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|Includes: Dell Inc. (DELL)

I'm not sure what happened to my previous post on DELL, so I'll repost essentially the same thing from an email newsletter that I wrote on the subject:

"Yesterday (2/6/13), Michael Dell struck a deal to take Dell private at $13.65. In a stock market gone wild where I'm having trouble finding investments that make sense, the Dell deal provided a decent argument to sell cash secured 13 AUG Dell Puts for .25, so that's what I did. The stock would have to fall below 12.75 and stay there for me to lose money. I doubt that will happen since Michael Dell--teamed up with a PE firm and Microsoft--is offering 13.65. I think they might have done just a little due diligence. By selling the puts, I realized an immediate 1.9% return on my idle cash--not the greatest return in light of the potential time commitment (deal expected to close early this summer), but the investment has some margin of safety and is premised on sound reasoning which is more than I can say for most of the euphoric inflows into the market, lately.

Be careful out there. The current earnings season game of meeting or beating lowered earnings estimates is not fundamentally impressive. Recent stock gains have more to do with inflows, funny money, and greed than they do with sound fundamentals. If you go back through this season's quarterly reports, you will find that revenue and revenue forecasts have been generally lackluster. There is only so far that cost cutting and low interest rates can go to prop up earnings, and there is only so long the audience will be impressed with "slam dunks" into hoops that are only three feet off the ground.

I'm still all cash save about 4% of the combined portfolios betting against the Russell 2000 via puts that I bought on horde favorite IWM."