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Thomas Sobon  

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  • Why Are The Bulls Regaining Momentum? [View article]
    Chris, another good article. At 6:00 am last Friday, the S&P was indicated to drop of 11 points at a time when it was already making a lower low. The about face by Putin hit the wire and we know what happened in the market since then. During each of these 5 days the volume of trading was BELOW the 40 day average by 5% on Friday and 20% to 24% per day this week. The strength in the S&P lacks conviction.
    Aug 14, 2014. 07:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing: Gloom And Doom Or A Technological Boom? [View article]
    Alex, I am an old man who has significant health problems. But amazingly I still have total recall. I was a history buff and the ancient Greeks like Aristotle, Aristophenes and Sophocles intrigued me. As did the likes of Rouseau, Voltaire, and Tom Paine whose writings did much to influence events during the revolutionary period from 1776 through 1848 when Metternich (who was one of the most righrt wingers in the history of the world) was forced to flee Austria and escaped to England where he and his wife were supported for the rest of his life by the king of England. If i had to choose historical figurse who i admired the most I would put Emerson first and Tom Paine second. Paine died a broken hearted man who was call un-American because he denounced exploitation of the common man by the establishment whoever the principals may be. He was a Don Quixote to the Nth degree.

    I wrote a poem about Quixotes and it follows:

    This gallant knight upon a steed
    Would sally forth and intercede
    Toright the wrongs that he perceived
    When other men had been aggrieved

    His spirit possessed divine mystique
    Unmatchedby strength in his physique
    An djust as bad his armor plate
    O ftin was not sophisticate

    His mount was not of noble bent
    It offered scant encouragement
    Nor Sancho riding on a mule
    But not to Don, who'd virtue rule

    Society is jointly owned
    Attacks on it won't be condoned
    Especially by the ruling class
    Although its acts are often crass

    So who'd attack the corporate sty
    Could tilt with windmills he'd espy
    To him, where stands a common inn
    A castle could appear within

    His weakness was naiveté'
    It's not excused each modern day
    Cuz men incorporate to gain
    It matters not if they profane

    The path for life a Don will chart
    Is guided by a noble heart
    But pragmatists, so worldly wise
    Will not support his enterprise

    A Don is found in every age
    For each there is a common gauge
    He lets his heart command his head
    He strives to live but dies instead

    But when he dies he tends to give
    A cause to us who toil to live
    There is the so-called jungle law
    Which civil men could overawe

    The Don lives on for each of us
    He entertains and teaches us
    Discourages,beseeches us
    And as with himself, outreaches us
    Aug 11, 2014. 11:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing: Gloom And Doom Or A Technological Boom? [View article]
    Alex, I associate that quote with something I read about Aristotle when he rendered his lament and judgment on life which was .... "It is better not to be born."
    Aug 11, 2014. 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing: Gloom And Doom Or A Technological Boom? [View article]
    Alex, Some say Plato, I remember it being a quote of Aristotle, and you say something else. Who knows? Whoever said it said it well. But I believe it originated with Aristotle.
    Aug 11, 2014. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing: Gloom And Doom Or A Technological Boom? [View article]
    Chris, excellent article. As the saying goes, if you divine the future study the past. As far as wars are concerned, Aristotle said that only the dead have seen the end of war. In The Outline of History, H. G. Wells concluded that secular growth is eternal. In the middle of the 18th Century, England and France were hell holes for the common man. When the pendulum swings too far to in one direction, it corrects in ways that are difficult to forecast. You are correct in concluding that one needs to cope with the present and adjust to the future as it unfolds ... and above all never lose faith. Do that successfully and you will win your battles in life.
    Aug 11, 2014. 08:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is The Yield Curve Flattening? [View article]
    With all the political turmoil in the world, it could be that there is also a flight to safety,
    Aug 10, 2014. 06:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hunting For Bears [View article]
    Eric, It looks like you prospect for stocks among a very broad universe. I am surprised that you would mention names like WST and BDC that are pretty thinly traded. You are a savvy investor and I, and I guess other readers, would be interested in what your stadards are when you screen for stocks.

    There is a company in close proximity to you called RAIT Financial. It was on the ropes in 2008 following the real estate debacle. But an astute executive named Schaeffer was promoted to replace Betsy Cohen and her son Daniel as Chairman and CEO. He turned things around and the company continues to do well. RAS performed lethargically in the market so far in 2014. But the company continues to prosper. AFFO will be down in 2014 because management chose to do something to accelerate non-cash charges relating to legacy issues. CAD was 88 cents in 2013 and it will be about $1.05 in 2014. The dividend rate was increased in each of the last eight quarters and I think it will be increased again in September. RAS is currently priced at about $7.60 to yield 9.7%. I have a small poition in the stock and I'm waiting for technical improvement on the price chart before adding. I wrote articles on RAIT beginning in late 2012 and I don't intend to write any more because it isn't worth the effort. It was my biggest gainer in 2012-13, having bought as low as $5.66 and selling as high as $8.50. When the REITs sold off in 2013 the price got as low as $6.18. The average cost of my current holding is $6.45. ... Is this a stock that would be suitable for your purposes?
    Aug 10, 2014. 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can The Bulls Make A Stand Near Support? [View article]

    I am really an apolitical person. What I am against are those politicians whose politics are to the right of Atilla the Hun or to the left of Santa Clause. Some of my friends have told me that I was more Emersonian than Emerson ever was. I am a strong believer in self reliance having learned what I know about it from Emerson. If yhou want to know what I really think about politicians read the following poem.

    By Thomas E. Sobon

    When donkeys bray amid the stunts of politicking elephants, we folk are treated to a show of which some things we ought to know:

    The donkeys, being liberal,proclaim they'll work a miracle, but if we'd look we'd see its cost is bureaucrats by whom we're bossed. With elephant’s conservative, they'd take from us more than they'd give and they'll champion the businessman who'd profit any way he can.

    One year in four, the donkeys meet, to pick the jackass most elite. And he who wins that compliment is their nominee for President. Of course there'll be a separate hunt to find the choicest elephant. And who’s selected by the herd as oft as not will be absurd.

    We folk will vote and thus elect the beast who'd have the best effect. But first we'll study in detail the platform planks that they'll unveil. Some campaign issues will be antique while other ones will be oblique. With reason they will seldom deal because reason would too much reveal.

    At each point in the march of time there's so darn much that's not sublime. The elephants will speak of trends that soon will pay their dividends. The donkeys for their counterpoint,say ways and means are out of joint. So if the folk would set things right, the elephants they will indict.

    When after all is said and done, it's time to see who lost and won. And so we choose for the four-year term the jackass or the pachyderm.
    Aug 8, 2014. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can The Bulls Make A Stand Near Support? [View article]

    Chris, I read your article and then I went to my files and dug out my notes on Emerson's essay on politics because I had the impression that we may be faced with a house of cards. What bothers me most is our do-nothing Congress. Huge problems abound throughout the world and the extremist among the right wingers are not interested in political solutions for anything. Also, political problems exist in many places around the world and politicians there seem to unable to resolve them. Emerson wrote “Mother Nature is not democratic, nor limited-monarchical, but despotic. And she won’t be fooled by any tinkering with her authority. Men have their laws and things have their laws.When it is time for change, change will occur one way or another." In the final analysis Mother Nature is in charge and if we do have a house of cards a day of reckoning could be near. When I think about that and consider what is going on in this country and around the world I have to wonder if there can be such a thing as a meaningful "support level" for the market.

    The RSP made a lower low today. That means that there is no evidence that the bottom for the selloff is behind us. The top occurred 24 days ago and failed to reach it 11 days ago. I like to buy stocks when the bottom is behind me and the top in front of me; that's the opposite of what exists right now. I didn't like the fact that the market was down significantly today on just average volume. Friday could be a bad day in the market.
    Aug 7, 2014. 09:08 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Scenarios For A Vulnerable Stock Market [View article]

    You are right, there are many moving parts. The parts that you just mentioned are the "whys?" that you often refer to. With my oscillator there are only two moving parts that I emphasize: moving averages and higher highs and higher lows (or vice versa). I do things on a sum of the equal parts basis. My breadth indicators show that a significant plurality of 400 stocks are below their moving averages and they are also making lower high and lower lows. With their trading ranges shifting downward, that to me is a sign of a significant drag on the market.
    But my indicators are pretty sensitive to what goes on in the market so they serve more as coincident barometer rather than a leading one, which is what I want them to be. I then screen for weak stocks as well as strong stocks because they are the ones that are going to move the market. Right now I am seeing a lot of weak charts that were, until recently, strong. You are right, "Damage is significant short-to-intermediate-... However, it has not spilled over into the longer-term yet." The question is will there be continuity or discontinuity? I am betting on the former.
    Aug 7, 2014. 10:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Scenarios For A Vulnerable Stock Market [View article]

    You stated that Putin is the wild card in the deck. I think of him more as the Joker. Things look ominous but I think he would be insane to launch an attack. (Besides, he hasn't even received the helicopter warships from France yet.) But if he attacked and was victorious, he would lose the bigger battle against Western Europe. The West cannot back down from its stance on possible Russian aggression. Surely something was have been learned from the "peace in our time" capitulation by Neville C. of England to Hitler in the 1930's.

    The way I read the technical tea leaves is that "a" top on the market is in place but will it be "the" top. Obviously, it will remain "durable" until proven to be "false." The burden of proof lies on the shoulders of the bulls. There has been a lot of technical damage done to key market internals for it to sustain upward action during the near future.

    Thanks for writing another thought provoking article.
    Aug 7, 2014. 09:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks: Concerning Evidence Continues To Surface [View article]
    "If you are relying on investment forecasts to protect your nest egg in the next bear market, this video covers 2008 stock market forecasts from Wall Street experts (hint: they were not helpful)."

    Chris, that is a very astute observation. Mr. Market does not have a PhD in economics, geopolitics, or any other learned discipline. All he knows is that he is a salve to what the investment community tells him to do. Hence, the value of technical analysis.
    Aug 6, 2014. 11:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Monday's Rally Change Much? [View article]
    Great Swami, some times planes crash. Any crash that you can walk away from is a good crash. The same conclusion applies to the stock market.
    Aug 5, 2014. 03:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Monday's Rally Change Much? [View article]
    Chris, I look forward to reading your articles. One thing that stood out to me about Monday's market action in that the market rose on light volume. Thursday and Friday showed volume of 36% and 13% above the 40 day norm. Monday the volume was only 1% above the norm. Hence, the boost in stock prices occurred mainly because the propensity to sell backed away from the market. This was apparent at about 10:30 when the initial rise backed off and traders saw that there was a paucity of sellers. That's all those guys need to goose the market.

    I developed something that I call the "Sobon Oscillator" and I use it for market appraisal purposes. I have been thinking about writing an article to introduce it on this site. You, Eric Parnell, Sy Harding and Joseph Calhoun are very savvy practitioners and I read whatever you publish. All of you combine fundamental analysis and some degree of technical work but you are more technical than the others which is something that I applaud. My oscillator is 100% technical and I do something that nobody else does. If I decide to submit an article to SA I would be very interested your opinion.
    Aug 4, 2014. 07:54 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RAIT Financial's Asset Management Capabilities Could Unlock Material Value [View article]
    Sid, RAIT is having another good year. AFFO is down because of legacy issues that are giving rise to non-cash charges. CAD is up significantly because of ramping up of loan production where volumes are growing and results from apartments and even office and retail properties are improving. CAD was 88 cents last year and it will be over a dollar this year. The dividend was increased in each of the last 8 quarters and there is a better than 50% chance that it will be increased in Q3. At this price of $7.62, RAS has a prospective yield of 10%. The price on the chart has been weak ever since I wrote my last article on it at the beginning of the year. Now that I quit writing articles on it there isn't anybody writing anything significant to update the fundamental progress being made by management. I have a small position in RAS and as I stated in my last article I wouldn't add unless the chart action turned bullish. In 2013 the stock got whacked along with the rest the REITs and got down to $6.18. I got back in at $6.45, having sold shares from $8.50 down to $7.60 where I sold my last shares. I'm now waiting for it to make a bottom before I add.

    You and I had a good rapport on this site. That is the reason why I replied to your question. Best wishes to you and your wife to whom I know you are happily married.
    Aug 4, 2014. 01:24 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment