Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Blog

Hi Guys,

Most, if you if not all of you, either follow me on twitter or receive my newsletter, I realize some may not so I wanted to let you know that I will converting to a premium site either tomorrow morning or the latest Tuesday. I mentioned this on the Saturday morning blog. Please shoot me an e-mail if you need any further information or have questions. I will be partnering with Stocktwits and I am looking forward to the new venue.

The new address will be upsidetrader.com NOT upsidetrader.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Things I Can't Friggin' Believe IV

Here is number four in my random series of things I can't friggin believe in the world of pop culture, the market, the economy, politics and whatever else grabs me on a laid back Saturday.

That Ashton Kutcher has one million twitter followers, that's about 999,970 more people that saw him in The Butterfly Effect.

That we now have more Czars than Russia did.

That dictator groupie Obama is bowing to the Saudis, high five-ing Chavez, sending videos to Achmidinjahd and having shits and giggles with Castro.

That GM thinks they have a chance.

That we release our interrogation strategies to the world but are consumed with worry about how we will sugar coat the stress test results to the public.

That Donald Trump is always Forbes 100 but seems to go bankrupt every five minutes.

That NY Mets owner Fred Wilpon supposedly lost $500 million in the Madoff scam and has Citigroup as his main sponsor. Ouch

That Janet Nepolitano, Sheila Baer and Janet Reno don't have their own reality show called "Dem Babes and Our Fashion Secrets"

That Keith Olberman exists.

That IYR and the commercial real estate sector are trading like they cured cancer.

That Dendreon is because they are.

That Cramer continues to lie like a rug to the American people.

That CNBC ( Crappy Nonsense By Charlatans) has snooked the folks for 20 years. Congrats. We have Internet now, why do we need them?

That Donny Deutcsh gets another shot, same crap, different name-you too can make a million with a water proof egg timer. When you build, not inherit, I'll listen. Arrogant schmuckweed.

That Jeff Zucker at NBC lost $45 million on the second most watched Super Bowl in history. This guy would screw up breathing.

That I haven't egged Ruth Madoff's house yet.

That John Mayer and Al Franken still exist.

That anyone believes China's numbers.

That Hyman Roth and Michael Corleone really are in Cuba now, but Roth is saying to Michael, " we will be bigger than Stocktwits," not U.S Steel.

That Israel hasn't bombed Iran yet.

That FSLR hasn't broken $50 yet.

That American Express is paying us to rip up our cards, but their stock has doubled, last I checked, that's their business.

That Aubrey McClendan isn't on wth Cramer anymore.

That Aubrey McClendon served me my Whopper today.

That Ivan Boesky and Micheal Milken look like choir boys compared to the new breed of grifter.

That Aubrey McClendon squeegied my windshield today.

That Joe Terranova gets face time--even on the street.

That Botany 500 hasn't sued Joe Terranova for giving bad cloths an even worse name.

That some financial pundits wear shoulder pads and pony tails on TV.

That Dylan Radigan didn't leave CNBC sooner.

That Hufington and Howard Dean are now considered the smart mony on CNBC, booyah.

That my President has apologized for my father's arrogance in WW2.


Later,

Upside

Weekend Linky Dinks and the New Blog

The market continued edging higher this week and needless to say it at the stage where it has both the bulls and bears on their toes. I know I am. Next week should be key, enjoy the links.

I am really digging Pete Fleckenstein's new blog, check it out.

Roubini is still fighting his good fight and defends his dead cat bounce theory.

When you make to the top they always want to pull you down, is Meredith Whitney really over rated? I think not.

Return of the day trader.

Bob Dylan's new one.

California foreclosures set to soar again.

Still shadows looming out there.

Is Obama becoming a bigger dictator groupie than Jimmy Carter?

Israel is ready to go.

Bank of America eps preview.

After a decade of losses, starting over at 30.

The idiots on the Hill have to blame somebody.

I wonder if Carville, Stephenapoulis and Emmanuel had any input here.

Another incompetent analyst, this time regarding Dendreon. Ouch.

I was fifteen floors down from these guys when the plane hit, lost a bunch of buddies there too, I'm glad to see them thriving again.

Wells Fargo, I'm still waiting to see what happens when we really peel the onion.


The newsletter will be out either late today or tomorrow. Yes I will discuss the changes on the blog starting Monday and the new pay site. The free site will have less specific content, the new site will include charting, my 5/20 trading strategy, specific commentary, video including specific entries for both longs and shorts with concise follow-up. I started the blog about 15 months ago and I think it's fair to say I have completely nailed this market on the short side, specifically in the financials and materials. I hope you have found it useful and I know I saved many folks from heart ache and actually made those who followed along a small fortune. I hope to move forward with most of you guys. Hopefully it will be a fun, exciting and most importantly, a very profitable journey. God Bless and thanks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Options Expiration and Happy Friday

Citi beat earnings, wow. Get me on the bid for a million shares. Money is being made hand over fist by some banks as they have been trading the AIG toxicity. That party ends soon and they will have to go back to actually---lending money? Let me know how that works out for you. Yes I'm always the cynic, and although I have had some luck being long the last month, especially in some financials, they are getting dreadfully over bought.

Throw out the playbook though with this animal, because it is not our father's stock market. All this debt and spending will come back to crush us in the end, but I'm enjoying the party for now. I've been taking names of my favorite pundits this time around. Have a profitable day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go Figure

OK, the $64,000 question, why is retail (RTH), consumer discretionary (XLY), commercial real estate (IYR), and the financials (XLF), trading like today is your last day to buy stocks? When department stores receive credit downgrades by S&P, commercial real estate is going bust, folks are still not buying Starbucks or 50 inch plasmas and the banks are still broke and may even get broker before it's all over? Shoot me an e-mail, I want to know your thoughts. It really is the old story though, just as stocks stay over sold, they can stay over bought. How many times did you hear back in November and January that we were so over sold and desperately due for a bounce, only to get bludgeoned further like little baby seals. As the pain was unrelenting then, the ecstasy can be equal in duration. No one rings a bell at the bottom, or the top for that matter, and while many of us want to buy FAZ, SRS and many of the assorted leveraged etf's, the market just keeps taking money from the short sellers-everyday. I wrote many times over the last few months that the market wouldn't crash at all because we were in a constant "state of crash." The big capitulatory event never really came, there wasn't a beast tolling the bell at 666 on the S&P. There won't be anyone ringing the bell at the top that is coming either. That's why I try and trade it like I see it and take nothing for granted.

Tomorrow they kill the options and it's Friday, kind of like a silver bullet and a full moon for me, I suck on Friday. I caught GOOG for 14 baloons in the aftermarket today, the trade lasted about four minutes, no way I'm giving that back tomorrow--I hope.

General Growth Properties Files BK

Not a surprise, we knew it was coming but, my interest in this filing is how it will effect the rest of the group. Many of the stocks in this sector are not only having problems but are literally in arrears on their payments to the banks as some of their lenders are just "waiting" for the turn. Note to banks, don't stand on one foot waiting. Why has the group rallied when everyone on God's green earth knows it's the next shoe to drop? Just ask the trapped longs in material and financials a year ago. When you are a trapped long, your a trapped long. Someone will blink soon and the cascade will begin. Let's get Morningstar on CNBC to opine on some five star REITS this morning, dumb asses. Keep your friends close and your SRS closer in the coming weeks.

JPM reported this morning and their net was down 10%, the stock is down slightly and golden boy Dimon warned that there will be tough sledding ahead. Rosetta Stone went public and was priced a bit higher than the original price talk, I'm hearing the White House ordered thousands of dvd's as the administration feels it is important to be apologists for our country's misdeeds in the actual language of the country. Can't wait for the lively banter between Pelosi and Achmadinijad in the months to come.

Good luck out there.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Express

Watch the mood of the market and the financials on this one.

Happy Tax Day

Odd feeling as I write a check to the government and think of all our trillions that have gone to bail out the financials on such a mind numbing scale. God forbid I'm off by a few "thou", as the call will come from a troglodyte at the IRS who couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted him two letters. The irony though, is that tax cheat Timmy Geithner's signature will be on the letterhead. God I love the irony.

White House: U.S. to release some stress test details

Stress tests to be completed in early May in a 'systemic' way, says Gibbs

Loving the above headline from Marketwatch. My Translation: we will choreograph this as best we can, have early spin management from our friends in the mainstream media, and even though these results are layered in gray matter, lies, half truths and with the extreme use of smoke and mirrors, we will convince you, the stupid shareholder/taxpayer that things are just swell.

My evenings last week on my knees in the surf at sunset praying to the Gods to make me less jaded and cynical have obviously fallen on deaf ears. I believe none of this rhetoric nor do I believe the idiots that run my government. I do believe in one thing--the whim and desire of the market, and right now it wants to be higher. My stops during the day are tighter than a camel's ass in a sandstorm as this could turn lower on a dime. I traded some MDR today and some AXP from the long side and did fine, especilaly on AXP later in the day. I was short a little too, via some SRS and SPG and FAZ, they were very much short term rentals. It was my first day back in a week so I traded real small so I could get my legs back.

I may be back later. Hope you had a great day.

Ready To Go

Back from sunny Florida and I'm looking forward to trading these markets. We've enjoyed a wonderful rally and now we will see if we can see some healthy sideways actions and another leg up.

According to some preliminary data leaked to the NY Times all 19 banks with assets above $100 billion will pass the stress test.
The official results are due by the end of April.

According to RGE Monitor this requires a peek below the surface:

"“In brief, banks are benefiting from close to zero borrowing costs and fewer competitors; they are benefiting from a massive transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers given a dozen different government bailout and subsidy programs for the financial system; they are not properly provisioning/reserving for massive future loan losses; they are not properly marking down current losses from loans in delinquency; they are using the recent mark to market changes to inflate the value of many assets; they are using a number of accounting tricks to minimize reported losses and maximize reported earnings; the Treasury is using a stress scenario for the stress tests that is not a true stress scenario as actual data is running worse than the worse case scenario."

We'll see how this all pans out but one thing I've learned is that you shouldn't get in the way of the market when it's made up its mind, and has momentum in its favor. It is however something to watch closely as the financials reversed strongly yesterday and FAZ had a huge volume day, maybe it was a one day wonder, maybe not.

I'm still catching up and getting my bearings but I'll see you on stocktwits. Good luck today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Snooking, Tweeting and Missing You

These harmless snook in the picture have no idea of their appointment with my dinner table starting today. I'm in Southwest Florida with the family and thus far have been warming up with snapper and sheepshead off the pier, but the heavy artillery is being readied as we speak, and I am now going out for the fun stuff with my son JD, snook and redfish in the beautiful mangroves out in the back country on Sanibel Island.

Evidently I missed some fun long side action the last couple of days last week, but my mood is too happy and relaxed to be the cynic so I will just say that I hope everybody kicked ass last week and that you didn't find yourselves leaning the wrong way. I'm still trying to figure out how WFC had "record" earnings and am conflicted on what is really under the covers there. GS thinks it's a good time to sell stock again, smart move on their part, feed the ducks when they're quacking I always say. Why is it eerily reminiscent to me though of when Blackstone and Fortress jumped out of the gate a couple years back when they sold their stock.

I've been coming down here for fifteen year and fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves---and residential real estate prices, as I had the local 24/7 real estate channel on. Buzzwords and phrases that I heard ad nauseum were "reduced again" "very motivated seller" "owner will finance" free golf for life"........ Homes that I looked at down here four years ago are now trading at anywhere from 40 to 60% discounts and I'm talking sweet homes, on the water. Thankfully, I didn't listen to the bonehead realtors back then that were drinking mass quantities of their own kool aid, thinking housing values would be an uninterrupted ascent on the stairway to heaven. Florida has always been referred to as "God's waiting room" now I know why, especially if you bought at the top. I'd feel alot better being down 50% in stocks than I ever would be holding some of this stuff. I have the ability to make that back in stocks in reasonably short order, with housing I'm subjected to too many variables, quite a messy dynamic. This will last much longer than the geniuses on CNBC will tell you, I feel good putting my track record against theirs anyway.

Speaking of CNBC, (Crappy Nonsense By Charlatans--just made that up) they did a fairly good job of NOT telling the public the real deal about Stocktwits but I never expected anything "honest" from them anyway. Any entity that could make Cramer their "pointman" or "spokesperson" tells you all you really need to know. By my count, the network owes my buddy Soren Macbeth another 14:32 of fame as they ended the piece with a troglodyte from Morningstar, you know the mutual fund rating agency that had 5 stars on just about every fund they follow, even though over 90% of funds lost money in 2009. How dare they? That's CNBC. Thankfully they owe us nothing and Soren and Howard Lindzon and all the good people on Stocktwits know that. Others though, can continue to get cutting edge info from Joe " I wear orange polyester shirts from Botany 500" Terranova, Karen "deer in headlights, I'm just a value player" Finerman, Tim "I'm long every emerging market every day even though the world is burning" Seymour, Guy "if there is a big volume day in a stock it always means the bottom and buy USB everyday" Adami, and all the others on the show that don't understand that CASH and sometimes DOING NOTHING is also a phenomenal strategy.

OK, so I ranted a bit anyway, it's my friggin' blog.

I will be back at the screens Wednesday unless of course Somali pirates don't hijack me going back to New York. The newsletter resumes next weekend and I apologize for the two week interruption as I've travelling. I will post tomorrow most likely at some point, have a great weekend and I miss you all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Uptick Scmucktick

Our all knowing regulators are out to save the world from themselves again as the uptick rule gets a second look. It will take months to test them but in the spirit of speed and clarity there will be five, count em' five, different proposals for consideration.

Here are the proposals:

One approach the agency is considering would be to simply reinstate the uptick provision removed in 2007. The SEC is also asking the public to comment on four variations.
Another approach bears a resemblance to old uptick rule, but it would allow short sales only after a potential buyer bid at least a penny more than the company's stock price. This bid test is different than the original uptick rule because it would allow a short sale after a higher bid rather than a higher sale price. For technological and implementation reasons, the SEC staff indicated that it favored this approach over reinstating the old uptick regulation.
Three other proposals, known as "circuit breaker tests," would limit short selling for the duration of one trading day once certain triggers were met. One provision would ban short selling outright in a particular security if there were a 10% decline in its stock price, according to the agency. The ban would be in place for the remainder of the day.
The agency also proposed two other similar "circuit breaker" tests. One would reinstate the uptick rule for a particular security, for the duration of one trading day, if there is a 10% decline in its stock price. With another approach, a stock that experiences a 10% price decline would have a bid-test uptick rule that would only allow a short sale at a price that is above the highest available bid.

Jim Chanos who is primarily a short seller, but also has long exposure had this to say today:

"Rebuilding investor confidence should be the primary objective of any new regulatory effort and it is not clear that today's proposals will meet that simple goal. Skeptics, independent research and critical analysis must continue to play a vibrant role for our markets to grow sustainably and with integrity. Short selling is integral to improving the efficiency of markets and enhancing market quality through narrower spreads, deeper liquidity, less volatility, and greater price discovery. In recent years, short-sellers have publicly warned the marketplace about the dangers at AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Enron, as well as sounding the alarm over the credit ratings agencies, non-bank subprime lenders, and credit insurers. Proposals to inhibit short-selling have the effect of limiting this vital market-based antidote to corporate fraud and speculative bubbles, and must be carefully weighed against the clear harm that comes from ill-conceived government intervention in basic market functions."

Chanos was one of the first to uncover problems at Enron and AIG. Keep up the good work BIG GOV. My counter is a downtick rule where you can only buy stocks on a downtick.

A pox on all their houses.

Hump Day

Here's me in the new GM PUMA on my way to a business trip in Chicago. I will arrive on July 2, 2011, but boy do I feel good about myself. Actually, it's a prototype manufactured with Segway which is a very cool product.

Pulte is buying Cenex in a deal that will prove to be pure genius or a complete disaster. Only time will tell. Futures are lower as the market continues to give back gains. Unemployment has hit Wall St in a big way as we all know, but this will be tough to swallow for some ex Wall Streeters. I can just see a former million dollar hedge fund guy taking direction from an incompetent govy bureaucrat with a room temperature IQ in his modestly decorated cubicle.

This was sent to me by my friend Tom in Phoenix last night, it appeared in the Arizona Republic:

Job pressures helped push Valley bankruptcies to a 41-month high in March with the big increase made possible by income tax refunds. “People now can afford to pay their bankruptcy attorneys because they got their tax refunds back” said Chris Dutkiewicz, an attorney in Gilbert.

Tom comments that the Feds would love to know that tax refunds are going to file bankruptcy and stiff creditors and wonders if the tax preparer got paid in advance to file the return or is now in line as a creditor in the bankruptcy?

Tough times for sure.

About Me

My Photo
I am a former hedge fund manager, broker and capital markets dude who now trades for his own account. I love what I do. I will try to post some stocks and an occasional chart that looks attractive for entry.I will also try to point out the idiocy of conventional wisdom and the lack of value added by the mainstream financial media. These postings should not be viewed as recommendations.