Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Calling All Writers

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My recent decision to add Fujisan's posts to Slope seems to be a good one. The posts are well-liked, and it gives your poor, beleaguered host a little bit of a break.

After all, on the rare occasions I actually go on vacation, I still wind up doing posts. There's not a day in the year – even Christmas or New Year's – that I'm not doing this.

Added to which, I think it would help to have some new voices here. In the comments section, I've liked the work of Kemal_1 VirginiaJim, Joe8888, and many others, and I'd love to have some interested parties participate in the blog in a more visible way.

So if you'd like to be seriously considered for a regular post (by "regular", I probably mean at least once a week, or at least once every couple of weeks), please drop me a line. Or if you'd like to encourage someone else to do so – – or voice your feelings about this possible new expansion of content – – say so in the comments section.

Thanks; I look forward to seeing where this takes us.

Bank of America

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After the close today, Apple came out with their earnings, and the market loved them. The stock is trading over $200 (pretty much its lifetime high). I pretty much avoid the "four horsemen" (AAPL, RIMM, GOOG, AMZN) like the plague, so this is simply an interesting news item for me.

My attention is on individual stocks, both long and short. I have been, over the past couple of days (Friday and Monday), loading up on a wide variety of individual positions – mostly on the short side, but also some on the long.

My best cash performer so far in this array is Bank of America, which is also the stock in which I have the largest position. In spite of today's nearly triple-digit advance on the Dow, B of A continued to be weak. Unlike some stocks (like, say, AAPL), B of A is down two-thirds from its peak price, and I think the risk/reward on this is simply terrific.

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I have also, for your viewing pleasure, assembled a modest array of some of the Many Faces of Ken Lewis. I'm not sure what it is with these finance guys; John Thain's face was frozen throughout human history, whereas Lewis just seems plain grumpy all the time. Is it fear over sexual inadequacy? It's impossible for me to tell.

So that's probably going to be it for me today. The march higher continues, and I'm busily in the background lining up my various positions. I'll probably get some time this week to share with you some of my favorites.

Sustained NASDAQ Strength

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It looks like the NASDAQ is going to close at another high for the year (we are truly on the other side of the looking glass here, folks). The tinted area is a really mushy zone, since it represents a range from which the market cut away last autumn into the big plunge. Now the market is trying to heave its way through this zone to the upside again. AAPL earnings will certainly be a force (one way or the other) for this index in the morning.

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Man on Wire

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One of the most riveting movies I've ever seen was Man on Wire, which won the 2008 Oscar for best documentary. It turns out that YouTube has the entire movie online (which I watched last night "in the background" as I went through all my charts). It's a marvelous piece, and it reminds me of what was said of Voltaire:

First, and above all else, he is marvelously alive. And mankind, who dreads boredom even more than anxiety, is eternally grateful to those who make life throb to a swifter, stronger beat.

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