Buster Keaton Video

(photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash)

Hi there. This is a last minute blog post featuring a Buster Keaton video.

While I just completed another stock market blog that I was going to post tonight, I’ve decided to wait until tomorrow morning to post it. No need to read about financial topics on a Saturday night. Don’t you agree? Lol.

Instead, here is a 6:53 minute video showing many amazing stunts performed by Buster Keaton. As a child, I always enjoyed watching many of the silent movie stars perform their daring feats. Buster Keaton is one of my favorites from that era.

A few laughs before bedtime. Wishing you all sweet dreams.

Markets Week in Review

The S&P500 (SPY) moved higher this week, reaching, yet again, another All-Time High today. Here is a SPY chart of the last five days of trading, with each bar representing ten minutes. The market exploded higher during the last ten minutes of trading today (see last green bar on far right).

The biggest U.S. companies, such as Disney (DIS), reported very strong earnings again this week, bolstering these market moves to the upside. Here is a five day chart of DIS. The stock remained mostly flat all week until solid earnings results came out after the close on Thursday. The stock initially jumped higher by eight points, a big move for DIS. But this price did not hold, dropping down six points from its highs, closing two points higher for the day.

However, a closer look at all companies that reported earnings this week shows a mixed picture:

335 companies BEAT earnings forecasts; 329 companies MISSED earnings forecasts; 241 companies MET earnings forecasts.

Because bigger companies carry a higher percentage of weight in the indices such as S&P500 (SPY), the SPY will still go up if only the big companies do well, even if smaller companies faulter.

How did smaller companies do this week? Let’s look at IWM, which represents the Russell index that tracks smaller companies. The story line this week for IWM shows weakness.

Is IWM reflecting signs of things to come for all the markets, or is it doing its own thing? History tells us that smaller companies tend to show signs of weakness in the market before the bigger companies. How have smaller businesses faired during the pandemic? Many have struggled. Let’s keep our eye on IWM and SPY going forward to find out.


Marc’s Market Minute

The S&P500 (80% of U.S. stocks) hit another All-Time High today. After starting the day down until 10am, the market went up steadily throughout the day. Here is a one-day chart of the SPY (S&P500) (from the tastyworks trading platform).

The following screen shot represents a “heat map” of the S&P500 (from the ThinkorSwim platform). This picture reflects all stocks in the S&P500 grouped together by Sector. Sector names are highlighted in White background with Black letters (i.e., Information Technology, Consumer Discretionary, etc.). Note on the top left, some big tech companies (MSFT, AAPL) are green. Unlike earlier this week, Tech stocks had a strong up day today. While red (down) can be seen in other sectors.

Out of the 500 stocks in the S&P, about half were up for the day (232), while the other half were down (265); per the ThinkOrSwim Advance/Decline line summary chart below…

This afternoon, Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) tweeted a joke that is actually true (see below). In effect, what he is referring to is that during this Bull Market, the market never goes down. There is no two-sided market action. This is not healthy. Inevitably, whenever the market drops the slightest, it pops right back up, stronger than ever. He highlighted, with a yellow circle, the bottom of today’s market.

To recap where the S&P500 stands, here is a five-year view, with each bar representing one-month, clearly at an all-time high. Notice that the last seven months (far right of the chart) are all green/up.

Where does the market go from here? Who knows, really. The trend is still up. However, the market has gone a long time without any kind of pull-back. Personally, I am still the contrarian, going against the grain. This week, I added more short positions, meaning I make money if the market goes down. I am selecting stocks that are at or near their 52-week high. While most investors remain long, I am betting that the market will pull-back a little, if only briefly, before it heads back up. Time will tell. And I will keep you posted.

This has been Marc’s Market Minute. Goodnight!

Animal Photos Taken by Me

Today is photo day! On my time off, I enjoy taking pictures of animals. Here are some for you.

This is Robin! She is standing on my front lawn. Robin Red Breast is her full name, and she has a big family contingent in my home state of NJ.

Here is my Duck friend from NY State. She’s a beaut! And the water is sooo clean!

Please let me introduce to you my Ostrich friend from Pennsylvania. He was happy to oblige posing for this close-up.

My long-lost relative, Mule, and I, were happy to reconnect with each other. He was laughing at one of my jokes.

Here’s my friend Turkey Vulture sharing his beautiful wingspan for the camera.

Wake up, everybody! The sun is out, and I see a Turkey Vulture up there.

It’s a great day for a walk out in the sunshine.

Here’s my buddy, Liz, hanging out on a branch.

And, I’d like to introduce you to my Ant Rose.

One day, I heard noises on my roof. I said to myself, “That was no squirrel”. I was right. A special Turkey Vulture visitor eyeing me up for lunch.

And finally, here is Pretty Boy, always ready for the camera.

Enjoy your day! Get out and enjoy nature.

Top 5 Ways to Follow Your Bliss

(photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash)

Each of us is one amazing, unique individual, with limited energy and time. We can only fit so much into each day. It’s time to get clear on what is most important, and put into action those tasks that will lead us to our prime life objectives and goals. Many times, this may entail going against the grain of society, our friends, or our family. So, here are the Top Five Ways to Follow Your Bliss, in order to live the best life that you can.

ONE: It’s okay to say “No”. For most of my life, I have tried to please others, many times to the detriment of my own health. If I say yes, I’ll be accepted as part of the group and respected. During my senior year of college, I had four part time jobs, along with my final twelve college credit courses. It’s a good thing that I was young with a lot of energy, for I surely could not spread myself so thin today. I ran from one job or class to the other. No down time. No relaxation time. If one boss asked me to work on an additional project, I would say yes, and suffer trying to figure out how to fit it in to my schedule. And there have been other times when I was asked to be on the board of organizations. As you may know from your experience, many times the work of a volunteer organization gets pushed onto select few individuals,  while the majority of members do not participate. This gets old quick. Select the groups, events, or projects that you truly want to do. And practice saying “no” to the things that are not in alignment with your true life purpose.

TWO: Everyone has personality differences and similarities. For example, I am an introvert, meaning that I gain my energy through alone time. I enjoy going out and meeting people, but it does wear me out much quicker than an extrovert who relishes being around people all the time. My brother is an extrovert. Growing up as his younger brother, he was always very kind to include me in activities with his friends. Although I could tell that some of his friend’s did not want me around because I slowed down the games. And I understand their logic. I think my brother may have felt bad that I was home alone. But I actually enjoyed my alone time creating ideas and games in my head and acting them out with no one around. My brother had his favored way of living, being out with his friends, talking it up, and having a wild and crazy time. While I enjoyed this too, my bread and butter time was being home creating in a quiet environment. It’s okay to take time out for yourself in whatever ways you prefer. This is how we build up our energy so that we have enough stored energy to take on the many different dimensions of our daily life.

THREE: Take chances, even if they sound crazy to others. Back in 2016, I quit my job, rented out my home, and moved in with my parents. No that was not a dream or life goal that I had. That was a crazy idea. After working fourteen years at my corporate job, I was in a new position that was not working out for me. I did not feel welcome in the new workplace culture. I also recognized that my parents were older and having challenges living alone. One day at the front door, my dad asked me not to leave him alone. That was the on-switch that I needed to make a change. No I was not looking forward to moving in with my parents. After all, our parent’s had long-term care insurance. I ultimately got my parents professional help, but I became their primary caregiver because I felt a calling to do so. It was the most difficult job that I have ever had, but I am so glad that I went through this experience, even though others thought I was crazy, including my brother. I got to spend quality time with my parents during their last years of life, and I will always have these memories in my heart. Now I am able to start my life over from scratch, identify new dreams to follow, and move forward.

FOUR: Live your dreams! Last year I came up with a new dream that I am ready to take on. The pandemic has put a dent in the timing of living this dream, but in the meantime, I am formulating a plan to get ready. After completing my five years as full-time parental caregiver, and subsequent duties as executor, I am ready to go on an adventure. My goal is to purchase a van in order to travel around North America. The pandemic has created a shortage of vans and other vehicles, along with extremely high price tags. So for now, I am doing the best I can, going on local adventures in my car. I expected some push back when I told my brother about my plan to live in a van. He actually liked the idea, as long as it is a van that I can stand in, and includes all the amenities necessary for a comfortable living space. Ideally, I will create space in the van for an office, where I can work as a health coach and stock trader, able to work anywhere on the road. Yes, I have hit a mental roadblock in terms of finding a van to get started. However, I am getting in the habit each day of utilizing visualization, writing, and self-talk as if I am already living the van life. By doing this, my subconscious believes that it is happening now, which in turn will actually make it happen. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

FIVE: Health. Always keep your health in mind during your daily pursuits. As my Aunt Phyllis tells me, “Your health is your wealth”. Get in tune with your intuition. When making decisions, what “feels” right to you? Don’t be afraid to go with your gut feeling. As a matter of fact, learn ways to connect with your intuition more readily. Many people look for answers out in the world, such as from so called “experts”. In reality we each have the power to be the guiding light for ourselves if we take the time to look within, and make decisions that feel right. Analytics and our thinking brain have their place, and can certainly be very useful. But taking the time to turn off our thoughts, focusing on our breath, and paying attention to ideas that appear out of no where into our conscious mind can be very powerful in leading us towards our ultimate purpose and goals in this life.

So get out there and live your life to the fullest by shutting out the external noises and paying attention to the true north voice that is located within you.