Trump is ruining the election cycle for the GOP.  At this point, the Republicans may have to ride out 2016 and try again in 2020.  I think Rubio is the best chance now.  Carly would be fun, but the Left will hammer her for her reign at HP.  Gee, find a big tech company that did well during the 2000-2003 tech bubble collapse.
  • VM hammered for some sort of emissions testing shenanigans.  I wonder how common gaming the system is regarding that.  I'm taking the over.
  • OK... Home sick.  Going to see if this sucker sells down into the close.  Good luck.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Uh Oh

  • $SPY - Well. I bought the dip, too. Doesn't look like that will break even for awhile.  I still have some cash so now I'm thinking ... Hmm, maybe wait a bit on that. 
  • No recession due to a spike in oil prices.  No inverted yield curve. Profits at record highs. Interest rates at their lows and very little inflation.  GDP still positive. Two hour lines at Disney.  So this sell off is probably a correction and not a Great Recession.
  • I liked Fear the Walking Dead. Slow build but that's what it is supposed to be. Heck, in the Walking Dead, Rick is only in a coma for a little while when he wakes up and society is toast.
  • So... At least I bought stocks of companies not going away.  Disney.  Facebook.   Apple.  JNJ.   Maybe they don't go up in a V move, but not worried over the long term. 
  • Havent watched too much preseason NFL.  Hard to get into it versus streaming Netflix shows.

    Been on vacation a lot this month. LOL. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Correction

Stocks stuck in the mud all year. Now China is the problem du jour.  From Fed relate worries to Greece to China - it's always something.  

I'm still mostly long with a little more cash then the last time I blogged.  Looking to buy in to an ETF for a bounce. Heck, the market has been down five days in a row.  That's a modern day record!

Maybe this is the summer correction we all knew was coming in some summer down the road, but hoping it wasn't THIS summer!

I haven't traded much all year...  I'm sure it would have worked better than last year.  I do own some of the big 2015 winners and a few sinners, too.  It's a Facebook vs Twitter story.  I believe in both over the next 10 years. Keep adding and adding as I can.  

Enjoying summer. Hope you are, too.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

90% Long

  • I'm about 90% long. About. Ish. 
  • Believe in a summer correction.  Haven't had one of any significance for awhile. 
  • Want to trim stocks but just can't seem to hit the button. Also afraid to buy anything right now. Crazy. 
  • Starbucks packed at lunch time. Wow. Not just drinks but food!  
  • Summer!  Having our first 100 degrees plus temps. Pool time!
  • Dodgers playing well but can't beat teams like Giants or Cardinals.  Won't be an issue until the Fall. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stocks Continue to Meander

  • The market really doesn't look that healthy. Other than the money chasing the high flyers (tech, semis, drugs, IT security), look at the rest of the mess. 
  • Of course, the Nasdaq hit all time highs just yesterday. LOL.  
  • The market looks so bad, it feels awful making all this money!
  • I'm still long but do have a little cash.  I can't help but think we get some selling down to a moving average just to scare folks.  I have a shopping list of stocks with ridiculously high valuations. 
  • Retail stocks look ugly.  Transports look ugly.  Worth noting. Doesn't that mean demand for stuff is down? Or is everyone only buying $AAPL Apple watches?
  • I think the Pebble Time watch looks like a good watch until Apple gets a few generations into their fixes and improvements.  
  • Dodgers can't beat good teams. Giants killed them with three shut outs.  Now on the road in St. Louis. 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Saturday Market Thoughts

  • So, just when it seemed as if “sell in May” was gaining some momentum, Friday happened and the market is now back near all time highs.  Crazy!
  • Reason du jour is a jobs report that, well, met expectations.  Wasn’t too hot or cold.  Unemployment supposedly fell a tick.  As much as we can trust any of these numbers…  I will say I think things aren’t as bad as the bears make out to be, and not as good as the bulls make out to be.  So things are status quo – and, what’s wrong with that?
  • So, Tom Brady to be suspended for up to half a season?  Thank goodness for them and their fans that they play in the AFC East, consisting of a bunch of other teams that seem to be stuck in neutral.
  • I remain long stocks.  I was thinking about trimming on the Friday blast up, but didn’t.  Maybe I will regret it.  But seems like fighting zero interest rates has been a fools errand.
  • Watching the GOP cast of characters vs. the Democratic party’s cast of characters and I’m very worried.
  • Here in Sacramento there are water restrictions coming in.  Can only water lawn once a week!  Maybe it’s time we go full-desert and replace lawns with rock.  Lawns are just a bunch of work anyway!
  • Britain had an election that was supposed to be close.  Or so they said.  LOL.
  • Anyway.  So, baseball season.  Nice to have a game on at most times of the day.  I did renew to MLB and MILB packages.  Always something to watch!  Haven’t been that excited about the NBA playoffs.  Such is the dilemma of Lakers’ fans!
  • Almost done with Netflixing the final season of Sons of Anarchy.  What a great show, but it was time to end it I think.  Like the seriousness and gravity of the final season so far.
  • Also binge watched Bloodline.  Liked it!  Slow here and there, but it builds…
  • I’m not sure what to think about McDonalds.  I own the stock $MCD, but have to say that they face challenges with fast casual competition growing like a weed.  The stock hasn’t done much, but hasn’t really bombed either.  (Although not moving when the market has had a nice run is hard to watch).  Also noticing that lines have been picking up recently locally, but I don’t think it’s as crowded as Starbucks!  $SBUX.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Sell in May?

  • Sy Harding passed away last week. He was one of the "Sell in May" guys who used the MACD to identify a time to sell stocks in the Spring and buy stocks in the Fall.  Sad to hear that he passed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all who followed him.  
  • The market had an uneasy April. Will May be better? So far!  It is tempting to Sell in May.  The market has not had a decent pullback or correction in awhile. Yet, sometime moving sideways for a long and boring period of time eases things.  What to do... What to do...
  • I am still long the market but may ease back a little.  Just having a hard time deciding because Sell in May hasn't worked recently.
  • I didn't watch the fight. Big news is that the fight was transmitted live for free over the live streaming sites like Twitters Periscope. Will the fight organizers go after Twitter?  They say they may go after both the companies that allow the piracy and the Pirates themselves.  
  • The Dodgers playing well. At home, anyway. 
  • The Warriors also playing well. Anywhere there is a basketball court. 
  • I binged watched Bloodline on Netflix. Liked it!
  • Twitter earnings weren't such a shocker, but the way the earnings were released and the investor reaction was.  Facebook had only sold off a little after their earnings, so when the other big eyeball sites like Twitter, Yelp, and Linked In fell so hard, I know it caught me off guard.  
  • Although honestly, I don't "get" Linked In.  It's the site I use the least, no matter who is endorsing me for a skill set or wants to connect. Gee, go see me on FB for cryin out loud. At least I post pics of my dog on FB!
  • Of those I use Twitter the most.  Then FB. Then Yelp. And rarely look at Linked In. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Market Thoughts

  • Heard that April is supposedly a strong month, with the ten days prior to tax day weak but the ten days after strong.  Okay.  Let's go with that. 
  • Market continues to sit near the highs with frustrating pullbacks of just a few percent but not making headway. The 150dma on the SP500 has held recent pullbacks and is somewhere near 2030ish.  Ish. 
  • March Madness... Wow, Notre Dame almost had Kentucky and it feels like that may have been the last gasp chance for anyone to beat em.  Although Wisconsin interesting...
  • Still long the market.  Sell in May warming up, stretching, and heading to on deck circle.  So is baseball season!
  • (Got MLB package, fwiw).
  • Monday's big rally given back the last two days. Churning. 
  • The market can't do nothin since $AAPL - Apple joined the Dow!
  • Got a new job. So. There is that.  
  • Finished the third season of House of Cards.  Eh.  Not as good as first two.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What's a blog?

Kind of funny how over the last decade the forum for opinion sharing has migrated from blogs to 140-character tweets. I just noticed that I hadn't written here for over a month, yet I have been sharing on Twitter.  It's probably been over a year since I did an audioboo/podcast!

  • I still think the market heads higher, with pullbacks here and there. Buy the dips should still work.  I remain nearly 100% long. 
  • The Fed will continue to keep rates low. Is there a reason not too?  Is there a danger of raising rates in a world where other countries are reducing rates?
  • Hillary Clinton: OMG.  Really? Isn't there a better candidate over there?  Ugh. 
  • March Madness! The conference tournaments have been great and the big dance starts soon.
  • Hey, I know the money is probably coming in on the UC Irvine Anteaters to walk away with March Madness, but my sleeper pick is that the Kentucky Wildcats come out-of-nowhere and win the whole shootin' match. 
  • I wonder if "sell in May" will work this year, and catch a pullback?  Gut feeling says "yes."  But you know, that could just mean a pullback to some obvious moving average and the up we go. 
  • (Am I too complacent about stocks, in a six-year bull market?)
  • $AAPL - Apple stock joins the Dow tomorrow!  Set your watch!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday Market Thoughts (and Swimsuit!)

  • What a week for stocks and Sports Illustrated swimsuit models!
  • Ok ... China version ... Mika V is her name.   
  • The stock market had an amazing week. I am still long with only a very small amount in cash.  I think the trend is higher even though the market is now flat for the year!  We are seeing lower energy costs, higher employment and wage growth which is good for the consumer and economy. 
  • Brian Williams stepping down from the NBC anchor desk during the investigation. Lots of folks on $TWTR  and with Photoshop having fun. My thoughts are that if the guy faked a story when his job is to tell the news, he should be fired.
  • Okay, have you seen the "plus sized" US Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model? That would pass for skinny in my office. 
  • $DIS - Disney earnings were outstanding. I own the stock and will continue to add over the years.  Buy and hold forever? Not sure but seems likely unless something changes.  Disney is an entertainment juggernaut. 
  • $TWTR - I think Twitter will be a long term winner but don't own any shares.  I think the earnings report was good. Everyone goes there for instant news.  Although trolling and arguing gets tiresome.  Maybe that's why there are a lot of people who are on Twitter but don't do anything. 
  • I prefer $FB and where Facebook could go over the years.  
  • Energy - my thoughts are to buy energy weakness and be patient. The stuff doesn't ever seem to be low for very long. Some of the names have already had big moves. The only thing I own is $XOM because it is huge and diversified. 
  • With the jobs number and the wage growth number, the worry now turns to the next Fed move and higher interest rates.  If the economy is improving! Taking a hit are stocks with yield as higher government interest rates are competition for utility stocks and REITs. Also the dividend paying large caps could take a hit. 
  • A stronger US dollar has meant that foreign denominated holdings take a hit on the exchange rate.  Of course now that the U.S. Dollar has had a big move one has to think that at some point it would be a good idea to buy as much foreign stuff as possible while the exchange rate is in the US favor.   The world continues to print money and avoid deflation, so who knows when the "right time" will be. Hard to time it but may make sense to start allocating there. I haven't yet. 
  • One of my worries is interest payments on the national debt. If rates rise, so do the payments on our debt as previous debt comes due and we have to refinance at current rates.  
  • Hey! Radio Shack declared bankruptcy! Man, that used to be the place to pick up some odd A/V part or wire before $AMZN.  Our shopping habits have evolved. 
Raining here in CA!  We need it but I don't like it on the weekends.  Anyway, it's a good day to watch TV. Maybe $DIS - ESPN.  And binge watch something on $NFLX.  That's what we do, right?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Market Thoughts

It seems that the market has wanted to go down for awhile now, and only the periodic "more stimulus" press releases from central banks have created big rallies.  Look at how narrow stock leadership has been on the bounces.  While it's true that a rally is a rally is a rally, it's a bit unsettling to see "buying and holding" an index feels a lot like running in place these days. 

That being said, I am still long and diversified. I do have some cash and it is tempting to buy the dip. As usual.  
  • I thought $FB earnings were great.   I still think the Facebook will be one of those "I wish I would have bought it 10 years ago" kind of stocks. 
  • I also liked $LVS earnings. Las Vegas Sands also increased its dividend from $.50 to $.65.  That's a 30% increase! Try to get those returns on a Macau slot machine. 
  • Anyone else feeling a little suspicious about $BABA? Alibaba earnings numbers also bringing down $JD today. 
  • $AAPL is taking over the world. I wish I would have bought a ton of Apple prior to earnings.  Didn't we all know that everyone seems to have an iPhone 6 or 6 plus and that would translate to monster earnings?
I'm sitting here at $SBUX.  Starbucks is packed.  As usual. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


$SPY - maybe instead of fearing the 3' of snow that didn't happen, investors should have been more worried about the gap down today.  

Blame it on:
Currency exchange rates due to strong dollar
Cheap oil
Weak earnings (due to combo of above things)
Weak Econ data (dittos)
Measles at Disneyland
Pick your favorite worry!  Multiple choices are allowed!
I still have a little cash and haven't even traded with it. This year looks a lot like last year so far. There is always something to worry about.  I think the worry and concern is actually bullish at this point.  There isn't rampant bullishness.  Most stocks haven't been leading anyway. The market is a floppin and a choppin. 
I am just being patient and not in panic mode.  I'm also not trying to flip every dip. I will probably buy some of the leading stocks at some point. You know the names that have been first to bounce back on dips...

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I'm not sure what the Greek election results will mean for the US market in the long term, but in the short term folks seem worried that a "radical left" emerged victorious.  I suppose this means more big government kinds of solutions, which don't work.  Also, when Greece "ran out of other people's money," they ran up large debts that they probably want forgiven.

Hey, not paying for it is one way of paying for it.  If it's forgiven anyway.


Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

Associated Press - Associated Press - Mon Jan 26 03:30:00 UTC 2015

ATHENS, Greece — A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in...

Sent from Surface Pro

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Up to the 50dma

The major market indices rallied up and kissed the 50dma today, as the European Central Bank did as expected and announced they were going to print and print and print.  The goal being to keep interest rates low, pump up asset prices, try to avoid deflation, or just be seen as trendy and cool.  After all, everyone is doing it these days!

Stocks have faded the open yet again and then faded the fade.  I suppose some money could be made flipping that around, but I know if I tried it I would just get whipsawed. It works until either it doesn't or as soon as I try it!   I'd rather look at intermediate and longer term ideas. 
I'm still long the market.  I have been hesitant to play high beta names so far in 2015. Seems like the only things working are biotechs and airplanes.  I'm worried that when the party ends for the market, the biotech sector will take the biggest hit because that's where the momentum and  high beta stocks have been.  You know, up a ton, no earnings, and folks speculating on drugs in trial phases.  But I hope it ends well. Some of the new drug studies could yield some great new treatments and cures.  
Thursday already!
Kobe Bryant hurt his right shoulder last night against the Pelicans, and came back in and shot left handed?  Crazy. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ADM - Archer Daniels Midland

$ADM - I mentioned that I was interested in this one on Twitter. No position yet. Analysts seem to be downgrading this one left and right. The 52-week high is $53.91  

The stock is below the 50dma and recently fell below its 200dma. Yields around 2%.  Current PE is just over 16, which is a little higher than its 10 year avg. 

I think this one is falling with a stronger dollar and general weakness in commodities.  Lower energy prices should help ADM. The big question is if there will be potential weaker demand for ethanol if the US economy is slowing. (I don't believe that to be the case).  ADM also has a history of increasing dividends and share buybacks.  

Earnings scheduled for February 3rd. 

No position as of this blog entry. 

The Rumbling and Tumbling Stock Market

  • $SPY - Wasn't it just last January and February that we were worried about stocks?  What about October and the Ebola panic?  Or mid-December?  Yet, by the end of the year the market was up double digits.  "Buy the dip" worked.  
  • Here we are with folks shouting gloom and doom from the roof tops.  The market again seemingly under pressure from the front page news headlines of the day. 
  • I continue to believe that it makes the most sense to be long stocks.  Invest and reallocate on a regular basis. Buy the dips. 
  • Amazing comeback win by Seattle Seahawks over the Green Bay Packers.  One of the ones you'll be telling your grandkids about!
  • President Obama to give State of the Union speech tonight and call for more taxes and more government spending.  The government already wants more of your money. Nothing new. 
  • Maybe a bubble in biotech stocks but that's also where the momentum has been.  Nobody wants to be the last person in the pool in those. But it is awesome when it's moving up!
  • Housing bubble and collapse ... Again? Here comes the government again trying to help low income folks buy houses with low or no money down and easy qualifying loans.  Hey, what happens to those loans when the home buyers miss a bunch of payments?  We do know the answer, right?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stock Thoughts

  • Wow. Market volatility! Are we all conditioned to think that whatever the market throws at us in the first hour or so, will be completely reversed by the close? Buy dips, sell rips, and laugh all the way to the bank?
  • Lots of worry out there.  Lots.  Europe. Swiss Francs.  Poor US economic data.  Bond bubbles. Biotech stock bubbles. Central banks trying to out stimulate each other.  ISIS. Oil crashing.  Energy jobs imploding. Racial conflict and organized protests. Measles at Disneyland.  
  • It's amazing any of us even bother to get out of bed in the morning!
  • Well, take a look at the charts from last Jan-Feb. Go ahead.  I'll wait. 
  • I am still mostly long but do have some cash.  I'm actually feeling a little greedy and was looking at some call options today.   
  • Be greedy when others are fearful.  Be fearful when others are greedy.  And stay away from people with measles.  

Does Microsoft Still Matter

$MSFT - Does Microsoft still matter? Here is a preview of Windows 10 and "what's next?" 

We live in a world where the Internet is the destination and the hardware and software is just the means of transportation.  It doesn't matter what kind of device you own anymore.  It doesn't matter which operating system or apps you prefer.  

It's all about being online. 

Some other thoughts...
  • The XBOX still matters. But it's just hardware to play games that for the most part can also be played on a PS4.  The gaming social network differs. 
  • By the way, the XBOX 1 price drop to $349 has it in first place the last two months in the console wars.  
  • Documents are still created by Office for the most part.  But have you tried Google Docs lately?  Office still the standard.  
  • Windows and powerful PCs still dominate in the IT development world.  
  • Cloud storage matters. Microsoft has its flavor of that with big competition from others. 
I think Microsoft still matters but that they will continue to need to grow and diversify their business. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quick Stock Thoughts

$SPY - stocks continue to chop and chop.  Neither the Bulls or Bears can get any trend going yet.  They say to buy the dip, but that's only working if you also sell the rip and reposition for the next brief scare. 

  • Low oil prices 
  • Fed rate hike
  • Euro recession
  • Russia
  • Muslim terrorists 
  • Memories of last January?
  • Squirrel!
Otherwise you are running in a treadmill and not making progress.  
Churning near a top?
Anyway, still long. I had a few buy signals last night but I'm already long with very little cash.  Today's fap up didn't give me a chance to put an order in and I'm not chasing.  
There will always be another dip. Someday. Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Jeb Bush?

Jeb Bush for President? 

There are many on the far right and the far left who go crazy at the thought of a moderate Republican Presidential candidate being the front runner for the GOP 
But for all the talk of Tea Party this and Neocon that, most of America finds their political values somewhere near center.  
We have a long ways to go before November 2016. The nation will have its fair share of Huckabee and Warren populism.  But in the end the centrist candidates may be the ones who face off in prime time. 

Coke Adds Life, but Cuts Jobs

$KO - Coke adds life, but cuts jobs!  

Seems that we are seeing a bit of this around corporate America.  Maybe it's natural to wait until after the holidays to let folks go, but companies are continuing to cut costs and streamline operations. 

Coke and other soda makers are facing challenges from other kinds of beverages. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Fed Speaks, Futures Soar!

Stock futures soared after hours when the Fed decided to speak.

Low interest rates for-evah!

What a great day in the market.  The Dow had dropped 500 and got some back today.

European Deflation

European interest rates are near zero, and their central bank meets later in the month to announce more stimulus with the goal of keeping rates low.  Aren't rates already low?  Their economies aren't growing. The same thing can be said of Japan. 

The U.S. has stopped stimulating and economic growth is a little higher than Europe and Japan. But our interest rates are also very low.  

Does any of this seem normal to you? Should we be worried?

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Stock Thoughts

The SP500 and Dow broke through the 50dma yesterday and are struggling again today.  After a positive opening, the market is again pulling back.  Hasn't the market been down four days in a row? Is that supposed to happen?

  • Some cite profit taking and rebalancing. 
  • Some worry that half the market wasn't working, and now the few stocks that were are correcting which means even worse things for stocks that are mired down. (I'm looking at you and your ilk, $LVS).
  • Some say that falling oil prices are bad for the US economy because many of the latest job creation has been in the oil patch. 
  • World. Economic. Slowdown.  
Whatever the reason, I look at the economy and believe that despite the reason du jour for stock market moves, interest rates are low and falling oil prices help consumers and companies who use energy.  
Buy the dip!
I still have some cash and have a shopping list. I have not soured on stocks and believe that the market will have a good 2015.    

First Casualty of Low Energy Prices

$X - While falling prices are good for consumers and overall economic growth, industries that are involved in the business of energy production are slowing down.  US Steel is letting some folks go in Ohio.  

More companies are likely to follow suit in the days ahead as oil prices continue to drop. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 Market Thoughts and Predictions

  • I think the $SPY will see another double-digit year in 2015. Not a lot of bullishness out there yet.  I heard on the radio (so you know it must be true) that the people with money in stocks has dropped from 52% to 40%. 
  • The casino stocks in Macau interest me. Yes the revenue in Macau casinos has declined. Isn't that priced in?  Nobody likes these names. $LVS for example. 
  • Energy stocks and ETFs interest me.  But not until after this upcoming earnings season.  There is bad earnings news in the rear view mirror, and lowered guidance coming.  Let that happen and then see what things look like.  
  • Hmm, that may also apply to those gaming stocks!
  • Jim Harbaugh turns the Michigan Wolverines football program around. Quickly. 
  • If there is a bubble, it is in biotechs.  How many IPOs have there been of companies with no sales?  Just stuff in some phase of trials. Be careful.  I think this could take down the good names, too - but I would stick with the good names that have sales and earnings. Like $CELG and $GILD just to name two (don't own em).
  • I was at an outlet mall over the holidays. $UA and $NKE stores were packed.  Decreasing fuel prices mean more money to spend on other things. Same for $BWLD. PACKED!
  • The Fox Business Block gurus didn't have a 2015 forecast show.  No predictions!
  • Star Wars and Avengers 2 and who knows what else.  When I was in So Cal over the holidays Disney had to turn people away it was so crowded. And how much of your cable bill goes to ESPN?  Long $DIS. 
  • I'm typing this in at $SBUX.  Very crowded here. 
  • The minimum wage hikes caused the price of my pizza, movie and popcorn to increase this weekend.  More of that in all that we buy. The CPI shows the inflation.  Large employers like the govt that base annual raises on the CPI bump wages for their workers.  The Fed notices the CPI bump and raises rates.  People who pay interest on home, car, credit card and student loans pay more.  And the govt debt gets financed at higher rates.  The minimum wage hikes actually hurt those it is intended to help the most. [steps down off political soap box]
  • Kobe Bryant retires.
  • And finally, people will discover that placing a plate of pecans in the microwave for about three minutes makes for a very tasty treat.  The fad sweeps the nation, leading to a national shortage in pecans.  Get 'em while you can!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Fox Business Block Gurus Update – 2014 Final Part 2!

Here how the Fox Business Block gurus performed individually (excluding dividends). 

This return is based on investing $1000 per weekly stock pick at the closing price Friday night. 

The stock picks started 12/28/2013 through the 12/27/2014 picks. In addition to total return, I tracked the percentage of winning picks.  Here is how they did, from best performer (Gary Kaltbaum) to the bottom of the list (Jonathan Hoenig).
















2014 Fox Gurus Predictions Review

More Fox Business Block gurus:  Here were the 2014 stock market predictions:

Here are the returns from 1/1/2014 to 12/31/2014:

  • Dow: 16,557 to 17,823 (7.5%, or 10% including dividends)
  • SP500: 1,848 to 2,059 (11.4%, or 13.7% including dividends)
  • Nasdaq: 4,177 to 4,736 (13.4%,  or 14% including dividends)
  • Oil was down 45% for the year.
On to the Fox Business Network gurus!  These are 2014 predictions from the December 28th, 2013 shows. I included closing prices from Friday 12/27/2013 as the starting price.  My comments follow each guru pick! 

Bulls and Bears

Gary B. Smith:  AET 40% gain, no matter what happens with Obamacare!  Dow 16,500.

My comment:  Gary’s forecast on the Dow was for a flat year, so that was a miss!  Aetna stock went from $67.75 to $88.83 from 12/27/13 to 12/31/14.  That’s a 31% winner.  We’ll take it, Gary.

Jonas Max Ferris: DZZ 2x short gold, up 50% in 2014.  Dow 15,500.

My comment: Jonas predicted a bad year for the market, and that didn’t happen!  His high-beta gold short DZZ went from $7.57 on 12/27/13 to $7.56 at year’s end.  That’s a little less than his 50% forecast.

John Layfield:  SDRL and  a 25% profit in 2014, not counting dividend.  Dow 18,103.

My comment: The ever-optimistic John was very close with the Dow return.  The last couple of 2014 market days took the Dow back under 18,000.  But it was a bad year for oil stocks.  SDRL $38.58 to $11.94 from 12/27/13 to 12/31/2014.  That’s a big decline of 69%.

Cavuto on Business

Adam Lashinsky:  VWNFX (Vanguard Windsor II fund) full of undervalued large companies$36.58 on 12/27/13.  I’m not sure about their distribution dates. The funded closed at $36.77 on 12/31.

My comment:  The big Vanguard fund close the year at $37.31.  I’m uncertain of their distributions, but it looks to have underperformed the SP500.

Gary Kaltbaum:  TIF closed at $90.87 on 12/27/13.  The markets are up and the rich are spending.  The stock ended the year at $92.78.

My comment:  TIF closed the year at $106.86, or a 17.6% return from the 12/27/13 pick.

Forbes on Fox

Elizabeth MacDonald:  XAR, the ETF that tracks the S&P Aerospace and defense.  It closed at $99.05 on 12/27/2013 and the year at $99.02.

My comment:  XAR close 2014 at $109.25, or 10.3% gain from 12/27/13.

John Tamny:  BBRY closed 12/27/2013 at $7.30, as “they’ve outsourced their manufacturing and that bodes well for next year.”  Closed 12/31 at $7.44.

My comment:  Blackberry closed the year at $10.98 for a gain of 50.4% from the 12/27/13 show.  Big win!  The stock was volatile all year long.

Cashin' In

Jonathan Hoenig: Interest rates are going to go up in 2014, so buy JGBS to bet against bonds.  The ticker was at $19.23 on 12/27/13 and finished the year at $19.37.

My comment:  JGBS closed the year at $18.20.  Everyone seemed to predict soaring interest rates in 2014.  Didn’t happen!

Wayne Rogers: IBB – Biotech!  This is a diversified ETF across the biotech sector.  The ETF was at $225.92 on 12/27/13 and closed the year at $227.06.

My comment:  Big year for Biotech!  IBB closed out 2014 at $303.35, for a 34.3% gain.

Fox Business Block Gurus Update – 2014 Final!

image Here how the Fox Business Block gurus performed compared to the indices (excluding dividends).  This return is based on investing $1000 per weekly stock pick at the closing price Friday night.  The stock picks started 12/28/2013 through the 12/27/2014 picks, versus dollar cost averaging into the index ETFs during the same time period.

We have a winner!  Gary Kaltbaum not only came out on top of the list, but he beat the index trackers!  That is quite an accomplishment!

Gary K. is not a weekly participant. He made 14 stock picks for 2014.  Gary B Smith actually put his picks on the line 51 times in 2014, and had a nice year.  It doesn't surprise me to see Gary B. Smith and Gary Kaltbaum near the top of the list.  I've often thought that those two seem to be the most consistent. 

Near the bottom of the list is John Layfield, who tended to pick stocks from the oil patch.  Those kinds of stocks had a rough year.  Jonathan Hoenig tends to pick the kinds of investments that seem short-term focused rather than long-term focus, such as currency plays and inverse ETFs.  Good luck buying and holding those kinds of things. 

Ben Stein and Adam Lashinsky tend to pick stocks, ETFs, or funds that track a market index or are at least widely diversified.  And they’re in the middle of the pack.

Charles Payne "tends to" pick volatile stocks.  As the market trends strongly in one direction or another, his picks have a little extra beta to the upside or downside.  One of his picks in April, $GTAT, went bankrupt.  That’s a -100% return for this study.

That also points out that these stock picks are made without any future guidance.  Once you buy, there is no advice to sell or buy more.  The shows do have an occasional “follow up” show that goes over the best and worst picks for each guru, and what they’d do with that one or two picks going forward.

I will have another post shortly looking at each guru individually and how they did over the year.

How did the shows do compared to each other? image

Congratulations to Forbes on Fox for coming out on top!  My suspicion was that the Cashin' In gurus would underperform the other gurus – but, in the red?  And this was a good year, fellas!  I think what did surprise me was how collectively, the picks dramatically underperformed the SP500 (SPY).  I thought such a large number of picks would closely track the index. 

One final comment is regarding Cashin’ In.  The show quit televising the weekly stock picks and instead directed viewers to the Fox website to find the weekly stock picks.  I miss Jonathan and Wayne going over their stock thoughts.  The picks and commentary on the website are lacking compared to the televised perspective.  This TV segment was replaced by even more Eric Bolling commentary.  I like Eric, but Cashin’ In used to be more about stocks and the market, and I miss those days. 

On to 2015!  Good luck to all of the Fox gurus!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Jan 2nd - Still Holiday Mode

I still have cash I raised Tuesday. I feel as if I'm in holiday mode and don't want to buy buy buy.  Have noticed that some names on my watch list are showing oversold and nearing support.   

I have watched some financial news TV and gurus picks and pans for 2015.  Obviously given a large number of stocks some will do well and others won't. 
More later!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

IBD Top 50 Stocks Strategy – 2014 Final!

Here is the IBD 50 stocks investing strategies vs. $SPY. We have a winner!  The SP500 beat all of the IBD 50 stock investing strategies.  I long suspected that chasing the hot stocks could lead to underperformance over time.  This analysis is from 2/8/2014 through  12/31/2014, and is too small of a sample size to base a long term decision on.  But it is interesting.  I will continue to monitor for 2015.

image 2014 is over, and the SP500 beat the IBD 50 investing strategies.   For the week, there were 9 stocks up and 41 stocks down for the IBD 50.

AFSI led the IBD 50, up 3.59% for the week.  The biggest loser for the IBD 50 was AMBA, down 9.33%.

The IBD 50 portfolios total return since 2/8/2014 underperformed the SP500.  None of the strategies are beat the simple SP500.

The portfolio is sold at the closing price Friday night, and rebalanced into the make-up of the IBD top 50.  Dividends are excluded from total returns.

Trading costs $1,960.15.

image The IBD monthly strategy also underperformed  the SP500.

The more diversified portfolios were closer to the return of the SP500.

The IBD 50 has 17 gainers and 33 losers in December.

CMPR is the top performer for the IBD 50, returning 11.55%.  The weakest stock in the IBD 50 is ATHM, losing 15.87%.

Trading costs $189.05

I will assume a $9.95 trading cost to sell last week’s or last month’s portfolio, and $9.95 to buy the new weekly or monthly portfolio.  (Imagine the costs of doing this with individual stocks, compared to using Motif.  Note that Motif limits the size of portfolios to 30 stocks).

The Top 25 holdings are listed at at Motif Investing.  (A check as of 3/31/2014 shows that the ability to view all holdings is limited to Motif members and IBD subscribers).

None of the above strategies are a recommendation to buy or sell stocks.  These are model portfolios constructed for entertainment only.

This is the IBD portfolio performance since 2/8/2014.  Each portfolio begins with $10,000 and then invests an equal amount in the top 5, 10, 25 and 50 IBD stocks at the closing prices on Friday for the weekly model, and at the closing prices on the last trading day of the month for the monthly model.  Since IBD changes the make up of their top stocks daily, this will only rebalance on Fridays or end of month.  It is assumed that trading costs are $9.95 to “buy” a model portfolio, and $9.95 to “sell” a model portfolio.  Thus, each weekly or monthly rebalance out of the previous portfolio and into the new portfolio costs $19.90.  Daily changes in the IBD 50 or stock rankings are not considered.  Changes in IBD’s overall market views are not considered.  Stop loss orders or other market timing strategies are not considered.  The value for SPY is based on buying 2/8/2014.

Based on a blog entry from Paladin Money.  See Investors Business Daily for more information on the IBD 50.  See Motif Investing for their IBD Top 25 portfolio, and the ability to construct your own portfolio of stocks.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish you health and prosperity in 2015.  Thank you for following the blog and my rants on Twitter.  

Coming up over the next couple of days:

  • A wrap on the 2014 performance of the IBD 50 investing strategies. 
  • How did the Fox Business Block gurus fair in 2014?
  • A 2014 review
  • And 2015 predictions!

But for now, there are bowl games to watch!

Digital Tax Increases in Europe

It's no secret that governments want more of your money. The thirst for tax dollars and larger government spending are facts of societal evolution.  With more and more commerce being driven over the Internet, it should be obvious that the digital frontier is extremely tempting for our elected leaders. 

What does this mean for you? Less money to spend on the things you want to spend money on.  Increases in taxes lead to slower economic growth.  Is that a good idea in Europe at a time when the region is in an economic slump and also facing hindered trade with Russia?