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Buzz Bits: Dow, Nasdaq Head Higher


Your daily Buzz highlights...


Editor's Note: This is a small sample of the content available on the Buzz and Banter.

Bell Buzz - Todd Harrison - 3:43 PM

  • "The Janaury Effect" already? Russell 2000 at all-time highs. Eventually they'll start this process in June!! Minyan KT

  • I gotta lotta pings out of this morning's gate from folks who didn't believe the upside hype. "All I know is that my tells are pointing north," I responded, "And those are what guide me day to day."

  • We've still got structural issues, of course--and we still have an inverted yield curve--but those don't necessarily "matter" day to day. Time horizon is one of the key ingredients when managing risk.

  • S&P 1407 is the "fish or cut bait" level into the close.

  • I'm not sure what, other than lower prices, could serve as a Santa "clause." As an active trader, and with our trading tells, we don't necessarily have to answer that question today.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for some follow-up press on MIM-CCA. And thanks, again, for your continued support of the Minyan mission. We've only just begun.

  • Fare ye well into the bell and have a great Monday night.


Russell Crowing - Kevin Depew - 12:35 PM

One of the interesting things noted at Minyans in Manhattan on Friday by Steve Galbraith, who gave a terrific presentation, was how difficult it is to break the equity markets down in December. Whether it's seasonality, or whatever, it's just difficult to get stocks lower in December.

Along those lines, take a look at the Russell 2000 (RUT), which today is breaking a bullish triangle on a PnF basis. See the chart free at See the higher lows since the October breakout? I think that is what is meant by the word "trend."

The initial price objective has already been met at 784. Coming under 772 would be the first signal that this move higher since October has officially weakened in PnF terms.

Walgreens November Looks Fine, New Position in CVS - Brian Gilmartin

If the pictures of the CCA are anything indicative of the fun that was had in Vail at Minyans in the Mountains 3 last August, Friday night looked like a blast. Congrats to Trent Tucker for his quality work.

Walgreens (WAG) reported November comp's this morning of +9.3%, slightly better than the analyst consensus of 9%. Prescription comp's were slightly below expectations while front-end comp's were nicely above expectation at 5.7%, versus the expected 4.5%. (See attached spreadsheet.)

In addition, WAG announced that November revenues were better than expected.

Last week, for the first time since the late 1990's, my firm took a position in CVS, after they reported November comp's on Thursday that were just fine, more for a trade than a long-term position.

The Wal-Mart (WMT) generic pricing initiative that dropped the retail drug group like a rock in September (presumably) isn't having much of an impact on either foot traffic or prescriptions at the two largest retail drug stores chains, at least not yet. CVS's front-end comp's were actually a little stronger than WAG's, so they may have taken a touch of front-end share from WAG.

According to a blurb on, the retail drug store group was down 15% on a rolling three-month basis as of November 30th.

I think the retail drug store sector is now stupid-cheap, thanks to the success of Medicare Part D, and with little discernible impact from WMT's generic initiative.

What's Pfizer Doing? - John Succo - 9:22 AM

Pfizer (PFE) is trading down around 15% pre-open.

The options, like almost all options, had been trading very cheap. All those buy-write funds today are going to find out what it is to be long stock and short worthless calls.

This fact should make PFE more volatile as it breaks out of its range. Cheap options have very high gamma, which acts like leverage.

The options should be well bid which will decrease the gamma. Once everyone has repositioned their exposure (high volatility), the stock should then trade at a lower volatility with option prices higher. This process will take a few days to weeks to occur.

What you need to know... - Jon Doctor J Najarian - 8:01 AM

Pfizer (PFE) Halts Trials For Torcetrapid – PFE is getting smoked this morning, after announcing their potential blockbuster had killed some 81 patients. The damage is mounting this morning, as PFE trades down 14% and I see a Lehman Brother downgrade hitting the tape!

Justice Asks BOT For More Info - CBOT Holdings said the Department of Justice has requested additional information on the company's proposed $8 billion acquisition by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME).

Home Depot (HD) Says No Talks Held - Someone in the mainstream media has a great pipeline at Texas Pacific, as they've got info about Harrah's (HET) and now Home Depot, but this latest info may have been a tad premature, as Home Depot on Friday denied it had held talks about a possible leveraged buyout.

LSI Logic (LSI) Buying Agere Systems (AGR) for $4 Billion - Chipmaker LSI Logic has agreed to buy Agere Systems Inc. in an all-stock deal worth around $4 billion. LSI said Agere shareholders will receive 2.16 LSI shares for each Agere share they hold. This is nearly a 28% premium to Friday's close of AGR.

Position in AGR

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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