The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.
brings you the news all day, and with
"Columnist Conversation," you can see how the pros are playing it on a real-time basis. Here are the top five ideas played today. To see all that
for a free trial.
1. GMCR threatens to break higher
By L.A. Little
3:13 p.m. EST
Volume is picking up
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
, even on this low-volume day as it pushes to test the recent highs. This was one of my picks for the coming year, and although I didn't expect it to break out this quickly, you never know. Take a look if you haven't so far.
Position: Long GMCR
2. Ugly 2-year auction
By Tom Graff
1:28 p.m. EST
We can chalk up the bad 2-year auction to light activity on a holiday week, but taken on its own, it was a poor auction indeed. The stop rate was 1.089% vs. pre-auction levels of 1.06%. The bid/cover was only 2.91 times, the lowest since August. The indirect bid (which is how foreign central banks bid) was 34.8% of the auction, the lowest since July.
We probably shouldn't read
much into this, but I think it reinforces the view that we won't be seeing any kind of snap-back rally this week.
3. Improper Headline Grabbing
By Howard Simon
1:08 p.m. EST
Two professors at UC-Davis conclude Tiger Woods's downfall led to a loss of $12 billion in market capitalization for his sponsors. This differs substantially from my short-lived tracking of the
Tiger Woods Advertisers Trust.
How can we resolve the discrepancy? First, I tracked the portfolio only until Tiger's story fell apart, which took three days from soup to nuts. Second, I compared the portfolio to the S&P Equal Weighted Index. The UC-Davis study lasted for 13 days, 10 longer than my own, and they didn't compare the sponsors' stocks to the broad market. Let's remember the Dubai story was coincident with the Tiger Woods story; Tiger has managed to stay in the news longer, however.
This is the flip side of saying your stock picks were winners, even if they underperform the broad market or fail to capture the movement of the factor for which you claim your picks to be a proxy.
4. Retail and Fannie
By Robert Marcin
10:14 a.m. EST
The post-Christmas sales were modest from word on the Street. As oil approaches $80 and the household space goes into post-holiday retrenchment, I expect a more challenging retail environment. The long bond yield is close to breaking out. Higher interest rates are not benign for sales either. Retail is my least favorite sector.
The news from Treasury of leaving open-ended the
bailout was a classic sleazy political maneuver, done late Christmas Eve. The ramifications are huge, as the feds have essentially nationalized the U.S. mortgage business.
The ginormous intervention to support housing prices at 2002-2003 prices is a colossal mistake and will cause huge problems with our currency, inflation and interest-rate levels in the near future. But I am certain faux capitalists and fair-weather free-market investors will greet the further intrusion into the private sector as a reason to buy shares on Bubblevision. Sad, very sad.
5. Markets Could Melt Up Into January
By Scott Rothbort
9:46 a.m. EST
It appears that the tech-induced melt-up that I
discussed on the eve of December expiration will be continuing today and could have legs into early January.
How ironic that my wife and I saw
Up in the Air
with some friends on Christmas. I recommend seeing the movie.
This Christmas Day terrorist attack on an airplane could have some significant implications for the consumer. Namely, the hassle factor of flying is going to increase. As a result, we could see an echo derivative effect upon hotels and cruise lines, as travel declines are offset by an increase in local spending. If people don't fly, they will stay home, eat out more and shop. For the cost of your kid's roundtrip airline ticket to Florida, you can buy them a Wii.
Food commodity costs continue to rise. It is amazing how
continues to fly in the face of these rising costs. Unless the company decides to raise menu prices again, I am inclined to start taking off some Panera stock at $70.
For those of you who keep asking, I am still holding my
Position: Long PNRA and CHK
This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.