Mr. Sensitive

January 31, 2014

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:00

This was a big week for earnings, with nearly 10% of the S&P 500 reporting on Wednesday alone.  The four reports that garnered the most attention came from Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon.  For perspective, here’s how those four tech giants stacked up going into the week:

  • Apple: $500 billion market value (#1 in the US), +5% in 2013
  • Google: $375 billion market value (#3), +58% in 2013
  • Amazon: $175 billion market value (#15), +59% in 2013
  • Facebook: $135 billion market value (#25), +108% in 2013

Apple—the biggest winner of the 2009-2011 period—underperformed the market last year and underwhelmed the Street this week with billions in profits but bupkiss in new product buzz.  Investors had begun to speculate that CEO Tim Cook might have more to offer besides arrogance and supply-chain expertise, and the stock rallied more than 40% in the second half of 2013.  That speculation may finally be dead, killed by this moribund earnings report.  Apple’s culture of innovation died with Steve Jobs, and now it’s nothing more than Microsoft 2.0.  Investors knocked 9% off the stock this week.

Google announced the sale of Motorola to Lenovo for less than $3 billion (it paid $12 billion two years ago), missed on profit and revenue expectations, and rallied 5% to a new all-time high.  Google is what Apple was until 2010—the market gives it a pass on its quarterly results because no company is thought to have a better shot at finding the next big thing.  At this point, at least, it’s hard to argue that perceived best-in-class Bell Labs-like corporate creativity.  Google also makes money—more than $12 billon over the last 12 months—and isn’t insanely expensive at 30 times earnings.  It isn’t cheap, either.

Facebook—2012 IPO basketcase and 2013 turnaround business case—blew away Street expectations for the fourth straight quarter.  FB has executed brilliantly on its mobile strategy, and has gone from hated to loved (and from $19 to $62) in an incredibly short time.  The stock was up 20% after its earnings release and will doubtless be upgraded by every analyst on the Street even after that surge.  It’s terrificly expensive at more than 100 times earnings, but it’s also growing revenues and profits at a terrific rate.

Then there’s Amazon.  AMZN reached a new all-time high above $400 a share before its Thursday earnings report, giving it a P/E multiple of 1,300.  That’s right: an e-commerce giant, a public company since 1998, and the biggest retailing success story since Wal-mart, and it made all of $0.28 per share last year.  Why?  Because The Bezos and his Street acolytes don’t care about profits—they care about streaming media and grocery delivery and drones and whatever else there is.  He is The Bezos, after all, and he doesn’t have to break out lines of business or tell anyone anything about anything.  Every quarter for the last several years, Amazon has missed badly on earnings and revenue, and the stock has been up anyway.  This quarter, Amazon missed badly on earnings and revenue, and said that it probably won’t make any money(!) in 2014.  Incredibly, unbelievably, the stock got crushed on Friday, falling by 11% with no late-day bullish reversal.  All I can say about that is that it’s about damn time.  Now let’s see if the bloom is finally off the Bezos rose.

The Family Stock Index stunk it up yet again this week, sliding by 2.2% and badly underperforming the broader market.  The major indexes have had a tough January (just as I predicted in my 2014-is-2000 scenario), but they’ve all preserved their long-term bullish trends.  The FSX, not so much.  We knifed below the 200-day moving average on Thursday, closing below that key long-term technical support level for the first time since November 2012.  We did bounce sharply on Thursday but pulled back again Friday, with price action worsening into the close.  I realized the FSX absolutely had to hold the line at the 200-day—16.230—if the bears were to be kept at bay.  It closed at 16,190.

Now is the time to panic.


  • Reagan (REGN) +3.2%.  Reagan won her school spelling bee with ease, just as she—and everyone else—expected she would.  Her stock actually sold off on the news, meaning that the market had anticipated a victory and had priced it in.  Since that January sell-off, however, REGN has traded sideway, languishing nearly 30 points below its 2012 high.  Now, with the county bee upon us, investors have been forced to place their bets.  This week’s rally—against the tape—tells me that the market’s in Reagan’s corner.
  • Dustin (DST) +2.5%.  I’ve long thought that Dustin and I have a similar reaction to idiots giving orders—we’re both allergic to that shit.  The difference is that Dustin’s skill set validates his disdain, whereas mine does not.  That’s why DST reported strong earnings this week and traded up to a new all-time high, while TGI…well, you’ll see.
  • Charlotte (ICE +2.2%).  The UNC transfer application is in…now we wait.  Like Reagan, Charlotte rallied powerfully in 2013.  Also like Reagan, she is facing lofty investor expections for 2014.  And this week’s rally in the face of a market rout suggests that, like Reagan, she’s likely to succeed.
  • Winston (ED) +1.4%.  Katie won a celebrity stroller when she was tweeting the Grammys and she sent it to Mario and Nicole.  So I guess that twice-removed Twitter-stroller victories are a good way to goose a stock.  I’d hate to break it to Winston that the stroller isn’t for him.  Actually, I’d love to break it to him, now that I think about it.


  • Katie (CATY) -3.9%.  Girl Scout cookies.
  • Brinkley (BCO) -4.0%.  He’s been relegated to sleepers again, on account of he strips if he’s wearing anything else.  I imagine the sleeper as a colorful prison jumpsuit, and I hope he does, too.
  • Ruby (RJET) -4.2%.  Ruby returned to her island paradise after a month on the road, only to be greeted by…snow?  She’s probably wishing she was still in Vegas.
  • Lucas (CTG) -7%.  High school is coming, and no amount of ticker-switching can stop it.
  • Justin (XOXO) -11%.  Ready to ramp things up again in February!  Team DW!  Right, Justin?  …Justin?
  • Lee (TGI) -11.1%.  It was a bad week for me—the market got this one right, and I’m not even going to try and play it off.  I’m also not going to say anything else about it.  The only piece of good news is that TGI held up in the Friday selloff, suggesting that the bulls (yes, there were a few) were completely washed out on Wednesday and Thursday.  At this point a lot of the Lee-specific negatives have been factored in and underperformance should be limited going forward.  Unfortunately, there’s no positive catalyst on the horizon to make up for this week’s disaster.  Absent such a catalyst, I should trade with the market—locking in this week’s losses—for the foreseeable future.  Basically, I need something good to happen.  Something with the book, maybe, or improvements in Brinky’s behavior and development, or even some happy, exogenous event that would serve to reverse (justifiably) bearish sentiment.   I’m controlling what I can control, but the market is telling me that it isn’t enough.  I knew that already, of course, but I deserve the reminder whether or not I need it.


Name Ticker 1/31/2014 Change
Brinkley BCO $31.64 -1.32
Charlotte ICE $208.79 +4.43
Dustin DST $91.00 +2.24
Icarus FAST $43.93 -1.16
Jenny GNE $10.00 +0.05
Jodi Ann JOY $52.79 +0.09
Josie Ann JCOM $45.35 -1.68
Justin XOXO $12.13 -1.50
Katie CATY $23.50 -0.96
Lee TGI $68.42 -8.56
Lisa LNCE $26.71 -0.58
Lucas CTG $16.16 -1.21
Lulu LULU $45.69 -1.93
Marcus MCS $13.06 -0.47
Mario T.E. MGEE $56.98 -0.08
Mario T.Y. MAR $49.30 -0.46
Namilita NL $11.04 -0.01
Nicole E. NICE $39.45 -1.13
Nicole M. COLM $74.35 -0.19
Reagan REGN $288.59 +8.98
Ruby RJET $9.81 -0.43
Wilson WILC $8.12 -0.20
Winston ED $54.41 +0.76
Zero Z $82.10 +1.32
Zondro ZQK $7.05 -0.08


January 30, 2014

We All Know Who Ate the Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:22

Stop trying to blame Captain Marvel.


Brinky Bowl 2014 – Marcus Wins

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:20

I know–how can the competition be over even before Super Bowl XXXLMVIQWERTY kicks off?  Isn’t the Super Bowl worth more points than the prior rounds’ games?  Here’s the weighting scheme I use, unchanged from last year’s nail-biter (a come-from-behind win for Nicole E.).

  • Wild Card round: 4 games, 4 points each
  • Divisional round: 4 games, 5 points each
  • Conference Championship round: 2 games, 7 points each
  • Super Bowl: 10 points

11 games, 60 possible points.  The idea is that you can bomb early and stay in the competition through the end.  Only Marcus went 9-1 through the first three rounds, his only loss due to San Diego’s first round upset of Cincinnati (how does Marvin Lewis still have a job?).  Second-place Mario’s 7-3 record netted him 35 points to Marcus’ 46 points, rendering the Super Bowl meaningless.  Except for the commercials, of course.

Congratulations Marcus, Brinky Bowl 2014 Champion!  I will eat a box of Cheez-its in your honor this Sunday.  Nicole, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to not send back the Brinky Bowl trophy I never sent you–it’s only fair.


January 25, 2014

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:50

(This was finished yesterday and I could have posted it but I didn’t so it’s closer to being the Friday Update than the Saturday Update.  That’s just math.)

Did the bubble burst this week?  Heck no.  Remember, we’re replaying the 2000 Nasdaq bubble here, and that means we need a sharp January pullback to set the stage for the big Sprint-to-Disaster event.  After two days of selling, the Nasdaq Composite—down 90 points today alone—is less than three percent below the 13-year high it set two days ago.  What about the Dow and the S&P 500?  Aren’t they broader indices and more indicative of the state of the markets and the economy overall?  Not anymore—this is the year 2000, and the old, stodgy companies in those indices don’t matter.  Netflix is a great company—who cares that it’s trading at 200 times earnings?  Amazon is building drones to brush your teeth and tie your tie every morning—who cares that it’s trading at 1,400 times earnings?  Gilead Sciences is going to cure every ailment from bunions to ebola—who cares that it’s trading at 52 times earnings (a bargain in this market).  GILD was up four percent on Tuesday to reach an all-time high—on top of a 113% gain in 2013—and there was absolutely no news to explain the move.  Jim Cramer’s explanation on CNBC: the stock is “charmed.”

Believe it or not, no one on set with Cramer asked him if he was joking.

If I’m right, the market sell-off will continue next week…and then it will be off to the races.  How fantastic would it be if the final bubble the Fed blows is a repeat of Nasdaq 5,000?  After all, it was the bursting of the last Nasdaq bubble thirteen years ago that the Fed governors decided to cushion through monetary easing.  That easing produced a housing bubble that threatened to destroy the world economy when it burst, and the Fed cushioned that collapse by inflating an even-larger bubble in the bond market.  Over the last three years that bond market bubble has driven yield-starved investors into stocks, and now we’re back where we started!  There are some differences, of course: now we have budget deficits instead of surpluses, a weak job market instead of sub-4% unemployment, and a Federal Reserve with no arrows left in its policy quiver.  Sigh.

The Family Stock Index underperformed everything again; today’s 383-point drop left the Dow in the dust.  Three weeks into 2014 and 20 of the 25 FSX members are in the red.  Double sigh.


  • Mario the Elder (MGEE) +1.7%. Jenny: Why’s Grandpa up? I’ve got no clue. Katie: Dad has a great new idea for grocery delivery that he’s excited about. I guess it’s going to be a success! Jenny: Grandpa has a great new idea for grocery delivery that he’s excited about. See? I knew.
  • Wilson (WILC) +1.5%. Jenny: Wilsie is up because, um, um, um, uh, he replaced Zondro as the head of the pet society thingamajig.
  • Jenny (GNE) +0.5%. Jenny: I’m up because it’s a new quarter. And I get to take the SATs tomorrow. And I re-read the Gallagher Girls series, and it was great again. It was even better this time because I wasn’t scared that Zach and Cammie weren’t going to end up together because I knew they were. Reagan: She’s mean, and she likes being mean. It’s one of her pastimes.
  • Marcus (MCS) +0.4%. Jenny: Uncle Marcus is up because it’s a new quarter for them too, right? Which means all of his students started out…he won the Brinky Bowl! Lee: I’m going to send him Brinky as a prize.


  • Katie (CATY) -4.0%. Jenny: Mommy, you’re down because I had something but it’s rude. Your hair’s got gray in it. I’m kidding, Mommy. Because you were stressed because we can’t find a calculator. Katie: I’m down because my daughter’s rude. And because we couldn’t find the calculator she lost. Jenny: I didn’t lose it. I just misplaced it.
  • Lucas (CTG) -4.1%. Jenny: I think he isn’t excited it’s a new quarter because he was doing awesome the last quarter and now it’s a new quarter. Reagan: He’s a big grumpy butt because he hates school.
  • Reagan (REGN) -4.2%. Jenny: She’s grumpy because we have to make her a shower schedule. And she just stomped her foot. Reagan: I’m not grumpy! You’re all meanie-butts! Well, Jenny’s a meanie-butt!
  • Icarus (FAST) -5.3%. Jenny: He recently realized that his nickname is Icky, like gross.
  • Zero (Z) -5.8%. Jenny: Zero, let’s see. He realized his name is Zero, like zero. Reagan: And Zero didn’t get to come party in the hotel with us.
  • Brinkley (BCO) -5.9%. Jenny: Brinky’s down because we’re making him choose between things, we’re putting him through such hard work. He also hasn’t been feeling good, but that’s not as important.
  • Justin (XOXO) -6.3%. Jenny: Justy is down because I think he is having spelling problems. I think he recently had to write an article with all his science stuff and he spelled some big word wrong. And little ones too.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) -6.3%. Jenny: I think she’s realized that if she gets up every time the baby gets up, she shall never sleep.
  • Zondro (ZQK) -9.7%. Jenny: Zondy is down because he keeps getting locked out of there because for some reason he likes to jump over the gate and out into the hall, but then realizes he wants to get back in, but he can’t.


Name Ticker 1/24/2014 Change
Brinkley BCO $32.96 -2.08
Charlotte ICE $204.36 -2.51
Dustin DST $88.76 -2.37
Icarus FAST $45.09 -2.52
Jenny GNE $9.95 +0.05
Jodi Ann JOY $52.70 -3.53
Josie Ann JCOM $47.03 -1.80
Justin XOXO $13.63 -0.91
Katie CATY $24.46 -1.02
Lee TGI $76.98 -1.32
Lisa LNCE $27.29 -0.94
Lucas CTG $17.37 -0.75
Lulu LULU $47.62 +0.13
Marcus MCS $13.53 +0.06
Mario T.E. MGEE $57.06 +0.98
Mario T.Y. MAR $49.76 -0.86
Namilita NL $11.05 -0.41
Nicole E. NICE $40.58 -1.46
Nicole M. COLM $74.54 -0.84
Reagan REGN $279.61 -12.39
Ruby RJET $10.24 +0.03
Wilson WILC $8.32 +0.12
Winston ED $53.65 -0.31
Zero Z $80.78 -4.99
Zondro ZQK $7.13 -0.77

January 17, 2014

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:15

Stocks were flattish this week, with the bubbly Nasdaq (+0.5%) outperforming the S&P and the Dow.  The Nasdaq is now at its highest level since 2000, and it is almost exactly where it was in mid-January of that year.  The closing level on 1/18/2000 was 4,131; the Nasdaq closed at 4,197 today.  By the end of January 2000 the Nasdaq dipped to 3,900, only to surge by nearly 30% in the next five weeks!  The index’s all-time closing high was 5,049 on March 10, 2000; within thirteen months (April 2001), it had lost two-thirds of its value, and it bottomed at 1,114 in October 2002, nearly 80% below its peak.  Is that about to happen again?  I wouldn’t think so (+30% in five weeks is crazy business), but the steady drone of ‘it’s not a bubble’ from pundits and investment pros alike is causing me to rethink that.

The Family Stock Index trailed the broader market badly this week, falling by 1.2% to close at 17,017.  It’s all Lulu’s fault, frankly.  I tried to tell Katie it was a bad idea to get cats but she wouldn’t listen.  Obviously, I was right all along.

Advancers (with lots of hard work from Jenny, Reagan, and Brinky)

  • Reagan (REGN) +6.4%. Reagan: I’m still getting lots of fame because I won the spelling bee. And my par-tay-tay is this weekend so that’s gonna be fun. And I got Just One Drop!
  • Nicole E. (NICE) +5.7%. Reagan: She went to Europe, you know? She’s back, and she’s maybe going through her souvenirs. And she’s happy to see Icky.
  • Jenny (GNE) +3.0%. Jenny: I got second place in the school spelling bee, and I got 10 extra points back on the test I failed. And I got Son and finished Messenger this week!
  • Lisa (LNCE) +2.8%. Katie: Lisa loves this time of year – Oscar movie watching. And I enjoy her Facebook reviews of movies I’ll probably never see. Reagan: It’s after Christmas, and she’s kind of chilling out with all of her presents.
  • Marcus (MCS) +2.8%. Katie: Because his baby’s so cute. Jenny: Uncle Marcus is up because school’s back in! They’re getting back into the flow of things. And they might have just had midterms. Maybe he likes midterms. Reagan: Maybe his daughter is joining the CIA and he’s really proud of her.
  • Mario the Younger (MAR) +2.7%. Reagan: He’s going, you know, all kinds of places. His wife is pregnant, and she’s like glowing. You know how pregnant people glow? Jenny: Yeah, she’s big now!


  • Katie (CATY) -2.7%. Reagan: Mommy’s down because she is sad because she can’t eat real food because of her diet and that’s the big bummer. Jenny: Mommy’s sad because she had to do the wobble at work. Reagan: Mommy’s just fine with the wobble, you big buttface. Katie: I wouldn’t call it sad so much as hungry.
  • Zero (Z) -4.5%. Reagan: Zero is sad because he can’t come party with us this weekend.
  • Zondro (ZQK) -4.9%. Jenny: Well, they have recently had another meeting of that animal association I talked about a while ago, and he was voted president. That’s a bad thing because you have a lot of responsibilities. Reagan: He’s a big meany butt and he’s farting up the room and he stepped on my hair.
  • Ruby (RJET) -5.4%. Reagan: Boo-boo’s sad because she can’t come see her wonderful granddaughter and her wonderful daughter. I’m not sure why, but I don’t think she can. I’m confused. Jenny: Boo-boo’s sad because she hasn’t read The Giver, which mean she hasn’t read Gathering Blue, Messenger, or Son.
  • Nicole M. (COLM) -5.6%. Reagan: Maybe she’s bored because she can’t do much because she’s pregnant.  Jenny: Maybe she’s down because she feels big.
  • Wilson (WILC) -7.1%. Reagan: Wilson is down because he was not elected president of the association, and he doesn’t think it’s a big responsibility. He just wanted to be president. Boo hoo. Jenny: He only got secretary.
  • Charlotte (ICE) -8.2%. Reagan: Charlotte’s sad because she had to go back to school. Jenny: Maybe she did really good on a test and everyone else is mad because she beat them.
  • Lulu (LULU) -20%. Reagan: Lulu’s down because me and Daddy are getting Lulu confused with New Cat. Jenny: Lulu’s mad because she was kicked out of the association. Katie: To clarify, New Cat is not ours, but a new cat in the cul-de-sac who looks a lot like Lulu. And Lulu was probably kicked out of the association for meowing SO loudly all the time.
Name Ticker 1/17/2014 Change
Brinkley BCO $35.04 +0.22
Charlotte ICE $206.87 -18.46
Dustin DST $91.13 unch
Icarus FAST $47.61 -0.09
Jenny GNE $9.90 +0.29
Jodi Ann JOY $56.23 +0.44
Josie Ann JCOM $48.83 -0.32
Justin XOXO $14.54 +0.32
Katie CATY $25.48 -0.72
Lee TGI $78.30 -0.33
Lisa LNCE $28.23 +0.78
Lucas CTG $18.12 +0.15
Lulu LULU $47.49 -12.11
Marcus MCS $13.47 +0.37
Mario T.E. MGEE $56.08 -0.17
Mario T.Y. MAR $50.62 +1.34
Namilita NL $11.46 unch
Nicole E. NICE $42.04 +2.28
Nicole M. COLM $75.38 -4.50
Reagan REGN $292.00 +17.62
Ruby RJET $10.21 -0.58
Wilson WILC $8.20 -0.63
Winston ED $53.96 -0.37
Zero Z $85.77 -4.05
Zondro ZQK $7.90 -0.41


No Chance This Is a Bubble

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 11:29

Here is former Merrill Lynch Chief Investment Strategist Richard Bernstein on the U.S. stock market: no chance this is a bubble.

No chance this is a bubble.

No chance?

That’s what he said: no chance.  And he’s far from the first I’ve heard being dismissive of the notion that this market—underpinned if not inflated by government manipulation of financial markets—could be anything less than fundamentally sound.  What can we glean from that level of arrogance?

  1. If we’re not in a bubble right now, we will definitely get there.
  2. The professionals who are paid to manage risk are blinded by their arrogance to no less an extent than they were in 2007 and 2008.

Does that mean the market can’t go higher from here?  Not at all.  In fact, it can go higher, much higher, and I think it probably will.  Once asset prices detach from the underlying economic fundamentals, there’s no telling how far a market can rocket before it runs out of fuel.  The fuel in question is sentiment, though—not value—so there are two things I can definitely tell you:

  1. If this rocket runs out of fuel, it will fall.
  2. The higher it goes—before it runs out of fuel—the harder it will fall.
  3. It will run out of fuel.

Wait…I gave you three, didn’t I?  Well, that last one is a secret—apparently.

January 11, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:41


No one says “it can’t be!” anymore.  The 21st century sucks.

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:24

This first FSX update of 2014 covers the first seven trading days of the year, a period over which the major U.S. equity indices—Dow Industrials, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite—were all lower.  I know, right?  I can’t decide what to make of it, either.  Historically, the year tends to go as the first five days go—the correlation is strong and positive.  The last time the market was in the red after seven days of trading was 2009, the year in which the last bear bottomed out and the Fed-driven bull market (now in its fifth year) began.  Does that mean we’re in for a down year?  The short answer—my short answer—is yes.  That said, I’m sticking with my prediction of a few months back: we’re about to see a replay of 2000.  The great, tech-fueled bull market of the late 1990s ended after a final spasm of capitulation buying in February and March of 2000, and that spasm came after (1) a powerful, multi-year uptrend carried stocks to all-time highs at the end of the previous year, and (2) a sharp January correction set the stage for the bull market to become a bubble.  If history repeats itself, stocks could have 20% upside…and then 40% downside.  But history never repeats itself, right?

The Family Stock Index puttered along with the broader market over the first seven days of 2014, settling out 0.5% lower at 17,225.  Breadth was marginally negative (11 advancers to 14 decliners), but this seeming placidity masked several large (but offsetting) moves within the index, as investors rebalanced their portfolios to account for the unprecedented 20% quarter-over-quarter turnover in the FSX.  I threw the market an additional curveball by opting—at the last minute, almost literally—to put Jenny into a different stock than I’d initially announced.  Instead of the curiously-high-yielding and vexingly-Canadian Just Energy (JE), I selected Genie Energy (GNE), a New Jersey-based utility with a shale-oil kicker.  This is because Reagan and I both pronounce Jenny’s name like it’s spelled Geenee more often than we don’t.  I don’t know why that is or which of us started it, but Katie’s started doing it, too, and when I happened upon the ticker accidently, I knew at once that I had to make the switch.  Jenny herself doesn’t care one way or the other, reflecting her water-off-a-duck’s-back approach to most things.  I added GNE to the FSX as of January 2, and the stock promptly tanked—along with three of the other four new components.  You’ll never guess which of the four was higher (except that it’ll be easy to guess which one it was since I said you’ll never guess it).

And don’t pretend like you don’t just happen upon tickers accidentally.  I was getting a price on Genworth (GNW) and I hit ‘E’ instead of ‘W’—you know how it goes. Accidental-ticker-discovery happens to everyone, so don’t act like I’m some weirdo.


  • Zero (Z) +10%.  Z was the only one of the five new additions to end in the green, and it did so in a week when most 2013 momentum stocks were flat to down.  Could Zero’s streak of infinity times at the bottom of the yearly FSX performance rankings come to an end in 2014?  He has plenty of time left to work his entropic magic, but he’ll be fighting a potentially overwhelming secular trend.
  • Nami & Lita (NL) +2.5%.  The same trend that drove Zero higher in the early days of 2014 gave a lift to the kitties as well.  The theme is Charlotte, and Charlotte is the theme.  My sister is back in school and kicking butt, and investors piled into ICE last year as it became increasingly clear that she’s not messing around.  There are no signs that Charlotte’s underlying fundamentals are deteriorating, but it’s still reasonable to wonder how much upside ICE has left after an 82% gain in 2013.  As a result, investors are looking for stocks that stand to benefit from Charlotte’s success.  Z and NL are the two most obvious Charlotte plays, and it’s no surprise that they’re being bid up as a result.  Zero, of course, has the potential to kick some butt of his own, so there’s embedded optionality being priced into his stock.  Nami and Lita, in contrast, are cats.
  • Wilson (WILC) +7.8%.  Zero and the kitties badly lagged the broader market in 2013; Wilson, on the other hand, was the fifth-best performer in the FSX last year, rising by 72 percent and notching a series of multi-year highs along the way.  Then on Friday he did something even more astounding, surging past his all-time, pre-crisis high set in July 2007.  It flat-out didn’t make sense.  Then Katie pointed out that this week marked eight years since we rescued poor Wilson from a shelter.  I did some quick math, and—considering that he was at least 30 years old when we got him—determined that Wilson is probably the oldest dog of all time.  That’s quite an achievement by itself; add to it the fact that he’s coming close to achieving cold fusion with his breath, and I can easily see a $10 handle on WILC in the next couple months.
  • Lee (TGI) +3.4%.  This week vertigo got added to the coterie of nuisance ailments trailing me through life.  I was switching from jumping jacks to sit-ups in my exercise routine when my balance went out and I went down.  I decided I had a brain tumor (because that’s how I think) but the doctor was able to replicate the total loss of balance I experienced by having me lean my head down off the end of the examining table, and that was that—vertigo.  So there’s one more ailment that I secretly didn’t believe in before I got it.  First gout, now vertigo?  Was I an 18th Century minor German prince in a past life?  What’s next?  Dropsy?  Rickets?  If the doctor recommended bloodletting I don’t think I’d bat an eye.  I am the owner of the world’s oldest dog, though—that’s got to be worth something.

Decliners (with assists from Jenny and Katie)

  • Lisa (LNCE) -4.2%. Jenny: Aunt Lisa is down because she didn’t get to spend New Year’s Eve with Lucas. Katie: I think it’s because it’s been SO cold.
  • Justin (XOXO) -4.3%. Jenny: Justy’s down… Katie: He’s in Europe. Jenny: Ohhhh…okay. He’s down because they don’t have hamburgers there. Katie: Why would that make him down? Jenny: Oh, I don’t know. He’s down because maybe they don’t have veggie burgers there.
  • Lucas (CTG) -4.6%. Jenny: Lucas is down because he was being all stubborn and wouldn’t come down for New Year’s and I had to drag him downstairs sort of. I took his iPad and made him come downstairs.
  • Jodi Ann (JOY) -4.6%. Jenny: Jodi Ann is down because maybe they got snowed in in New York and weren’t allowed to go anywhere. Did they?
  • Zondro (ZQK) -5.2%. Jenny: Zondy was down because we didn’t let him out of his crate until like 11:00 this morning. And it was all Reagan’s fault.
  • Jenny (GNE) -5.9%. Jenny: Okay. I am down because I got an F on a math test, and now I have a B average and it’s too low of a B. And I’m going to have straight A’s and one B, which is terrible. Oh, and I jammed my finger. Katie: So your sports career is over? Jenny: I never had one.
Name Ticker 1/10/2014 Change
Brinkley BCO $34.82 +0.68
Charlotte ICE $225.33 +0.41
Dustin DST $91.13 +0.39
Icarus FAST $47.70 +0.19
Jenny GNE $9.61 -0.60
Jodi Ann JOY $55.79 -2.70
Josie Ann JCOM $49.15 -0.86
Justin XOXO $14.22 -0.64
Katie CATY $26.20 -0.53
Lee TGI $78.63 +2.56
Lisa LNCE $27.45 -1.21
Lucas CTG $17.97 -0.86
Lulu LULU $59.60 +0.57
Marcus MCS $13.10 -0.34
Mario T.E. MGEE $56.25 -1.46
Mario T.Y. MAR $49.28 -0.07
Namilita NL $11.46 +0.28
Nicole E. NICE $39.76 -1.20
Nicole M. COLM $79.88 +1.13
Reagan REGN $274.38 -0.86
Ruby RJET $10.79 +0.10
Wilson WILC $8.83 +0.64
Winston ED $54.33 -0.95
Zero Z $89.82 +8.09
Zondro ZQK $8.31 -0.46

January 5, 2014

2013 Performance of Family Stock Index Members

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 16:21

Good riddance, 2013.  In this review of the 2013 stock market performance of the components of the Family Stock Index I don’t want to talk about the actual stock market because—as I’ve said often and in an increasingly shrill tone—the actual stock market is a revolting, dangerous, government-manipulated asset bubble exceeded in size and catastrophic potential by (and, in size, at least, dwarfed by) the bubblicious bond market.  So instead I’m talking numbers, pure and absolute.  Specifically, I’m talking decimals.

Sometimes you feel like a decimal, sometimes you don’t—they’re very much like nuts in that way.  The way I look at it, the bigger the return—positive or negative—the more it seems that adding decimals constitutes bragging (for winners) or piling on (for losers).  Where’s the line?  That’s hard to say, but in my professional judgment the line is right around 20%.

I guess that wasn’t so hard to say.

I adjusted returns for cash dividends paid during the year for the dividend-payers in the FSX; in some cases, dividends are a significant component of overall return.  Ed Winston and Charlotte’s cats even flipped from negative to positive returns on the basis of high payouts.  Go figure.

Looking at the numbers, I can make sense of Charlotte, Nicole M. and Ed Winston; Reagan and Zero simply bent the market to their respective wills, as usual.  Everyone else?  Beats me.  It’d be great if any FSX members wanted to chime in with explanations for their out- or under-performance.  It’d also be great if every CEO’s compensation was capped at ten times the compensation of the lowest-paid worker at his or her company.  And it’d be great if I was four inches taller, although I’d settle for three.

The return (not including dividends) for the FSX overall was +28.8% in 2013, roughly on par with the +29.6% returned by the S&P 500.  Real income for the vast majority of the U.S. population was flat on a year-over-year basis, at best, same as it has been for the last decade or so.  But don’t worry, because this will definitely be the year that U.S. corporations start using all their free Fed money to expand capital investment and payrolls domestically—everyone says so.

Members are ranked and divided into groups because grouping and labeling people is fun.  Really, you should try it.

Group 1—Decimals are Unseemly

  • #1            Zondro (ZQK)—$4.25 to $8.77, gain of 106%.
  • #2            Ruby (RJET)—$5.68 to $10.69, gain of 88%.
  • #3            Charlotte (ICE)—$123.81 to $224.92, gain of 82%.
  • #4            Marisa (MOLXA)—$22.32 to $38.66, gain of 73% (+78% with dividends).
  • #5            Wilson (WILC)—$4.75 to $8.19, gain of 72%.
  • #6            Reagan (REGN)—$171.07 to $275.24, gain of 61%.
  • #7            Dustin (DST)—$60.60 to $90.74, gain of 50% (+52% with dividends).

Group 2—Decimals are Unnecessary

  • #8            Nicole M. (COLM)—$53.36 to $78.75, gain of 48% (+49% with dividends).
  • #9            Katie (CATY)—$19.53 to $26.73, gain of 37%.
  • #10          Jenny (JNY)—$11.06 to $14.96, gain of 35% (+37% with dividends).
  • #11          Mario the Younger (MAR)—$37.27 to $49.35, gain of 32% (+34% with dividends).
  • #12          Justin (SCI)—$13.81 to $18.13, gain of 31% (+33% with dividends).
  • #13          Nicole E. (NICE)—$33.48 to $40.96, gain of 22%.

Group 3—Decimals are Helpful

  • #14          Brinkley (BCO)—$28.53 to $34.14, gain of 19.7% (+21.1 with dividends).
  • #15          Lisa (LNCE)—$24.12 to $28.66, gain of 18.8% (+21.5% with dividends).
  • #16          Lee (TGI)—$65.30 to $76.07, gain of 16.5% (+16.7% with dividends).
  • #17          Mario the Elder (MGEE)—$50.95 to $57.71, gain of 13.3% (+16.4% with dividends).
  • #18          Marcus (MCS)—$12.47 to $13.44, gain of 7.8% (+10.5% with dividends).

Group 4—Dividends are Helpful

  • #19          Icarus (FAST)—$46.65 to $47.51, gain of 1.8% (+3.6% with dividends).
  • #20          Winston (ED)—$55.54 to $55.28, loss of 0.5% (+4.0% with dividends).
  • #21          Nami & Lita (NL)—$11.45 to $11.18, loss of 2.4% (+2.0% with dividends).

Group 5—Negative Returns Greater Than Zero (mathematically impossible but FSXily likely)

  • #22          Jodi & Josie (JOY)—$63.78 to $58.49, loss of 8.3% (-7.2% with dividends).
  • #23          Lulu (LULU)—$73.26 to $59.03, loss of 22%.
  • #24          Lucas (LEI)—$1.47 to $0.97, loss of 34%.

Group 6—Zero

  • #25          Zero (ZAGG)—$7.36 to $4.35, loss of 41%.

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