Archive for May 2014

Weekend Open Thread   2 comments

Another week and month comes to a close, so naturally it is time for the weekend open thread. Discuss anything you like here!

This summer, I am going to run a special musical series on the weekend open threads. I call it “The Summer of One-Hit Wonders”.

To get things rolling, I will begin with Alannah Myles:

While Alannah Myles had more than one hit up in Canada, this was her only hit in the U.S. (ironically, it reached #1 on the U.S. charts, but only #2 in Canada). I actually saw her open for Robert Plant, and the Led Zeppelin fans were brutal towards her, even though I thought she did quite well.

Of course, the song is a tribute to Elvis, and I would argue one of the finest tribute songs ever done.

The covers? Surprisingly, most of the covers remain true to the Alannah Myles version. Personally, I would love top hear an R&B or jazz version, but nobody ever tried it. As for best cover, I actually have two nominees.

First, there is a band called Shide. The main thing I like about their cover is the band. While the lead singer was comparable to Myles in her talent, the band really improves on the song, giving it more of a rock sound:

Second, a singer named Sandi Thom, performing with just a guitar, really gives the vocals a workout:

As for Alannah, I should clarify one thing: Black Velvet wasn’t her only charting song. She got to number 19 on the U.S. charts with the song Love Is prior to releasing Black Velvet in 1989:

But after Black Velvet, Myles never charted again in the U.S.

Back to the topic of covers, Alannah released a cover of the 1987 Berlin song, Like Flames, in 2000. While Myles’ cover was decent, she didn’t really contribute anything to the original (which could be why her cover never charted). Here is the original from Berlin:

That is all for me for today and this week. Or as Yogi Berra once said, “Thank you for making this day necessary.”

Posted May 30, 2014 by edmcgon in Music, Open Thread

Traders Corner   5 comments

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: none.
LAST CLOSE: 1920 (May 29th’s high and the all-time high).
DOWNSIDE: 1915 (top of the Bollinger Bands), 1914 (May 28th’s high), 1912 (May 27th’s high), 1907 (May 28th’s low), 1901-1902 (3 data points), 1896-1897 (4 data points and April’s high), 1893 (May 23rd’s low), 1891 (May 2nd’s high), 1883-1889 (9 data points and March’s high and the 20 day moving average), 1880 (May 12th’s low), 1878 (5 data points), 1872-1873 (2 data points and the 50 day moving average), 1870 (May 8th’s low), 1865-1868 (4 data points and February’s high), 1862 (May 15th’s low), 1860 (bottom of the Bollinger Bands), 1859 (May 7th’s low), and 1851 (100 day moving average).

S&P 500 Daily Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Daily Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Weekly Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Weekly Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Futures (June): Slightly negative
Overall: I am tempted to call the “overbought/oversold” indicators overbought, because the Williams %R is at 0.00, which usually doesn’t last longer than a day, since that is as low as it gets. Add in the facts the S&P 500 finished at an all-time record high yesterday, as well as finishing above the top of the Bollinger Bands, the futures are pointing to a down opening today, and everything looks down today. Except for the momentum indicators, which are strongly bullish. But momentum is one of those things that only works until it doesn’t. Or as Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.” In the case of the trading month of May, it’s over after today.

Ed’s Daily Notes for May 30th   Leave a comment

Bloomberg: Technarians at the Gate: How Google Could Become Your Next Power Company

I won’t quote the above article, but suffice it to say the power utility industry is about to get a wake-up call from the tech industry. This is definitely a must-read, with more than just Google involved. Some of the other companies which may benefit include Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T), and NRG Energy (NRG).

But one of the more interesting companies mentioned was Blackstone Group (BX), owner of Vivint. I would have to call them a “buy” for long-term investors, especially dividend investors willing to accept a rather odd dividend: Blackstone moves their dividend around a lot, so don’t expect consistency (it pays a quarterly dividend, with roughly around a 4%-5% yield). Their financials aren’t perfect, but they have shown some nice growth (last quarter, their revenues were up 23% yoy, and their earnings were up 58% yoy). If you like dividend growth plays, Blackstone is a strong recommendation, but I would try and get it below $30/share if possible (it closed yesterday at $31.25). I am adding BX to my watchlist.

Fox News: Erectile dysfunction drug Cialis seeking over-the-counter approval

Cialis maker Eli Lilly & Co. has struck a licensing deal allowing French drug maker Sanofi SA to sell a nonprescription version of the pill in major markets if regulators approve—still a big “if.” The prescription erectile-dysfunction drug racked up $2.2 billion in global sales last year, surpassing rival Viagra, which had sales of $1.9 billion.

Before you rush to buy stock in either of these companies, keep this in mind:

Sanofi is acquiring the exclusive rights to seek regulatory approval for over-the-counter Cialis in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia, and to begin selling it after the expiration of certain patents for tadalafil, Cialis’s generic name. Patents are due to expire no sooner than 2017 in the U.S. and Europe.

But the OTC project could face hurdles, including safety concerns. Sanofi will have to demonstrate to government drug regulators that men can correctly decide whether to take the drug—and use it safely—without a doctor’s guidance. Cialis, like Viagra, can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure if it is taken with certain heart and blood-pressure medications, causing fainting or even death, among other adverse events linked to the drugs.

Admittedly, the upside on this is huge. But after 2017, the generics will be all over this one. Also, there is no guaranty they will get approval. If you do decide to play this one, in the U.S., I would go with Eli Lilly (LLY), and I would buy it as a dividend play. But I would wait until this summer, because it is just too pricey here. You should be able to get it under $50, especially if they report disappointing earnings in July.

Posted May 30, 2014 by edmcgon in News, Stocks, Technology

May 29th: Ed’s Daily IRA Summary   1 comment

Ed’s IRA: -0.13%
DJIA: 0.39%
Nasdaq: 0.54%
S&P 500: 0.54%

Posted May 29, 2014 by edmcgon in Open Thread, Portfolio

Sell ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ)   2 comments

Although I still believe in the silver play for August, I jumped on it too soon. With ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ) dropping below it’s best support level, silver may drop a lot more before August. Therefore, I decided to eat my losses on AGQ, and I sold it at $58.32 today.

Here is the final line on it:

AGQ: -0.26 today, -5.23 overall to $58.32 (-0.44% today, -8.23% overall)–bought at $63.55

Regarding my 401(k) position in Silver Wheaton (SLW), I am going to keep that until August at least. I may double it if it drops far enough.

Posted May 29, 2014 by edmcgon in Portfolio Moves, Precious Metals

Traders Corner   13 comments

The S&P 500 levels to watch today:

UPSIDE: 1912 (May 27th’s high), and 1914 (May 28th’s high and the all-time high).
LAST CLOSE: 1909 (top of the Bollinger Bands).
DOWNSIDE: 1907 (May 28th’s low), 1901-1902 (3 data points), 1896-1897 (4 data points and April’s high), 1893 (May 23rd’s low), 1891 (May 2nd’s high), 1883-1889 (9 data points and March’s high and the 20 day moving average), 1880 (May 12th’s low), 1878 (5 data points), 1872-1873 (2 data points and the 50 day moving average), 1870 (May 8th’s low), 1865-1868 (4 data points and February’s high), 1862 (May 15th’s low and the bottom of the Bollinger Bands), 1859 (May 7th’s low), and 1850 (100 day moving average).

S&P 500 Daily Momentum: Bullish
S&P 500 Daily Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Weekly Momentum: Mixed (trending bullish)
S&P 500 Weekly Overbought/oversold: Neutral (leaning overbought)
S&P 500 Futures (June): Slightly positive
Overall: It is hard to say what we are looking at today until we get the U.S. GDP report. Even then, the market could ignore it.

Ed’s Daily Notes for May 29th   Leave a comment

Just a reminder: The U.S. GDP 1st quarter “second guess” report will be released at 8:30 am EST this morning.

Fox News: ‘Alien: Isolation’ preview: Taps into the terror of Ridley Scott’s classic

Why would I post a link to a video game review? Read on:

While there have been numerous video games based on the “Alien” movie series, most have chosen to base themselves on James Cameron’s “Aliens,” the more action-heavy 1986 sequel, or the “Alien vs Predator” spinoff series.

The last attempt, 2013’s “Aliens: Colonial Marines,” was appalling and wound up on many “Worst Games of 2013” lists.

So the deck is stacked against the new game, “Alien: Isolation.” It’s still in development, but Sega invited me to try out parts of it, and I can tell you the signs are promising.

First, it’s clear that the developers “get” “Alien.” They know that what made Ellen Ripley’s adventure scary was more than the jumps and the big monster. It was the claustrophobia, the isolation, the sense of helplessness.

Read the entire review. I must confess this game sounds like it has some real potential. The original Alien film was a classic, and to be able to capture the feel of it in a game is impressive. My kids might be getting an X-box for Christmas…

But I wouldn’t bring up something like this without a stock pick behind it: Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. (SGAMY). Gaming companies are traditionally risky, and Sega is no exception. Their financials are decent, albeit unspectacular. But gaming companies rely on their successes to pay the bills: One smash game can pay for a lot of failures. If Alien: Isolation is as good as the original film, it might be worth taking a small position in this OTC stock.

Posted May 29, 2014 by edmcgon in Economy, News, Stocks