Thursday, August 30, 2007

Serendipity

Serendipity is a 2001 romantic movie, starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack.

At the end of this Blog, there is a link to a short clip from the movie. In that clip is a Nick Drake song.

Plot

Tagline: Can once in a lifetime happen twice?

On a bustling shopping day in winter, Jonathan meets Sara when both try to buy the same pair of gloves at Bloomingdale's department store. Two strangers amid the masses in New York City, their paths collide in the mad holiday rush as they feel a mutual attraction. Despite the fact that each is involved in another relationship, Jonathan and Sara spend the evening travelling Manhattan. But when the night reaches its inevitable end, the two are forced into determining some kind of next step. When the smitten Jonathan suggests an exchange of phone numbers, Sara balks and proposes an idea that will allow fate to take control of their future. If they are meant to be together, she tells him, they will find their way back into one another's life.

Clip from movie.

A

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't......

...everyone fall over yourselves congratulating me for CORT, up another 10% since my post yesterday. I guess everyone is glued to CNBC waiting to Cramer to come on to Erin Burnett, again.

Sigh,

A

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

CORT - update

After trading as high as $3.00 on Monday, CORT has declined to $2.77 today, Tuesday. The pivot break-out on CORT was $2.74 and it is not unusual for a stock to make an initial pop and then retrace to it's break-out price level before taking off for good.

This was published on Briefing.com this morning:

CORT Corcept Therapeutics: Speculator's Radar -- former biotech bust is making a comeback; thinly traded though (2.83 -0.13)

Corcept Therapeutics was given up for dead as recently as April when it was trading at $0.75, but it's now near a new 52-wk high and showing good momentum with some potential catalysts up ahead.... Corcept Therapeutics (CORT) is a development stage biotech co focusing on severe psychiatric disorders associated with a steroid hormone called cortisol. The co's lead product candidate, Corlux, modulates the effect of cortisol by blocking the binding of cortisol to one of its two known receptors. The stock sold off in Aug 2006 when the co announced that three clinical trials failed. However, the co thinks it learned enough, particularly regarding the necessary plasma level, to design a Phase 3 trial that will be successful. CORT expects to begin enrollment for this new study in Q1 and the co has been granted fast track status by the FDA... Psychotic major depression, or PMD, is a serious psychiatric disorder that affects 3 mln Americans. It's more prevalent than schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder. PMD is characterized by severe depression accompanied by psychosis (delusions and/or hallucinations). People with PMD are 70x more likely to commit suicide and often require lengthy and expensive hospital stays. There is currently no FDA-approved treatment for PMD, and CORT is hoping to become the first. Current PMD treatments include electroshock therapy and combination drug therapy but they both have slow onsets and debilitating side effects.... Aside from the PMD trial, another potential catalyst is the co's co-development deal with Eli Lilly (LLY) evaluating Corlux's ability to mitigate weight gain when using the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (90% of users gain weight). The stock spiked when the co reported positive trial results in June.... Bottom Line, this stock was given up for dead as recently as April when it was trading at $0.75, but it has been showing good momentum lately as its upcoming PMD Phase 3 trial and its Zyprexa weight gain benefit are potential catalysts . Also, Alta Partners disclosed yesterday that it has taken a 10.8% stake. Any biotech stock trading below $3 is speculative, but in light of these recent developments and strong momentum, we wanted to put this one on your radar . Mkt cap $99 mln, float 12.8 mln, avg vol 99K. (PROFX)


A

Thursday, August 23, 2007

CORT

Back in the good ole' days, we had much success with small biotechnology stocks that had fires lit under them for one reason or another. Corcept Therapeutics may very well be our entre into reliving those tumultuous, yet very profitable times.

On August 20, 2007, CORT announced, "....A private placement of approximately 4.8 million shares of its common stock at a price of $2.10 per share, pursuant to a definitive agreement dated as of August 16, 2007 entered into with accredited investors."

CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS ANNOUNCES $10.1 MILLION PRIVATE EQUITY FINANCING


It turns out that some of those accredited investors are some very savvy biotechnology investors with close ties to the early investors in Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Others include a host of CORT insiders comprising of Directors and/or 10% owners. What if anything do these insiders know?

A speculation from Yahoo message board:


Is CORT the next AMLN ?

As AMLN moves(short covering)to an all time high with news out soon,an interesting story aboput CORT should be known.

The major investors here are Joe Cook,Paperboy Ventures and Allan Andersson.The 3 names probably dont mean much but Amylin was pulled from the ashes by these 3 people and now as a payback Joe Cook has given Allan a heads up on this Company.
Cook the BOD chairman with Amylin hasnt forgotton his friend and that alone makes CORT interesting


CORT has a market cap of about $89MM, just small enough so that it's conceivable that a little bit of good lab/regulatory news doubles or triples the market cap and stock price in a relatively short period of time.

The private placement was at $2.10 a share on August 17, 2007. I've started buying CORT today, under $2.60 and plan to buy more as my due diligence proceeds.

A

Monday, August 20, 2007

NNVC +10% today

For the faithful still hanging on:

Dengue Virus Therapeutics Program Accelerated at NanoViricides

For the upteenth time, watch price and volume on this one. Since moving to the Bulletin Board, NNVC has attracted 10 market makers and a tight spread. Price and volume will mean all that much more.

A

What Barron's Missed

Year-to-Date 2007

S&P 500: +2.09%
Jim Cramer Subscribers: -1.68%

A

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cramer Exposed

Cramer is the cover story in Barron's this weekend. Vindicates all of what has been posted here and more. Some excerpts from the article follow.

A

Free access courtesy of Barrons:

Shorting Cramer

--------------------

When we asked Cramer and CNBC for their own records of Mad Money's stock-picking performance, they had more excuses than a Tour de France cyclist dodging a blood test.


Over two years, YourMoneyWatch has tracked 1,300 Mad Money picks. It's this tally that shows Cramer's stocks lagging behind the Dow and the S&P 500.


Then there's the day-after-pop phenomenon. Our analysis of Cramer's picks over the past two years, from YourMoneyWatch.com, showed that, on average, the stocks jumped 2% the day after he mentioned them. From there, they usually moved sideways or down for the following 30 trading days (see chart). This offered an opportunity to make money -- 5% to 30% a year -- by selling Cramer's selections short.

If Mad Money offers unconvincing proof of Cramer's long-term stock-picking prowess, so does his account of his hedge-fund activities. His memoir suggests that some of Cramer Berkowitz's profit came from clever trading. The $300 million fund might execute hundreds of trades a day, some of them a bit gimmicky. Cramer describes how they'd find a stock in which selling had petered out, then build a position. Next, they'd hunt up some bullish news on the company and feed it to sellside analysts and reporters. On the subsequent rise, Cramer could profit by selling out his position. "Buzz merchandising," his book calls it. Smart and effective, but definitely not in the fuddy-duddy style of Graham & Dodd.

Jim Cramer has defined himself as a financial journalist who gives you clear Buy and Sell recommendations to make you money. If he's serious about that mission, he or CNBC should publish a database that tracks all his picks from the show's launch date. Even cheerleaders need to be accountable.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Follow-Up Request- Cramer's Record

GUEST BLOG


Hello AllAllan Readers:

Although I am neither a stock trader nor a follower of Jim Cramer’s, I’ve been following this blog thread for some time now and am interested in following up on this topic.

I’ve been told by various individuals, including but not limited to Allan Harris, that Cramer’s portfolio does not consistently outperform the stock market. They indicate that he is as much ahead of the market in any given year as he is behind it.

I checked his website and, since I am not willing to pay for his service, I cannot verify these statements.

I’m certainly aware of his popularity and am interested if this is due ONLY to his personality and NOT to his actual ROE performance. If that is the case, that, in my opinion, would be an outrageous circumstance.

Thus, my questions to the readership are:

1) Can anyone else confirm or deny, on the record, that they have followed this portfolio and that it has underperformed (or at least not consistently outperformed) the stock market index returns?

2) Has anyone seen a counter-documentary on this guy from an outside and objective news source or publication of some substance? If so, could you provide a citation?

3) I’m told that FOX is starting its own all-business cable channel soon to compete with CNBC. Can anyone verify this?

4) If #3 above is true, does anyone have any personal internal contacts at FOX with whom we could correspond? It seems that this would be an interesting story.

5) While his portfolio profits, if any, go to charity, can anyone tell me where the revenue from his website are purported to go? If they go to him or to CNBC that would seem to be a significant conflict of interest. What about revenue from sales of books, or DVDs or other materials? Do such revenues, if any, go to charity as well? This would be materially different from TV advertising revenue which we would assume would go to the cable network itself and should- CNBC needs to get its bills paid. But it would be interesting to know if this secondary revenue stream of books, DVDs, etc. went to Cramer personally or to CNBC instead of to charity.

Again, I am neither a fan of Cramer’s nor do I have any economic interest at all in being one of his detractors, but I am somewhat astonished if this is, in fact, a monumental case of the emperor’s having no clothes.

Indeed, if what I’ve been reading here is even remotely true, the emperor seems to not even to know the way to the tailor.

Thanks for your comments,


Professor John Kercheval

Cramer Update

I couldn't resist:

Year-to-date

S&P 500..........+3.26%
Jim Cramer:......-0.10%


He is actually underwater, losing money, no profits for sick kids because Mr. Booyah is so damn smart.

Come-on CNBC, how about a little truth in advertising?

A

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Xyber9

Below is a link to an updated spreadsheet that is the actual paper trades of Xyber9 (formerly known as Gravitas) market timing. As of Saturday, August 11, 2007, the account has appreciated $72,682 from a starting balance of $102,415 on May 31, 2007.

This amounts to return of 71% in about 10 weeks. At 7.1% per week, this works out to an annual return rate of 370%. Of the ten closed market timing signals, seven were profitable and three were net losers. This is totally consistent with my own back-testing, going back about 16 months, where I determined 75% accuracy in the forecasted direction of these short-term signals.

In my years of stock market trading, I've seen market timing systems come and go. Some hit hot streaks and look good for a short while, then fall about taking your investment dollars with them. Others appeal to the intellectual crowd because their inflated egos demand some rational order to the universe that only they and their self-defined smarts can recognize. These too always result in financial devastation to the unsuspecting, naive and easily infatuated gamblers among us.

But I have never seen a market forecast model perform as consistently and accurately as Xyber9. One out of four of these forecasts are going to fail. Three out of four will be profitable. Can you make money with those kinds of odds? If not, get out of the game....NOW.....before you have nothing left, except blame and regret.

For the rest of us, Xyber9 is Long for the coming week.

Xyber9 Trade Report

A

Friday, August 10, 2007

NCT

Significant Insider-Buy today in NCT, Newcastle Investment Corp. Chief Operating Officer bought 50,000 shares @ $16.88 per share. NCT is down from $32 in January on credit market crash. But this I-Buy suggests reaction here is way overdone.

Don't underestimate the power of the panic, but if you want to dip your toes in the water, following a COO is not a bad way to do it.

A

Xyber9 (aka Gravitas)

After weathering a drawdown, the Xyber9 short trade entered on 8/3 moved significantly into the money on Thursday's market action. Those of you who have been critical of this methodology, please take note. Over this weekend I hope to write a more complete Blog on Xyber9 performance. Out of respect to current paid subscribers of the service, no further details until then.


A

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jim Cramer's Truth

By now everyone has seen the CNBC spot where Jim Cramer lost it railing against the Fed for, "Not getting it," as his hedge fund friends go under one by one. Time to update our Jim Cramer scorecard.

How has Cramer's Action Alerts portfolio done year-to-date when compared to the S&P 500 index?

Year-to-date, 2007:

S&P 500 Index = +4.49%
Jim Cramer's AA portfolio = +2.26%


He is doing about half as well as a simple index fund. At least he isn't losing money.....that is, if we can trust his computations. He wouldn't be fudging on his entries and exits, would he?

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