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Buzz Bits



Lions and Tigers and... - Todd Harrison - 3:58 PM

Move over Brian Urlacher, you've got some company in the windy city. With defensive players supporting the down linemen (S&P 1270, BKX 106, XBD 200), the ursine uglies staved off elimination and kept their playoff hopes alive. With any luck, they'll still be in the game when January rolls around.

The sector of the session was pharma, of course, as a double dose of minxy verbose (PFE, MRK) spurred the herd. I sold the opening in Pfizer, as discussed, and will look to nibble back some exposure if and when that gap begins to fill ($22.50). That might be too cute but I'm content to morph it into '06 business.

Other than that, breadth stands out (nosty) and the Google reversal of fortune is curious to say the least. I'm also keeping a close eye on SOX 485 (just edged through), the homies (-2%) and, of course, the all-important financials as we try to piece together the puzzle and end '05 with some flava.

It's getting late and I've gotta lot to chew through in the next four days. I sincerely hope you had a great day and a much better night!


position in pfe

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Market - Todd Harrison - 2:46 PM

The Minx slinks to session lows as crimson spreads and tensions grow. We've been casting a wary eye towards the market internals today, which, coupled with our trifecta levels (BKX 106, XBD 200, S&P 1270) kept Boo in the game. Now he's trying to take a bow and secure his spot in the metaphorical Grinch Hall of Fame.

Some quickie observations from the front:

  • Note the Russell as it leads the downside speed (nice eyes Mr. Tom).
  • The semis are getting sloppy (-1.5%) as they eyeball important support at SOX 485.
  • A lady walked up to me over the weekend and said "I couldn't help by noticing your elbow and wondering what a nice joint like that is doing in a guy like you?"
  • If Boo is planning on sandbaggin' Santa, he's gonna catch alotta fund managers leaning the long way.
  • Until otherwise proven, we're stuck in the S&P 1245-1270 with alotta traders pressing and guessing the year-end action.


Is the bond market 'telling' us something after the weak housing data????? - Bennet Sedacca - 2:17 PM

You may have seen the NAHB Housing Market Index fall to a 32 month low of 57 at 1 PM. While this data is curious in itself when compared to the housing company's rosy forecasts, I am curious that bonds have not rallied on this news. After all, housing has been the pillar of growth for the economy since 2001 (particularly on the labor front).

Bonds popped about 6/32 on the news and then setttled back to where they were prior to the number. Perhaps the market feels that the slowdown is temporary and that the fact yields have fallen in the long end recently will re-promote housing growth. Or maybe the market is simply telling us that the recent rally in the long end is over for now . Just food for thought.

Flashback! - Bill Meehan - 2:05 PM

This day in market history...

  • Closing levels 2 years ago today were
    • DJIA: 10,278.22
    • S&P 500: 1088.66
    • Naz: 1951.02
    • Crude: 33.72
    • Gold: 408.70

This day in Minyanville history...

  • Toddo wrapped up his year with And So It Goes... as he packed the critters up for a respite.

In other news...

  • In 1997, Titanic opened at the Box Office, and people everywhere rushed to the bow of their boats to yell, "I'm the King of the world!"

Hold me close, you Tiny Dancer... - Todd Harrison - 10:52 AM

The Minx slinks into the fray as Santa looks to board his sleigh. Consistent with what we've witnessed of late, motion is trumping movement as select sectors steal the spotlight from the mainstay averages. And while all eyes are on the DJIA, I've long believed (and still do) that the S&P is the proxy to watch as a broader measure of health.

As it stands and as I sit, we continue to migrate under 1270 with negative and baited breadth (3:2). Google (GOOG), for its part, is squeezin' the cubs who shorted the "NDX add" on Friday's close, lending to a 3% gain and leading the performance anxiety. The financials remain a focus as well, with both the BKX and XBD thisclose to acne.

As always, I hope this finds you well.


"Shakin' that thing like 'who's the Ish?'..." - Jeff Macke - 10:29 AM

Turns out I was overshooting on Friday, when I promised a column by "3-ish". Sometimes a guy just has to call a "Family Time" audible and run with it.

Speaking of running, Circuit City (CC) is looking good (and, presumably, feeling good) after beating by a couple pennies and giving the Thumbs Up to revenue estimates.

I'm late to the party on the idea of a paired trade, long CC and shorting Best Buy (BBY) but it's an idea which could have some more room. BBY has been beating the snot out of CC for nearly a decade. With expectations remaining generally high for Best Buy and CC showing vague signs of a pulse the stocks may continue to work towards one another.

It's sort of a retail version of the stock action in Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) after Carly's departure.

position in bby

Say What? - Kevin Depew - 9:10 AM

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

  • Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Garry Kasparov evaluates the end-game play of Gerhard Schroder. Last week the former German chancellor accepted a top position with Russian energy giant Gazprom.
  • Also in the Wall Street Journal, Weijan Shan says many attribute the "mystery" of China's market decline to "overhang," though the problem may be more fundamental: prices of Chinese exports to the U.S. have fallen by more than a quarter since 1997 whereas the price index for China's raw materials has risen by about 20%.
  • Meanwhile, at, Robert Murphy writes about the "alleged China Threat." Can't do nuthin; for ya man. Flava Flav's got problems of his own.

DeVibe from DeScribe - MV Respect - 8:17 AM

"The final full week of trading for 2005 has set-up to look eerily similar to that of 2004 as sentiment indications remain optimistic within the positive uptrend. The difference between 2004 and the current environment is the internal picture, which we find quite a bit weaker than last years'.

Equities surged in the 4th Quarter of 2004, after the election, but that surge was accompanied by an expansion in breadth and new highs suggesting an underlying force supporting the move. The price action of today's market may appear similar, but the underlying foundation is far less robust, a nontrivial circumstance that is likely to have a greater impact on the 1st quarter of 2005.

We would also point out that using recent data or history as a template to the future is fraught with biases and prone to error, and a reliance on the trading pattern a year ago, while proving popular, is likely to end in disappointment after the Holidays."

Lehman Strategist Jeff DeGraaf

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