Notes on the blog

1.) It's light on the "Neuroscience" part. Yup. When I first began, I thought I'd be posting much more on that topic as a result of writing my thesis, but that exercise has become more gather and quote than think deeply. This will likely change after "the move" when I'll actually be reading and writing a grant on things that are at least in part new to me. It'll be easier to be enthralled by a quote, insight, or method and post such.

As for now, this news from Bristol Myers. (their website hasn't been updated, so I'm quoting from the Marketwatch blurb on this year's grants):

"Research to combat AIDS, drug addiction, diabetes, cancer and other diseases will be funded through $4.6 million in philanthropic grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Peter R. Dolan, chairman and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) , announced today. This year's no-strings-attached grants are being awarded to 10 leading research institutions throughout the world."

"In the neuroscience category, a grant goes to the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, with Florian Holsboer, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher, to delineate the mechanisms that underlie affective disease, including the role of stress hormones and other factors in treating depression. A second grant, to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, with Eric J. Nestler, M.D, Ph.D., lead investigator, will help identify molecular changes that drugs of abuse produce in the brain, and how these drugs produce these changes in different individuals."

As if Eric needs any more cash than he's already got...[kidding]. These are interesting developments in what might be considered 'of interest' to a corp. like BMY: depression and drug addiction.

2.) That leads me to another suggestion on things to appear on the blog. Stocks. Honestly, I can't find much good out there these days. Even though I mention BMY in part #1, I sold with a 50% profit last week. I thought it'd pop to at least $32-35 if not 40, but the steam has been running out of it's rally recently, and I think Erbitux distribution is already priced in. That's not to say that the stock won't hit 35-40 sometime this year, they're clearly making progress at BMY. I'd suggest jumping back in at 25, though, to watch that event unfold.

I'm somewhat of a contrarian. It's worked for me these last few years. As such, I'm quite wary of the current bullishness that has driven the Dow to 10,700 yesterday. That's not to say it won't eventually end up in the 11-11.5 range sometime this year. But longer term, I see at best stagnation and at worst another testing of the bottom. At least for the Dow. This article on yesterday's Marketwatch pretty much says it all. Some excerpts:

"Investors seem to be reentering a state of mania after our prolonged depression. Hibernating bears evolved rapidly into unpenned bulls now giddy and disoriented with their release into open pasture...

...We're not necessarily headed to slaughter. A formula the Federal Reserve is said to use to measure the market's value suggests the S&P 500 could rise 10 percent by year-end and still be undervalued, even if the 10-year Treasury yield jumps to 4.75 percent by Dec. 31.

'Typically, stocks don't go into a bear market until they're well overvalued compared to fixed income,' says Richard Geist, head of the Institute of Psychology and Investing. 'My guess is we're going to hit some kind of pullback, or trade sideways for several months, and then continue upward.'"

Right now, I'm doing a little bottom-fishing with Capstone (CPST). They're a microcap with little float, so if something big happens, they could skyrocket. There's not too much downside (watch me eat my words a few months from now), since they're trading at around cash (as far as anyone can tell). New products are coming out this quarter that might interest some buyers. And a general acceptance of the concept seems to have begun. There are some hints of possibly "big" deals, like a contract in Iraq or with the Navy. Those are long-shots and should not be a reason to buy the stock.

But, that's all I have right now. I'm initiating a general withdrawal, keeping the stop-losses tight, and watching for my target prices. Meaning: turning bearish. I think there IS still some upside potential in the market this year, but with crude at $35.- per barrel and rising and the Euro buying $1.26 with no end in sight, gold on the up....I just can't be positive these days.

On that topic, read today's Billmon.