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Buzz Bits



Actual Breaking Option News - Adam Warner - 3:39 PM

It has been an uphill struggle for the "live" options marts to stay relevant in this automated world. And frankly it makes no sense to keep a physical floor as they only remain because members understandably fight tooth and nail to keep the doors open.

The CBOE went half-automated a year or so ago, as they now trade with both real and "virtual" crowds, but it appears the PHLX is going the whole 10 yards. So while I am sad to see my brethren lose their floor (and in many cases, their jobs), it was inevitable the second the I.S.E. successfully opened in 2000.

Tick tock, tick tock - Kevin Depew - 2:37 PM

As we tick toward the bottom of contra-hour, market breadth has improved markedly, now 3-1 advancers over decliners on the NYSE. Crude is ticking at the highs of the day as well and the energy complex is pushing 3% gains in many of the related equity sector indices.

Looking at a weekly chart of the QQQQ and the 200-day moving average, we are now nearing a level of extension above the 200-day that is analogous to some other important time periods; January 2004, December 2004. Meanwhile, positive technical participation is deteriorating.

Position in QQQQ

Flashback! - Bill Meehan - 1:59 PM

This day in market history...

  • Closing levels this day 9 years ago found
    • DJIA: 6567.18
    • S&P 500: 747.65
    • Naz: 1316.40
    • Crude: 26.25 ]
    • Gold: 358.50

This day in Minyanville history...

In other news...

  • In 1896, the first American women's 6 day bike race was held at MSG. Sounds riveting, too bad I missed it.

India Recap - Sanjay Somaney - 1:06 PM

Indian markets were relatively tame today with the Sensex climbing 23 points and the Nifty tacking on 14 points. The CNX Midcap index was the strongest performer closing up 27 points or 0.64%. Market breadth was pretty much even at 1:1.

There is heavy consolidation going on in the Indain markets as investors await the beginning of the earnings season and then the Indian Budget for FY:07 (ending March 2007). The budget is widely expected to be investor and corporate India friendly but there are lingering concerns that the leftist minority might prevent an all out bullish Budget. However, those concerns are present every year since it's been a while since India has not had a coalition government in control.

This little piggy . . . - Fil Zucchi - 11:37 AM

Most people living above ground have now noticed the recent gold move, including the members of the XAU, which have caught up with the commodity. Was this "ketchup" in the equities (which I view as the speculative vehicle of choice because of the built-in leverage) together with a retest of the GOLDS highs, the necessary prelude to a scary pullback? Or is the XAU - as it often is - still the leading indicator?

Suffice it to say I do not have the answer; but the precious ones feel and look (XAU through very wide Bollinger bands) frenzied, and even Hoofy is giving me the nod to cash in some dough.

Positions in precious metals, XAU

It's a Streak - David Miller - 10:57 AM

Three straight days of positive breadth have greeted biotech investors in the new year. The NASDAQ Biotech Index (NBI) already broke to new highs compared to 2005. Is it all downhill from here?

You know my answer to that, I suspect. More product and company acquisitions will come, the latter compressed in the first half of 2006 to avoid new FASB purchase accounting rules going into effect December 15th. Early signs we have adult leadership again at the FDA are promising, particularly for cancer-focused biotechs. Biogenerics might be a popular topic, but none of the companies in our universe (dev-stage biotechs) are affected. Biogenerics are next decade's business anyway.

The new year always brings a freshly optimistic outlook (well, unless you're a perma-bear), but we're pleased with how things are going thus far.

Say What? - Kevin Depew - 8:29 AM

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

  • Sharon Begley, writing in the Wall Street Journal's Science Journal, reports on the implications of recent experiments in quantum physics. This is quite significant for financial markets since it builds upon the work of Erwin Schrödinger whose experiments suggests that the mere act of observance can change the behavior of subatomic particles. George Soros, extending that observation to the "real" world of financial markets, used it as part of the foundation of his theory of reflexivity.
  • Piet Hut, a professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study who is quoted in Sharon Begley's article, above, answers the question: "If you could teach the world just one thing about science, what would it be?"
  • For 2006, two words: Click Fraud. In the January issue, looks at "How click fraud could swallow the Internet." How scary is it? "Google will end 2005 with $6.1 billion in revenue. About 99 percent of that revenue comes from keyword ads, making Google a bigger recipient of ad dollars than any television network or newspaper chain." Unless click fraud ruins it, the article worries.

DeVibes on DeFreak Dat is Friday - MV Respect - 8:16 AM

"Controversy has long surrounded gold and the consensus regarding this ancient relic. There is little debate that the Commitment of Traders data shows bullish speculation, but that has long been the case.

Most recently we started measuring the percentage of assets devoted to the Rydex precious metals fund. In late '03, as gold was reaching a seasonal peak, the percentage of assets devoted to precious metals was near 50%.

That ushered in a 2-year consolidation for the fund, but now with precious metals and associated stocks breaking out again, the % of assets is only 24%, well below the peak.

Lehman tehnician Jeff DeGraaf

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