With the year coming to a close, trading is thinner than a bulimic after a good gastric banding while market news is scarcer than Paris Hilton’s panties or Bernie Madoff’s investment returns.  The only real market news out today is that the Chicago ISM was released and measured a whopping 60, though it is unclear what 60 is out of and what 60 actually means, but it was higher than estimates so that must be good.  Apparently, readings over 50 signal expansion which means every time Bar Refaeli shows up on my screen, my pants would read about a 99 on the Chicago ISM scale.  Directionally, the results point to manufacturing in the midwest gaining strength and could signal positive changes for the job market as long as you are looking for a job as a competitve eater, snow shoveler, or corrupt politician (Chicago’s 3 big industries).

The dollar is also on a bit of a rally as people forget how much money the US printed and borrowed, thus sending metals prices down.  Money McBags has talked about gold’s Bubblicious rise in the past and we are now witnessing some sell off.  Long term, gold still remains a good hedge, though not as good as wearing two condoms when in Thailand.

Finally, GMAC may need more money from the government to the tune of $3B to $3.5B as not only did they finance shitty cars, but they financed them shittily.  As a result of this news, the financial services sector is down as the fear of more bad loans and bail outs is leaving a slight scent on the market (and that scent is a bit like a young skunk who has been urinated on and left to sleep with Amy Winehouse for a week).  That said, remember, these banks are getting free money and lending it out for a heck of a lot more than free so they should be raking in the dough so there are still some good buys out there.

In stock news, Money McBags favorite WILC hit its 52 week high as the shekel increases vs. the dollar and companies (unlike overweight strippers and kleenex) just can’t stay ridiculously cheap forever.  Also there appears to be a sell off of momentum names in the weight loss space as NTRI and MED are dropping like Alan Greenspan’s credibility.  NTRI announced a $5MM impairment charge yesterday, MED’s CEO is regstered as having sold shares, and these names have been flying higher than a coked up Ruppell’s griffon so a sell off is not unexpected.  Money McBags does recommend keeping an eye on NTRI as they have had solid returns, recently entered the diabetic market, and have new deals with WMT and Walgreens.  The company is a solid cash flow generator and this country has more fat people than Tiger Woods has STDs, so their business has plenty of room to grow.  It is worth following and waiting for the momentum buyers to finish selling.

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