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Buzz Bits: Dow and Nasdaq Finish Higher


Your daily Buzz & Banter highlights.


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

Woogie Woogie Woogie Woogie. Shaddup! - Todd Harrison - 3:48 PM

Remember that dude in Something About Mary that broke out in that nasty rash? I'm not there--yet--but that ol' familiar twitch has returned. You know, the one that is a function of stress (as opposed, to say, love blisters)? Wild times and wild swings galore!

As we Strohman to the close, the following vibes continue to cross my mind:

  • Asset class deflation vs. dollar devaluation. Ten year low for the greenback. Yeah...

  • Penny wise, Yuan foolish? The China trade catalysts are A) the potential for margin trading, B) Shanghai off 30% and C) the potential for Olympic mindshare. I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole if everyone loved it but the fact that so many hate it is an incremental positive, at least through my lens.

  • I'm operating with discipline over conviction as nobody is smart enough to know, for sure, and we should never be one trade away from dismay.

  • Semantic Socialization for the bond bailout package? If banks finance it, as is the chatter, it's like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and Mary. Ambac (ABK) and MBIA (MBI) are counter-party to many bank positions so they're bailing themselves out. Or, if you look at it through the TAF and connect the dots, the Fed is actually bailing 'em out (using the banks as a conduit).

  • We've spoken for a long time about S&P 1405 and DJIA 12,800 as we got within a kitten's whisker. That's worth noting, particularly given how laggy and saggy the financials have traded of late.

  • Does the worst ratings ever for the Oscars speak to the migration to a middle class mindset and the avoidance of the "have's?" Just asking....

  • I've gotta jump and juggle for a quick spot on FBN Happy Hour (5:00 EST) before some meetings and in front of swinging by Party for the Pups. Long daze indeed but hey, it could be worse. And for alotta folks around the world, it already is. Perspective, Yo, is a healthy directive. May peace be with you.


Down the stretch... - Jeff Macke - 1:59 PM

Hello from New York where, as of this morning, Apple (AAPL) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) were running neck and neck in total returns in the 11 odd months since Berkshire won the Fast Money March Madness tournament finals. Apple may have been declared the #2 music retailer in the world today but the stock has been pole-axed in 2008. Maybe the music business just isn't all it's cracked up to be. In other news:

  • The retailers are rocking today after posting a whole slew of news you wouldn't want to sift through without a HazMat suit. What's it mean? "Hold your nose and own 'em for a trade" springs to mind. Wal-Mart (WMT) continues to be my favorite for the slower money types.

  • Starbucks (SBUX) is closing down for 3 hours today in order to retrain the baristas in the art of making good coffee. Hopefully their training 'em how to do it faster and with fewer options. "Through-put speed" is an issue with Seattle's finest. Dunkin' Donuts is going to try to capitalize on the shutdown; an act of smart aggression that comes as a surprise to those who don't read the Buzz n' Banter.

  • I missed the Take-Two (TTWO) takeover trade. Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda been long the name but, frankly, I'm not sure I "get it" in terms of a bid being a solution for what ails Electronic Arts (ERTS). ERTS needs a pipeline. Take-Two has an oft-delayed game facing a major re-working. $2 billion seems like a lot for Electronic Arts to pay for what amounts to one major title.

  • Speaking of things I missed, Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) came on Fast Money last night to hype Wrestlemania and a 50% hike in "non McMahon-owned" WWE stock. WWE has had a remarkable comeback from the tortures of last year and Mrs. McMahon was simply outstanding on the show last night.

Gold Shares vs. the ETF - Lance Lewis - 12:44 PM

Editor's note: Professor Lewis has made it clear of his positive stance on gold, but we asked him if buying the gold ETF (GLD) was a safer play rather than gold stocks.

"Safer" perhaps in the sense that one is not using leverage (and the miners are leveraged to gold, which cuts both ways), but with the XAU/Gold ratio just now climbing from under 0.2 (the low end of its 25-year band), it's telling you that the shares are unusually cheap relative to the metal right now, and that they're more likely to outperform the metal in the near term due to that undervaluation.

As I've pointed out before and noted back in mid-February when this ratio slipped to 0.19 and back to its August nadir, buying the gold shares with this ratio below 0.2 over the past 25 years has always proven to be profitable, and once again gold share prices have risen since that mid-Feb low. It's ironic, but just as everyone has seemingly decided over the past couple months that the GLD is the only thing to own because it outperformed the shares over the past couple months, the wind is probably going to shift now to the shares outperforming.

Position in gold, gold shares

Master of Our Domain - Adam Warner - 10:55 AM

So you have this Visa IPO coming down the pike...

If nothing else, you would think it will challenge MasterCard (MA) for funds. And indeed MA stock was relatively ugly yesterday.

But you would also think the full effects are unknown. And volatility might pick up.

And you would be wrong, options carry a volatility in the low 40's now. And other than a brief flip to the 30's in September, this is about as cheap as MA options have been since the first big pop in July. And way off the peak near 70 in January.


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