The Daily Dose: Happy Year New

 | Dec 31, 2013 | 10:30 AM EST
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Yes, the title is absolutely correct. There is an itty-bitty feeling of confusion emerging on what to do next with portfolios. Such confusion begins to warp the brain, impacting decision-making to a point where words and numbers are jumping all over the screen with no concise attack plan.

On the one hand, markets are continuing to trend higher with relative ease and calm. But on the flip side, there is a wacky bunch of reputable folk calling for 15% pullbacks in the S&P 500 in the first half of 2014. The takeaway from this bull and bear debate: do nothing yet -- trying to be a heroic contrarian has blown up in the faces of the shorts in 2013. Wait until there is a fundamental shift in the economy or in fiscal policy to warrant going against the grain.

Meanwhile, let's have some fun on New Year's Eve. Enjoy the information below. And from my team and me at Belus, have a happy and healthy start to 2014.

Five Completely Random 2014 Retail Predictions

  1. Macy's (M) CEO Terry Lundgren will announce a succession plan (has been at the helm forever).
  2. J.C. Penney (JCP) turns profitable in the holiday quarter of 2014. Note my firm still rates the stock a sell.
  3. Staples' (SPLS) stock falls by 25% amid continued margin pressure and an entrenched management team that is in love with a money losing international business.
  4. Starbucks (SBUX) introduces the ability to order coffee from a car dashboard (recently talked with company about this).
  5. Family Dollar (FDO) and Dollar Tree (DLTR) merge to do battle with the currently much larger Dollar General (DG).

Respect the Wearables Movement

2012 was the year of online shopping, where consumers magically found a greater selection of items than in years gone by. 2013 was the year of mobile in which consumers are touching and tapping larger screen devices of redesigned retailer app experiences to shop virtual stores and read blogs. 2014 will be the year of the wearable devices readying to attack retailers. Google Glass, the next round of smart watches from Sony (SNE), Pebble and Samsung and whatever epic thing Apple (AAPL) tosses out there to completely set the standard, will mean a new ease in the ability to order merchandise. Here comes the credit card debt! Retailers will have to step up their game big time because easier ordering means the ability to comment quicker on store presentation and customer service. Imagine trying on a pair of Wunder Under pants at Lululemon (LULU), noticing the quality is lacking, and then commenting on that dissatisfaction on Twitter (TWTR).

Four Completely Random Must Knows on Wearable Technology

  1. Approximately 14 million devices in circulation in 2011, with growth seen to 171 million devices by 2016.
  2. They are called "Augmented Reality Glasses", practice it so it rolls off your tongue with ease at a party in 2014.
  3. It's estimated that Nike (NKE) has sold close to 2 million Fuelbands.
  4. The average person checks a smartphone 34 times a day; wearables may bring that number down.



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