Thursday, August 25, 2005

Energy prices continued their recent rapid surge yesterday, with both oil and natural gas setting new nominal records in trading, as the state of Hawaii prepared to impose a cap on rising gasoline prices -- the first such move in the U.S. since the early 1970s.(WSJ)

SINGAPORE – Asia's economic growth is at risk from high oil prices, International Monetary Fund managing director Rodrigo Rato said Thursday, calling especially on Indonesia and the Philippines to combat inflationary pressures. WSJ)

The officer, Scott J. Phillpott, said in a statement on Monday that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. "My story is consistent," said Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon's Special Operations Command. "Atta was identified by Able Danger by January-February of 2000." (NYT)

The U.S., bucking a global trend, is the only major economic power these days with fertility rates high enough to keep the size of its work force relatively constant as the population ages, and that portends continued prosperity, a report says. (WSJ)

Mainland China has the distinction of being the first major economy to grow old before they grow rich," said Richard Jackson, director of the Global Aging Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. (WSJ)

09:06 ET Baidu forecasts a slowdown in revenue growth -- FT :, China's leading internet search company, expects revenues to rise by between 11 and 16 per cent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, a marked slowing in the new Nasdaq star's sequential sales growth. The revenues mainly come from the sale of advertising links that appear alongside its website's search results, a model that emulates that of global search giant Google. Baidu has won plaudits for its success in building an effective marketing team in China and for adapting its search technology to the needs of users in a market very different from the US. However, questions have been raised about the sustainability of its "MP3" online music search service, which accounts for more than 20 per cent of traffic to the site but which has been targeted by music publishers for allegedly promoting piracy.(

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States (AP)

You owe $145,000, and the bill is rising every day. That's how much it would cost every American man, woman and child to pay the tab for the long-term promises the U.S. government has made to creditors, retirees, veterans and the poor. (Robert Tanner AP, Arizona Republic)

Freedom is on the march in Cuba, and Fidel Castro seems nervous. Over the past month, he has intensified his crackdown on political dissenters, making arrests at a pace unseen since the last wave of repression in 2003. Now Rene Gomez Manzano, a dissident leader arrested in his bed on July 22, is starting a hunger strike to protest his unjust imprisonment, as The New York Sun's Meghan Clyne reported Friday. Mr. Gomez Manzano will join Akbar Ganji, the jailed Iranian journalist who also has gone on a hunger strike, as a hero of the struggle for democracy. (NY SUN)

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- China National Petroleum Corp., the nation's biggest oil company, agreed to buy PetroKazakhstan Inc. for $4.18 billion, topping a bid by an Indian producer and securing supplies for the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. companies, which have been reluctant to part with their mountain of cash, may start spending more of it -- and spur the economy in the process. Flush from three years of soaring profits, the top U.S. corporations hold $634 billion in cash, the biggest hoard relative to their market value in 17 years, according to Standard & Poor's. Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Dell Inc. and Pfizer Inc. are hearing from investors who say it's time to either spend more to expand their business, or pay higher dividends.

Bottom line? With three weeks left to go, the broadcast nets are down a collective 10% among adults 18-49 vs. last summer -- and 15% in viewers 18-34. ABC is the only net up over last year, while Fox is flat; other four nets are down sharply. (

"China's growing income gap is likely to trigger social instability after 2010 if the government finds no effective solutions to end the disparity," the Ministry of Labour and Social Security warned in the China Daily.

PRESSURE was intensifying on ministers last night to live up to their promised crackdown on Islamic fanatics by charging or deporting a Saudi radical who backs the killing of British soldiers in Iraq. MPs from all parties and several foreign governments have demanded action against Muhammad al-Massari, who has asylum in Britain. His radio station, al-Tajdeed, backs suicide attacks and his website shows the beheadings of Western hostages. (London

COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, making a historic visit on Friday to a synagogue once destroyed by the Nazis, said Christians and Jews must join forces so the "insane racist ideology" that led to the Holocaust never resurfaces. (Reuters)

Pressure is mounting in Washington over the United Nations' support of anti-Israel propaganda distributed in the Gaza Strip, with New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, entering the fray yesterday, demanding answers about the funding process that led to the United Nations bankrolling the materials. (NY SUN)

August 23, 2005 -- The status of housing as the least-taxed investment in the U.S., which has helped fuel an eight-year boom in real estate values, may be in jeopardy as a presidential commission considers changes to the federal tax code. The panel, which is headed by former Senators Connie Mack and John Breaux and due to report to President Bush by Sept. 30, is studying options to lower taxes on many types of investments to meet Bush's goal of spurring savings and economic growth. Changes to housing-related tax incentives will also be considered, Jeffrey Kupfer, the panel's staff director, said in an interview. Economists say such policies would have the effect of eroding the relative advantage housing has enjoyed over other investments since 1997, when Congress effectively made most sales of primary residences tax-free. (NY POST)

We were sitting in Nayeb restaurant in central Tehran. I’d been holding a piss through the hours of prayer service. So after I ordered my lunch, I excused myself to the men’s room. “Men’s” was written in Farsi above, and “Manly” in English below. I stepped into the water closet, grateful to just have to piss. If I’d had more serious business there, it would’ve been a squat job with no hook for one’s jacket. Now, that would’ve been manly. (Sean Penn Tehran)

moutain of cash and a Jihad of my own

August 24, 2004


So Pat Robertson on the 700 club called for the removal, death to the infidel, ok assassination of Hugo Chavez President of Venezuela. Oh the outrage .., weather it is the Mullahs calling for death to America or Bush haters calling for the assignation of the president seems to be a lot of that going around these days. It must be those high oil prices and the hot weather making everyone nuts. Today I go on a Jihad of my own. The State of Hawaii has imposed price controls on whole sale gas prices. This was tried in the 1970’s by the carter administration and it was the direct cause of gas lines and shortages. If this is adapted by other states it spells disaster for the US economy. Folk’s price controls always I repeat always result in shortages. This is the primary reason command and control economies like the old Soviet Union failed .I know there are many of you pining away for the old Soviet Union and are simply shocked that the simple law of supply and demand crumbled a vast empire, but it is none the less true and I am afraid it will have the same result where ever it is tried. No, we are not smarter or blessed with more resources, it is simply stupid policy doomed to massive failure.

This gives us a much needed strong indication of the direction of the stock market the next several months. Despite huge gains Energy continues to look like the play for the decade and currently Bio Techs still look good and Semiconductors look like they are trying to break out, but this still remains to be seen . I have and will remain suspicious of housing for some time but the sector seems as strong as ever.


Friday, August 19, 2005

news 24/7

PARIS (AFX) - European countries said that Iran's resumption of nuclear activities has created a 'grave crisis' that requires a united response from the international community.

American and British researchers say that they have found, in umbilical cord blood, a new type of cell -- neither embryonic nor "adult" -- which is more versatile than the latter while avoiding the ethical dilemmas surrounding the former. And in a further development, the scientists have found a way to mass-produce the new cells, sidestepping the problem of limited supply of embryonic cells. (CNSNEWS)

WASHINGTON - The American budget deficit narrowed to $52.8 billion in July from a year earlier as tax revenue surged on higher incomes and business profits. The deficit compares with a shortfall of $69.2 billion in July 2004 and was the smallest for the month since 2002, the Treasury reported today in Washington. Revenue rose 5.7% to a July record of $142.1 billion and spending fell 4.3%. (NY SUN)

Last year's deficit was a record in dollar terms, though many previous deficits in the mid-1980s and early 1990s were larger when measured against the size of the economy. The White House and most economists say that the more relevant measure of the deficit is to weigh it against the size of the economy. Measured that way, the latest estimates for this year are slightly worse than recent historic averages. (AP)

... between early September 2001 and 2004, New York City lost 170,000 jobs, as Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute recently noted in these pages, meaning that New York still has a lot of work to do to get back to where it started. Although Mr. Bloomberg tries to spin his jobs number as evidence that the city's economy is growing overall on his watch, New York still lags the competition. In the 2004 edition of its annual report of "best performing cities," the Milken Institute ranked New York ninth among the 10 largest cities in America in terms of economic performance, noting that the city's employment numbers were still 4% below their peak in 2000. (NY SUN)

August 16, 2005 -- Tech-savvy Saudis are circumventing the state's religious edict preventing unrelated men and women from communicating in public by text-messaging each other on Bluetooth-enabled cellular phones. (NY POST)

“It is difficult to exaggerate the perniciousness of the comparable worth theory," Judge Roberts wrote to his boss, Fred Fielding, the White House counsel, on February 3, 1984. "It mandates nothing less than central planning of the economy by judges." (NY SUN)

Judge Roberts, who was 29 at the time, even suggested the congresswomen, Ms. Snowe, Rep. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, and Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island, might be Marxists. "Their slogan may as well be 'From each according to his ability, to each according to her gender,'" Judge Roberts quipped. (NY SUN)

Good bye CBGB's

August 15th 2004


Just think its been 70 years since the creation of social security, lots of things have changed inn those 70 years but not social security, you can still have any color you want as long as it is black, but for small investors there are many more opportunity’s to save for the proverbial rainy day. Individual retirement plans, 401k plans, Simple IRA plans, Roth IRA plans, SEP plans, Single K Plans the trick is pick a plan and follow thru.

It has also been about 27 years since the last time I was at CBGB’s and I still don’t know what OMFUG stands for. This month the landmark may close it doors forever. So you want to know what a famous Downtown New York City Punk Rock club has to do with the stock market? Well first if you under 30, there used to be something in New York called the “down town scene” and yes people used to play instruments and not lip-sinc. People even smoked and drank and fought about ideas and other really stupid things. In those days the City (NYC) was the place to go when you wanted to do things you couldn’t do anywhere else. It was dark, dirty and dangerous, but it was a lot of adventurous fun. Yes there were poseurs but there was always a feeling that this really mattered and was or will be the next big thing. Like East Siders who never cross to the West side, the downtown scene was a world onto its own. Today of coarse none of this exists. The music is stale, the clubs are boring and the beer is very over priced. New York with a Starbucks on every corner has become clean, “nice” and totally suburbanized. Streets that were once filled with rockers boasting Mohawks are now filled with tourists from Japan talking photos of menus. Like the bands of that era Blondie, The Talking Heads ,Johnny Thunders and the Ramones there is simply no place for a CBGB’s ,it just doesn’t belong anymore. In the late 1970’s when things were really rotten, the music was desperate, the economy bad and the Bronx was on fire people who were willing to admit how bad things really were and how awful “disco” was flocked to clubs like CBGB’s looking for answers. Overtime the creative process produced a whole new music scene. Madonna popularized the “down town look” and it is no surprise that fall of “disco” in 1982 and the rebirth of music coincided with the birth of a bull market that would not end till spring of 2000. The moral to the story is that when the music is awful so is the stock market, the creative process seems to foretell coming booms and busts in the economy .Don’t believe me notice they started playing “disco” again in the summer of 1999,by March 2000 we were done.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Monthly Performance of Dow from 1900-2004

Monthly Performance of Dow from 1900-2004
Month% of (+)% of (-)Average Return Average Loss Average Return

Months Months(+) Months(-) Months(1900-2004)
January 63% 37% 3.66%-3.58% 1.02%
February 49% 51% 3.06%-2.94% 0.30%
March 59% 41% 3.59%-3.72% 0.57%
April 57% 43% 4.58%-3.50% 1.08%
May 54% 46% 3.43%-4.18%-0.08%
June 48% 52% 4.25%-3.20% 0.34%
July 61% 39% 4.50%-3.53% 1.42%
August 65% 35% 3.86%-4.47% 0.99%
September 30% 70% 3.49%-4.69%-1.31%
October 59% 41% 3.60%-4.54% 0.32%
November 59% 41% 4.69%-5.28% 0.63%
December 70% 30% 3.13%-3.07% 1.27%
(Amateur Investors*)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair said he will seek the enactment of new deportation measures for use against people who foster hatred and advocate violence, following last month's bombings of London's transportation system. Clerics who preach hate and Web sites or book shops that sponsor violence would be targeted, Mr. Blair said, and foreign nationals could be deported under the new measures. (WSJ)

The Securities and Exchange Commission has told Scott DeSano, the former head of Fidelity Investments' powerful stock-trading desk that it is considering civil charges against him in the agency's investigation of gifts allegedly lavished on Fidelity employees by Wall Street firms, according to people familiar with the matter. (WSJ)

August 9, 2005 -- Two former Citigroup executives are accused of diverting tens of millions of dollars back to the company instead of passing them along to the firm's mutual fund investors. (NY POST)

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers added 207,000 workers in July, more than forecast, suggesting companies are gaining confidence as the economy picks up steam in the second half. The unemployment rate held at 5 percent.

Federal prosecutors have stepped up their criminal investigation of Milberg Weiss, the nation's largest class-action law firm, granting immunity to two former partners as they intensify their scrutiny of a third, prominent litigator William S. Lerach. (WSJ)

Next week sees the anniversary of the Netscape initial public offering – an event that triggered Wall Street’s dotcom mania. Netscape’s browser made the internet a more conducive place for the non-technical user and spurred the creation of companies such as eBay, Yahoo and, which have all had 10th birthday parties of their own – although most dotcom companies never made it this far. (FT)

Web search engine, billed as China's answer to Google Inc., quadrupled to more than $120 a share in its debut Friday after raising its price for a second time and boosting the number of shares sold to the public. (WSJ)

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose to a record, nearing $63 a barrel in New York, as surging fuel demand strains refineries and after a terror threat against the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia heightened concern about Middle East supplies.

TOKYO — Postal privatization minister Heizo Takenaka said Monday that Japan faces a huge loss due to the upper house's rejection earlier in the day of bills aimed at privatizing state-run postal services. "For the future of Japan and the nation's economy, it's a considerably huge loss," he told reporters. (

Citing U.S. military and intelligence officials, NBC said American soldiers intercepted a large shipment of high explosives last week, smuggled into northeastern Iraq from Iran. The officials told the network the shipment contained dozens of recently-manufactured "shaped charges" -- especially lethal weapons designed to concentrate and direct a more powerful blast into a small area. (NBC)

The letter, written to Jordanian leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by a fighter calling himself Abu Zayd, was discovered by U.S. forces during a raid on an insurgent safe house in Mosul on July 27, He complains that the Mosul leadership of the Al Qaeda in Iraq branch is incompetent, lacks training, and does not collaborate. (FOX NEWS)

When Mrs. Clinton first came to us and said she wanted to be a New Yorker, she asked New York to put out a welcome mat and we did," the Westchester County district attorney said in a statement. "But now she wants us to re-elect her even though she won't promise to serve out her term and wants to use us as a springboard to the presidency. She's asking us to become her doormat." (ALBANY, N.Y. -- Jeanine Pirro, a high-profile prosecutor in the New York City suburbs, said Monday she will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton next year.)

BIADU spells NETSCAPE in Chinese

August 6,2004


Ok I have held my tongue long enough, if Jason Giambi can make a come back so can the stock market. Jason has gone from the scrap heap of the steroid scandal, “Mr Washed up” to the New York Yankee player of the month in July batting over 350 and connecting on 14 home runs.

Incidentally while you were away on your summer vacation and in case you missed it, the last 8-6 weeks have been the best trading weeks in 5 years. Yes I know not all stocks are up but now for the first time since the turn of the century, the turn of the millennium and the turn of the decade, the bull market has resumed and stocks are going up and now we have a chance. Yes I know I never though it would last this long, I thought things would pick up much earlier. Earnings and productivity growth looked like they would be enough. Unlike many other market analysis columns, I take my swings and analyze my mistakes. Unfortunately often it is the failures that you learn the most from. Some times you can be in the right place in the right sector but the timing can be slightly off. Sometimes you can buy the same investment for hundreds of investors and show different returns for each one. In recent years we have gone from what I would call an almost instantaneous response to events by stock prices to a more cynical delayed response suggesting an extreme distrust of information sources. This lag has altered significantly the stock trading landscape. Some stocks seem to suffer by what I would call the believability factor, no matter what the results suspicions abound, and while other stocks seem to gain instant credibility no matter what their results.

It is just about 10 years since the NETSCAPE IPO. It was clearly the IPO that changed the world; bringing the internet to Joe and Jill six pack. The real impact of the internet on how we live and work is just beginning to be felt. In the post bubble world we all have a tendency to forget how special the advent of the internet really is. The internet gives us information at our fingertips, the ability to customize solutions at a mass produced price, setting us free to compete with much larger competitors, transforming almost every sector of the economy it touches. Don’t think so, think about the world before the internet; astonishing isn’t it. On the other hand, recent rallies in Chinese internet stocks such as BIADU or rallies in GOOGLE seem to be a reminder of the bitter taste of past follies.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

in the news this week

Washington, D.C.-Senator Norm Coleman today submitted a statement into the Congressional Record denouncing a final report issued by the United Nations' Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) suggesting that the U.N. assume global governance of the Internet. Since its inception and creation in the United States, the U.S. has assumed the historic role of overseeing the Internet's growth and has overseen its development. The U.N. taskforce report suggests that in addition to terminating the U.S.'s leadership role, the authority and functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce, should be transferred as well. Senator Coleman strongly opposes these measures. (Matt Drudge)

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy grew at a 3.4 percent annual pace from April through June, the ninth straight quarter exceeding 3 percent, as booming sales allowed companies to pare bloated inventories. Inflation slowed. .. The string of quarterly growth increases exceeding 3 percent is the longest since the 13 quarters ended in the first three months of 1986.

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- A handwritten lyric of the Beatles song, ``All You Need is Love,'' sold for a hammer price of 600,000 pounds ($1 million) last night at a sale of John Lennon memorabilia in London's Hippodrome rock-music venue.

Economists are lifting projections for U.S. economic growth in the second half on expectations that the nation's retailers and manufacturers will be restocking inventories and ramping up production to keep up with demand. (WSJ)

August 2, 2005 -- Morgan Stanley's new CEO, John Mack, addressed his beleaguered retail brokerage troops yesterday on the firm-wide squawk box and helpfully explained that "Kissing ass just won't cut it anymore." (NY POST)

We are appealing to the United Nations, human rights groups, and other nations to pressure our government to release my husband. Our struggle must reach out past the borders of Iran now. Our leaders will not listen to their people, they will only respond to external pressure." (The wife of dissident journalist Akbar Ganji yesterday told The New York Sun)

(Washington, NY SUN)- A spokesman for Iran’s union of student organizations. Tahkim Vahdat says a hunger strike by jailed dissident journalist, Arbar Ganji, has inspired the country’s democracy movement.

“Before deploying from Savannah, Georgia, to Iraq by a chartered airliner, the troops of the 48th Brigade Combat Team, a National Guard unit, had to go through the same security checks as any other passengers. Lt. Col. John King, the unit's commander, told his 280 fellow soldiers that FAA anti-hijacking regulations require passengers to surrender pocket knives, nose hair scissors and cigarette lighters. "If you have any of those things," he said, almost apologetically, "put them in this box now" as you cannot take them onto the airplane with you. The troops were, however, allowed to take their assault rifles, body armour, helmets, pistols, bayonets and combat shotguns.”

Sources familiar with the investigation tell ABC News an additional 12 bombs and four improvised detonators were found in the trunk of a car believed to be rented by suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer. Police believe the bombers drove the car to Luton, where they boarded trains to London. (ABC)

Vardan Kushnir, notorious for sending spam to each and every citizen of Russia who appeared to have an email was found dead in his Moscow apartment on Sunday, Interfax reported Monday .He died after suffering repeated blows to the head. (

"I summon my blue-eyed slaves anytime it pleases me. I command the Americans to send me their bravest soldiers to die for me. Anytime I clap my hands a stupid genie called the American ambassador appears to do my bidding. When the Americans die in my service their bodies are frozen in metal boxes by the US Embassy and American airplanes carry them away, as if they never existed. Truly, America is my favorite slave."(King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz, Jeddeh 1993)

Eminem and the Tweenies might make unusual bedfellows. But the BBC was yesterday forced to censor a song by the popular children's characters, not for reasons of sex or violence but because it was likely to cause tooth decay. (The Guardian)

The sculpture, a plastic bottle of water full of melted ice from the Antarctic, was intended to be a telling comment on the dangers of global warming. But one light-fingered, and presumably thirsty, visitor to the exhibition may have missed the point. Rather than musing on the hazards that will be created if the icecaps melt, the visitor is believed to have drunk the piece. Police have been called in to investigate the mystery of the missing water bottle, which vanished from the Way With Words literary festival at Dartington Hall in south Devon. (The Guardian)

lost in Space..........All You Need is Love....and no more kissing (up)....

July 29th 2005


Am I the only one that doesn’t think it is cool for NASA to ground the shuttle fleet while there is still a mission going on? Somehow I don’t think it is a confidence builder for the Discovery astronauts.

According to Bloomberg Radio 87% of companies are making their earning this earnings season, that’s a far cry from the pessimistic view that was expected. My question is and why was, is everyone so pessimistic? The net effect of all this pessimism is the current summer rally. How long will the rally last, my guess till sometime in August perhaps as late as very early September. Again I think we could consolidate through September till the 3rd week in October. Then if all goes well the semiconductors should begin to take off. The new bull market looks after 5 years of sub par returns to be upon us. Housing continues to prove resilient, through many of the stocks seem a bit peaky. Semi ‘s are moving and Bio Techs are on fire. Of coarse the story of the decade, energy also continues to act positively. Why am I not jumping into Bio Techs? In the past I have found that the Bio Techs are very hard to trade and no matter what kind of company or how established, you could lose most or all of your money at the drop of the hat. With Bio Techs I prefer to find patient investors who are willing to buy them when they are down and out and just wait till they get lively selling into the rally.

Bring back the long bond they say. So what would be the net effect of the return of the 30 year Treasury bond which was discontinued in 2001. My bet is the reintroduction of the long term bench mark will give traders of both stocks and bonds a better feel for which way long term interest rates and inflation are moving. More supply of 30 year bonds will also have the effect of raising long term rates by increasing the supply of 30 year bonds and thus lowering the 30 year bond prices and yes this could lead to higher mortgage prices. I was one of those people that thought that the Treasury should have never gotten rid of the 30 year to begin with. The 30 year was a very good predictor of future economic activity, the 10 year simply could not cut it and I think that its demise has led to some very weak stock markets the last few years.