Not Feeling It


Not Feeling ItMaybe its the fact that we just came off a 300 point climb.

Maybe it’s because its been nothing but rainy and dreary all day long, but despite what was looking like nearly a 100 point run up on Tuesday, I just wasn’t feeling it and couldn’t really get in the game today.

Maybe it was because Silver wasn’t exhibiting its recent paroxysmal and alternating direction behavior.

More than likely, though, my lack of enthusiasm today was probably strongly related to the fact that my portfolio under-performed the market all through the day.

That was thanks to Amazon, Netflix and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which, wouldn’t you know it, led the portfolios to out-perform the markets on Monday.

You can have Yin or you can have Yang, but not both, unless their conjoined twins, in which case they might be more appropriately referred to as “Siamese.”

Whatever the root cause, I was antsy.

Not only was I not feeling it, but it may have been contagious.

The news that the parent of American Airlines was going into bankruptcy wasn’t terribly interesting, either. The only thought that occured to me was that at its closing stock price, it would take about 25 shares of AMR to purchase an in-flight alcoholic beverage.

Even in boredom I amuse myself, but no such luck with AMR shareholders. I suppose they just weren’t feeling it.

I rarely venture from my perch on the La-Z-Boy during the course of the day, but today was different.

Yesterday, despite having only made about 8 trades, I remained transfixed. So much so that despite the fact that our home was in a shambles from having the first phase of new carpet placement done during the day, I let the mess wait until after the closing bell.

Today, I had just two tasks assigned by Sugar Momma. My usual approach and strategy whenever I’ve been given chores is to work like a whirling dervish once the closing bell occurs. That typically gives me 90 minutes to get everything done.

The tasks today ranged from standard to complex. I had to start restoring order by returning furiture to their rightful spots in time for Christmas holiday guests. That was standard and required only brawn, of which despite being in short supply, can be accomplished by using simple laws of mechanics.

I also had to make some sense of our mismatched collection of Rubbermaid and Ziploc containers and lids.

I have every bit as difficult time doing the latter task as I do trying to match socks.That task fell into the “complex” category as it required a combination of visual identification and pattern matching.

Ever since I went to the all Crocs all the time wardrobe, socks haven’t been part of the equation. I wondered why the same couldn’t be done with plastic containers.

Damn, how many different subtlleties in shape can a quart container take? And why don’t they emboss both the container and the lid with useful information?

With my sights set on the 4 PM bell the market quietude led to boredom setting in.

I made a single trade trying to take advantage of some intraday strength in Halliburton by selling calls expiring this Friday.

If Sugar Momma knew that was the extent of my trading activity today she wpould probably exhort me to find a real job, but I feel comfortable knowing that all readers of the blog had to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Crazy? Like a fox.

Although it’s a very small liability, the only thing that really kept my interest during the trading day was the continuing story regarding the CHinese company, Focus Media.

Following a scathing report, by who else but Muddy Waters, their stock had taken a significant hit. As I noted on Monday, I took that as a cue to sell puts on teh shares. My only equivocation was that unlike Harbin Energy and Spreadtrum Communications that had likewise been excoriated, Focus Media wasn’t listing weekly options contracts.

But then I realized that my life expectancy probably didn’t warrant tooking 3 weeks into the future, so I bit.

Carson Block, the head guy at Muddy Waters was the scheduled guest on CNBC’s Street Signs. Admittedly, I’d expected that given the deserved bad reputation Chinese companies have had with regard to accounting and business practices that the hosts were going to ask questions that would simply reaffirm the basic hypothesis that there was something amiss.

But no.

Block was hit by probing questions from the hosting crew of Brian Sullivan, Mandy Drury and Herb Greenberg.

Block faltered. He was tentative in his answers, perhaps using the same law firm that’s representing Jerry Sandusky of Penn State.

He wasn’t feeling it.

In less time than it took for Green Mountain to shed 20 points a couple of weeks ago, Focus Media, trading at about $16 following a $1 intra-day loss, erased all of that during the course of the segment and closed the day higher.

Well, at least that was interesting, but from my perspective, as far as my portfolio went, wasn’t very substantive.

And so I started with my chores while the market was still in full swing.

Uncharacteristically, I felt  no longing today. There just wasn’t anything around to incite interest.

Not even that new retail metric unveiled by Dana Telsey, the ubiquitous retail analyst.

Last year we were blown away by the concept of aerial monitoring of parking lot capacity as well as the ensuing debate as to whether or not access to that kind of information constituted unfair advantage.

And yes, we’ve all heard about the store watchers looking at the size of shopping bags as a proxy for shoping activity.

But this one? Pure inspired genius. The Mall Toilet Paper Index.

Imagine having spotters continually monitoring the volume and quantity of toilet paper used as a measure of jhow long consumers are spending at the mall and how long they are commited to remaining there.

Personally, I would hire DIck Bove, Bank analyst for Rochdale Securities to camp out in the mall restrooms, although that may offend the flies.

Following his response the other day that Bank of America would be his buy recommendation in that sector, BofA stood poised to break the wrong side of $5.

Thus far, no one from Bank of America has returned my call regarding my strategy to help them deal with the financial morass and recent bad publicity.

I advised that they institute a new monthly fee on their basic checking acount, charging customers a single share of Bank of America stock each month. In all likelihood that will be somewhere south of $5.

Win – Win.

Maybe the fine people at Bank of America weren’t feeling it, either.

The only other bit of news today it capture much of my interest either, but it ran counter to my general theme of the day.

Rumors swirled that Herman Cain was reconsidering his bid for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Following accusations made by a seemingly credible woman regarding an alleged 13 year affair, it seems that Cain may have been feeling it.

I can’t even get away with occasionally pumping super unleaded gas and this guy gets away with 13 years of pumping….

Never mind.

But wuth this day now behind us, I have every confidence that tomorrow will be different.

I can just feel it.