The market hung in there today despite Ben Bernanke’s surprising discount rate raise after the market closed yesterday.  Bernanke continues to think outside of the box in managing the economy (and as long as it isn’t Hannah Hilton’s box, then Money McBags is fully on board because one should only think inside her box, never outside of it).  There is no telling what Bernanke will do next as a Federal Reserve Chairman hasn’t done anything as radical as he has since Marriner S. Eccles wore black shoes with a brown belt on day back in 1937.  Money McBags is all in favor of the proactivity of the Fed and anxiously awaits their next move, whether it be reducing their balance sheet, paying interest on bank loans, or having the head of the Cleveland branch of the Fed, Sandra Pianalto, man the kissing booth at the Fed’s next holiday party (what, you’d prefer Janet Yellen?).

The Dollar is now at its nine month high against the Euro, reaching $1.35 to the Euro, thanks to the Fed actions which means that all of the unemployed people who couldn’t afford to book vacations to see the leaning tower of Pisa this winter can now hypothetically be able to at least afford to check a bag.  CPI data also came out today and showed inflation to be less than expected except for a couple of small things called energy and food.  Excluding food and fuel costs, prices fell .1% which was the first decline in over 25 years.  So as long as you don’t eat or go anywhere in the fucking car which you probably have to sell anyway to make the mortgage payments on the house you couldn’t afford but were able to get a loan for so the endowment fund at the University of My Left Nut (go fighting Ballhawks!) could get a little extra yield on their fixed income portfolio by having bankers slice up pools of those mortgages which enabled those same bankers to buy even more coke and purchase hookers with fewer diseases, everything should be ok.  For fucksake, we’re not hunter-gatherers anymore (though if we were, I would hunt and gather me some Amanda Seyfried) and thus excluding food and fuel costs from the CPI is like excluding money shots from bukakke films or excluding General Winfield Scott from a list of greatest guys with the first name Winfield (and a big shout out to Old Fuss and Feathers, all the Whigs in the house give me a “hell yeah!”).

In stock news today, DELL apparently has been spending way too much time trying to find the Erin Andrews peephole video and apparently downloaded a virus in the process as they are down 6% on last night’s disappointing quarter.  Revenue grew 11% while profit dropped 4.8%.  We have a word for that on When Genius Prevailed, it’s called “bad fucking business” (and yes Money McBags knows that is actually three words but like DELL, he is giving you 200% more for the same price).  Dell’s continued reliance on discounting is good for consumers (assuming they wanted a shitty Dell computer with customer service so bad that it that makes Britney Spears teaching you bernouilli distributions seem helpful), but not good for shareholders.  Granted all PCs not starting with an “i” are essentially commodities so price competition is inherrent to the market, but negative operating leverage for a business is like a female with a hairy ass, it’s uninteresting, unbecoming, and frankly unnatural.  In other large cap news FSLR reported a decent quarter, beating analyst estimates but then guided to increased margin pressure in the second half of the year as apparently their main source of energy, the sun, is free.  Solar stocks are being eclipsed by the market today as a result.

In small cap news, JOEZ continues to rally (and Money McBags broke down JOEZ quarter a couple of weeks ago) while for some reason HIL continues to crumble like poorly installed dry wall (and that is punny because HIL oversees commercial construction).  Money McBags has been a fan of HIL as they are diversified globally, have had solid performance, and don’t take on any building risk.  They are hired to litigate and to manage the building process.  The company is now trading at 10x estimates, around 1.5x book value, and close to 8.5x EV/EBITDA.  They have been acquiring companies in geographies they are not in and think their claims business should start coming back.  The stock is down by close to 1/3 in he past four months and now it seems to be fairly cheap.  Money McBags is unsure why it has been hit so badly as it offers a nice way to diversify into real estate without taking the building balance sheet risk.  So your homework for the weekend, other than taking out the trash, is to figure out what is going on with HIL.  Money McBags will dig into it a bit more next week and see if he can’t find a reason for the four month sell off because if there is nothing nefarious going on (like a Goldman Sachs Greek bond placement and currency swap or a Heidi Montag record promotion) then this could be a good entry point.

So enjoy the weekend and Money McBags will be back on Monday.

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