Monday, March 1, 2010

3/1/10 Midevening Report: Semis conduct market higher, next up, Beethoven's Fifth

Wow.  The market ripped up today like it was competing for the Ansari X Prize in 2004 or like it was rushing to claim the last seat in a dream Hayley Atwell-Kate Bosworth Ultimate Surrender match (nsfw, unless your work doesn't suck).  Technology led the way thanks to an upbeat report on chip sales and the fact that we are at the inflection point of exponential technological growth, regardless of the economy (or at least Ray Kurzweil's fancy graphs say so*).  Chip sales were up 47% from last year and .3% from December leaving Semiconductor Industry Association President George Scalise (whose last name is an unfortunate anagram for one of the world's worst afflictions, "ass lice") to explain that sales were helped by "growing demand for semiconductors used in personal computers, cell phones, automobiles and industrial applications."  He then pointed to the reporter and while being egged on by his minions used the old SIA favorite line, "Is that a pre-Moore's Law semiconductor in your pants or are you just happy to see me."  Along wth a positive report on semi sales, consumer spending was up .5% despite incomes only being up .1% which led to the lowest savings rate since January of 2008, you know, back when the market was crashing because EVERYONE WAS FUCKING OVERLEVERAGED.  So at least it looks like that problem has been solved.  This country continues to treat savings like Lindsay Lohan treats vaginal hygiene or Larry Craig treats truthfulness, but hey, at least spending more than one earned sent the market on an orgiastic run today, so damn you common sense.  In other macro news today, the ISM’s factory index fell to 56.5 from January’s 58.4, which was a 5 year high.  While a number falling is usually a bad thing, unless it's the number of times Sweet Homa Alabama is played on the radio, the ISM index was still above 50 and that magical made-up line of delineation apparently indicates the economy is still in expansion based on the at times subjective inputs of the purchasing managers reporting to the ISM.  However, according to the ISM website, a "PMI in excess of 42 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy," so that magical 50 number that people are claiming is good, could be as low as 42 and everything would still be ok.  Whew, I am glad we have an arbitrarily declining scale to measure whatever it is the PMI measures, though perhaps they should hire some of the 20MM unemployed people to take more exact readings on what managers are purchasing.

In stock news, AIG sold their Asian life insurance unit to Prudential for $35.5B and PRU's promise to love them long time.  The sale will allow AIG to pay back the government and strategically rids them of one of their most profitable companies, thereby continuing AIG's policy of doing things that suck.  While selling assets is something AIG needs to do to get out of debt, selling their profitable business is a bit like McDonalds selling Burger King the rights to the Big Mac and thus leaving them with just the Filet O'Fish and Salmonella McNuggets.  AIG is also determined to sell their US life business to MET, which means they can focus on their prized P&C business which was only one of the biggest reasons they underperformed last quarter.  In other large cap news, Sandisk was up 11% today after raising their first quarter revenue guidance by 6% during Friday's analyst day.  This caused analysts to upgrade the stock including Wedbush's Betsy Van Hees who had a sell on the company but was able to finally get the sand(isk) out of her vagina and raise SNDK to neutral.

In small cap news, Money McBags favorite MLNK shot up 6% likely on the positive semi news which should augur well for the computer market. MLNK still remains more undervalued than a taint licking.  Money McBags broke MLNK down for all of you in January, but the company has treaded water since then despite the fact that their $.17 quarterly eps can easily turn into $.22 with just continued cost cutting.  Add in just a Pam Anderson's dignity amount of growth and you're at $.25 per quarter eps or $1 for the year.  So with very little positive news, MLNK could take off and rise out of it's way too cheap valuation of 10.5x eps and 4x-5x EBITDA with a ton of cash on the balance sheet.  This stock should be owned by anyone who hates being poor, so Mickey Rourke need not apply.  Also, another Money McBags stock which is frequently blogged about on When Genius Prevailed, RICK, briefly bounced up to Money McBags sell target of $16 today before getting absolutely ass raped around noon.  No one has witnessed a nooner that violent since David Carradine dined alone in his hotel closet.  Look at the chart below and notice right at 12:45 someone wanted to get the fuck out like RICK was two girls and they were the one cup.  Huge volume.  The stock usually trades about 200k shares a day and in a 15 minute span almost 600k shares blew out on the market.  Perhaps every quant fund had Money McBags $16 price target hardwired in as the sell time as we all know Money McBags moves markets, or perhaps one of the 20 funds who own 600k+ shares had a little too much champagne in the chanmpagne room, but fuck did someone want out of this thing.

Money McBags is a bit flummoxed by the need to puke out so many shares and it reeks of a capital call, except funds should be relatively stable now, so this run for the door is more perplexing (and nowhere near as delicious) as teenage girls claiming that having anal sex still leaves them virgins.

Tomorrow's blog may be out late, so follow Money McBags on twitter for updates.

*For those futurist tech geeks out ther Money McBags hopes to put his singularity near Kurzweil's prophesized spiritual machines, especially if they're as frisky as Riley Steele.  So keep grokking Spock, my friends, keep grokking Spock).

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