The market continues to putter along in the last trading week of a year that has thoroughly confused Money McBags like the subprime meltdown confused Ben Stein, the cosmological constant confused Einstein, or a grocery store freezer confused Carrie Harkness.  Money McBags remains cockposterously perplexed and today was a microcosm of his befuddlement as consumer spend continues to refudiate, repudiate, and refuckingdoodyiate negative macro trends such as high unemployment, falling housing prices, and increasing memberships to the lemon party (and kind readers, if Money McBags were you, he would not go to the url in the sign that guy is holding up in the picture.  Money McBags simply reports the news, so don’t say he didn’t warn you).

Anyway, the point is that Money McBags is struggling to interpret the data in any meaningful way (his past attempts to interpret it using modern dance and the Rosetta Stone have failed miserably) other than that we now live in a completely bifurcated society (more bifurcated than Kenny Easterday) where income inequality is growing and the rich continue to spend on shit they don’t need with only desperation and despair trickling down the other 95% of the country.  How else does one explain whole towns going into bankruptcy while sales of jewelry, pocketbooks, and roses remain at absurd levels?

In macro news today, holiday retail sales were said to be up ~5.5% according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse and were led by apparel (up 11.2%), jewelry (up 8.4%), and Michelle Ryan’s newest video (up podophilia %).  Guesses are that the sales increase was the biggest in five years with spending reaching around $584.3B (and if spending were Elisabetta Canalis, Money McBags wishes it would reach around him), compared with $566.3B in the same period of 2007.  Money McBags can only conclude that a rising stock market sinks all grips (on reality).

In stark opposition to the retail sales numbers, consumer confidence declined in December (now that’s a mouthful or what is more commonly known as, a “Joe Dimaggio”).  The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence slipped to 52.5 from an upwardly revised 54.3 in November as apparently consumers just got their credit card bills from their holiday spending sprees.  That said, the index was below even the most pessimistic witch doctor surveyed by Bloomberg as economic models continue to use data more outdated than the theory of luminiferous aether or one-pieces.  Most interestingly, the “jobs hard to get” index (with jobs hard to get including the President of the US, Small Forward for the Miami Heat, and Bar Refaeli‘s brazillian waxer) rose to 46.8% in December from 46.3% last month, while the “jobs plentiful” index dropped to 3.9% from “Suckers!”

And consumer un-confidence numbers weren’t the only shitty macro news out today as according to Case-Shiller (the Bartles and Jaymes of macro data if you will, since they thank you for supporting their 3 month old numbers), home prices continue to fall (or at least they fell in October which the data measures).   The index showed that single-family home prices fell for the for the fourth consecutive month thanks to a supply greater than hypocritical politicians as a result of home foreclosures, high unemployment, and people needing to use their money for health insurance instead of on houses in case they are called on to perform in that new Spiderman play which is now on their 104th round of understudies.  The index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 1% in October from September on a seasonally adjusted basis which is a much steeper drop than the 0.6% fall expected by economists but consistent with the “economy sucks” theory.

Internationally, France’s GDP was revised down “un peu” to un poo poo (and yes that could be the worst line Money McBags has written in the history of the award winning When Genius Prevailed, and if asked, he will tell you that he is not bilingual, though he is a big supporter of their community).  Anyway, France’s GDP was lowered as a result of weaker investments in public works, slower consumer service activity, and wasted time by workers trying to catch a glimpse of Carla Bruni.

As for the markets, they were pretty much deader than Dick Cheney’s chance of becoming the next King of Nigeria, or human.  The only interesting news is that Wall Street likes GM again as the Street suffers from worse memory loss than a concussed amnesiac after downing a fifth of Mad Dog and a bottle of roofies.  Apparently analysts are all jazzed up about GM’s new and refreshed models (while Money McBags is all jizzed up about Hawaiian Tropic’s new and refreshed models) as 2012 will be different from all other years because 2012 will finally be the year that consumers start demanding shitty cars.  Money McBags now anxiously awaits tomorrow’s analyst upgrades of Enron, Lehman, and Bo Derek‘s career.

As for small cap stocks, EPAY (which Money McBags has mentioned frequently, just throw it in to the search box) was up ~6% on big volume and has been spiking more than Andrew Jackson’s popularity after the Battle of New Orleans.  Money McBags didn’t see any news but perhaps someone is speculating on an upcoming transaction since the company says they will be acquirers with their extra large shitload of cash.  Otherwise, there isn’t much going on right now and Money McBags needs to rerun his screens to find some new ideas.  He thinks RICK has a good 6 months in front of them, continues to like CTGX and wishes he could get a better update on the profitability of their EMR installations as well as capacity, and thinks SAAS has some real upside.  Otherwise, shorting WGO is a good idea here, though not as good as shorting Teena Marie’s career.  Money McBags’ research may be a bit sparse this week with the holidays, New Years, and release of the NSFW Natalie Portman-Mila Kunis lesbo scene from The Black Swan, but you can always ask him questions at or in the comments section.  He has also been fucking around a bit more with the twitter, so feel free to join him there.

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