Monday
Apr172006

Portfolio Trade - Yahoo Buy Write

Bought Yahoo (YHOO) at 30.93
Sold 32.5 Calls July at 1.70.
Size = 1/7 of full (max) position.

Yahoo took an earnings decline based on expenses like employee options but the online advertising just keeps growing.  I feel save owning this stock at these levels.  Intersting story on MarketWatch.com.

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog is meant to be specific financial advice or a recommendation to buy or sell.  I do not give investment advice.  Do your own research.  Do not rely on anything in this weblog to make investment decisions.  I do not log all my trades here. I only describe or mention those that I think might be interesting. Consult an investment professional familiar with your specific financial situation before buying or selling any security.
Monday
Apr172006

Portfolio Trade - Intel

On April 11th, I bought a small amount (1/5 position) of Intel (INTC) at $19.18 from a long standing Good-Till-Cancelled order.  On March 14th  I did two things, I placed a limit order at $19.18  and I sold naked puts for July expiration that would force me to buy Intel at $17.50 should the stock fall below that price.

So why Intel and why at $19.18 and $17.50? (If the $17.50 strike puts I sold for $0.40 are assigned, my cost is $17.10 - and my position size would now be a 1/2 full position)


1. Intel is out of favor relative to Advance Micro Devices (AMD).  All the negative media caught my attention.
2. I chose $19.18 because that gives Intel a dividend yield of 2.1%;  17.1, 2.3%
3. Normally, I don't like companies like Intel that shower employees in options and have huge overhangs of shares to be issued at higher prices. However at low stock valuations good trades are often profitable.  In other words, there could be value.
4.  I like to initiate a small position in a stock that I think might fall further but at a price that still represents value; $19.18 gets me started.  $19.18 implies a p/e ratio of 13 vs. trailing earnings and 18 forward). According to First Call earnings estimates, buying the stock at $17.10, gives me a p/e ratio of 13 versus 2007 estimates and 15.5 for 2006.
5. My portfolio underexposed in the technology sector and the whole sector is starting to look cheap versus normal tech valuations and versus the market as a whole.  And I don't want to gain exposure through expensive stocks.
6. I believe Intel will get its act together and come back. 

Disclosure: I own Intel and am short July 17.50 puts.  I would buy more Intel if the price drops.  I would start to look at selling out the small position in Intel I currently have if the stock went above 22.

Saturday
Apr152006

Empire State Building Lighting Schedule

I look out the window every night and see the Empire StateBuilding.  People often ask me what the colors mean. Sometimes it's obvious like red-white-and-blue for the Fourth of Julyor all Green on St. Patrick's Day.  But sometimet the colors are amystery. That's when I have to go to the web.   This is the linkto the lighting schedule website of the Empire State Building.


Friday
Apr142006

10-year Treasury Yield Breaks 5%; Prelude To A Crash?

I always enjoy historical graphics comparing historic marketcrashes to similar chart formations in the present. Usually an author predicts animpending repeat and the market disaster nearly never happens in the same way.   Such comparisons are always interesting,usually educational but all too often they miss scale or only pick up on a fewof the many factors the precipitate a major market shock.  In this case worth reading, US Market Blogwriter Eddy Elfenbein submits that one of the classic signs of an overheatedstock market are rising interest rates and rising gold prices.  He compares charts before the 1987 marketcrash and now. 

His warning that rising gold prices together with risinginterest rates is a bad sign should be heeded. But these price movements arenot the alarm of an approaching crash they are a forewarning of inflation.  Inflation is never good for the stock marketwhen it starts, and if the Fed really puts the brakes on the economy by raisingrates fast there could be a long and big market decline.  But a stock market decline is a secondary consequence.  His point that money is leaving bonds forgold is an interesting one but not exactly correct.  The world is awash in paper assets due to anexcess is savings.  Thus, excess money isdriving up the price of every store of value. Eventually, all this excess willplay out in more inflation and that is what the gold and bond markets arepredicting.

I recommend the Seeking Alpha Network of which US Market Blog is a part.

Friday
Apr142006

US Bonds Cross 5% yield

The benchmark ten-year treasury bond crossed above the 5% yield for thefirst time in years.  I am just going to let my short bondposition run here. I don't see any upside to bond prices (lower yields)until the Fed gives a signal that it might be done raising short term rates.  

However, these big figure changes in benchmark yields do usually bringout retail trading so I do think we'll see some suport for the next twoweeks.  I wouldn't expect yields to go much above 5.2% until someof that technical buying is done.
Friday
Apr142006

Sucks to be Rumsfeld - Sucks More to Work for Him

More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation Article from the NYTimes.  


Maybe if he resigned the US Army would be able to cure the officer retention rate problems as well.  See comments on fastcompany blog as well.

Tuesday
Apr112006

Fast Company.com Blog Comment


I just posted a comment to Heath Row at the FastCompany.com WebLob regarding declining military officer retention.
Tuesday
Apr112006

Recommend Books by Career Coach

A couple friends asked me what books the career coach recommended ashomework before we meet.  So here they are a rampage of psychologyand self-help.

The Inner Game of Work (Tim Galway)
Radical Honesty (Brad Blanton)
Evolve Yourself (Rich Rahn)
The Art of Possibility : Transforming Professional and Personal Life (Benjamin Zander)

So far I've read half of Art of Possibity and about two-thirds of Radical Honesty.  I must say Radical Honesty is quite disturbing in a good way.

Monday
Apr102006

Grammie Wisdom

I have decided to post tidbits of wisdom I hear from my grandmother.  She's 85 and my inspiration for investing.   She doesn't play slot machines she plays the stock market and has successfully since the 1940's. 

When I asked her about gold hitting $600 an ounce.  Her comment was, "it's going much higher".  She once showed me a letter from her father written in the 1930's.  It said, "In times of uncertainty, put your money in the ground.  Buy gold, oil, metals and such."  She's pretty good at this stuff.  Watch out!


Sunday
Apr092006

Review of Don Pasquale at the New York Metropolitan Opera


I saw Don Pasquale by Donizetti at the Met Friday, April 7th.

The Met's production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale is  opera buffa is comedy at its best.  Itis rare that something sung in a language foreign to most of theaudience will bring a theatre to belly laughs – but it happened to usat the Met on Friday. 

The recent fashion at the Met for hiring young, attractive and dramatically talented singers pays off.  The sexy Russian Soprano Anna Netrebkostole the show and had many of us swooning when she sang seated on theedge of the orchestra pit dangling her legs above the brass section.  Thenumber of times that I or someone seated around me said, “Damn that wasgood” at the end of an aria shows just how powerful the talents ofNetrebko and Peruvian Tenor Juan Diego Flórez really are.

Don Pasquale
has not been in the Metropolitan Opera repertoire for quite some time.  As a matter of fact it was the first time I had seen it.  I would highly recommend seeing this production.  Thisis a performance not to be missed. There are still six moreperformances with the cast I saw and apparently only the Saturdayperformance is sold out.  Get there while you can.