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Random Thoughts


It's defined risk...


  • In for a dime, in for a doughnut (Buzz 10:15)

    File this under "nothing ventured, nothing gained" but as I watch the laggy market internals, the flattish internals (thanks Boo) and lagginess in Google and the Generals (Motors and Electric)--coupled with distinctly defined risk--I'm gonna slip two legs in my metaphorical bear costume (50% conviction on the short side). My stop? Slightly above the oft-discussed multiyear highs in the S&P. Let the March Madness begin!

  • Speaking of which....

    Once again, we invite you all to join us in the Minyanville Bracket Challenge. If you were a part of the madness last year, simply click on the link above and login to your account. You are already registered for this year's challenge. The dropdown menu under "Fantasy" toward the right side should include "Minyanville Bracket Challenge". If you did not take part last year, we welcome you to join us. If you don't already have a Sportsline ID you will need to create one and then click the link above. The group password is "minyans". The winner will receive a critter care package and non-winners are invited (but not required) to make a donation of their choice to the Ruby Peck Foundation. Selections must be made by 12:00pmET on Thursday. If you have any questions, please email us.

  • Fear? Are you kidding me? Are you pulling my leg? The VXO is off another finski (5%) and is flirting with a ten handle. I hear traders chatting about walls of worry (bird flu, Iran, Iraq, yield curve and a host of big picture concerns) but I simply don't see it with single digit vols a kitten's whisker away.

  • Can you blame Boo and his crew given the action in the brokers?

  • If you're looking to "roll" your energy, biotech or retail option exposure, Minyan Darol (and his other brother Darol) notes that most of these sectors report after the April expiration cycle (read: roll to May).

  • We need to keep tabs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tempers are hot.

  • Did I really see a GMAC real estate commercial this weekend? Seems like double indemnity.

  • Old school Minyans know about my curious (and somewhat self-deprecating) discussions of sleep eating over the years. Well, as luck would have it, the NY Times published a report this morning linking Ambien to widespread reports of the same affliction. While I thought the process was borderline amusing, there seems to be alotta folks who don't share my humorous take. In that vein, and as our community is predicated on fiscal literacy, keep an eye on Sanofi Aventis, the maker of Ambien, for signs of sleep slippage. The drug had $2,200,000,000 in annual sales (that's alotta cheesecake) and this development could usher in a nightmare for the French drug maker.

  • Please note that the Dubai market (DFIML) is off 11% today.

  • Can you imagine the make-up sex?

  • If you were diggin' AMD at $42 ten days ago, do you grab a shovel at $33?

  • Expect expiration influences to manifest in the coming days. And toss S&P 1275 on your radar if the ursine uglies tap the tape.

  • Expiration is coming up quick and the IBM component of my "long SunMicro-long IBM puts" pairs is about to join his big cap friends in my backyard. Minyanville is about real-time shared learning and sometimes that means taking public lumps. I'm hopeful that there was some utility in sharing the process with ye faithful.

  • Did Syracuse peak in the Big East? Honestly, I'll take it given my low level of post-season expectations. I had a similar mindset in 2003 and it worked out well.

  • Note the dollar as it slips to session lows (-55 bips) and the CRB tries to put some space between the commodities and multiyear trendline support.

  • Where can I pre-register for the limited edition Franklin Raines license plates?

  • "Almost exactly three years ago (in terms of trading days), the VIX was trading in the mid-30's as uncertainty reined regarding a war in . As those fears faded and fundamentals took over, the S&P 500 rose just over 60% - never suffering more than a 10% correction – and the VIX dropped under to 12. Of course, I'm describing the past few years. Or maybe not…I could have just as well been writing about 1990 – 1994. From the war in , to the decline in the VIX, to the number of days the S&P went without a 10% correction, the similarities are uncanny. Soon after the S&P hit its three-year anniversary without suffering a 10% drop, it began its descent into one. The same thing happened in 1965. And 1987. Those are the only three times in the past hundred years I can find where a major index went 756 trading days without a significant decline. On Wednesday, we will hit day 756. This is a seminal event in my mind, and it will not last. As Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park , "Life will find a way." It certainly will. So will volatility." Professor Jason Goepfert in his morning column. If you haven't read it, please do so--he's a sharp cookie.

  • As a sports fan--not to mention as a graduate of a big east school--it's nice to see that Ray wasn't banned.

  • I'll be giving the keynote at this weekend's Entrepreneur's Retreat in Cannon Beach, Oregon. While I'm flying out (very) late Friday night and returning to the east coast (very) early Sunday morning, we would love to see Minyans represent. If you're an area Minyan and would love to swing by the fete, please contact Professor David Miller. He's the guy in the softball uniform continually looking over his right shoulder.

  • Hoofy withstood the first flurry of supply and is trying to turn the internal tide. NYSE breadth has now improved to 2:1 positive.

  • We continue to see selling (hedging) in the small cap space (via IWM).

  • Tater tots and corn dogs never got the snaps they deserve.

  • I've been fielding a slew of queries about this year's Minyans in the Mountains fete. I will say this--we narrowed the venue list from ten to five to the final two. And we'll have the final locale (and pre-registration) in very short order. Be excited. Be very, very excited.

  • It's been a while since I've broken out the metaphorical costumes but I'm comfy with the try as it's defined risk. We've got some room before our stop, which we might need given the unforeseen expiration influences.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.

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Position in financials, SUNW, IBM

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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