Tuesday, September 17, 2019

More random thoughts...

--- The New York Jets are in trouble again.  With their supposed star quarterback Sam Darnold out with mono for the forseeable future, in yesterday's game an incompetent beanpole named Siemian came in and sprained his ankle, and then came the unheard of  Luke Falk who managed to stay in the game, seemingly an accomplishment.  Darnold has never been the heralded team leader that the media talked up, just an average player with a "whatever happens" attitude.  They need a quarterback.  Is this possibly the time that a team, meaning the Jets, would have the guts to pull Colin Kapernick out from his informal ban from the game as arranged by Roger Goodall and most team owners?  Other athletes say he stays in shape and is ready.  Nike would like that, as well as many players.

---Here I have been digging through three old photo albums salvaged from my parent's house more than a decade ago.  When there are finds that might be interesting to others as well as me, they are headed to Facebook, as some readers have seen.  There were many more photos lost when a bag was stolen at LaGuardia baggage claim at that time.  I saw the culprit, but was not close enough and she was fast. The ones that are being posted now get some attention.

---Steven Schwarzman of Blackrock was on CNBC and on Bloomberg Markets for interviews this morning.  His comments are interesting from a business perspective but, like Ray Dalio recently, he points out that 40% of Americans are just getting by, not poor but living paycheck to paycheck lives, and that's long term problem that eventually will seep into financial markets.  No answers but at least he didn't say that Trump was on the right track as he did a year ago.  Not long on humility, he remains focused on business results and most of his comments were poignant, a few self serving.  In another life, I was in a group meeting with him at JPM.  In that kind of private setting he was a first rate comedian.  Not kidding!

---Today's equity market held in for modest gains, but the broad market no longer reflects general investment performance among discretionary mutual funds as the results vary widely.  One can assume that's the same for individual investors.  Staying active here, some days just looking, others trading a bit.  The bet here on Macy's came crashing down today, still a gain now but barely.  Added a few more shares, but could bail completely if today's turn is indicative of something that I can't see.  Added a bit to farfetched FTCH.  It's working so far.  Chipotle ramped again today with its announcement of adding carne asada to the menu.  That's real sliced steak, sirloin, ribeye, and more.  Added incrementally to Ebay and Goldman Sachs, but sold full positions in Yum yesterday and in Bausch Healthcare today.  Yum promptly rose 2% today while Bausch fell 1%.  Short term perspectives like that are not useful but after a trade it's impossible not to notice.  Yum seemed fully valued and with a long term capital gain to protect, that decision was made.  Bausch was recently added after United Heathcare was sold.  The decision to quickly sell Bausch was based on the realization that I am a lousy investor in healthcare, other than a few lucky biotech successes, and should stick to ETF's for that sector.  Had enough of this market jabber?  Me too.  One more note.  The five largest holdings across portfolios here are Apple, Google, Costco, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon, in order of size.  They are closely watched.


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