CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge - Wednesday, Week 9
[Scroll to the bottom for answers to today's Bonus Bucks trivia questions.]
Watch this space for today's updates, picks, and reallocation methodology.
Well, the good news is our airline baskets performed magnificently yesterday, as oil continued to sell off, putting multiple subgroups up 17% or more week-to-date. Two of our readers (Carmen and Jim) now sit at #20 and #30 in the overall standings, with impressive portfolios of $1.94 million and $1.92 million, respectively. Yours truly has vaulted to a respectable #73, with just over $1.8 million.
The bad news - the weird news, anyway - is that our many participants enjoying 17-18% week-to-date gains have been unable to reach the weekly leaderboard, where the top 10 scorers are each showing 2-day gains of more than 90%. Since Monday's top scorer only showed a gain of 11%, this seems mathematically impossible, based on the Tuesday price change of the 4 best performing contest-eligible stocks (ABK, NWA, MTG, and PSMT), which booked an average gain of 35%. Admittedly, that's just the equity portfolio. Currency trading continues throughout the day and can theoretically generate limitless gains. But with $1 million in buying power (including the 10:1 leverage available to a currency portfolio with a $100,000 cash balance), one would need to generate a one-day currency gain of roughly 40%, on top of a perfect equity allocation, to achieve the gains ostensibly achieved by all top 10 weekly gainers.
Additionally, 4 of the top 10 weekly gainers appear on the top 25 overall leaderboard, meaning it's unlikely that the irregularity is explained by people using Bonus Bucks to heap huge percentage gains on tanked portfolios with very low starting values. This also means that the phenomenon appears to be distorting the overall rankings, which could well impact the distribution of the $1 million kitty.
Needless to say, it seems very likely that there's either a major system bug rearing its head or folks have uncovered a spectacular new way to cheat. I've emailed Customer Care to see what's what and will update with any response.
Anyone else concerned about the problem may also want to email Customer Care to make sure they're aware of the situation.
Update: Damnit, Mahmoud, behave yourself. Some of us are holding airline stocks here.
Keep an eye on the weekly petroleum report, due out at 10:35 am, which ought to be another another oil moving event. Folks are expecting crude stocks to fall by 1.9 million barrels.
A rebound of less than 1%, despite Ahmadinejad strutting his ballistic manhood and an unexpectedly large drawdown in crude inventories... Seems like the general sentiment among oil traders may still be pointing downhill.
Update: From CNBC Customer Care, regarding the 90%+ weekly gainers (emphasis mine):
Thank you for notifying us of this apparent error. I have forwarded this problem to the engineer who is responsible for this (Weekly Leaderboard) calculation.
We appreciate your taking the time to send us your comments, as we are always looking for ways to make our contest more enjoyable and work better for all contestants. Our contest planners are aware of this problem, too.
Update: And now, oil is down for the day. Someone wake the AP, which is still insisting it's a "rebound" (in a story timestamped 11:36, nearly 15 minutes after oil crossed below the centerline).
Update: Who's in the mood to reallocate?
We've got at least 6 eligible earnings reporters on today's slate - AAR Corp (AIR), Shaqw Group (SGR), Chattem (CHTT), Marriott International (MAR), FCStone Group (FCSX), and Texas Industries (TXI). It's those last 3 that we'll be inviting into our portfolios this afternoon.
Those participating in our crowdsourcing experiment (for the weekly prize, not the overall cash prizes) are invited to reallocate according to the day of the month of your birthday, as follows:
- 1-8: MAR, FCSX, TXI, GDP
- 9-16: MAR, FCSX, TXI, DAL
- 17-24: UAUA, LCC, CAL, DAL
- 25-31: GMXR, GDP, CHK, CLR
Important: If you're using more than one portfolio for this project, kindly allocate the first portfolio according to the birthday scheme, the next portfolio to the allocation directly beneath it, and so on, until you've reallocated all participating portfolios.
For example: If you were born on the 22nd and you're using 3 portfolios, your allocations would be:
In all cases, each position should be set at 25%. Don't forget to enter your trades by 4 pm ET.
Consider all of the above to be for entertainment purposes and not meant to be used as real-world investment recommendations. The goals and strategies of the Portfolio Challenge are not to be confused with those of sensible investing.
See all related posts in the CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive:
Week 9: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Week 8: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 7: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 6: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 5: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 4: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 3: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 2: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 1: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 0: Pre-game
- A New Fly In the Ointment
- Currency Trading Resumes
- More Technical Difficulties
- Prize Poll
- The Airing Of Grievances
- Technical Difficulties, Orders Cancelled
To receive additional updates by e-mail, drop a line here with the word "Subscribe" in the subject header.
Wednesday July 9th
Throughout the contest, each day's answers will be at the top of the CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive as soon as the questions are published, so bookmark accordingly.
Squawk Box: "Question: In the Fast Money Future Trades slideshow, what Dublin, Ireland-based firm is recommended for a "futuristic" portfolio?"
Squawk On the Street: "Question: On Tuesday, which strategist told "Market Insider" Patti Domm that stocks are actually bottoming?"
Answer: Byron Wien
The Call: "Question: CNBC Stock Blog: What factor(s) did HSBC's Jim Steel recently cite as making precious metals "safe investments"?"
Answer: All of the above
Power Lunch: "Question: In Suze Orman's Web Extra video, "What to Do with Old 401(k)s," she advises the caller to:"
Answer: Open an IRA rollover
Street Signs: "Question: In the article "Top Global Agriculture Picks" which companies did Victor Badin recommend?"
Closing Bell: "Question: In a July 8 feature, Boone Pickens told CNBC he's sticking with $150 oil for 2008. But where did Lehman Bros. see oil?"
Answer: $127 a barrel
Handcrafted by Flip on July 9, 2008 |
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