Interesting tid-bits from the market that may or may not affect your portfolio:

Fannie Mae’s (FNM, $27.77, up $0.03) CEO predicted the housing market is only halfway through its crisis and home prices could plummet another 25% before it is all said and done. Does this mean Fannie’s stock will fall another 25% before it reaches its low? The stock had a 52-week high of $70. Good luck to the “buy-and-hold” investors who bought Fannie at its peak…

Have you noticed the action in gold over the past week as oil continues to rise? The yellow metal has gained 7% and is back above $900 an “O”. As oil continues higher gold could make another run at $1,000 an ounce. Gold hit a high of $924 yesterday.

Looks like Texas Roadhouse (TXRH, $10.84, down $0.13) is “thinking outside the box.” The company started purchasing 25% of its beef supply through futures. It’s done on a weekly basis and although its a practice that has already been implemented at other higher-end steak chains it has allowed Big Tex to save up to a buck a pound on beef at times. Other times there is little or no difference but it goes to show that restaurants are coming up with creative ways to save money as margins get squeezed due to the higher food costs.

Carl Icahn says he doesn’t use a computer yet his investment in Yahoo (YHOO, $27.00, down $0.48) has netted him a cool $120 million in about three weeks. He owns nearly 60 million shares at an average price of $25. He was up $150 million but today’s fifty cent drop is costing him $30 million. Talk about a modern-day Robin Hood. If he can get Yahoo to $30 he’ll bank $300 million. On the flip side of that, did you see the video of Microsoft’s (MSFT, $28.79, up $0.03) CEO, Steve Ballmer, getting egged? I don’t know which was more painful to watch, the dude that was throwing the eggs or the CEO with the lame ducks. Yeap, it’s on YouTube, click here to view.

It seems the latest craze with thieves is stealing grease. Did you know that cooking oil or grease from restaurants could be transformed into fuel (transesterification) by removing the glycerine and adding methanol? Or something like that. I had heard of the process but never would have imagined people stealing grease from the local Hooters. After doing some research, apparently batches of this stuff is worth thousands of dollars depending on volume. Oh yeah, bio-diesel, can also be made from animal fat. “Cow tipping” could become extent as “cow stealing” gains in popularity.

I saved the best for last:

After hitting a high of $170-something in October, Wynn Resorts (WYNN, $104.35, down $0.73) has hit a losing streak so to speak. The stock has rebounded from its $90 lows but the casino business has cooled in recent months as consumers cutback on their leisurely activities due to a higher everything world.

To add insult to injury, Wynn could be subtracting $400,000 from its books. Evidently, legendary basketball player Charles Barkley hasn’t settled his $400,000 gambling debt. Although Sir Charles has said he has paid the bet and is done with gambling, the Wynn Las Vegas resort is saying he hasn’t settled up. One way or another, Wynn will get their money but it could go to court. Looks like Charles better call his “Fave 5” to see if he can get a $100,000 mark from each of them too…

Rick Rouse