FICO. STILL SCORING.

APRIL 8, 2020. “Market timing” is often a derisive expression. But then did anyone predict Monday? Why mention this? Because savvy investing exists in between. Because Fair Isaac is a financial. Because financials are hated and poisonous now, right? FICO produced the 5TH highest return out of the 23 financials we track during Monday’s spectacular blow-out run. Is up 14.12% good?
FICO is much more than your credit score. The financial sector is a down-trodden wreck, so why talk that mess? “Payment holidays,” for one. This goddamn virus has created an economy-wide financial crisis. Face-to-face business has ceased and customer service is in overload. A month’s worth of customer service now occurs everyday. That’s business for FICO. Customer service?
Proper diversification calls for exposure to the financials. Yet banks are squashed. What’s left? Financial infrastructure. That’s why we’ve been thinking “FICO. STILL SCORING.” Continue reading FICO. STILL SCORING.

Kirkland Lake Gold. Mining For Facts.

APRIL 4, 2020. No one skips this monstrous spanking machine market. How ’bout gold? No, not even things that shine escape the spank. Zoom Video’s been shining. Following the Guardian beat-down article it more glows, in the dark, as a misleader, rather than a leader. Love it or not, yet it’s difficult to love a firm that announces its’ “halting feature development to focus on security and safety.” Isn’t that supposed to be job one?
But then Kirkland’s the question. Back in January when we last covered KL they were technically challenging a jaw-dropping three-year uptrend. And Now? “Kirkland Lake Gold. Mining For Facts.” Continue reading Kirkland Lake Gold. Mining For Facts.

Brain Pill. Two Minutes. MSFT v. GOOG.

MARCH 28, 2020. Spring is sneaking in as our attention is splintered.
We’re petting the cat and peeling thunder and pouring rain won’t stop that.. We’re now under the gun and if that hasn’t rocked your socks then you’re ready for that chaise lounge helium trip up to the stratosphere. Remember that guy in California and his helium balloon lawn chair? He got a call from the FAA. What’s next when both the light and the air grow thin?
Light and air in market terms mean the essentials and the giants: phone, power, and those near a trillion. The smart and savvy warned us earlier that tech would be autopsied in all this.  It was. Yet, the Stay-at-Home ecosystem means more of the bigs–more band width, for more remote working, more gaming, streaming, online shopping. Hum, who does all that?
China brewed this virus and it’s now demonstrating this expanding tech truth pushing up behind.  We need more not only from VZ, T, and UPS, but also from GOOG, AMZN, and MSFT. That leads us right back to thinking big. When the economic storm boils you wanna bunk with the bigs. That’s why we’re having a “Brain Pill. Two Minutes. MSFT v. GOOG.”  
Continue reading Brain Pill. Two Minutes. MSFT v. GOOG.

The Hunker

MARCH 18, 2020. Centennial storms happen more frequently now. Thus the “once in 100 years” line is wholly meaningless. Canned goods are still good, and still canned. Katrina was tragic and also an apt analogy to our market, and now our economy.
The Ka Ka’s sharply hit the props when TV waves bow beneath the weight of canned policy verbiage from Capitol Hill and your closed library. That’s why Reed Hastings built Netflix.
Meanwhile, financial facilitation and relief thinking is said to be coursing on Capitol Hill. We’ll see. Much of what the Fed actually does exists below the media line. Only financial professionals even understand the repo market and Fed actions that maintain liquidity.
The fed’s doing those things. Yet banks and REITs are disastrous.
The Fed’s for real, but not alone. Being informed is essential, but bathing in “we’re making sure” isn’t. We’re watching closely yet shuffling in a dose of “the Hunker.” Continue reading The Hunker

F BOMB

MARCH 11, 2020. Back in 1957 Toyota landed at a derelict Rambler dealership deep in Hollywood. Nobody noticed. “Made in Japan” meant junk. Detroit owned American driving, and had since the beginning. During the mid-80’s the Japanese auto invasion reached critical mass. Buyers had noticed the quality difference. Detroit was caught lame, dopey, and bloated. The junk rolling off their production lines looked good, to them. Buyer felt otherwise.
Meanwhile, Japan’s spiritual egalitarian management style was producing a lean and reliable product line. Fuel economy mattered as well, and those quality-packed offerings carved up the U.S. auto market like a Samurai sword.
And it was business as usual for Detroit. Ford and Gm have habitually leaned backward rather than toward a transformative future. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973 OPEC hit an oil addicted west with an oil embargo. Gas lines wrapped around the block as motorists physically pushed eight cylinder boats toward busy pumps.
Oil trouble sent Detroit halfheartedly toward EV thinking. The obstacles were huge. Did they keep thinking long-term? No. The second oil again flowed they jettisoned the entire EV concept and packed their shaky prototypes into the crusher. They didn’t even leave an EV pilot light sparking. Now Tesla’s all over their backs.
The marvels of Detroit are many, including their repeated myopic refusal to tool for any future beyond next year. Detroit is a come from behind operator. That’s why Ford’s now an “F BOMB.” Continue reading F BOMB

Today’s the Plain Leading Toward Distant Peaks.

MARCH 9, 2020. The Saudis want to cut production but Russia won’t play. So the Saudis cut the price of their crude and that wave’s rocking equities.
A million things move markets and some roil them. Either way we play our game plan. Today’s no different. Know that “Breathe. Today’s the Plain Leading Toward Distant Peaks.” Continue reading Today’s the Plain Leading Toward Distant Peaks.

Jonesing For Tiny Devices. AMD. Lift Your Love Lamp.

FEBRUARY 8, 2020. Santa Clara California’s a semiconductor cage match and AMD’s there. AMD is also a bullet-train of growth. Out of 17 stocks we track in the space, AMD’s at the top in returns over six months, and 2nd YTD. And if you need a lift buy their stock, because they won’t be slowing to pluck you off the street.
“Street” you repeat? Well, you know Wall Street’s awesome. Think AMD. Where does the street send you when you beat? Lower. And whadda you get when you dominate? A grubby paper bag clinging to a sweaty 40oz. What did you expect?
Respect? Whadda you get for retina-detaching 300% y/y EPS acceleration? You get a 6% kick low in the gearbox.
Exactly why is Wall Street awesome again? Because they don’t take checks. You gotta pay in blood, even If you are the 500’s top performer 2019. But that’s O.K., because everybody’s still “Jonesing’ for Tiny Devices. AMD. Lift Your Love Lamp.” Continue reading Jonesing For Tiny Devices. AMD. Lift Your Love Lamp.

REIT Down the Street. 10% They Pay. MFA.

JANUARY 28, 2020. We’re inhabiting what’s known as an “expensive market.” The flight to safety, and quality, has seemingly left little to choose from if you like income. Well, perhaps not.
AT&T has for years been viewed as income and even safety. But that was before shares ran from the low $30s to $39. The dividend’s nice, but let’s face it. The company’s at best a barely-manageable mess.
We admit it. We used it for the dividend, until we found something we like better. Are there alternatives to the AT&T show? We take readers on a zip tour of the “REIT Down the Street. 10% They Pay. MFA.” Continue reading REIT Down the Street. 10% They Pay. MFA.

F. All Trucked UP?

DECEMBER 31, 2019. Find them anywhere from Key Largo to Shenzhen. Ford’s vehicles roam the planet. Their problems are planet-scale as well. Planets are moving targets, and so is business. How many people even want to own cars anymore?
Ford’s moving as well, away from sedans and directly to electric drive. Their playbook calls for a stable of 40 EVs within the next twelve months. Many exist now. Think the sparkling new Mustang Mach E. Can investors take an electrifying ride along with a company amid wholesale transformation? We take a quick look to see if you can. “F. All Trucked UP?”(Cover photo; the 2020 Ford commercial Transit. It and the Transit Connect own Europe.) Continue reading F. All Trucked UP?