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Gin, Juice, Mailbags and Tubthumps


Wait'll Jennifer gets a load of me.


I'm rolling like Snoop-Dogg today. Just as I did on Friday.

Not Rolling as defined: "Achieving a statistically unlikely string of successive gains". Rolling as-in "I am so edgeless in terms of trading this afternoon's 'Reaction to Elmer' that I am near perfectly 'Round'."

As I write (pre-announcement) I don't have any idea what Greenspan will say or how the market will react. I can make a semi-educated guess in either direction but I have no particular conviction.

Sans a trading edge to help me make an informed trade on the catalyst dujour I'm better off keeping my trading in idle today, just as I did (and always do) during options expiration. I don't want to force it so I'm trading nothing. Instead, I'm going with the natural opportunities stemming from my roundness by rolling through a column shortly before rolling out the door to attempt to roll in 18 straight putts.

Even if I lose bets on both sides plus "junk" it'll be a less expensive way to spend the afternoon than trading without an edge would be.

Minyanville Mailbag!

Minyan "Kneel!" writes:

Net-Flix (NFLX) buys Blockbuster (BBI).

Think about it.

I truly believe that the death of the rental biz has been exaggerated. If, and a big IF, the industry can survive this downturn, I think they will come back. Over the next year, the biggest challenge is the lack of any box office hits.

I agree on the death of the industry being exaggerated but, in fairness, you can't blame the Cassandra's inasmuch as they are being led by the CEO of Blockbuster.

Speaking of which, a couple things occurred to me when I got this email. First, now that Blockbuster is running into liquidity issues it wouldn't shock me to see them go Chapter 11 and/or get a bid from a group led by management. With the amount of money sloshing around in private equity these days, the fact of an LBO not making sense doesn't rule the possibility out.

Second, how can a guy both justify a $70M paycheck and at the same time argue that his company and industry are dying? Seems to me that any idiot could steward a company in a doomed industry into failure.

Come to think of it...

Moving along, MetroMinyan David Fine writes:

Friday's column, Selling Bone-Fones in Earningsland was an instant Minyanville Classic! I can't believe you Overstock'ed (OSTK) it by sneaking it out there on a Friday afternoon.

Seriously, it was a great read.

You are clearly a man of exquisite and refined taste. Thanks, dude. Kind words are always appreciated.

But you are still black-balled from Golf with Macke, after no-showing me last month.

Minyan Towering Franklin writes:


A thought that I have is why not kick out Verizon (VZ) out of the Dow Jones Industrials and put in Google (GOOG)....They both have similar market caps, and one is on the decline one is changing the face of business and internet commerce. And since the Dow is price weighted, it will help bust out the index and create the illusion that the market is in bull mode. What d'ya think?

It's got a certain darkly-amusing appeal but can't happen for at least two good reasons. First, as shown by the bubble-calling additions of Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC), the folks at Dow Jones prefer to wait until a company has begun a decline (or at the very least, ceased "changing the face" of anything) before adding it to the Average.

Second, as per the little known Exxon (XOM) codicil, Google's stated vow to remain non-evil precludes the company from Dow membership.

"If this fails, we've got some ideas based on Clockwork Orange"

Speaking of Microsoft, the company announced yesterday that it is working on a system that will prevent TV viewers from skipping over commercials while watching television programs or movies on the internet.

MSFT VP Blair Westlake told a conference audience in Cambridge that "We believe in the advertising model (and) we're working on technology to distribute content that doesn't allow for fast-forwarding."

In related news, late yesterday afternoon it was announced that Microsoft VP Blair Westlake will never, ever, be allowed to "drive" the remote-control in Jeffmacke's house. Mr. Westlake is the second member of Banned for Life list, joining Jeffmacke's Mom who has been a member since 1995.

"He'll be there for her (like it or not)"

Jennifer Aniston has announced that she is ready to begin dating again. A hopeful Meehan has been growing out his "Rachel hair" since Ojai.

Retail Quickies

  • As noted on the Buzz, American Eagle (AEOS) took down numbers for the quarter, refreshingly citing "lousy business" (more or less) for the miss. Retail has been slobber-knocked and we're not even officially into warning season yet for the group.
  • I still have 1/2 my short in Best Buy (BBY) on my books and Circuit City (CC) reporting a squishy estimate beat this morning makes me like the position even more, if anything. Just as Dell (DELL) feasted on Carly-Era Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Best Buy has benefited greatly from having feeble competition.
  • Speaking of retail, the Retail Round-up is being revamped in a big and exciting way. Look for the debut of version 2.0 when the retailers release sales figures for September on October 6.

Judging by AEOS and the price-action in most of the retail stock world, I'm putting the over/under for "number of Round-up companies who will warn on or before the release of SSS on October 6th" at 10.

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Position in BBY

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