The Week in Review -- September 10, 1999

The Markets

  9/3 Close 9/10 Close Change %Change
DJIA 11,078.45 11,028.43 -50.02 -0.45
S&P 500 1,357.24 1,351.66 -5.58 -0.41
Nasdaq 2,843.11 2,887.03 +43.92 +1.54

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Stripped Poker
by Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

Greetings, Fools.

Wait a minute. I can't start off that way. That's Jerry's signature opening. And, like a talking tortilla chip sauce dispenser at the local multiplex would say, I'm not-yo Cheeze. Where is our wit magnet? He's off to Las Vegas, where nobody ever questions why it's cherries, lemons, and bells whirling about in those one-arm bandits.

Then again, more power to the Cheeze. Let him unravel. Let him heckle Siegfried and Roy. Let him be. That joker is wild folks. Besides, we're all there in spirit. It's a gamble for me to be here. On the other gaming coast, David Gardner (MotleyFool), Jeff Fischer (TMF Jeff), and Dale Wettlaufer (TMF Ralegh) caught up with Donald J. Trump in Atlantic City.

The end result? The Rule Breaker Portfolio is successfully covering its short of Trump Hotels & Casinos (NYSE: DJT). The move may not be universally loved. Before we consider this a case of "Dump Trump Stump Chump" (trademark pending) check out the well-written prose a disappointed Fool countered with in Thursday's Post of the Day.

Was it the right choice? That's the gambling industry for you. There are no guarantees. Life is not a bowl of cherries. However, as Jerry probably knows by now, if you line up three of those stemmed cherries in a row you get some of your coins back.

I'll admit that I've never really understood the lure of gaming. The majority go in optimistic, go out poorer, and long to repeat the process. Is it the neon that draws moths to the flame? Actually, it can't be the pretty lights since over the holidays last year I strung together quite the wattage in my front yard and all it got me was reported by the neighbors.

But let me pause here to catch my breath. I'm not saying that Jerry is sweating it out, hitting on 17 at the Blackjack table. He might stay on 17. He might Double Down. He might very well be heckling Siegfried & Roy. Or maybe just Roy this time.

The Vegas odds could be worse. It could be a state run lottery with just a 50% payout. It could be as bad as those church raffle tickets I tend to accumulate whenever my doorbell rings during that time of the year. So I'm certainly not one to criticize. Maybe I should just back myself into a corner and curl up with a good book, like last week's Hot Stack Tips -- literary faves from some prominent CEOs.

Or, if I want an immediate fix by reading up on a hot equity trend, maybe I should check out what Yi-Hsin Chang (TMF Puck) wrote about Tracking Stocks.

Hey. I just thought of something. I know, there's always a first time for everything. But, the notion that just crossed my mind was that maybe our beloved Jerry Thomas is getting hitched in one of those drive-thru wedding chapels out in Vegas.

With a "Yee-Haw!" and a "Thank Gaudy Friday!" maybe there's a bouquet hurling through the air. Spinning. Twirling. Will it land on black or red. No more bets. Black. Red. Black. Red. Green! Green? Green!!!

Before I ramble on as if I know something about gaming -- and let me assure you that I don't (I thought the craps table was the lavatory) -- let me point out that bloated Accounts Receivables is not typically a problem in the gaming industry. Folks pay, with cash, credit or kneecaps, on the spot. However, not all sectors play out that way and it's an important gauge in terms of stock analysis. Louis Corrigan (TMF Seymor) wrote a great piece entitled Why Accounts Receivable and Inventories Matter. That's right Louis, even while Jerry is away we'll still embarrass you with praise!

Speaking of praise, The Motley Fool Radio Show has been rolling 7s and 11s lately. The syndicated hit had (Nasdaq: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos on recently and the transcript is now online. Rumor has it that I, a.k.a. Snake Eyes, will be on this week.

But this isn't about me! This is about us! This is about, well, Jerry! Cheeze, if you can hear me, I close with some Vegas wisdom....

When life gives you lemons, I say, try to line them up for maximum slot machine coinage. If that fails, unplug the darn thing and wail like a baby. That will probably fetch you a dinner on the house or tickets to a David Cassidy production.

Until next week,
When the real deal returns,
Fool on!


Since he's not around, why not t.p. the Cheeze-O-Rama message board?

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