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Buzz Bits: Dow and Nasdaq End Higher


Your daily Buzz & Banter highlights.

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

Bell Buzz! - Todd Harrison - 3:54 p.m.

  • What's next, manzierres?

  • The most disturbing thing in Matador City today? How bout the VXO (-8%).

  • I generally don't read too much into quarter-end action as it's ripe with agenda. OK, more agenda than usual but you catch my drift.

  • No Minyan Brooks, the lead singer of O.A.R. isn't me--he's got much more hair than I do!

  • The first bounce at Crude "par" ($100) was intuitive. The second test will speak volumes.

  • I'll continue to offer that a precipitous drop in oil will be more problematic for equities than a grind higher.

  • Man, it's crazy. If you woulda told me last year that Bear Stearns (BSC) was a hat size and Countrywide (CFC) was a ring size, I woulda said that equities would be much lower than they are now. You could wax that poetically bullish, I suppose (the trillion dollar intervention notwithstanding).

  • Today sorta got away from me but that's the upside of this business and the beauty of life. Here's to learning from the past, being mindful of the present and building a future.

  • Have a good night, Yo, and we'll see YOU in the ayem.


Homebuilders Higher - Michael Paulenoff - 3:21 p.m.

The Homebuilders Select SPDR ETF (XHB) has turned up in a meaningful way today after completing a correction of the March 7-24 upleg. My work indicates that the XHB should climb to retest the 24.45 high and sustain those highs the next time, on the way to a 26.00 target.

Components Lennar (LEN), Meritage Homes (MTH), NVR Inc. (NVR), and DR Horton (DHI) look very compelling technically from the long side and should be the engines that propel the XHB higher.

Click to enlarge

Randoms - Fil Zucchi - 2:07 p.m.

  • Just when I thought I actually knew something...

  • T minus 15 to tax day, and many auction rate securities (where wealthy folks often parked their tax payment money) are still frozen like the Russian tundra. According to some brokers, major houses plan to extend loans against the ARS at "favorable" terms, to facilitate the tax payments. The clients obviously have a different take.

  • Meanwhile, I continue to be incapable to pull the trigger on litigation consulting firm FTI Consulting (FCN), because it looks way too pricey. Mark my words: this is one that's gonna look expensive at $150 and I'll still be on the sidelines like a dope. We are on the cusp of the greatest legal orgy ever.

  • Not sure what spanked Akamai (AKAM) today, but it let me sell a few of my Jan puts.

  • Do you see the $1.50 spread in the Quintana Marine (QMAR) / Excel Maritime (EXM) deal? It's supposed to close on April 15th, and the arbs are obviously nervous about the debt portion of the deal.

Positions in AKAM, QMAR

Crude Thoughts - Adam Michael - 12:23 p.m.

See the violent reversal in crude today. I can't put my finger on any specific thing that "caused" the reversal, but I'll note that Barron's did a cover piece this week on the "commodity bubble" and just about everything commodity related is down today.

As far as crude goes, let's see how it acts at the $98-100 level. Some of the smarter traders I know think we'll have a tough time cracking that level barring some sort of economic meltdown (which can't be ruled out). The COT reports that came out Friday showed that commercials had cut their net short position in half to about 50,000 contracts in crude over the past two weeks. I'm surprised crude has corrected more, so this may be a bit of a bullish development.

I'm still short the commodities fund (DBC) (35% crude weighting) but am using more of as a hedge than a speculative position. Also, I'm still pressing my ag shorts on Agrium (AGU) and Monsanto (MON).

Position in DBC, AGU, MON, crude.


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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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