9/23/10 Midevening Report: Housing and employment continue to struggle, but at least we have our healthcare
Ho fucking hum. Another day with more of the same news including bad unemployment numbers, bad housing data, and likely bad promises of a still unreleased Karissa Shannon sex tape (and it’s not even the one Money McBags wants to see). Excuse me while Money McBags yawns as how is he supposed to write dick jokes if the same shit keeps happening over and over again? Really, how many times can he write about new claims for unemployment coming in worse than analyst guesses (465k vs. guesses of 450k) and being revised upwards from last week (450k up to now 453k) in the “hold the shock and hope for no awe” strategy? It is beginning to get more redundant than a stutterer singing the beginning of the Beatles’ Revolution 9 so perhaps Money McBags should just get a NSFW room in Rome and come back during earnings season.
Look, the unemployment situation in the US remains more fucked than Ashton Kutcher (which for him might not be a bad thing) or the the plot of an M. Night Shyamalan movie (and seriously, with the economy as shitty as it is, who the fuck keeps funding that guy’s movies? Did someone exhume Helen Keller and make her a studio head because only someone who is deaf, blind, and dead, would ever green light that kind of drivel. And yet Money McBags is giving away fresh new material for free on a daily basis, as somewhere an angel loses its wings) despite whatever phony number the (No) Labor Department puts out for new claims only to revise upwards next week. There are roughly 10MM people receiving some kind of unemployment benefits and the lack of jobs and income is causing the housing market to continue to at best scrape along the bottom like Traci Lords’ legitimate acting career. Don’t let the headlines fool you though as they read that existing home sales were inline with guesses and up almost 8% from last month but 8% up from last month still makes August THE SECOND WORST MONTH in the last ten years for home sales so the market trading up, or flat, on this number for most of the day was like Magic Johnson being excited about learning that he didn’t have herpes.
In other macro news, the index of leading economic indicators was up .3% or as we say in English, flat (since the confidence interval on any of those indexes is +/- 1 trillion % or simply, not confident) and Warren Buffett told the NBER to talk to his old shriveled brill cream smelling hand by saying we’re still in a recession (which explains why last week he ruled out a double-dip recession because of course we are still dipping).
Internationally the markets were down big as a drop in Europe’s PMI gave international investors PMS (and yes, Money McBags wrote that joke as it was too fucking stupid not to write, so indulge him a bit, ok?). Particularly worrying is that the figures showed German output slowed to an 8 month low which is bad for both Europe and connoisseurs of scat films everywhere. Also Ireland’s GDP contracted by 1.2% when analysts guessed it would rise by .5% which means Erin Go Bragh may be more like Erin Go Bust (though if Erin is going for Glenda Gilson‘s bust, then that is ok). Anyway, the news sent Ireland’s bonds plummeting while raising the countries risk premium to somewhere between Greece and Mel Gibson’s career.
Finally, as a result of Japan detaining a Chinese fishing trawler captain, China is blocking exports to Japan of rare-earth elements which include scandium, yttrium (which doubles as a Wheel of Fortune contestant’s worst nightmare), thulium (with its delightful atomic number of 69), and Chuck Norris’ tears (because we all know Chuck Norris has never cried which makes his tears the rarest of rare Earth elements). These elements are critical in producing products such as hybrid cars, wind turbines, and Hello Kitty paraphernalia, so Japan’s economy could be a bit more fucked.
In the market, Red Hat was up ~10% after growing revenue by 20% and earning $.19 per share in the Q ($.01 better than analyst guesses) thanks to strength in European markets and MSFT software sucking dick (to use a technical term). Also Rite-Aid was wrong-aid (don’t forget to tip your writer) for investors as it fell ~13% after reporting a bigger than guessed at loss due to lagging pharmacy sales as a result a weak flu season and drop in the popularity of Purple Drank now that Jamarcus Russell no longer has a guaranteed contract.
In small cap stocks, ZAGG and EBIX continue to rally and Money McBags likes those stocks as much as Japan likes Paris Hilton so it is what it is for now but Money McBags sticks by his analysis that ZAGG has a worse long-term outlook than Michael Douglas’ throat (too soon still?) and EBIX is simply less analyzable than dark matter, so he is happy not to be long either (though the EBIX straddle should be paying off).
Finally, HSTM which Money McBags mentioned yesterday as a name that he was going to look in to in more detail traded >100k shares for the second day in a row which is very unusual volume for that stock. Money McBags spent some more time on the name this morning and should have detailed questions for management next week but at first glance it seems like a potential nice long-term steady performer with their new SaaS model, market share lead in certain segments, and growing number of courses delivered through their already installed “pipe” in to hospitals. So while Money McBags needs to understand the backstory a bit more (and he hopes it is as appealing as this back story) as well as the competition and HSTM’s competitive advantage, the company has passed his initial sniff test so he will continue to dig deeper.
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