Tag Archives: stock market

Just An Update, Usual Topics: Stocks, Game Project, Elves

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Two months since my last post. Yikes. This week I let my second account sub expire from LotRO. I’m just not motivated to grind more pointless endgame gear.

Elder Scrolls Online is releasing its High Elf update this week, following its Morrowind update. I almost re-installed just for the elf experiences, but I talked myself down from the ledge. Every time I re-install ESO, I find the interface, navigation, and character system to be so frustrating.

Ironically, un-playability is much more immersion breaking than a more complicated, usable interface. So I re-installed Fallout 4, which is more suitable for Bethesda’s design imperatives, and I’m playing that a bit.

Last night I reached rank 15 in Hearthstone playing Even Warlock, after giving up on Odd Rogue. That’s about all for gaming.


Stocks And Market


The U.S. stock market is not dead yet. I lost some money hedging against a collapse in the last month, but I’ve felt forced to push back into the market in the last few weeks with the profits I previously took in Tencent and NVidia.

Tencent is in the news right now for its ownership of Fortnite. It’s funny that Fortnite is sort of a name drop now by pro analysts on CNBC, so they can sound like they know what they are talking about. I LOL at these people, honestly.

So I basically traded my relatively risky amount of pure Tencent OTC pink sheets stock for more GAMR ETF, and a solid position in the EMQQ ETF (Emerging Markets Tech). Tencent is in both of those. EMQQ also has concentrated exposure to companies like NetEase, JD.com, Baidu, and Yandex, which I would like to own but don’t merit positions of their own. So.

JD.com (JD) is my Kitty watch of the week. I may buy into this on a trade in the next few days. It’s on the verge of breaking out of a big downtrend, and CNBC today reported a lot of option calls being bought. Albemarle (ALB) is also in a big, possibly buyable pullback for various reasons.

The risk is that there is a lot of China problems around the big T. I mean, President Trumpetface. So you could easily buy big on a JD price breakout, and then get slammed the next day because of a tweet.

I also picked up the TAN (solar) ETF, on the day that California announced all new houses have to have solar panels. I also bought a half position in LH (Labcorp), which is U.S. based healthcare lab service, not very ‘Amazonable’, and not very exposed to the strengthening dollar. LH was a great pick so far.

Lastly I pushed a modest half position into Visa, because I’ve finally concluded that Americans just aren’t giving up their credit cards anytime soon, despite Apple Pay, Google Pay, and various challengers.

I still think crypto currencies per se, in themselves as they exist now, are fool’s vapor to invest in, and I can’t believe the genre has like three ETFs dedicated to it.

Visa is the first to go if I feel forced to trim positions, however. There is a lot of financial risk in the system, and Visa has run very big, as noted by analysts this week.

Sony is taking massive stock price hits recently, most recently noting their PS4 hardware is in decline, and their next Playstation version is at least 3 years away. Still, it could be a buying opportunity.

In my last post, I noted accolades from Jim Cramer about Activision Blizzard. This week I learned Cramer has sold his ATVI (like I did also). But now he admits he may have sold too soon, when asked about the upcoming Black Ops 4 offering a Fortnite-like game mode.

As a final note, if you look at a 5 or 10 year chart of the U.S. stock market, it still looks scarily ‘toppy’ even after a 4-month pullback and consolidation. Recession risks are increasing. Europe and Asia had some weak data come out in the last couple weeks.

It isn’t a situation to be aggressive. It seems prudent to stay patient until some crap really hits the fan. I am still over 50% in cash.


Personal Game Project


This is an enormous amount of work. I’m currently writing an illustrated short book on botany. For the school library. In my game.

So I’m re-learning a lot of botany that I learned in college with my Biology degree.

Like in Elder Scrolls, reading the book gives you a permanent stat bonus. In this case, to your Scholar profession. Unlike in Elder Scrolls, you have to actually read the book. And answer thoughtful challenge questions correctly.

So I’m working my full time job, and I’m writing like 2 pages of this botany book per day during the last week. At this rate, developing my game is going to be a fine retirement activity for me in a few decades.

Still, I really enjoy the writing of non-fiction, learning things, and illustrating. My game is about learning to be an elf (probably a bit more so than learning witchcraft/wizardry), so I need to learn botany. This has been my #1 preoccupation in the past few weeks, other than moving into a new apartment.

I want the entire game lore – world and characters in it – to basically be in the school library. So when I need to look up something, like a geographical location or major NPC, I’m going to the library just like a player.

Also the library is haunted. And you won’t be alone. There will be a library fairy, or someone else there. I tend to be a lonely person, so I can feel what I need in the game in terms of companionship, and making the NPCs seem alive. I’m basically making the game I want to play.

That’s about it for now. I noticed Justin Olivetti is up to his old elf-hating ways. On your knees and scrub for those elves, Justin! Scrub it!

Kudos to Justin though for writing a fantasy novel. Wow. I try to squeeze a lot of creative and gaming energy into life compared to most people, but I live alone with no pets, no kids, nothing. I don’t know how he finds the time for everything he has going on.

So E3 is coming very soon, starting June 12. Will we see some amazing new releases? I hope so.

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Theme of the Week: Trolls

princess tableturn
I was actually trolled successfully in the LotRO forums this last week, which was depressing. I can’t even relate to the minds of low-class American society, and I’m glad.

In other troll news this week:

The Chinese government now insists on reviewing and approving every single mobile game sold in China, including simple updates. China has turned more protectionist recently, with a major court ruling against Apple in favor of some no-name Chinese phone manufacturer, for example.

A stock market commentary site opines that AMD’s new Polaris video cards are an “overhyped disaster”. I didn’t research this. I’m never buying another AMD card.

On Thursday Activision Blizzard (ATVI) stock was up 4.23%, and another .66% in the aftermarket, on the backs of praise and upgrades from Wall street analysts. Polygon reported this week that Overwatch is now the most popular game in Korean net cafes, taking the top spot from LOL.

Blizzard has also been in the news for striking deals with Facebook and Netflix. One has to be concerned about the future of its WoW movie franchise, but on the other hand, the expectations weren’t particularly high.

Blizzard continues to be the only game maker who both understands and is able to implement the power of great characters. The Overwatch characters especially are a hit with the Asian fans, or so I’ve heard.

According to some prominent game bloggers recently, Asian money is worthless to Blizzard, but for now those “underweight” investors will have to continue sucking lemons.

I visited Steam several times looking at games to buy the summer sale. I purchased Fallout 4 and Life Is Strange episodes 2-5.

Currently my characters are level 104, 103, and 99 in LotRO, so I’ll be due for a break soon. I finally have a “main” in my Warden. For the first time in a long time, I can just log in and do whatever with her, and feel satisfied with my play session, instead of feeling like I have to make ruthless progress.

I’m also doing a little multiboxing. I realized my LotRO multiboxing guide is not getting SEO on that search term (only dual-boxing), so I tried to tweak that. Here is a link, to possibly help with players who want to LotRO multibox.

This week a game developer announced a Tunnels and Trolls app, which will feature a support platform for people to make and share their own T&T modules. Unfortuntely I lost the link for this, can’t Google it either, and the main T&T website has no news on it, instead showing broken feeds.


Stock Commentary


All the Wall Street pros are extremely bearish and concerned right now about the market. I see grim faces. Big names like Alan Greenspan and George Soros are declaring certain doom. Literally no one thinks the market can go higher. Not possible. Even the bulls have thrown in the towel.

So this should be very interesting. The last time a big-name consensus declared almost certain doom was near the very bottom of the February correction. While many pros are feeling the doom, they nonetheless shoved money immediately into Nike when Nike dropped hard a few days ago.

One Nike (NKE) analyst says right now is the best entry point into Nike’s stock in the last 20 years. I’ll never buy Nike because video games. Duh.

Electronic Arts (EA) is also pushing for all-time highs in the last two days, after a consolidation phase of almost one year. It was about this place last July. If it breaks through, it’s a buy.

Of course, the same pattern is in place for a lot of stocks, and the entire U.S. market right now. So it’s hard to buy one stock on a breakout if the overall market fails.

An exception this week was Verizon (VZ), which dropped almost nowhere on Brexit, due to its big dividend, and broke out of long-term resistance to new highs instead. This is demand due to worldwide low interest rates.

I bought VZ on Monday at the bottom of the Brexit frenzy, with my stop at $54/share on the long term breakout, and so far it’s golden. It drops early every day, but just won’t go down. It just goes up.

The question in my mind is whether the smart money has sold (distributed) in recent weeks, and we have massive holdings now in “weak hands”. (Namely the buyers of the Brexit dip.) This could cause the market to drop massively and quickly. Or it could cause the market to go crazy, if it breaks north and the smart money is sitting there with their jaws hanging open, and their pockets dripping with all their cash on hand.

I could go on about record outflows in the last years and months, international dynamics of money flow relative to other countries, etc.


Current Ideas:


According to a report yesterday, the big hedge funds were buying mostly energy and materials in this last quarter.

Kinder Morgan (KMI). A few pros have mentioned liking this stock in the past week. Others have given up on it. It’s been stuck in a straight horizontal consolidation for four months. If it breaks to the northern latitude, it might be worth a shot with your stop on the top line of the consolidation band, of course.

Valero (VLO). One of my all-time favorites, this stock was pummeled today on news of a lawsuit in California, with accusations of gas price manipulation. This big selloff was met with solid buying through the day, however, forming another big bottom tail (candlestick.) This could be a bottom for Valero, because the news can’t be any worse. I’m looking for VLO to break out of its downtrend line before girding my loins, and who knows.

Pushed To The Back Burner:

Dow (DOW) is laying off a bunch of workers due to its Corning restructuring, and some say the time isn’t right to buy – better after the deal with Corning is complete. That’s going nowhere close to breaking out right now.

Visa (V) saw strong buying after Brexit, relative to the market, but lost a legal action late in the week, resulting in a 3.4% drop. Given that Visa also tends to trade with the currently treacherous financial sector, that’s also a no-touch for now. Very glad I was disciplined and sold several days ago.


E3 Halftime, World Markets DIAF

DBEF ETF chart
According to recent polls, the chances of a Brexit, and thereby the EU possibly falling apart, increased to almost 50%. This and a China flop, a bolstered dollar, and dropping oil are all of the fear factors I mentioned in my last post.

The idea of Trump as president, combined with the Orlando massacre over the weekend, are punctuation marks on a feeling of terror that dragged the U.S. market down with Europe and China on Friday and Monday.

The hedged world large cap ETF that I follow, DBEF, reached a pivotal point on Friday, where a five-month uptrend met a one-year downtrend. The failure shown in the image is spectacular. I dumped Visa last Friday at break even, so I’m once again sitting on the sidelines, looking for a spot to buy.

NVidia was by far the strongest stock I was following today, soaring even more in the wake of an analyst upgrade believing in even more upside.

The CEO of Electronic Arts appeared on CNBC today. The highlights of the short interview:

  • Star Wars game for Sony’s VR headset. There are physiological design issues.
  • Three more Star Wars games coming for EA.
  • Microsoft’s new VR-focused console will drive more sales.
  • Things are awesome.

It should be noted that EA’s Star Wars games are all made by different game studios, published by EA. So it looks like they are throwing everyone and Uncle Joe at making Star Wars games, and therefore profit. This seems definitive for the ethics of EA.

So how can you bash Blizzard when you see the business tactics of EA and Bethesda?

I was excited to hear that Bethesda is doing a new Quake game next, but I was then devastated to hear it’s another arena style tournament game. Quake: Champions will be an arena game with tournaments and leagues. This is lame. This isn’t even Quake.

EA’s stock was down -1.4% today, on a day when it should have been sailing. Sony’s stock was punished even more for its big run up to E3, at -1.8%.

Blizzard showed relative strength today, and Intel was also a rare stock in the green with NVidia. Microsoft was beaten down -2.6% for its announcement that it is purchasing LinkedIn for a pricey 26.2 billion.

Microsoft is a little less of a gaming stock play now, and more of a corporate cloud ecosystem.


FIFA 17 Gets A Story Mode


Are you kidding, EA? Star Wars: Battlefront has no story, but FIFA soccer gets a story mode with a Mass Effect style dialogue wheel? Is this April 1st?

People wanted to see a little bit more beyond the pitch,” Senior producer Nick Channon says. “We looked at the game itself and where could we improve, and what could we add? And we felt it was a good time to add new major mode. We felt narrative story was something that had been missing.

I have to say that Battlefield I, set in WW1, looks fabulous. I love historical reproduction type games (like Mafia). It seems a little sacrilegious to turn a tragic world war into fun arena-style entertainment though.

In other news, DLC for games are now called “expansions.” And that’s all for this quickie excerpt from the recent news. Prayers and thoughts for the victims in Orlando and their families.


Pre-E3, LotRO Joy, And Stock Market Commentary

virtual reality
This week the Kitty got a big traffic bump. The blog was quoted on Massively for the second time! So a shout out to Justin (Biobreak) for that.

It’s thoughtful to call attention to the literary blogosphere. I need to search Justin’s sidebar for more blogs, because not nearly enough is on my reader. Anyway, glory for the elves.


Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016 June 12-16


Next week is E3 2016. We can look forward to lots of exciting game news. Sony is looking to steal the show again with a new Playstation version, along with the Playstation VR headset, for which they supposedly have a slew of games made already.

There are some problems with this business plan, of course, starting with the $400 price tag for the headset. We’ll have to see. If Sony knocks this out of the park, they could be dominant for a long time.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is more focused on skeevy ways to force people to upgrade, and even skeevier ways to take control over games on the PC platform.

And maybe some XBOX stuff – while focusing on exclusives, exclusives, and more exclusives, of course.

So I’m liking Sony. I don’t like my failure to buy Sony (SNE) stock last month, since I knew this big surge into E3 would happen. The fact is that games are a small fraction of Sony’s business. It’s better to be in EA, ATVI, or NVDA, or even MSFT, ironically, because Azure (cloud).

So IGN will have livestream coverage of E3. The main E3 event is from 14-16, with press conferences starting on June 12.


Stock Market Commentary


This week Electronic Arts (EA) met resistance in pushing to new all-time highs, while Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) and NVidia (NVDA) are much further down the selloff curve.

People are locking in profits at a possible market top.

I’m up 32% with NVidia in six weeks, so it’s really difficult not to sell here. I’m comforted seeing both NVidia and Activision getting bought up intraday, but both stocks could be rolling over in advance of the market, instead of just taking breathers before another run.

Heavy selling in Activision especially has been countered by strong buying this week, resulting in dragonfly doji candlesticks that are hard to interpret. (Is the chart more at long term top, or more at a short term bottom)?

I think the overall market is “melting up” off the top, based on lack of sellers of underlying stock components. There are too many constructive patterns right now, specifically transports (IYT), small caps, energy, health care, and even Apple. Last week, a horrible jobs number on Friday decreased the expectations of a fed rate hike this month to zero percent, reducing that fear.

If the market can make this break, then subsequent sell-offs this summer will have big underlying support for the S&P index around the current level.

Brexit and the fed remain big potential spoilers in the coming weeks, and that’s an overhead of fear that has people hedging and buying protection at this level. If oil reverses and drops, that’s also a problem. If the dollar reverses and rises, that’s a problem.

In the past week, I’ve been a buyer of Tahoe Resources (TAHO), a gold and silver miner, and Visa (V).


Kitty’s Picks


Today, Visa was called out on CNBC fast money as a top pick. I was a happy kitty, having bought it on Monday. I wanted to buy something that supports the thesis that the market is going off the top, and I like a breakout on Visa.

I also recalled that the Olympic Games are a big time for Visa revenues. Visa is a huge sponsor of the Olympic Games coming in a few months in Rio De Janeiro.

If the market hits the skids with Visa bouncing sharp the other way, I’m back out of Visa. I’m also possibly out of Blizzard. I like Tahoe Resources for Gold and Silver if the U.S. dollar continues in decline. That’s a big topic, and even the professionals today have wildly conflicting ideas and opinions.

I’ve been fascinated with silver since I was a child, and so my online moniker, Silverangel. Unlike gold, silver is an important component in industry, especially solar panels. Solar power is projected to grow enormously in the coming decades.

I’ve been watching the Solar ETF (TAN) very closely as one of the last components of my little long-term portfolio. The chart is forming a very solid, curving bottom, a tanned virtual reality beauty, really.

The problems with TAN? It historically trades with oil (a very complicated topic), and oil is toppy, bolstered right now by geopolitical issues.

TAN in recent months has actually underperformed oil, with solar companies having a slew of problems, including one flirting with bankruptcy (SUNE), and others crushed by egregious protectionist state politics in the U.S. favoring the energy establishment in Arizona and Nevada, for example.

Even solid Chinese solars like Jinko have had disappointing results, despite China’s massive pollution problems, and/or have joined other Chinese companies in requesting delisting in the U.S. to go back to China.

So all of these issues with specific companies are why you buy an ETF like TAN.


Personal


Playing LotRO is not consistent with personal productivity. I know that. So I’m looking at ways to scale back, even as my art and programming return slowly from a near-frozen state. I completed four game scene drawings last weekend, and painted two during the last two nights.

My goal in LotRO was a max level Elf Warden, but the server glitches, packet loss, and high ping are annoying for a class that requires so many key presses with perfect timing. Meanwhile, my Elf Rune-Keeper is ten levels higher and has 21 stat tomes. I don’t know.

And that’s all for this week. Happy gaming, and thanks for reading. I’ll hope to see you virtually at the E3 coverage!


LotRO Mired In Gloom (And So Is The Market)

moria goat

Last week I was impressed with the LotRO writing. A Moria revamp resulted in more friendly dwarves deep in the murderous murk, and more connecting quest sequences.

Sometimes you get the impression that the devs don’t play their own game, or can’t see the forest for the trees. The revisions reflect the opposite, the perspective of a lot of time actually playing the content.

Strong characters were a dire weak point when I left the game a few years ago, but the current LotRO writers are bringing a good game with the Bingo Boffin quest line for example. If you see a character’s name mentioned frequently in World Chat, you’re probably on the right track.

I was questing with my Lore-Master in Ringlo Vale in Gondor. The characters were actually outstanding, especially Jajax. I hope I see that guy again down the road.

On the other hand, Ringlo Vale was dark, all the time. It’s the “Dawnless Day”, and inexplicably the world has no sunlight. So all last week I was in Moria and Mirkwood with one character, and in endless dark with another character. I logged into my third character hoping for a 50% chance of daytime in Rohan, and it was day, but actually pouring rain.

Over and over you hear people mired in Moria, tired of the dark. Just last night a kinmate expressed enormous relief at emerging from Moria, and another kinmate echoed him. This is on top of LotRO being 50% dark just from the day/night cycles. Sometimes I log out when it’s night, or take a break.

The point is that happy sunlight = happy games. Happy games = happy players. We all know what happy players bring.

LotRO needs a lot more sunlight, and more 100% daytime set areas, instead of 100% dark. I’ve always disagreed with the 50/50 day night cycle for reasons, so this isn’t a revelation. Darkness should be the dark side of the golden ratio, otherwise it isn’t special. It isn’t the deadly underdog.


Gaming Stocks


Last week I discovered a Youtube video game news series by a pro Wall Street analyst. It’s called the “Pachter Factor”. Here are the links from the last couple weeks (I didn’t mean to get the videos themselves – oh well? D:)


To follow the whole series at SIFTD:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFaBUWXO8o4jSfF6PhJOyZA

Pachter likes Zynga and Activision. He says if Zynga’s release of Dawn of Titans game is a success, the stock could double. He says Activision will make a lot more money off of King than people expect.

Pachter likes EA in the near term, noting it has great assets and some phenomenal games coming out. Battlefield is coming out without a lot of competition, for example.

Tuesday was a pivotal day last week. A higher inflation number came in, resulting in a big selloff. Many had written off an interest rate hike in June (including me), but inflation puts it back on the table.

The estimated chance of a rate hike went from 5% to something like 30% midweek, but by the end of the week, analysts were more skeptical. The market held steady.

T.J. Maxx (discount retailer) reported strong earnings on Tuesday, which I was looking for as a signal on Ross (ROST), but the stock went nowhere. It went down on Wednesday instead of up. So I didn’t buy Ross into their earnings on Thursday, even when Walmart also reported very strong earnings.

This was good. Ross ended up flat on its face, the disappointing result of the three.

NVidia (NVDA), Electronic Arts (EA), and Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) all made the CNBC coverage on Tuesday. NVidia was picked as a “final trade” by Guy Adami http://www.cnbc.com/guy-adami/ on Fast Money, and was surging for the rest of the week.

Electronic Arts was called overbought after its earnings surge, and at risk for a reversal, while Blizzard was smashed for over 3% on one day, rejected at its previous peak around $40. Blizzard received another vote of confidence, however, by Paulson & Co., a large hedge fund that reported taking a new stake of 3140000 shares of ATVI last month.

E3 hype hit on Wednesday with Sony announcing its plans for E3, and the stock was up almost 4%. Sony also announced a new beautiful Xperia Ultra smartphone.

Sony also announced a major push into AI (Artificial Intelligence), since they are lagging behind. This is the same AI that’s going to ruin the job market in coming years by replacing humans.

I was watching Yandex very closely this week. It has pulled back, but I noticed it had 19% short interest in April, which means the big move after earnings was in significant part a short covering rally. Volume also seems not particularly high. So I remain wary and watching for a more extended consolidation near the new level.

I was also watching ANET. The stock is surging strongly, more than my other picks last week, and is just about too high for a buying opportunity now.

Overall, the market is lurching forward with huge bearish sentiment, with lots of cash on sidelines. As many have noted, the high P/E ratio of the S&P, with earnings in modest decline, has a lid on the market.

Bulls nonetheless expect an upturn later this year, because that’s what bulls do, while a rate hike is expected to make things more difficult. The U.S. needs to hike, while other countries can still ease, and this is a problem for the U.S., which is has been already been squabbling with China and Japan over the currency issues.

This is so exciting. Yawn. Except wait, every time I abandon the market and don’t pay any attention, I seem to go along with the crowd. When the crowd abandons the market, it tanks, and then there is a buying opportunity. Ideally the market needs to go down to relieve the pressure from inflated P/E ratios (and other things).

So I can’t blink and fall asleep. This kitty must remain on guard in the dark, ready to pounce on any opportunity.