The Trading Almanac

A diary of investments in my IRA, a daily look at my stock watch list, and additional commentary/discussions on individual stocks, the overall market, economics, technology, etc.

Location: United States

Monday, January 09, 2006

Banner Day for my portfolio and some new holdings.

At one point, the weighted returns of my portfolio was up more than 3.7% on Friday, and closed up 3.3%. One of the data points I keep track of is the largest upside move and the largest downside. The previous upside close record was 2.71% in November 2005.

It is important to not let the giddiness of such a nice move blind your judgement and with that in mind, I took the opportunity to divest my most disappointing positions, entered one new position, hoping to be prepared for a new week. From a technical standpoint, the next few trading days will be a power struggle. Will the bulls maintain last week's momentum and solidify their holding on multi-year highs? Or will momentum fade? Some of the market prognosticators claim that the market will take one more swansong south before really going up. I personally, have no idea, so I tightened stops on half of my remaining positions.

Stocks I sold:

Liberty Global is a cable spin-off from John Malone's Liberty Media. While the company jolted upwards from its post spin-off lows in 2004, 2005 was very disappointing. The company spent the year acquiring companies in new markets, solidifying its current holdings with equipment upgrades and is aggressively offering new services such as video on demand and VOIP phone service. The company is the largest cable company in the world outside of the US with key holdings throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, Chile, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. Because of the upside, Ihave alerted the stock and will get back in if earnings start to grow. I still believe in the company but needed to trim the 'dead money' from my portfolio.


Jones Soda. What can I say? They are a local company in the hot energy drink market. They have a great guerrilla marketing campaign and are cutting edge. Unfortunately, they've been in the news more for their Turkey Gravy flavors more than for outrageous growth. I had 10% of my portfolio in Jones and took a 12% loss overall. Ouch. Meanwhile, while I ownd Jones, big brother competitor Hansen's Soda (HANS) is up over 100%. I'll file this set of trades in my "live and learn" category.

Qualcomm. I owned this stock for more than 90 days, and it just went positive for the first time on Friday. I sold it for a slight gain (3.11% before commissions, only 0.73% after). Stock is breaking out, but I am feeling a little queasy here and decided to lock in a gain.

My purchase:

Hansen Natural, was up over 300% in 2005. Most famous for it's Monster energy drink brand, it's juices and sodas are enjoying an increasing market share and distribution network. The stock is also buoyed on the speculation that it is a buyout candidate from the likes of Pepsi or Coca Cola. I owned this stock a few times during 2005's spectacular run and had much lower returns than I should have as I let some hefty gains get away, finally selling for unspectacular returns. With that in mind, tight stops are the rule for this position.

Please read my Disclosure


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