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Random Thoughts




  • Grantham's Anthem

  • Please step out of the car, Mr. Spicoli.

  • "One of the most striking features of the present chapter in stock market history is the failure of the trading community to take serious alarm at portents which once threw Wall Street into a state of alarm. Traders who would formerly have taken the precaution of reducing their commitments just in case a reaction should set in, now feel confident that they can ride out any storm which may develop. But more particularly, the repeated demonstrations which the market has given of its ability to 'come back' with renewed strength after a sharp reaction has engendered a spirit of indifference to all the old-time warnings. As to whether this attitude may not sometime itself become a danger-signal, Wall Street is not agreed." --The New York Times, September 1, 1929 (two days before the market top).

  • See if you can guess what I am now?

  • Listening to the Minx.

  • Deficits are bi-partisan.

  • Anatomy of a trade: I bought some Marsh Mack (MMC:NYSE) calls a coupla days ago with the thought that some sort of resolution would ultimately evolve (I'm not typically one to catch falling knives but this felt a bit overdone). Last night, as you know, they painted the tape with news of a management change and other "appeasing" dialogue and, now that I've gotten my catalyst, I must make a decision. I didn't punt the position on the opening as I figured the fast hands would all "sell the news." As the stock starts to grind higher, however, discipline dictates that I begin to scale out of the name. I am eyeing that "gap" above but, as it stands, I'm not sure that I'll stick around to see if it fills. Just sharing the process...

  • Beer binoculars?

  • S's over N's today as my eyes dart between potential acne in the brokers and downside opportunities in four-letter land. They're not mutually exclusive endeavors--and one side of the wishbone may influence the other--but the wind is at the back of that particular attack.

  • Bush whacker!

  • Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE) is trading higher as some analysts are extrapolating positives from Bloomberg's in-depth interview with CEO Franklin Raines. While there are plenty of negatives nestled in the article, the Matador Crowd seems to be focusing on the glimmers of hope. In particular, the bulls are eyeing comments from Robert Herz (Chairman of Norwalk Conn FASB) who said that he can't tell from the Ofheo report whether FNM actually violated accounting standards. Hoofy is hoping that this "interpretation" may keep FNM out of trouble. The stock, so you know, has traded back to technical resistance at FNM $69.

  • "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.' " -- Autobiography of Mark Twain

  • Deja Boo!

  • I continue to hear stories of angst and frustration from folks involved with the financial markets. I understand why--the weeding out process is in full effect--and don't have any blanket answers as to how to alleviate the pressure. I will simply say that we must think positive and make choices consistent with capital preservation. The climate will be difficult for a long time and the onus is on us to adapt.

  • Wouldn't it be something if the Sox opened a 3-0 series lead and blew it?

  • As it stands, the tape is churning and alleviating the near-term oversold condition. A thrust through XBD 130 (brokers) would be a strong indication that something bigger is afoot.

  • Click here to read the latest Minyanville press release.

  • A pro, Danny....yeah, yeah? kinda how ya think of yourself. Catch my drift?

position in mmc, fnm

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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