phil stock

PhilStock: No-pain bull

imagesPhilStock. I haven’t had time for stock research in the past 6 months, but fortunately, no changes to portfolios have been required. With Yellen’s assurances last week that the monthly methadone injections of $85 billion[i] of  will continue, it’s bull, bull, bull, with new highs weekly. Even my airlines—generally the worst area to trade in—are, yes flying high (e.g., American from $1.90 to over $11., Delta, Jet Blue, all soaring). But look how low our Diamond Offshore mascot (DO) is [ii]. It is said that small investors typically jump into the market only after the bull has been running:

“The likely outcome is they’ll ride that last-gasp bull market for a short while and experience an enormous loss in personal wealth when the bubble collapses.”(link)

I’m guessing the next 4 months might be safe (T, VZ, WIN?): Remember, though, the one rule on PhilStock: Never ever listen to (i.e., act on) anything I say about the stock market.

[i]in monthly bond market purchases.

[ii] There’s an explanation (of course). It hardly matters with over 5% in special dividends. For why DO is the “mascot” of my regular blog, search rejected posts.

Some related posts:
Bad News is Good News on Wallstreet

Topsy-turvy game

The great taper caper

Categories: phil stock, rejected posts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bad news is good news on Wall St.

Financial Chart and Line Graph

Topsy turvy again! It was widely predicted that today was the day most likely for Bernanke to announce long-awaited plans to begin “tapering” the $85 billion of monthly bond buying stimulus [i]. But, no. Apparently the economy is more worrisome than Ben expected when he all but declared tapering would be announced at the September meeting. Tapering is delayed, forecasts are lowered; stock market climbs to new highs. Things are so bad (in the economy), they’re good (on Wall St.) Does this make sense?*

[i] “See, “The Great Taper-Caper”.

*Of course, I understand all-too-well why this is happening, but it’s still topsy turvy and rather insane…

Categories: phil stock, rejected posts | 10 Comments

The Great Taper Caper

Financial Chart and Line GraphToday, 2 pm: possible clues to the big market mystery revolving around the word “taper”:

“In the last month alone, the words ‘federal reserve’ and some form of the word ‘taper’ appeared in 1,923 news articles in the Nexis database (the number was 12 in the same period last year)” (link is here).

“The taper caper,” as all stock market sleuths know, is the mystery of whether/when Ben Bernanke will taper off the rate of bond buying, down from the current $85 billion a month. (See my last rejected post.) Investors, traders, and especially trading robots who run the market, are on hair trigger alert for clues from Bernanke today. “And the word on everyone’s lips on Wall Street all morning will be ‘taper‘”. With hints Ben will be departing in 2014, the drama is raised a notch, but the band of (mostly) day traders here at this NYC meet-up are playing it cool…. Tune in later.*

*2:30 pm: Big applause erupts here and doubles of Elba Grease all around!**

**3:15pm Oh-oh…things are good enough to start t-a-a-pering soon, but not right away…oh like it’s a big surprise…topsy turvey coming…buy bonds?

3:20: Mayo departs for furniture shopping at the NY Design Center…***

***5pm: Mayo checks market: Oy, (major plummet!) see what I mean (about topsy turvey)? Glad I bought those tapered bookcases (in ebony macasa). At least they offer something concrete!

Now tomorrow, it will be said the robots overreacted…

Categories: phil stock, rejected posts | 2 Comments

PhilStock: Topsy-turvy game

Financial Chart and Line GraphWhat a topsy-turvy game playing the stock market has become. In the past (don’t ask me how far) signs of a strengthening economy would point to the likelihood of stocks rising, now it is the reverse. (At least at current, in the short term). As soon as reports are out showing even marginal improvement, the fear that Bernanke will begin to taper the huge monthly bond purchases leads the stock market to plummet (like yesterday). Every time he whispers, let alone speaks, about easing out of the “easing” at some future point, the market drops precipitously. It’s almost as if traders don’t want the economy to start recovering too much, lest Ben stop the feeding. With interest rates low, companies borrow to buy back their own shares, keeping their prices afloat. I’m sure there are other theories, and I’m not any kind of expert[1]—just an outsider, playing from the sidelines. The other strange twist is that the game nowadays has much less to do with predicting the economy or human psychology, than with figuring out the “psychology” of the high speed computers that run the markets. What words would be frequently out there in the news today to trigger the programs to buy/sell (at 2p.m., say)? The high-frequency traders have a huge advantage (but don’t get me started on that)[2].

[1] “The 3 reasons why stocks have skyrocketed”

[2] What are a couple of telecoms low this week, you ask? I will answer only if you remember the PhilStock rule: never, ever act on anything I say on PhilStock.

[A solid, high dividend a few points down: A,T&T (T): $35:47 (pays 5%); S&P 5 star (semi-speculative)unusually low this week: windstream (WIN) $7.89 (pays over 12 %).

Categories: phil stock, rejected posts | 9 Comments

PhilStock: DO

Financial Chart and Line GraphIn a PhilStock post of last month (Jan 22), I’d said Diamond Offshore (DO)—mascot of the error statistics philosophy blog– wouldn’t be of interest until it loops back down below $70, so I thought I’d note that today it went below $69.  Once it stops dropping (staying tuned to various cliff  freakouts, looming national and international twists), it could be worthwhile (with its 87 cents a share regular and special dividends). Remember, though: Never ever listen to (i.e., act on) anything I say about the stock market.


Categories: phil stock, rejected posts | 3 Comments

PhilStock: Beyond luck or method

Financial Chart and Line GraphA year ago I wrote in a philstock post, “year of the yo-yo” :

“It’s a bizarre kind of comfort to see that stock analysts are much less inclined to tout their skills ever since the crash (of 08-09), admitting that, at least with today’s crazy market, performance is more ‘the result of luck rather than skill‘”.

Although I routinely tell anyone who asks that my successes and failures in the stock market are a matter of luck/unluck, I don’t think stock traders really feel that way.  Surely I don’t.  Yes, the stock market these days feels (to me) like an artificial economy, and yes, it’s the only field I know where recognized “experts” with gobs and gobs of data and ever more technical, technical analysis, regularly and radically disagree.  But in the short term, and long term, and most especially in the quarterly cycling of prices, individual stocks, decently researched, are fairly predictable, except of course for really strange goings on like Chinese solar [i], utterly unforeseen drug disasters, legal problems, manipulations, surprise buyouts or basically anything else you got (unfairly!) tricked on or failed to pick up on in your limited research.

In the year ago post I reported:

“DO (Diamond Offshore), finally back over $60–the deep water driller that was integral to beginning this blog-DAL (Delta) over $9 for a change, STP (SunTech Power)—down around 3.20…If I was to predict risky targets for the year, maybe  $75, $13, and $5-6, respectively.)”

They are now around $73.60, 13.70, and $1.80.

(these have fluctuated since I wrote this post a few days ago)

Reminder: first and last rule on PhilStock posts: Never listen to (i.e., act on) anything I say about the stock market.

My best stocks of 2012? Airlines (JBLU, DAL)—(DAL, I predict has more points to go); [master limited] natural gas pipelines (e.g., KMP—high right now, ~$88,with a dividend ~6% !, since popping after evading avoiding the “fiscal cliff”– I would wait til KMP is back under $80); Apple (AAPL) (buyable under $500) and Diamond Offshore (DO)—the mascot of my error statistics philosophy blog (would not buy til it loops back down below $70). DO got the “mascot” role because the blog began as a forum to discuss papers growing out of the June 2010 conference at the LSE “Statistical Science Meets Philosophy of Science” (see published contributions), and it was during the conference planning in April 2010 that the Macondo well exploded. See, I’d recently bought DO and thanks to the BP spill, it promptly fell from the 80s in March to the 60s in June, 2010—never mind that it had nothing whatever to do with the BP spill.[ii] I spent a couple of months writing my papers using probabilistic examples gleaned from watching the “oil spill cam”, and the (failed) attempts at engaging the blowout preventer, “top kills”, “junk shots,” containment domes, as well as watching the stock go down in price. I used the metaphor of “deep exploration” for my presentation and paper. With the special and regular dividends ~$4 a share, luckily, the loss is recouped even with a moderately restored price–at least in… ~3yrs?[iii]

Apple? A stock that moves between the 400s to just over 700 in 52 weeks is never boring. Anything under $500 is alluring, and it actually grazed $485 a few days ago (at which point I added a little)! It has earnings tomorrow—what do you predict? I think people fear Apple could get “Rimmed” (dropping like Research in Motion (RIMM), after being the leader in smart phones).  I say it goes back to it’s high….unless, of course, it doesn’t. It has a 2% dividend now (a fairly recent change).

Remember, though: Never ever listen to (i.e., act on) anything I say about the stock market.

[i] E.g., Suntech Power (STP) having been propped up by a loan of 500 million euros (of German government bonds) from an entity that didn’t exist dropped precipitously. Long story.  Buying it at 80 cents in the fall helped a lot. Stay away.

[ii] It got hit with (a very unfair) moratorium, and some of its ships had to leave the Gulf of Mexico for Brazil.

[iii] Of course, if one decides to stay in, one has to buy a bit once it’s finished dropping, and on the 2s.d. cyclical drops.

Categories: phil stock, rejected posts | 2 Comments

Msc Kvetch/PhilStock: TSA to remove nudie scanners from airports

headlessTSAOsis Systems (OSIS) up $2.90 to $70.55 today after it reached an agreement with the TSA regarding its Rapiscan Automated Target Recognition software. It’s been creeping up since the drop to around $50*, see my Nov. 18, 2012 post, after it was disclosed that the TSA was investigating whether it had falsified test results of the Rapiscan software used in its backscatter full body (airport) scanners. But I see no revelation one way or another as to whether the company was guilty of manipulating the testing of its system. In fact, Bloomberg reports today that:

“The decision to cancel the Rapiscan software contract and remove its scanners wasn’t related to an agency probe of whether the company faked testing data on the software fix.”

Presumably, the case has disappeared, or so it seems.

TSA to remove nudie scanners from airports because they couldn’t make them less nekkid (POSTED ON JANUARY 18, 2013 BY MARY KATHARINE HAM)

A minor victory for those of us who think security theater shouldn’t look like a Pussycat Theater. If you’re ineffectively protecting us, we should at least have the Continue reading

Categories: Misc Kvetching, phil stock, rejected posts | 1 Comment

Msc kvetch/PhilStock: Rapiscan Scam

Having noticed Rapiscan’s stock (OSIS) plummet from around $77 a share to ~ $50 this past Wed. and Thurs.( to rebound somewhat on Friday to around $64) due to a “scan scam”, I am doubly surprised to have just been confronted with a Rapiscan full-body X-ray scanner in the San Diego airport (SAN). (The other reason is that I understand their scanners are being phased out.) When I asked why they were still using them, the TSA rep assured me that they were being swapped out any day!  Of course I was a female opt out (but said nothing more lest I be punished).

Scan scam? Full-body scan-maker denies faking test amid TSA probe

A US legislator says Rapiscan, the maker of controversial body-scanners used at American airports, may have falsified its software test results. The company denies the allegations, saying it’s cooperating with the TSA probe into the matter. Continue reading

Categories: Misc Kvetching, phil stock | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

PhilStock: just handwringing: 5-16-12

PhilStock: I have been asked why I haven’t posted a PhilStock in so long.  It is not that I don’t have a lot to say as regards recent stock events/performance (basically terrible), I just don’t think any of it is especially philosophical. I might note that the “mascot” stock for this site, Diamond Offshore (DO) (chosen because of the “deep-drilling” metaphor, and the fact that I own it) is ~60, oversold,  as low as its been since January.  Anyone recommending Facebook’s IPO? I never use it.

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Banks and Meta-Meta-Derivative Horse-Racing! 5-20-12

I am posting an article with which I agree below . These unreal markets in meta-mata-derivatives, with their power to hurt real markets/banks, constitute sheer gambling. It’s not more regulation that’s needed, just recommend that banks who want to bet on air to become horse-racing bookies/betters, rather than bankers. Betting on horses is likely safer, without the feedbacks of this fiasco. And why has “I don’t know where the depositor’s money is” Corzineof IMP chicanery gotten off scott-free?   Pearlstein is one of the few openly questioning the existence of the credit default swamp. (I do not claim expertise on credit default swaps, but my initial suspicion about these “products” is pre-crash, and would be interested to hear any counter-arguments.)

You can read the article at: JPMorgan’s soap opera makes clear that Wall Street is detached from reality


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