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September, 2008 Archive

(formerly known as) Merrill Lynch – Power & Gas Leaders Conference…Here I Come!

All set for the (formerly known as) Merrill Lynch Power and Gas Leaders Conference!  I’m trying to sound excited like I WAS maybe a month ago…but with the world’s economy/financial markets imploding before our eyes, it kinda dwarves everthing.  A couple of companies even withdrew from the conference, or, like Constellation (CEG) who simply got bought by Warren Buffet.  Reliant (RRI) isn’t on the presenter’s list anymore, and Entergy (ETR) isn’t either.  Still, there are more presentations and breakout sessions that I want to be at than I have time for, so yes, I’m certain there’ll be tons of exciting stuff I can report back to y’all.  Follow my Tweets on Twitter during the day incase I don’t have time to update my blog till I get back on Thurs or Friday.

I’m taking requests for any Merrill Lynch memorabilia!  Email me your sizes or color preferences!  I’ll try to schnitzle whatever I can before they use a sharpie to write Bank of America over everything!

Ok, hope there’s still a market by the time I land tomorrow at 5pm Eastern!  Stay in your foxholes everyone and goodluck.  I’m glad I’m in 95% cash, but I’m still scared.  Maybe being in the conference all day TWOsday and Wednesday will be good for me…hide out in the conference room till the bombings stop and the smoke clears.

Personally, this is a great achievement- being able to leave the house, but to go all the way to New York and do work, is nothing short of a miracle. Just four months ago, before I met the doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center, I’d fallen back to the worst condition I’ve ever been in, none of my medications were working, and I honestly didn’t know how I’d live to see tomorrow.   Long time readers of my blog know I’ve been really sick since early 2006 and was confined to my room, which is why I started trading and blogging- to keep my sanity.  So, even with the world collapsing around us, it’s a great first step for me- a first step towards hope of a normal life! So even if we wake up to a world that’s significantly different tomorrow, at least now I have hope I can be one to help pull others along rather than the one needing to be pulled.  Even when the market neared death last Thursday and the VIX hit cougar levels of 42, it still felt like one of the best days for me to be alive compared to the darkest days of the past 2.5 years.  Just glad to be alive.

Thanks Joe, for making this trip happen.  Means infinitely more than I can express here.

**Disclosure: no positions in the stocks mentioned**


Created with flickr slideshow.

Purchasing.com Price & Supply Alert – 9/18/08

In a market that’s been 90% panic and cannibalism, it’s hard to think any fundamentals matter anymore. I’m not sure when and how fundies will come back into play as the shockwaves of the financial collapse around the world has very very real effects in the real world. Still, I like keeping an eye on this stuff.

Sorry haven’t been posting much exactly because of the madness.  Just been making tiny “bunts” or “single hits” day trades and posting these throughout the day on my Twitter feed- follow me on Twitter! or check my Twitter feed here on the top left column.  Other than that, I like hiding in my foxhole, eating some marshmellows, listening to some She & Him (I didn’t know actress Zooey Deschanel was such a good singer!), watching Erin Burnett on CNBC, and waiting for the world to implode.  Hmm…Erin and Zooey do look kinda alike.  Nice.

Oh, prepping for my trip to NYC on Monday for the Merrill Lynch (MER) (well Bank of America (BAC) now I guess) Power & Gas leaders conference…except I dunno how many people will actually be there now as companies keep disappearing. Constellation (CEG) was supposed to be there…but Buffet just ate them today.  Kinda disappointed- I had done the homework on all these Utils.  Oh well, maybe Buffet will go instead for CEG….now that’d be uber awesome…and uber not happening.

Ok, back into my foxhole.

** Disclosure: No positions in the stocks mentioned **

Utah Medical Trip Update – 9.8.08


Jeffrey Lin’s 3rd trip to the University of Utah Medical Center

TRANSCRIPT (for the hearing impaired):
Hey everyone, this is Jeffrey Lin coming to you on location from the University of Utah guest house.  How about that view of Salt Lake City in the background huh?!?  Can’t help but feel good with scenery like that!

Today’s Wednesday September 9th, 2008.  I’ve been here for 2 days- flew into Salt Lake Monday morning.  This video is just to update everyone who loves me about this 3rd trip to the University of Utah medical center. Read the rest of this entry »

might GE be the best infrastructure investment thesis with a financial kicker

buyitcheap on seekingalpha asked on “Investing in Infrastructure” (a.k.a. “Infrastructure: Power Grids and Bridges” article I posted on July 31, 2008)

Any thoughts on ETFs or other vehicle that might be available or are individual companies the only play?

Actually…this might be a crazy idea but… how about GE? More and more of their portfolio is geared towards global industrial and infrastructure needs. Oil, petrochemical, aerospace, engines, railroad components. Restructuring to spin off it’s legacy, dead-weight consumer appliances businesses. They have so many businesses that they’re almost like a ETF. GE’s finance arm took down the rest of the company, the good infrastructure parts of the company. But for those who are looking for the recovery and best long-term gain in the financials, why not GE- with a finance division AND great infrastructure?

Weird idea not being mentioned…but love to hear pros and cons….

Rolling with the Transports: Rails and…Truckers?!?

Financials.  Oil.  Financials.  Oil.  Financials.  Dollar.  Oil.  Anyone look at the transports (IYT) lately?  Rails and truckers specifically? It’s as if fund managers have classified all stocks as financial trades or oil/dollar trades, and the media piles on and that’s all we ever hear about.  Doesn’t the individual industries and business fundamentals matter?  It doesn’t seem like it matters for a lot of sectors, but anyone look at the transports lately?  Rails and truckers specifically?  (Just these two because we have lost the airlines and autos to “the dark side” and its futile to try to mount a rescue mission anytime soon)

Union Pacific chart from StockCharts.com But rails!  One of the strongest, if not the strongest, old industrials sector charging ahead all year.  First riding the ag and coal momentum on the back of rising energy prices (which was sometimes weird because higher oil prices hurt the rails’ fuel input costs too).  Then, even as the ags and coal got kneecapped when energy rolled over in July, the rails kept going, probably on the idea that lower energy would boost the economy, or lower energy would lower the rails’ fuel costs.  It’s hard to make a correlation with any of these factors, and rarely do they work to trade off of in the stock price anyway.  Either way, the rails have been one of the few sectors constantly fighting back this bear market.  And look at the likes of Union Pacific (UNP)!  Tagging all time highs after a minor pullback that people thought meant the rails have finally given up the ghost and was about to roll over.

YRCW Stockcharts ChartMore impressive is what appears to be a bottom in the truckers and the likes of YRC Worldwide (YRCW).  Looks like an inverse head and shoulders bottom, or the Kilroy bottom as the editor of Technical Analysis of Stock Trends by Edwards and Magee likes to call it.  Left shoulder: tried a bottom on January 4th, 2008.  Stock dived again, with the actual “head” bottom the week of March 18th.  Since then, it’s been making the right shoulder, i.e. higher lows.  And, finally in July, higher highs as oil broke down in these months, breaking through that $18-$20 resistance, where you see the high volume (committed capital at this price) to the left of the chart.  Interesting to note, though, that while YRCW seemed to have bottomed in March, it’s been able to make higher highs and higher lows in the face of that big runup of oil to that record $149 in this period!  A possible explanation might be retailers stocking inventory during this time to meet the demand from the rebate checks.  I’m not too sure that’s a good explanation as retailers have been going lean with their inventories all year.  If truckers’ stocks can rally in the face of rising oil, i.e. rise in the face of bad news, the bottom’s likely in?  If YRCW can pierce this $20 level to the upside with conviction, I’d hop on this puppy, along with UNP mentioned above as UNP breaks to a new range above its all time high.

Yesterday’s strong GDP showed that away from the financials’ damage epicenter, the U.S. economy is still chugging along great.  Which is probably what the Rails and Truckers have been telling us since March.  However, the Rails have been driven mostly from exports, whether it be large industrial machinery or coal and fertilizers.  That’s my area of concern as the global economy has obviously slowed, and the impact of Europe in a worse economic condition that the U.S. might bring.  The other leg of this transport trio I’d like to see support from is the shippers.  They’ve been weak most of the summer, and the analysis from the Imarex Report on Capital Link Shipping continues to show weakness in the shippers.  I’m having trouble seeing how the rails’ support from exports can continue if the shippers aren’t shipping the exports to the likes of China.  As I’ve said before, I think China just took a breather as it clamped down hard on its industrial activity for the olympics.  But it’s yet to be seen where the world supply/demand of goods and commodities evens out when China’s fully back online.  Did 2 weeks of Olympics slow China too much to recover, or will things come back as strong as ever?

I think the transports have been muddling up the Dow Theory of needing trend confirmation between the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and the Dow Jones Transportation Index (IYT).  I believe that’s because the autos and airlines so much problems internally within their industry: union problems, factories fitted for too many SUV’s, airline mergers and bankrupcies.  However, with the autos and airlines near all time lows and basically flailing around as trading vehicles to play oil, I’d think you can sort of ex-out the effect of the autos and airlines.  So, moving forward, with the rails and truckers leading the transports…if the IYT can get above $98 and Dow Jones Industrial Average above 11,800 we might be looking at a confirmation rally?  Don’t want to anticipate anything in this market, but just thinking of things to look out for…

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** Disclosure: No positions in the stocks mentioned. **