Mr. Sensitive

November 29, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:17

This abbreviated trading week saw the tech-laden NASDAQ Composite sprinting ahead, up 1.7%, while the Dow and S&P 500 barely budged from their starting points.  The NASDAQ, in case you forgot (or never knew), is the home of the more speculative stocks in the U.S. equity market due to less stringent listing requirements, and the NASDAQ Composite is the index that led the way in the late, great, turn-of-the-century technology stock bubble.  But this recent outperformance isn’t due to the continued strength in speculative small- and micro-cap stocks so much as crowding into large- and mega-cap stocks, especially in the biotechnology sector.  Three of the best-performing large-cap stocks this year are biotechs:

  • Celgene—market cap of $67 billion, up 106% in 2013
  • Biogen IDEC – market cap of $69 billion, up 99% in 2013
  • Gilead Sciences – market cap $115 billion, up 104% in 2013

These are huge moves for large-cap stocks.  The year-to-date gains in Google (+50%) and Amazon (+57%) pale in comparison, and even Priceline (+92%), the first S&P stock to top $1,000, can’t keep up.  Why do I single out these stocks?  After all, they are highly profitable, well-run companies with solid growth prospects—they’re going to be around for a while, regardless of the direction the market takes in 2014.  I single them out because this is where the wealth destruction occurs in equity market bubbles—solid, large-cap growth companies.  Folks didn’t lose their shirts in the 2000-2002 bear market investing in and its ilk, even though those flame-outs are the poster children of the era.  The epic wealth destruction occurred in well-known, profitable companies, many of which are still around.  Three current Dow components—Microsoft, Cisco and Intel—accounted for over $1 trillion in wealth destruction in those two-and-a-half years.  Add Oracle, Sun Micro, Lucent and EMC and the loss tops $2 trillion.  Throw in Nortel, JDS Uniphase and Worldcom and we’re over $3 trillion lost.  That’s 10 stocks, $3 trillion in value wiped out, and not a dot-com suffix among them.

What’s the point?  The point is that when the bubble bursts, not all the highfliers will go to $0, but they’ll be able to do plenty of damage to 401(k) accounts and consumer confidence anyway.  Another point is that I love market history.

The Family Stock Index tacked on another 1.1% in the holiday-shortened week to close at 17,172, less than half a percent from the all-time high.  My guess is that we take out the high early next week and that it’s every bit as uninspiring as the last fifty all-time highs have been.  I complain about the S&P trading at 19 times trailing earnings and the Nasdaq 100 trading at 21 times, but by my calculations the FSX is at nearly 24 times trailing EPS with earnings expected to decline in 2014.  It’s indefensible, really.


  • Ruby (RJET) +5.3%.  Do you realize that Ruby was up 102% in the first three months of 2013 and since then she’s been treading water?  Not only that, but now Zondro’s been able to catch and pass her in the year-to-date performance standings (+109% to +98%).  But if investors are looking for bargains, RJET qualifies; at less than 9x earnings, Ruby fetches half the multiple of the S&P 500.  Unless the price of jet fuel is about to spike, we could be looking at another double for Ruby in 2014.  (Zondro, on the other hand, smells like he rolled in puke.)
  • Katie (CATY) +5.0%.  Katie, on the third hand, trades at an inexplicable 20x trailing earnings, and those earnings are going nowhere.  Investors have driven CATY up more than 40% this year, and they’re liable to have to rethink their positions if/when Q4 earnings disappoint.
  • Marcus (MCS) +3.9%.  Marcus isn’t cheap, either, but he pays a reasonable dividend (yield of 2.4%).  With his paternity leave almost over, it would be reasonable for investors to start selling; that they haven’t bodes well for Marky’s return to work.  He has a secret weapon (if he remembers it): baby pictures.  Coworkers will be powerless in the presence of baby pictures.
  • Nicole E. (NICE) +3.6%.  I can’t remember the last time Nicole got to visit the Pfaff, but we’re looking forward to a visit from her and Justin this week.  Holy crap, I almost put an exclamation point on that last sentence—maybe it’s a good thing Katie had to work today.  She’s been on vacation all week and her influence is powerful.  Another day and I might have been sitting on the couch watching Nashville and playing Candy Crush.  I really dodged a bullet there.


  • Icarus (FAST) -1.8%.  I can’t remember the last time Icky got to visit the Pfaff—I can remember the smell, though.
  • Charlotte (ICE) -1.9%.  Charlotte took an overnight bus up to New York to visit our Yankee siblings, and it wasn’t the Night Bus from Harry Potter.  I know I was disappointed when I realized that, and it seems that I wasn’t alone.
  • Lucas (LEI) -2.9%.  Lucas failed to hold $1 this week, closing at $0.99.  I like to see a $0.99 price sticker on closeout razors, but a zero-handle on an FSX component isn’t so appealing.  Reagan and Jenny helped me find a new ticker for Lucas, though, and I’ll be announcing that change (along with several others) in a few weeks.  In the meantime, Lucas still has an outside shot at wresting the title of worst-performing FSX member away from two-time defending champ, Zero.  In a related point, razors are stupid expensive.
Name Ticker 11/29/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $33.53 +0.07
Charlotte ICE $213.29 -4.12
Dustin DST $88.30 +0.19
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.62 +0.07
Icarus FAST $46.53 -0.83
Jenny JNY $14.04 +0.15
Jodi Ann JOY $56.56 +1.44
Justin SCI $18.07 -0.03
Katie CATY $27.63 +1.31
Lee TGI $73.94 -0.21
Lisa LNCE $28.81 +0.72
Lucas LEI $0.99 -0.03
Lulu LULU $69.72 +0.30
Marcus MCS $14.59 +0.55
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.95 -0.58
Mario T.Y. MAR $47.02 +0.10
Namilita NL $11.67 +0.29
Nicole E. NICE $39.36 +1.36
Nicole M. COLM $69.39 +1.95
Reagan REGN $293.86 +0.18
Ruby RJET $11.26 +0.57
Wilson WILC $8.20 -0.10
Winston ED $55.21 -0.71
Zero ZAGG $4.24 -0.05
Zondro ZQK $8.90 +0.24


November 26, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 12

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:06
Tags: , , , ,

Another week, another collective dud–the race for the Brinky Cup is devolving into a zombie-like slow shuffle.  The Week 12 numbers speak for themselves: the best record was 10-4 (by preseason Lee), only 4 of the 18 Cuppers finished above .500, and the average number of wins was 6.5–in a week with a Steelers victory, no less.  Mario maintains his stranglehold on the top spot (take a moment to think about how weird that ubiquitous expression is) and new parents Jodi Ann and Marcus occupy the second and third positions, respectively.  Does that mean baby LJ is destined to win in her first foray into the Brinky Cup next year?  Does it mean she’s wasting her newborn Cup magic on her parents this year?  Does it mean nothing?  Is that too many rhetorical questions for one paragraph?

Brinkley is in control in the fall to the Bizarro Brinky Cup, extending his lead this week after Charlotte’s ill-timed 11-4 Week 11 debacle and Ruby’s 11-3 Week 10.  Both Ruby and Charlotte are still in contention, but neither can afford another week of double-digit wins.  There are five weeks left in the regular season with full sixteen-game slates the rest of the way, and this is the time when champions are unmade.

Games Back Week 12
Dark Mario 7-7
Jodi Ann 6 8-6
Marcus 7 6-8
Jenny 8 8-6
Mario T.Y. 8 6-8
Ultra Katie 9 5-9
Dark Lee 10 6-8
Lee 13 10-4
Reagan 13 6-8
Tara 13 6-8
Nicole E. 14 9-5
Justin 17 7-7
Lisa 17 7-7
Mario T.E. 17 5-9
Katie 21 4-10
Ruby 25 6-8
Charlotte 28 6-8
Brinkley 30 5-9

November 22, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:46

Stocks were up, again.  Major milestones were reached for the first time—this time it was 16,000 on the Dow and 1,800 on the S&P—again.  The move in the S&P this week (+0.2%) was relatively puny, but what’s more significant is that the index had been negative through Thursday and investors bought the dip, again.  This is a bubble, as I explained last week, because stocks—not cheap by any measure—are propped up by the Fed-manipulated bond market (now the largest asset bubble in human history) from both a liquidity and valuation standpoint.  When the Fed ends QE and—gasp!—raises short-term interest rates, as it must eventually do, there will be no technical or fundamental support for stock prices anywhere near these levels.  Let me show you how it works using a recent highflier, Telsa Motors (TSLA).

Telsa makes electric cars.  Its founder, Elon Musk, is something of a rock star in Silicon Valley; one of the founders of Paypal, he took Tesla public in June 2010 at $17.  The stock doubled to $35 in less than six months, only to trade sideways for the next two years.  In March of this year, TSLA was a $35 stock—and then it went parabolic, rising to $54 in April, $110 in May, $130 in July, $170 in September, and $190 in October.  At its peak on October 1, Tesla Motors stock had risen 470% in 2013 and the company’s market value–$3.3 billion in January—exceeded $22 billion.  All this for a company that lost $300 million over the last twelve months on $950 million in sales.  The P/E ratio for the stock—on projected 2014 earnings, since you can’t calculate a P/E on negative earnings—was close to 200.  By comparison, fast-growing, innovative tech giant Google has a forward P/E of 20, and Tesla’s fellow car maker General Motors has a forward P/E of 8.  But that doesn’t matter, because valuation never matters—until the moment it does.  You see, as long as TSLA was a momentum trading darling, the buyers paid no attention to valuation; they bought the stock because it was going higher, and then it went higher because they bought it.  Then a funny thing happened: the momentum traders bailed.  The company reported a quarter that was great but not fantastic, then there were some (largely contested) reports of fires in the cars, and that was all it took for the momentum guys to dump their shares.  But with the stock so far away from any reasonable valuation, the value investors who’d been nibbling at it in the high $20s and low $30s just last year had no interest.  The result?  All sellers and no buyers, and a stock that gapped down from $193 to a current $120 in six weeks.  That’s how it works.  That’s what we’ve got waiting for us on a much larger scale—I don’t know what the trigger will be, but the air pocket between where the momentum traders are driving the market and where value investors will be will be willing to buy is growing bigger by the day.

The Family Stock Index outperformed the broader market for the first time in several weeks, but we failed to make new highs along with major averages.  Oh well.  If we hold on to a 25% gain for the year—at 16,988 we’re up 26.3%–that’ll be pretty darn good consider than both Zero and I are still FSX members.  Losers can’t be choosers, as the saying goes.


  • Charlotte (ICE) +7.4%.  Charlotte got to go with super-excited Jenny to the premiere of Catching Fire last night.
  • Lee (TGI) +5.0%.  I got to miss the premiere of Catching Fire last night.
  • Reagan (REGN) +4.9%.  Reagan’s going to a birthday party for her best friend of the week, Elyse Somethingorother, and she was the one party invitee Miss Somethingorother chose for the after-party sleepover.  Reagan could take or leave parties and sleepovers, but there’s nothing she likes more than being the favorite.
  • Katie (CATY) +4.0%.  Katie will be on vacation next week for the first time this year (excluding kid-related vacation days).  I wonder if she remembered to take Friday off like she promised me last year she’d start doing.  The market’s optimistic…I’m not.
  • Brinkley (BCO +3.6%) and Lulu (LULU +3.7%).  Katie’s also rallying this week because Lulu has dumped her in favor of Brinky.  Fat One has taken to sleeping on Brinky’s pillow, and when Brinky goes to bed at night he gets all up on top of the cat—but neither of them seem to mind.  I don’t know what to make of it.  Lulu would rip my face off if I tried to sleep anywhere near here, and I’d throw something at her if she got fur and cat-ass all over my pillow.
  • Lisa (LNCE) +3.1%.  Cat-ass free since ’93.  (It’s probably longer, but that rhymes and I like rhyming things.)


  • Jodi Ann & Josie Ann (JOY) -2.9%.  Josie Ann will be spun off into a stand-alone (or lie-there-uselessly-alone) company at the beginning of next year, but she’ll trade with her mother until then.  This is the same approach I used for Brinky and Katie back in ‘10, but it looks like the market isn’t being patient this time around.  Conglomerates are out of favor, and I get that investors want to be able to value the mother and infant businesses on their separate merits—I just don’t care.  My spreadsheet is complicated enough as it is.
  • Winston (ED) -3.7%.  Winston has gotten himself in to serious trouble, and as the Florida state prosecutor’s office prepares to make a decision on possible sexual assault charges, his Heisman chances hang in the balance.  Wait…what?  I’ve got the wrong Winston?  My bad.
  • Zondro (ZQK) -3.9%.  Once Brinky’s favorite pet, Zondro has been passed over for a fat, stinky, obnoxious cat.  He’s still up 23% this quarter alone, and it’s hard to blame investors for taking profits.
  • Lucas (LEI) -11%.  Crushed yet again, Lucas traded through $1 to within three cents of his 52-week low before rebounding slightly.  Even with this dismal performance extending the Q4 slide to -18%, LEI still needs to underperform ZAGG by more than a thousand basis points over the next six weeks to break Zero’s streak of three straight last-place finishes.  In the end, I don’t think Lucas’ valiant effort will be enough to best (worst?) the master.


Name Ticker 11/22/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $33.46 +1.16
Charlotte ICE $217.41 +15.05
Dustin DST $88.11 +0.79
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.55 -0.01
Icarus FAST $47.36 +0.40
Jenny JNY $13.89 +0.32
Jodi Ann JOY $55.12 -1.67
Justin SCI $18.10 +0.11
Katie CATY $26.32 +1.01
Lee TGI $74.15 +3.53
Lisa LNCE $28.09 +0.85
Lucas LEI $1.02 -0.12
Lulu LULU $69.42 +2.48
Marcus MCS $14.04 -0.19
Mario T.E. MGEE $56.53 +0.54
Mario T.Y. MAR $46.92 -0.10
Namilita NL $11.38 -0.01
Nicole E. NICE $38.00 +0.03
Nicole M. COLM $67.44 -0.36
Reagan REGN $293.68 +13.68
Ruby RJET $10.69 +0.38
Wilson WILC $8.30 +0.07
Winston ED $55.92 -2.15
Zero ZAGG $4.29 +0.10
Zondro ZQK $8.66 -0.35


November 21, 2013

Obamacare Conspiracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:21
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s my Obamacare disaster conspiracy theory:  John Roberts is a Sith Lord.

It doesn’t make any sense how the Administration can have had so much time to implement the Affordable Care Act and botch it so horrifically.  But what if Obama never believed this is the system that would be implemented, because he was certain the Supreme Court would strike down the ACA in 2012?   Bear with me.

It’s early 2012, and Obama believes the individual mandate is probably unconstitutional, but sees that public momentum is building in favor of health care reform.  He believes the Roberts Court—the Court of Citizens United—will throw out the ACA, and he will be able to channel the reform momentum into his campaign and then push through a sensible, feasible single-payer national health insurance bill in 2013.  After all, he never wanted this private-public, state-federal mish-mash in the first place—it’s clearly unworkable and he hasn’t bothered to invest much time and energy thinking about how to implement it.  But Roberts—evil genius that he is—throws Obama a curveball and votes to uphold ACA on the flimsiest of pretexts (it’s a tax?  what?).  Scalia, Alito and Thomas—short-sighted idiots that they are—are genuinely furious, and that makes Roberts look less partisan instead of more so.  It’s brilliant.  Obama and his team don’t have time to worry about the implementation of ACA because they’re in the middle of a campaign, and then when Obama is reelected he’s crippled by the insanity and intransigence of the Armageddonists in the House as well as his own mounting hubris.  Suddenly it’s time to roll out Obamacare, and it is an unqualified disaster—because of course it is.  What did anyone expect given the poor design and even poorer execution?  I don’t know if any elected official—Republican or Democrat—expected quite the meltdown that has transpired.

But John Roberts did.


Always two there are, Yoda said—no more, no less.  A master, and an apprentice.  If Roberts is the master—and he is—who is the apprentice?

Do I really have to say it?



November 20, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 12:55

Results only.

Games Back Week 11
Dark Mario 11-4
Marcus 6 8-7
Jodi Ann 7 10-5
Mario T.Y. 7 8-7
Ultra Katie 7 9-6
Dark Lee 9 10-5
Jenny 9 8-7
Reagan 12 12-3
Tara 12 8-7
Mario T.E. 15 11-4
Lee 16 11-4
Nicole E. 16 9-6
Justin 17 10-5
Lisa 17 8-7
Katie 18 10-5
Ruby 24 9-6
Charlotte 27 11-4
Brinkley 28 8-7

November 15, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 15:07

I’m not waiting for the market close to post the update, because this isn’t fun for me anymore.  The market is up again, with stocks screaming to new all-time highs again and ‘analysts’ on Wall Street raising price targets again, even as companies like Northrup Grumman and Boeing (+75% and +92%, respectively, YTD) announce more layoffs and relocations.  The S&P 500 is up 26% in 2013 and up nearly 200% off the lows of 2009, when the U.S. taxpayers were called on to bail out the banks and save the global economy.  Those are the same middle-class taxpayers facing layoffs today.  The most layoffs are coming from JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo—that’s right, the banks taxpayers saved.  The Fed is manipulating interest rates on an unprecedented and reckless scale, making it easier for large companies to borrow cheaply and invest overseas.  Congress and the President are fighting over the poorly-conceived, miserably-executed public-private mish-mash that I’m finally coming around to branding as Obamacare, while multinational corporations grind the American middle class into dust and get tax breaks for doing it.  But the market’s up, right?  Everything must be fine.

This is an asset bubble.  Why?  Because the ‘reasonable’ valuations bulls cite are based on rock-bottom interest rates created by a level of government control of the debt market that would impress Soviet bureaucrats.  Once the ‘inefficiencies’ (jobs) are wrung out of the economy and every American is working at Wal-mart or McDonald’s, further price cuts will be impossible, inflation will return with a vengeance, and the Fed will be forced to raise rates sharply, annihilating corporate profit margins and setting off a wave of job cuts that will make the 1930s look like the 1990s.

That’s the endgame.

The Family Stock Index trailed the broader stock averages badly, and surrendered the last of its year-to-date outperformance.  Good.


  • Wilson (WILC) +9.1%.  He hates his life but still believes it can and will get worse.  That’s going to be a crowded trade if things don’t change.
  • Zero (ZAGG) +4.5%.  Zero manages to navigate low-wage America with his dignity and values intact, and I think that’s really commendable.
  • Mario the Younger (MAR) +2.7%.  Mario’s going to have a little baby to cheer him up, and little babies are good at that, poop explosions notwithstanding.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +2.1%.  Still doesn’t talk.  Maybe he’s on to something—I wouldn’t talk to me, either.


  • LULU -3.0%.  She hasn’t used her litterbox in weeks and it’s cold outside.  That suggests—to me—that she’s crapping in the house somewhere.  I haven’t found out where, but I will.
  • Ruby (RJET) -5.9%.  Tough week to be a Democrat.

November 12, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:18

Week 10 of the NFL season changed everything.

Well, not everything changed.  And really, the games didn’t change much of anything, but there were happenings—oh, yes, there were.  Jodi Ann didn’t make her picks for the week, which ordinarily would have resulted in an 0-14 record and a precipitous drop in the Brinky Cup standings.  However, the reason Jodi Ann didn’t make her picks (probably) is that she was having a baby (definitely).  It follows, therefore, that she got everything right on Sunday, and instead of 0-14, she went 14-0.  That’s just logic, pure and simple.  Her perfect week vaults Jodi Ann from 13 games back to just 6 games back.  What’s really important, though, is that both Jodi Ann and little Josie are healthy and should be home soon, if they aren’t already.  Which also means there should be no problem getting those Week 11 picks in on time…right, Marcus?

It was a crazy week for other Cuppers as well.  Perennial Bizarro leader Ruby posted the best non-baby-assisted record (11-3) and Charlotte wasn’t far behind at 9-5.  Ultra Katie and Jenny had been riding strong positive momentum up the standings, but both took a step back with records of 6-8 and 5-9, respectively.  Pre-season Mario (10-4) outperformed Dark Mario (7-7), although the latter maintained his hold on the top spot in the standings—proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Games Back Week 10
Dark Mario 7-7
Marcus 3 10-4
Mario T.Y. 4 10-4
Ultra Katie 5 6-8
Jenny 6 5-9
Jodi Ann 6 14-0
Dark Lee 8 8-6
Tara 9 7-7
Reagan 13 10-4
Lisa 14 7-7
Nicole E. 14 9-5
Mario T.E. 15 7-7
Justin 16 7-7
Lee 16 7-7
Katie 17 6-8
Ruby 22 11-3
Brinkley 25 6-8
Charlotte 27 9-5



November 8, 2013

FSX Friday Update – Ultra Katie Guesting

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 18:35

So this week’s stock market happening? Twitter! The Twitter IPO happened. It did well. I think that’s really all you need to know about this week and the stock market.

S&P 500 +0.5%

FSX -1.2% (12 ADV to 13 DEC)


  • Wilson (WILC) +6.6% Jenny: Wilson is up? No clue why. Because my friend Julia loves Wilson. Lee: Wilson is very popular with other people.
  • Zondro (ZQK) +4.7%. Jenny: Zondro? I think he got some of Reagan’s Halloween candy. Me: That wouldn’t actually be good. Jenny: But he’d like it.
  • Charlotte (ICE) +4.5%. Jenny: Charlotte came for Halloween AND she’s definitely coming to see Catching Fire with us. Katie: It’s gonna be a fun girl’s night.  Lee: Why does everyone keep assuming I don’t want to go?
  • Katie (CATY) +4.2%. Jenny: You’re up because you took off work today. Katie: And also I discovered the exciting news that the midnight premiere of Catching Fire is actually at 8:00 so we won’t even have to stay up super-late for it. It changed my life.


  • Justin (SCI) -2.5%, Nicole E. (NICE) -2.8%, Icarus (FAST) -4.6%. Jenny: They’re down because they didn’t come down for Halloween (said in a kind of rude-face voice). Katie: But we still love them (Justin and Nicole – sorry Icky).
  • Lisa (LNCE) -5.8%. Katie: I bet Lisa’s really dreaming of warm and sunny Hawaii as the weather’s starting to turn much colder (and darker) around here.
  • Ruby (RJET) -6.7%. Katie: Mom and Dad only go to the movies together once every year or two when they can agree on a movie. That’s happening tonight for Last Vegas (I double checked the title, Mom – you had it right). If the reviews are at all right, you maybe should have waited for a better choice because it’s not sounding good.
  • Jenny (JNY) -13%. Jenny: Because I didn’t have straight A’s on my report card. That and I didn’t get a bunch of candy for Halloween (before what Grandpa sent). Katie: (I guessed not getting straight A’s before she said it – she did really work hard.)
  • Zero (ZAGG) -14%. Jenny: Because he’s not coming to see Catching Fire and I know he secretly wants to but he probably has to work. I mean, I don’t know for sure. Lee: Did he have too many of those chewy Sweet Tarts?
Name Ticker 11/8/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $31.57 +0.08
Charlotte ICE $204.20 +8.85
Dustin DST $86.00 +0.76
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.55 +0.06
Icarus FAST $47.13 -2.26
Jenny JNY $13.50 -2.07
Jodi Ann JOY $57.60 +0.95
Justin SCI $17.64 -0.45
Katie CATY $25.54 +1.03
Lee TGI $70.95 -1.22
Lisa LNCE $27.74 -1.71
Lucas LEI $1.11 -0.02
Lulu LULU $69.00 +1.15
Marcus MCS $14.20 +0.01
Mario T.E. MGEE $56.06 +0.22
Mario T.Y. MAR $46.12 +0.41
Namilita NL $11.23 -0.17
Nicole E. NICE $37.71 -1.08
Nicole M. COLM $66.99 -0.19
Reagan REGN $283.07 -2.72
Ruby RJET $10.92 -0.79
Wilson WILC $7.60 +0.47
Winston ED $57.27 -1.14
Zero ZAGG $4.01 -0.67
Zondro ZQK $8.75 +0.39


November 6, 2013

Brinky Cup – Week 9

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:51

Holy crap, that was the most sickening Steelers game I’ve watched since Neil O’Donnell made Larry Brown (the cornerback, not the coach) the MVP of Superbowl XXX.  I guess we stunk up the picks in sympathy, because the best record any Cupper could manage was a measly 9-4 from Ultra Katie.  That makes this past week the first one of the season in which no one posted double-digit wins.  The only person who brought her A-game (F-game?) was Charlotte, whose 4-9 record allowed her to open up a three-game Bizarro lead over Ruby.  Ungratulations to you, Sis.

Games Back Week 9
Dark Mario 8-5
Jenny 4 6-7
Ultra Katie 4 9-4
Marcus 6 5-8
Mario T.Y. 7 7-6
Dark Lee 9 8-5
Tara 9 6-7
Jodi Ann 13 5-8
Lisa 14 6-7
Mario T.E. 15 5-8
Justin 16 5-8
Katie 16 7-6
Lee 16 5-8
Nicole E. 16 7-6
Reagan 16 7-6
Brinkley 24 7-6
Ruby 26 7-6
Charlotte 29 4-9

November 1, 2013

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:58

Is the stock market becoming (or is it already) an asset bubble?  I still say no, but I heard something interesting on ‘Fast Money’ (my favorite show on TV) that struck me as immediately plausible and frightening.  To paraphrase, the melt-up in stock prices over the past year or so—the 30% gain in the Nasdaq in particular—feels a lot like 1999.  I actually remember that year in the 1990s bull market, and it is similar: the upward momentum is relentless, all dips are being bought, and tech darlings are leading (TSLA, PCLN,AMZN,FB,LNKD, plus pick your biotech—GILD, CELG,BIIB, and even FSX member REGN).  Small cap speculative stocks like Tesla and LinkedIn have become midcaps and midcaps like Priceline and Gilead have become large caps.  Something that tends to be forgotten about the Nasdaq bubble that burst in March of 2000 is that the last 1000+ points of that monster run—the height of the insanity and the most corrosive phase of the speculative pile-on—happened in the first two months of 2000.  The Nasdaq closed out 1999 at just over 4,000, having ended 1998 at 2,200 and nearly doubling over twelve months.  After that run there was a sharp pullback to 3700 in the first week of January 2000—fund managers taking profits and repositioning after a performance-chasing gallop through November and December.  And then the market went parabolic, soaring 35% in two months to reach its bubble peak above 5,000 in the first week of March 2000.  That last explosive surge of untethered greed was what transformed a technically-overextended bull market with legitimate fundamental drivers into a bubble.  Overextended markets always correct—pulling back 10-20% to flush out the excess—whereas bubbles always burst.  The Nasdaq plunged from above 5,000 in early March 2000 to 3,300 just a month later.  After a brief oversold bounce during the summer, the swoon resumed and the Nasdaq closed below 2,300 at the end of 2000.  The Index broke below 1,700 in early April 2001 before enjoying another shallow summer rebound.  After the 9/11 attacks the Nasdaq plunged to 1,400 and then bounced once more into year-end 2001, briefly climbing back above 2,000.  Then the final, grinding, crushing phase of the collapse began in earnest, as internet and telecom companies reported record losses and bankruptcies and the Nasdaq slid lower and lower to its bear-market nadir just above 1,100 in October 2002.  In total, the Nasdaq Composite Index had fallen 90% over two-and-a-half brutal years.  The Nasdaq closed above 3,000 for the first time in November 1999, punched through 5,000 just four months later, and closed above 3,000 for the last time in November 2000.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq did not close above 3,000 again until March of 2012.  That’s what happens when a bubble bursts.  If markets go parabolic at the start of 2014, that’s what will happen again.  We’re not there yet, but the pieces are in position.

While the broader market averages were mixed, the Family Stock Index shaved off 1.8% to close back below 17K.  Yet at 16,950, the FSX is still up 26% for the year and less than 2% away from its all-time high.  Not much to complain about there.  Breadth was terrible this week (decliners over advancers 19-5), but I’m not reading too much into it.  I’d still be less surprised to see FSX 18K before the end of the year than a retracement back below 16,000.


  • Zondro (ZQK) +11%.  After this week’s divergent price action, Zondro (+97% year-to-date) is once again nipping at Ruby’s (+106%) heels.  Not literally, of course—Zondy’s not a nipper.  If he was, Brinky would be down to eight fingers, max.
  • Mario the Younger (MAR) +2.7%.  Mario was trailing the FSX for almost the entire year, but he’s put together several weeks of market-beating returns to pull nearly even with the index as a whole (+23% for MAR vs. +26% for the FSX).  Whether he catches the up to the pack or not, he’s seemingly left me (TGI +10% YTD) in the dust.  Maybe I should consider a career in computer golf or golf computing, whatever it is Mario does.
  • Dustin (DST) +1.3%. Or maybe I should focus on the real thing.  Dustin, the golfingest member of the FSX by a wide margin, is up 41% in 2013 and I can’t remember the last time he failed to post a positive week.    The problem is that I hate golf and golf hates me, so I guess I’ll stick to literary futility and poopy diapers.


  • Lee (TGI) -2.5%.  Literary futility and poopy diapers.  I think that pretty much covers it.
  • Nicole M. (COLM -3.1%) and Marcus (MCS -3.8%).  We’re going to meet some new FSX members in the coming months, and the market is weighing in on likelihood of resemblance.  As I’ve already demonstrated, Franco-Nordic gives way to Italian fairly easily, especially in girls, so Marcus has got no shot.  Jodi Ann looks a lot like Lady Gaga when Lady Gaga’s not trying to look like an alien, so that’s how I imagine little Josie (yikes) will look.  Nicole is Italian, of course, but there are degrees of Italian, and Machi is like the black belt of Italian genetic domination, so she can expect to be raising a little Mario.  Just please don’t name this one Mario, because we’ll be talking about cosmic-level confusion at that point.  Maybe Mario and Nicole have already picked a name, but if not, what about Ronald?  I want to start singing the Star Spangled Banner just thinking about it.
  • Katie (CATY) -4.1%.  Facebook already tags Jenny as Katie and this week it added Reagan to the Katie parade.  If investors are really this disappointed that Brinky actually looks somewhat like me, they need to temper their expectations.
  • Reagan (REGN) -5.4%.  Reagan fell well short of her overall candy goal and the market seems not to have taken into account how unrealistic 180+ pieces of candy was.  She missed on a lot of internal metrics as well, although her results were in line in the crucial Baby Ruth category.  Overall, investors dumping REGN on these Halloween results seems like an overreaction, and I’d be buying Reagan on this pullback.
  • LULU -6.6%.  Lulu, in contrast, I would dump.  I’d dump her in the trash can, in fact, if not for the whole claws-and-teeth situation
  • Nicole E. (NICE) -6.8%.  Nicole misses our Team DW video conferences.  Well, I was already thinking we should schedule one for next week, so this could be a real buying opportunity if you’ve had NICE on your stock shopping list.
Name Ticker 11/1/2013 Change
Brinkley BCO $31.49 -0.53
Charlotte ICE $195.35 -0.65
Dustin DST $85.24 +1.10
Ghost Marisa MOLXA $38.49 +0.02
Icarus FAST $49.39 -1.24
Jenny JNY $15.57 +0.26
Jodi Ann JOY $56.65 -1.44
Justin SCI $18.09 -0.45
Katie CATY $24.51 -1.05
Lee TGI $72.17 -1.82
Lisa LNCE $29.45 -0.15
Lucas LEI $1.13 -0.02
Lulu LULU $67.85 -4.81
Marcus MCS $14.19 -0.56
Mario T.E. MGEE $55.84 -1.38
Mario T.Y. MAR $45.71 +1.22
Namilita NL $11.40 +0.11
Nicole E. NICE $38.79 -2.81
Nicole M. COLM $67.18 -2.17
Reagan REGN $285.79 -16.45
Ruby RJET $11.71 -0.52
Wilson WILC $7.13 -0.04
Winston ED $58.41 -0.18
Zero ZAGG $4.68 -0.18
Zondro ZQK $8.36 +0.80


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