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Random Thoughts


Fare ye well!


  • On the heels of Friday's Snapper, the S&P begins the week with two discernable humps. 1192 is the initial resistance (the trendline from the August lows) while a friskier spate of supply likely lies on the other side of 1200. NDX 1533 (200-day) is also an inflection point of note (stops below)

  • Live each day with zest and fervor. Tomorrow, as we know, is promised to nobody.

  • Aunt Fannie, Uncle Sam and loan limits.

  • Will earnings "matter?" Outlooks will hold the key to the vault as we pour through the third quarter results. With that in mind, please remember that fundamentals are but one of our four primary metrics. Psychology (more hopeful than outright complacent), technicals (lotsa damage in the last few weeks) and the structural landscape (from Refco to Fannie to Delphi to corporate spreads) must be factored into the minxy equation as well.

  • We're having a lil' NYC pigskin Minyanfest this Sunday at 4:00 PM. Please feel free to bring some friends, spread the word and join us as we celebrate the virtues of human capital.

  • "We're seeing reversals down on the point & figure charts for the VIX, VXN, and VXO. This does nothing to change the context of the charts, however, which remain on "buy" signals, suggesting higher volatility ahead." Pepe Depew on Friday's Buzz.

  • Pension Detention.

  • South Side Story debuts in Chicago!

  • This week's sign that the apocalypse is upon us: Paris Hilton gracing the cover of Barron's.

  • Some bullish BCA biotech vibes.

  • Mini-Minyan Mailbag:

    "Toddo- It was interesting to read about your trip to Israel. It's just about the last place I would go - too many people killing each other over the "my God is better than your God" saga. Glad you got out of there safely. I enjoy your work. Minyan Chris."

    Minyan Chris,

    There are many misconceptions about Israel that are fed through the existing media channels. I understand your perception (as a function of the headlines) but will offer that you're missing the 'bigger trade.' Israel is a beautiful country filled with a robust and embracing energy. I knew this going in but was still amazed at how much I under anticipated the power of the experience. Yes, there are tensions but are we really that much safer in the New York or any other metropolitan city? Simply said, I cannot wait to return.

    Kind Regards,


  • Whataya say, M&A?

  • "There's still risk to the downside and my gut tells me that we've yet to see the lows of this cycle. Still, consistent with recent commentary, I'm respectful of a bounce attempt in the context of a deeper and more meaningful pullback. Two thoughts as we cast one eye towards next week's try. First, its expiration and that could jack volatility in the meat of the week. Second, any Refco contagion will likely emerge in the coming weeks as we gain clarity on counter-party exposure and sniff out potential dominos." Vibes from Friday's Buzz (11:30 AM)
  • I'd rather give a leek!

  • Eat your heart out, Sports Illustrated!

  • "One of the important facts of investing is that year-to-year stock market movements have very, very little to do with the year-to-year growth of corporate earnings. In fact, the correlation is just about zero. Stocks aren't thermometers." Dr. John Hussman

  • 1-800--Auto-Land.

  • The Bureau of Lowball Statistics: "To show just what a fraud those calculations are, John Succo at Minyanville pointed out today that while the biggest component of the CPI is "owner equivalent rent," not only does it vastly underestimate the cost of housing (because rents have gone down as housing prices have gone up), but it's further tortured by the fact that the BLS "subtracts energy costs to create the net variable used, i.e., the higher energy costs are, the lower the core CPI is." As I've said many times, anyone who relies on the government to tell them the rate of inflation is asking to have their money taken away." Professor Bill Fleckenstein on his always insightful Rap

  • The financials (which encapsulate a bevy of market concerns)--coupled with the internals--is a duopoly that provides a fantastic intraday tell for the tape.

  • Meanwhile, at the Roach Motel...

  • The other side of the Red Dye "hide."

  • Redrum!

  • Minyan Michael Santoli, in his always excellent Barron's column, noted several signs that near-term negativity may portend a bovine vent of a coupla upside percent. Among them:

    • The inflation theme has gotten loud as the energy squeeze and the hard-up consumer paint a tough bend into year-end.
    • Hawks are now being spotted in the once dovish Fed.
    • Market internals have been putrid.
    • Put buying outpaced call buying last week.
    • Net flows into domestic stock mutual funds has been negative for seven straight weeks (a streak last matched near the April '03 low).
    • Negative headlines (Delphi, Refco) abound.
    • Consumer sentiment is downbeat and Dubya's approval rating hit a new low.

  • I have tremendous respect for Michael and, given the haphazard tendencies of the tape, "see" how these elements could lend themselves to a Matador move. With that said, the dip shtick, the conditioned methodology of choice, remains staunchly entrenched in the mindset of the masses. Does the (downside) risk warrant the potential upside reward? Only if your risk is defined, your approach is disciplined and you don't let the definition of an investment become a trade gone awry. We haven't seen real fear in a mighty long time and conventional wisdom still calls for a lift into year-end.

  • Washington Post Op/Ed - A Natural Gas Crisis.

  • As you read this, I'm in flight to the left coast with President Fish for a quickie two day two-step. I'll be on tomorrow night's red eye back to the big city and at my turret in time for the Hump Day opening. Good luck in the muck, my friends, and just're a Minyan!

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