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Olympics buzz at work place

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Olympics buzz at work place
As the Beijing 2008 only 8 days away, I am hearing quite a bit Olympics query from coworkers lately, mostly from curiosity and good will (wish Beijing and China will do well). As a Chinese living in America, I certain also hope things also work out well, amid all the security challenges, air quality, traffic, etc. One interesting story I read yesterday (Chinese) is some Beijing Si He Yuan (wiki: tradional Beijing house) are opening to foreign visitors. They call it 奥运家庭旅馆 Olympics Family Hotel. This is real neat, and I think it’s a better experience than staying at 3 star hotels.

At the same time, I sincerely hope my goverment can improve the living for ordinary people. I know those migrant worker worked on the BirdNest may not have oppertunities to watch the game. This is ok, as long as they get paid fairly, their kids education get taken care of, they get affordable/good health insurance, and last but not least, they don’t have to wait in lines for days to get a train ticket to go home in the Chinese New Year.

Marathon Oil
Marathon Oil logo pic

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Cummings CMI and my energy play

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My 2 cents on Cummins CMI (a while ago)
I have watched CMI for a few months now, have not pulled the trigger yet. There was a brief chance around March 17. I dare not to buy it after it went above 50. Like commodity, short term CMI has some selling pressure because:

1) It’s an infrustructure/transportation play, with US/global economy slow down, its business should also slow;
2) At Micro level, I know Dodge Ram trucks use CMI diesel engine. Chrysler just announced the Ram production cut, so…

But I still like it because their diesel engines are very very good. I know very few manufacturers can make their quality diesel engines. A related thing, is the bio-diesel, if this becomes a reality, diesel engine will be more popular.

Today CMI got a huge lift after reported strong earning (seekingalpha: cummins engine chugs along nicely).

My energy plays
Oil, natural gas and oil services. I have Marathon Oil (intergrated oil), Chepeseake Energy (NG), Devon Ennergy (NG). And yesterday I added Smith International (oil service).

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401k, oil and gas

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Last week my old 401k at Vanguard was merged to my new 401k. I don’t know if you paid attention to your 401k or IRA lately, not a fun thing to do. I did a quick calculation, my old 401k portfolio lost 7.56% of its value from Dec 31 2007 to July 7 2008 when it was transferred into new account. It appears I did ok considering the market dropped quite a bit in 1st half of the year.

Oil and gas
The relief at gas pump is coming. Not from federal goverment. The crude oil price has been dropping 3 days in a row in the futures market (refer to Bloomberg energy price here). Natural gas also goes lower with the oil pullback. Notice I used the word pullback. I don’t think we are going to see $50 oil or $2 a gallon gas. So, I was buying oil and natural gas stocks 3 days in a row. I bought Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) on Tuesday, Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) yesterday, and Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) today, all in small amounts. Because I know the oil and gas could drop more, so as the stocks. But long term, 6 months or a year from now, I am quite bullish on them.