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Birds of a Feather


No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to turn this tape!


Desperado, why don't you come to your senses
You've been out riding fences for so long now
Oh and you're the hard one, but I know that you've got your reasons
The things that are pleasin' you can hurt you somehow

(The Eagles)

Tick tocking towards the afternoon session and a few positive blurbs from the CS First Boston tech conference have hit the tape and given pause to the bears. The trick here, as always, is to ascertain how much of this information is "new" and how much of it is already baked into these levels. Remember, the market is a leading indicator and the fundamentals will always lag the price action. That's one of the reasons the markets stopped going down in October (amid horrid news) and may pause with positive chatter floating around.

Snapper is doing his best to rally the troops as isolated positives are starting to peek through the muck but it's worth noting that the internals have yet to confirm a trip through Terrapin Station. We've discussed the phenomenon of dip buying and that psychology (perception) will surely buoy the tape-until it doesn't work and the buyers turn to exit. As we're all to aware, timing is the single most important aspect of trading and gaming the cusps is a dicey proposition at best. I suppose my point (and yes, I have one) is that we should be conscious of all potential scenarios as we edge towards year-end. Boo would love a chance to play Grinch!

I continue to trade with both my legs in my metaphorical bear costume (50% conviction on the short side) as I would like to give the Razor Burn thesis a chance to unfold. Yes, I've surely been early to the trade but that's old hat by now-I'm always early! I say that with half a smile on my face as it's been such a consistent pattern in my career that I should have learned by now. Still, you'll never find excuses in this column as that's simply not my style. We'll be right at times and wrong at times-it's all part of the game.

While I have you, I wanted to quickly touch base on a subtle change that's occurred within our disclosures. Over the years, some readers have mistaken disclosures as recommendations and we've taken steps to eliminate any possible confusion. We will always tell you if we're involved in a particular stock (or index) that is mentioned in a post but, as we aren't an advice site and will never "push" an individual stock, we have decided it is best that we no longer indicate our direction. This is not a material change in our policy and will not affect the content of this site. So you know.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we've instructed our wily summer intern (who's still moping after getting dumped again) to get on his horse and find us some Chipwiches. It must be bonus time as he's already got his coat on and is running out the door. Let me save you some time, Martin-you're not getting a bonus until your ex takes you back. No intern of mine will get dumped twice in one year and get paid. It just ain't happening!

Good luck, Mon frere, hope you're hitting 'em straight.


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