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Showing posts from June, 2011

These are a few of my favorite blogs...

OK, I won't hum a few bars from Rodgers and Hammerstein , but I will get right into today's post.  In Monday's wrap up of the AR blogger quiz , I mentioned that one of the desert island quiz questions asked us to name our favorite blog . The exact question was, "if you could only read one blog (not Abnormal Returns) which would it be?" .  If you read that post, you know that I picked Kent Thune's blog, The Financial Philosopher , as my desert island pick. What you may not have known is that I had a very hard time picking just one blog to read, and in fact named several blogs as favorites in my original response!  So getting right to it, here are a few of my favorite, "must-read" blogs: 1 . First off, if you haven't read The Financial Philosopher , I highly recommend it.  Not only will you find the more recent posts a joy to read, but I think you'll also find that the archived material holds up very well and includes a great deal

Abnormal Returns: financial bloggers Q&A

Last week, while Tadas Viskanta at Abnormal Returns was on a week-long "blog break", AR ran a series of Q&A posts with some key independent finance bloggers.  Since I enjoyed participating in, and reading, the quiz responses, I thought it'd be fun to share these with you here.  1. Desert island blogger quiz - Book recommendations .   Finance bloggers pick their favorite trading and investing books. One of my all-time favorites, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator , garnered the most top choice picks, but I highlighted another trading book. 2. Blogger quiz - Recent book recommendations .  This time, Tadas asks the group for their favorite recently published (post-crisis) book.  There are some interesting selections here. Still, I was a little surprised that no one picked Greg Zuckerman's The Greatest Trade Ever , an excellent account of the subprime mortgage crisis that centered on Paulson & Co.'s subprime CDS short trade. 3. Desert island blog

MSFT and AAPL: a tale of two tickers

Who would have thought 10 years ago that Apple ($AAPL), then valued at an $8 billion market cap, would meet, then exceed Microsoft's ($MSFT) $200 billlion market cap by 2011?  We could say so many things about Apple's historic transformation from tech also-ran to re-emergent industry leader in that time. You could also write a book describing Microsoft's eroding dominance and its stagnating shareholder returns in the post-PC world.  Or we could just look at the chart above and know that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Howard Lindzon interviews Mark Cuban

  Could have sworn I posted this StockTwits TV interview with Mark Cuban months ago, but maybe I just retweeted it. In any case, enjoy this laid-back and excellent discussion with the highly visible (and vocal) Mavs owner and entrepreneur.  Entourage guest spots, investing, free agent talks with Lebron, the birth of and the rise of user-generated web video... it's all here in this interview.  Plus, more from Mark and Howard in this long/short interview segment. Oh, and congrats to Mark and the Dallas Mavericks on their first NBA championship. The victory is well-earned .  Related articles and posts:   1. 10 Questions for Mark Cuban - Forbes interview .

Features of the Week

Get set for Friday links in our, "Features of the Week".  1. Jim Rogers : only a crisis can solve US debt problem - WSJ. 2. What Keith Richards' 'Life' as a Rolling Stone tells us about economics - Forbes. 3. An example of why Illinois is screwed up - Points and Figures. 4. The ultimate China fraud linkfest - Abnormal Returns.  5. Was it a "There it was" stock ? - Crosshairs Trader. 6. Jeff Bezos on innovation : Amazon is "willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time." - Geekwire.   7. Another story on hedge funds "grabbing land" in Africa - BBC. 8. Ron Paul: more people have died in the drug war than from drugs - Liberty Underground.  9. 2010 Oil story : drawing down the inventories - Gregor Macdonald.  10. Why comedians make great investors - Financial Philosopher. 11. Learn to overcome your obstacles - Kirk Report. That's all for this week. Enjoy your weekend and keep us on your RSS and

Thinking out loud

Funny how Paul Giamatti's career arc has spanned Pig Vomit, Miles, Harvey Pekar and Ben Bernanke. All slightly mad. — David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) June 9, 2011

Stealth bull market leader: DTG

Here's one some of us may have missed in the great Bull Market of Disbelief (2009-present): Dollar Thrifty Auto Group ( DTG ).  Check out the 3 year pattern on this stock, from the collapse of '08 to the bull market recovery of 2009 and beyond. Yes, you see that chart right. DTG has risen from its early '09 lows below 80 cents to over $81 today. That's not a "10-bagger", it's a 100-bagger, or a 10,000% gain.  I happened to notice this chart while scanning through some names in the diversified services sector today on . When I backed up from the daily chart to view DTG on a weekly timeframe, the phenomenal rise and long-term recovery pattern were staring me right in the face.  Here was a name I had totally lost track of for at least the past year or more. I wondered if anyone else was long DTG or even tracking it, as I couldn't recall many mentions of it in my Twitter stream or in the trading blogs I read.  While glancing th

Felix Zulauf interview: storm clouds ahead interviews Swiss investor, Felix Zulauf , who sees storm clouds ahead for world markets.  Always worthwhile to hear Zulauf's views on the economy and investment markets. He feels we are entering a rough period ahead for emerging markets as they work to tighten inflation. He also anticipates a double dip in Europe, as well as a "tremendous slowing" in China.  Felix also makes some interesting forecasts on the US dollar, bonds, commodities, and the shape of quantitative easing (QE) to come, which he believes will be global in nature. Great response from Zulauf when asked about recent boom conditions in Germany: "I like to look forward not backwards" . An excellent reminder that markets are forward looking in nature and "always run ahead of the fundamentals".

Did the recession ever really go away?

"Their stupid and profligate stimulus did not work."  That's the verdict of Jeffrey Tucker's new article, "Did the Recession Ever Really Go Away?" . As Tucker points out, the massive stimulus programs and bailouts of the past three years (under Bush and Obama) haven't amounted to a hill of beans in terms of actual economic improvement.  Has the average American's lot in life been improved due to these measures? No, but they have helped save some politically-connected institutions (banks, unions, insurers) and given the appearance of government doing something to "help" matters.  Here's an excerpt from that piece:  "The screaming pleas from the political class in 2008 weren't really about finding a cure. They were about saving the top players (banks, unions, insurers) in a system that was built on illusion. According to official dating, the recession lasted only 18 months, and then recovery began. Th

Commodities update: May futures performance

An infographic look into the dark heart of the commodities complex, via Finviz ' 1 month futures performance chart (period ending June 1, 2011).  As you can see, May has been no picnic for much of the commodities world. We saw a notable sell-off in crude oil in early May, coinciding with the reported killing of Osama bin Laden.  Speaking of energy, natural gas has shown some strength in recent days. While it was slightly down on the month, the relatively clean energy option for electricity, heating, and transport has moved higher since the recent nuclear catastrophe in Japan. Some soft commodities, such as cocoa and coffee, sold off or remained depressed.  However, orange juice futures were able to post some nice gains for the month. In fact, along with oats, OJ was one of the top performers among the Finviz-tracked futures performers (up 8.7% for the month). Of course, anyone keeping up with the markets knows of silver's recent plunge off its April highs. While silve