Expect incredible earnings from Google’s next earnings call.

I originally posted this on the Google Finance discussion boards and then though I’d fix it up a bit before posting… but well anyway…

I was bearish on Google before the last earnings call.

I felt that Google would miss some numbers due to recent changes
they’ve made in the “clickable area” of their ads and their PageRank
formula. Both changes were good long term (since they’ll help combat
click fraud and spammy publishers – and generally increase the quality
of the ads). But the changes came with some immediate cost to the
bottom line in the short term.

I am now bullish on Google for the same reasons. Or really because (1)
it wasn’t that bad and (2) the long term is already here.

Commodity Investing – Insurance for your Purchasing Power

I wanted to provide a counterpoint to some recent articles posted on Investorgeeks that have suggested commodities are not a good place to invest. More specifically, that the commodities boom is a high risk area of investing and potentially a giant bubble.

I have a different opinion. I personally feel that investing in commodities is the only way to ensure in the coming years that your portfolio is not decimated by hyper inflation.

The Present State of the US Economy

Before we discuss this further, we need to do a quick summary of the present state of the US (world) economy:

Book Review: Vitaliy Katsenelson’s Active Value Investing

Active Value Investing by Vitaliy KatsenelsonQuestion: are we in a bull market or bear market? What if there was a third option? In Active Value Investing, Vitaliy Katsenelson makes a case that the current market is actual a "range-bound market" and then gives you the tools to take full advantage of the fact.

What is a Range Bound Market?
Range-bound markets are characterized by their roller-coaster-like volatility and the fact that despite this volatility, money invested in the beginning of the cycle will have close to 0% gains by the end of the cycle. In fact, range-bound markets are more common than bear markets. Katsenelson says:

"…if you look at the U.S. stock market during the entire twentieth century, most of the prolonged (greater than five years) markets were actually bull or range-bound markets. Prolonged bear (declining) markets happened in the past only when high market valuation was coupled with significant economic deterioration, similar to what was going on in Japan from the late 1980s through 2003 or so."

This chart from the book shows the past 107 years bull, bear, and range-bound markets as labeled by Kevin A. Turtle.

Bounce

Hey everyone,

We are seeing a nice bounce in the markets this morning. The S&P500 is at 1485 as I write this(!!!). If you look at the 5 day chart, you will see this could take us back to part way through the crash we saw last week. The market is saved!

To me, this feels like a dead cat bounce – one formed by a pump in liquidity and a jump in premarket futures.

Separating Prediction From Fact

We are told time and time again that you can’t predict the market. And time and time again people try to predict the market. Many model the market using stochastic principles, and use it to predict the market. I find this completely amusing (stochastics is about multiple destinys based on a single context.)

TraderFeed a favorite blog of mine had the following to say (Are We Making a Bottom).

There is both the sense that we could go much lower in a washout (a “Black Monday” scenario) and that we could be seeing an important bottom in the making.

Fair enough, good point we might be at an inflection point.

[email protected]$54

Well, I was right (see Wednesday’s post). That at least feels good. However, I thought the market would make a decent recovery. I had raised my limit price to $51.20 (from $50.20) yesterday, realising the recovery was probably not going to be as strong as I wished.

However, when I logged on tonight (it’s after midnight in Australia), SDS had already moved up to $53, and as I watched it shot towards $54. I got out the calculator, changed the volume and bought in just as it crossed $54. As I hit refresh now, it is in the mid $54s, heading back down.

Retreat!

Just a quick note to say I think the market has had its major top.

I am going to wait for a pullback tomorrow (Wednesday 25th July) and have an open order to go short SDS at $51. Hopefully this will get filled in the next day or two.

The Fall of the All Consuming Yankee

The consumer is tapped out. After consistent 25 basis point increases to the Federal Funds Rate, we are finally starting to see the effects on the stock market.

Yesterday morning we saw three headlines that caught my attention. The first detailed Sears’ guidance for this quarter – a reduction from $2.12 to from $1.06 to $1.32 per share. These revisions are, at best, a 30% reduction and, at worst, a 50% reduction from their previous optimistic estimates.

Notably, declines were across all categories. If you follow the theory that the consumer is on thin ice, then it is hardly surprising to find big ticket items are not being purchased. Sears is having trouble selling new stainless steel fridges and widescreen TVs because consumers do not feel confident about their financial situation. The only sector that wasn’t hit as hard was women’s apparel and footwear – suggesting stressed housewives may be engaging in retail therapy.