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Showing posts from August, 2013

Aug 24 2013 Weekend Market Comment

Aug 24 2013 -  Ya we could talk about Microsoft stock shoot up because Steve Ballmer is leaving. You know you're a bad manager when a huge company like Microsoft stock goes up 20% and more on the news you're leaving!

Microsoft in its current state is a hard company to run. It’s less a corporation than it is a pile of vaguely related businesses, including gaming (Xbox, Kinect), software (Office, Windows), hardware, and web services (Bing, cloud versions of staples like Office). But that lack of focus is due in no small part to Ballmer, under whose leadership Microsoft has had a habit of acquiring companies, and then absorbing them badly. One of them, Andy Rubin, went on to create Android and run the Android division of Google. It will not matter in the end, with it's "we want to be IBM light" core principles, Microsoft has not been relevant for years.

We also could dwell on the three hour computer freeze at the Nasdaq, but in my mind they are all non-events and i…

The Power of Music

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What is it in the power of Music that has built nations, sent men to war and an early demise. How can it stir the soul and built patriotism and religious fervor?
Here are the five most stirring anthems I know and not one of them is a National Anthem:
(click links to play)

Handel  HallelujahConductorAndre Rieu

U2 I still haven't found what I'm looking for - Performed by Harlem Gospel Choir

Hallelujah by Leonard CohenPerformed by Jeff Buckley

Aug 18 2013 Weekend Market comment

Aug 18 2013 - Well this week if you stayed up past midnight and looked overhead, you were treated to annual spectacle of the Perseid meteor shower. Of course this is not all that fell down "right on schedule", as I warned last week, the market sell off, as previously predicted, came right on time. This was the worst week for the US market since the summer of 2012. The DOW is down 2.3%, Cisco and Wal-Mart guided lower, manufacturing numbers came out below expectations this week.

If you followed my advice in the two prior Market Comments, you would have been out of high volatility stocks and in cash, TBT, and with tight stops in some broad stable indexes -- like EWG the German index ETF. In other-words your pain was minimal.
(click any graphic to enlarge)

No one can predict the markets but you can position yourself in anticipation of likely events. Since last November the S&P 500 is up some 25% so of course a pull back is natural and actually a good thing for the market. …

Aug 10 2013 - Weekend Market Comment

Aug 10 2013 - Be very very quiet say the traders and the hedge funds, we have only a few days to sneak away. OK maybe it is not a conspiracy but the markets are soft right now and the big money (just like us) is getting defensive.

But first I would like to gloat, you recall last week I said the VIX was way too low and sure enough this week the VIX is up on a soft pull back.

Since the market has rallied strongly from its 2012 lows and earnings have shown strength, now is a good time to trim back some positions. However, there is nothing fundamental that would necessitate a sell-off, simply taking advantage of short-term market highs.

I do expect that at any time, the market could easily be prone to a 4-6 percent pullback here. A lot of that is people looking to lock in profits. The overall look ahead is that things are getting better. The market is telling us 'pause to ponder' here, but the direction remains higher, if modestly so, by the end of the year. But this is just a pa…

USSR Bombs Canada

Aug 4 2013 -- My summer read that I am working on right now is, Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen. In Chapter 18 “Meltdown” she goes into some fascinating details about the only atomic device dropped by the USSR on another nation, in fact that turned out to be Canada.

Since the launch of the soviet built Kosmos 954 satellite in the fall of 1977, it fell to NORAD to tracking the satellite. By Christmas they were aware that it was in a decaying orbit.  Just before noon GMT on January 24, 1978 the U.S.S.R. lost its battle to try and stabilize the Kosmos 954 Satellite and it came hurtling out of the sky, finally crashing over a huge are area near Great Slave Lake in a remote part of Northern Canada.

Kosmos 954 was huge by satellite standards, as big as a school bus, 46 feet long, weighing 4.4 tons. The Satellite emitted powerful beams that were used to penetrate the ocean to track submarine movements.  Of course these penetration beams required a huge amount of energy, so it was powered by an on…

Aug 3 2013 - Weekend Market Comment

Aug 3 2013 – If you are in a hurry let me give you the bottom line. The momentum of the US markets is impressive. It is like every week the market hits a new high and the markets hit a new record high this week. You must be long this market -- but this is no time to put on a new high-risk position. We are ripe for a tiny pullback in an overall uptrend; you will be able to buy this a bit better price than this week.
First lets stop and look at the really big picture. Here is the market since 1960. As you can see the 2008 financial catastrophe sort of “shifted us over” but the angle of up trend (blue line)  is the same angle the market is currently rising on. The reason I look at this chart is a I want to see if the market is at a unsustainable price and right now it does not look it. (as always click on any graphic to enlarge)
These are the long-term bull and bear lines; so long as the green is above the market you should be bullish.

The NYSE Stocks above 50 day moving average graph l…