The news on the markets today is that China's economy continues to soar like the Netherlands did in 1637 thanks to tulips or like Money McBags' johnson did earlier today thanks to two lips. China's exports rose 18% and was up for the first time in over a year leading chelation therapists all across the world to stock up on inventory for the likely boom. More impressive than the export rise though was the 56% rise in imports, more impressive than either of those though is 41 year old Stephanie Seymour (and Vanity Fair, we would love to see more of Stephanie). The rise in imports highlights the strength of China's stimulus and potential for growth in the wake of the potentially waning global recession while the rise in exports signals that the Chinese government may be able to start lightening up on that stimulus. Noted short seller Jim Chanos has been pounding the street as of late claiming China's excess credit is leading to the next bubble and blaming the head of their central bank, Wei Long Greenspanwang.
Investors are anxiously awaiting the beginning of earnings season like a Montel Williams DNA test as they ax (from the old english "ask") themselves if valuations will match profits. The economy is at an inflection point but investors seem to only want to look at the positive right now (like the guy who dates mustachioed fat girls at a school for the blind, "hey, at least no one will see me") so a good earnings season could cause the market to continue to run. With inventory still being built back, it is more likely than not that this quarter will show solid improvement but it's next quarter that will really tell where the economy is headed so make your bets wisely.
In stock news today, a Money McBags favorite and now a personal holding of his, RICK, continues to rocket up as if it were getting a free lap dance (and not one of those main floor lap dances, but a curtain closed champagne room lap dance) while drinking Courvoiser out of a golden goblet. Some research firm named Breen Murray (which I believe is Norwegian for "Morgan Stanley wasn't hiring") initiated on Rick's today with a "spankirrific" rating. The analyst has a $14 price target on RICK and as Money McBags said way back on 12/18/09 when the stock was in the mid-$7s: "this company is easily going to earn $.76 next year and is likely going to earn over $1.00 (where analyst estimates currently are). They are trading at ~10x a worse case scenario and 6x-7x a more reasonable estimate." Nothing has changed since then except for the price of RICK and sentiment about the economy getting a bit better. Estimates are still going to go up as RICK is getting organic, inorganic, and tallywhacker growth since people are still spending on the essentials (and yes, economists are finding out that lap dances are as essential as food, water, and Jack Daniels). The stock remains cheap as it is trading at around 11x 2010 estimates now but Money McBags would wait for a better entry point (and for the record, a better entry point is not the ear hole).
Disclosure: Long RICK