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Long weekend thoughts


You keep wearing that dust mask, boy!


My weekend was populated with lots of sanding as stage one of the Chez Miller remodel is to get some built-in shelves done. The repetition and volume of the work made for some good thinking time. Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order...

• The chart for the NASDAQ Biotech Index (NBI) is looking a little creaky. If I was disconnected from the fundamentals in the sector, I would be more worried at the little lower high posted last week. As it is, I'm merely keeping an eye on it.

• Being in the market on the West Coast is often not a picnic as the start times are egregiously early. July is a great time, however, because the morning TV channel of choice is OLN for the latest (and last, sniff!) installment of Go, Lance, Go!

• I worry the "fight" for whomever will be the next Supreme Court Justice will be one long example of our political system at its worst. If governance is the art of compromise, the shrill one-upmanship gripping DC (and many statehouses) today requires a more pejorative word than "politics".

• I was using newspaper to keep wood glue off some stacked boards and one of the sections was the stock price listings of our local newspaper. Does anyone really look at those anymore? Apparently not. Even the WSJ is slimming things down.

• The Tour de France is a good metaphor for the market, actually. Strenuous, only profitable for the ultra prepared, impossible to succeed without a good team (Team Minyan!), and requiring the ability to see the big picture while having your head down working hard each day.

• Do you have a particularly well-developed expertise in an area that regularly is written about in the media? Did you smile when you read the last paragraph of Brian Reynolds' piece this morning? Me too.

• From the "Unintended Consequences" file: How many thousands of contracts include variable pricing language with the words " published in the Wall Street Journal..."? I see the WSJ is leaving rate data in the print edition, probably causing a groan by legions of lawyers who could have had bountiful billable hours editing language in existing contracts.

• In one of the few cycling races I was in, the course was a three-block square circuit. We went around like a zillion times (pound pedals, cruise, brake, corner, repeat). The course was in my home town and the organizers had no experience with these things. The most notable mistake (other than a circuit three blocks square) was not clearing parked cars from the roadside. I was digging around a corner and looked up just in time to see a fellow rider picked clean off his seat by a mirror hanging off the side of a camper truck. Every time I see a bike race I think of that.

• I continue to be amazed at the difference between the NBI and BTK charts. It is as if they are different sectors.

• Is there anything cooler than strolling through your neighborhood and realizing you really like all your neighbors?

• In summer, there is no need for clocks. Just watch the cats as they migrate around the house following the sunbeam.

• Biotech opened ugly this morning. It's better now.

• The NBI has not put in more than three consecutive breadth days since early May, and then only if I count the one day in May where breadth was even. No wonder I'm going gray.

• "GAAP is a random walk through irrelevancy right now." - Sun Micro (SUNW) CEO Scott McNealy. Scott, just wait until they price stock options.

• We're choosing a new logo (finally!) to go with our new name (we changed from "Biotech Monthly" to "Biotech Stock Research" to reflect the fact we write 13x as many notes as monthly newsletters). I've done this a zillion times but I still get excited when I see the drafts from my designer.

• Without devolving into the Tom Cruise vs. Brooke Shields tabloid debate, drugs for the central nervous system are not candy and they are not without side effects. Much more care should be taken before they are dispensed or consumed.

• I was in a hardware store over the weekend and heard a fella talking about "dollar cost averaging" into a stock that was going down. I have to remember to carry cards with the Minyanville web site address in my pocket: "Sir, spend $30 and save yourself some money."

• I joked with a buddy that smashing something into a comet seemed a little presumptuous to me. I mean what if they are sentient or something? (I read a lot of science fiction when I was younger.) He dryly pointed out that if the comet was controlled by sentient beings who had solved interplanetary travel, they could probably dodge if they wanted. Good point, that.

• A breakthrough in the Weight Debate? After holding steady between scratch and (-2) since the starting gun, I lost seven pounds in the last week. Amazing how getting off my arse and being active has that effect.

• How slow is it today? By this point in the morning, I usually have a dozen or so e-mails to respond to. Today? Zero. The cool thing about biotech is that slow days are good as that takes the company one more day closer to the next milestone. I think I'll go watch paint dry.

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