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The Verdell Smell


Professor Reynolds has been all over the refi numbers. Why wasn't Wamu?


"Have you ever let a romantic moment make you do something that you knew was stupid?"

--Carol the waitress, As Good as it Gets

What is it about Halloween, New Years, birthdays...and Dow 10,000...that's gives people a silly license? I know it's been a long round trip but cheering is emotional and, as we know, emotion is the enemy when trading. Ignore the silly hats, quell that performance anxiety and remain lucid. There's lots going on today and we'll need to be tip top, schnitz hot and second to none (sir).

First things first, the Minx kissed Dow 10k and then pulled back to think about it. Coincidently (or not), S&P 1075ish was also floating above and that's been a level of contention in the past. This area is so crowded and charged with kinetic energy so if you're gonna venture into the fray, ground yourself accordingly. The last thing you want on Elmerfest 2003 is a shocker (Fokker!).

Washington Mutual (WM:NYSE) pooped the bed and that's sending shockwaves through the financials. Senor Succo quickly touched on the reverberations and, thus far, the piggies are feelin' the heat. For better or for worse, the financial foundation is an intricate and intertwined institutional network. If there's smoke in one of the sub-sectors (mortgage lending), the other (refi-enhanced) arenas should keep some cough syrup nearby.

In techland, it's worth noting that Texas Instruments (TXN:NYSE) is marginally higher after boosting guidance last night. That, along with the collective reaction (to news) of Taiwan Semi (TSM:NYSE) and United Micro (UMC:NYSE), warrants a mention. Dorsey Wright highlighted some seismic shifts in the semiconductor space this morning and, as a leading tech tell, we need to watch for a chip double dipping.

There's a lot of posturing out there (in front of Elmer) and while I may dabble in the ETF's (around important technical levels), I wanna focus my risk on name specific situations and themes. The "market stuff" is crowded and often tough. If you can find an industry edge or interesting story, your odds of succeeding would likely improve. Anyway, that's just what I've found over the years--to each his own.

Big Ben has taken an early auction lead with a bid of $3000. He's trying to secure the last two remaining spots at the Minyanville holiday dinner next Wednesday, December 17th. In addition to a fun-filled fracas with the Minyan professors, Mike Santoli, a room full of critters and yours truly, the proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education (a registered 5013C charitable organization). It's for the kids, Minyans--it's for the kids!

As always, I hope this finds you well.

To bid on this item, click here.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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.

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