Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wrong Way Gartman Strikes Again?

September 28, 2016
CNBC: October will be 'spooky' month for investors, Dennis Gartman predicts

You have political circumstances, I think, that are going to make October an unbelievably volatile period of time.

The S&P 500 close has been stuck between 2126 and 2164 this month, currently lurking near the midpoint at 2139. Futures are down 0.2% as I type this. Eerily quiet. Too quiet. Spooky.


October 25, 2016
The Salt Lake Tribune: Treasury volatility drops to lowest since 2014

"People are looking for a December rate hike. Even with the presidential election, people are comfortable with rates."

Treasury volatility lowest since 2014? Eerily quiet. Too quiet. Spooky.

Don't you see what this means? It's not too late to make big money in October! If Gartman's right, then bet the farm that something "unbelievably volatile" is about to happen in the next few trading days! Woohoo!!

This is NOT investment advice. ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Coach: Jim Cramer's Winner of the Newest World

February 6, 2012
CNBC: Cramer Pits Coach Versus Tiffany Stock

To Cramer: it’s important investors are able to understand what makes some companies winners while other companies in the same sector struggle. Right now, he thinks Coach is a winner while Tiffany continues to struggle.

Adjusting for dividends and splits, investors in Coach have lost 43% since he said that. Meanwhile, Tiffany investors are up 24%. I kid you not.

Hey Cramer, is "winner" a euphemism for luxury bag holding opportunity? Just trying to make sense of all the subtle nuances!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Dog Who Knew Real Prosperity

Filmed in 2014. Rest in peace, Honey.

The Current Health of Discretionary Brick and Mortar Retailing in One Chart

The following chart shows the combined annual nominal sales growth of department stores, general merchandise stores, electronics and appliance stores, clothing and clothing accessory stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores. I have limited it to the kinds of things one might give as discretionary gifts during the upcoming holiday season.

Click to enlarge.

As seen in the following article, rumors of brick and mortar demise are greatly underexaggerated. Not currently keeping up with inflation. Not currently keeping up with population growth. Not even flat lining. No, sir. Definitely in the red by more than 2% right now. One might even use the word deteriorating.

October 17, 2016
Nasdaq: Retail Sales Up: Is the Economy Ready for a Rate Hike?

Though the economy might be dealing with various micro and macro issues, an increase in retail sales definitely holds good for both brick & mortar and online retailers, which are bracing up for the busiest part of the year. With the advent of the holiday season, the retail sector will hog all the attention. So, it will be prudent to shift your focus to retail stocks that still hold promise.

The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination. - H. P. Lovecraft

Bloomberg vs. CNBC: Miami Real Estate

October 20, 2016
Bloomberg: It's Better to Buy Than to Rent, and It Probably Always Will Be

Some markets are more advantageous than others. In Miami, it's 53 percent cheaper to buy than to rent a home of similar size, the biggest discount among the metropolitan areas included in the report.

The closure of Detroit's Packard Car Company in 1956, the impact of San Francisco's Great Earthquake in 1906, and Bernanke's "there is no housing bubble to go bust" national housing bubble bust of 2005 notwithstanding, it's better to buy than to rent, and probably always will be? Miami is a screaming bargain? Hmmm.

October 20, 2016
CNBC: Miami luxury condo prices take a plunge

In broader Miami, inventory rose 11 percent, resulting in a 40-month supply of luxury condos. Inventories for single-family homes in both areas are also higher.

Given these broad-based increases, Miller said the luxury real estate market in Miami is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Ever get the feeling that Miami is destined to be the real estate speculation capital of the world? These booms and busts never seem to end. Is it the water? Is it the sun? Is there something in the air? Please don't tell me this gambling vice has a catchy tune!

Here is my advice, for what it is worth. Only buy a home if you believe you can stay for at least a few years. The more the better. That's especially true in a modern world, where job security can often be expressed in mere months for unlucky souls. I rented for years when I was working and never regretted it. I moved often to go where the work was. Owning a home could have easily anchored me [underwater]. Your experience may vary, of course.

I should also mention that as a homeowner, the mere mention of the word earthquake makes me cringe. Care to guess who is mostly on the hook during a big one? Me. In the battle between Mother Nature and my house, the former will eventually win. But hey, at least it's not built on a flood plain. That's something I guess. Now if I could just stop thinking about volcanoes. Mt. Rainier is in the distance. 99.99% beautiful. 0.01% terrifying. So far, so good.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Sarcasm Report v.263

October 20, 2016
USA Today: Your groceries may be cheaper, but farmers and supermarkets feel the pain

Christopher says many shoppers are using the savings to buy more groceries.

This is great news. Market forces are finally tackling the widespread problem of shrinking waistlines in America, says my secret source, an anonymous executive of a for-profit statin drug manufacturer.

Michelle Morris, 45, of Canton, Mich., estimates her family is saving $10 to $20 a week at the grocery store. As a result, they’re eating out less frequently...

More great news. Now that food prices have fallen, people can finally afford to eat at home instead of dining out. There's nothing quite like anecdotal evidence to support a questionable implied theory.

Monday, October 17, 2016

U.K. Savers Miss Out on Giant U.S. Dollar Rally

I only bring it up because...

October 17, 2016
MarketWatch: U.S. investors miss out on giant U.K. stock rally

The U.K. stock market is white-hot right now, with FTSE 100 trading near record highs. But unfortunately for foreign investors, the sharp drop in the British pound would have erased all of their profits, and then some.

As a U.S. saver, I'll try not to beat myself up over missing that giant white-hot nothingburger opportunity.

Hey! U.K. savers! Today only, will sell you a dollar for just $1.01! Buy as many as you want! Who knows? Might be more rally left!! We may be printing them as fast as we can but we still can't meet demand!

Bad Mark. Bad! Bad! Apologies to any U.K. savers who follow this blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to Shop My Way at Sears

October 11, 2016
New Sears Member Bonus Event to Feature First-Ever Shop Your Way Holiday Guarantee

How to shop the Member Bonus Event and qualify for the Holiday Guarantee:

Shop in-store at Sears on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., when prices will reflect those for the upcoming Sears Days Lowest Prices of the Season sale (which officially starts Oct. 20)

Shopping my way starts with me patiently waiting 5 days for the 3-hour event to start. Oh, the anticipation!

No further action is required by the member – if any items purchased at the event go lower at the same store for a lower price through Christmas Eve (including Black Friday), members will receive the difference back in points automatically credited to their account on 1/16/17 – up to $100 in points per member

Shopping my way involves guessing which Sears store won't close before Christmas Eve. This is a key point. If Eddie Lampert closes the store I pick right after I make the purchase, then the prices may not go lower at that same store. The liquidation sale might not happen until 2017!

Today is the big day. I have chosen the closest store to me and will be crossing my fingers that it will remain open for the rest of the year. Shopping my way means that I can't go right now though. I must wait until at least 6pm and get out of there by 9pm. So what do I do in the meantime?

The Seahawks are playing from 1pm to 4pm. Perfect! Oh, wait. There's also Sunday Night Football! Hmmm. That could wrap up by 8:30pm. So what does this mean? Well, it won't be pretty.

If I push the limits of our society's many traffic laws just a tad, I can make it to Sears in 20 minutes in light traffic. That will give me a full 10 minutes to do all my Christmas shopping. Craftsman tools for everyone on my list! To save time, I'll just sweep them randomly into my basket. Although many, if not most or all, of the tools are now made in China and are of lower quality, I still really trust the Craftsman brand. Always have, always will. One thing that I really appreciate is the lifetime warranty. 100% guaranteed for as long as Eddie Lampert can keep the struggling chain afloat!

October 14, 2016
This Sears Employee Just Landed the Worst Job in Corporate America

But to call it a promotion for Hollar is quite the stretch. Try more like a death sentence and potential blemish on the resume given the unique challenges he will have to endure from day one as Sears' top numbers cruncher.

That's funny. I would have thought the worst job in Corporate America would be the guy trying to ring up all of our Craftsman purchases in time today! I'm fairly easy-going about it, but some customers might turn a bit rude at 9:01pm! Then again, the CFO job does seem stressful too. One can only hope that he's generously compensated for crunching all those numbers.

Shopping my way with ample sarcasm, baby. That's what I'm talking about.