Friday, May 23, 2008


The only time I was in northern California was in January 2000. While there, I perused the "San Francisco Chronicle" one morning and remembered a blurb that has stuck with me for the last eight years. The number of qualified public school teachers had declined disproportionately from 1995 to 2000. Literally, if the average S.F. school teacher had an apartment, his/her entire monthly salary went to paying his/her rent. That is how hot the tech bubble was.

I was reminded of this over the weekend when speaking with someone who owns a factory. Several of his employees have quit in the last six months. Apparently, many of his former workers lived in other states in the area to avoid the cost of living in te new York area. So, they'd commute upwards of 2 to 2 1/2 hours each way every day. Furthermore, things like Amtrak aren't available where they live and even if they took such transportation, their arrival point in the New York area would be too far fromthe factory time-wise. Thus, they drive. But now, they can't afford to drive based on the wages they earn. Thus, a) wages must rise to meet this problem or b) fuel prices are causing more problems in real life than anyone reading this really realize. It also indicates that this will lead to other problems anew in the financials as credit tightens back up as banks become increasingly afraid to make loans again. This will be a theme trading-wise, I feel, for some time to come.

Markets in Asia and Europe were net slightly down the last two days. Oil, yet one more time again, is up a dollar in the early going. Stock futures are mildly lower state-side. overall, today stands to be slow with people extending their holidays by a day, but I do think there will be a bit of short covering in any spot of oil weakness what with the equity markets coming off their worst week in three months.

SSN- went from 2.75 to just shy of 8 in tw odays and back down to a 3.91 close Friday. If some of the small oils begin going, this should have a nice short covering bounce today... iwish it'd gap lower...if it did, I'd buy thru unchanged. Conversely, if, say, it opened at 4, dipped to 3.80, and went back to 4, I am a buyer at 4.

SINO- massive range on Friday and I would hope for same pattern as SSN described above. In a gap lower, I'd buy it thru unch.

LEH- see theme above. Out of range put options are priced very high for whatever reason...there are rumors around about liquidity again. I've done a trade already this morning very early in it. If stock opens very weak with a ocuople of notable relaoding sellers, get short...otherwise, if it begins upticking, it will likely bounce as it was down a lot last week...and for is just rumors.

BUD- still rumors of being bought out. The Budweiser family seems to be a little more receptive to a deal. Stock should be up today. if it gets negative, it is a short thru unchanged.

AMV/WS- The warrants had some weird move on Friday afternoon. It doesn't show on the charts, but the stock got to 1.40 intra-day- most of those trades were busted. However, the warrants closed way up from where they should have been considering AMV didn't move on the day. Thus, thye should trend back down today.

FTK- bizarre warning this morning. The company should be doing well in this environment and it is not...I actually look to trade this from the short side today.

GNK/EXM/DRYS- stocks were down daily last week; ithink they bounce on short covering and look for a play on the long side.

Slow earnings calendar-
BMO, VOD before open and BGP, DCI, SNDA, WX after-hours.

Slow news day overall...careful trading today.

Good luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Yesterday in this space, I discussed the case of CabelTel (GBR) which has changed their business several times in order to be involved in the hot trend of the day. They were most recently a real estate entity, if you recall, but now it has become an 'oil exploration' company. You'll note GBR was one of the biggest gainers in yesterday's trading. It is up more in today's pre-market trading; in fact, the stock has now more than doubled since Wednesday's close.

There have always been companies like this. Another that comes to mind is Zapata (ZAP). ZAP originally can trace its origins to Zapata Oil; it was an offshore driller with a fascinating history for any of you who want to do more research on it. Sticking on point, however, the company continued to engage in natural gas and oil exploration, but focused upon its fish oil business from 1994 to 1998. Well, in late 1998, Zapata decided to get out of the fish oil business and go into the Internet media business using the name "Zap.Com." The stock went from 10 to 25 in two days. A fish oil company that became an Internet media company. Yeah. The main point: this happened in the midst of the NASDAQ bubble. The NASDAQ doubled from the day that ZAP made this announcement. The moral of the story is that just because oil has exploded and we're all trying to pick tops, the fact of the matter is that the likelihood of oil topping out in the immediate future is less likely than seeing more and more crazy things like this happen. So, as I type things on this blog like PDO and MXC for certain day trades...yes, they can be dangerous but take it inthe context that plays like the ones I mentioned yesterday are in fact safer and more realistic than trades in much more reputable entities.

Overnight, the Asian markets were mixed, Europe was down, oil is up, the dollar is down, and metals are up. There still seems to be a somewhat lukewarm bid under the market as stocks like AAPL are up a lot in the early going. I think most of what will appen today will happen in the first couple of hours as people look to cruise to the Hamptons. I do not look for a lot of movement as oil is rangebound in the immediate-term and people have things like barbecues on their mind rather than stock symbols.

CA- missed for the quarter, but beat for the year. Nothing definitve here except the familiar checkmark pattern, i.e. if it opens at say 25.50, falls to 25.25, you eant to be buying that opening price if it gets backto 25.50 i na good market.

VRGY-good numbers. If it opens around 24ish and fails to really rally, it is a short barring the whole open 24, fall to 23.75, buy 24 type pattern...stock should be up more than it is.

SINO- was an IPO Wednesday..dry bulk shipper in China. 2 for 2. Debuted 7.75 on the IPO...closed 21.45 yesterday. if it opens higher and fails to hold strength and oil is down (even if oil is up a little), it is a short around unchanged if not a little before. Will probably open a lot higher...for perspective, this morning, it traded to the mid 25's. At that point, a persistent seller kept selling ("relaoding") on the offer. The stock trickled down with the relaoder coming down with it, i.e. any buyer bought from that selle and he did not move his offer meaning he had mroe stock to sell. Whe it was 25 to 25.10 (low of immediate-term move) with some offers above 10, I shorted 25.01. There were no bids underneath so a few scared longs paniced...I covered my stock at 24. That is the type of trade I am looking for in this thing- both long and short side.

EAC- put itself up for sale. Has had hugr run up and closed near yesterday's low. If it opens higher, it is a short thr unch and probably again around 65.75.

SBP- way up...if it opens unch/slightly lower and breaks unch, it is a buy in the 13 neighborhood.

SOLF- has fallen from 31.50 pre-open Wednesday to 20.65 on the close yesterday. If it opens lower and solars rally, there will likely be rampant short covering in this issue.

Brokers- trading uniformly lower in early trading...will watch as barometer for later.

GNK/EXM/DRYS- if they open higher and go negative and then go back into positive ground ,they are buys. Dry bulk shippers have been hit hard as they have all recently reported earnings, but the mentality was "buy the rumor, sell the news." At this point, ahead of a holiday weekend, some short covering may be in order here.

TLB- The Talbot's retailer looks to be in trouble. Numberous times, it has traded to the 7 level and failed to breach it. Ahead of a holiday, it may be the day it happens as there won't be a lot of people around so moves become easier...look to short 7.

Good luck and have a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


There's an old Wall Street riddle which stock market junkies (a.k.a. nerds) love that goes a little something like this:

Q. When is it a good time to sell an airline stock?

A. Anytime the stock market is open for trading

Ne'er have truer words been spoken than yesterday. The worst performing four stocks on the NYSE were all major airlines (i.e. Delta, American Airlines, and the like). Where am I going with this? into a world of worry. Is it really possible that we will soon be paying $10/gallon at the pump? Is it possible that the airline industry as we know it be run ostensibly like Amtrak by the Federal government? Or is this whole thing going to remediate itself following the Olympics in China this summer at which time economic growth in China will dip? yeah well, if I knew, I wouldn't be pontificating about all of this but rather have major positions in the oil sector- one way or another.

Where am I going with this trading-wise? All of this minutia will have a direct impact on the way I want to trade intra-day today (except for the stocks of several outlying companies which reported earnings) as almost everything I have highlighted is in some way connected to this theme- let's put aside the macro and instead get lost in the trees in the forest:

The oil market is up yet another dollar this morning yet the European equity makets reversed early losses and are all trading positive. That would seem to lend credence for a snapback rlaly today in the U.S. as well.

STP- Announced awesome earnings. Stock traded around 51 pre-open. It has since traded down to 48.50. Thus, if solars sell off, I look to short STP through 48.50 for a quick spot trade.

ESLR- announced $1 billion in new contracts. To trade this, watch the solar trend and this is how ESLR will trend as well.

GBR- Currently called CabelTel. They are getting out of the real estate business and changing their focus to natural gas exploration. No, really. Oh, and they were a medical compnay in 1991 when medical was hot. And changed its name in 1996 to better reflect medical supply diversity. And changed its name and focus to real estate in 2005. And now changing focus anew. Really. Will be a trade here on a short squeeze.

CRM- They beat but warned that growth was slowing. Thestock has been beaten down the last few days. It traded all over the place after-hours, but settled in-line. If the market rallies today, this is a buy through unch and probably a bias long trade all day. And if market opens higher, it was ugpraded by several places...will short thru unch.

NTAP- warned of slowing growth. If the market is weak, this one will be even weaker than it is at the open in all likelihood.

NRG/CPN- NRG acquiring CPN for 23/share i nstock based on NRG clsoing price yesterday. But NRG down now and CPN at 23. CPN may be buy above 23 in anticipation of a raised bid.

NTES- beat marginally on earnings. Stock was down. I think this thing bounces in any market bounce and will play it as such.

SOLF- After having a huge run-up and bang-up earnings, the stock only settled up 1 1/4 yesterdayafter trading as high as up 6 1/4. f it opens down and the solars turn back positive, I look to trade from the long side and especially buy it thru unchanged post-open partiuclarly as it was downgraded on valuation at Goldman Sachs.

PDO- this stock has a gigantic run from 8 3/4 last Thursday to 27.10 yesterday. If it gaps higher and oil turns down, I look to short this through unchanged if not before.

MXC/FPP- the amazing run continues in this one also. Same theme/idea as PDO.

UAUA/CAL/DAL- all airlines closed near their lows. If they open higher and oil opens higher, I look to short through unchanged and then again through new lows. For isntance, if UAUA opens at 8.25, I'd short 8.15ish (ucnhanged) and then again later at 8ish if it gets there as that was today's intra-day low.

CRED- could be the next MXC/PDO. If oil stocks are strong, look to buy this through Wednesday's high (around 17).

Other stocks to watch- ENS- Cramer. ANN,BKS,DKS,FLO,GME,GSOL,HRL,PDCO,PLCE,TECD,TTC,BCSI reported today. After-hours earnings include: AKNS, ARO, ARUN, BBOX, CA, GPS, PSUN, VRGY, ZUMZ.

Good luck today.


As I drove in on the way to work this morning and observed the $4.19 price for regular gas, I began to ponder when oil would hit $130/barrel. Didn't have it wait long as when I turned the radio on, there was a monologue by some analyst in regards to oil hotting $130/ounce in Tokyo. Here is something interesting- this is arguably the first time that futures contracts on crude oil are lower than in present, i.e. the market is discounting the entire summer much less winter heating season. Something to monitor for equities should oil completely reverse today.

Same story going back to the Bill Murray theme- most of the solars/oils up pre-open and not a whole lot else. A few ideas (which will get fewer and fewer over the next week as we get into the Memorial Day timeframe with newsflow and trading drying up whereas the LIE out to the Hamptons gets clogged):

SOLF- smashed its earnings. Stock traded to 31 early this morning. With it having run-up sm uch, I am inclined to trade this on the short-side, but beg all of you out there to be careful when playing this.

HPQ- reproted earnings they kinda-sorta announced last week when they announced the acquisition of EDS. Stock down irght now. If market rallies today, I wlook to trade this on the long side and particularly around unchanged.

ADLR-received FDA approval on a drug. Stock a bit off of its pre-market highs, but holding nicely...if it holds the 6/6.10 area, could be a buy as day progresses

FSLR- one of the stupidest things i have seen in a long time. A brokerage house out there (who name I will not say but with the initials of FBR) cut their rating from perform to underperform...but raised their price targe to 200. great. So, they missed a several hunfred percent rise i nthe stock, cut it, yet RAISE their price target whic hshows how wrong they've been. if solars are strong, look for rabid shortcovering at or near unchanged.

MXC- simply insane. They maye have an oil well. May. Stock is up 400% in days. Looking to short giving right circumstances around the 42/43 level if stock opens higher (i.e. 44 1/2 or higher)

HNT - up yesterday on substantial call buying and takeover rumors. Nothing has happened. If it opens higher, looking to short thru unch.

Earnings list:


BJ .26/2.23B .52/2.43B 2.03/9.59B 2.24/10.25B

BWS .08/576M .21/599M 1.2/2.49B 1.87/2.66B

EV .43/277M 46/284M 1.84/1.14B 2.16/1.28B

SOLF 1.12/962M 1.10/995M 4.96/4.45B 8.16/6.39B

TWB .16/242M -.02/238M 1.79/1.13B 2.18/1.25B


CRM .07/236M .08/251M .34/1.05B .64/1.37B

CSC 1.39/4.41B .75/4.18B 3.83/16.44B 4.29/17.49B

GYMB .76/236M .21/206M 3.04/1.04B 3.39/1.15B

JTX 2.11/166M -.61/5.20M 1.51/278M 1.66/293M

LTD .07/1.88B .18/2.34B 1.40/9.68B 1.65/10.28B

LDG .61/1.39B .79/1.37B 3.06/5.53B 3.44/5.81B

NTAP .36/935M .27/869M 1.25/3.30B 1.44/3.87B

NTES .31/82M .32/85M 1.31/355M 1.45/400M

PETM .31/1.20B .34/1.21B 1.51/4.98B 1.71/5.37B

SMTC .20/72M .21/74M .91/303M 1.06/329M
SNPS .38/321M .39/330M 1.61/1.31B 1.87/1.41B

Good luck today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A little early this morning. So, this may not be as complete as I'd like to be come the market open, but wanted to jot down a few things anyway.

Overseas markets are down across the board, oil is flight, and currencies are down. That'd seem to lend credence for a significantly down market state-side, but the futures are not down all that much and theearly morning earnings reports were good. Like yesterday, it is a stock-picker's day with selected situations being terrific while the overall prevailing tone will help if traded upon acoordingly yet I don't see any wild swings market-wise today.

DRYS/EXM/GNK- DRYS reprtred terrific earnings last night. The stock and indeed the sector was weak yesterday after EXM sold off on good numbers. if i opens higher, it is a short thr unch, but be nimble. EXM/GNK should follow in DRYS wake.

NCTY- great earnings last night; should opensharply higher. It's the old A-B-C again...if it opens at say 28, goes to 27.50, and rallies to 28, i t is a buy at 28. For reference, look back at the ASTI comments from yesterday.

AVR/PEIX/VSE/CLMT/PP/QRCP/PSEM/TRMA/CFSG/ENS/SYNM/BHIP- all closed at or near their highs yesterday. If any of these open down (assuming the market as a whole goes down) and the market upticks, any one of them is a buy thru unch.

PFWD/COIN- both weak yesterday. if they open higher, short thru unch

TNB/PRGN/SBLK/NAT- all Cramer plays from his show last night. They should all open higher. Particularly good morning for these because of the DRYS news. If DRYS goes negative and stages a sell off, these all have room to fall.

CSUN- good earnings this morning. Solars weak overall...CSUN bid in theearly going. If solars rally today, I think this leads all of them and should be bought. That said, if it goes thru unch, short it.

HD/AZO- neutral earnings...if market rallies from open, I think HD rallies with it, i.e. sell the rumor and buy the news.

Waiting on earnings from DRS, MDT, MF, SKS, TGT, UNFI.

Good luck to all.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Good morning. Trying to get into the mid 21st Century here... Clearly, this is still a work in progress so bear with me as I/we get my/our feet wet with this.

I feel like Bill Murray (and probably will for some time to come ala "Groundhog Day"). Picture seems to be pretty much the same...overseas markets largely neutral to slightly positive with oil continuing its surge higher (albeit at a slower pace today). I look for ploddy trading again today with a bias again towards long situations (which actually did end up working out quite well the latter part of Friday). Better to be half-right than totally wrong!

Today is hard to prognositcate as news flow is so low..I am very news-centric so a neutral market and a lack of news makes this harder than nomral for me...wish I'd have started this project 4-6 weeks ago. But, if I can keep people away from danger spot,s that is good too. Better to be a zero than a loser.

Some individual things people are talking about today-
SOLF- strong as a bull. I'll try and pick spots as day progresses, but no clue here. Will use it as a tracking guide for other solars and play off selected strength/weakness in issues. For instance if , say, STP is near unchanged with SOLF up 2 1/2, hsort STP.

YHOO- trade of the day may already be over. They annoucned that they and MSFT in renewed discussions, but MSFT will not buy out company I did some respectable trades there around 7AM ET. At this point, I see next to nothing.

SOL- could be a target for a short with SOLF way up.

MPG- founder ousted Friday. Will open down. Think it is good for company overall as news leadership could be good...looking to trade on long side in spots

PKG/MTZ- Cramer stocks from Friday

EXM- had great earnings. 60 has been major resistance. Looking to buy above 60. DRYS will probably move in coordination with EXM. GNK share offering...somewhere i nthe midts of all of this, there will be action.

CPSL- continued momentum from Friday. Do not know how to trade this easily.

PWRD- great earning.s..coming down pre-open. lokking to short thru unch post-open.

LOW- bad earnings. HD tomorrow...the two will track.

ASTI- has been pummeled-only sola to have been down. if it opens higher (say 15.25, goes to say 15, and buy to 15.25, I buy 15.25).

Good luck to all and be careful...not an easy day for this.