Mr. Sensitive

March 30, 2012

FSX Friday Update – First Quarter Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:15

No extra commentary because I already wasted forty-five minutes earlier today ranting about health care reform and judicial review, and I don’t have time for two rants in one day.  True, you didn’t ask for the first rant.  But if you didn’t even ask for the first one, why should I give you a second?  Exactly.

The market ground out a slight gain this week to cap a blockbuster quarter (S&P +12%, Nasdaq +19%).  The Family Stock Index outperformed even Appley Nasdaq, up 21.2% over the last three months (just +0.3% this week, though).  Reagan (+110%), Justin (+97%), Lulu (+60%) and Ruby (+44%) have been the workhorses, but the Q1 rally has had tremendous breadth as well.  Only six of our 25 components finished in the red, the best quarterly performance in…probably a while.  I’m not so into this that I’m going to check.  Not before this weekend, anyway.

Instead of the week’s advancers and decliners, I’m going to cover some of the quarter’s outstanding stocks (outside of the top four mentioned above, about whom plenty has been written already).

Advancers

  • Me (MSTR) +29%.  The numbers speak for themselves, for once: 13 weeks, 13 chapters, 80 thousand words.  Is the work any good?  I really don’t know.  But the market doesn’t seem to hate it, or me, so far.
  • Katie (CATY) +19%.  If Katie were writing an IPO prospectus, the single biggest risk she’d need to disclose to investors is…her husband.  It’s been an adjustment for her, having me go away emotionally the way I have to when I write.  I’ve written books before, but this is the first time I’ve attempted something of this scale since we rebuilt our marriage after I stopped drinking.  It’s not that I need Katie to keep me balanced when I’m writing so much as that I need her to help me wall off the necessary imbalance.  Katie’s one who has to remind me of who I am every time I walk back out of my office; that can’t be easy.  Looks like investors are buying anyway.
  • Dustin (DST +19%) and Lisa (LNCE +15%).  Did we even have a winter season this year?  Now that I think about it, did spring even last through the end of March?  I bet the golf courses in Blacksburg never even closed.
  • Jenny (JNY) +19%.  Jenny is notable for finishing January at -10% and rallying back to the middle of the pack.  The market was ambivalent when she had so many strong school choices for next year; it was off to the races once her choice was made.  I can tell you one thing beyond any doubt: reading Hunger Games twice had nothing to do with it (Jenny’s opinion notwithstanding).
  • Mario the Younger (SUP) +18%.  The market is taking a wait-and-see approach to all of 2012’s prospective brides and grooms, with the exception of Mario.  (I don’t count Justin because his gains are certainly due to all the science he’s been writing.)  Is that how I thought it would play out?  Actually, I sort of did.
  • Marisa (MOLX) +18%.  Lulu’s quarter was fatter, but Marisa’s was more filling.
  • Charlotte (ICE) +14%.  I would call this the NC Effect.  Jenny would call it the Jenny Effect.

Decliners

  • Jodi Ann (JOY) -2.0%.  Jodi Ann is like the Z-tranche of a collateralized mortgage obligation.  When the more demanding tranches are stressed, the Z-tranche is the one that really suffers.  That’s because the Z-tranche is there to absorb prepayment and credit stress on the senior tranches in the CMO structure.  A summer away from school stress will be good for Marcus (-0.5%), and so it’ll be even better for Jodi Ann.
  • Wilson (WILC) -3.8%.  It will be sad when Wilson dies.  Just not for Wilson.
  • Mario the Elder (MGEE) -5.1%.  In a bull market like this one, investors gamble on the more speculative plays, and thus money is drawn away from older, more established names.  Folks can only chase biotechs and science writers for so long; Mr. Gee is bound to come back into fashion later in the year.
  • Winston (ED) -5.8%.  On the other hand, sometimes, when investors are selling, it’s because they’re on to something.
  • Brinkley (BCO) -11%.  No one had a rougher quarter than Brinkley, at least from the market’s point of view.  Good thing he has no idea.
Name Ticker 3/30/2012 Q1 Chg
Brinkley BCO $23.87 -3.01
Charlotte ICE $137.42 +16.87
Dustin DST $54.23 +8.71
Icarus FLOW $4.02 +0.52
Jenny JNY $12.56 +2.01
Jodi Ann JOY $73.50 -1.47
Justin WOLF $5.72 +2.82
Katie CATY $17.70 +2.77
Lee MSTR $140.00 +31.68
Lisa LNCE $25.85 +3.35
Lucas LEI $2.48 +0.17
Lulu LULU $74.73 +28.07
Marcus MCS $12.55 -0.06
Mario T.E. MGEE $44.39 -2.38
Mario T.Y. SUP $19.54 +3.00
Marisa MOLX $28.12 +4.26
Namilita NL $14.90 +1.93
Nicole B. NI $24.35 +0.54
Nicole L. COL $57.56 +2.19
Reagan REGN $116.62 +61.19
Ruby RJET $4.94 +1.51
Wilson WILC $4.40 -0.17
Winston ED $58.42 -3.61
Zero ZIP $14.81 +1.39
Zondro ZQK $4.04 +0.43

I Hate Obamacare

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:14

I mean I hate the word ‘Obamacare,’ not the health care reform law.  Can we call the last recession the ‘Bushession?’  If so, I’ll give you Obamacare.  Hopefully the Supreme Court is going to rule the portion of the law requiring individuals to buy insurance unconstitutional, because it is unconstitutional.  That’s not to say it’s a bad idea—I would say that separately—but whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea has nothing to do with whether or not the government has the power to do it.

I’m confounded about two aspects of this whole health care reform mess.  First, why did Obama and the then-Democratic Congress need to make reform of the health care system an omnibus doo-doo bomb in the first place?  How can you tell the voters that the private health insurance industry is rife with awful practices that need to be restricted (dropping coverage when people get sick, denying coverage of pre-existing conditions, etc.) out of one side of your mouth, and out of the other side of your mouth tell those same voters the government will now force them to patronize that very industry?  If there are corrupt practices that harm the public and need to be stopped, in any industry, legislate to stop them—separately.  Then let’s debate this individual mandate—again, separately.  I hate omnibus legislation.

As an aside, if I were going to amend the Constitution, I would make three changes:  ten-year term limits for Supreme Court Justices (the lifetime appointments are insane and unjustified); a single, six-year term for the President (no more Presidents spending their first four years in office running for reelection, something they all do); and no more omnibus legislation and/or line-item veto.

The second thing that confounds me about this week’s Supreme Court review of the health care reform legislation is that the vote isn’t going to be 9-0.  Why should it be 9-0?  Because every one of these votes should be 9-0, since the Constitution says only what it says and nothing it doesn’t say.  If the Constitution doesn’t say the federal government can do something, then it can’t.  I understand that’s a simplistic view, but…is it, really?  We’ve expanded and modified government functions and powers over the centuries by interpreting the Constitution, conservatively or liberally, and thus we’ve systematically undermined the Constitution itself.  IT SAYS WHAT IT SAYS.  If we (you know, the people) want it to say something it didn’t say 200 years ago, that’s perfectly understandable.  We don’t want to crap in outhouses anymore, either, so we’ve added indoor plumbing.  So if we want to change the structure or function of government because our needs as a society have changed, we can do that BY AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION.  Instead, we let politicians appoint Justices for (insane) lifetime terms and those Justices interpret the Constitution according to their own personal legal lights.  If we’re going to talk about Constitutional practices that go against the framers’ intentions, can we start with that?  If we want universal health care, we’ve got to amend the Constitution to get it.  It’s not impossible…unless the people don’t want it to happen, that is.  Do we want it?  I don’t know; I only know what the Republicans want versus what the Democrats want.  Doesn’t seem right, does it?

March 29, 2012

CNBC Hates President Obama

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:11

Yesterday CNBC disbelievingly announced the results of a new poll finding that a large plurality of Americans still blame Bush for the economic crisis and recession of 2008-2009, as well as the economy’s continuing struggles.  I say still because they said still, and I point it out because the implication is that opinions, like the facts, are supposed to have changed by now.  Wait…you mean the facts haven’t changed either?  Somebody should really tell CNBC.

CNBC anchors and commentators have spent the three-plus years of this bull market twisting themselves into statistical and rhetorical pretzels trying to explain how the jury’s still out on Obama.  You know what isn’t undecided on Obama?  The stock market CNBC is supposed to be objectively covering.  This is CNBC’s own five-year chart of the Dow Industrial Average.

Do you even need to check the dates to know when the market bottomed?  I bet you don’t.

Separately, Jack Welch was on CNBC this week to remind us all how American business would be free to breech the walls of Minas Tirith and cover Middle Earth in a second darkness create jobs if Obama would just get his communism out of the way.  The headline was, seriously, ‘Jack Welch:  I’m A Little Shaken.’  Which I read as ‘Jack Welch:  I’m A Little Goblin.’

Operation Dammit Brinkley

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:09

So it appears couch cushions are no longer an option for us.  Brinkley isn’t quite tall enough to get himself up onto the couches–the gateways to wall- and mantle-based destruction–but he’s figured out that he can stretch and reach a couch cushion, pull the cushion off, and stand on it to get onto the couch.  So there will be no more cushions.  Last week I had to give up the lamp we had in the family room.  I can’t do this on a piecemeal basis; Brinky is too strong and too dumb for anything short of a comprehensive approach.  So the girls and I will tackle it, and him, during their Spring Break next week.  I’m well over a dozen ‘dammit, Brinkley!’ events a day now; I need that number back safely into the single digits.

March 25, 2012

Mario Probably Wins

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 20:20

I’ve run the numbers, and there are seven Final Four scenarios that could change the current standings; here they are:

  • IF Kansas beats Ohio State and Louisville beats Kentucky, the final standings will be as they are today, no matter which team wins the final game:
  1. Mario (820)
  2. Marcus (720)
  3. Tara (680)
  4. Ruby (630)
  5. Justin (620)
  • IF Ohio State beats Kansas and Louisville beats Kentucky, then Louisville goes on to beat OSU in the final game, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Mario (980)
  2. Tara (840)
  3. Ruby (790)
  4. Marcus (720)
  5. Reagan (650)
  • IF Ohio State beats Kansas and Louisville beats Kentucky, then Ohio State goes on to beat Louisville, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Tara (1160)
  2. Mario (980)
  3. Ruby (790)
  4. Marcus (720)
  5. Reagan (650)
  • IF Ohio State beats Kansas and Kentucky beats Louisville, then Ohio State goes on to beat Kentucky, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Tara (1160)
  2. Mario (980)
  3. Ruby (790)
  4. Marcus (720)
  5. MSTR (720)
  • IF Ohio State beats Kansas and Kentucky beats Louisville, then Kentucky goes on to beat OSU, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Mario (980)
  2. Nicole (980)
  3. Tara (840)
  4. Ruby (790)
  5. MSTR/Marcus (720)
  • IF Kansas beats Ohio State and Kentucky beats Louisville, then Kansas goes on to beat Kentucky, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Mario (820)
  2. Marcus/MSTR (720)
  3. Tara (680)
  4. Nicole (660)
  • IF Kansas beats Ohio State and Kentucky beats Louisville, then Kentucky goes on to beat Kansas, the final standings will be as follows:
  1. Nicole (980)
  2. Mario (820)
  3. Marcus/MSTR (720)
  4. Tara (680)

Mario wins in three of the seven outright and ties for 1st in a fourth; Tara wins outright in two scenarios; Nicole wins outright in one scenario and ties for 1st in another.

So Tara can win if Ohio State wins it all, and Nicole can win if Kentucky wins it all (outright if UK beats KU in the final, tied with Mario if UK beats OSU); otherwise Mario wins.

March 23, 2012

I Might Need Empress Elizabeth To Die

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 20:55

I’ve been outside in nature this evening–burning things that needed burning–and what I’ve learned about nature is that there is already an awful lot of it.  We never had anything like a deep freeze this winter, and the freezes we had were repeatedly broken up by 60-degree days, so that many growing things not in need of a head start this spring got one anyway.  On balance, last year was positively pacific, from a spider standpoint.  Relations with the Yard Dominion were as close to rosy as I can imagine them getting, if for no other reason than that the spiders needed desperately to rebuild their strength and couldn’t risk war.  The Basement War of 2010 deprived them of all territory indoors, and the winter of 2010-2011 was harsher than usual.  The result was that they suffered terribly during that winter on top of the heavy casualties taken during the War.  At no point during 2011 did the Yard Dominion possess anything near the strength it had during 2009.  Add to that the reclamation of the pond and its environs, and the Dominion may have seemed to be in permanent eclipse.  Under such circumstances, diplomacy was the only option for the spiders.  Now I fear the tide is turning.

Here is the crux of the problem:  I’m really tired.  Book Four is kicking my behind.  I’m kicking its behind worse, but the Book War has undoubtedly cost me dearly in terms of physical endurance and mental focus.  Plus there’s a baby here, pretty much all the time.  I intended to bleach up the basement last fall–I didn’t.  I intended to cut back the bushes in the front yard–I didn’t.  I intended to force the girls to clean up the disaster they left when they requisitioned the Apple Floor Room for use as their clubhouse last summer–I didn’t.  So the basement is a mess.  It’s nowhere near the disaster it was at this time in 2010, prior to the Basement War.  I used it throughout the winter and have been mindful in my ordering of it to make re-infestation as difficult as possible (no open containers, no furniture in corners or up against walls, no large groupings of items).  The Dominion has not retaken the basement, nor has it positioned itself overtly to do so.  But it very well could.

The spider advantages are mounting:  short and shallow winter means they will be able to mobilize rapidly from a broader initial base; the Book War has weakened and distracted me, so I’m hardly the foe I was last year; and the basement defenses are substandard at best.  What is to be done to ameliorate these conditions?  Well, I can’t do anything about the weather.  As for the Book War, all I can do in that regard is what I’ve been doing, namely, press on.  I expect to finish the first draft the last week of May or the first week of June.  But if I wait until then to move against the Dominion it will be too late.  What I have to do, and all I can do, is shore up the house’s defenses.  I need to do that this weekend, or next weekend at the latest.  I can’t go into April this woefully under strength.

I don’t believe that the Dominion would ally itself with Book Four.  Maybe this is purely wishful thinking on my part; to be sure, I would be as unprepared for such a diplomatic revolution as Frederick the Great was for the emergence of the Franco-Russo-Austro alliance that materialized against him in 1757.  If not for the superb condition of his army (thanks more to his father than to him) and the ineptitude of the French and the Austrians, Prussia would have been wiped off the map before the point England withdrew her financial support of Frederick’s army in 1760.  At that, though, only what became known as the ‘Miracle of the House of Brandenburg’–the sudden death of Frederick-hating Russian Empress Elizabeth in 1762 and the accession of her Frederick-loving nephew as Tsar Peter III–could save Prussia.  Peter promptly pulled Russia out of the Seven Years’ War and Frederick just as promptly beat down the Austrians, and everybody lived happily ever after, except for all the ones who were already dead.  The Dominion isn’t likely to latch on to Book Four as an attractive ally; whereas the spiders should be in ascendance in the coming months, the Book is undoubtedly on its last legs.  I finished a longish Chapter 18 on Wednesday and I’m strongly considering starting on the shorter 19 tomorrow.  The wiser course would probably be to invade the basement in strength tomorrow afternoon.  If I don’t strike soon, I may need a miracle of my own to prevent a full-scale spider assault on the house.  By which I mean I’m going to douse the swing set with gasoline and set it on fire.

 

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:51

So the economy isn’t great, but it’s grinding along.  I agree with the libertarian-type Republicans that the long-term structural imbalances in the domestic and global economies haven’t been fixed since the market bottomed in March 2009; I would hasten to point out, though, that those imbalances are in part a consequence of U.S.-based multinational corporations’ (represented by the GOP) systematic destruction of U.S.-based industry.  Alas, neither major party is willing to address the problem proactively, and there are still too many voters who don’t understand and/or care that they’ve effectively traded good jobs for cheap goods.  So long Wal-mart keeps rolling back prices, it’s less vexing to people that no companies but Wal-mart are hiring.  The United States has moved its industrial capacity to China, and it will take a social/political meltdown in China to make us all really appreciate how incredibly risky that is.  Of course, there might be an orderly unwinding rather than a meltdown…but of course we said the same thing about housing and banking not too long ago.  Imbalances can last a long time, but they can’t last forever—guaranteed.

The markets trended down again this week, something I view positively considering how far stocks have run this year.  This week’s 1.1% decline on the Dow is the worst of the year, that’s how steady the ascent has been.  There was a computer glitch in trading of Apple, immediately described as a ‘mini-flash crash’.  I hate that expression, ‘flash crash.’  Is that what it takes to get attention?  If you can’t come up with a good acronym, at least rhyme some words.  If you can’t make it rhyme, folks don’t make the time (© the ghost of Johnnie Cochran).

FSX up 0.8% to 13,391 on a Friday afternoon surge; advancers ahead of decliners 13 to 12.

Advancers

  • Lee (MSTR) +6.3%.  I was excited to trade around the same price as Chawly ($139) at several points during the week.  It’s fitting because we’re like the same person.  I don’t like being first, though, because I don’t like my name and I don’t like typing it.  Is that weird?
  • Lulu (LULU) +5.3%.  I may not have thrown a single thing at Fat One this week.  Two days ago I threw a sock that landed near her and she interpreted it as having been thrown at her, but the market knows my intentions better than Lulu does.  I threw that sock because I always ball up my socks when I take them off at night so as to throw them somewhere.  Is that weird?
  • Justin (WOLF) +3.9%.  At war with ticks, but up on the week; there must have been some language in the buyout agreement Justin signed with Apollo preventing them from declaring tick war a force majeure.  It’s funny how war just up and bites you in the ass when you don’t expect it, something I believe ticks also do.  I remember our Dad—Brinkley the Elder—being into ticks.  He said back in Gatesville when they found a tick on one of their dozen-or-so hunting dogs, they’d leave it there long enough for it to get engorged with blood so they could pop it like a bubble.  This would be on days when they couldn’t find any opossums to toss, I guess.
  • Lisa (LNCE) +3.7%.  Lisa’s the biggest Stephen King fan I know, and he and his son, Joe Hill, just released a comic book collaboration.  Stephen King is the rare example of a really popular author who’s also a really good writer.  My assessment of the most popular writers in the field of supernatural/sci-fi that King has dominated for more than 30 years:
  1. Rowling: great storytelling, lazy prose, better when she had to submit to editing (hint: everyone is)
  2. Collins: gave herself an unnecessary challenge with a whiny, self-indulgent narrator, never quite overcame the challenge, and stretched two books into three.  Also 100% didn’t write the epilogue to Mockingjay, and probably/hopefully hasn’t even read it.
  3. Meyer: I might forgive a sixth-grader who’s never kissed a boy for writing this, but not an adult; everything hercharacters think and say might have been thought or said by any Barbie doll and by no actual person; there’s not enough plot for one book, let alone four(!); I feel less literate just thinking about how awful Twilight is.

Decliners

  • Mario the Younger (SUP -0.8%) and Nicole L. (COL -1.9%).  SUP and COL traded in tandem most of the week.  It reminded me of Medco and Express Scripps, and it means two things: (1) neither one of them is getting a better deal anyplace else, and (2) the Justice Department isn’t going to sue to block the wedding.  Maybe Mario and Nicole weren’t worried about antitrust action, so it’s lucky for them I’m on top of these things.
  • Katie (CATY) -1.7%.  Who wants to spend Friday night chaperoning at the elementary school Spring Fling?  Show of hands—anyone?  No?  It’ll just be Katie, then.
  • Brinkley (BCO) -3.7%.  Brinkley is the worst performer in the FSX for 2012, a position he’s held since Jenny picked a middle school and rallied out of the stock market cellar.  Katie may have called it this morning—if he continues on his quest to climb everything in the house, he’s going to be the first of our children to break a bone.  Reagan would have done it a long time ago, but you’ve got to be able to put some speed and strength into your accidents.  Right Marky?
  • Jodi Ann (JOY -6.3%).  Several generations of Americans may well be unable to recognize a plausible literary heroine after the one-two punch of Twilight and Hunger Games.  That can’t be good for teachers, right?  Can Hermione Granger carry the torch all by herself?  Ask me in fifteen years.
Name Ticker 3/23/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $24.44 -0.93
Charlotte ICE $139.48 +0.48
Dustin DST $54.85 -0.12
Icarus FLOW $4.14 +0.05
Jenny JNY $11.32 -0.11
Jodi Ann JOY $75.19 -5.06
Justin WOLF $5.59 +0.21
Katie CATY $17.73 -0.30
Lee MSTR $138.93 +8.18
Lisa LNCE $25.03 +0.89
Lucas LEI $2.48 -0.16
Lulu LULU $75.88 +3.84
Marcus MCS $12.25 -0.18
Mario T.E. MGEE $44.30 -0.61
Mario T.Y. SUP $19.28 -0.16
Marisa MOLX $27.65 -0.18
Namilita NL $14.79 +0.47
Nicole B. NI $24.02 +0.41
Nicole L. COL $57.55 -1.19
Reagan REGN $119.18 +3.85
Ruby RJET $4.89 +0.19
Wilson WILC $4.87 +0.17
Winston ED $57.13 -0.49
Zero ZIP $14.38 +0.08
Zondro ZQK $4.51 +0.33

March 22, 2012

CNBC Decoded

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:38

CNBC is at it again this morning.  The CNBC.com headline is gloom-and-doom from an economist (suggesting that anything economists say is news is a stretch in itself), a fellow named Rosenberg (never heard of him) from some Canadian company, Gluskin Sheff (never heard of it).  Here’s the headline:

THIS IS ‘THE WEAKEST RECOVERY EVER’:  ROSENBERG.

I love it.  Just ‘Rosenberg,’ like we have any idea who this guy is.  Rosenberg probably doesn’t know who Rosenberg is.  Let me translate the headline nonetheless:

‘OH, SHIT’:  REPUBLICANS.

The context: the Dow is up more than 60% since Obama took office.  That’s a tough number to spin.  Does Obama deserve the credit?  I certainly don’t think so.  But Republicans need something to blame him for, and +60% is an ugly number–from their perspective.  It’s a weak sixty percent, though, at least according to some guy from Canada.  Who may or may not be Larry Kudlow in a fat suit.

 

 

March 16, 2012

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:07

This market is getting tired, going nowhere at the end of the week after making decisive highs at the beginning.  Or maybe traders have just switched from checking the tape to checking their brackets for a couple days.  We’ll see next week.

The banks are still on a tear, though—B of A is up 22% just this week.  The government’s stress test results were released earlier this week; there weren’t many negative surprises (Citi, Met Life) and prospects for dividend hikes and M&A have brightened considerably.  The big boys still aren’t lending, but what did you expect—banks making loans?  Folks in the banking business have been waiting for the next wave of mergers since I was one of the folks in the banking business—and I’ve been retired for more than two years now.  There was a lot of talk throughout the business about a pent-up desire to do deals, and how it wouldn’t be long before the second- and third-tier banks got active again.  Well, that was 2009, and nothing has happened since I left.  Are you guys waiting for me to come back?  Don’t hold your breath.

The Family Stock Index is still several hundred points below the April 2011 highs, but at +20% for 2012 and +44% from the October lows, that’s no reason to complain.  A market-beating 3.2% increase this week masked a flattening out of the FSX internals; only 14 stocks were higher on the week, fewer than the 17 advancers in the midst of last week’s -0.2% decline.  The index is very overweight Reagan and Justin and will be until the rebalancing in two weeks.  For the rest of this month the risk profile is unattractive and I would view a March close above 13,000 as very bullish.

Advancers

  • Justin (WOLF) +29%.  Justin announced Tuesday that he has agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Apollo Global for $5/share in cash plus assumption of debt.  The market immediately told him to stick his Lincoln where the sun don’t shine; a flurry of shareholder lawsuits were filed over the next few days and the stock closed Friday at $5.40, nearly 10% above the proposed takeout price.  Normally I would make plans to remove WOLF from the FSX on this kind of announcement, but I don’t think this story is anywhere close to over.  Rumor has it that Apollo would be repositioning the business, moving Justin from the field of science writing to the more lucrative business of…some kind of business, probably.  Certainly nothing involving science or writing.  If those mini-Romneys think my little brother would give up his widely-reputed dream job for a measly $5, they’re gravely mistaken.  It’ll take at least $6.  $3.50 if Nicole finds out there’s a deal on the table.
  • Katie (CATY) +8.1%.  When young Brinkley punished his mother for trying to sleep at night throughout most of 2011, the market punished her as well.  So does the 2012 Katie rally mean Brinky is sleeping better?  Not really, no.  But there is less dream disruption for the market to discount than there was a year ago; after all, now we only have 17 years until Brinky goes to college.
  • Reagan (REGN) +7.6%.  Reagan is the AAPL of the FSX, up 108% year-to-date on top of a 67% gain in 2011.  She has produced more than a quarter of the rise in the index in 2012 and now accounts for 9% of its total value.  I don’t publicize the initial weightings given to FSX members, but I don’t mind disclosing that it’s nowhere near 9%.  Now if she can just hang on for two more weeks the rebalancing will cushion the damage the index will suffer when the air inevitably leaks out of the Ray Gun Bubble.
  • Icarus (FLOW) +6.8%.  Apollo must think the dog is sold separately.  It isn’t.  He comes with Justin, like it or not.
  • Jenny (JNY) +6.3%.  Jenny finished the Hunger Games books this week, and the market is relieved that the misery is finally at an end.  Expect a sell-off when word hits the Street that she’s re-reading the whole series.
  • Lisa (LNCE) +6.1%.  The mild winter and early spring pushed Lisa to a new 52-week high on Thursday, but there are sinister implications to the 2011-2012 winter fizzle.  It is an unambiguous boon to the spiders, and the unabated rally in her stock suggests to me that Lisa has made some kind of deal with them.  I have no problem with this on principle; you do what you have to do.  But I have said many times that the Yard Dominion is not to be trusted; I guess there are just some things you have to learn for yourself.
  • Mario the Younger (SUP) +6.0%.  Mario should be arriving in the sweet spot of wedding planning fairly soon—the point when the groom finally convinces the bride of his incompetence and/or disinterest to the point that she does all the planning and leaves him alone.  I’m sure I would have been surprised by the decoration of the church or the seating plan for the guests or the menu for the reception at my wedding, except that you have to notice things to be surprised by them.

Decliners

  • Zondro (ZQK) -1.9%.  Had a puke party on the floor, and on the mattress, and in his crate.
  • Charlotte (ICE) -2.0%.  Could Charlotte have sold to Apollo ahead of Justin?  Certainly she’s got nicer hair than he does, and I think she might even be better in a fight.  $5 a share would be quite a comedown for Charlotte, though, after making a new 52-week high above $142 this week.  Let’s hope she’s not expecting a premium when the Jenny-Reagan-Brinky takeover closes at the beginning of May.  They’re good for hugs and biting insights, but not much else.
  • Nicole B. (NI) -2.0%.  Can you still change the colors for your wedding party after the wedding is over?  Something tells me we’re going to find out.  And what is Dusty Rose, anyway?  Wasn’t he a wrestler?

There’s your wedding color scheme, Nicole.

  • Ruby (RJET) -4.1%.  Closed at the same price ($4.70) as Wilson.  Is that a bad omen?  Having anything in common with Wilson isn’t good.
  • Wilson (WILC) -6.2%.  Because I haven’t figured out how Zondro’s puke party is Wilson’s fault doesn’t mean it isn’t.
Name Ticker 3/16/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $25.37 -0.22
Charlotte ICE $139.00 -2.82
Dustin DST $54.97 +0.65
Icarus FLOW $4.09 +0.26
Jenny JNY $11.43 +0.68
Jodi Ann JOY $80.25 -0.06
Justin WOLF $5.38 +1.22
Katie CATY $18.03 +1.35
Lee MSTR $130.75 -0.50
Lisa LNCE $24.14 +1.38
Lucas LEI $2.64 -0.01
Lulu LULU $72.04 -0.05
Marcus MCS $12.43 +0.39
Mario T.E. MGEE $44.91 +0.15
Mario T.Y. SUP $19.44 +1.10
Marisa MOLX $27.83 +0.54
Namilita NL $14.32 +0.02
Nicole B. NI $23.61 -0.49
Nicole L. COL $58.74 -0.11
Reagan REGN $115.33 +8.12
Ruby RJET $4.70 -0.20
Wilson WILC $4.70 -0.31
Winston ED $57.62 -0.77
Zero ZIP $14.30 +0.31
Zondro ZQK $4.18 -0.08

March 15, 2012

The Market Loves Obama

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:16

The stock market is pushing to new highs today.  We’re due for a pullback, and a pullback would be the healthiest thing for the rally—it will take more than a pullback to break the upward momentum.  Never mind what the politicians on either side of the November ballot have to say about the economy.  Never mind what the economists have to say about the economy.  The stock market says the economy is strong.  The debt markets say inflation may be a problem down the road, but commodity futures (and resource stocks) say the near-term threat is minimal.  If the Fed’s gamble on QE2 last year pays off (still a big if) and the U.S. economy grows at 3% or more this year, employment will continue to recover and the incumbents will prevail in the fall elections.  Never mind what you hear on CNBC—not that you watch—a Republican White House is not the key to market nirvana.  If Corporate America is so potent (it is), what it really needs is divided government that can’t pursue a transformative agenda of any kind, and acts only when public consensus forces it.  Rich people will survive the end of the Bush tax cuts.  If the top 1% made twice what the 99% made, then taxing the rich at double the rate of the poor might indeed be the impediment to innovation and achievement the richies claim it is.  But they don’t make twice what the 99% make—they make 20 times what the 99% make.  Cutting back the excesses of crony capitalism is an entirely legitimate thing for the government to do, and progressive taxation is a less arbitrary way of doing so than aggressive regulation.  Remember also that the last two-term Democratic President oversaw the longest bull market since the Second World War; the last two-term Republican President oversaw the deepest financial panic since the Great Depression.  If the market isn’t afraid of four more years of Obama, I’m not either.  If the richies are so afraid that they are now cheering against economic recovery, maybe I should even be excited.

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