Whatever you may think about Cramer is secondary. Baruch’s main argument is that being a consistently successful non-professional investor requires enormous effort and is quite challenging. And the odds of finding good advice are far less then guessing the outcome of a coin toss. As an analogy, you need to learn to swim really well before jumping in with the sharks, and then, the even the best swimming skills only go so far. – Ilene
Baruch found himself commenting on Wall Street Cheat Sheet like ten days ago, on a post by Damien Hoffman, who seems to really dislike Jim Cramer. The post was about some investigation of TheStreet.com by the SEC, which Damien thought highly amusing, perhaps because he also runs a competing subscription-based financial edutainment site. Now, Baruch doesn’t pay attention to Jim Cramer on TV, but in fact quite likes him in print. He reads his posts on theStreet.com, and respects his track record as a hedge fund manager and pioneer econo-blogger. So Baruch felt a brief moment of annoyance about seeing someone he liked being unecessarily trashed, but soon his heart was filled with forgiveness and understanding again. We must not be too harsh; snark is Damien’s job, what he gets paid for. He is a financial blogger-journalist, and being cheeky about mainstream media figures is part of that David and Goliath thing blogging used to be all about.
Anyway, this post is only a bit about Jim Cramer and Damien Hoffman. The exchange got Baruch thinking about the differences between journalists/bloggers (or whatever you want to call them) and investors, and what it means to communicate about investments with the public. Baruch finds this terribly interesting, because of course as an amateur econo-blogger and a professional investor, he has a foot in both camps.
Some of Baruch’s best friends are, or have been, financial journalists and commentators, on blogs and print. Baruch in his time also attempted a bit of journalism, before he found his true calling (which isn’t blogging, by the way). Being a financial journalist is a good, interesting job, and very important to the proper functioning of a marketplace. Journalists can do things, find things out, and explain things the public and investors need to know in ways investment professionals can’t, at least without risking jail.
On August 26, 2009, Kass authoritatively proclaimed, “Markets top during times of enthusiasm. I believe that the markets are now overshooting to the upside and that the U.S. stock market has likely peaked for the year.”
Unless this time the greatest "contrarian long-term secular indicator of all time" no longer applies, this bear market is not finished. Although if you’re short, you’re ability to trade it may be. – Ilene
The end of investment fads tend to coincide with sharp changes in investor sentiment and long-term secular moves. No one has represented the excessively bullish & leveraged market of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s more than Jim Cramer. He worked at the most highly leveraged hedge fund on Wall Street – Goldman Sachs. He took a dotcom firm public and promptly lost 95%+ for his shareholders at the peak of the market in 1999. He ran a super beta tech hedge fund in the leverage driven 80’s & 90’s (which I guarantee you underperformed the Nasdaq 100 on a risk adjusted basis), and he now runs the bullish of all TV bullish shows – “Mad Money”. The show basically begs small investors to be reckless with their hard earned cash. It borders on financial negligence in my opinion, but that’s for another discussion. No one has been a better icon of the excess of the 80’s and 90’s than Cramer himself.
Cramer is a powerful man. The mere mention of a stock can send shares soaring. (If investors are truly upset about the stock manipulation that Goldman Sachs and high frequency traders are accused of they should be extremely alarmed about Cramer’s show – no single person has manipulated more stock prices in the history of the stock market). When this phenomenon began several years ago I was dumbfounded. I asked myself: “who would buy these stocks in the after hours market at such a steep premium?” Late last year the trend had waned. The stocks Cramer recommended didn’t soar. Cramer’s power had declined. After all, he had called the bottom to the bear market on 3 separate occasions (all wrong), had recommended Bear Stearns just weeks before they went under, recommended Wachovia just days before they went under, top ticked the banks in a bet with Eric Bolling in what has to go down as one of the worst market calls of all time and even proclaimed in late September 2008 that “the bounce means the crash can’t happen”. His track record was…
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services and in wholesale trade but declined in information....
Severe winter weather occurred in much of the country during the February reference periods for the establishment and household surveys.
Today's report of 175K new nonfarm jobs was better than the Investing.com forecast of 149K. And the unemployment rate of 6.7% w...
As we showed moments ago, the scariest chart of today's nonfarm payroll report was the plunge in average weekly earnings. For those curious why US workers are unable to make any headway in obtaining higher wages, the following breakdown of just where the 175,000 (seasonally adjusted, because apparently now seasonal adjustments work again) February job gains were should provide some color.
Unfortunately, as has been the case for the past several months, well over half the total job gains in February were in industries that pay the least.
In trying to assess the trajectory of the US economy, one is struck by the recent divergence between the manufacturing and the services sectors. Manufacturing in the United States has picked up steam recently in spite of some weather-related headwinds (see chart). The service sector on the other hand took a turn for the worse, which is negatively impacting the labor markets in this service-oriented economy (see story). A couple of key indicators point to slower non-manufacturing activity:
OvaScienceSM (NASDAQ: OVAS), a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of female fertility treatments, today announced the issuance of two United States patents covering its AUGMENTSM fertility treatment. AUGMENT is based on the Company's egg precursor cell (EggPCSM) technology and is being developed to improve egg quality and the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). AUGMENT will be available in international IVF clinics this year.
“The new patents strengthen and extend the protection for AUGMENT in support of our efforts to offer a potential new fertility treatment option to women and families,” said Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of OvaScience. “We continue to aggressively pursue additional pate...
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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