NOVEMBER 16, 2019. You need socks and stocks. You don’t wanna pay. Is Wal-Mart your way? Yes socks and maybe stocks. Back in the day there was Y2K. While others worried over the end of the world Wal-Mart was thinking groceries, and an even bigger future. Netflix was new and busy over a predictive algorithm. VHS yet clattered on and trash-strewn cable snorted and roared and robbed everybody every night.
Meanwhile Wal-Mart thought about–right again, groceries, and a blue heaven of fabulous sprawling one-stop shopping, the way mother never did it.
Simultaneously Thomas Jefferson–oops, Jeff Bezos, was laboring like some mad troll out in the mists of Seattle. Jeff was re-envisioning America. Let’s face it. Americans are professionals, at shopping, and doing so from home has always been the inevitable American Dream.
Straight out of Jeff’s bubbling cooker popped Marc Lore, freshly resentful and bent with intent. Burning hot in Hoboken Marc sharpened a savage scheme to gut-punch Bezos. Lore promptly began Jet.com behind the clever refinement of even lower online prices, driven by efficiency and extreme cost cutting, mostly on a new shipping configuration. Customers could save if willing to wait, bundle purchases, and select vendors within the same region. Big surprise. Wal-Mart noticed and popped out their Wal-let.
Jet.com’s now part of Wal-Mart’s fast growing e-commerce push, and again–Fa King groceries, are the center of all that. And after we remind you that Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart was begun in ’62 in the harboring Ozarks, Rogers Arkansas, not Bentonville, you’ll have heard the roots of modern American Retail. “Should You? Wal-Mart?”
NOVEMBER 14, 2019. Who’s got your back, front, and middle, when you’re investing? You hope it’s your broker. When you wade into the retail investing world you’re holding hands with those in between you and the trading rig. It’s a complicated business and how they do it and what they’re bringing matters.
The world’s weird busy. We spend as much time beneath the umbrella of our broker as we do with our loved ones. How we’re treated and what we find there shapes more than the moment. Such shapes our experience of investing on a daily basis, and the returns we see at the end of each. We share some of how in “Moonbeam Metrics. Schwab Brings Out Light in the Night.”
NOVEMBER 9, 2019. Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones are all tropical storms. Mostly they differ only in hemispheric location. Does it matter what we call them? All create chaos and loss, with a halftime pause. This year’s hurricane season ends on Saturday, November 30th.
Wall Street and those who comment on said have no season. They create chaos and toss shit around all year long. We saw that this week. Xerox? You Fa King kidding? 92%YTD. Oops. The Real Real”s apparently not all real, and neither is most of the coffin nail-pounding hog shit spun by the street. Spin’s just business, like loose electricity, regardless of the precise nonsense it’s comprised of.
We do our own homework, like a mad typhoon. Why? It’s nobody’s money but ours, and trust is no substitute for knowing. Even really smart, savvy, and honest people disagree, and blunder sideways to the tune of billions. On Wall Street you often can’t even tell you’re in a blow, until you’re already spinning. Besides, you don’t really want to repeat goofy moves made by others while crouched in “The Eye of the Storm.”
NOVEMBER 2, 2019. Apple TV finally launched on Friday. How many years have they been working on that? It’s funny really. When a company does something awe-inspiring and spectacular, many simply stop questioning them when the company rolls out what’s next.
We know. You’re thinking “Apple’s wonderful.” Well, yes, of course. Just look at your phone. They do make the most amazing devices, ones that don’t catch fire while you’re flying home for the holidays. Apple’s indeed the biggest and the best. Yet keep looking. How many Apple Music subscribers are there? Do you know? Ever heard of the Apple Newton, or the Apple Pippin? The tiny core of “Apple TV. Big Show?”
Halloween, 2019. “A horror story” you say? Kevin Burns, Juul CEO, comment reported by whistle-blower lawsuit citing “contaminated nicotine pods:” Burns; “Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, Who the fuck’s going to notice the quality of our pods?” It’s a horror show when your company’s CEO attempts to make up for lost fruit-flavored revenues by purportedly shipping contaminated product. And referring to customers as addictive drunks? It’s all good bro.
O.K., so does Ford’s trunk load of troubles still seem so horrific? Let’s see. The share price hasn’t ceased dropping since the 31% EPS beat reported last Wednesday. Sedan sales dropped 29% in Q3. Don’t forget looming talks with the UAW. And then there’s this comment. “Moderate, strong, and stable.” Hum. That’s what Powell said yesterday as he cut rates for the third time.
“Moderate growth, a strong employment market, and stable inflation.” Hold-up. What’s the chatter about the holidays and retail sales and the health of the last leg standing–the U.S. consumer? “Stronger than last year.” And Q3’s GDP? 1.9%. Taken together, that’s not all bad, and neither is Ford. Let’s look at “Ford.Fugly. Can You?”
OCTOBER 23, 2019. The question’s always the same; “Should I stay or should I go?” No humiliation applies in any failure there. Stocks are not a love affair, exactly. Everyone takes their turn in the spank line, in stocks and love. Enjoy it, especially when it’s someone else’s turn. We do.
Being paid is why we all do it. The risks we take are why we’re paid, and others are not. We work our asses off, yet stared like some goofy stuffed animal as macro concerns drove cash out of high-multiple growth stocks. The move punched a fat drain hole in three of our positions. We’ve ridden Alteryx, ETSY and New Age Beverages down like ticking time bombs. All have gone off ugly-time. Now what?
Unwinding ugly is typically painful, but much less so then conducting no salvage at all. Our first move is getting positive about it all, and examining each position closely. Now we’re sharing some takeaway with you. Enjoy. STOCKjAW addresses the problem…”Leaving, When You’ve Lingered Too Long.
Salvaging a Smoking Stock Position.”
OCTOBER 20, 2019. Looking for trouble is unneeded. Plenty exists.
We’ve warned against one since August 29th. It’s glowed right before us, everyday. JNJ, and it proved that trouble, clinically. On October 11, Bernstein analyst Lee Hambright charmed JNJ with an upgrade to “Outperform,” and a price target of $155. Seven days later shares dropped -6.22% on greater than triple volume. Why? FDA testing revealed asbestos contamination in its” baby powder. That came right on the heels of the massive judgment against the company for it’s antipsychotic Risperdal, creating a new nightmarish third legal front. That judgment was for $8 billion, for one individual.
Meanwhile, the company suggested it was “open” to a collective settlement of thousands of looming lawsuits relating to its’ part in the opioids plague. And in the foreground Purdue Pharma is being eviscerated on the very same charges. This month comes the start in Ohio of the first federal-level opioids case.
New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson has for decades been viewed as a cozy haven of stability and payouts to investors in all markets. Besides the Bernstein upgrade, eight days ago Barron’s named it as one of its’ five best dividend plays. For now JNJ will be more known as a defendant, on multiple fronts. Their payouts in the future will look very different. “Walking Away From JNJ.”