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.