Archive for December 2012

New Years Eve: Ed’s Last Daily Portfolio Summary for 2012   1 comment

Happy New Year

Isn’t he cute? Have a safe New Years Eve folks, and a new year as happy as the little guy above!

As for my portfolio, my streak of beating the indexes ended, but it was still a positive day:

DIS: 0.64 to $49.79 ( 1.30% , -1.62% overall)–bought at $50.61
INTC: 0.39 to $20.62 ( 1.93% , 5.20% overall)–bought at $19.60
LINE: 0.00 to $35.24 ( 0.00% , -10.81% overall)–bought at $39.51
NNVC: 0.00 to $0.47 ( 0.00% , -16.07% overall)–bought at $0.56
PGX: 0.04 to $14.68 ( 0.27% , -1.41% overall)–bought at $14.89
SAND: 0.34 to $11.80 ( 2.97% , -1.01% overall)–bought at $11.92
YHOO: 0.40 to $19.90 ( 2.05% , 31.18% overall)–bought at $15.17

OVERALL: +0.40%

(hat tip to Fake Posters for the pic)


Posted December 31, 2012 by edmcgon in Open Thread, Portfolio

Daytraders Corner   48 comments

Do I even need to tell you the S&P 500 is trending downwards? After 5 straight down days, and with futures pointing down, it is looking ugly.

The little contrarian in me sees this, as well as technicals which are all either oversold or close to it, and thinks it is time to buy. But I also don’t see it as a “go all in” moment either. I expect we will get some positive rumors out of Washington either today, or later this week. I am looking for a good hop-in point today, with a close eye to hopping out quickly later this week. With that in mind, The S&P 500’s 200 day moving average at 1390 looks like a tempting target for a swing trade in UPRO. I added a limit buy order for UPRO at $81.52 in the pre-market. I will let you know if it processes.

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1403 (December 4th’s low), 1405 (December 6th’s low), 1408-1413 (7 data points, including the 50 day moving average), 1415-1426 (18 data points, including April’s high, May’s high, August’s high, the 20 day moving average, and the 10 day moving average), 1430-1435 (7 data points, including November’s high), 1438 (December 12th’s high), 1443 (2 data points), 1444 (top of the Bollinger Bands), and 1447-1448 (2 data points).
DOWNSIDE: 1401 (2 data points), 1398 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands), 1396 (September’s low), 1391 (July’s high), 1390 (200 day moving average), 1354 (August’s low), and 1343 (November’s low).

Posted December 31, 2012 by edmcgon in Daytrading, Market Analysis

Ed’s Daily Notes for New Year’s Eve   10 comments

U.S. markets will be closing at 2 pm EST today.

Fox News: Reid: ‘Significant distance’ between sides as fiscal talks stall, carry into Monday

I won’t even bother quoting the article above. There is one day left in the year, and neither side has come to a fiscal cliff agreement.

Americans for Tax Reform: $1 Trillion Obamacare Tax Hike Hitting on Jan. 1

The article above lays out all the Obamacare tax increases beginning in 2013 (tomorrow). A good example:

The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

 Year                                        Capital Gains           Dividends          Other*
2012                                           15%                           15%                35%
2013+ (current law)                   23.8%                        43.4%             43.4%
The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.

Bloomberg: BRIC Dominance Fades as State Meddling Curbs Equity Returns

The MSCI BRIC Index (MXBRIC) of shares in Brazil, Russia, India and China rose 11 percent this year through Dec. 28, trailing the MSCI All-Country World Index by 1.6 percentage points. The trend will probably persist in 2013, according to John-Paul Smith, a Deutsche Bank AG strategist. Mutual funds that invest in BRIC nations have posted $1.65 billion of outflows as Brazilian politicians intervened to cut utility rates, China maintained control of its biggest companies and Russian businesses spent shareholder money on projects favored by the government.

“This whole revolution of going from a socialistic mentality to a market economy mentality is not complete,” Mark Mobius, who oversees about $40 billion as the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and has invested in developing countries for more than 25 years, said in a Dec. 12 phone interview from Nairobi. “We’re still in the middle of that and have a long way to go.”

Stocks of BRIC companies beat global equities by 403 percentage points in the eight years after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. coined the term in 2001, as their economies grew more than threefold. Gross domestic product is now expanding at the slowest rate compared to the rest of the world since 1998. The International Monetary Fund sees average growth in the four countries of 4.5 percent this year, down from 8.1 percent in 2010, compared with 3.3 percent for the world economy.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in the BRIC countries, but you should probably do it with caution.

Bloomberg: Hollande’s 75% Millionaire Tax Rejected in French Court

I chuckled when I read this:

A court’s rejection of President Francois Hollande’s 75 percent millionaire tax shows the limits on his ability to tap high earners, even as the ruling is unlikely to attract investors and executives back to France.

…The tax, one of Hollande’s campaign promises, had become a focal point of discontent among entrepreneurs and other wealth creators, some of whom have quit French shores as a result. The ruling comes as the president seeks to cut the public deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year from a projected 4.5 percent this year.

Unfortunately, the devil is in the details, and this obscene tax is only going to be gone for awhile:

The Constitutional Court ruled on Dec. 29 that Hollande’s 75 percent band wasn’t acceptable because it applied to individuals, when French income taxes are generally based on household revenue. As a result, two households with the same total income could end up paying different rates depending on how earnings are divided among their members, counter to the rule of equal tax treatment, the Paris-based court said.

…The Dec. 29 ruling, which also lowered maximum tax rates on stock options, a form of retirement benefit, and bearer bonds, cuts about 500 million euros ($660 million) from the government’s expected receipts in 2013, [French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault] said. The government plans to submit a new proposal as part of the next budget bill, he said.

All the French government will do is level the playing field between couples, and probably get even more tax revenue from it. Well, France will until even more of their wealthy get sick of having most of their income confiscated by this obscene tax levy, and flee the country…

Posted December 31, 2012 by edmcgon in Economy, Market Analysis, News, Politics

2012 Blog Review   5 comments

Since you folks are responsible for most of this, I figured I would share it with you. The following is a statistical summary of my blog from WordPress. Enjoy:

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 320,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 6 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted December 31, 2012 by edmcgon in Blog stuff

Weekend Open Thread – Awards Edition: 2012 Person of the Year   9 comments

For this weekend’s open thread, I offer my final 2012 award, for the person of the year: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.


I have covered Yahoo extensively since Mayer became CEO (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), so I won’t reiterate what I have already said about the company.

What makes Mayer significant are two things: she is young, and a woman. Consider this: At 37, she is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company. But as one of only 19 female CEO’s in the Fortune 500, there is an even more incredible significance to her: She is the only Fortune 500 female CEO who was ever pregnant as CEO. Think about that for a moment: One of the biggest, and most sexist, excuses for the “glass ceiling” which women have always faced is pregnancy. The women who have succeeded were either older and past the age for childbearing, or had to give up any domestic ambitions for their career. Mayer has proven that it is possible to have it all as a woman. More importantly, she has proven that a woman should not be held back for living a full life.

But none of this is important if Yahoo fails under her leadership. While the jury is still out on that, Mayer is off to a great start, energizing Yahoo’s workforce, bringing in some experienced people who would never have considered working under Yahoo’s previous CEO’s, and bringing a customer-centric attitude to a company that was previously centered on the bottom line. And the stock market has recognized the improvements, taking Yahoo’s stock from $15.65 on the day she was hired (July 16th), to yesterday’s close of $19.60, an increase of 25.2% in just over 5 months.

Admittedly, Mayer is an overachiever. But that is usually true of any minority person who has broken through barriers. It takes the overachievers to lead the way for the rest of us. If Yahoo can overachieve under Mayer’s leadership, then she will have to be considered as more than just a successful CEO, but also an important woman in the history of the women’s rights movement.

PORTFOLIO UPDATE: My portfolio blew out the indexes, finishing the day up 0.21%.

Posted December 28, 2012 by edmcgon in Editorial/opinion, Open Thread, Portfolio

Daytraders Corner   35 comments

For this week, even though the S&P 500 had it’s highest volume yesterday, don’t read too much into it, because it was still low. With low volume, rumors from Washington can push the markets in wild swings, like we saw yesterday. However, even with rumors driving the markets, it is still Friday. There may be a drop at the end of the day today, as some short-term traders pull out of the markets, not wanting to go into the weekend with positions. If you are looking to pull long positions out of the market, do it early today.

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1426 (December 12th’s low and August’s high), 1428 (10 day moving average), 1430-1435 (7 data points, including November’s high), 1438 (December 12th’s high), 1443 (3 data points, including the top of the Bollinger Bands), and 1447-1448 (2 data points).
LAST CLOSE: 1418, inside the 1415-1424 (15 data points, including April’s high, May’s high and the 20 day moving average).
DOWNSIDE: 1408-1413 (7 data points, including the 50 day moving average), 1405 (December 6th’s low), 1403 (December 4th’s low), 1401 (December 27th’s low), 1400 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands), 1391 (July’s high), and 1390 (200 day moving average).

I took the P&F chart’s resistance level out of the list above, although it is now at 1440 if you are interested. Again, that covers everything from 1435-1445.

Posted December 28, 2012 by edmcgon in Daytrading, Market Analysis

Ed’s Daily Notes for December 28th   13 comments

On an unrelated note to anything news or markets, I was curious if anyone here has used I was thinking about streaming a movie over my pc, and wasn’t sure if it was worthwhile.

Fox Business: If Stocks Suffer December Decline, 2013 Could Be Ugly

Something statistical for your consideration:

After rallying about 13% so far this year, the S&P 500 is now on the verge of turning negative for the month of December amid continued worries about the fiscal cliff.

History shows that a negative final month of a positive calendar year should serve as a warning sign for stock investors.

According to S&P Capital IQ records going back to 1900, whenever such a scenario has played out, the next year averaged a decline of 6.2% on the S&P 500, with the benchmark index posting a loss 53% of the time.

By comparison, Capital IQ said a green final month of a positive year has produced an advance 69% of the time, with an average gain of 8.6%.

While this isn’t a 100%, or even a 90%, possibility, I would say that it creates a greater likelihood of the S&P 500 having a bad year. With the fiscal cliff looming, and European-style austerity becoming a strong possibility even if there is some kind of agreement in Washington, the U.S. economy is poised to follow Europe into the tank. This creates the situation where the markets follow the economy.

Fox Business: Americans Find Republicans Most at Fault for ‘Cliff’ Crisis

Be careful reading too much into the headline:

When asked who they believed to be more responsible for the “fiscal cliff” situation, 27 percent blamed Republicans in Congress, 16 percent blamed Obama and 6 percent pointed to Democrats in Congress. The largest percentage – 31 percent – blamed “all of the above.”

Actually, Americans blame both parties more than either party. Even then, it is only a plurality.

Kurzweil AI: Advanced humanoid Roboy to be ‘born’ in nine months

We are getting closer and closer to the “robotic age” of human civilization:

Meet Roboy, “one of the most advanced humanoid robots,” say researchers at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.

Their 15 project partners and over 40 engineers and scientists are constructing Roboy as a tendon-driven robot modeled on human beings (robots usually have their motors in their joints, giving them that “robot” break-dance look), so it will move almost as elegantly as a human.

Roboy will be a “service robot,” meaning it will execute services independently for the convenience of human beings, as in the movie Robot & Frank.

And since service robots share their “living space” with people, user-friendliness and safety, above all, are of great importance, roboticists point out.

Which is why “soft robotics” — soft to the touch, soft in their interaction, soft and natural in their movements — will be important, and Roboy will be covered with “soft skin,” making interacting with him safer and more pleasant.

Service robots are already used in a wide variety of areas today, including for household chores, surveillance work and cleaning, and in hospitals and care homes. Our aging population is making it necessary to keep older people as autonomous as possible for as long as possible, which means caring for aged people is likely to be an important area for the deployment of service robots, roboticists say.

I am just waiting for Apple to come out with the iRobot, followed shortly thereafter by a lawsuit from Isaac Asimov’s estate…

Daily Mail: Apple rumoured to be developing gadget you wear on your wrist

Apple is believed to be secretly developing a ‘smart watch’ with a touchscreen.

Chinese online sites have reported the computer giant is working with chipmaker Intel on a wrist-worn gadget that has a 1.5inch screen and uses Bluetooth to communicate with other gadgets, which could include an iPhone.

The ‘iWatch’ will go on sale next year, the report claims.

Chinese site Tech.163 claims Intel has developed a Smart Watch that Apple is interested in.

The in question has a 1.5 OLED display with indium tin oxide, or ITO coated glass, and uses Bluetooth to communicate with a user’s iPhone.

Naturally, Apple isn’t the first company to have this idea:

The rumours come after an independent attempt to create a smart watch, called Pebble, became a huge success online.

Its inventors used Kickstarter to try and raise $10,000 so they could develop it – but instead raised $10 million, and hope to begin production next year.

‘Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century,’ say its creators.

‘It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps.

‘The watch will connect via Bluetooth, and alert users to incoming messages via vibrations – and apps bring Pebble to life.

‘Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data.

‘Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button.’

Personally, I am waiting for Dick Tracy-style wrist phone…

Posted December 28, 2012 by edmcgon in Economy, Market Analysis, News, Politics