The news driving the market down today comes from Ben Bernanke’s speech yesterday (apparently the joke about the rabbi, the priest, and the horse did not go over well) where he warned that there are still “formidable headwinds” to an economic recovery.  And in an additional exercise of overstating the obvious, he also concluded that there are formidable headwinds to repairing Tiger Woods’ image, to getting a money shot into lesbian porn, and to figuring out why his chinese restaurant keeps putting pee pee in his coke (even if it is only a joke).  Money Mcbags has been preaching it here all along, but he’ll do it again:  The US economy is going to struggle for awhile (at best).  15MM+ million people are out of work and the government has printed so much money to stimulate the economy that we are actually in the midst of a tree shortage, which in turn is stimulating global warming, so we’ve got that going for us too.

In stock news, McDonalds (MCD) reported November same store sales marginally below the number that analysts bent over, reached up, and pulled out of their rectums.  MCD had .7% same store sales growth off of an up 7.7% growth last year, so still growth on a tough comparison.  They also continue to see benefits from FX, which is one big reason to consider this a core holding.  As the US moves from being a world leader to a citizen of the world, having currency diversification is an easy strategy to play (though not as easy as playing dodgeball against Terri Schiavo, and not because Terri Schiavo was in a coma, but because she is dead).

RICK also reported a nice growth in sales (and this joke is too easy, so write your own) this month as the famous old adage rings true, “Tits sell.”  Same club sales were up 9.5% as RICK continues to shake off the recession fears while slipping $20s into its balance sheet.  Rick is inching up to $85MM in sales and $1.00 in earnings while trading at only about 1/3 the price of a lap dance ($7).  The stock is cheap, the girls aren’t, but as always, they’re only one hummer in the champagne room away from giving investors blue balls.

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