Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Surprise Musicals

The World's Most Innovative Companies

Business Week has released it's list of the fifty most innovative companies in the world. Most of these are not a big surprise but it is interesting to look over the list and then research the stock activity over the past few months. Many of the innovative companies are more resilient to a down turn in the market. Here are the top few from each category:

Financial - GS, BOA, C
Pharma/Biotech/Health care - PFE, MRK, DNA
Technology/Telecom - AAPL, GOOG, ATT
Entertainment/Media - DIS, AAPL, NWS
Consumer Products - AAPL, PG, SNE
Autos - TM, GM, Tata Group (Private)
Industrial/Manufacturing - GE, MMM, BA
Retail - WMT, TGT, AMZN
Energy - BP, XOM, Royal Dutch Shell (Private)
Travel/Tourism/Hospitality - MAR, Hilton Hotels (Private), Virgin Group (Private)

A few that I think should have been added to the list or further up on the list are: AXP, PEP, NTDOY, CHK, & ERTS. Sorry for not linking the stocks, but you can pull them up here if you would like...

Ben Bernanke

The Fed's upcoming policy-setting meeting this week has left investors a little shaky. It has been widely anticipated that the Fed is going lower interest rates an additional quarter point to 2%, but inflation concerns may keep the interest rate flat. The acquisition news released today regarding Mars Inc's purchase of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for a reported $23 billion dollars has done little to excite the market. So once again the fate of the market lies in the hands of Ben Bernanke. Here are a few facts about our friend Big Ben:

- Born in Agusta Georgia in 1953
- Taught himself calculus
- Received a 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT
- Received an undergraduate degree from Harvard with a BA in economics in 1975
- Received a PhD from MIT in 1979
- Taught at Stanford Graduate School of Business, New York University, and Princeton University
- Joined the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 2002
- Appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve on Febuary 1, 2006, by President Bush

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Apple on Wallstrip... Again

Don't call it a comeback! Apple was featured on Wallstrip for like the fourth or fifth time after the past few weeks of impressive growth. Check it out...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Presidential Pay

Does George need a pay raise? Lets take a look...

For 2007 George and Laura Bush had taxable income totaling $719,274 while the average CEO compensation was $15,200,000 from the 500 largest US Companies. The United States government is arguable the largest company in the world, so why isn't the president compensated adequately? As a percentage of our GDP even our current president is a steal. Granted Air Force One is pretty sweet, but maybe if we were to raise the compensation package for presidents we would attract more qualified candidates. Just a thought...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tech & Oil

Technology stocks were on fire today thanks to Google posting stellar earnings last night. My fruit of choice is Apple which jumped 6 bucks putting me well back into the green on this stock. I bought Apple in the 120's and up to the 170's so my cost basis is around 150. Financials still look gloomy, but tech and natural resources are looking strong. With gas prices well above 3 bucks a gallon look for Exxon to post record earnings on May 1st. XOM has been hovering around $90 a share for a while so look for some movement when earnings hit. It may jump above $100 a share. All and all a pretty strong week for the markets. Hope we can keep this momentum heading into next week. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Moving Forward

It is always important to reflect on the past to learn from mistakes and to understand how to react if encountered with a similar situation. With hindsight I would have liquidated with the dow at 14,000 and reentered when the dow hit 11,750, but how can you tell when the market is going to turn? With so much noise it is hard tell how the market is going to react in a volatile market. A month ago I was sure we would be sitting around 10,000, but the market has been surprisingly resilient and if you had sold at 11,750 you would be in a world of pain right now. When the market stays relatively bearish for a long period of time any glimmer of hope can cause a huge rally. Everyone wants to be bullish especially in a bear market. As a whole I believe most investors are intrinsically optimistic, but sometimes the few pessimists can ruin the party.

Google announced stellar earnings after hours today and the stock has bounced in after hours trading (currently up $76.42 or 17%). The news from Google should give tech a great jump in the opening tomorrow. Congrats to everyone holding GOOG!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Recession Proof Trends

RIMM is blowing up in after hours trading! RIMM posted surprising quarterly results that blew away analysts expectations doubling prior years sales and profits.

Is RIMM recession proof? Hell no, but I love seeing stocks blow up on a day when Bernanke is scaring everyone with recession talk. RIMM is a great company with great products. They are getting a lot of attention from the consumer market thanks to the release of the Pearl and residual Apple customers. This is what Forbes has to say:

Riding on the coattails of Apple's iPhone, Blackberry maker Research In Motion late Wednesday posted surprisingly strong results for its latest quarter as consumers cottoned to smartphones of all stripes.

Research in Motion strategy is to expand into the retail consumer market and move away from its traditional dependence on corporations and government agencies. It has been seeking to woo general consumers with multimedia-heavy handsets such as the BlackBerry Pearl.

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