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Buzz Bits: Dow and Nasdaq End Lower


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 - 3:42 p.m.

  • Hands over eyes,

  • Sorry, but when I actually put my hands over my eyes, I don't type that fast.

  • As I was saying, hands over eyes, low volume backing-and-filling following a day like yesterday is bullish action*. And yeah, that asterisk is a function of overhead resistance.

  • Remember, sideways action that occurs under resistance is called churning, not basing, and we're seeing that in the S&P and DJIA.

  • Wait, shouldn't that asterisk be a function of Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson?

  • For all the newbie Minyans in the hood, zis is R.P. and that is how we roll.

  • In the interest of empathy, can we please refrain from the "dead cat bounce" analogies?

  • By the way, I'm getting completely snookered by Phoebe, who is taking advantage of any and all situations at Chez Harrison.

  • What the heck is nougat anyway?

  • Nobody has said the word "pre-announcement" in a while. Wait, is that two words?

  • Was it video killed the radio star or the other way around? I'm not sure--or I'm sorta fried--but I'll be doing that Yahoo! Finance Tech Ticker thang tomorrow morning. I should be in the saddle by the opening but so you know (and if you care).

  • Peace, cookie.


Sic Transit Gloria - Jeff Macke - 3:30 p.m.

Greetings from the NASDAQ Market Site where the tape was looking much better when I started my commute. Here's what I'm watching as the market goes from flat to down:

  • Best Buy (BBY): Looking good on the top and bottom lines, helped by currency. The problem with the stock, as evidenced by the fact that it peaked at the release of the number and is selling down to roughly unchanged as I type. Consumer electronics is simply too suspect a space for folks to take BBY's word for much of anything, outlook-wise. File the stock in the dreaded "Yeah, But" category. As in "yeah, it beat, but the consumer is dead and will stop buying TV's someday soon."

  • If I must play in Electronicsville I'll stick to Intel (INTC), which I own and Corning Glass (GLW), which I don't. The latter has been a "yeah but" story for ages but continues to churn out LCD parts as fast as it possibly can.

  • "Yeah, Todd-O, I've cleared it with Mrs. Jeffmacke and would love to hook up for dinner Friday night (sorry for that... it's just easier for us to communicate this way than playing phone tag for the next 48 hours).

  • Tonight's Fast Money Madness Match-Ups: Goldman (GS) vs. JP Morgan (JPM); Freeport McMoRan (FCX) vs. Valero (VLO); Caterpillar (CAT) vs. Alcoa (AA) and defending champ Berkshire (BRK-A) vs. credit card kingpin MasterCard (MA). I've gotten a little jaded about the TV thing (in fairness, I'm a little jaded about most things) but I simply love the notion of fighting it out about stocks. It may seem
    contrived but, truthfully, of such debates are portfolios made (NB: unless you're CALpers who invests in everything and whines about endlessly).

  • Crude and Gold both rallying today. From where I'm sitting, you could play the crude long and write-off the gold rally as a dead-cat type-o bounce.

Position in INTC

"I told you so..." - Fil Zucchi - 1:13 p.m.

Sometimes the market blindsides us, sometimes it tells what's going with vivid clarity and it's up to us to listen. I believe the latter is the case with F5 Networks (FFIV) and its brethren. There has been a steady stream of downgrades and negative research notes about FFIV coming quarter. They could all be dead wrong, but I doubt it. Furthermore, Riverbed (RVBD) is making new lows seemingly every day.

You can search the archives for my long standing bullishness about FFIV's business, even though my large long position has almost always been directly hedged with puts. But I am going into this quarter report fully expecting neutral-to-bad newsflow out of FFIV, and the group in general. And it makes sense too: the kind of products they sell are important to businesses, but not essential. With the economy slowing down (tanking?) spending on network optimization can wait.

So why am I not selling out? For the reason that has me in many other economically sensitive technology stocks: if I'm wrong about my even larger short exposure, these are the type of names that hopefully will keep me from getting squeezed too hard. In the meantime the sound balance sheets I stick with give me the relative comfort that the companies can ride out the rough times.

Position in FFIV

March Auto Roundup And Retail Sales Forecast - Mike Mish Shedlock - 12:22 p.m.

March Auto sales were a disaster across the board. Truck and SUV sales plunged while small auto sales rose slightly. General Motors (GM) is blaming consumer confidence including "presidential candidates telling you how bad it is". GM also projects a second half recovery. This makes you wonder what it's smoking.

Meanwhile, seventy percent of consumers who have received their 2007 income tax refund are using it to pay off credit cards and bills, the first time in 20 years that figure has topped 50 percent. Think that bodes well for the economic stimulus plan? Think again.

Here is the full story: March Auto Roundup And Retail Sales Forecast.


No positions in stocks mentioned.

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