by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

No Witnesses

Last night I was wondering, When’s the last time a trial of such momentous import took place without any witnesses. Then I thought, Oh yeah! How did that turn out?

Remembering Kobe

Last night TNT did something wonderful. It gathered its cast of NBA on TNT regulars (Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaq) inside an empty Staples Center and put on its studio show from on the court that Kobe Bryant made famous. Guests included Jerry West, Dwyane Wade, Rick Fox, Candace Parker, Derek Fisher, Reggie Miller and Steve Nash. Just people sitting in director’s chairs in an empty arena—last night’s Clippers-Lakers game was postponed—tossing out memories.

If you’re interested, visit @nbaontnt on Twitter to see most of the clips. Three of our favorites were from Shaq, Nash and West, so we’ve included them here.

Apple Soars, Tesla On Deck

It’s earnings season.

Apple (AAPL) reported quarterly earnings after the bell yesterday and beat on the top and the bottom line and while I don’t know what that means, it sure sounds good. Anyway, shares of the stock were down to $309 at Monday’s close but should open today around $324. That’s about a 5% gain for arguably the most successful major stock of the past 20 years.

Tesla (TSLA), which has had an even more bullish past six months or so that Apple, reports after the bell today. Is it time to dive in (again)?

Some figures. Apple: On May 31st it was trading at $175. The stock is up nearly 90% in the past 8 months. Since January of 2010 (opened at $27) Apple is up about 11x in the past 10 years.

Tesla. On May 31st it sold at $185 per share. The stock is up almost exactly 200% in the past eight months. You could have bought shares on the first day of 2011 for $24, meaning that it’s up roughly 23x in the past nine years.

FWIW: I own Apple. I’ve owned Tesla for months but I sold it all yesterday. Maybe my error. Feels as if the stock is waiting to be whacked over the head and it feels a little bit like that’ll happen after earnings today. You may want to jump back in tomorrow if there’s a dramatic drop. Related: I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.

The Best Basketball Player You Don’t Know

Who’s that dude in the white jersey? That’s Eric Demers, a 6’1″ senior guard at Gordon (Mass.) College. The reason we are featuring him isn’t because he’s married (he is), or because the Scots are so awesome (they’re 9-9) but because he’s averaging 4 more points per game than any male or female in college basketball, Divisions I, II and III.

Demers, an outstanding three-point shooter (42.5%), is averaging 34.1 points per game for Gordon. By comparison Markus Howard of Marquette, the leading scorer in men’s Division I, is averaging 28.3 ppg.

Pitt and The Pendulum of Stardom

Here’s Brad Pitt at yesterday’s Oscars lunch wearing a name tag. Giggles. He’s going to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year (he had plenty of practice being Angelina’s hubby for those years) and the room is going to erupt. He’s not just a handsome dude, he’s a good egg, it turns out.

Five Films: 2004

Ladies and gentleman, can I please have your attention…. Cannonball! (What makes this gold is the Friends of Distinction’s “Grazin’ In The Grass” kicking in as he leaps)

  1. Napoleon Dynamite: Of the two highly quotable comedies of this year, this one’s is more genuine and has a better story arc. Uncle Rico absolutely steals the film and I bet he can still throw it over those mountains. Gol! 2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: See, you lose me with stuff like “whale’s vagina” and then you win me back the local news team gang war and “I like lamp!” 3. Sideways: Paul Giamatti was on quite a roll in these years. And it was satisfying to see Thomas Haden-Church get a role in a major film. Always wondered why he never got more. 4. The Incredibles: Only saw it once but loved how smart and self-aware it was. 5. Collateral: Tom Cruise playing entirely against type is very good. As is Jamie Foxx.

Never saw but would definitely like to: “Before Sunset,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Mean Girls,” “Shaun of The Dead,” “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Man On Fire.”

Saw Million Dollar Baby. Hated it.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. That’s one of my favorite paintings – the one of Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate. I’ve seen it several times (or maybe it was a replica) – it hung in the halls of my former employer.

    I would love to stand before it and imagine being in the scene. The shear size – it’s huge – and the way it’s depicted/painted draws you in, making it easy to imagine being right there. I could almost hear Pilot asking the Jews if they’d rather have Jesus released or Barabbas. I could almost hear the chants of “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

    Anyway, not here nor there, but thought I’d share.

  2. Ah yes, days like today (& nights like last night) are why I wish I had added MORE than just 10 shares of AAPL back in mid-2016 at $90/share! But I do laugh because AT THE TIME, most of the “experts” decreed that the “GROWTH STORY FOR APPLE IS OVUH! SELL IT ALL NOW!” At the time, I wondered if I was making another investment mistake. Who’s laughing now?! And what keeps me laughing is that from time to time, I print out such “decrees” from “experts” & keep them in a folder (such as the ones from 2009 – 2015 that ALL said AMZN was a HUGE waste of your investing money…) to peruse at a later date. I was ‘PERUSING’ last night! 🙂

    Of course, all of last night’s guffaws can’t quite hide the stomach aches caused by many of my “energy holdings”. Sigh. 🙁 Win some, lose some. Or as they like to say in the NBA – “it’s a MAKE or MISS league”. 😉

    Do you ever own any stock long enough to only have to pay the LONGTERM tax rate? 🙂 Do you still own some AMZN? NVDA? Did you keep the TERP? BTW, as I mentioned a few days ago, the buy-out of the latter by Brookfield Renewable looks to be beneficial in the long run so I will keep & even add some more when the market corrects harder.

    I watched most of the NBA on TNT show last night & it was raw & very moving. However, that Shaq had NOT SPOKEN to Kobe in the last 4 years & he’s cryin’ as if HE lost a loved one? Hmmmmm.

    BTW, I remember watching Jerry West play! He played with Wilt on the Lakers & Wilt was my 1st fave NBA player & thus, I watched his team. Plus, they wore purple uniforms sometimes & that was my favorite color at the time, so win-win. 🙂 The 1st time I saw Wilt was in what must have been the NBA Finals as my older sister & I watched a series of games with the Milwaukee Bucks. She liked the very tall & skinny guy on the Bucks. I naturally took the other team who ALSO had a very tall guy, plus MINE was handsome & had muscles! Still, I have to agree that her guy had THE best name that the announcer would shout every time he made a basket – “Leeeewwwww Al-CINNN-doorrrr!” he’d roar. For you young whippersnappers, that player eventually took the name “Kareem”. My sister never forgave him & has pretty much never watched an NBA game since. 🙂

    • It just dawned on me – if I can get my older sister to like that young ‘Greek kid’ on the Bucks, this June we can RE-LIVE OUR CHILDHOOD! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Looks like you may have sold a couple days too early on TSLA. It’s a “make or miss league” jdubs! 🙂 But you did lock in some nice gains & don’t have to worry about living out the “pigs get slaughtered” idiom. Will you wait for a 10% total market correction before buying back in?

    I think we will see at least a 10% correction within the next month or so. The market has been TRYING to do so this past week but suspiciously keeps from going ‘full downward dog’, so to speak. Later on this year or possibly early next year, I think a massive correction/crash will occur.

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