Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday Randomosity

  • Boeing and Caterpillar sent the Dow down today.  NVIDIA also slamming chips.
  • I don’t think the Federal Shutdown had much of an effect on the economy because after it was over, everyone got paid.  Whatever wasn’t spent for a month, will now get spent.  Plus, while there are some examples of hardship cases, many banks give interest free loans of paycheck deposits. (We will know soon).  
  • Another impact... Chinese trade deal or lack there of.  I’m optimistic a deal will get done, as the sides are meeting and talking.
  • Apple earnings tomorrow?  I will be watching on my iPhone XS Max! $AAPL 
  • One in three iPhone owners are not upgrading to the XS or XS Max because of price or lack of new features.  Having upgraded two of our device to the XS line, they are nicer but do the same things as the older iPhones.
  • Will 5G be the next upgrade catalyst?  I’m thinking... YES!
  • CBS All Access going full Star Trek. In addition to Discovery, there will be a new Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard show, a Michelle Yeoh Star Trek as a Captain, and the animated series.
  • I started season 2 of The Punisher on Netflix, and ... Like it! $NFLX
  • Fourth-quarter GDP scheduled for Wednesday release!  What’s the consensus, 2.6%?  (Less than whatever Larry Kudlow projects?)
  • CBO estimates always seem to differ... But their numbers have been off recently.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rainy Tuesday Randomosity

  • The stock market seems to like government gridlock. This is yet another time when the market is advancing during a federal government shutdown.  For now, anyway.  I remain 100% long stocks, and worried that we are in a countertrend rally that will end as we go to retest the late 2018 lows.  I could be wrong, and we just keep going up. 
  • My first reaction when hearing that Netflix was going to raise subscription costs was negative. It's just another thing that's going up in price.  My mind suddenly starts thinking of workarounds... 
  • Brexit was on the financial channels a lot today, as the UK Parliament rejects Teresa May's Brexit deal. This is going to go on a while.
  • Nordstrom didn't do so well this last holiday season.  The mall anchor also reduced forward guidance.
  • Should I switch to T-Mobile, that includes free Netflix? 
  • Apple selling a new battery case for the new generation of iPhones for $129.  Not a bad deal if you’re not going to be near power for a long time.  Over 20 hours of use?
  • After having the new iPad Pro 11” since Christmas, I still haven’t used the Apple Pencil.  I downloaded Procreate, but it seems so overwhelming for a newbie.  I was thinking this was my chance to pick up where I left off from in 4th grade Art class, and work on my drawing skills. I’d like to draw caricatures.  Seems fun.
  • Should I subscribe to Netflix one month a year and download 500 shows to the cloud, then repeat that process once I've watched the 500 shows? That seems like a lot of time and added technical complexity just to save $2 a month.
  • Verizon will be offering free Apple Music to  customers on the 2 upper unlimited packages, and that makes me consider updating from my 12gig plan to be honest. That also means you have to switch from a credit card to a debit card, losing any airline miles, cash back bonus, or other credit card perks.  Plus, I think you also lose any company sponsored discount.  
  • Should I just bring my coffee to work instead of buying coffee?  Seems like that would save more than $2 a month.
  • Looks like Star Trek 4 is cancelled.  To be honest, I think we need a Next Next Generation Star Trek, and stop it with the prequels.  What’s next, Baby Spock?  Cmon.
  • Should I quit the water club at work?  That seems like a $2 wash.
  • And Electronic Arts cancels their planned Star Trek game.
  • The reality is that I will pay the Netflix pay hike for the convenience.  And $2 a month isn't the straw that break this camel's back.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Shutdown Saturday Randomosity

  • Is the bear market over? Was that it? Or, are we experiencing a countertrend rally within a bear market that is sucking everyone in?
  • Some of my worries include the Fed, slowing economies, trade wars, political division, and climate change. Ok, scratch the last one.  Well... Maybe. It has been foggy here.  
  • The political division is getting tiresome. I say give Trump the $5B and let a panel of border security experts and engineers figure out how it needs to be spent on the border: wall, fence, surveillance, more border agents, more judges...
  • $5B out of $4T budget is .125%.  It’s like a family making $100,000 arguing over $125.  It happens! Maybe someone sleeps on the couch for a few days, but you don’t shut down the family over it.
  • Macy’s stock took a beating on reduced sales and guidance.  Online shopping maturity hitting the box stores that are still standing.  I thought Macy’s seemed a little empty last time I was there.  There were people, but kind of sparse.
  • On average, workers received 3% wage gains per the data.  Disney CEO Bob Iger dragging up that average with an 80% pay raise.  
  • Not that Bob hasn’t been great for Disney. But I understand why the Progressive message regarding income inequality gets a lot of play.
  • How has Socialism worked in Sweden?  After all, the Progressives and Democratic Socialists like AOC say Sweden is one of the examples of how to make it work. 
  • If the economy is slowing, will casinos take a hit?  I’ve held Las Vegas Sands for quite a while. Hasn’t been my best performing stock, that’s for sure.  And that’s when the economy has actually been okay.
  • Divisional Playoffs...

Monday, January 07, 2019

Monday Rally Randomosity

  • Stocks rally! Reason du jour:  Optimism over US-China trade talks and an agreement hashed out before the 90-day deadline ends in... March?
  • The SP500 will rally 15% in 2019, per Marketwatch Columnist. The bottom is in!  Rejoice!
  • President Trump to address the nation on Tuesday. We will have to wait and see if he talks about Border Security and the Wall, trade talks with China, or the officiating in the Alabama-Clemson national championship game.
  • If you want to know how popular Netflix horror flick "Bird Box" is, just search YouTube for the vloggers talking about the movie, easter eggs, hidden meanings, controversies...
  • Amazon takes the lead!  The company surpasses Microsoft as the most valuable US company.
  • President Trump will visit the southern border on Thursday. I don't know if he will be pushing for $5B of Congressional funding for border security, declaring a national emergency to fund border security via the military budget, or if he'll be bring along sacks of concrete mix with him on his trip to do it himself.
  • PGE may be facing $30B in fire liabilities, and may consider filing for bankruptcy.  So... I'm saying the stock took a hit today: -22.1%.  Hope you don't own any!
  • The Los Angeles Lakers aren't as good without LeBron James.  Just an observation. The losses are piling up!
  • There are lots of Op-Eds and media commentaries on why we don't need a wall.  There are very few people calling for a team of experts and engineers to decide what goes where to improve border security.  But Ari Fleischer joined the latter via a Tweet today.
  • The State of California doesn't have Governor Jerry Brown to kick around anymore.  Gavin Newsome was sworn in today as the new Governor.  The last I read, he is promising everything to everybody.  That's a pretty popular stance!
  • I'm going to write about my experiences with the new iPhone XS Max.  I upgraded from the X over the weekend and have some first impressions!

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Sunday Wildcard Stock Thoughts

  • Late afternoon on the West coast, and Asian stock markets trading higher in anticipation of US-China trade talks.  Maybe they’re having a reaction to Friday’s US stock rally as well.
  • US Senator Richard Shelby says the US economy is “best I’ve ever seen.” - Fox News  I have to admit that the economy does seem very strong, but that also worries me because can the economy get any better?
  • I’m fully invested in the stock market and anticipate a positive 2019. But, the market may continue to be volatile and I wouldn’t rule out a retest of the lows. I hope we don’t see new lows!
  • Whatever happened to Bitcoin?
  • It’s 2019, and that means Disneyland price increases! Disney will be crowded when the new Star Wars attractions open up this summer.  I’m planning on a Fall visit...
  • While my new iPad Pro 11” from Santa Claus and the iPhone XS Max I bought yesterday still have that “new Apple smell,” it’s never too early to talk about 2019 Apple product releases and Apple envy. Services, hardware, software and a new video streaming service on deck!  Cult of Mac 
  • Man, I picked the Baltimore Ravens at home to beat the Los Angeles Chargers.  It all seems so silly in hindsight.
  • I spent the last 20 minutes organizing my iPad Apple News sources.  #truth
  • Is Silicon Valley still atop the nation’s tech environments? According to the rankings, Silicon Valley is behind Massachusetts, Colorado and Maryland.  Maryland’s science and tech workforce outranks all states! - Baltimore Business Journal (Think they’re biased?) 
  • We are finally getting some soaking rain here in California. Looks like the forecast is for a very rainy week!

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Wild Card Weekend Randomosity!

  • Today is all about football.  Sure, there are a bunch of politicians posing and grandstanding, while pretending to “represent the American people.”  But we all know better by now, right?
  • I traded in my iPhone X for the XS Max today. Twelve months into the payments, and you can just pay the tax and activation fee, and keep making monthly payments. Hmm, now what were the passwords for this and that and the other thing?  When restoring from the iCloud, it seems to remember some but not all. 
  • When Vice President Mike Pence is leading the White House team negotiating with the Democratic leaders, you almost wish you could just fast-forward to the next meeting.
  • New iPhone XS Max is a bit zippier than the X.  Noticeable with Face ID and loading pictures/videos.
  • Disney won’t make big-budget movies for their new streaming service, although such films will make their way to the platform eventually.  Disney is planning on making a live-action Star Wars show, though. - Business Insider
  • As a fan of The Walking Dead and a sorta-kinda fan of Fear the Walking Dead, I really don’t care about crossovers. Last year Morgan joined Fear.  This year? Dwight.  I just don’t like rekindling old story lines.  Make new story lines! - Digital Spy
  • Seems like we’re battered with “what’s new on Netflix” stories everyday.  My poor movie queue.
  • Republican Bart LeBon wins the Alaskan Supreme Court ruling on the results of their election recount.  LeBon won the election by one vote. - ABC 
  • Out of the box, the new iPhone XS Max had 48% battery.  
  • CBS All Access has Star Trek Discovery.  And now Patrick Stewart will reprise his role as Jean Luc Picard in a new Star Trek show set 20 years after Star Trek Nemesis.  (Ugh, I’m going to have to sign up). - Entertainment Weekly
  • CES 2019 is in the on-deck circle. As a tech geek, I will be following my Technology Apple News feed on my brand-spanking new iPhone XS Max.
  • I think I have hundreds of movies and shows lined up in Netflix. My coworkers and I often watch the same shows at the same time, and then talk about them during lunch.  Ok, sometimes during work, too.  Bandersnatch... Bird Box... I’m Sorry... and I think Schitt’s Creek is next up.  Kind of fun.  
  • So I have another set of iPhone wired headphones to stick in the technology drawer.
  • ATT made predictions about the future 25 years ago.  How’d they do? - CBS

Friday, January 04, 2019

Tag Team Rally!

  • Tag team Friday! The combination of a strong jobs number with statements from the Federal Reserve Chairman Powell sent the market up!
  • Dow and SP500 up over 3%, and the NASDAQ surging over 4%.
  • Jobs data was fantastic, beating the analysts’ expectations.  Wage growth numbers are good, too.  Labor participation is increasing.  Consumer spending is at least 2/3rds of the economy.
  • Remember when some thought manufacturing jobs would never come back?  *Casts quick glances at Obama and Krugman*
  • One amazing job stat is the one comparing growth in government jobs vs. growth in manufacturing jobs.  The latter surging under Trump, while government jobs surged under Obama.
  • Netflix up just over 9.7% when Bandersnatch-viewing analysts at Goldman Sachs were asked “Add $NFLX to conviction list?” chose “Fuck yeah!”
  • How are you surviving the partial government shutdown? Seems like the biggest impact is that national parks’ trash cans and bathrooms are overflowing.
  • At least the government is meeting and discussing how to resolve the budget and border security. Seems like Trump has the upper hand, though.
  • Disney planning on opening Star Wars in June at Disneyland, Anaheim.  Maybe June 21-23?  CROWDS!
  • I think the biggest Apple issue going forward is deflation on the price of “good enough” smart phones.  Why spend $1000 when you can get what you need for much less?  Or just replace the aging battery on your older iPhone, and keep on going. Is there a reason to upgrade as long as your current phone functions?
  • 5G will be the next upgrade catalyst…
  • Kudos to Netflix for Bird Box. People are going to the house in Monrovia to pose in photos! - LA Times 
  • I’m currently binging “I’m Sorry” on Netflix. Pretty funny in an adult kind of way.  Might be too much after a few episodes.  But... After Bird Box and Black Mirror Bandersnatch, I was ready for some laughs.  Might have to binge season 2 of “Friends from College” next.  Despite the critics, I liked season 1!

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Worst Start in 2 Decades!

  • "The stock market logs worst start to a year in 2 decades" - USA Today
  • I feel as if a good economy or a bad economy is sometimes the result of marketing. Is an optimistic message being sent my politicians and media? Or, are we seeing a more negative message win the day? I think the Trump hatred has the latter "everything is bad news" sentiment winning the day. If consumers are scared, they're less likely to spend money on stuff.
  • Almost on cue, "Branding in a Recession - A Survivor's Guide." - Forbes 
  • Meanwhile as I posted the other day, the Fed is raising rates and reducing liquidity...
  • What's old is new again:  Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House.  And now she makes $223,500.  American dollars.
  • Shutdown yuck:  "Overflowing trash and human waste and other unsafe visitor conditions have prompted Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California to close to the public." - CBS Sacramento 
  • Who is winning the shutdown? Nobody. Maybe the bears in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks as they have free reign over the trash cans.
  • I watched Netflix Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.  Liked it!  I wanted to go to the next episode... but...  That was it!  Have to wait for season 5!  No spoilers, but it was fun to interact and make the decisions for the lead character.
  • Will there be discounts and promotions on new iPhone XS and XS Max phones? I was thinking about getting the iPhone XS Max, but now I want to wait for a deal!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Random Apple Thoughts

  • The Apple warning hit after hours, and that derailed any rehash of what happened in the market today.  Tim Cook blames the slowdown in China, but maybe the larger issue is that iPhones are super expensive, and the only new features in the latest iPhone XS line is a slightly faster chip and a slightly better camera.  
  • Yeah heck I still want to upgrade my iPhone X to the XS Max, but I’m a techy and love the latest gadgets.  That may not be true for others…
  • Other less expensive phones have many of the same features that will do enough to justify not buying a $1000 iPhone.  Maybe the components aren’t the top-of-the-line quality, but as long as the consumer can text, watch YouTube and Netflix, and take selfies, does it matter that much?
  • I don’t know how the iPad Pro line is selling.  I like mine, but other tablets are out there.  Many still have their older iPads that are working fine as Netflix streaming machines.
  • All that being said, there were some huge lines at the Apple store when I was there Monday.  The store remains very crowded. 
  • Maybe the rush to 5G in the coming years will be a huge catalyst.  But will there be other “good enough” phones that gain market share at the expense of the expensive iPhone?
  • Apple also has other offerings such as the app store, music, and cloud storage.  Again, other options here for consumers.
  • I do own some Apple stock, and continue to hold.  No panic selling here.
  • So yeah the market futures down a billion.  Tech will take a hit.  Not sure what this really means for other tech companies, unless the Apple warning really is about a slowing economies around the world.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Happy New Year 2019!

  • The stock market had its worst year since 2008. Do you remember what happened in 2009?  Specifically, what happened in March, 2009?  The beginning of a New Bull Market!  (Lets be optimistic for 2019!)
  • While people are quick to give credit or blame to a President for the economic boom and bust, here are a couple of charts I posted on Twitter in a reply to Josh Brown.  

  • Oh, and whoever is in charge gets to take credit or accept blame for what goes on while they’re under the roof.  But...
  • I feel bad for the workers trapped in the government shutdown.  We need Congress and the President to agree on funding for “border security,” and then let a panel of engineers decide the best way to spend the money:  Wall, fence, electronic surveillance, or whatever.  End the shutdown, fund Border Security, and move on... (h/t to Scott Adams).
  • By the way, as long as the economy does not dip into a recession by July, this could be the longest economic expansion in the US in... forever!  Longest ever! 
  • Five iPad Pro myths, debunked! Five iPad Pro myths, debunked — Cult of Mac
  • By the way, the best way to take advantage of the government shutdown, is to visit a national park... For Free! Unfortunately, unless there are private vendors on site, there may not be any bathroom facilities.  Choose wisely.
  • Netflix Stranger Things Season 3 to be available on July 4th.  Our young heroes are now 38 years old... (just kidding, but...)
  • Here is the most educated town in every state.  But...  Would you rather be just another person with a degree in the smartest town or the hot shot with a degree in the dumbest town?  Here's the most educated town in every state (Business Insider)
  • New Years Day...  We Got Bowl Games and More Bowl Games.  
  • I haven’t played any games on the new iPad Pro 11” as of yet.  Feels like a time commitment.
  • Maybe the most important thing to remember regarding investing in 2019:  Ignore stock market turbulence and stick to long-term goals.  Word.  Fidelity: Ignore stock market turbulence and stick to long-term goals (Fox News)
  • Looking at the Mainstream Media headlines... Well, let me summarize: Russia, Russia, and Russia.
  • By the way, I don’t mind if folks want to support media companies by subscribing to content. But I have to wonder, with Apple News app and Flipboard, do you need a newspaper subscription? I just ignore anything behind a firewall.  You?
  • Happy New Year!