Mechanical Investing for April 2005

Last month, I happily reported a 6.1% gain for the month. This month, I gave it all back and then some. Dang it. Total for the year I’m running a -0.6% loss. Not much, I know, but compared to the overall market, I’m still beating it. Barely. I also mentioned I felt I was a little heavy on homebuilders; I should have listed to that little voice since home building stocks lost 10% this month. This month, I’m a little heavy on oil stocks, but I’m not nearly as concerned about that. The only stock I skipped was Unocal (UCL) since the buyout this morning by Chevron gave UCL a good boost before I bought it.

I’m also completely out of options until the fall. Overall, I just about broke even; a -0.6% loss. Still, until this last month, options were generating a nice return.

Holding for another month:

Ticker Bought Now Months Return  
AAPL $26.345 $40.57 5 +54.0% Apple Computer, adjusted for the 2:1 split. Again I sold off some to keep the portfolio balanced; this one’s still on the screens but it’s starting to fade.
CMC $24.965 $34.08 3 +36.5% Commercial Metals Company.
FDG $91.85 $89.68 1 -2.3% Fording Canadian Coal Trust.
KBH $123.17 $118.16 1 -4.1% KB Homes, homebuilder.
KMG $76.20 $79.47 1 +4.3% Kerr-McGee, oil & gas exploration.
VLO $67.28 $77.96 1 +15.9% Valero, oil & gas.

Selling these:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
CMCO $12.74 $13.24 1 +3.9% Columbus McKinnon Corp., cranes and hoists and stuff.
HOV $54.20 $50.79 1 -6.3% Hovnanian Enterprises, homebuilder.
NVR $630.50 $795.40 5 +26.2% NVR Inc.
RYL $63.18 $62.59 1 -0.9% The Ryland Group, yet another homebuilder. Was a +9.2% gain last month. 😦
SPF $79.24 $73.79 1 -6.9% Standard Pacific, another homebuilder.
TOL $76.90 $79.88 2 +3.9% Toll Brothers, Inc., homebuilder. Was a 14.2% gain last month.
.ADQGH $3.10 $0.20 3 -93.5% ADSK (July 05 40). Total loss.
.CQRFI $2.80 $0.00 3 -100% CREE (June 05 45). I didn’t actually sell it since the commissions cost more than it was worth. 😦

New stocks for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
AC $47.05 $N/A 0 N/A% Alliance Capital Management
APA $63.76 $N/A 0 N/A% Apache Corp. Held this last September for a nice gain, now it’s back.
LDG $34.19 $N/A 0 N/A% Long Drugs. Wouldn’t you know I sold it a month ago and missed most of the big gains. 😦
NUE $57.77 $N/A 0 N/A% Nucor Corp. Lost some money on this last November, then sold it and missed out on some big gains. 😦
XTO $35.32 $N/A 0 N/A% XTO Energy.
VPI $33.02 $N/A 0 N/A% Vintage Petroleum, Inc.

New options for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Weeks Return
No new options until October.

Next trade will be May 2nd.

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