Mr. Sensitive

March 30, 2013

Family Stock Index Q1 2013 Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:06

After the best first quarter for U.S. stocks in fifteen years, the major market averages begin the second quarter of 2013 at all-time highs (not the Nasdaq, I know; can we just pretend 1999-2000 didn’t happen?  Thanks).  The Family Stock Index is likewise at an all-time high, and we beat the other broad market indices handily during the first quarter.

  1. FSX +13.6%
  2. Dow Industrials +11.2%
  3. S&P 500 +10.0%
  4. NASDAQ Composite +8.2%

In a bull market like this one, it’s not enough to have a positive return—you’ve got to beat the market to prove your worth.  Here’s how the FSX members performed during the first quarter.



#1 – Ruby (RJET) +103%.  Don’t worry, Boo-boo; I won’t tell Reagan about this affront until after she comes back from Hilton Head next week.

Obviously Spoiled

#2 – Zondro (ZQK) +43%
#3 – Wilson (WILC) +40%

I’m too nice to them, obviously.  Can I adopt a snapping turtle?  How about a wolverine?

Serial Acquirer

#4 – Charlotte (ICE) +32%.  I would’ve sold the derivatives clearing business along with the European bourses, but what do I know?  I lost to Justin.

Armed Camps

#5 – Justin (SCI) +21%.  Oh, real nice, Justin.  You had to tack on that extra $0.18 on the last day of trading to pass me.  I won’t forget this.  18 cents—I will write that number on your soul in the blood of a billion suns.
#6 – Lee (TGI) +20%.  Book War III is over; I may know in a month or so if I won.  Up next?  The War of 18 Cents.



#7 – Dustin (DST) +18%
#8 – Jenny (JNY) +15%
#9 – Mario the Younger (MAR) +13%


#10 – Icarus (FAST) +10%
#11 – Nicole E. (NICE) +10%
#12 – Winston (ED) +10%

Close, But No Cigar

#13 – Mario the Elder (MGEE) +8.8%
#14 – Namilita (NL) +8.6%
#15 – Nicole M. (COLM) +8.5%
#16 – Ghost Marisa (MOLXA) +8.1%

Those Candy Cigarettes You Used to Get Sometimes on Halloween but Now You Never See

#17 – Lisa (LNCE) +4.7%
#18 – Reagan (REGN) +3.1%
#19 – Katie (CATY) +3.0%

Candy Cigarette Wrapper

#20 – Marcus (MCS) +0.2%


Lulu’s Litterbox

#21 – Brinkley (BCO) -0.9%
#22 – Zero (ZAGG) -1.1%

Lulu’s Litter

#23 – Jodi Ann (JOY) -6.7%
#24 – Lucas (LEI) -9.5%


#25 – Lulu (LULU) -18%

March 29, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 12:49

The stock market sold off mildly early in the week, seizing on comments by the Dutch Finance Minister which suggested the Cyprus bailout could be used as a template for future EU rescue packages.  Then it was revealed that this ‘Dutch Finance Minister’ is named Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and thus is clearly an obscure Star Wars character having nothing to do with European finance.


Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Following that revelation, U.S. stocks rallied into the end of the first quarter, with the S&P 500 finally joining the Dow on Thursday to reach an all-time high (markets are closed today for Good Friday).  For the quarter, the S&P gained 10% and the Dow added 11.2%, but both averages were trounced by the Family Stock Index.  The FSX gained 0.5% in the holiday-shortened week to settle out at 15,280, giving us in a market-beating first-quarter gain of 13.6%.  I may post a Q1 summary this weekend; alternatively, I may have a nervous breakdown.  I finished the second draft of my book this morning, and I don’t know what’s going to happen in my brain as a result.  So far I’m just really, really tired.


  • Mario TY (MAR) +6.0%.  Mario fancies himself the sports savant of the family.  He believes he should and will win the NFL Brinky Cup and the NCAA brackets every year, and yet, Mario the Winner has been experiencing something of a Tiger-like dry spell of late.  In the last four majors (2011 brackets, 2011 Brinky, 2012 brackets, 2012 Brinky) Mario is 0-3-1.  As a result, some investors have begun to think the unthinkable—maybe Mario doesn’t have any more insight into the world of sports than the rest of us do.  But this March he’s returned to form, dominating the 2013 brackets; a runaway victory here would go a long way toward restoring investor confidence.
  • Winston (ED) +3.3%.  Winston’s one of those dogs that likes to go on walks, and the weather’s finally improved enough that he and Mario can get back to it.  At least until Winter Storm Bananarama hits next week.
  • Dustin (DST) +2.7%.  Spring=golf.  Winter also equals golf, I know, but warm golf beats cold golf.
  • Reagan (REGN) +2.4%.  Reagan asked me earlier this week how her stock was doing, and whether she was beating everyone like usual.  I had to break it to her that her stock was basically unch on the quarter, and she was in 19th place out of 25.  (Why didn’t I just lie about it?  Excellent question.)  Reagan informed me that she was going to have a talk with the REGN people about it—I guess she did.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +2.1%.  The classic tug-of-war in the market is bulls vs. bears; when applied to Brinky’s stock, I think of it as bigs vs. dumbs.  This week the bigs won out.


  • Zondro (ZQK) -4.9%.  In Zondro’s case, it’s dumbs vs. dumbs.  Guess who’s winning?
  • Zero (ZAGG) -7.5%.  This week’s slide takes Zero into the red for 2013 (-1.1%), but he’s got a tough row to hoe for a three-peat—Lulu’s sitting at -18%.  Zero may have to come from ahead, but I know he’s up (down?) for the challenge.
Name Ticker 3/28/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $28.26 +0.57
Charlotte ICE $163.07 +0.76
Dustin DST $71.27 +1.90
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $24.12 +0.32
Icarus FAST $51.33 -0.18
Jenny JNY $12.72 -0.10
Jodi Ann JOY $59.52 +1.11
Justin SCI $16.73 +0.37
Katie CATY $20.12 unch
Lee TGI $78.50 +0.46
Lisa LNCE $25.26 +0.24
Lucas LEI $1.33 +0.07
Lulu LULU $62.35 unch
Marcus MCS $12.49 +0.09
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.44 +0.57
Mario T.Y. MAR $42.23 +2.38
Namilita NL $12.43 -0.17
Nicole E. NICE $36.83 -0.34
Nicole M. COLM $57.88 -0.83
Reagan REGN $176.40 +4.15
Ruby RJET $11.54 -0.07
Wilson WILC $6.63 -0.04
Winston ED $61.03 +1.94
Zero ZAGG $7.28 -0.59
Zondro ZQK $6.07 -0.31

March 22, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:54

So…Cyprus—does it matter?  Short answer: no.  If Cyprus is saved from default by an EU bailout under the current terms—imposing a tax on currently-frozen deposits held in Cypriot banks—the damage would be minimal (outside of Cyprus, of course).  If Cyprus rejects the deposit tax and Germany, I mean the European Union, refuses to modify the terms of a bailout, forcing Cyprus to default on its external debt, the damage would, again, be minimal.  Cyprus just isn’t that big.  There are two ways in which the problem in Cyprus could become a global problem, at least that I can see.

The first would be if the EU/Germany mismanages perceptions in countries outside of Cyprus.  Cyprus has a weak banking system, an insolvent government, and a tiny economy; the third and last item I listed is what makes the problem a manageable one.  Like Cyprus, Spain and Italy have weak banks and empty Treasuries; unlike Cyprus, they have big populations and large, globally-integrated economies.   It doesn’t really matter what the Germans force the Cypriots to do to pay their debts…unless the Spaniards and Italians start to think they’re next.  If depositors in those countries think they’re about to have their deposits seized and taxed, they’ll withdraw their money en masse from banks, precipitating a banking collapse.  So far, the Germans have insisted that Cyprus is a special case and no precedent is being set.  So far, Spanish and Italian depositors have believed their Teutonic overlords.  The risks of miscommunication here are well understood by all the parties involved, and should, therefore, remain contained.  In other words, don’t worry about this one.

The second possibility has to do with why Cyprus is a special case.  It seems that Russian gangsters have been using banks in Cyprus to launder money, and it is these deposits that Germany is targeting with the tax.  Russia has also loaned several billion dollars to Cyprus—totally unrelated to the money laundering arrangements, I’m sure—and so all told, Moscow has more skin in the game in Cyprus than Berlin or Brussels.  This is a situation that, frankly, the EU should never have allowed to develop: a country that is a member of the EU, that is part of the Eurozone, and it’s more beholden to Russia than to any of its treaty partners.  Russia could accept the confiscation of some of its citizens’ deposits—it can hardly officially acknowledge all of them, anyhow—or it could play ball with the EU and Cyprus to come up with an alternative exit strategy.  But maybe the wrong oligarch’s funds have been seized this time, and cooperation isn’t the option the Europeans think it is.  In that event, this situation could get very messy.  I guarantee you that none of the global markets—ours included—is pricing in anything like that.

Not yet, anyway.

While the broader market took a bit of a breather this week (S&P 500 -0.2%), the Family Stock Index continued its upward trek, notching a new all-time high (15,312) on Wednesday before settling out at 15,206 (+0.4%).  Decliners actually outnumbered advancers 13 to 12, but Ruby’s 105% gain in the quarter has given her such an outsized weighting in the index that she practically counts as two components now.  That means that as Boo-boo goes, so goes the FSX…at least for one more week.


  • Wilson (WILC) +9.3%.  I think we can all agree now that the groundhog did a lousy job this year; he called for a short winter instead of six more weeks, and he whiffed on his prediction, big time.  Well, it’s been six weeks since Groundhog Day and the botched prediction is about to become moot.  With April approaching and warmer weather on the way, Wilson should get to spend his days in the backyard—away from Brinky—very soon.
  • Ruby (RJET) +6.6%.  I remember that Katie and Mario TY had to clean the house on good ol’ Arrow Lane every Sunday, and it didn’t particularly matter whether the house was dirty or not.  I also remember thinking I would never want to clean my house every Sunday, let alone make my children do it.  Boy, was I wrong.  Sunday is about to become cleaning day for the girls, or as I’m calling it, Boo-Boo Was Right Day.
  • Zero (ZAGG) +4.9%.  Whole Foods plus Guitar Center is equal to more than 2 times Starbucks.  How about that math?
  • Marcus (MCS) +3.6%.  I hope Marcus spends his entire upcoming Spring Break playing video games.
  • Nicole E. (NICE) +2.9%.  Katie noticed yesterday that Nicole is the only one of our true in-laws (family members not related by blood to either of us) who participated in our NCAA tournament pool.  That warrants some kind of special in-law upgrade, I think.  Since my own sister didn’t love me enough to participate, maybe Nicole should just replace her.


  • Brinkley (BCO) -1.5%.  Brinky’s mother is constantly standing in the wrong places, forcing him to reposition her.  It must be really stressful for him.
  • Katie (CATY) -2.2%.  Katie is constantly standing in the wrong places, forcing Brinky to reposition her.  Eventually he’s going to get fed up with her incompetence, and there’s no telling what might happen then.  I’m guessing a tantrum will be involved.
  • Zondro (ZQK) -2.0%.  With April approaching and warmer weather on the way, Zondro will be forced to spend his days in the backyard—away from Brinky’s food—very soon.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) -6.0%.  I hope Marcus doesn’t make Jodi Ann spend her entire upcoming Spring Break playing video games.
  • LULU -9.0%.  Lululemon Athletica (Lulu’s company) was forced to recall a bunch of ladies’ yoga pants this week because they were unintentionally, um, see-through.  The moral of the story: don’t buy pants from cats.


Name Ticker 3/22/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $27.69 -0.43
Charlotte ICE $162.31 +1.33
Dustin DST $69.37 -0.38
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $23.80 +0.18
Icarus FAST $51.51 +0.71
Jenny JNY $12.82 +0.17
Jodi Ann JOY $58.41 -3.72
Justin SCI $16.36 +0.10
Katie CATY $20.12 -0.46
Lee TGI $78.04 -0.64
Lisa LNCE $25.02 -0.12
Lucas LEI $1.26 -0.08
Lulu LULU $62.35 -6.13
Marcus MCS $12.40 +0.43
Mario T.E. MGEE $54.87 -0.64
Mario T.Y. MAR $39.85 -0.50
Namilita NL $12.60 -0.22
Nicole E. NICE $37.17 +1.03
Nicole M. COLM $58.71 +0.73
Reagan REGN $172.25 +0.41
Ruby RJET $11.61 +0.72
Wilson WILC $6.67 +0.57
Winston ED $59.09 -0.08
Zero ZAGG $7.87 +0.37
Zondro ZQK $6.38 -0.13


March 15, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:52

Wondering why this week’s FSX update is a little late? Because I’m writing it instead of Lee, and I chose to wait until after work. And dinner. And dessert. But here it is!

Lee’s notes on the market as a whole are below. Note: he’s feeling kind of annoyed with the market overall, specifically CEOs acting like the economy’s terrible even though their companies are performing well.

Broader market:  Dow +0.8%, S&P 500 +0.6%, Nasdaq +0.1%.  The Dow set all-time highs four of five days this week; the S&P 500 made a series of five-year highs and is just a few points below the all-time high set in 2007; the Nasdaq is at a 12-year high, but would need to rise by more than 50% to eclipse its all-time high set in March 2000.  Compared to that stock bubble—tech and telecom during 1999 and 2000—this year’s bull run looks run-of-the-mill.  But is this a bubble?  Certain areas of the market are certainly getting frothy.  Home Depot at 23 times earnings?  Procter & Gamble at 18 times? Clorox(!) at 20 times earnings?  Blue chips with single-digit EPS growth rates are trading at growth multiples, and that’s not sustainable.  The market as a whole is nowhere near as overvalued as it was the last two times the S&P 500 traded above 1550 (2000 and 2007), but the blue chips are getting close.

Lee’s notes on the FSX:

Family Stock Index: +1.4% for the week, +12.6% for the quarter.  Friday’s closing level of 15,145 is 43 points below the all-time high set yesterday.  Breadth was weaker than the headline numbers suggest, with just 15 advancers against 10 decliners.  The leaders are getting stretched; of the eight stocks to hit 52-week highs this week, only one (MOLXA) hadn’t done so already this year. The bad are getting even worse as the quarter wears on; of the five worst performers on the week, four (LEI, JOY, MCS, LULU) are among the five stocks in the red for the quarter.  (BCO is the other stock in negative territory for Q1, but Brinky was up this week.)  Obviously, I don’t know what the future holds, except that I know it holds a significant correction for the FSX and the broader market.  I just don’t know when.  Some help I am.


  • Lee (TGI) +5.9%.  Lee: I’m six days ahead of schedule in Phase 3 of Plan XIII.  Let’s not get carried away with the rah-rah. Me: Rah-rah! I can’t wait until it’s my turn to read the book. And I can say that he’s been working very hard on it. He might also be up because we’re really enjoying Real Husbands of Hollywood. You should watch it if you don’t.
  • Jenny (JNY) +5.4%. Last week Jenny smashed her thumb. Last week Jenny also got sick, like every other kid in her class and had to stay home. This week? We found out the thumb’s not broken and she went back to school. Sounds like victory to me. Plus, since she missed three days of school she has several zeros logged in the online gradebook that make it impossible for me to really know what her grades are, so I can’t even complain about them. Yet.
  • Zondro (ZQK) +4.8%. Zondro’s up while he enjoys the last of the cold weather before spring arrives. You’d think he’d hate the cold weather, but he likes it because he gets to come back inside in the morning when it’s cold. When spring arrives, he’ll be spending a lot more time outside. (Note: this is not how Lee thinks the market commentary should work because he thinks it should be more forward-looking, but I like to apply it to right now in time precisely.)
  • Ruby (RJET) +4.8%. Mom got to spend time in her dream house this week. Maybe she’ll live in it one day. But just in case she doesn’t, she can enjoy the new counter tops she got in her own home.
  • Nicole M. (COLM) +3.7%. Nicole got to enjoy some delicious sushi this week, specially delivered by my little brother because he’s nice like that.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +3.6%. Brinky is happy about the arrival of daylight savings time. He never adjusted to the time change in the fall, so we’ve had 5:00 wake ups for several months. Now he’s back on track and waking up around 6:00 or so. Plus it’s light enough for him to play outside some in the evening and happily squeal. An incredibly high pitched squeal. But it’s seriously happy.
  • Katie (CATY) +2.6%. I’ve been enjoying sleeping until the alarm goes off. It’s amazing.
  • Justin (SCI) +2.3%. I just noticed when looking over there to the left. It’s Justin. And science. Did you see Justin Timberlake’s most recent SNL skit with Andy Samberg and science? It was funny.


  • Icarus (FAST) -1.4%. So we’re pretty sure that Icarus might have killed the groundhog, making winter last longer for all of you guys up north. He could definitely catch a groundhog. And maybe he likes winter.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) -1.6%. The (strangely named for the first time this year) storms are coming for you.  (Lee: I’m calling this next one Winter Storm Bananarama.)
  • Nicole E. (NICE) -1.8%. Definitely coming for you since you’re so close to Icarus.
  • Marcus (MCS) -1.9%. And you too, Marcus. Sorry it’s been such a long, cold winter for all of you guys.
  • LULU -2.1%. Lulu’s never winning the cul-de-sac cat wars. Last night I came home from the store and was greeted by one cat that tried to get run over by me (not our cat), one cat running away from our house (Lulu), and one cat on the railing of our front porch (not our cat). Lulu just wishes she could hang out in Brinky’s room with ghost Marisa. But she’s too busy going outside. And back inside. And back outside. And repeat over and over. While Lee throws the missiles (foam toys of Brinkley’s) that he’s hidden in his desk drawer at her.


Name Ticker 3/15/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $28.12 +0.97
Charlotte ICE $160.98 +2.38
Dustin DST $69.75 +0.19
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $23.62 +0.08
Icarus FAST $50.80 -0.74
Jenny JNY $12.65 +0.65
Jodi Ann JOY $62.13 -1.00
Justin SCI $16.26 +0.37
Katie CATY $20.58 +0.53
Lee TGI $78.68 +4.35
Lisa LNCE $25.14 -0.03
Lucas LEI $1.34 -0.02
Lulu LULU $68.48 -1.44
Marcus MCS $11.97 -0.23
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.51 +0.42
Mario T.Y. MAR $40.35 +0.06
Namilita NL $12.82 -0.01
Nicole E. NICE $36.14 -0.65
Nicole M. COLM $57.98 +2.06
Reagan REGN $171.84 -1.13
Ruby RJET $10.89 +0.50
Wilson WILC $6.10 +0.10
Winston ED $59.17 +0.22
Zero ZAGG $7.50 -0.02
Zondro ZQK $6.51 +0.30

March 8, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:15


The stock market is at an all-time high, the big banks passed the Fed stress tests, and today’s unemployment report was flat-out fantastic.  Even with ongoing cuts in government employment, the economy created 236,000 jobs last month, much higher than consensus and well above trend.  The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, the lowest level since December 2008, and for the first time in recent years, the drop was driven more by an increase in hiring than a decline in workforce participation.  Could it be that the Fed’s QE-infinity gamble is actually going to work?

I don’t know; it’s a lot to take in.  236,000?  I didn’t see that coming.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much CNBC, listening to too many robber-barons who hope the recovery will fail so they can put their pet wolves back in charge of the henhouse.  Whatever the reason, I’m still skeptical about the strength of the job market.  Fortunately for the market, so is the Federal Reserve.

The jobs report gave us a big Friday open on the Dow before the sellers came in and pushed the market into negative territory.  But as has so often been the case this year, the bulls bought the dip and pushed the major averages back into the green.  This week given us a series of five-year highs for the S&P, 12-year highs for the Nasdaq Composite, and all-time highs for the Dow Industrials.  The Family Stock Index lagged the broader market over the past month after outperforming in January, but we also managed to take out the all-time high on Friday afternoon.  At a closing level of 14,930, the FSX was up 2.4% on the week, in line with the gains registered in the broader market, and breadth (19-6 advancers over decliners) was strong if not spectacular.  Six FSX stocks notched new 52-week highs this week, but the average stock still remains more than 10% below a one-year high, leaving us room to move higher if the laggards manage to gain traction.  Furthermore, only one of the week’s six 52-week highs was also an all-time high (TGI, if you can believe it), and if this is indeed an all-time bull market, more than one out of twenty-five historic highs will have to fall.  That being said, we’re so overbought right now that it’s silly, and the longer we go without a meaningful pullback and an extended period of consolidation, the more we start to look like the Nasdaq in 2000.  Looking like the Nasdaq in 2000 is very, very bad.


  • Lucas (LEI) +12%.  Since February 20, when the FSX hit its prior high and fell back, I’ve maintained that we would not make a new high without participation from Lucas.  This week we finally got it.  He’s still in the red for the year, but if Lucas has turned the corner, we could easily take out 15K before the end of the month.
  • Jenny (JNY) +6.4%.  Speaking of turning the corner, Jenny has clawed back to an A in math and may be improving in English as well (we don’t know for certain because her slacker teacher hasn’t logged new grades in a month).  I gave her no chance at straight As just two weeks ago, but she’s now forcing me to rethink that.  I still wouldn’t give her better than a 50% chance, but she finally has some positive momentum.  Katie thinks she should get all the credit for having a heart-to-heart talk with her daughter to clarify our expectations; Jenny thinks she deserves all the credit for being Jenny; and I’m just glad I might not have to take all the happiness and fun out of Jenny’s life like I said I would if she didn’t get her mess in order.
  • Ruby (RJET +4.3%) and Mario TE (MGEE +2.7%).  Is the stock market telling us that Boo-boo’s even more excited about getting into the sand-sculpture business than Grandpa?  Maybe.  Or maybe she’s found a way to get out of the sand-sculpture business before she even gets in.  I’m betting on option #2.
  • Katie (CATY) +3.7%.  Katie came out of her corporate strategy retreat as the spokeswoman for something called Team Sausage.  All I know about Team Sausage is that the team members wore actual sausages on their heads for a presentation.  Perhaps the market knows something about the economic benefits of sausage hats that I don’t; frankly, I’m happy for that to remain a mystery.
  • LULU +3.6%.  Watch out, birds.  Spring is right around the corner.
  • Marisa (MOLXA) +3.5%.  The ghost birds should be on guard too.
  • Charlotte (ICE) +3.0%.  Charlotte’s lease is up at the end of the month; if she can just close on the NYSE Euronext deal before March 31, she and Zero can move in here.


Just replace that giant flag with an enormous picture of Charlotte’s face and it’s perfect.


  • Zondro (ZQK) -1.1%.  While he was the only FSX member to post a weekly decline greater than one percent, Zondro actually rallied throughout the day after having been down as much as 10% in the first hour of trading.  It’s as though investors started off listening to Zondro about how terrible it will be to spend the day outside during the coming months, and then they were like, ‘wait, he’s a dog.’  Sometimes the market can be dead wrong in the short term, but it always eventually gets it right.  Zondro, on the other hand, almost never gets anything right.


Name Ticker 3/8/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $27.15 +0.50
Charlotte ICE $158.60 +4.60
Dustin DST $69.56 +1.69
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $23.54 +0.80
Icarus FAST $51.54 -0.20
Jenny JNY $12.00 +0.72
Jodi Ann JOY $63.13 +1.07
Justin SCI $15.89 +0.37
Katie CATY $20.05 +0.72
Lee TGI $74.33 +1.99
Lisa LNCE $25.17 +0.13
Lucas LEI $1.36 +0.15
Lulu LULU $69.92 +2.42
Marcus MCS $12.20 -0.08
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.09 +1.30
Mario T.Y. MAR $40.29 +0.72
Namilita NL $12.83 +0.02
Nicole E. NICE $36.79 +1.18
Nicole M. COLM $55.92 -0.02
Reagan REGN $172.97 +1.24
Ruby RJET $10.39 +0.43
Wilson WILC $6.00 -0.04
Winston ED $58.95 -0.07
Zero ZAGG $7.52 +0.12
Zondro ZQK $6.21 -0.07


March 1, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:26

Well, we got our sequester, and the market finished higher for the day and for the week.  In fact, while the President was holding a press conference and describing the Republicans’ don’t-touch-our-corporate-tax-loopholes approach as dumb, the Dow moved steadily higher.  If the only way to move forward is to force the Republican Party to split—Tea Party crazies over here, rational conservatives over there—Obama seems willing to apply the necessary pressure, and the market seems not to care.

It’s about damn time.

The Family Stock Index underperformed the broader market for a second straight week.  As the Dow was making new multi-year highs, the FSX continued to churn several hundred points below the Feb 20 high, ultimately closing at 14,575, a 0.2% decline on the week.  There is some good news, though, as the index withstood another test of 14,300 and snapped back nicely off that support level.  Another encouraging sign: the rebound was driven by reversals in several names under pressure earlier in the week, including Reagan, Ruby, Jenny and Brinkley.  Nevertheless, breadth was weak (decliners over advancers 14-11) and Lucas is steadily emerging as the anchor of the FSX, only not in a good way.  After peaking at $1.71 at the end of January, LEI has plunged 29% in a month, and it’s becoming clear that the FSX won’t be able to make a new high until Lucas stabilizes.  I recommend that construction of a robot bear begin immediately.


  • Wilson (WILC) +8.6%.  I guarantee Wilson hates winter more than any other FSX member, even Lisa.  He loves being outside for the sights, the smells, the sun, and most of all the space it puts between him and me.  Not to rain on Wilson’s escape parade, but (1) I don’t actually want to kill him, and (2) there’s nothing on earth that could save him if I did.  Nothing except maybe a robot bear.
  • Zondro (ZQK) +5.4%.  I don’t want to kill Zondro, either; I just want to find the whine-box in his throat, rip it out, and grind it up in the disposal.  See, we’re all friends here!
  • Reagan (REGN +7.1%.) and Jenny (JNY +0.1%).  The girls and I partied last night while their mother was at a two-day planning pow-wow.  It was a wild time: we ate a box of Cheez-Its and some Swedish Fish, watched American Gladiators, and went to bed at 9:45.  We were lucky the neighbors didn’t call the cops on us—not that anyone would have been awake to answer the door if they had.
  • Ruby (RJET) +3.1%.  RJET was down 3% through Thursday, and I began to fear that 2013’s number-one stock was losing steam—but the Ruby bulls weren’t having it, no sir.  After trading down to $9.40, RJET lifted off, touching $10 Friday afternoon before backing off slightly.  While the stock is overbought on a technical basis, it’s also cheap (7.7x trailing earnings) and oil prices are falling.  Even after 80% gain in the first two months alone, the Ruby party may just be getting started.


  • Lisa (LNCE) -2.0%.  Is Lucas the kind of kid who would build a world-class robot bear but forget to add an off switch?  The market says yes.
  • Katie (CATY) -2.3%.  I can sum up Katie’s two-day corporate strategy retreat in two words: sausage hats.
  • Marcus (MCS) -2.9%.  I had a nice email exchange with Marcus this week, and it made me realize something: I know most of the words to the ‘Saved by the Bell’ theme song, but I don’t know all the words, and that simply cannot stand.
  • Charlotte’s Cats (NL) -4.3%.  Same thing with ‘Salute Your Shorts’—I know most of the words, but not all the words.  I realized that last night when I was trying to force the girls to watch SYS on Netflix, only to discover it wasn’t on Netflix.  I can watch 200-plus episodes of ‘Phineas and Ferb’, but I’m denied a Donkey Lips fix?  Netflix stock has been on a tear lately, but this is the kind of thing that could ruin the company’s momentum—now get it right or pay the price.
  • Lucas (LEI) -12%.  Don’t forget the off switch.  Not that you would…but don’t.
Name Ticker 3/1/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $26.65 +0.30
Charlotte ICE $154.00 -1.98
Dustin DST $67.87 +0.28
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $22.74 -0.18
Icarus FAST $51.74 +0.27
Jenny JNY $11.28 +0.01
Jodi Ann JOY $62.06 -0.96
Justin SCI $15.52 -0.15
Katie CATY $19.33 -0.46
Lee TGI $72.34 -1.13
Lisa LNCE $25.04 -0.52
Lucas LEI $1.21 -0.16
Lulu LULU $67.50 +0.45
Marcus MCS $12.28 -0.37
Mario T.E. MGEE $53.79 -0.61
Mario T.Y. MAR $39.57 +0.08
Namilita NL $12.81 -0.58
Nicole E. NICE $35.61 -0.37
Nicole M. COLM $55.94 -0.26
Reagan REGN $171.73 +11.35
Ruby RJET $9.96 +0.30
Wilson WILC $6.04 +0.48
Winston ED $59.02 +0.54
Zero ZAGG $7.40 -0.04
Zondro ZQK $6.28 +0.32

Rise Above

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:32

The stock market is really going for the head-fakes this week.  On Monday we got a powerful selloff that worsened throughout the day; the Dow closed down 216 points, at the day’s lows and at the lowest closing level in more than a month.  Finally, the long-expected correction was in full swing!  Only then we spent the better part of the next three days rallying hard, with the Dow adding 115 points on Tuesday and 175 on Wednesday to notch yet another 5-year high.  Not only were we not going to have a correction, we were going to blow through the 2007 highs!  The market opened in the green on Thursday, and the race to the all-time closing high on the Dow—14,165—was on.  Thursday afternoon the Dow climbed to within 15 points of the record, only to suddenly and forcefully reverse course, ultimately closing down 20 points on the day.  The selling is continuing this morning, and my guess is that we’ll end the week around where we started, maybe a little lower.  Much ado about nothing, I guess.

On the other hand, we have the sequester, which I would describe as no ado about something.  I said earlier this week that CNBC wasn’t continuing their ‘Rise Above’ nonsense into the sequester debate, and it turns out I was wrong.  Larry Kudlow, at least, is still running a ‘Rise Above’ banner on his show, only he’s modified it to say ‘Rise Above: The Debt Threat.’  Larry’s solution is simple: cut taxes and government regulation.  It’s a no-brainer, really, and so it’s no coincidence that it was employed during the George W. Bush Administration, when brains were in short supply.  If you just ignore the doubling of unemployment, the 40% drop in the stock market, the near-collapse of the financial system, and the deepest recession since the 1930s, cutting taxes and regulation during the last decade definitely worked.  The rich did get richer, though—much richer—and the middle class was left behind.  I guess that’s what CNBC means by ‘Rise Above.’

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