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Buzz Bits



Spike, Lee. - Todd Harrison - 3:26 PM

And just like that, the S&P and NDX are right back where they were before we signed off to enjoy egg nog and yule tide (whatever that is). That's good news for the agile Minyans who gamed both sides of the ride but painful for those a half a step behind.

For those of us dusting off our '06 feel, the technical backdrop remains very much the same. The only (slight but potentially significant) shift is that the assault on S&P 1275, BKX 106 and XBD 200 arrives from a less extended field position.

I would be lying if I said I don't feel like I dropped the ball a bit as I edge back into the fray. While I 'saw' S&P 1245 support, I did more hand sitting than trading and it cost me a nice Snapper. I know opportunities are made up easier than losses but this is a real-time forum with real-time vibes.

And as the only difference between mistakes and lessons is an ability to learn from them, consider my hand in the air as I offer a Minyan mea culpa.


Flashback! - Bill Meehan - 1:38 PM

This day in market history...

  • Closing levels this day 5 years ago found
    • DJIA: 10,367.19
    • S&P 500: 1,347.56
    • Naz: 2,616.69
    • Crude: 27.93
    • Gold: 267.80

This day in Minyanville history...

In other news...

  • In 1999, the Windy City of Chicago dug out from nearly 2ft of snow, the biggest storm in 30 years.

Checking on India - Sanjay Somaney - 12:05 PM

The Indian markets zipped higher today ending the day up 149 points or 1.6% on the Sensex and the Nifty closed up 47 points or 1.7%. The SENSEX closed up above 9500 for the first time ever and touched a new all-time high of 9547 intra-day.

Indian think tank, CLSA came out with a report stating that based on current macro factors and demographics, the Indian markets will have another good year in 2006. The report said that the buoyancy in the market is completely justified. CLSA said that India is a process where supply is generating strong internal demand. The report is focused mainly on India's booming outsourcing sector.

Indian stocks that trade here closed as follows in local trading: INFY +1.07%, WIT +2.6%, SAY +1.6%, MTE +21 bips, PTI +0.42 bips, VSL +3.2%, RDY +3.2%, HDB -2 bips, IBN +1%, TTM +94 bips.

RDY was in the Top 5 gainers on both the Nifty and the Sensex and also made a new 52-week high. In addition SAY and WIT also made new 52 week highs today.

Lovaii had some good comments in his Diary overnight. I also agree that things are supercharged there but we need a sharp 3-4% this week which will set us very nicely for earnings season. However, I think we need a sharp correction of 3-4% in the short run but are very nicely set up for the emduim to long term.

First and Goal - Adam Warner - 10:54 AM

First off, as a Giants fan, I would like to express a sincere "lo siento mucho" to Toddo. I am curious how "goal line stand" sounds in a different language?

Barron's Striking Price had some interesting option stats from last year. Volume soared 27%, mostly in the ETF world, while as we know well, volatility tanked amidst a very range bound market. One can only conclude that those "Buy-Write Everything" funds generated more and more free "income.' No way that ever turns around and bites them in a weak market, lol. Just sell, Baby!

Another interesting takeway is the put/call breakdown in the 3 busiest equity options, Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and General Motors (GM). Apple and Google saw calls trade 1.5 times as often as the puts in a big up year, while GM saw 2.3 times as many puts as calls in an implosion. So some day when GM squeezes higher (probably from 12 to 14) and you read that "it was obvious, puts were trading like water," don't believe it.

position in GM, GOOG, AAPL

Zeppelins in a fog - Kevin Depew - 10:44 AM

Crude is moving higher by more than 2% this morning, while gold is attracting more attention on television, currently up 2.3%.

Among individual stocks and indices:

  • Note IBM teetering below 81 - a move below 80 would be that stock's first sell signal since April.
  • The Retail HOLDRs (RTH) has just broken a double bottom at 94, its first sell signal since September, after which saw this ETF fall to 90.
  • Harley Davidson (HDI) is off 2% today and nearing a potential new sell signal with a move below 50. I highlighted this stock before the Holidays as its primary trend was negative and it appeared to be heading for a new leg lower.

Position in HDI

As Good as it Gets - MV Respect - 9:28 AM

"The D-J transportation Average (DJTA) has been making new all-time highs. Meanwhile, the DJIA has gone nowhere for two years and last week actually broke below its recent reaction low (10730). That breakdown stopped us out of our remaining Dow Diamonds (DIA/106.95) trading position. The non-conformation between the DJTA and the DJIA is troubling, especially considering the much broader based Wilshire 5000 Index has given a sell signal. Ditto the NASDAQ 100, which is why we were stopped out of that trading position as well.

Consequently, even though we are fairly fully invested in the "strategic" side of the portfolio, out of all the "tactical" trading positions we recommended back in mid/late-October the only one left is the one-half position in the Bank Index (BKX/103.84). Hereto, if the BKX breaks decisively below its recent reaction low of 102.73 we will sell this position, in keeping with that old stock market axiom, "If Santa fails to call the bears will roam on Broad and Wall

Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Hmmmmmm. I wonder why.......... - Bennet Sedacca - 8:39 AM

According to COT (commitments of traders) data just released Friday, the hedgers or 'commercials' are getting more and more short the S and P and to an even greater extent the Naz. Large AND small speculators have gotten more long the market. This sort of data has usually ushered in a decline in stock prices, so let's see if this early rally indicated by higher futures sticks....

In addition, hedgers that got long the 10 year note sold into the rally according to COT data. We have stated in the past that we intended to sell our long municipal and Treasury bond positions into any January rally, and the COT data only reinforces this view, despite the fact that munis still are cheap to Treasurys in the back end of the curve. And like we have said before, positive seasonality turns negative at the end of this month, so we are not likely to play it too cute. Not advice, just stating our stance as we open 2006.

Good luck to all in 2006....

Positions in various long-term Treasuries and munis

Say what? - Kevin Depew - 8:37 AM

A look at commentary, opinion and analysis from around the world:

  • BusinessWeek asks, "Should the Dow ditch General Motors?"
  • Mark Landler writes in The New York Times that this is the year the world's major economies will have to learn to live without easy money.
  • Meanwhile, as Sean Corrigan demonstrates at, sometimes a "conundrum" is simply a euphemism for "monetization."
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