January 2003: anecdotal evidence for a move off the lows, the business decade cycle to turn up, planes and advertising.

have a look at the following charts - weekly; dom dra drd dre emp eqi gbg jbm lhg rbk tkr

all gold stocks, all hitting past highs for the third time over the past year, which in some cases is lining up with highs of years back. Watch gold. It is due for a bit of a retracement at present, but should there be another new high in the gold price, these gold stocks, should they break present highs, will run. So I will be watching. Pay attention too, to any shapes such as triangles that may form in the charts.

Advertising stocks seem to be attempting moves off lows, usually a first sign of recovery out of recession. A real specy to watch, bmc.

I read Friday's AFR with great interest;
front page on HIH, the Financial Sector advisory committee, FSAC, a high level advisory committee of business leaders with a direct reporting line to the Treasurer warned the Federal Govt about problems at HIH in 1999. This was about a year before the troubles starting to reach the papers. FSAC was created in 1998 with the view to preserving "the integrity, security and fairness" of the financial system following the Wallis report on the industry. Apparently warnings were given verbally to treasury officials, and not official FSAC policy.
Note, the chairman of FSAC, is chairman of the ASX, Maurice Newman. I am not in the slightest suggesting anything untoward here; merely that you can see how the market would get to know companies in trouble, way before the public does. Never buy stocks trending lower.

p3, virgin blue is buying 50 planes off boeing. Why ? "the price is right and the timing is right, there is just no one buying aircraft at the moment." Smart fella that Branson. Some of you may recall one of my EIS half yearly reports back in 1999 highlighting the fact that plane sales were at all time highs that year. Good sign of a top at the time - plane sales have always in the past peaked with the business cycle, so too at the bottom, when no buying takes place.

p5 advert for the weekend AFR, "why the man in the middle of the HIH collapse, Ray Williams, still believes he never did anything wrong" If you want to know how he can still possibly believe that, read the first chapter of Dale Carnegie's (badly titled by simply super) book 'How to win friends and influence people'. Simply the best book there is about human behaviour.

I sincerely doubt the courts will end up prosecuting anyone at HIH. Anyone heard more about one-tel lately ? Nothing will happen there either. Never buy stocks trending down. Classic illustration of this at present is nhl. Just wait for that all important quiet accumulation to take place - a minimum few months sideways at least. (see twr as one example for instance of some sort of sideways move one should wait for)

And as ever, a great Pierpont read.

Call me cynical...
Microsoft has just announced it will pay its first ever dividend, 16 cents per share.

The 2nd biggest donor to the Bush party, behind Philip Morris. Bush elected and the case against the microsoft monopoly is as good as dropped. Microsoft under siege now from the linux system. More and more governments around the world are transferring pc operations onto the linux open source code, rather than be dependent on windows. This is being fed by persistent rumors that since microsoft will not open its source code, like linux, it could be hiding something. (There have been rumors for years that microsoft code has a hidden key that allows untraceable backdoor entry by US authorities into any computer on-line using windows- unproven, but I am reminded here of the 16 US bugs found in that Boeing jet ordered by the Chinese) anyway, governments continue to swap to linux. Now microsoft has decided to open its code - all but 3% of it, that bit remains 'secret' - unless you are prepared to travel to the Microsoft hq and sign US govt secrecy laws. Mmmmm....

Bush announces a package last week that tries to revive the markets by untaxing dividends, microsoft the first tech company to announce its intention to pay one. Mmmmm...

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