60 Minutes on the Explosion of Disability Enrollees

60 Minutes this past Sunday did a piece on a story that has been talked about in these pages for a long time – the rapid increase in disability enrollment since the recession half a decade ago.  It is quite remarkable that effectively 5% of the working population is now enrolled. [Apr 7, 2011: Nearly 1 in 20 Working Age Americans Are on Disability, a Doubling Versus 1990]  [Dec…

Read More

WSJ's Hilsenrath on Janet Yellen

With the demise of Larry Summers, all eyes point to Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve head.  Frankly it is a bit surprising she was not the leading candidate all along.   Earlier this year, we posted a NY Times piece on the woman [Apr 25, 2013: NY Times Does Janet Yellen] from a more personal level and now we have one on the Fed whisperer himself, Jon Hilsenrath…

Read More

The Most Overbought Point in 2013

Quite an explosive rally yesterday at the 2 PM mark, in fact about 70% of yesterday's gains came in a minute or so per Bespoke Investment; the power of algos.   Obviously the Fed, by surprising just about everyone with "no taper at all", lit another fire under the market but coming off a near vertical rally since late August it is still a bit surprising to see the…

Read More

Mar30

Oh the dreaded Friday afternoon press release – the place companies go to tell you things they hope you will forget by Monday!  Groupon (GRPN) just dropped a nice anvil on investors with a restatement of the previous quarter by 4 cents lower and cites material weakness in its accounting.  While this doesn't affect current quarter estimates it's one of those trust issues.  This company already had a ton of push-pull with the SEC in their offering documents on how they wanted to report their financials.  Looks like they are still working on it.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

Read More

Mar30

An interesting session despite the mixed and "quiet" tape.  The S&P 500 regained that 1404 level that was a weekly high from 2008, and sits over the 1405 10 day moving average.  But most of the leaders of the past few months were non participants today.  Can't remember how few times the NASDAQ was lagging the DJIA this quarter.

The last day of the quarter was fitting on how things have gone for most of the past 2 months – big caps led, small caps lagged: +0.37% SP 500 v -0.23% Russell 2000 – a 0.6% variance among the two, something we saw over and over throughout February and March.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

Read More

Mar30

I have to say I was quite shocked by the performance of Red Hat (RHT) yesterday, up some 20% on a small earnings beat and modest increase in guidance in the conference call.  Perhaps it was the dearth of names for speculators to daytrade yesterday plus some form of short covering but the performance did not make much sense in relation to the results.  Either way, Red Hat is apparently now a "cloud computing" play and it took the entire group up with it.  Quite a few names now associated with this sector, I'd mark as suspicious in terms they are not really cloud plays but it is what it is.  Tibco Software (TIBX) was one of the names that was run up sharply along side Red Hat yesterday, in anticipation of its earning report last evening.   Much like Red Hat, a decent beat and ok guidance but the reactions are polar opposites.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

Read More

Mar30

Often one wonders how this market would fare if Apple (AAPL) was not joining the party – today is a good example.  The stock has been weak from the get go, and is now down 2% taking the NASDAQ down with it to the tune of -0.5%.  That stands in sharp contrast to the DJIA (no Apple inside) which is slightly up.  The S&P 500 which was green to start the day has reversed slightly in the red as well, with its 4.4% weighting in the stock.  Not sure why small caps are being hit so hard other than 'risk off' when Apple turns off I guess.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

Read More

Mar30

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a reversal in the latter portion of the day just as we saw on Wednesday, but the pattern was more powerful on Thursday.  This is leading to a 'risk on' Friday to close on Q1, but we'll see – as always – how they close 'em.  Thus far in 2012, when in doubt, it always falls in the bulls favor.  

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

Read More