Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thin at the Margins

Slow week as I get back into things. Maybe will work on some ideas for trades later in the week.

Thin at the Margins
Earlier in May it was noted many places that margin debt had been on the rise in a big way. Pragmatic Capitalist had this to say on May 9th:
As we noted earlier this year, margin debt has tended to correlate fairly closely with the direction of the equity market. And according to the latest data from the NYSE, margin debt continues to move higher. In an effort to ride the coattails of the Fed and QE2′s “can’t lose” environment, investors have dipped into their borrowings to buy equities.
There was a chart from Gluskin Sheff:

So what should happen when speculative excess gets out of hand and people are getting a little crazy running in the markets? If you answered increase margin costs to reign in the party, you would be right as it pertains to silver. When we are talking stocks the best answer is to lower margin costs, well it's just the right thing to do:
And Scene: CME LOWERS ES, SP, YM Margins, Despite An INCREASE In Realized Vol

I will say that I am sure this is 100% normal. Fun times indeed.

Have a good night.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Some idea sand thoughts on Memorial Day.

Deer Pictures
I have a motion activated trail camera that we got to try and catch pictures of the fisher cat living out back. It caught some pictures of the Deer that has been eating the birdfeeder empty:


Kevin Harvick Wins at Charlotte
My man and best driver in the world, Kevin Harvick #29, won last night at Charlotte when fan mega favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas on the final turn of the final lap! Unreal:

They call him "The Closer", and he is that. Love it.

American Hero Joe Louis
When I think about Memorial Day I think about all the soldiers all over the world that every day do what they must. For many it is a desire to serve the United States and an honor for the duty. For all it is still a job they have to do, but unlike working in biotech lab or trading futures in the pits, our best face situations that could claim their life in the various fronts of conflict ongoing. I have NO IDEA the courage and resolve it takes to perform active duty in the US Armed Forces. I am so thankful in any case, home safe soon boys!

Joe Louis was an American hero. What that man did all through World War II for troops was amazing. What was disgusting was the US IRS going after Louis, who donated two full match purses to the Army and Navy relief funds, for income taxes! This debt followed Louis his whole life and even forced a comeback when he was very old. Louis was knocked out by Rocky Marciano during this time.

Anyways, what comes to mind? How about Joe Louis fighting German hero and the only man to beat him, Max Schmeling? On the cusp of the Nazi build up for World War II, the German powers were ecstatic for the chance for their fighter to beat the American Heavyweight Champion, and a black man as an added bonus. It is hard to figure the build up of such a fight years later, but the pressure must have been enormous for both fighters.

From Wikipedia:
The rematch between Louis and Schmeling is one of the most famous boxing matches of all time, and is remembered as one of the major sports events of the 20th century. Following his defeat of Louis in 1936, Schmeling became a national hero in Germany. Schmeling's victory over an African American was touted by Nazi officials as proof of their doctrine of Aryan superiority. When the rematch was scheduled, Louis retreated to his boxing camp in New Jersey and trained incessantly for the fight. A few weeks before the bout, Louis visited the White House, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt told him, "Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany." Louis later admitted: "I knew I had to get Schmeling good. I had my own personal reasons and the whole damned country was depending on me."

When Schmeling arrived in New York in June, 1938 for the rematch, he was accompanied by a Nazi party publicist who issued statements that a black man could not defeat Schmeling, and that when Schmeling won, his prize money would be used to build tanks in Germany. Schmeling's hotel was picketed by anti-Nazi protesters in the days before the fight.

On the night of June 22, 1938, Louis and Schmeling met for the second time in the boxing ring. The fight was held in Yankee Stadium before a crowd of 70,043. It was broadcast by radio to millions of listeners throughout the world, with radio announcers reporting on the fight in English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Before the bout, Schmeling weighed in at 193 pounds; Louis weighed in at 198¾ pounds.

The fight lasted two minutes and four seconds. Louis battered Schmeling with a series of swift attacks, forcing Schmeling against the ropes and giving him a paralyzing body blow (Schmeling later claimed it was an illegal kidney punch). Schmeling was knocked down three times, and only managed to throw two punches in the entire bout. On the third knockdown, Schmeling's trainer threw in the towel and referee Arthur Donovan stopped the fight.

Here is the fight, and the short right hand that Louis uses to end the fight is an incredible short range shot:

German authorities blocked the radio broadcast when Schmeling got in trouble. Tough shit boys.

Have a good night.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cooking Stuff and Forgetting Pictures

Weather just cannot be beat so far, perfect.

Cooking Stuff and Forgetting Pictures
I made up about 50 MOINKS and 30 chicken drumsticks for the cookout I attended. Here is the stuff before cooking:

Of course things got a bit hectic and I forgot to take any pictures of anything else! This sucks because the finished MOINKS that I glazed with raspberry Polaner jelly (heated in microwave 1 minute, add a bit of water then mix) were amazing! I am sorry.

Not to leave you with no food pictures, I made steaks today so we can settle for that pictorial.

I had a nice T-Bone and the wife and mother in law got tenderloins. I even threw in some fresh asparagus and mashed potatoes:

On the grill:

Dinner time!:

As of late the birdfeeder has been getting cleaned out quick, and I wondered if we were getting invaded by an army of squirrels. This evening I caught the culprit, a huge deer!!!!!:

I did not want to startle the big fellow so I had to shoot pictures through the widow and screen. So cool!!! Made the whole weekend.

Skip to the 38:30 mark for a classic line!!!:


Have a good night.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Long Weekend Starts with Friday

What A week! Exciting trades, hot weather, and a 3 day weekend on the way. I have to get up and get cooking tomorrow, meat fest as usual.

On Risk Management
I have covered risk management before but I wanted an excuse to use this picture that freaks me out to the point of feeling ill because I so fear heights:

That maniac is bolting steel beams on the Empire State Building (Chrysler building in background) with no tether!! This is poor risk management.

I am tapped out for market stuff and the slow Friday for the market will be replicated next week too I think. Mini break time!

Friday Night Entertainment
What can I come up with tonight?

The Onion - Makes Fools of Us All Sometimes
I have been fooled by an article from The Onion a few times, but this one is pretty bad (via Geekologie). Click for larger view:

Now when the second girl from the bottom goes for a job interview in the future, she had better hope her Facebook posts are not searchable!

Pictures and Posters
Visual fun.

And then He rested:
funny pictures history - And God made the CAT...
see more Historic LOL

href="http://icanhascheezburger.com/2011/05/26/classics-now-with-favorite-buttons-180/?utm_source=embed&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=sharewidget">funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Worth a Look
Some items worth a look.

-Khufu's Ship (Little Bits of History)
-Old Quabbin Reservoir Maps (Menotomy Maps)
-A Sith sword AND a Lightsaber, Vestara Khai is a bad ass and my kind of woman! (Wookiepedia):

I am in love. Sorry Lil Kim.
-The Giant Water Bug is not cool. At all. I think we should eradicate them. (Weird Universe)

Film Clips
For the movie/TV buffs.

My man chessNwine had this clip of from "A Bronx Tale" and it is a classic. "Now, Youz Can't Leave":


Before Jeff Bridges finally won the Oscar, he was just another overlooked amazing actor. In films like "Tucker: a Man and His Dream" you could see the mad acting skills. A cool film with Bridges was "Starman" and in this scene the man from the stars brings a deer back to life (skip tp 1:36 mark):

So pretty.

Rock Blogging
It is that time.

A big Happy Birthday shout out to loyal reader Gawains who had his birthday on Tuesday but will be celebrating this weekend. Readers know birthdays are HUGE to me so what can I send Gawains for turning the big 5-0?:

Happy Birthday!

Gawains leads off Rock Blogging with ZZ Top's "La Grange":

OMG!!! I had know idea that tune was from ZZ Top! Great pick.

Ok, not to start a trend, but I LOVE this new song by My Darkest Days called "Pornstar Dancing" (I only heard it on the radio, never saw the maybe NSFW video, be warned):

Yeah!! I mentioned to my wife we have poles in the basement but she did not seem amused!? Some people....geez.

In Antigua I sang Karaoke, and if you know me that is just NOT a thing I would do. I sang Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Who'll Stop the Rain", but only because they did not have "Lodi" which is my favorite because it reminds me of my Dad who was always trying to play in some low rent band:


My man Scharfy may like a little Ronnie James Dio (RIP) and "Rainbow in the Dark". I know I love it, live is better:


A little Otis Redding? How about "These Arms of Mine"?:


Two tunes left, but I imagine there will be food pics and other content this weekend.

A little Moody Blues and a weird video of "Knights in White Satin":

No, if you are wondering if I am like 60 years old, I am 35 years old but I do love the age when music was good. As in not now.

A little fun? My wife loves this song (I have NO idea) by the Beastie Boys, take a weird run with "Paul Revere":

Best Beastie Boys song, easy, "So Whatcha Want!".

Have a good night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Epic-ness of it All

Now we are talking my kind of weather! It is hot (80 degrees plus) and a bit of a breeze. Nothing finer. Whole weekend is looking the same. Big cookout on Saturday and I am bringing the smoked chicken drumsticks and MOINKS (via the EXCELLENT site, No Excuses BBQ). After today, a little celebration is in order.

Friday night is on, and Gawains has the lead off spot for his birthday present! get your requests in.

If you want the low down on the HBO series "Game of Thrones" or just want to be a cool reader, stop on over to my man David Batista's post this night to stand and be counted:
Stop in!

The Epic-ness of it All
Since I started trading in late January there have been more wins than losses, but more of myself getting in my own way at times. After vacation I renewed my effort to get back to basics: using the PPT screens that I favor and working just candlesticks and nothing else.

I loved the FURX find on Sunday night and after Monday's action I felt it was the time to strike while all the factors aligned; excellent PPT hybrid scenario and a volume move that was sure to make some kind of wave. Add in a classic inverted hammer and it was go time.

Here is the rundown:
-Open position in $FURX Tuesday morning at $14.18-Target is $15.35-$15.50 ( 3 days to a week time frame)
-Almost at target by end of day Tuesday (nice!)
-Blows past target price and 50 day moving average on Wednesday, also on major volume
-GYSC reviews absolute high target, sets at $16.90
-Late Thursday it close enough, trade closed at $16.82 for a 18.6% gain! Round it to 19% to make it sound better, lol!

Final chart with annotation; red arrows are entry and exit (click for larger view):


Of course this one could shoot way higher or it could collapse, but the point is the position was targeted, execution was done and then amended, and an exit was followed. All the kinds of rules that I need to follow. Worked out super well on this one.

Not a Good Sign
TraderMark of Fund My Mutual Fund had this post up today:
Market Only Down a Few % from Highs, but Market Sentiment Horrible
With the market indices only down a little bit, trader sentiment is falling fast, almost as if a total rout is going on! From the post:
Usually market sentiment is a great contrary indicator at extremes. For some reason, despite a market that has barely sold off (down less than 3% from the peak) the American Association of Individual Investors sentiment indicator is at lows not seen since August 2010. You know what happened at that point. Not sure why such a negative view - perhaps the news from Europe is weighing more on sentiment than U.S. stock performance.

I commented:
This backs up what I have been saying 100% about FED induced "new normal" markets; if sentiment is this bad down, what, 2-3% from highs, WTF would happen with a 5% move? A 10% move down? Nice little pickle we are now in.

Managing expectations are a major goal of the FED. What is 3% market moves down are enough to cause such sentiment shifts? Keep this one in mind.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Would Think I Like This

Almost the Holiday weekend? What are the planned activities for everyone?

You Would Think I Like This
I am just impossible to please I guess! Either I am whining about a position that went the other way of my trade or I get nervous looking at this updated chart of my buy FURX (click for larger view):

After today I am now up a touch over 14% on this trade. Another huge candle and buy volume once again was very large.

So what's my problem?

When large moves up happen on higher than normal volume, but spread out and longer duration, that usually means someone knows something, usually good. Heavy duty accumulation and big price swings near term usually mean someone THINKS they know something and that is a bit more dangerous. This spot just got hard to get away from!

Belarus in the News
I know, Belarus is not a concern save that of the nuts and Zero Hedge readers. In any case, I feel it is important, so stop on by and take a look:
Welcome To Hyperinflation Hell: Following Currency Devaluation, Belarus Economy Implodes, Sets Blueprint For Developed World Future
Headline is a bit over the top, but the content is excellent.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Chart

It was 80 degrees here today, but after all the rain we had is was super muggy and heavy. Felt sort of sticky.

Today is loyal reader Gawains' Birthday! Happy birthday sir! I hope you are having some fun.

Tuesday Chart
On Sunday night during homework I came across over 50 stocks that showed up on my screens in the PPT. usually I am screening for names that are showing a hybrid oversold condition, and they may be technical oversold as well. After a few down days you sometimes get a bunch of names and after a run up maybe you may get 2-4 names. I run a few different screens using other watched items like unusual volume or news events. In the end I put together a list and run through the charts to see if anything looks good.

One stock that came up as both hybrid oversold and had a very large volume score was Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX). On Friday the stock showed volume that was far and away larger than anything since last July. The stock printed an inverted hammer candle on Friday, which can be a reversal pattern if a downtrend has been in place. I liked the look of the stock and I have no idea about the company at all (can be hard because I work in the industry) so I put it on watch.

Candlestick work is not a 100% guaranteed kind of thing, more a of a guide and a trigger alert. On Monday with the general stock market getting hammered, FURX made a nice continuation candle with another small move up. This served as confirmation for me to think a buy was a good percentage play. I put in my order last night and it was filled this morning at $14.18. FURX closed today at $15.14 for a solid 6% move up. Here is my annotated chart for FURX (click for larger view):

Sometimes things work out. I probably should have sold to lock in a nice win, but this could have some more room to run, maybe to $15.50. We shall see.

Hockey Time?
I am not really into Hockey, but the Boston Bruins are a game away from going to the Big Show. Last night goaltender Tim Thomas made a save that was spectacular (hat tip Kid Dynamite):


The last time I watched hockey it was for Mark Messier's Rangers beating Pavel Bure's Canucks in 7 games for the Cup way back in the day (1994). Good luck Bruins!

Have a good night.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Short Takes

Got delayed making dinner tonight so a bit short on time. A few items worth a look tonight.

Time to Go Short?
I had a plan in place to get positioned for the drawdown in stocks I expect to provide cover for QE 3.0 discussions. I wanted to enter in SH, DOG, and DXD last Friday but I both had no chance to open the spots and I was gun shy after so many V shaped rallies off any kind of weakness over the past year or so.

Today was a bit more of a dangerous move down as buyers did not show up after lunch like usual. I am not looking for an usual 1-3% blip to get involved. Here is where charts are helpful but sometimes you have to make a call that lies outside the lines sort of speak.

It is no secret I think markets will take a large hit after the FED makes their move to end QE 2.0 next month. With a few FED speeches that were from the usual wimps being exceptions, the FED seems really determined to get out of the markets this time. I am surprised. This makes me even more confident a shake out in on the way to act as cover for QE 3.0 trial balloons. Add to this a nasty market downdraft will apply pressure to the debt ceiling debate which the Treasury wants solved like last week. The story makes perfect sense.

Below is a chart on what I am looking at right now in regards to the S&P 500 (click for bigger view):

You can see today's move down has only brought the S&P closer to the 1307 level, a first stop on the way down. At this point we could just be right in the same trading range shown by the lines, 1307 to 1365.

If, and this is a big if, the move down now enters into the lower bracket I would be more interested. This range is the 1307 and goes down to 1260. A halfway probe down will be my trigger. Say 1280. At that point I would be ready to go short the broad markets via ETF's.

For Ben Bernanke to get the kind of panic he will need for QE 3.0, I think a 10% move down is going to happen. I placed a green box at the 1180 or so mark to show where I think support will be trotted out by the FED. Clearly this a a LONG way away and the box is not meant as a time prediction, that is as far right as I could place it.

The new market eats bearish ideas for breakfast and it will take the 1280 level for me to put this trade on. If I do make the move I will leave it until the S&P is around the target area of 1180, the FED starts trial balloons for QE 3.0, or a rebound happens up to 1360 again. This is not a quick move but a placed bet on an outcome I think will have to a happen. It would not surprise me too much to be way wrong here, but this is the play I have in mind going forward.

Market Training
My man Josh of The Reformed Broker fame points out a cool new game to try, Chart Arcade!

This program allows you to play markets from years gone by using basic indicators to see how you would have done. This is going to be a huge time waster for me. If you are thinking about investing yourself, why not play around with this program a bit and see how you do?
Chart Arcade is a Blast

The program itself:
Chart Arcade

US Programs You May Not Have Heard Of
Another TRB post got me thinking about a few things.

Project West Ford
Project West Ford (also known as Westford Needles and Project Needles) was a test carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory on behalf of the United States Military in 1961 and 1963 to create an artificial ionosphere above the Earth. This was done to solve a major weakness that had been identified in US military communications.

At the height of the Cold War, all international communications were either sent through undersea cables or bounced off the natural ionosphere. The United States Military was concerned that the Soviets might cut those cables, forcing the unpredictable ionosphere to be the only means of communication with overseas forces. So, a ring of 480,000,000 copper dipole antennas (1.78cm long needles, 25.4μm [1961] / 17.8μm [1963] in diameter) was placed in orbit to facilitate global radio communication. The length was chosen because it was half the wavelength of the 8 GHz signal used in the study. The dipoles collectively provided passive support to Project West Ford's parabolic dish (located in the town of Westford) to communicate with distant sites.

Related write up at Damn Interesting. Some of the needles:

Operation Plumbbob
In the nuclear testing era, it was a certainty that some one would try to send a man hole cover into space via nuclear explosion:
During the Pascal-B nuclear test, a heavy (900 kg) steel plate cap (a piece of armor plate) was blasted off the top of a test shaft at an unknown speed. The test's experimental designer Dr. Brownlee had performed a highly approximate calculation that suggested that the nuclear explosion, combined with the specific design of the shaft, would accelerate the plate to six times escape velocity. The plate was never found, but Dr. Brownlee believes that the plate never left the atmosphere (it may even have been vaporized by compression heating of the atmosphere due to its high speed). The calculated velocity was sufficiently interesting that the crew trained a high-speed camera on the plate, which unfortunately only appeared in one frame, but this nevertheless gave a very high lower bound for the speed. After the event, Dr. Robert R. Brownlee described the best estimate of the cover's speed from the photographic evidence as "going like a bat!"

It did have some application for the idea of space propulsion from nuclear explosions, the Orion Project comes to mind. One word, ablation!

Have a good night.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Smoked Meat Sunday

I feel like I worked all weekend? I need some time off or something....

Smoked Meat Sunday
You saw the pastrami prep last post, here are the rubbed up ribs and pastrami getting about set to go on the Big Steel Keg:

I used some apple wood for smoke and got the Keg to hold 250 degrees for about 4 hours. Here are the items almost done:

I sauced the ribs over direct heat (took out the diffuser) and on one slab I used Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and on the other I used KC Masterpiece:

The pastrami was perfect on the salt content, the last one I made was too salty I think. The taste was very good, but I think this particular brisket came from a really fat cow because all the fat lines running across the meat took away from the texture I think. Still, it was very good. Here it is all sliced up:


I was way too optimistic with the dinner plate and I only ate about half of this:

We had corn on the cob as well but no picture for that. It was fun to get outside and cook. I also cut the front and back lawns, it never ends.

I am tired! I still need to do market homework and see what's up for next week so I will update this post later on.

Thanks to the some what down market, I have over 50 stocks to review!!! Ouch.

Showtime has had "Lord of the Rings" films on all day. Who can not be moved almost to tears by the beautiful Adagio D Minor piece Gandalf Falls:

Same tune with the movie, so rough:
Film Clip

Have a good night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

There Will Be Food Tomorrow

Got the hallway all ready for the wife to paint tomorrow; fixed a couple loose cupboards; glue set a small table that was getting very unstable (it is where we have the cat food so the dog does not eat it, he will eat it all if he can get to it); and a few other home chores. Nice.

There Will Be Food Tomorrow
Nice weather finally! I threw out that I was going to be cooking and amongst the many items I can cook baby back ribs and pastrami were the lead contenders. Kid Dynamite is a pastrami addict (his words) so I figured why not take another shot at one? I made one last year almost exactly at this time of year!

Via Wikipedia:
Pastrami (Romanian: pastramă, Yiddish: פּאַסטראָמע pastróme), is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef and, traditionally in Romania, also from pork and mutton. Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration. For pastrami, the raw meat is brined, partly dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed.
So pastrami is not just a beef brisket, it must be corned or brined and then smoked.

Anyways, here is the food for tomorrow's cook:

I could not get over to the butcher shop, but I was glad the baby backs at the grocery store were meaty and looked good.

To make pastrami, you will have to desalt the corned beef otherwise the final product will be so salty you cannot eat much of it. That's not good. While on the smoker the meat will shrink around 30% so everything gets concentrated. I soaked the brisket in water for 7 hours changing the water every hour. Here is a look at how much salt pours out:

The water was clear but gets colored as the brining solution runs out.

Here is the brisket after soaking:

I made a pastrami rub of the following:
.25 cup kosher salt
.25 cup paprika
3 tblsp coriander seeds (will add tomorrow before putting on smoker)
2 tblsp ground coriander
3 tblsp light brown sugar
2 tblsp ground black peppercorns
2 tblsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tblsp ground white peppercorns
1 tblsp minced garlic

Here is the brisket all rubbed up and ready to refrigerate overnight:

Yeah it was premium beer time, Budweiser! (BUD)

I like to apply rib rub to the baby backs right before I put them on the smoker, just my preference. Seems to give a better outside "bark" but maybe that's juts me. The Big Steel Keg will be in action tomorrow! More pictures ans results tomorrow.

Have a good night.

Friday, May 20, 2011

You Can get with This, or You Can get with That!

It rained in the morning and will rain at night but there was a brief period today where some weird yellow/orange glowing disk was in the sky and I had no memory of what it was.

You Can get with This, or You Can get with That!
Borrowed the title from that hilarious Kia commercial.

Got a late start (I know, slowing down in my old age I guess) so instead of a big economic section, I am going right for the good stuff. As things are, I stand by my plan to move to the short side (via ETF's) as soon as next week. More over the weekend.

Friday Night Entertainment
It's on like DONKEY KONG!

49 Million Years Ago
This is the kind of thing that really gets me excited. Researchers applied X-ray tomography to a spider trapped in Baltic Amber. The picture obtained from the front on view is thus (via Geekologie for which I would kill to write for!):

A panoramic video can be seen here. So what's the big deal? THIS THING WAS ALIVE 49 million years ago! The captured spider in amber was once a living thing on Earth. What did it see? What was the Earth like then? What did the night sky look like? I know, all that can be said at any time. This really brings it home to my mind. Great job guys.

Reading List
My friend David Batista has published a short story he wrote called "Hatchling". If you like Sci-Fi works, like I do, go on and take a look this weekend. I will be reading the story right after Friday Night Blogging. Thanks David!

Fun with Pictures
Imagery for the masses.

Looking for Goldilocks
funny pictures history - You see a girl with gold hair pass by? B*tch ate my porrage
see more Historic LOL

Scaring Junior
photobomb that guy - Rocky Horror Childhood Trauma
see more This is Photobomb

If you are not easily offended check out this old comic!

Film Clips
Because we all need to feed the Netflix (NFLX) monster growth engine. Actually I am not a subscriber; I use the Comcast On Demand for most stuff and if I really like a film I buy it. Anyways.

A classic 80's film is "9 to 5" and here Dolly Parton's character gives the boss a dose of his own medicine:

Sorry for the poor quality.

While not a film, the episode of Highlander called "Methuselah's Gift" is one of the more touching of the series. Bear with me here and scan ahead to the 33:33 mark and the dialogue after the fight. So painful and moving. A wonderful moment:

Indeud. So pretty.

Rock Blogging
In honor of Randy "Macho Man" Savage; rock blogging, OOOOOOOHHHHH YAAAAAA!

Ok, just in case the end is at hand I feel I have to play Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction":

You never know.

Reader C-T was on the same vibe and so we are off with "Rapture" by Blondie:

I can imagine rapture with a vintage Debbie Harry, wow did I just type that out loud??? Moving on....

Seems The Cars were on people's minds this week. If you could see the pictures Mr. Watchtower has been sending me of silly awesome engines, you would feel the same way! Thanks so much my man! Let's go with "Candy O":

Sick as all get out. Good pick.

Reader Gawains was looking for some Train with "Hey Soul Sister" and I was surprised by the pick. Live version on tap!:

Good tune Gawains!

My Wife wanted to hear "The Thin Line" by Queensryche, and what the wife wants she gets!:

Good stuff.

Two songs to go!

Ok, honest question. I am banned from playing this tune while driving because I tend to go very fast! Rock out with "Running Free" by Iron Maiden and try to tell me I am crazy?:

"Pulled her at the bottle top, whiskey dancing disco hop!" YEAH!

Last call! Non-Rock bloggers have no idea how hard it is to close a show, I could do this all night.

Gonna slow it down with my girl, Jewel and her heartbreaker tune "Foolish Games":

Almost too much.

Have a good night.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Out of Time

Yes, it rained all day.

I am out of any real time tonight as I was attending a mini party for a close person becoming a citizen of the United States. Very cool.

There are about 3 major stories out today that have real significance going forward, and the big IPO of the company I will not name is not one of them. Shiny objects tend to get the attention however.

I do have a position in mind as Sara Lee (SLE) is at a marked area where I am interested in the stock. I will review tonight.

Only 13 votes on the poll from last night. Hmmm.

Tomorrow is Friday night and the request line is open, surely one or two of 13 would have a request?

Have a good night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Old School Game or Toy Best Describes the Markets to You?

Yes it rained all day again. Same story until Sunday.

What Old School Game or Toy Best Describes the Markets to You?
Fun stuff tonight. I am making a new poll that will ask what game or toy from the old days reminds you of the markets (or the economy)? This should be interesting to see the results so please vote at the top left corner of the site. I know I get plenty of people that stop by but hardly anyone ever votes! Make this one count.

I was going to supply some commentary for each choice, but I think it best to let it stand as is and we can discuss later. Here we go.

1. Sit and Spin

2. Pogo Ball

3. Easy Bake Oven

4. Pit Fall

Bonus coverage: See a baby Jack Black doing the start of the "Pit Fall" commercial:

5. Whack a Mole

6. Don't Break the Ice

7. Battleship

8. Clue

9. Hungry Hungry Hippos

10. Candyland

11. Mouse Trap

12. Stratego

You may want to wait to vote, if the comments have a big addition I may add to the list. If you see one that IS your pick, go ahead and vote. Voting will end Sunday night and on Monday we will see what wins. I think this is a good exercise on how people see the markets.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Stuff You Might Have Missed

Yes, it is still raining. How those Seattle folks get through this I have no idea.

Tuesday Stuff You Might Have Missed
A bit short on time so I will take a trip around the web and see what you may have missed.

China Loving Vancouver Real Estate
Trader Mark covers this trend:
Vancouver Housing Prices Pass New York and London as Chinese 'Move' In
"Fun random fact:
Starting about 18 months ago, so many homeowners applied to change the last two digits of their addresses to remove or shift the number 4, which in Chinese sounds like the word for death, or add the numeral 8, which is considered lucky, that Vancouver began turning down some requests, said Bonnie Lee, addressing coordinator for the city. "

It's Not a Greek Bailout, it's Reprofiling
Ilargi of The Automatic Earth covers the new hot idea for Greek problem, Reprofiling!
This all stopped being absurd a long time ago.

No Way, No How
Alarmist headline over at Zero Hedge from CLSA's Russell Napier:
Russell Napier: The Bear Market Bottom Will Be S&P 400
Never going to happen. What planet is this guy on? And I am a bearish sort, lol.

LinkedIn Goes Public
The popular career resume site LinkedIn goes public and reprices higher to boot. My man Josh Brown is not that interested:
"$4.2 billion valuation? Really?
I'm so not feeling the LinkedIn IPO (proposed ticker is LNKD). I'm sure they'll orchestrate a nice opening pop for it, but I'm only watching it as a gauge of risk appetite as well as what the future may hold for other social media-ish IPOs."

Antikythera Mechanism
From Little Bits of History, in 1902 on this date an ancient shipwreck (100 BC?) was found and among the many items taken out was the first "computer" which charted celestial movements using fine gears and other work not seen again until the 19th century:
Computational Device
As found:

A radiograph showing the fine gears:


Cipher Twitter is Ahead of it's Time
I was loving this article today:
The Age Of Social Sharing Has Reached Its End
Jason Schwartz, founder of the iPhone app Matchbook, has this to say:
"The age of social sharing [and broadcasting everything] has pretty much reached its end," Schwartz says. "I think moving forward we will see a new era of more classy social sharing that's more indicative of people's real social interactions in the real world. Social interactions online aren't like the real world at all."
Indeud. Going further:
"Having all of your friends see everything is the old way of doing social," Schwartz says. "The new way is, 'Who do you REALLY want to share information with?' There are only a couple of people whose opinions you really trust, and you don't want the noise of everyone else drowning them out."
So how best to target your audience and keep it between the people you want to know what you are up to? CIPHER TWITTER! As I said in this post:
Maybe you want to get your name out there and be 100% open, but maybe you want to leverage the broad media of Twitter to communicate quickly with your friends, readers, etc. If Titter offered a service that would encrypt your text (for a small fee), then you could submit "keys" to those you want to see your posts (again, incremental fee here per reader?) so they could read the decoded message. Just think, you could instantly write up:


hit ENCRYPT, and this goes out instead to your reader list:


if you have supplied the key, they can read your message.

Pay Per View Event
Now who would not shell out $50 to see our favorite bad ass, the honey badger:

Take on the Coconut Crab:

WOWZA! It would be a clash of the titans!

Have a good night.

Monday, May 16, 2011

And So it Begins?

Second day of big time rain today. Only 5 more to go! The wife is getting better very slowly and of course she went to work today! Unreal. I think she may work from home tomorrow, that would be best I think. Thanks to all for asking how she was doing.

And So it Begins?
When I decided to start trading in the New Year I figured on two things:
-It would be fun to do and re-learn all kinds of stuff
-The market trend would change as soon as I came in to play

Many of my trading tricks are best used in an uptrending market (no kidding!) so I figured when it changed over I was going to have to try other things or sit on my hands. While the market action since January 2011 has been weaker than most of 2010, it was still moving well until about 7 weeks ago. The last 3 weeks have been very poor for individual stock names and now the indices are looking a little sick too.

When silver crashed everyone broke their arm patting themselves on the back for being brilliant, but oblivious that the risk trade in silver is the same risk trade in everything else; oil, other commodities, and yes stocks. There is always a time delay to be sure but first commodities were getting hit, now the financials are going lower and equities are following suit.

I was stopped out on my position in OCLR today for a -4% loss and I closed my spots in LF and SOFO at even. What's next?

I don't know. I hate shorting individual stocks, I really do. The only short I ever did was TOL (Toll Brothers, a homebuilder) back in the day! At this point I want to find some ETFs (not leveraged ETFs!) that will allow me to be short commodities, financials and the small cap stocks. Why would I want to do that?

QE 3.0.

To get to QE 3.0 there is going to have to be some relief from higher priced items like oil and food. For cover purposes, assets that have been kept "higher than they would be otherwise" will have to give some back. I know it has been some time, but please do remember the Wall Street temper tantrums of selling of stocks to register displeasure over lack of accommodation.

iBankCoin's The Fly offered this today:
One could make a very good argument for lower equity prices, in order to flush money into treasuries. The only way to build internal/domestic demand for treasuries is to take away all available options.

I would point out that a rush into bonds will push yields DOWN and this would signal DEFLATION and thus the FED would feel compelled to do another round of easing.

Now if you want to play this game, and I am not sure I do, you have to be ready for nasty action. Unless you are at home all day the volatility going against things will kill you. You have to pick your spot, your target, and ride it out unless it is so clear you are wrong.

From last year, we saw the SPY:
-Peak at 117 on May 4th 2010
-Bottom out 1st time at 103 on July 6
-Bottom again on August 31 at 105
In August the FED offered QE lite and hinted that further policy action was coming down the pipe via full blown QE 2.0. Markets priced in QE 2.0 quickly and by the time it was rolled out in early November the SPY was at 122. We topped (maybe ) May 2nd 2011 at 136.

My back of the envelope work shows the 12% drop from May 2010 to the last days of summer in August. So we just apply that 12% to the recent high of 136 right? Wrong!

I do not think markets can handle a 12% route without a real chance of a run happening.. It will not take 12%. That said a 3-5% drawdown is not going to get enough attention. I will settle on 8% or so. I also feel that the time frame will be faster, with QE 3.0 starting as trial balloons, Sunday talk show drops, and Op-Ed's in papers by the end of July. It will be in effect by September I believe.

I need to flesh this out a bit more, but it seems pretty clear. If I do play this path it will be via short ETFs for the time spans covered in this post. I am not really that excited by this idea as snap back rallies and only an 8% downside are not overly attractive as bets. Maybe I will just sit out the summer and go fishing.

Have a good night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Quick Hit

It began raining last night and will rain for the next 4 days off and on. This is a major bummer.

Did a ton of yard work yesterday, my back is a little sore. This getting old crap is tiresome.

I am running some homework screens but I think this week we may see a turn in the markets so I am not really looking to get heavily into anything. We shall see.

Some stuff for tonight?

You STILL have not seen Brad Pitt's masterful work in "The Assassination of Jesse James"? Well you really should:

Who has seen Matt Dillon's debut film, a classic really, "Over the Edge"?:

Hee hee, that movie was so stupid it was good.

I love Gregory Hines in about all his films. Here in "Deal of the Century" he gets pushed too far and gives a guy's car "a little touch up!":


Or in "Running Scared" paired with Billy Crystal:


Someone finally loaded the "Log" commercial from the Ren and Stimpy show. It's better than bad, it's good!:


Have a good night.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wide World of Sports Saturday

My wife seems to have gotten food poisoning on Friday at lunch (I didn't so it!). She is feeling unwell and is off to bed early. I feel bad for her and hope she is better tomorrow.

As such, left to my own devices, I tend to head on over to YouTube and watch film clips, sports clips, and music for hours! At least it gets me off Wikipedia.....

Below are some sports clips I am watching.

Larry Bird - The Legend
With a back that was basically broken, Larry Bird posts a 49 point, 14 rebound, 12 assist masterpiece to beat the Trailblazers in 1992. At the 7:30 mark Bird gets an impossible three pointer to fall to force overtime (The Celtics would win in double overtime):
LINK - it is embed disabled for some reason?

Randy Moss and Tom Brady Set TD Record
This was so amazing to see live:

Yes I know the Pats would lose later, freaking NY teams.

Tracy Porter and the New Orleans Saints Win the Superbowl
Really wild live shot of the interception that sealed the win for my beloved Saints:


Andre Agassi Wins the 1994 US Open
Unseeded and playing the best tennis of his career (and maybe the best I have ever seen from anyone), Agassi blows away Michael Stich for the title (6:00 minute mark for the end):
Again, LINK. First 5 parts are embed enabled but not the last?
Stich was a real gentleman at the end as well.

Michael Moorer Comes Back Against Bert Cooper
After being all but knocked out in the first round (see here) Moorer KO's Cooper with some of the shortest, most highly leveraged power punches I have ever seen in round 5. Got to the 2:00 mark:

Set aside Moorer's weak jaw and lack of training discipline and he always reminded me of Joe Louis with those short power shots.

Jennifer Harman Gets Rivered
Jennifer Harman, one of the best if not THE BEST female Poker players, gets a little too cute with bet sizing and then gets rivered out at the 2005 WSOP:

Reminds me why I stopped playing poker a while ago, freaking luck makes too much of a difference. I would rather fight a guy or play them in tennis one on one.

Dale Earnhardt's Last Win
Coming from 20th with 10 laps to go, Dale gets the win and I was going crazy:


Have a good night.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Full Frontal Friday

No worries or sorry to disappoint, the title was just to grab cheapo page views, HA!

Banking Sector Breaking Down, All Alone it Seems
Readers know I am pretty anti-bank. As such the bottom falling out on the banking composite, ticker XLF, almost brings a tear of happiness to my eye. Could not happen to a better sector.

Banks have been showing perfect trading quarters where not even one day did they lose money trading. We should all be so smart and skillful. Even so, banks are only making their earnings numbers because they have all lowered loan loss reserves to puny levels in the face of increasing mortgage losses. Well, that paper not stored at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, and the FED.

The markets in general seem to keep rising, at least the indices as a whole are. Under the hood stocks are breaking down all over the place. While rotation into stocks of other sorts may be going on, where else can it go?

At this point commodities (inflation expectations, speculation) are rolling over hard and the banks have been moving down for 3 months solid. The FED has a pair of epic fails to show for all their efforts. Stocks continue to roll and the divergence from the banking sector is getting very large. Yahoo graph comparison (click for larger view):

This gap will have to close by either the markets going lower or the banks going higher. I think it is time to look for the lighted exit path but I am known to be an alarmist.

Friday Night Entertainment
Setting you up for a good weekend one Friday Night at a time.

I Just Have NO IDEA
Japan makes some weird stuff. Here is a new product description for a face lift face trainer:
From the makers of our sleeper hit, the Beauty Lift High Nose, comes the latest beauty gadget to draw attention not only for its very unusual design, but also its simple yet effective functionality. Just slip the Facial Lift At Once into your mouth once a day for three minutes and you will feel the electric buzzing work on your cheeks, chin, lips, mouth and even nose. The pulsing will come in four different levels of strength and in a complete 360-degree spread, pushing and working on your facial muscles little by little every time.
Not only will this give your face a boost "at once", exercise and training couldn't be easier than with this gadget. All you do is put on the mouth cover, pop it in your mouth and it does the hard work for you! If only running a marathon could be as easy!
You have to see this but you are warned, maybe NSFW!:


Deep Sequencing
A little science, yes?

Way back in the day DNA sequencing was limited to using radioactive labelled phosphorus and then doing a sort of PCR reaction to make progressive DNA fragments of longer length. When run out on a gel and then captured on a film, you could read the bases of DNA. This sucked for various reasons; it was RADIOACTIVE, short run length, GC compression, etc. Along came Sanger Dye Terminator sequencing and that was much better. Technology improved and the automated ABI machines were great. I still use an older model at work for basic stuff.

The Human Genome was sequenced using a variety of methods, and usually done as moving forward in a line type of way. This took years. Craig Venter, then at Celera Genomics, used shotgun sequencing (breaking a genome into small fragments, then sequencing all the fragments many times over, and assembling the sequence by overlapping regions. While hardly novel, it was super fast at the time.

Today a new era has been coming online and I wanted to mention it. It is called Deep Sequencing and this takes the shotgun approach to the next level. The science behind this is not too hard to get (look over the Wiki entry) and this is a huge thing going forward.

For about $48,000 in reagent costs (excluding the machines that do it, those are big bucks) and a weeks time, a whole genome can now be covered. This has so many applications it is amazing. Cancer marker testing is at the front of the line aiming at personalized medicine. For a molecular biologist this is exciting stuff. Every big company is getting three of these, and even smaller firms want one.

There is much more and I cannot go over it all tonight but I did want you to think about it. The speed at which the technology is moving, the film "GATTACA" is not out of the question. What kind of issues might that present in terms of insurance, etc are hard to know. Food for thought. While not investment advice, some names if interested are (some are private I believe):
-Applied Biosystems
-Pacific Biosciences

More science goodies? How about a system that transfers test liquid using sound!!! It is called the Echo system and using sound waves volumes as small as 2.5 nanoliters can be transferred into an assay plate. Amazing stuff.

OK, enough heavy stuff.

Twitter Reveals Robots are Evil
Like I said, the robots are gearing up to mess with us:
epic fail photos - CLASSIC: Roomba FAIL
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols!

Film Clips
Movie time!

Seems everyone knew the villain "Christine" so let's see her in action. "Ok. Show Me.":

I am fond of that film. From the comments on the YouTube clip and I agree 100%:
@Hubs88 It still looks better than any of the special effects I've seen in movies in the last 20 or so years.
Better than CGI crap. This movie always makes me think of this tune.

From the original "Karate Kid", Daniel finds out the path to learning may not be so direct:


Rock Blogging
Here come the tunes.

Reader C-T used to be a Gin Blossoms roadie (I think?) so let's open with "Allison Road":

I like that one.

Reader Gawains (who owes us a real estate report! Kidding!) would like to hear Nazareth with "Hair of the Dog":

Whole album is great.

I know, I tend to repeat (I try to stick to the 1 year rule!) but I so wanted L.A. Guns and "Over the Edge":

Yes, it is from the "Point Break" film. Epic tune.

I got an email from Recession Sessions who wrote the "Gold Price Song". I like people that work at getting their stuff out there so take a look at this nice song:

Nice work!

One of Economic Disconnect's all time favorite tunes is "Karma Police" by Radiohead:

So nice.

Two songs left, what will be heard?

Now that my man David Batista has seen "Streets of Fire" let's celebrate with "Nowhere Fast":

That song gets me rocking! A Must see.

Last call! Grab a drink and a significant other.

Get amped up with Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon", an under rated song if there ever was one:

Great ending!

Have a good night.