Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome to October Friday

I was away all day attending to some things. Everyone ready for the weekend?

Welcome to October Friday
It was another bad day in the markets to close the quarter. At this point I think getting a handle on how badly China is slowing is key, along with how bad the slow down in the US will be. The ECRI is now saying the US has entered recession ,and last summer they said we would not even though it looked for all the world like we would. Not a good item of information.

At this point I am content to keep making lists of things I want to buy, and I keep screening looking for some sign of a real bottom. Still not happening. I will be attending The Big Picture Conference on October 11th and maybe after that it there will be a clearer picture going forward. First trip to NYC! Cannot wait.

Friday Night Entertainment
Let's kick the bad month of September to the curb and welcome in October!

Robot Revolution, Will it Start Here?
We are far past where robot intelligence has gained escape velocity. Now the company Boston Dynamics has moved ahead with their powerful new robot, Alpha Dog, which may be the basis for the robot army (via Geekologie):
AlphaDog, BigDog's New & Improved Older Brother: Running For The Hills Won't Save You
Clip here:

It's coming. For us all.

Fun with Pictures
Get a smile on your faces.

Farmville is a problem?:
see more After 12

Feeling left out I guess:
photobomb that guy - The 5th Wheel
see more This is Photobomb

Film Clips
Some things worth seeing.

Not a film, but I was in the mood for the final battle between Duncan MacLeod and his nemesis Kalas atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Skip to 38:00 mark on:

So cool.

The cult classic film "The Warriors" show what happens when you think you are scoring with girls, but they just want to shoot you:

And they are not even married (KIDDING!!!)

Rock Blogging
Ok, some tunes to get the weekend going.

I was discussing this tune last night on Twitter. Try out Anthrax with the very good "Black Lodge":

Ok, only Ozzy/Randy tune I will play is the melodic and soulful "Goodbye to Romance":


Always have loved this tune! Lenny Kravitz and "Are you Gonna go my Way":

For Jake of EconomPic, here is "Africa" by Toto:

Ok class, two songs to go then I am out.

Nice YouTube find! For all the gold and silver lovers out there, here is Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles playing "Silver Threads and Golden Needles":

So awesome!

Last call, grab a girl, a drink and whatever else may be of use (a feather? Spatula?)

Closing the show with a little Doo-Wop if you like that. You may know this one from a classic film. Thurston Harris and Little Bitty Pretty One:

Love it.

Have a good night.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Best of the Web Thursday

I had a dentist appointment today, and then some things to do this evening. A bit short on time, so let's see what's good on the web for market commentary.

Get requests submitted for Friday Night Entertainment as well, or I will play all Ozzy tunes.

Best of the Web Thursday
What's worth a look from yesterday to today.

From The Armo Trader, you HAVE to see this chart. It's perfect:
Market Action Over The Past 2 Months

The Reformed Broker took a ton of notes during a lunch with guru Jeffrey Gundlach that you may want to review:
Notes from the DoubleLine Lunch with Jeffrey Gundlach

Robert Sinn tells you some truth, that "This market is here to fool you and take your money", and more here:
How NOT to Trade This Market

The Fly notes that whenever the S&P has been down 5 months in a row, rallies tend to happen. But what about the Chinese slowdown????:
Insane S&P Losing Streak

Leigh Drogen talks about Facebook's new updates, and if you use Facebook you MUST read this article. Facebook may use your searching/viewing habits to compile your public profile for you, without asking:
Facebook’s Open Graph and the Curation of Your Image

While not as historical or cool as the old time ZL-1's, The first 2012 ZL-1 Camaro was auctioned off for $250,000:
First 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 goes for $250,000 at auction

Shameless plug, but tonight I posted that Apple Inc is worth more than four American Civil Wars (and don't miss it's worth more than 2 Apollo Space Programs!):
Things Apple is Worth More Than

Have a good night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bikes and Boards

Note: This partial post was originally posted on August 5, 2010. Not much to write about market wise, so here it is.

(Tonight's post was inspired by reader Watchtower who offered that he wanted a Schwinn Stingray more than anything as a kid, but it never happened. Here is the model in question:

That is a fine bike!

Of course this got me all nostalgic about the means of transport in my youth. Maybe you will take a ride down memory lane?

BMX Bicycles
As soon as I could, I loved riding bikes. Not unique, I know. My first bike was this crappy thing that had plastic wheels and was made out of tin foil I think. I took it over a 3 foot jump, landed, and the frame broke in half and stuck me in the leg (no stitches needed!). I was not put off on my bicycle career by such a thing.

Skipping ahead, I wanted to share the hottest bikes from my golden years of BMX riding. Maybe you had one? Maybe you wanted one? Maybe you will have no idea what I am talking about? The last one is likely, but it is my blog!

Names like GT, Haro, Mongoose, CW, Redline, Kuwahara, Diamond Back, Dyno,

A few bikes of special note:

While I never wanted a GT Performer, this bike really set off the BMX/Freestyle bike mania:

Curvy frame!

A real Hutch BMX racing bike was out of reach for any mortal kid not from a rich family as these babies were BIG Bucks but the best available:

Another bike I never saw in real life, the Kuwahara Ripper:


Ok, you know a Porsche is a "super car" in terms of performance? Well I worked 6 weekends one summer with my dad doing railroad work, mostly rail installations, to get the dough for a top of the line racer. The Bike "Pistol" Pete Loncarevich rode to numerous victories. The bike I always wanted, a Haro Group 1 RS-1:

I loved that bike! I had it one half Summer and the next Spring I left it out one night, ONE NIGHT, and it got stolen of course. I used to sleep with the bike in my room and I forgot one freaking night. Geez.

Skateboarding Decks
Stuck with no bike and looking at quite a few weekends of work to get a new one, I passed the time building half pipe ramps and doing a little skateboarding instead. We "liberated" wood from various construction sites (I never said I was a saint!) and decks were way cheaper than bikes plus near impossible to steal from under my bed at night. I actually grew to love boarding, but I was never any good at it.

Decks are a true artist medium as every rider used his own board as a medium for expression. The graphics were really wonderful. A few selections for your perusal (most pics from the great site Skates on Haight).

My first deck, a Powell Yellow Ripper:

I have no idea why, but I liked that one!

A great friend of mine communicates his love was a Santa Monica Airlines deck, this is the Bulldog:

Very nice.

The legendary Tony Hawk and his revolutionary bottle nosed deck:

That thing was cool as all get out.

A Steve Caballero Dragon Deck:

I like it!

Finally, the baddest deck art I have ever seen, the Tommy Guerrero Flaming Dagger board:

This was by far my most wanted board. Amazing artwork.

So what happened? I had enough saved up to buy a Guerrero (they were red by then) but I had been bitten by the boxing bug! The gym was 12 miles across town so I had to buy a second hand 10-speed bike to get across town (lots of hills, city traffic) and I needed something quicker than a skateboard and more adjustable than a BMX bike. It happens!

Well, sorry to get off track. Anyways, I like this break from the usual stuff so I hope you do as well.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Song that Changed My Life

The market rallied huge this morning, but I could not even see the volume bar for the SPY in Finviz. Sure enough a huge fade late in day made the whole thing suspect. It's still not a market you do anything but day trade, or maybe find high value stocks to buy and hold for a long time. As such, I don't have much to offer tonight on markets. Let's see if this will interest you.

The Song that Changed My Life
This post is inspired by a Twitter question as well as Dinosaurtrader's awesome post about the 20 year anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind album.

I have always been a bit different than most people I grew up with. Most of the time it did not matter too much, but sometimes it did. Most of my friends were playing football and baseball, or joining gangs and getting in trouble around grade 5 in 1987. I don't like all the pads in football, I hate baseball, and Lowell was not a kind place for idiots back then. I don't know exactly how things may have turned out if not for watching Mtv one day when I was 11. Who can know such things?

Here is a list of the top 100 songs of 1987. You can see Bon Jovi, Posion, and other glam rock was well represented. I loved that stuff and I still do. But as I awaited the top 20 video countdown to come on (no YouTube!!) I was hoping Bon Jovi was still in the #1 spot. Ozzy Osbourne had just released his album "Tribute" which featured Randy Rhoads on lead guitar before his death. All I thought I knew about Ozzy at the time was that he worshipped the devil or something. Pass. Until the song opened up:

And I was stunned. I listened to the whole thing in silence and awe. I had never heard anything so powerful and raw. I couldn't move, I knew this was always going to be my favorite song and that I was meant to have found it.

I dashed out of the house when it was done and rode my bike 4 miles downtown to the tape store (yes a tape store) to get a copy. I listened to it until it broke. I am serious, it got overheated and broke. I was pissed, tapes were not cheap.

So how did this change my life other than expose me to heavy metal? Because everyone I knew hated the music and thought it was stupid. They all cracked on me to no end. This may sound silly, but when you are 11 what your "friends" think is huge. You could get left out by just the clothes you wear or the music you listened to. I didn't care. I knew this was my song, my music, my call.

And I have never worried about what other people think since. A couple years later I started riding my bike way across town to the West End Gym (the old one on Powell street) and started boxing, something I always wanted to do but my mother forbade it (It would be years until my mother found out). No one I knew would go with me, they all thought I was crazy. But I knew it was right for me. I knew what I wanted.

And on and on. To this day I still have 3 unopened CD copies of the Tribute album just in case I need them. There is one in the car as well. Ok, maybe that's a bit creepy. But I owe my independence to Ozzy and Randy, least I could do is buy a few albums.

Have a good night.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Kola Superdeep Borehole of Debt

I am not a Monday person, that is a fact.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole of Debt
A while back I wrote what kinds of things had to happen for a real bottom to form in a credible way. Number one was some kind of progress on Euro debt woes. Today may have been the paper over promise that markets want. Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capitalism has a great summary and discussion:
His conclusion:
In sum, this looks like a start, but not a fix. Like the original EFSF, this plan will have teeth. But let’s not sugarcoat it. This is a kick of the can even if it’s a swift kick. The real resolution lies in measures not confronted by this plan. And until then, we can expect economic weakness and turmoil to ravage Europe as the inherent imbalance remains in place.
Not too exciting, but a break from the fears perhaps.

Readers know this kind of thing drive me nuts. Playing shell games using special vehicles to swap junk for cash does not fix anything, but it does allow everyone to go about their business.

So how much cash can be set aside to recapitalize banks and paper over bad debts across the world? I have no idea, but it just keeps coming. Where to stash all the bad debt? I maybe have a solution.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole
So how deep is it?:
The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on 24 May 1970 using the Uralmash-4E, and later the Uralmash-15000 series drilling rig. A number of boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest, SG-3, reached 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) in 1989, and is the deepest hole ever drilled, and the deepest artificial point on earth.
Would that do it?

The process is to continue to provide cash and call it a liquidity problem. It's a debt problem. In the borehole the debt stacks up, but happens if it's not turtles all the way down?

Have a good night.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow Sunday

I wanted to say thank you to everyone that was so supportive and kind with Friday's post. It means a lot to me to have friends like I do. Makes things easier. Thanks again.

Slow Sunday
I could not believe how many mistakes the New England Patriots made today. I have to give huge credit to the Buffalo Bills, they were down early but just kept coming. To be fair, the Patriots left about 20 points on the field with all the turnovers in red zone. Bizarre game. The Raiders beat the Jets tonight, so at least that is good.

By this time tonight I had imagined there would be some announced bailout plan for the Euro crisis, but as of now still nothing. Market futures are creeping up so maybe news breaks later tonight. In any case it's still more of a watch and see kind of market, I don't feel any real desire to jump in.

Silver is crashing again and silver drops have led market drops for a few months now. If silver gets to the $25 area, I will be thinking about playing it on the long side.

Slow Sunday here, trying to relax and get ready for the week. Check out this hilarious video I saw on YouTube though, Darth Vader vs Batman:

Have a good night.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night

It's going to be a more mellow Friday here tonight so you know that up front.

Passing of a Friend
I got the sad news yesterday that my good friend Au Soleil Levant had died on Wednesday. She was 27 years old. My heart is with her loving parents, her brother, her sister, and all of her family and friends.

Soleil had cancer, fought it off, it came back, she fought again (and had bone marrow transplant), and again the cancer returned. There is much more and you can see a timeline here.

You think you are tough? You think you are strong? She was more so. I could never be as courageous as Soleil, and I know that. I used to always say she had an iron will and a steel resolve. Soleil stayed positive every time I read her blog or when we corresponded by email. A post from April 2010 really stood out to me as how she dealt with the struggle. Her "How Far I've Come" reminded my of an old section of a book I once read. It was a Japanese samurai sword making history with little sayings along the pages. I still cannot find the book or remember the title. What I did remember was this part and I left it in the comments section:
"Though every step was difficult I endeavored to press on;
After some time I forgot to press and looked back at how far I had come;
I never even noticed the river!"
Soleil often referenced that quote in emails as she crossed so many more rivers than anyone should ever have to cross.

I once had a DNA translation contest where I entered a DNA sequence that when correctly translated would read an answer. Soleil won! I sent her a 1 oz silver Maple Leaf and a copy of "Time and Again" as a prize. Very impressive.

There was all that and more. When I was very ill this summer with a bad intestinal infection, Soleil checked on me to make sure I was ok. Her, sick with relapsed cancer, checking on me. She was that way. The last note I have from her was from September 5th. I have been and will always try to keep her optimism and her resolve a part of my everyday life.

I am sure Soleil could have done anything she wanted if she had the chance. I am better for knowing her and the world is worse off without her. She was an inspiration, a brilliant mind, a tender heart, and she was my good friend. Rest in Peace.

Tonight I am playing three songs Soleil requested at various times and then one of my own selections.

Last request, on August 19th 2011, Florence and the Machine "The Dog Days are Over":

From February 11th, Jason Mraz and "The Remedy":

From her June 15 Birthday pick (it played on June 16, 2010) here is Dido and "Closer":

Last song tonight is Samuel Barber's timeless "Adagio for Strings":


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nothing to Say

Got some very sad news today and there will be no post tonight.

If you have friends, appreciate them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Until Tomorrow

Crazy day for real work and clearly for the markets. I have a few things I am working on tonight so no real post at this time. I should have a better idea what I want to write tomorrow.

One thing I wanted to share was this item from Bryce Elder at FT Alphaville which looked at how correlation is maybe not always such an amazing thing.

In the post "An Experiment in Delta None" it is noted that:
The CBOT’s Market Volatility Index, the Vix, is a proxy for interest in “Lil’ Kim download”.
AWESOME!! Lil Kim is related to volatility searches? Makes perfect sense, she gets me excited.

The Reformed Broker and I are still hitting the "Apple is Worth More Than" page and it made the NY Times Economix today:
What We’re Reading: Things Apple Is Worth More Than

As well as a slide show in The Atlantic:
Things Apple Is Worth More Than: All of Atlanta's Homes, Singapore's GDP, and More

I posted a new one tonight:
The US Automotive Aftermarket
Thanks again Josh!

Have a good night.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

Glad most had fun with the Worst Films Blogfest. It was a fun thing to do.

Hurry Up and Wait
I could talk about the markets, but it's really all about the FED tomorrow. Last week I penned an article that said the bias is going to be up and why, but that could get dashed if there is a big disappointment tomorrow.

Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capitalism has the FED meeting run down that you want to read here:
It's all in there.

To me it's still all about earnings warnings and if the slowdown that was fully going on in the summer will make a dent in profits. As of late earnings estimates have been coming down, but have they enough?

Add to this that copper is getting killed right now (usually a key market indicator) and it's a mixed message at best. The Reformed Broker keeps reminding us that Brazil easing rates and copper may mean there is a China slowdown story. If true that is NOT priced into the market in any way.

Outside events make trading difficult right now. I have sat on my hands while my best set ups over the last week or so have done pretty well (GG, CVLT, NI) but it's still pretty dangerous out there. Even Howard Lindzon is seeing this market as a tough thing to read:
Markets CANNOT be Tamed, Only Managed

In a time when information moves instantly across the world, we are here waiting for Greek debt phone conference updates or new FED action announcements. On the other side of those headlines are a ton of money managers that are having severe performance anxiety that Cialis and Viagra cannot help with. Combustible mix.

Have a good night.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

A while back I signed up on the Alex J. Cavanaugh site to take part in the Worst Movies Ever Blogfest. Well, today is the day!

It's not hard to pick some bad films, but it can be hard to pick the absolutely worst movies I have ever seen. Here are my selections:

10. Tango and Cash 1989
One would think that pairing action film legends Kurt Russell (Snake Plissken) and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo/Rocky) would result in a tour de force for action films. Thinking can be over rated! Both actors have roles where they force being funny as the stupid plot meanders to the multi explosion cliche ending. This movie should be lost in time.

9. Message in a Bottle 1999
Now let me explain this one. Yes, Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, and Paul Newman are all fantastic in this film. The story is a moving one, and I do like this film quite a bit EXCEPT FOR THE STUPID ENDING! I mean Costner and Penn get together after a 1 in a million chance of finding his message, they struggle to get to know each other, he finally let's go of his wife's death, and boom! He's dead due to some boating accident in a storm? So weak. One could substitute "City of Angels" here for the same reason.

8. Jaws - The Revenge 1987
Yet another crazy great white first roams around New England to kill another Brody, then swims really fast to The Bahamas to clash with Mrs. Brody. She rams the shark in the end with a boat mast and the shark explodes because, you know, sharks have dynamite inside them or something. How this film ever was released I have no idea.

7. Zardoz 1974
Being visually assaulted by Sean Connery in a red mankini is bad. Unless you take a whole boat load of drugs, the story in this one will not make any sense. Well, it might not make sense anyway. This is one terrible film.

6. Roller Boogie 1979
If you thought Linda Blair could never have a more scary performance than in "The Exorcist" then you missed this car crash of a film. Too poor a film to even write much about.

5. The Craft 1996
The idea behind this film may have been interesting, but the never ending high pitched screaming by character Nancy (played by Fairuza Balk) is enough to make me want to destroy the television when this thing is on. Instant headache and ears ring for a week after.

4. Doctor Zhivago 1965
I know this film is supposed to be an epic all time great, but it's a terrible movie. It's long, it's boring, and you never really get to know the characters except that you don't like any of them because they are all so dumb it hurts. Terrible flick, there I said it.

3. Killer Clowns from Outer Space 1988
In a way, maybe this is unfair. I think the point of the movie was to make it as bad as possible, so it was a success on that! I will even add a trailer:


2. Speed 2: Cruise Control 1997
The script for this movie was so bad, Keanu Reeves passed on it. Bed bugs on a cruise ship are more scary than the threat on this ship! Easily one of the worst films of all time.

1. Fair Game 1995
In a rush to get the red hot Cindy Crawford into a film, they made this one. It's beyond terrible. Not even the semi nude scenes can save this mess of a film.

Hope you all enjoyed!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

No Time to Post Dr. Jones!

Sorry all, just no time this evening for a real post. Watched football all day long and was looking forward to doing some stock screening tonight.

Excellent game by the New Orleans Saints today! Love that the New England Patriots were able to beat the Superbowl bound (lol) San Diego Chargers as well. Friend on Twitter sent me this cool icon to say bye bye to Chargers: ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐

I will leave you with Juliette Valduriez playing "Lost Paradise" and it's really worth the look:


Have a good night.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Freeroll Friday

It was a long week, ready for the weekend.

"The Unlimited Dollar Funding Machine"
Somehow I missed this last night, but first thing this morning when I loaded up The Reformed Broker I was very excited to see last night's post shown as well as some really kind words:
The Unlimited Dollar Funding Machine
I am not going to lie, this made my whole week, so cool.

Friday Night Entertainment
Bringing the fun stuff since 2007.

Making the Robot Future Happen
What is this? Now the bots will be able to self-replicate?:
ROBOTS OF THE FUTURE: Scientists Create Living Cells Out Of Inorganic Metals
The robot apocalypse is coming at some time, and it's later than you think.

Picture Time
It's better than GTL even.

Go Edgar!:
guidos bros douchebags fratboys - The Return of Edgar Allen Bro
see more funny videos, and check out our Yo Dawg lols!

One cupcake to rule them all:
demotivational posters - MY PRECIOUSSSS
see more Very Demotivational

Film Clips
Even if you have NFLX shares, I am sure it will be ok in the end. Kidding.

Adrian Brody is magnificent in the film "The Jacket" and no it's not just a chick flick. Take a look:

Check it out.

By the magic of YouTube, all the two dollars scenes from "Better Off Dead":

Rock Blogging
The most fun since they sliced the bread for you.

Reader and writer David Batista almost got all the pictures correct from the "Bull vs. Bear" post and being a true Highlander fan his request was for Queen's "Princes of the Universe":

Great pick! Hoping to catch David for a drink when I am in NYC in October.

Loyal reader Gawains was looking for some Meatloaf and who can say no? Remember "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights"?:

Nice! Book Review??? LOL

This video came up as related to an Ozzy clip I was watching (big surprise!) and I think I am in love! Please take a listen to JulietteVmusic and a nasty good cover on guitar of "Bark at the Moon":

Wow! Do me a favor, if you have a YouTube account please go and "like" this clip.

Get rocked with Evanescence and "Bring me to Life":

Have not had this one up in a bit, but I was wanting some saxaphone! Quarterflash and "Harden My Heart":


Two songs left!

My friend Jennifer Hillier joked about a song, but of course I knew the tune! Who has not heard Kenny Roger's classic "Lucille"?:

Grew up singing Kenny Rogers tunes as my Dad played his guitars.

Last song, get a drink!

For a Friday night I am serious about this. My man Josh Brown wrote a piece today (Trading in the Queen's Hamlet) that is required reading for all. This hits all the reasons why I really stopped going full power against things, one person just cannot fight the tide. But that is the easy way to go. We all need to do more. Anyways, the write up made me think, and then it made me sort of angry, in a good way. Let's close the show with Rage Against the Machine and their amazing cover of "Ghost of Tom Joad":


Have a good night.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hope is Not a Strategy, But is it Tradeable?

Almost Friday! You know that means to get those requests in for the show tomorrow.

The Food Business
Seeing that eating out is the new American past time, I try to keep an eye on news in that sector as a measure of how things are going. Two great works on this subject to share.

My friend Mark of Illusion of Prosperity has some really thought provoking charts up that are worth a look here:
Long Term Restaurant Sales Prediction
Chart from Mark:
I thought this was very interesting and in a post about spending I dropped a link to Jake of EconomPic.

Jake did some more work and arrived at this chart, important too:
Summation paragraph:
While not a surprise, this is rather concerning. I recently outlined that bottom earners have been earning less for the better part of the past 15+ years and it looks like it may be actually impacting the dietary habits of Americans (i.e. eating less [unlikely] or eating cheap / unhealthy food [likely]).
Worth thinking about. Thanks guys!

Hope is Not a Strategy, But is it Tradeable?
"Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane." - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding

First off be warned I have a few line rant to start. The Unlimited Dollar funding machine announced today to ease lending conditions in Europe is another proof of the theorem that nothing has been solved, only set aside. Interbank lending had become very tight, and most will say it is because banks are nervous about what other banks hold as assets so they don't want to lend even in short time frames. This is true but not correct. Bank know EXACTLY what they have themselves, and know it is garbage. They also know other banks have the same stuff. Thus the lack of faith in bank assets, they all know the real score. 3 years after Lehman Bothers failed (Happy Anniversary!) the swapping of garbage collateral for real cash continues unabated. It must be transitory.

Last summer things were bad but the FED came to the rescue and market players allowed the hope that more easing and more accommodation would turn around a ship that was in real trouble. It took a while for the data to get better, but markets lifted anyway, on the hope that it would get better. Remember all the games with "second derivatives" and "getting worse more slowly"? Yeah that.

Are we back there?

The numbers now are no where near as bad as last summer, but the direction is not favorable. More and more companies are lowering guidance, and not by small amounts. Unemployment is rising again and I could go on. Will it matter? When hope gets ingrained it takes a long time for it to be dashed.

The FED moves again next week and today's CPI print (did it get lost in the news?) was high enough that the FED should be on hold for aggressive easing. Operation Twist is a go, but will lowering long rates by .2% really do anything?

There is fundamental thinking, and there is reality. The reality is that hope is here. Unlimited dollar facilities? FED moving? Money managers WAY behind this year and need a run? All are a yes. Last years "Head and Shoulders" top is this years "Bear Flag" which is now too long to be such a thing (iBankCoin's ChessNwine was the first to discuss this BTW).

The only monkey in the wrench is that earnings guidance and then reports come in so poor that it cannot be fought. This is key going forward and needs to be taken very seriously.

Tomorrow is the close of Option Expiration week. If no drama occurs I will be back on Sunday night doing real homework looking to use the hope factor to make some trades. Sentiment is turning, fear is here but it's the fear of missing out. Plenty of ingredients for some positive market action. I have about 7 screens that I built in The PPT that are very strong and I am looking to trade.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bulls vs. Bears: A Pictorial

I had a evening appointment and some errands to do so out of time. If you miss me you can always follow me on Twitter as I scribe useless stuff on the fly. Tonight, in honor of the raging fight between the bulls and bears, I present a pictorial of all kinds of battles for visual enjoyment. If you correctly identify every one you get lead off song pick for Friday night.

Bulls vs. Bears: A Pictorial
Have a good night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Would a Bottom Look Like?

Traffic since September started has just been terrible. Should be bags of fun when the snow starts flying.

It was a fun opening NFL weekend. This is the most wide open year I can remember. Everyone says that every year, but it's actually true this time. Monday Night Football and an offensive show by the Patriots was a fun capper to the weekend. Keep it coming!

What Would a Bottom Look Like?
Right now everyone is looking at the same charts, the same areas of importance, and the same patterns. Everyone now is well aware of the major issue that is the Eurozone. When can the porkchopfest of a market stop? When will things turn around? I have no idea, but I do have an idea what kinds of things need to happen for the poor market action to start resolving. Here they are:

Some form of Closure for Euro debt
Whether it's a huge bailout escalation, or a default by some countries this issue has got to be put to bed, at least short term (6 months). The assault on the value of "notional" money is scaring people right now.

The US FED: Fish or Cut Bait
Bernanke and posse have been playing footsie with the markets; will they do operation twist?, will they stop buying stuff?, will they actually fire up the helicopters? Next week the FED needs to be clear what the plan is.

Stocks Have to Stop the Correlation Tango
For weeks either every stock goes up or every one goes down. This is absurd market action and useless investment wise except on the very shortest time spans.

Markets Must React to Lowered S&P Earnings Estimates
Earnings estimates are too high and some analysts are starting to lower them. How can you beat expectations if they are too high after all? Luckily from where we are price wise, this may be "in" the market if Euro fears can subside.

New Non-Coffee Stock Leadership and Market Volume
Coffee stocks are the new MOMO play and while it must be fun to play them, we are not going to get broad market participation if coffee stocks are the only game in town. Volume has been worse than nothing, buyers need to come in and set up base camp.

There are a few more and feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Have a good night.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Night Football

I had no idea the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins was starting so early. As such, no post tonight. Will aim for tomorrow. Oh yeah, Dallas Cowboys are hysterical.

Have a good night.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slow Sunday

Taking a break today. Looks like some big French banking issues are going to go critical this week so don't be a hero and blow up your accounts.

Kevin Harvick Wins at Richmond
In dominant fashion, #29 takes his 4th win of the year at Richmond last night:

Now the NASCAR Title Chase begins and Kevin will be tied for most points with Kyle Busch. Could this be the year?

Have a good night.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Night Pick Up

4 day weeks are always the longest it seems.

Market Observations
After a reasonable rally, markets tanked again today. Just an impossible situation to trade unless you can sit in the turret all day and work it. Still not a healthy market for swing trade set ups (days to a week or two) and many people are very frustrated. It's understandable.

Looking forward I felt that the weak forward guidance given by both McDonalds (MCD, I own shares in long term account) and athletic wear maker Lululemon (LULU) are signalling weakness in consumption among all groups; the lower end and the higher end. Earnings numbers next time may not be as great as expected and that is going to be an issue. If the market does not crash first of course.

Friday Night Entertainment
A little break is needed I think. Seeing many of my blogging/trading friends a bit on edge and a little levity goes a long way.

Book Excerpt
As you know I am reading Daniel Wilson's "Robopocalypse". Just go get this book right now. NOW! I will share a part that is still hitting me even now a day after I read it.

Setup; machines have become self aware and have evolved intelligence at a high level. A little girl's electronic doll has been awakened and calls the girl by her name! Freaky? Yes. Then comes this exchange:
"How come you know my name? You aren't supposed to know my name, Buttercup."
"I know lots of things Mathilda. I have gazed through space telescopes into the heart of the galaxy. I have seen a dawn of four hundred billion suns. It all means nothing without life. You and I are special, Mathilda. We are alive."

Plenty more in the book.

Funny Visuals
Chuckles all around.

Free Hugs!:
demotivational posters - WELL AS A RULE, Man
see more Very Demotivational

Zombie Coming Up?:
photobomb that guy - She'll Drop Her Drink if She Turns Around
see more This is Photobomb

Rock Blogging
Providing the tunes since 2007 and free to all!

My friend, The Sovereign Bohemian, had his birthday this week! Happy birthday! By request here is Jimmy Buffet and "Havana Daydreaming":

Master document forger Gawains (kidding!) wanted Alice Cooper and "Welcome to my Nightmare" and I do love Alice:


Robert Sinn pointed out this new tune and I like it. Try out "Nothing" by The Script:

Very nice.

For my good friends in the iBankCoin 12631 Pelican Room may I present Toby Keith and "Made in America":

Ride away with Great White and "Save Your Love":

Huge tune.

Ok, two songs left! What will it be?

Fitting, Styx with "Mr. Roboto":


Last call! Grab a girl and a drink and get set.

Close the show with "Stroker Ace" by The Charley Daniels Band:

Have a good night.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best of the Web Thursday

Out of time and everyone will be watching Obama and football anyway so here is a linkfest. Get your requests in for Friday night as well.

I closed all my positions today for a net 2% loss. Still no traction.

Stuff you should see today.

Josh Brown takes this quote from Bernanke today:
"Even taking into account the many financial pressures they face, households seem exceptionally cautious."
and makes 10 simple yet very important points. Check it out here.

Today's must read is Kevin Depew's latest "5 Things You Need to Know: Our Microwaveable Depression" as this is just the best.

High Chart Patterns Blog tells you exactly what is going on right now in chart form:
Middle of Nowhere
These guys are very sharp.

Mark of Illusion of Prosperity has a wonderful post on seafood prices that was very interesting:
Seafood for Thought

Tony of Macro Story always has the day's round up I want to see:
Market Recap Thursday September 8, 2011

Hat tip to Kid Dynamite, this great post on a possible "Operation Twist" by Bond Girl has this perfect line:
"The duration of the Fed’s portfolio is not what is standing between us and economic prosperity. Get real, people."
Love it.

Have a good night.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quick Notes

Raining here again and of course that means the drive home was extra long. Always fun. Just a few quick notes.

Market Operations
I did some work last night and found a few trading ideas I figured were worth a look. If the market is setting up for a run higher, then I wanted to get some experience trading it. It's no secret trading has been very hard for the past couple of months and I have been on the sidelines for a long time.

Using some screens I built inside the iBankCoin PPT, I came up with a complete list of ideas. I trimmed it down to three names to try here VHC, VGR, and my top pick CVLT. My plan was to buy today and hold until tomorrow and sell if I could get a bump up in price. VHC and VGR did ok today but CVLT was a great runner moving up 6% today and I got most of that move. Here is a fast chart showing some notes on it from last night:
The plan is too see if stocks run again tomorrow ahead of the President's night speech and sell before the close. We shall see if I can make a few bucks.

Reading Now
What am I going to read tonight? This of course:
Check out Daniel Wilson's Robopocalypse at Amazon. So my kind of book.

Have a good night.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trypophobia - Fear of Holes Making Trading Difficult

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Fall is on the way and the mornings here are hinting at the cooler weather to come. Readers know how much I LOVE the colder weather.

Trypophobia - Fear of Holes Making Trading Difficult
n. An unusually strong fear of, or aversion to, holes, particularly tiny holes that appear clustered together.

All the news over the weekend was bad. More and more rumblings out of Germany make an Italian debt calzone explosion all the more likely. When the sovereign debt was thrown at a banking collapse it was the last line of defense. Unless you think there is another buyer out there?

With that in mind markets are looking set for a terrible open tomorrow in the US. European markets took big hits today and many banks had their stocks halted. In short, things are a dangerous mess.

Early last week I wrote that there was the best environment for long positions in weeks starting after Monday's big rally. It held a few days but my line in the sand number of S&P 500 at 1180 was violated on Friday. No reason to try and be aggressive here at all, there are holes everywhere. As a really loss averse type trader I have trypophobia, I fear holes. I fear waking up and being unhappily surprised in the morning. This makes me quite boring, but it also means I don't get blown up. I am very comfortable with how my long term account is set up, even in this market. My trading account has been cash for weeks, and I don't know when that may change. Maybe after a huge wash out that never seems to happen.

Why not go short? Shorting is dangerous, even in a downtrend. Two great write ups on this can be seen here:
Shorting is a Blood Sport via The Reformed Broker

Why Shorting is Difficult: A Lesson From 2008 via Robert Sinn

Big money will be back in the game this week. The FED meets in a few weeks. I imagine the rumor mill will be running full time between now and then. Only the very nimble daytraders can carve this market up right now, for the rest it's a hard spot.

Last time I am going to mention this but mutual fund REDEMPTIONS are going to be a major issue going forward. More and more money is leaving the markets and I cannot blame it for walking. The FED still has yet to grip that many have been cleaned out 2-4 times in a decade. Give them 0.01% return in a checking account or money market and they see that as solid. Interest rate games are for books and fairy tales, not this world at this point.

Twitter front page tonight:
Howard Lindzon flanked by Dalai Lama and the US State Department! That's some company!

Have a good night.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Great Fight

The entire bout between Nigel Benn and Doug Dewitt has been uploaded to YouTube! If you are a boxing fan, this fight was a real wild one. Enjoy.

Nigel Benn KO8 Doug Dewitt (1990)

Have a good night.

Friday, September 2, 2011

George Lucas: Stop Making Star Wars Stupid

I had some personal matters that came up today that required attention. Everything is ok here but just not in the right frame of mind for the usual Friday Night post. Reader Watchtower had left a comment last post that got me riled up and seeing that I am in a mood anyway I figured I would let one rip.

George Lucas: Stop Making Star Wars Stupid
I think that both Alan Greenspan and George Lucas will share the same final remembrance; both started off brilliant and were hailed as "the maestro" but in the end it is clear as time went on they were both clueless and losing grip on reality.

What gives? Everyone knows I love Star Wars, why am I complaining?

The final straw is the addition of dialogue to the scene when Darth Vader throws the Emperor into the reactor shaft to save Luke. Here is the new version:

So stupid.

To me this scene is one of the most powerful in the film or expanded universe series. While I know not everyone has the same love for Star Wars that I do, allow me to tear this scene apart for a bit, you may even have fun.

So do I want to start simple? Ok, the first "No" in the above clip at the 0:20 mark is a repeat of the cadence and delivery of this "No" from "Return of the Jedi" which can be heard at the 0:50 clip of this video:

See? Does Lucas think rabid fans would miss such a thing? I didn't. The last drawn out "Noooo" is the same from "Revenge of the Sith" as well.

Maybe Lucas was trying to frame Vader's path with the phrases, but instead of allowing the bookends of Vader's transformation first to evil and then back to the light come through by the story Lucas feels you are to dumb for that and need it clearly enunciated. Thanks George. Most of us figured out Jar Jar Binks was a sick joke all on our own.

Anakin Skywalker turned to the darkside out of fear of losing his love, Padme Amadala. When he thought he had killed her and his child, he lost his last tether to his humanity and became the servant to Darth Sidious completely. In this way, Vader was never really a true Sith.

When it is revealed to him that Padme lived for a while, and that his son had survived, a spark was ignited. There is a section at the end of the novelization of "Revenge of the Sith" by Matthew Stover which is written:
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins - but in the heart of it's strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars
Seeing his son alive, what could Vader been feeling? He had lost so much; his wife, his body, his soul to Darth Sidious and yet he was betrayed again by the same man. What did this exchange do to that lone candle inside Vader (sorry for the subtitles, only one embed available):

"I feel the conflict within you, let go of your hate".

So, in the end as Vader scans back and forth between the Emperor and his son, the original version is better (0:50 mark on):

You can see and feel the conflict. The struggle is visual by Vader; fear, love, feeling he has gone to far to ever go back, not wanting to fail his lost loved one for another time, seeing his sure death, sacrifice for his son? Maybe redemption?

And we see it here, as Vader dies:

"I'll not leave you here, I've got to save you!"
"You already have, Luke."

In closing, George Lucas needs to stop. Maybe the new era tech and CGI obsessed people need everything spelled out and fed to them, but most real people can see and feel what they need to from a well done presentation. Lucas should stick to the Clone Wars cartoons for kids or remake the Muppet show as silly creatures and infantile topics seem more his genre now.

Want to make another Billion Lucas? Allow the developers to make this one into a full fledged movie:

Or just allow all the insane talent out there in the expanded universe to take things over and run. Stop making Star Wars stupid. Thanks.

Have a good night.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

News and Notes

4 Day weekend on the way! I have tomorrow off, but that is for yard clean up. Should take all day so in a way not a vacation day. Love working outside though so it's more like half a day. Good enough.

News and Notes
Not much to add this week. The ISM came in at 50.6, which was higher than expected. I had guessed 51 this morning on Twitter but I did not win anything. The jobs numbers tomorrow may be bad, but who knows. To be honest looking forward to September and leaving August behind market wise.

I need a fresh look and this weekend should provide that. I have a few ideas on where things are going and some ways to play it and I will be covering that after the weekend.

The Big Picture Conference
I will be attending The Big Picture Conference in New York City this year. The date is October 11th, and the place is the New York Athletic Club. My first trip to NYC! If you are of a mind to learn what market players like:
Josh Brown
Barry Ritholtz
Howard Lindzon
James Bianco
James Altucher
Aaron Task
...and many others think, this is the show for you. Early registration tickets at $495 are still available. After that it is the full price at $900. Now all I have to do is figure a way to dodge any cameras for a few days while I am there....

Jake at EconomPic
My man Jake has come out of retirement like Ali or Leonard it seems. I will update blogroll soon, but if you are not stopping in there, you are missing stuff:

Mark of Illusion of Prosperity
My oldest blogger friend is certainly Mark. We even had the same site layout (coincidence!) for a long time. Anyway, Mark has been red hot as of late so why not stop on by:
Illusion of Prosperity

Have a good night.