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  • Initial Jobless Claims: 353K vs. 380K consensus (prior week revised to 388K from 386K).  [View news story]
    And I'm sure the President is 100% responsible for deciding whether businesses hire. He must have a busy schedule being the hiring director for every business in the United States.
    Jul 26 12:09 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Syria's civil war escalates in the wake of today's bombing deaths of three top military and security officials including Pres. Assad's brother-in-law, and analysts say the fighting could spill into the oil market. The fall of Assad could increase ally Iran's sense of isolation and encirclement, prompting it to test a nuclear device and lead to skyrocketing oil prices.  [View news story]
    Good point, but even if they are capable of testing what makes these people think they will use it? It's not like Iran's leaders are any less stable than America's leaders (America's leaders = the war hawks at the Pentagon that control the President).
    Jul 18 07:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June Housing Starts: 760K vs. 745K expected and 711K (revised) in May. Permits 755K vs. 775K expected and 784K (revised) in May.  [View news story]
    I think one of the key points here is that people are beginning to feel confident enough (i.e. not totally confident) to begin building new homes in anticipation of new buyers. That's all. There's no magic to these numbers.

    Another note to make is that housing prices are stabilizing. Are they making a turn? That is to be seen, but, contrary to popular belief, home prices will NOT keep decreasing like pessimists hope for. I live in the middle of SoCal where the real estate bubble was one of the worst (i.e. way too many McMansions owned by $40-$50k earners). And housing prices have indeed stabilized (albeit 60-75% lower than 5 years ago).
    Jul 18 03:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's Q2 GDP grows 7.6%, inline with expectations and down from 8.1% in Q1. June industrial output +9.5% Y/Y vs. 9.8% expected. June retail sales +13.7% Y/Y vs. 13.5% expected.  [View news story]
    If I recall it was 4.1%. That's not surprising for a country with essentially no minimum wage laws. There's a reason everything is made in China. If America dropped minimum wage and disbanded Unions the unemployment rate would be the same or lower than 4%. Unions ruined America.
    Jul 13 12:50 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Averaging Down Is A Bad Investment Strategy [View article]
    In my mind averaging down is best if you aren't buying in a systematic manner. For instance, perhaps you bought F a while back on its way down at 15. At the time it was a nice retracement from the upper 18 level. Then perhaps you saw October's 9.30 as the low. So you buy another round of shares. Now the stock is even lower. But instead of buying now, wait until there's some confirmation that the stock is at the bottom.

    Unless your strategy is DCA, then you shouldn't be purchasing shares in a systematic manner as a stock goes down or up for that manner. Look for temporary bottoms. To be honest these temporary bottoms are just that, temporary. You don't know if there's more downside or if a turn is around the corner. That's investing in stocks for you. They aren't called risky assets for nothing. But if you buy a round of shares at a substantially lower price you can make major profits as the stock returns to previous levels. It may take several years for this to happen (especially with F as I just wrote a note about) but it will be worth the wait.

    To be honest I am not a fan of averaging up. The simple fact is, just like on the way down, you just don't know if the stock is going to continue higher or drop lower. And I for one feel it is irresponsible to take a position or increase a current position in a stock on the way up. That can easily lead to massive losses. That is why the average investor that does not seek help fails to make any money. They always buy at the top thinking it can only go higher. Then of course it doesn't go higher. If you average up then each new transaction increases your chances of losing your principal. Keep in mind that this same problem exists in averaging down as well. The difference is you are buying at technical bottoms. Therefore the odds of further losses are substantially less than buying a high flying stock at a near term high.
    Jul 12 05:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • San Bernardino has voted to become the third California city to file for bankruptcy in the last month, after officials reported the city faced an imminent financial crisis. San Bernardino hopes to restructure its finances while in Ch. 9 protection, but a concerned muni bond market may have other plans. (also: Stockton and Mammoth Lakes)  [View news story]
    It's California. The rich cities get richer and the poor cities get poorer. It's becoming more difficult to move up the ladder in today's society regardless of intelligence or work ethic. It is almost as if a class system is developing. Of course this has a whole lot to do with the unemployment rate in California and the U.S. as a whole.

    What CA city is next to file? One of the many small cities in East LA such as Compton is my guess. Stockton and San Bern are definitely two of the more scummy cities in the country and I am expecting this pattern to continue. Mammoth was a fluke due to a lawsuit.
    Jul 11 03:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Stock Market Complacency On Verge Of Collapse [View article]
    I don't know what frustrates me more. Ridiculously bullish articles that tout a big rally is on the way or ridiculously bearish articles that tout a market collapse. Both have no real base. The market will stagnate from here until the tonnage of problems are either understood or go away. JK outlines a number of these above. Expect to see fluctuations between 1400 and 1280 (S&P 500) and 13,000 and 12,200 (DJIA). With that said it is pretty clear when to buy and sell equities.
    Jul 6 07:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More from Hilsenrath: Markets may not have to wait until the end of July FOMC meeting as Bernanke may "lay down his own markers" in Congressional testimony on July 17 and 18. The Fed may be interested in switching asset purchases to MBS as some research says it would be more effective at lowering a broad range of interest rates than buying Treasurys. (previous)  [View news story]
    There's a novel idea. Let's do everything we can to suppress interest rates even though businesses are satisfied with the status quo. It only hurts investors, but I guess the job of policy makers is to hurt the populace as much as they can. Nobody really wants to retire before 80 anyways.
    Jul 6 04:56 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Today's Pharma Buzz: Avon Files Interesting 8k, Amarin And Vivus Approach FDA Approvals [View article]
    If ARNA jumps to 20 on a Qnexa CRL then ARNA will be the easiest short in the business. The company has zero marketing skills or experience and there's no proof the populace will even warm up to a weight loss drug considering most people can lose weight via diet and consistent exercise. I am sure most doctors would much rather have a patient diet and exercise instead of taking a drug. Except the ones that get paid illegally to force patients to take drugs, but then again those aren't real doctors.

    Point is Qnexa gets approval and Belviq has some competition. Not to worry though VVUS has about as much marketing experience as ARNA. There'sl a reason a big name healthcare firm hasn't stepped in to partner with or buy these two out...
    Jul 6 03:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More structural than cyclical is S&P's view of weak Wall Street earnings. Return on equity at the major investment banks - usually 15% in okay times - was just 7% in 2011. Goldman Sachs - legendary for killing it no matter what - earned just 3.7% ROE vs. 32.7% in 2007. Regulations, higher capital requirements, and toxic attitudes attitudes towards the TBTFs are all weighing.  [View news story]
    This is a long term buy signal. If it is clear that IBs are struggling with profits right now, think about where the stocks will be when profits improve or surpass previous levels. Don't expect to double money in a couple years though. Buy and hold isn't dead just yet...
    Jul 6 01:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • June ADP Jobs Report: +176K vs. +136K prior (revised from 133K) and expectations of 95K.  [View news story]
    Well, last summer the stock market was controlled by the U.S. debt crisis and possibility of default by Greece. Sometimes other issues are more important to the stock market than U.S. jobs. In other words that one week had zero correlation with that stock market.

    If you are not investing now you are going to lose tons of money over the next 1-2 years.
    Jul 5 12:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Eurozone unemployment rose in May to a record 11.1%, up from April's 11.0%. Spain's rate climbs to 24.6%. Greece clocked in at 21.9%. (PR .pdf)  [View news story]
    It seems everybody is forgetting one key fact here. Europe is heading for a major recession. Nothing can change that. Recapitalizing the banks won't change that. It's simple business cycles. Nothing more than that. Everybody can keep crying about all these doom and gloom topics but the truth is a recession is coming for what's known as the EU. It's as simple as that.

    The U.S. had its recession and now we will expand. I know everybody can't fathom America doing well but it will happen in the wake of a European recession. Expect the EU data to get much worse before it gets better.
    Jul 2 07:56 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia: Patent Portfolio Valuation Range Too Great To Make Nokia A Compelling Buy [View article]
    That statement is terrific. It shows how stocks are most of the time arbitrary. Stock prices fluctuate based on false data or simple systematic weakness. The risk takers then buy low and end up making the money while your average American sits back and says, "it's not fair that person invested at the bottom and I waited until the top because I wanted proof the stock was a good buy." Then they cry that they can't win because everybody else has inside information and the markets are manipulated by the top dogs.
    Jul 1 05:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has granted Apple (AAPL) a preliminary injunction on U.S. sales of Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy Nexus phone, which it co-developed with Google (GOOG). The ruling comes two days after a preliminary injunction was granted on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. A recent William Blair report claimed the Galaxy Nexus has been Verizon's #3 phone in June. An Apple patent covering unified voice and text search drew the injunction.  [View news story]
    Once AAPL eliminates the competition via injunctions they can charge twice as much for their products. One step closer to an AAPL monopoly.
    Jun 30 03:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stockton makes it official, filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the largest U.S. municipality to ever do so. The city lists assets of over $1B and debt of $500M-$1B. Of 42 municipal bankruptcies since 1981, 10 have been filed in the last 4 years.  [View news story]
    Doesn't surprise me. Stockton is an absolutely terrible city.
    Jun 29 12:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment