2009 Archive: Diamonds and Dogs

December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade! Today we close out 2009, one of the wildest and unpredictable years in history. With amazing strength, the markets closed the year just off the 52 week highs, even with a nice sell-off today. It was the best year since 2003 as the... Read More

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All! We would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and also a prosperous and healthy new year in 2010. This has been quite the year, what with the worst January in history, the Dow at 6,000 and change in March, and then the meteoric rise... Read More

December 8, 2009

For Merrill Lynch, there is a Santa Claus Bank America (BAC), the proud owners of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial, recently completed an equity offering in order to raise money to pay back the US government for the TARP money they received. By diluting the shares again, shareholders... Read More

December 7, 2009

Say Yes to November November was a great month for market players. November 2009 is in the books with a 6% total return (dividends included) for the S&P 500. That is the best November since 2001. Year to date, the S&P 500 is up 24.1% versus a loss... Read More

November 28, 2009

Pick Your Poison As President Obama and his team try to decide on additional troops for Afghanistan, they must feel that their Thanksgiving plates are full. Between the on-going conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and terrorism in general, the economic crisis (which today rolled into Dubai), and health care, they have many... Read More

November 16, 2009

The Thanksgiving Feel You know that feeling on Thanksgiving night. After several helpings of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, not to mention the beer, wine, and pumpkin pie, the feeling hits. That bloated, not able to move quickly, unable to make good decisions feeling that is almost like... Read More

November 12, 2009

Do You Believe? On this date in 1933, the Loch Ness Monster was “photographed” for the first time in Scotland. You can’t argue with a photograph, right? There are still some non-believers in the recent stock market rally. The Dow hit new yearly highs on Monday, gaining back... Read More

November 9, 2009

Talk about Your Snoozer The house on Saturday night approved the first leg of a historic plan by the government takeover of health care. The document came in at almost 2000 pages, maybe the biggest of all-time. That is more pages than War and Peace or the Bible. ... Read More

November 4, 2009

Taking the Easy Way The easy way is not always the best way. The Fed has taken interest rates to the lowest levels ever. I repeat ever. Their actions have been in direct response to a financial crisis that almost took the entire money system down. Like... Read More

October 27, 2009

Tale of Two Cities Caterpillar (CAT) is a great example of the conflicting information that has economists and market players heading in two different directions. On the one hand, CAT reports earnings last week and blows away estimates as the positive news propels the large equipment manufacturer to... Read More

October 21, 2009

Zombie Stocks Dead in the Water A year ago, who would have thought that the US government would have a pay czar controlling the pay of some of America’s formerly great companies? Kenneth Feinberg, appointed by the Treasury Department, is the pay czar in charge of letting the lovable loser... Read More

October 15, 2009

10,000 Dow and You Can Feel the Tension The Dow crossed 10,000 on Wednesday with much fanfare and optimistic hope that all is well. Stocks are acting great, as any down move is greeted with strong buying from the exchanges. For the short term, the direction has to be... Read More

September 17, 2009

Wake up Rip On the day before 9/11, September 10th, 2001 the DOW closed the session at 9605. Last Friday, on the eighth anniversary of 9/11, the DOW closed its trading session at 9605. If you had been asleep for the last eight years, you would... Read More

September 3, 2009

Clunker According to a study done by the NADA, National Auto Dealer Association, only 5.7% of the money owed to the dealers from “Cash for Clunkers” legislation has been paid. By law, the money was to be paid in ten days and now, according to the government, the... Read More

August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Diamond Burger King (BKC) may be retaking its throne atop the fast food giants, judging by the stock’s performance today. The king increased their profits more than 16% from last quarter citing lower costs. However, they do admit that sales have continued to... Read More

August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009 Diamond Citigroup© has finally started to lose its reputation as the “sick man of Wall Street” today after rallying 30 cents or about 6%. Analysts have begun to acknowledge the fact that the banking giant was undervalued at 4 dollars and CNBC analyst Jim... Read More

August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Diamond The retail sector is performing well after experiencing losses earlier in the week. Ann Taylor led the retail rally after an upgrade by UBS to a buy recommendation. UBS set a target price at $15 and the stock shot up almost 6% despite... Read More

August 15, 2009

Giant Tail Wagging the Little Dog An ominous headline this past week in the Wall Street Journal spoke about the recent arrests of four employees of Rio Tinto in China. Arrested on suspicion of bribery and stealing commercial secrets, the one Australian and three Chinese Nationals have been in detention... Read More

August 14, 2009

Diamonds and Dogs Friday, August 14, 2009 Diamond Autodesk (ADSK) the software modeling conglomerate was one of the few stocks to close higher today, after reporting better-than-expected earnings. This Silicone Valley based company surged almost 5% today despite a downward trend in most other tech stocks, led by losses... Read More

August 10, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009 Diamond Who thought the day would come? Freddie Mac (FRE) reported its first quarterly profit in over two years. This unforeseen news drove the stock skyward, causing a more than 80% surge as the market opened today. We may be finally seeing an end... Read More

August 5, 2009

Diamonds and Dogs Wednesday, August 05, 2009 Diamond Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG) really got a bang for their buck today as their stock rallied almost 7% after reporting better than expected earnings. The vehicle-leasing agency company operates under the Dollar and Thrifty brand names. This may signal American’s... Read More

July 31, 2009

545 PEOPLE By Charlie Reese Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against... Read More

July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009 Diamond Insurance Companies The diamonds for today are insurance companies after several companies have rallied today. The leading financial stocks, such as Lincoln National (LNC), Hartford (HIG), and Aflac (AFL), were mostly up in early trading, buoyed by positive earnings. Even though Lincoln... Read More

July 30, 2009

Stocks Power Higher Stocks have shown new life this month as the Dow is up over 7% during the last 30 days. Today was no exception, as “green” was the color of money on most quote screens. Where do we go from here? Stocks have momentum, but the... Read More

July 28, 2009

Who’s Still Counting? On Friday, seven (7) more banks failed according to the FDIC. That brings the total to 64 for the year and 19 for the month of July alone. With the Dow hitting 9000 and corporate earnings being well received by Wall Street, investors need to... Read More

July 27, 2009

Diamond VARI Varian Inc. Science instrument maker Varian Inc. will agree to sell company to Agilent Technologies Inc. for $1.5 billion. Agilent Technologies will pay $52 per share in the cash deal. Agilent Technologies is a manufacture of research instruments and vacuum devices. The agreement was made during... Read More

July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009 Diamond Intuitive Surgical, Inc ISRG On a day where the market is at its best since last January, one of the companies that are doing well is ISRG. Despite the troubling times in our economy, hospitals, surgeons, and doctors recognize the value of ISRG and... Read More

July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009 Diamond Pepsi Bottling GRP PBG PBG is a diamond today because they have posted bigger than estimated profit this quarter. This rise in profit had to do with their growth in international business. These results were posted just after their rival, Coca-Cola Co, had... Read More

July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009 Diamond Human Genome Sciences HGSI HGSI shares have ski rocketed over 200% on a massive volume burst. This morning, Human Genome Sciences announced a success of their Benlysta drug in the treatment of lupus. A late phase resulted in 57.6% of the patients taking a... Read More

July 10, 2009

Felix and Oscar What an odd pair, Jim Cramer and Lenny Dystra. One is a self-described investment genius and non-athlete. The other is a well-known former professional athlete and maybe the worst investor “du jour”. But here they are, the athlete idolizing non-jock who is best friends with... Read More

July 8, 2009

Stimulus Part Deux? There is talk on the street that another stimulus package may be needed to stem the growing numbers of unemployed, which now stands at about 1 in 10 total Americans. We have an economy based on consumers and many in Washington are beginning to throw out the... Read More

July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday America! Markets traded lower into the close of the week on very slow volume. The week before the 4th is traditionally one of the slowest of the year as market players head to their beach homes and mountain cabins. On the bank closure watch, two more banks... Read More

June 22, 2009

Chutzpah Redefined According to London’s Observer newspaper, Goldman Sachs is on track to pay out record bonuses to their executives this year. Based on the first half of the year, this could be the best year ever for Goldman. So, let me get this straight, Goldman repays taxpayer span... Read More

June 19, 2009

Charles Ponzi Would Be Proud Today, Allen Stanford was charged with 21 counts related to his diversion of billions of dollars from customers to himself. A typical Ponzi scheme, Stanford first gained the trust of his clients and brokers became larger than life by buying his way into... Read More

June 18, 2009

Kick Into Home Stretch The week started out on the downside, as the S&P drifted lower by almost 4% on Monday and Tuesday. The Bulls had some signs of life though on Thursday, as financial and health care stocks rallied throughout. With Options expiring tomorrow, the market could see... Read More

June 11, 2009

Market Head Fake Early in today’s session, stocks in the Dow climbed over 132 points as investors cheered a drop in jobless claims, better retail numbers, and a better than hoped for 30 year treasury auction. As the session wore on, investors came to grips with the early news. Yes, jobless... Read More

June 6, 2009

Beware of Strange Men Offering Tips Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) have become very popular of late as investors are all aboard the train that says the dollar will fall, inflation and interest rates will rise, and commodities will spike as the government floods the economy with money. Much of that... Read More

June 4, 2009

LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, OR, OTHER PEOPLES MONEY Over the last several weeks big banks have raised at least $85 billion to bolster their balance sheets. They are selling shares to the public, people like you and I, as fast as they can so... Read More

June 2, 2009

CATS CHASING DOGS Five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that a bankrupt GM would be unceremoniously eliminated from the DOW 30. Who could have predicated that Travelers, the company that had put Sandy Weil back in the game of empire building, would... Read More

May 18, 2009

Oh, what a rally! Stocks are back in the black after popping nearly 40% from the lows. Economic numbers issued over the last two weeks have been very bad, but it is seen as improving. Maybe the more amazing thing would have been if the market hadn’t rallied... Read More

May 7, 2009

Ten principles for a Black Swan-proofworld By Nassim Nicholas Taleb Published: April 8 2009 03:00 | Last updated: April 8 2009 03:00 1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. Evolution in economic life helps those with the maximum... Read More

April 28, 2009

Great companies (and great investments) are bigger than their founders, bigger than their current CEO’s, and larger than any one person. A truly great company will survive and flourish even with the departure of its founder or with the departure of a high profile CEO. The concerns... Read More

April 26, 2009

It’s just like Paris Hilton; it doesn’t make the headlines anymore. On Friday, the 24th, four more banks were taken over by the FDIC, bringing the 2009 total to I believe 29 banks that have closed their doors. We have lost, through April, more banks than we... Read More

April 23, 2009

What is the end game? The markets have rallied off their lows significantly as we hit the mid-point of April. With the help of the government, our financial system has, for the time being anyway, averted disaster and may be primed for a recovery in late 2009 or early 2010.... Read More

April 3, 2009

The Bear that Roared In what is very typical fashion, stocks have staged a historic comeback over the past four weeks. In fact, by all accounts, it may have been the best four weeks for stocks since 1933. We closed the session over 8,000 for the first time in... Read More

March 25, 2009

The Bulls Are Back in Town Guess who just got back today? Those wild-eyed boys that had been away Havent changed, havent much to say But man, I still think those cats are great! Great it is. Stocks have now moved significantly higher over the last week or so as... Read More

March 13, 2009

Let it rain, let it rain. No, I am not quoting Pacman Jones; I am talking about the devastating tsunami that has hit our investments. This is a tsunami that has been the biggest destroyer of wealth of all time. We are right in the middle of it. Even... Read More

March 8, 2009

Nothing like a Good Stimulus On Friday, horrific numbers were reported by the federal government with respect to the economy. These numbers, another 600,000+ jobs lost in February, 14 million unemployed, and 17 million receiving food stamps were actually expected by market players. The Dow ended up for the... Read More

February 21, 2009

It is time for you to shine. The markets struggled this week to a six percent loss, and that is thankfully with only four trading days, as major markets were closed for the presidents’ birthdays. One additional day like these, may have done us in! The financial crisis... Read More

February 14, 2009

Dyslexics Are Teople Poo! Capitalists are also people too, but they certainly do not reside in Washington. As lawmakers scrambled to cob-job together a stimulus package this week, stocks drifted lower. Economic growth comes from savings and innovation. Trying to spend our way out of an economic crisis... Read More

February 6, 2009

Wall Street Firms are making a deal with the devil. With traders hopefully and anxiously waiting for Monday morning’s government intervention into capitalism, stocks staged a modest rally late in the week and now, interestingly enough, NASDAQ stocks are in the black for the year. Bernie Madoff... Read More

January 29, 2009

Someone asked me the other day, in reference to the year of 2008, what do we do next? These are obviously tough and unprecedented times, but I will give it a shot. First, we need to turn off Jim Cramer and business media shows in general. The... Read More

January 28, 2009

John Hussman, founder of the Hussman Mutual Funds, “it is impossible to be a successful equity investor without the willingness to accept some amount of market risk when conditions appear frightening. If anything should be clear from the bubbles of recent years, the greatest risks are not when prices... Read More

January 22, 2009

Let me get this straight. Bank America borrows $25 billion from the TARP bail-out program in the fall. They agree to purchase the plummeting Merrill Lynch and close on the deal January 2, paying $19.6 billion for the humbled brokerage. For some reason, they believe that... Read More

January 9, 2009

Friday, January 9th, 2009 Listen to the giant sucking sound. Starting off the New Year where we left off on the job front, employment data was released today that was less than stellar. Unemployment jumped to 7.2%, the highest level since 1993. And that is the number... Read More

January 1, 2009

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 Phew!! How bout’ we recap Leigh Baldwin & Company’s top ten stock picks of the year on this last day of 08’. This was the year of all-time low housing market and mortgage rates combined with job lost, auto lending, CEOs are taking commercial flights, loosen credit... Read More

Diamonds and Dogs market commentary is a journal of daily observations on anything that happens to be of interest to our author. Obviously, our primary focus is the stock market and world economic events, but for this page we have no defined topics. We want this page to be dedicated to the interests, concerns, and possibly to the financial gain of our clients and friends. All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.