Mr. Sensitive

October 30, 2012

Brinky Cup Week 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:36

Big Brinky Cup shakeup last week; this week, not so much.  Everyone–all 17, darks and lights alike–finished 9-5, 8-6, or 7-7.  Everyone.  If last week’s 13-0 by Tara was unprecedented perfection, this week represents unprecedented mediocrity.  That said, Tara’s lead still widened from 1 game last week to 3 games now.  A preseason picker has never won the Brinky Cup; could this be Tara’s year?

Games Back Week 8
Tara 9-5
Justin 3 7-7
Dark Mario 4 9-5
Nicole E. 4 9-5
Mario T.Y. 5 7-7
Reagan 7 7-7
Lee 9 9-5
Nicole M. 9 8-6
Brinkley 9 8-6
Marcus 9 7-7
Mario T.E. 10 9-5
Ruby 10 9-5
Dark Lee 12 8-6
Katie 12 7-7
Jodi Ann 15 8-6
Jenny 15 8-6
Charlotte 17 9-5

 

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October 26, 2012

FSX Friday Update – Guest Post by Ray Gun

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:53

What follows is entirely Reagan’s work; I didn’t contribute anything but data and formatting. – Mr. Sensitive

The S&P 500 was down 1.5%.  The Family Stock Index (FSX) was down 1.8%.  Everyone is sad because Reagan is down.

Advancers

  • Uncle Mario (WMAR) +9.6%.  Uncle Mario is up because it’s almost Halloween and he can’t wait to see all the children in their costumes.
  • Mario’s Nicole (COLM) +4.7%.  Nicole is up because she got a costume and she can’t wait to wear it on Halloween.
  • Justin (SCI) +3.0%.  New 52-week high for Justin.   Justin is up because he got more science money this week so he can go buy candy for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Decliners

  • Ruby (RJET) -2.3%.  Ruby (Boo-Boo) is down she can’t come down here and dress up and go trick-or-treating with us.(UNLESS SHE WANTS TO!)
  • Marisa (MOLX) -3.2%. Marisa is down because she’s sick and needs to go to the vet so she doesn’t die!
  • Zondro (ZQK) -3.8%.  Zondro is down because Jenny stacked their crates one on top of the other so every night Jenny has to lift him into his crate and every morning he has to jump out of his crate.
  • Nami & Lita (NL) -3.8%.  Nami & Lita are down because they are jealous that we are making Charlotte a house full of decorations and they haven’t even started. I mean not that we have but still we have started.
  • Reagan (REGN) -5.7%.  Reagan is down because she’s afraid that on Halloween she’s gonna freeze because her costume isn’t very warm.  And her plant at school hasn’t grown as high as 2 people’s plants have grown in her class.  So she’s furious!
  • Lee (MSTR) -7.1%.  Daddy’s been having nose bleeds a bunch this week and he had to change a poop without a nose plug.  (P.S DON’T READ THIS ONE IF YOU’RE EATING FOOD!)
  • Brinkley (BCO) -7.7%.  Brinkley is down because he still can’t talk and he keeps getting yelled at for going behind the TV.
  • Jenny (JNY) -13%.  Jenny is down because she finished the last Percy Jackson book that’s out and she still hasn’t seen the movie that goes with the first book of the series she’s reading.
Name Ticker 10/26/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $25.42 -2.11
Charlotte ICE $131.19 +0.99
Dustin DST $56.18 +0.23
Icarus FAST $43.24 -0.52
Jenny JNY $11.72 -1.82
Jodi Ann JOY $61.55 -0.66
Justin SCI $14.07 +0.41
Katie CATY $17.87 -0.24
Lee MSTR $109.81 -8.33
Lisa LNCE $25.26 +0.02
Lucas LEI $1.74 -0.06
Lulu LULU $67.49 -1.54
Marcus MCS $10.80 unch
Mario T.E. MGEE $52.89 +0.30
Mario T.Y. WMAR $10.49 +0.92
Marisa MOLX $25.71 -0.86
Namilita NL $10.27 -0.41
Nicole E. NICE $30.86 -1.14
Nicole M. COLM $56.01 +2.50
Reagan REGN $149.25 -8.99
Ruby RJET $4.72 -0.11
Wilson WILC $4.20 +0.01
Winston ED $59.97 -0.50
Zero ZIP $6.50 -0.12
Zondro ZQK $3.06 -0.12

 

Brinky Cup Record-Setter

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 07:24

Jenny’s too busy watching Vampire Diaries to do the picks update in a timely fashion, and the world needs to know about last week’s event.  Never in the history of the Brinky Cup has a contestant posted a perfect week…until now.  Who was it?  Mario?  Marcus?  Nope.

It was Tara.

Tara went 13-0 in Week 7, and that was enough to vault her over Justin (despite notching a none-too-shabby 10-3 himself).  Can Tara do what her Buckeyes are barred from doing, and win a championship?  Hell if I know.  Here are the standings, plus the results of the last two weeks:

Games Back Week 7 Week 6
Tara 13-0 7-7
Justin 1 10-3 7-7
Mario T.Y. 3 10-3 10-4
Nicole E. 4 10-3 7-7
Dark Mario 4 9-4 6-10
Reagan 5 8-5 7-7
Marcus 7 6-7 9-5
Nicole M. 8 9-4 6-10
Brinkley 8 7-6 8-6
Lee 9 9-4 8-6
Katie 10 9-4 8-6
Mario T.E. 10 6-7 6-10
Ruby 10 6-7 6-10
Dark Lee 11 9-4 4-10
Jenny 14 9-4 8-6
Jodi Ann 14 4-9 6-10
Charlotte 17 5-8 7-7

The takeaway: I’ve got you all right where I want you.

 

October 19, 2012

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:57

The major stock market averages held gains above two percent through Thursday; on Friday, it all came apart.  Disappointing results from Google, Abbot Labs, Intel, Philip Morris and IBM weren’t enough to kneecap the rally; but General Electric, Microsoft and McDonalds piling on last night and this morning proved to be too much.  Heavy selling of the technology giants that dominate the Nasdaq took that index down by 1.3% for the week, but the Dow and the S&P still eked out weekly gains in spite of Friday’s carnage.  The Family Stock Index finished nearly unchanged at 12,967 after soaring back above 13,000 early in the week and closing at 13,311 as late as Wednesday.  The even performance of the index as a whole is increasingly misleading; a host of index members are making extreme moves in both directions.  Of the 25 stocks in the FSX, four reached new 52-week highs (Katie, Jenny, Reagan, Justin) in the same week three others plumbed new lows (Marcus, Namilita, Zero).  I can’t recall a market bifurcated to this extent; maybe once this darned election is behind the country, a retreat from the extremes will be possible.

But I doubt it.

Advancers

  • Katie (CATY) +6.5%.  Katie broke through $18 decisively this week, jumping to a four-year high of $19.23 on Tuesday before settling back.  If she won McDonalds Monopoly and didn’t tell me, she should remember that I’m here all day, and Brinky naps for a solid three hours.  If you haven’t connected the dots yet, I’ve got two words for you: booby traps.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) +6.5%.  SECRET BABY?
  • Jenny (JNY) +5.2%.  Jenny’s got five of those stupid necklace penguins for selling magazine subscriptions and she tries to canvas the neighborhood every afternoon to sell more.  If she sells 10 she gets to go to a BMX show, or so she says.  Do you think she even knows what BMX is?  Come to think of it, do I?
  • Reagan (REGN) +5.0%.  Ambassador Reagan will be selling doughnuts in the school lobby next week to raise money for something or another.  I haven’t checked, but based on the stock performance I’m sure the line is already forming.
  • Marisa (MOLX) +3.4%.  This positive move must mean Marisa isn’t the cat who pooped in the washing machine.

Decliners

  • Nami & Lita (NL) -4.0%.  Unless the market rewards cats for defiling appliances.  After all, Nami & Lita don’t even have a washing machine to poop in, and they’re at lifetime lows.
  • Lulu (LULU) -6.0%.  So it was Marisa.  That’s what I suspected all along.
  • Mario the Younger (WMAR) -8.6%.  There was a point in the Steelers-Titans game last week when I swear more Steelers offensive linemen were injured than weren’t.  The look on Ben’s face as he watched the Titans kick a field goal to win gave me a very bad feeling about the state of affairs in Pittsburgh.  Fortunately for the Steelers—and Mario—the AFC North stinks, especially with Ray Lewis now out for the season.  They get the Bengals next; if they don’t win this one, WMAR could easily trade with an 8-handle come November.
  • Zero (ZIP) -10%.  Nothing to see here; just a professional stock-wrecker wrecking a stock.
Name Ticker 10/19/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $27.53 +0.88
Charlotte ICE $130.20 +0.46
Dustin DST $55.95 -0.36
Icarus FAST $43.76 -1.56
Jenny JNY $13.54 +0.67
Jodi Ann JOY $62.21 +3.77
Justin SCI $13.66 +0.10
Katie CATY $18.11 +1.11
Lee MSTR $118.14 -0.12
Lisa LNCE $25.24 +0.18
Lucas LEI $1.80 -0.08
Lulu LULU $69.03 -4.40
Marcus MCS $10.80 -0.21
Mario T.E. MGEE $52.59 -0.29
Mario T.Y. WMAR $9.57 -0.90
Marisa MOLX $26.57 +0.88
Namilita NL $10.68 -0.44
Nicole E. NICE $32.00 -0.90
Nicole M. COLM $53.51 +1.55
Reagan REGN $158.24 +7.51
Ruby RJET $4.83 -0.13
Wilson WILC $4.19 +0.09
Winston ED $60.47 +0.64
Zero ZIP $6.62 -0.72
Zondro ZQK $3.18 -0.17

 

Wall Street Loves Mitt, The Market Doesn’t

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:19

The market has rallied so far this week despite disappointing earnings from IBM, Intel and Google, regaining almost of all of the losses suffered in last week’s slump through Thursday.  The Republicans CNBC have gone to great lengths to declare that last week’s slump had nothing to do with Romney’s post-Debate #1 polling surge and, of course, this week’s rally has nothing to do with Obama’s much-improved performance in Debate #2.  This is consistent with the Republican CNBC thesis that neither the 60% stock market rally of the last four years nor the market collapse in the final years of the Bush regime had anything to do with the man in the White House…but of course a Republican victory next month would, inexplicably, be great for the market going forward.  So either the market has taken the last two weeks to say it hates Romney, or it doesn’t care.  If Romney CNBC is looking for another explanation the data can support, well…there isn’t one.  The market hates you, Mitt, or it doesn’t care about you; there’s not a third option.

I have a theory about that, actually.  Fraudsters and Banksters loved the Bush years, but investors and bankers didn’t—after all, they’re the ones who were left holding the bag after the shysters took the money and ran.  That’s why Wall Street executives support Romney, but long-term value investors like Warren Buffet don’t.  Malfeasance isn’t good for business, unless the business in question is elaborate, institutionalized theft.  There are con men in the market, sure, but businessmen drive it.  Thoughtless deregulation is as bad for business—legitimate business—as is arbitrary over-regulation.  We haven’t experienced the latter under Obama, despite what CNBC says; the Administration is still working out the details of Dodd-Frank, and working with the banking industry to do it, four years after the crisis.  That’s neither too fast nor too aggressive by any reasonable measure—only the shysters who want zero oversight think four years isn’t enough time to finalize the rules.

Businessmen run real companies providing real services or making real products.  To suggest that they simply want the government to disappear, to stop enforcing the laws that protect them from fraud and theft, is absurd and insulting.  When Mitt and his men say that government should get out of the way, that’s what they mean.  Why would the market want that?

Holy Crap

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:48

I’m afraid the day may be lost.

I’m loading the washing machine this morning and thinking, ‘oh, man, that smell is not a wholesome smell.’  I curse my family, then I keep loading.

Oh man, I swear that smell is not even a human smell.  And I’ve only loaded shirts.

Oh, man.

Oh, no.

Wilson crapped on the clothes; it would be just like him.

I pull all the clothes out; I shake all the clothes out.

Nothing.

I look closely, shirt by shirt.

Nothing.

It’s not Wilson.  It’s not even the clothes.

I turn back to the washing machine.  The dread is overpowering, but less so than the smell.

I have a flash of brilliance: get the noseplug.  I credit dozens of poop surprises a la Brinky for this defensive reflex.

And…there are turds in the washing machine.

Cat turds.

The thoughts are coming too quickly, piling on; I try to parse them, with mixed results.

First thought:  Really?

Second thought:  Really.

Third thought:  Which one did it?

Fourth thought:  I should throw both of them in and run it on ‘comforters and bedding’ with ‘extra rinse’ until I get a confession.

Fifth thought:  If they can do this, I wonder if they can be potty-trained?

Final thought:  Really?

I don’t know where the day goes from here.  I’ll be running the washer–empty, except for lots and lots of bleach–for the rest of the morning.  Running the washer and trying to forget.

October 18, 2012

CNBC Lies About Taxes

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:55

I stopped watching CNBC with sound–too much deception buttressed by snark–but I still love the beautiful ticker.  Even muted, they got me today when they showed–breaking news!–a blurb stating that President Obama refuses to sign a tax bill that does not increase taxes for higher-income earners.  So what?  Here’s what (with my emphasis added):

President Obama refuses to sign a tax bill that does not increase taxes for higher-income earners.

That is a lie.

The truth is that if Congress and the President do not act, the Bush-era tax cuts will expire at the end of the year and rates will revert to Clinton-era levels.  The unemployment rate when Bush took office in January 2001–after years of supposedly suffocating taxes–was 4.2%.  After a decade of bottom-basement tax rates, the unemployment rate is 7.8%.  However damning that comparison is, it’s beside the point.  The problem is that CNBC is lying.  The President does, in fact, refuse to sign a bill that gives the wealthy a new tax cut after the current one expires.  The Republicans–and CNBC–like to pretend that not cutting taxes is the same as raising them.  It’s not.  Bush and his captive, post-9/11 Congress cut taxes, justifying it with a traditional, supply-side economic argument: if the wealthy have more money to invest, they’ll invest it in America, creating employment for Americans.  Instead, they invested it in China and banked the profits.  Now they want a separate, new tax cut, but they’ve got no justification this time other than greed.  So they’re couching the Democrats’ refusal to give them want they want–a new tax cut--in lies about tax hikes.  Obama doesn’t want the tax bill he’ll sign to say anything whatsoever about taxes for the wealthy–it doesn’t have to.  Shame on CNBC for helping the Republicans lie about that fact.

 

October 16, 2012

Fun And Games

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:01

Slow down, Namor; he’s not even turned the right way.

That’s his armpit, Namor.  God, fish are dumb.

October 12, 2012

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:50

The markets pulled back between two and three percent this week, and why not?  Difficult earnings comps and political vitriol aren’t going to derail the Obama bull market, but they are plenty to justify locking in profits after nine months of strong gains.  The Family Stock Index outperformed with a decline of just 1.7%, but the inability to hold above 13,000—the FSX closed at 12,980—is worrisome.  A test of 12,700 in the next two weeks would be constructive; anything below that level would be bearish for the remainder of 2012.

Advancers

  • Brinkley (BCO) +2.5%.  The longer Brinky puts off talking, the more suspicious I get about what he intends to say.  I’m pretty sure now that he’s going to wait until he can put together a complete sentence, and that he’s going to use his spotlight moment to rat me out for something.  The market’s done the math, and it figures I’m running out of time to figure out what the little fink knows.  It could be he’s just going to tell on me for stopping him from painting on the couch with milk; he’s completely convinced I have no business interfering with his art.
  • Nicole E. (NICE) +2.3%.  I guess Nicole didn’t like the jacket she left here.  Katie said it’s Justin’s jacket; I said it’s a ladies’ jacket; Katie said, in effect, what’s your point?  So maybe what Nicole didn’t like about the ladies’ jacket she left here is that Justin kept wearing it.   They also left a sweater.
  • Icarus (FAST) +2.6%.  Maybe the sweater is Icky’s.  Justin likes to dress him up like a real boy; it’s got to be embarrassing.  I definitely heard Lulu laughing at him last time he was here.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) +2.3%.  Jodi Ann has become English Grandmaster or Minister of English or something like that; Marcus was vague on the title.  The point is that she has the power to bring back the dunce cap, and presumably she will.

Decliners

  • Marcus (MCS) -3.0%.  And presumably Marcus is serving as the dunce-cap guinea pig.  Just pretend it’s a wizard’s hat, dude.
  • Nicole M. (COLM) -4.2%.  Mario saw Charles Barkley first; if he and Nicole are having a Philadelphia sports celebrity scavenger hunt—and why wouldn’t they?—she’s got some catching up to do.  Try to find Theo Ratliff—he’s worth triple points!
  • Lee (MSTR) -4.9%.  My 12% October decline is second only to Lucas’ 20% drop.  The reality of the Book War is ugly: a completion date of 10/31 was wildly unrealistic; frankly, so was any date in 2012.  I greatly underestimated the task ahead of me; the first nine chapters have already become eleven and the running word count is up by 28% over the first draft.  Furthermore, I failed to structure this leg of the project effectively, assuming that my progress would be so smooth there’d be no need to pace myself.  The market is dealing with me harshly, as it should.  The damage spread to Katie (CATY -4.3%) this week as investors priced in a Book War extending into the second quarter of 2013.  The news is disappointing, certainly, but now that it’s out there sellers can do what they will and we can find a bottom, hopefully well before we breach the 52 week low at $101.
  • Reagan (REGN) -5.2%.  We’re all taking part in a stop-bullying walk with Reagan tomorrow.  The over/under on number of times she falls in an hour is five; the market’s taking the over.
  • Zero (ZIP) -5.2%.  I let some almond milk go bad in my refrigerator and Zero took it personally.  That’s the kind of thing that lingers.
  • Lucas (LEI) -7.4%.  The market has lost faith in management here, and it’s through listening to excuses.  The numbers have to improve or the 20% decline of the last two weeks will continue.  It’s that simple.
Name Ticker 10/12/2012 Change
Brinkley BCO $26.65 +0.65
Charlotte ICE $129.74 -1.26
Dustin DST $56.31 -1.24
Icarus FAST $45.32 +1.14
Jenny JNY $12.87 +0.04
Jodi Ann JOY $58.44 +1.29
Justin SCI $13.56 -0.18
Katie CATY $17.00 -0.76
Lee MSTR $118.26 -6.14
Lisa LNCE $25.06 +0.02
Lucas LEI $1.88 -0.15
Lulu LULU $73.43 -1.97
Marcus MCS $11.01 -0.34
Mario T.E. MGEE $52.88 +0.14
Mario T.Y. WMAR $10.47 -0.11
Marisa MOLX $25.69 -0.50
Namilita NL $11.12 -0.26
Nicole E. NICE $32.90 +0.74
Nicole M. COLM $51.96 -2.29
Reagan REGN $150.73 -8.27
Ruby RJET $4.96 -0.04
Wilson WILC $4.10 unch
Winston ED $59.83 -0.39
Zero ZIP $7.34 -0.40
Zondro ZQK $3.35 -0.12

Stopped Clocks Should Shut Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:38

I’ve taken issue with Goldman Sachs’ chief strategist Abby Joseph Cohen before.  She’s a shameless hack lacking the decency even to bother reverse-engineering an argument to justify her cookie-cutter market projections, but she’s hardly alone on Wall Street.  AJC is a perma-bull; she will always declare that the market is headed higher, irrespective of economic context or current stock valuations.  I single her out for her prominence and her disinterested disregard for logic, but what really galls me is something she has in common with all of her ilk: a total lack of accountability.  Abby always predicts a 10-15% annual increase in the S&P 500—always.  During the late 90s bull market, she was right several times; in the decade-plus since the death of the late, great bull, she’s lost the magic touch (but not the salary, and certainly not the hubris).  Do she and Goldman still crow about last-century success?  Of course.  Do they apologize for missing every turn since then?  Of course not.  They just find excuses.  ‘But we couldn’t have foreseen the tech bubble or 9/11 or the housing bubble or the financial crisis!’ they say.  Probably not.  But if you can’t predict any of the events that transform markets and drive the performance of your clients’ investments, how can you presume to predict the level of the S&P 500 a year from now?  You don’t really think you can, of course.  But you’re a shameless hack, so you don’t care.

In the markets, timing is everything, and perma-bears like Marc Faber and Nouriel Roubini are no more accountable for their lack of it than Abby and the bulls.  If you said that the Nasdaq was wildly overvalued in 1998, you’d have been absolutely right.  But if you were a fund manager and you got out of stocks then, you’d have missed 2000 points of upside and you’d have been out of a job.  If you shorted that overvalued market, you’d have been out on the street.  Make the observation in 1998, sure; make an investment strategy call on it and you cost your clients big-time.  Same thing for 1999.  2000 was the year to short the Nasdaq, but if you listened to the perma-bears (growling loudly since the Netscape IPO in 1996) you wouldn’t have had any capital left to take advantage.

CNBC has been leaning perma-bear lately; I’m sure this isn’t a clumsy attempt to radicalize viewers and convince them that the Obama bull market is a mirage.  That would be unprofessional, and the network of Larry Kudlow, Jack Welch and Rick Santelli would never compromise its credibility that way…if it had any credibility.  The Marc Fabers of the world can’t believe the sun still has the temerity to rise every morning in spite of their brilliant arguments on behalf of immediate and eternal darkness.  Like Abby Cohen and the other stopped-clocks of Wall Street, they’re right every so often.  But I have to ask: is your goal to give your clients actionable investment advice, or do you just want to gripe?  Yes, the world is going to end.  In four billion years or so the sun will become a red giant and incinerate the Earth.  So Marc and Nouriel (and Bill Gross) are right.  They’re also completely useless when it comes to making decisions about investing.  I used to think that was the point that was the point of investment advice, but after all, I’m not famous so I must not know anything.

I noticed recently that the prominent perma-bulls and perma-bears never debate their counterparts on the air; in fact, they don’t often debate anyone.  They appear, they prognosticate, and they disappear.  They’re like Punxsutawney Phil that way, only less accurate.

Wait…could it be…

It’s possible.  If Abby is conveniently out of the office next Groundhog Day, I think we’ll have the answer.

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