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Stiletto Heels


Watch for truer trading tells to emerge after the opening flurry settles down


You've been bought, you've been sold
You've been locked outside the door
But you stand there pleadin' with your insides bleedin'
'Cause you deep down want some more

(Billy Joel)

Earnings season has officially arrived and the critters are playing balance sheet hot potato. As expected, both Bank of America (BAC:NYSE) and Mother Merrill (MER:NYSE) blew out numbers and, in early trading, the former is indicated up while the latter is trading flatter. The opening flurry promises to be nuttier than Austin Powers coffee (particularly in the financials) so watch for a truer tone to emerge around 10am.

Away from that fray, there's a story going around that Cisco (CSCO:NASD) CEO John "Marilyn" Chambers spoke at a conference in Geneva at 3am saying that the recovery is muted and IT spending continues to be on a "show me" basis. I have NOT confirmed this story (and, as of right now, not involved in the name) but I'm trying to fish it out and wanted to bait your hook too.

Finally, file this under the "I've heard this shpiel before" file--volatility levels are dirt cheap and there are a bevy of ways for the sophisticated (read: professional) investor to take advantage of that fact (stock replacements, cheapie hedges, downside "specs"). It's been a losing tune all year (as vols have dripped lower) but there are a ton of catalysts approaching and they may offer an opportunity in some regard.

That's about it as we roll up our sleeves and double down on the morning joe. I've gotta give it up to a spunky Sox squad for clawing back last night and setting the sage for tonight's game five. One question though--don't they know that Intel (INTC:NASD) is reporting earnings and there's a rather important conference call during the third inning? Talk about selfish!

Hit 'em hard.
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