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Buzz Bits: Dow Dips, Nasdaq Climbs


Your daily Buzz & Banter highlights...

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

Going Home, Going Home by the Riverside I will Rest my Bones - Todd Harrison - 3:27 PM

Alrightee then, with one eye on the tape and the other on the clock, I'm getting set to scadattle for the week. I'm no slacker--this you know--but I am tired, as Television's JeffMacke® was kind enough to note. Hey, if that's the other side of the "always support your friends" trade, I'll gladly pay my dues.

Hoofy will strut into the weekend with fresh acne in the small caps (the trannies and piggies (BKX) are this close to joining them). And, given the reaction to recent news (ISM, Google), the Matador Crowd will likely be loud in the weekend press. Fair 'nuff, they've earned it.

For my part, and as a function of my sales this week, I've got more cash and less risk as I ready for SuperBowl weekend. I respect the tape and the technical evolution, along with the emerging performance anxiety, so I'll enter next week with an open mind and fresh perspective.

Have a great weekend, MInyans, and enjoy the game. It's the last pigskin we'll see for quite some time!


Position in financials

Contagion Invasion - Lance Lewis- 1:11 PM

Many may be wondering why gold is being hit so hard today. Never mind that employment Fridays are always a tossup, fears surrounding troubled hedge fund Red Kite (who in their right mind would put money in a fund named that anyway?), which traffics in base metals, appears to be the culprit. See the WSJ story.

As always, people fear contagion whenever an Amaranth might be occurring again. Given that Red Kite is a base metals fund and not even involved in gold, I consider this a buying opportunity in gold and its shares. But I'm a gold bull, so what do I know?

It's no wonder Red Kite is in trouble given the decline in copper, but note how copper and gold continue to diverge, just as they did in 2001 when we were at a similar point in the economic cycle...See the chart here.

Position in Gold

A couple of random thoughts on housing... - Bennet Sedacca - 10:22 AM

Housing shares rising again. Standard Pacific (SPF) put up some good numbers but the company is noted for being conservative (it didn't buy lots of land at the top like Toll Brothers (TOL)). Hey, speaking of TOL, the brothers TOL continue to sell shares. I can't imagine it needs the money so it has my attention.

Next? See the chart here of the S&P Super Composite of homebuilders. We are coming up on a rather important technical spot--a multi year down trend line and the point from which the index broke.

On the other hand, shorts have been piling in and the short ratio (number of shares short divided by average daily volume) is seven days for both SPF and TOL. Certainly short squeeze material.

I have never had and probably never will have a position in housing outside of over weighting ARM's and other seasoned high coupon mortgage backed securities as their prepayment rates have slowed, resulting in a higher yield for my clients.

Positions in ARM's and MBS

The Only Bears That Matter Are Da Bears! - Jon "Doctor J" Najarian - 8:38 AM

Amazon (AMZN) Profits Dip, Shares Too –
AMZN reported sales of nearly $4 billion, a 34% increase, but investors focused on the challenges ahead, without the holiday shopping boost and headed for the exits. Shares were up $2 in after hours, but sank back to unchanged as reality set in.

Exxon (XOM) Profit Largest EVER – The world's largest publicly traded energy producer and the largest public company by market value tallied a $39.5 billion full-year profit. That comes to $108 million per day, or $4.5 million per hour, or $75,000 per minute, or $1,250 per second. Cha-Ching.

General Motors (GM), Ford (F) & Nissan Sales Tumble – Sure things are tough for the automakers, and Ford's 19% decline, followed up by GM's 17% decline were bad, but expected. However the news that Nissan's sales were off by 23% had to come as a shock.

Senate Passes Minimum Wage With Tax Breaks – With a 94-3 vote yesterday, the Senate voted to increase the federal minimum wage in three steps from $5.15 to $7.25. To get the bill passed the Senators tied on $8 billion worth of tax cuts to small business. Now the bill goes back to the House, which passed it without the tax breaks January 10th.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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