New Column up at Real Money (12/8/04)



My latest column, "Does November 2004 Equal March 2003? " is up at RM. It expands upon earlier comments, November 2004 = March 2003?

Here are two graphics purporting to illustrate these parallels:
(doubleclick to expand the chart)

Nasdaq Weekly over 3 years


SPX Daily over 1 year



Ultimately, I am far less Bullish about prospects deep into 2005/06. For now, after some digestion, I maintain an upwards bias

If I haven’t made a pitch recently for Real Money, if you are a trader or active investor, a subscription is well worth the $229.95/year or $24.95 a month. [Advertising mode off]

Category: Media

Layoffs Increase

Category: Economy

Outside day

Category: Markets

Politics & Shopping

Are you donating your money to a party that holds the opposite of your political views?

You may be doing so, albeit indirectly. Nearly everytime you spend money somewhere, some of it (a few cents, anyway) ends up as a corporate political donation. While most companies play both sides of the aisle — looking to stave off unfriendly regulation at the least — some seem to be strictly Red or Blue outfits, donating money to just one side.

That’s not exactly the smartest business strategy, potentially alienating half of your clientele.

It used to be exceedingly difficult to determine who was giving what. Thanks to recent disclosure rules — and a slew of webtools — its now quite simple to determine where your shopping dollars are going:

Check out:

Choose The Blue

Open Secrets

Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Responsive Politics

Business for Social Responsibility

Politcal Moneyline

Special mention should go to Choose The Blue for their incredibly easy to use page. While an obviously Democratic site, they get kudos for their very complete and even handed data. Choose any shopping category, and their crossed reference menu shows you exactly where your money is going.

There were a few surprsies. GM splits their donations 60/40 GOP/Dem; Ford was more heavily Red at 71/29, while Toyota was the only Blue manufacturer at 74%. Progressive Insurance was 91% Blue (no surprise there), while State Farm was 81% Red.

Worth noting that both my favorite (TGT) and least favorite (WMT) discounters are Red: Target at 72%, and Walmart at 81%. The cooperative CostCo is 91% Blue . . . Tech firms were surprisingly Blue (Sun, Cicso, HP and IBM), with Siebel, Intuit and Activision the Red exceptions, as were music .

Terrific guide if you want to know where your dollars are going this holiday season . . .


Additional Source:
Political Favors for Sale
By Selena Maranjian
Motley Fool, September 30, 2002

Read More

Category: Finance, Politics

Barron’s picks up “November 2004 = March 2003?”

Category: Uncategorized

November 2004 = March 2003 ?

Category: Markets

Chart of the Week: Correlation Coefficient U.S. Dollar versus Equities

Category: Economy

What is Radio Selling?

Category: Finance, Music

Artists Perspective on File Sharing

Category: Finance, Music

Season’s Subtotal


Here’s yet another online-only WSJ column:  Season’s Subtotal. The WSJ will take a "regular look at how the holiday season is progressing at retailers, rounding up the latest takes from Wall Street, market-research firms and news reports."

I’ll point to it when I catch the updates; Here’s an excerpt:

And, they’re off! Retail-tracking firm ShopperTrak estimated that retail sales for Black Friday, so called because it marks a shift to profitability for many retailers, rose 11% from last year to about $8 billion. Saturday, however, "was weak and disappointing, so together it was only a modest two-day performance,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at International Council of Shopping Centers.

Mall cornerstones J.C. Penney and Sears Roebuck reported solid sales, but a lack of deep discounts at Wal-Mart meant fewer rings of the retail giant’s cash registers. Analysts say discounters are likely to have a hard time this holiday season because lower-income customers have been hardest hit by soaring gasoline prices. Still, Mr. Niemira expects chain-store sales will grow 3% to 4% this holiday season from last year.

Read More

Category: Economy