Thursday, July 3, 2008

Weekly Wrap 7/3/2008 and More...

Happy Fourth of July!

Greetings from Townend, Tennessee! One of my favorite rites of passage every summer is the Fourth of July. Sure the cookouts and annual parade are great but, there is just something about the Fourth of July that makes me proud to be an American! Sure a couple of stanzas of Stars and Stripes Forever or another Sousa march can get my blood going bit. A look at the Spirit of 76' (by Archibld Willard Bedford, OH) does more than tells a story. Willard helped give me a sense of what it really meant to be an American. Of course its the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence that really drive it home. Even if you're not a Jefferson fan, you can't help but appreciate his way of telling the British government that we were declaring our independence:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

But I always appreciate the poetic words of Jefferson:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unaienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Most importantly, Jefferson reminds us that governments get their power to rule from its citizens. As he most boldly stated, when any government abuses its power to rule, then that government should be abolished.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.

Lincoln definitely knew how to keep his the the eye on the ball. He was one of the few who really understood what was happening to our country during The Civil War:

"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth."

On this Fourth of July let us all give thanks for the many blessings the good Lord has bestowed upon this great country of ours. And we must also then be thankful for the priviliges and opportunities that are now available to us as U.S. citizens. Most of all, as Americans we should remember that the legacies and endowments that are ours are not entitlements. We all should remember that we have an obligation to keep this nation great.

Weekly Wrap 7/3/2008
I will apologize for the formatting ahead of time...and will try to return to the spread sheet next week.
Net Gain/Loss
BAC 1/30s P 3.0 8.85 195%
BAC 1/27.5P 3.15 6.90 110%
BAC 1/22.5P 2.25 3.70 64%
BAC 1/22.5P 3.05 3.70 18%**
COF 1/50 P 8.10 14.40 78%
COF 1/40 P 6.0 7.90 32%
HBC 12/75P 3.9 6.30 62%
HBC 1/75P 6.0 6.30 5%**
XLK 1/25C 1.70 .75 -56%*
NCC 10/10C 1.30 .10 -96%
NCC 10/8P 1.55 3.30 113%*
*Liquidated Position
** New Position

As mentioned in my last post, BAC finished digesting the CFC merger. Needless to say, there was a severe case of indigestion on Wall Street. Part of the stomach rumbles came from the continued credit crisis. One analyst even had enough guts to say that the credit card companies are over-sold, and the companies all have an appropriate stock price. While some of the Wall Street experts were calling bottoms and rally points this week, in the end it was all for naught. This week Henry Paulson gave the financial community a bit of straight talking on Wednesday. The Dow finished in Bear Market territory that day...rallied a bit on Thursday...and took a much needed day off to celebrate the Fourth. An analyst by the last name of Roney believes the worst for financials are over, and predicted a new interest in the financials as of Monday. When asked if he would put his OWN money into the financials...he avoided the question! Enough reason to validate the increase I made in BAC and HBC.

I sold XLK and took it like a man. Once again, I believe my strategy was fundamentally sound, but timing was off. I will utilize monies from that and NCC's put which was mostly treading water to go on a shopping spree.

Here are some of the names I am looking at:

Dollar Store (Retail sales are due next week and I am expecting big numbers from the bottom feeders.)

Foster Wheeler has a strong association with the housing market...and may deserve some additional research.

Heavy Metal? USX, CLF, ZEUS some of my favorites that I watched way out perform the market maybe on there way down. May deserve a strangle or straddle...FSLR is another candidate.

AN and STI are also on the board.


XLF now down 15%

XLY now down 6%

XLE now down 1%

Uh, oh MISTA LEE...this is bad news! That's o.k. you probably did better than many of your cohorts!!!

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