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.

Proof: Foolish Thinking Will Produce Fools Part 2 (by Mark St.Cyr)

By -

I decided to write on these subjects because I was hit with one after
another as I was working while the television was on. There are times I
feel the smarter we as humans become with all our technology, the down
right stupider many of us have become.

It started with the news story of a 10-year-old girl flying alone. (you can read part 1 here)
As dumbstruck as I was at the sheer stupidity on behalf of everyone
involved in the matter. As the news went to commercial I was mortified
on what came on next. Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to the
next possible IPO wannabe coming to an exchange near you. Care(dot)com

What is Care(dot)com? Think Angie’s list but not for a plumber,
contractor, or anything else of the sort. No this is for a babysitter. All you need to do is click,
read the reviews, then when you feel like you’ve garnered enough
information by clicking and reading the only thing left to do is invite
this person over to your home and leave them there. Alone. In your
house. With all your treasures. And also the lives, and well-being of
your children. Hey, isn’t technology great! All you need to do is click,
and read reviews then bammo! You’re a parent of the modern age
practicing due diligence for the safety and well-being of your
children, and more. A role model of society. How proud and smart you
must now feel at this great awakening. You’ve now entered the modern age of parenting.

Once again I said: “You have GOT to be kidding me!”

I am fully aware of the restraints or caged feelings
parents get when children are young. The sheer absence of anything
serendipitous or the resemblance to any spontaneity. As if vanished
into the ether never to be seen again.

However, I only need to pose one hypothetical question in my mind to
see if I might be off track. I see myself asking my mother: “Would you have left us with a babysitter that you found in the want ads?” As
I was ducking the first attempt at her cracking me on the back of the
head I would then try to defend the question with this follow-up: “But, they come recommended. Written reviews from people stating how great they are.” As she was reaching for the broom for a better angle she might start saying:
“Are any of those “people” people you know? Like family or close
friends? What in the world are you thinking? Is that how I raised you?” 
(Just for the record there was never any corporal punishment, it was more along the lines of the whack that says: What are you thinking!)

And there lies the truth that hits you harder than a broom, a smack,
or anything else.  Common sense. It’s far more of a bludgeoning hammer
than anything else wielded by a parent. And like many of you, our
parents seemed to be armed with the equivalent of a super carrier. Today
I believe many parents have barely enough common sense to fill a

It’s one thing to be looking for a Nanny, or some other form of
caretaker for children. (Oh and yes they offer all that and more!) But that’s not what I’m discussing here. This
falls into: “Hey, there’s a great band playing at the local gin mill
down the street. Everybody’s going out tonight to party. Everyone
except us because we have a child, and no babysitter. Hey wait, we can
go! I saw this ad on television for Care(dot)com. You enter your info, check
the referrals on-line then bammo! We have a babysitter so we can go out
a tear it up also. Where’s the laptop?”

Is there any wonder why we just can’t make any rhyme or reason out of
some of the things we see happening today? I contend it’s because –
there isn’t any. Most of the common sense that was common has been
replaced with: “But It was on the internet so it must be true. Here look for yourself!”

No wonder we’re in trouble.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

FBHS at $24.54 and LTD at $48.47 (by Ryan Mallory)

By -

I went into today thinking that if the market can pop off of the morning lows, that would be my cue to get long 2-3 more positions. So far I got two of them, and one of the others happens to be SINA that I'm watching closely. 

The two trades that I took, Fortune Brands Home and Security (FBHS) and Limited Brands (LTD) offer similar setups in two separate industries, where there is an uptrend in place, followed by a pullback to support. Both should be considered swing-trades and both have tight stop-losses attached to them. 

Here's my two new long positions and their setups.

LONG: Fortune Brands Home and Security (FBHS)

Fortune Brands Home and Security FBHS

LONG: Limited Brands (LTD)

Limited Brands LTD

Be sure to checkout Ryan's Blog at

Short SP 500 – Falling in the Channel

By -

As predicted here yesterday and here on Tuesday we had another down day on the SP 500.

What we didn't get was an opening bump in order to open a better short position

Since we broke through R1 – I'm fairly confident the target bottom of the channel / 50 DMA around 1368 will be reached

For those that don't trade the e mini futures contracts, you can either play SPY or SDS the 2x short ETF.

My choice would be to short SSO, the 2x Bull ETF, but no shares are available.

The corresponding trade on SDS would be a Buy @ or near 14.51, with a stop loss at 14.30 and a target price around 15.41

The trade represents 6.2% gain with 1.4% risk

Lazy Trade Long & Short: SIG & DTG (by Ryan Mallory)

By -

I haven't added any new positions to the portfolio  yet this morning, but instead I want to watch the market action into the afternoon session and see whether the turnaround we saw yesterday afternoon goes ignored and the market pushes lower again today. If that happens, I'll add a new short position to the portfolio (for a total of 3 short positions) to hedge my long positions in which there is a total of 6. 

If we are to rally higher then I'll likely add one additional stock to the portfolio as well as close out the BRO short that I have. 

Below you'll find today's lazy trades. The double top in DTG is my top candidate to add short if we push lower today. The SIG setup is breaking out of a long-term triangle pattern that should work well for the bulls. 

Here's today's Lazy Trades:

 LONG: Signet Jewelers (SIG)

Signet Jewelers SIG

SHORT: Dollar Thrifty Group (DTG)

Dollar Thrifty Group DTG

Be sure to checkout Ryan's Blog at