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Random Thoughts


Will the third time be the charm?


  • Dollars for doughnuts.

  • "So you wanna be a real estate investor eh!? The MBA mortgage application number was really ugly - Holidays notwithstanding. I am gathering a fair amount of historical data on the housing market which will hopefully be summarized in a coherent piece in the near future. One word of caution though about the physical real estate market - as opposed to the homebuilders: coming out of manias such as the one we are in right now, my past experience is that there are no soft landings or slow downs: the Las Vegas model is what most people will have to look forward to. I am not going to venture whether we are there yet, because I have been thinking we were there for the last 18 months. However, IMHO, once we get there, the idea of getting out of residential investment properties in one piece will be a moot point. What that will entail for the continued use of one's home as an ATM machine I will leave to your gory imagination." -Fil Zucchi on today's Buzz.

  • Congrats to the USC Trojans on a fantastic season and another championship. Pete and re-Pete!
  • "The S&P's breakout level was 1163, which looks to be a natural place for a retracement." Uber-Minyan John Roque.

  • The Put/Call is finally starting to tick up a bit. The VXO, however, still shows abject complacency.

  • Two words: comic books.

  • "What is important to remember is that significant weakness usually is followed by a distributive period, a process of time by which sellers begin to dominate the buyers and the balance of power shifts. That process is usually gradual and often surreptitious in nature, confirmed by the final crack in price. What we do suspect is that the NASDAQ is toast. It shows the greatest amount of distribution having made no price progress since December, and is now showing signs of expansion in 20-day and 65-day lows (after seeing divergences in similar period highs)." Lehman's Aptly named technical analyst Jeff DeGraaf.

  • A deflationary argument for gold.

  • In Vancouver, British Columbia, local TV stations said they were reluctant to air a public service announcement provided by the Prostate Center at Vancouver General Hospital because it featured a prostate-examining doctor reaching inside his patient and pulling out a ticking time bomb -- to dramatize the urgency for men to be examined. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News)
  • Hardware, the financials and metal equities trade well.

  • Texas hold 'em? The Yankees have the poker face going in the Beltran Stakes.

  • Rob Fraim, who distributes some smart stuff on the Raymond James front, shared an observation that Jeff Matthews wrote on yesterday. To wit: "Anybody care to guess which major developing country's stock market is hitting five-year lows after being down 17% last year? China. Yes, China -- the Economy of the Century, Destroyer of Jobs, Engine of Growth for the Western World."

  • Dr. Hussman, I presume?

  • Despite several tests, doctors have yet to find traces of blood in this man's alcohol.

  • Weekdays with Bernie!

  • Sex-despondency among women is apparently such a problem in Japan that business is booming for counselor Kim Myong Gan's company of trained male professionals who "invigorate" them. Kim charges the equivalent of US$190 for the initial consultation and scheduling, and his men provide hands-on assurance to the clients of their attractiveness and desirability. Clients are generally either middle-aged virgins, or wives whose husbands treat them more "as sisters." (Manila Times)

  • The NDX is probing through the 50-day (1571) as the SOX probes the November lows.

  • The trick isn't to find balance on vacation, it's to take it home with you and live it every day.

  • Gross!

  • "Who is buying financials? Do they know more than us? Or are they simply operating under an erroneous thesis? If one believes the "boom" in (all) finanical assets (housing, stocks, commodities, bonds, etc.) is largely due to a misallocation of resources driven by excessive liquidity, unsustainable false demand, then why should we look to financials as leaders on the downside? Seems to me that financials might be followers on the downside as those who are mispricing them in the first place come late to the realization that their raison d'etre is misplaced. The point of recognition might be slow to appear in this case. We're seeing technical breakdowns in RMS and HGX, yet BKX and XBD remain firm. It's beginning to look like someone is going to be very wrong here. Minyan Pepe Depew."


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