Archive for July 2011

Banana thread (yes, it’s open)   30 comments

Today, my portfolio is slightly up over 0.5% up on the day, near the close. Not too shabby. That means it is time for…Open thread! Where you folks rule the web-waves!

For this weekend’s entertainment, I picked a scene from the movie Beetlejuice, which was arguably the most unusual use of a Harry Belafonte song ever:

For you Belafonte fans out there, here is an extra treat:

Have a great weekend folks!

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Posted July 29, 2011 by edmcgon in Open Thread

Update: PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN (DGP)   2 comments

I am adding a limit sell order on half of my PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN (DGP) at $55.00 for today only. While gold can easily go up next week, I want to cut my position in DGP just because it is the single largest position I have right now.

Posted July 29, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio Moves, Strategy

Update: ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ)   Leave a comment

I have put in a limit sell order on ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ) at $227.10, but it is for today only. Silver would have to have a good run today for it AGQ to get that high, but I also think it would be time to sell it if it did that well.

Note that I am NOT selling SIVR yet, as I still think silver is strong as a medium-term play. I am just looking for the first good opportunity to get out of the leveraged silver.

Posted July 29, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio Moves, Strategy

Ruh-roh! Ed’s Daily Notes for July 29th   55 comments

1. It is pretty lame when the U.S. Congress can’t even pass the lame debt ceiling bill which House Speaker John Boehner is trying to get through. But even after working late into the night, they had to delay a vote on it until today. So where does that leave us?

If the House passes Boehner’s plan, the Senate will immediately vote it down. If the House doesn’t pass it, that will look REALLY bad for Boehner (his days as House Speaker will be numbered). But even on the wildly hypothetical possibility that Boehner’s plan did get passed, the rating agencies would still downgrade the U.S. next week, because Boehner’s plan is nothing more than a weak stop-gap plan, that cuts very little debt (about $900 billion).

With Boehner expending all his time on this doomed plan, that means none of the big dogs in the Congress or the White House are involved in any meaningful negotiations. As the Jetson’s dog used to say, “Ruh-roh!”

But wait! We aren’t doomed! Here comes the cavalry, as legislators are working behind the scenes to create a plan which bridges Boehner’s plan with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan.  However, don’t feel relieved yet. Any new plan probably won’t make it through Congress and the White House before Tuesday. We will go into the deadline without a new debt ceiling.

The key for the markets is whether we have a plan when Tuesday comes around. If we don’t have a plan, and it doesn’t look like we will get one, expect the equity markets to crash next week. However, money has to go somewhere, and treasuries might do surprisingly well in spite of the fact they are facing a downgrade (although treasuries could still drop depending on actions by treasury holders overseas). But I still see gold as the safest place for money right now.  (On a side note, don’t worry about a U.S. default: The Treasury is giving spending priority to U.S. bondholders. This is wise, as a U.S. default would have long-term repurcussions. Sorry Grandma, your Social Security check has to wait.)

Keep in mind, unlike the Lehman crisis of a few years ago, this situation will not destroy wealth. This could actually have the opposite effect. By decreasing faith in the U.S. dollar, there could eventually be a dumping of dollars and U.S. debt overseas, which could weaken the dollar, thereby increasing commodities, especially precious metals.

However, from my perspective, I still think a failure to increase the debt ceiling could be a good thing in the long run. Call it an instant blanced budget amendment, as the U.S. would be forced to only spend what it takes in. Without the U.S. Treasury flooding the bond markets with U.S. debt, money will have to find something else to do. Here’s a crazy nutty idea: How about we make some jobs with that money?

2. A day after I put a South Korea etf (EWY) on my watch list, the South Korean Kospi Index falls 1.1%, as multiple companies reported disappointing earnings. But at least Samsung (the largest component of EWY) beat analysts’ estimates, although their net income fell year over year. Samsung was up 0.8%.

3. Sliding under the radar amidst all this talk of the U.S. debt ceiling has been the U.S. 2nd quarter GDP report which comes out today. According to a survey of economists by Bloomberg, expect GDP to have grown by 1.8%. If it comes in much lower than that, it may be time to ignore the debt ceiling talk and become VERY concerned about the U.S. economy.

UPDATE: GDP came in at +1.3%. The stock futures immediately started dropping like a rock, and gold started going up. Today will be interesting…

Posted July 29, 2011 by edmcgon in Economy, Market Analysis

Ed’s Daily Summary for July 28th   4 comments

AGQ: -4.37 to $211.97 (-2.02%, -5.06% overall)–bought at $223.26
DGP: 0.01 to $53.60 (0.02%, -0.20% overall)–bought at $53.71
EMLC: -0.06 to $27.64 (-0.22%, 0.25% overall)–bought at $27.57
GPE_PA: 0.37 to $25.78 (1.46%, 1.92% overall)–bought at $25.295
IAU: 0.02 to $15.77 (0.13%, 1.09% overall)–bought at $15.60
NNVC: -0.02 to $1.16 (-1.69%, -8.66% overall)–bought at $1.27
PFF: -0.13 to $38.84 (-0.33%, -1.99% overall)–bought at $39.63
SIVR: -0.44 to $39.55 (-1.10%, 0.51% overall)–bought at $39.35

OVERALL: -0.32%

Posted July 28, 2011 by edmcgon in Portfolio

Ed’s Stockwatch Update: South Korea   9 comments

It is time to review my stockwatch list. Even though I am showing the stocks with current target buy prices, I do NOT have any outstanding limit orders. If we get a market crash, I may wait and see if I can get these stocks even cheaper.

Current Stockwatch List
1. Google, Inc. (GOOG): Target price: $575.
2. Home Properties, Inc. (HME): I am removing this pick from my list. I am beginning to have second thoughts about the U.S. housing market. While I don’t think we’ve hit bottom yet, I also think it isn’t as far off as it was before.
3. Intel Corp. (INTC): I am lowering my target price to $21 for now. In a market collapse, they could easily drop another $1 or more in price.
4. Hyundai Motor (HYMTF): I decided to remove Hyundai because the stock is just too hard to evaluate. I can only get the financials from their website, where they have it valued in South Korean currency (won). Instead, I found…
5. iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY): South Korea has quietly been sneaking some very good companies onto the world business stage, among them: Samsung (recently overtook Apple and Nokia for most smartphones sold in the world in the 2nd quarter) and Hyundai (overtook Toyota and Honda for owner loyalty, according to Kelley Blue Book). These two companies are the top two holdings in EWY, representing a little over 20% of this etf. In the past 10 years, EWY has only had one negative year, in 2008, when it went down over 56%. But if you had sweated it out, it proceeded to go back up 71% in 2009. Finally, EWY has the lowest expense ratio of the South Korean etfs (0.61%), but you more than make that up with their quarterly dividend, which yields about 0.75% currently (although it does fluctuate from quarter to quarter).
6. Global X SuperDividend ETF (SDIV): To be determined.
7. Global X Canada Preferred ETF (CNPF): To be determined.

Posted July 28, 2011 by edmcgon in Stocks, Strategy

All debt, all the time: Ed’s Daily Notes for July 28th   25 comments

1. Regarding the debate about whether President Obama should use the 14th Amendment to increase the debt ceiling without congressional approval, Obama recognizes that he would be stepping beyond his authority with such an action, and could even risk an impeachment for doing this. Keep in mind that President Obama is a constitutional lawyer by education, and would know the limits of the Constitution quite well. It is clear he knows his limits better than his Democratic Party brethren in Congress…

2. Mind you, the Republicans aren’t any smarter. They are pushing ahead with a vote today on House Speaker John Boehner’s bill to raise the debt ceiling, in spite of the fact the Democrats in the Senate have unanimously rejected it, and Obama said he would veto it. In other words, the Republicans in the House are wasting their time. Is there some point in this whole debt ceiling situation where the House Republicans get serious about fixing the problem, and quit trying to make political points?

3. Intriguing estimate by Credit Suisse: If the U.S. defaults on it’s debt, the GDP would take a 5% hit while the stock market could drop by 30%. Keep in mind that the debt ceiling could stay where it is for an indefinite period of time without the U.S. necessarily defaulting on it’s debt.

4. Must-read of the day: The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle on how Washington and Wall Street are misreading the signals that each of them are sending each other over this debt ceiling mess.

Posted July 28, 2011 by edmcgon in Economy, Market Analysis