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BJ's Down, Not Out


Wholesale still big story in retail.


Hello from New York where my yoga instructor just told me she thought Pete Najarian was picking on me last night. I started explaining that Fast Money is more pro wrestling than UFC; the nicest thing I can do to Pete is bang him in the head with a chair and vice versa: "If Pete had really been mad at me he would have ignored and 'no sold' my taunts."

Indifferent to the complexities of the internal monologue of our nightly yelling match, she shushed me and told me to focus on my breath. I was comfortable with that and feel better now for having focused on the good rather than the siren song of argument.

I like fighting. I did Golden Gloves. I was one of those kids videotaping my fights before there was a to air the tapes. I also used to short the homebuilders into the teeth of their final, parabolic, phase. I'm happier now that I only pretend fight with my friends and I don't short parabolas or buy bottoms. Am I old and weak? Maybe "yes," maybe "no." All I know for sure is that I had a good work-out and I'm not short the USO or long the AMR Corp (AMR) like some of my more macho friends. Nam- Myoho- Rene- Quo, baby.

  • One guy who seemed like he wanted to fight someone? Steve Ballmer, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO, egged in Hungary. Microsoft is really the biggest problem in Eastern Europe? The company can't even take out Yahoo (YHOO). Just a sad state of affairs for all concerned. I mean, I'm angry about Microsoft as well, Milosh, but I'm not chucking eggs over it. I'll just sell my shares, eventually.

  • BJ's (BJ) is trading down rather hard after what looked like a pretty good quarter, from where I was sitting. Then again, BJ's big comps of late had elevated the bar for the club chain to the point that a little "sell the news" may have been expected. The stock is still more than 10% higher for the year as "deep discount and clubs" are the retail theme of the year.

  • Not the retail them of the year? Booksellers. Borders Group (BGP) and Barnes and Noble (BKS) are higher today but death for the year. How to play the space? BGP but not up 12%. I think investor Bill Ackman is going to jam the chains together but it's going to take time.

  • Financial television tries to reflect what's going on, be it fear ("Doomsday!") or greed ("Cheerleading"). In two years we've gone from "Contango" being a forbidden term on my relatively wonky program to the term getting extended play throughout the programming day. We're nearer to the top than the bottom.

  • If "speculators are driving commodity prices while working class Americans pay the bill!" as politicians from both parties are fond of screeching, why can't airlines just raise prices to pay for jet fuel?

  • Today's 'Please-make-it-stop-playing-in-head!' song of the day is "Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen. Make a note of it and sing along as you wish.

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Position in MSFT.

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