Night of the Living Dead
Man, these European bourses are whippy!
Have you heard about the lonesome loser
Beaten by the queen of hearts every time
Have you heard about the lonesome loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'
(Little River Band)
OK--I admit it. I couldn't help myself! I was up at 4am watching the futures trade back and forth on Bloomberg TV. The truth is--and this isn't something I'm necessarily proud of--I've been dreaming about stocks for years now. I think it started when I had a massive short position in Citigroup way back when and Barron's ran a wildly bullish cover story. I actually dreamt of the building chasing me down the street! These days, my REM sleep isn't as animated (yeah!), but still, I woke myself up early this morning with equities on my mind.
Anyway, in the early morning dew, the futes were down as many as nine points and Europe got smacked harder than Martin at his high school prom (last year). It was almost like watching an action thriller, except many of us were betting on how it ends! Since then, Europe has stabilized somewhat and is now trading as a function of the stateside futures (or is it the other way around)?
Evidently, I wasn't the only one up early this morning. The analyst community is quite active on Hump Day and early highlights include a Goldman boot of HPQ and a Deutsche Bank upgrade of MSFT. Those are the dominant calls thus far but, in addition, Bernstein upped ORCL and Solly upped HOV, IGL and POT while dumpin' PHM.
As you know, I've been "trading around" the short side of late and yesterday I rotated some of that exposure from the S&P to the techs. Why? The outperformance of the N's has been pronounced, Cousin Richard, and it's relatively more extended. While there remains traunched resistance in the S&P, the SOX chart (that Tony illustrated yesterday) seems like a better short-term play to me. The stochastics are hooking at the top, it's bumping up against a trendline and, after two upgrades, it may be a crowded long. I still have a smattering of S&P exposure but I wanted to explain to my fellow Minyans why I started looking at tech (pure trade).
With that said, it's important to note (again) that I'm playing much smaller than usual in this environment. As yesterday showed, the tape is whisper thin and there is "vacuum risk" (both ways). One of the reasons I let (part of) my stop slide was the defined nature of my vehicles and the relative size of my bets. I'm not rationalizing, mind you, but that was the decision making process and I'll always give it to ya straight.
Watch the financials today. Swiss Re cut it's dividend for the first time since the 1906 San Fran earthquake and it'll be interesting how the AIG's of the world react. There's also a couple of negative articles on the brokers which will battle tiny number bumps for the group at Solly. Finally, if Citigroup can garner some jig, it'll once again find resistance at 34.
Peripheral tells include MSFT (off the upgrade), Semis (sentiment), GE (quickly approaching a stochastic sell signal), Crude (big reversal yesterday), Europe and the internals. Also keep half an eye peeled for COMP 1320. That's what's affectionately known as an inflection point in trading circles and Alotta traders will be fa-focusing on it.
Finally, our kick-ass charity auction continues today and, as it stands, an anonymous bidder ("Mr. Joisy") currently has a high bid of $11,000. The critters are absolutely beside themselves with excitement and they can't wait to host the winner for a day in Minyanville. In addition to the many events listed and on top of the Sushi Cameo from Snoop, there will be added "surprises" in store for the lucky winner--or should I say winners. The real beneficiaries of this event are The Ruby Foundation for Children's Education and Jacob's Cure!
Hit 'em hard, Minyans!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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