|What Shape Will the Recovery Take?|
By Todd Harrison JUN 16, 2009 1:20 PM
The path we take will trump the destination we arrive at.
I know you hold David Rosenberg in the highest regard and while he did not provide specific reasoning, I’m told he believes this rally could have legs to Labor Day. I don’t profess to understand the orthopedic devices that will get us to Labor Day and believe you’ll be right (you just might be early).
It’s also worth noting that Faber, Rogers and other respected market-seers aren’t holding shorts at the moment. Food for thought?
A smart man once said you can pick the direction or timing in the market but you'll rarely nail both.
While I have 75% conviction in the "W" (which, not coincidentally, is the same probability I assign to deflation trumping inflation as a function of unemployment, housing and "other" potential shoes such as municipalities and commercial real estate), the time horizon is what I wrestle with most.
That is why my current stylistic approach is trading with a scalpel (not a sword) with defined risk, using technicals as a context (rather than a catalyst) and respecting the animal spirits into quarter-end. Patience has never been one of my strong suits but I learned a long time ago that the mechanics of the swing trump the results of the at-bat.
As old school Minyans will attest, I'm not shy about swinging a big risk bat or putting "it" out there. We've done so many times through the years -- being very bearish on the financials (and, by extension, the market) into all-time highs, riding energy and metals since 2003, shorting crude into last spring's highs and turning bullish at opportune junctures, including the constructive stance into the March lows.
As discussed a few weeks ago, my style shifts as a function of time and price. Whereas I traded primarily from the short side for a few years, I flipped the switch and "bought dips to sell blips" in February and March (yes, somewhat early). I balanced my posture (traded two-sided) for the better part of April and May and have leaned against S&P 950 since (which isn't to say I haven't taken stabs on the long side, it's simply that my predominant directional bent has been with Boo).
There are two unspoken but very important asterisks inherent in this discussion. First, I may be wrong (happens to the best of us) and second, there's nothing wrong with stepping out of the batter's box and watching a few pitches. It's not necessary to take a swing every day, it's only important to connect on the cuts we take. There is still a ton of capacity in the marketplace that needs to be weeded out and our goal, as Minyans, remains one of financial staying power.