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Random Thoughts


From our family to yours--GOOD LUCK TODAY!


  • If you missed Minyan Michael Santoli's astute perspective yesterday, please take a look. If you read it, please read it again.

  • We awake this morning to find our morning futes sharply higher (S's +8, N's + 12) on the heels of "confident" overnight earnings. While I'll urge Minyans to read our daily tea leaves for guidance (leadership, breadth, levels) and adapt to the tape, we'll likely see some downside probage at a point today (after such a fugly close). The key will be how the Minx reacts to the test and that'll hold clues to the fuse.

  • Mini-Minyan Mailbag: "My warm thoughts are with your friend and you. On your return, give some thought to a possible rotation into metal stocks during this market decline. If gold has turned higher (I know that is a big IF), then I would expect to see accumulation of those stocks under the cover of broader selling. Once the broader market stabilizes, the metal stocks would outperform. We're early in the process, but I see signs that it's occurring. Minyan Brian"

    MB- The rotation into metals as a long-term alternative to the dollar has never left my keppe--I was noting the lethargy last week as a precursor to possible supply vis a vis the deflation of asset classes en masse (under Gold $430). I continue to feel that metals and energy are relative winners vs. tech and financials, but maintain that the true 'conundrum' is the dollar vs. everything else. If we (cough) try to save the dollar and remove liquidity from the system, the metals (or Brazil, equities, the CRB, crude, etc.) will suffer as a result.

  • Is it a shocker that the NYSE and Archipelago merged? No--actually, I think it's a proactive approach by the big board that is a necessary step if they're to survive. I scribed a vibe a few weeks ago that discussed the evolving dynamic of the financial industry and this is consistent with that column. Now, if they'll only abandon the silly idea of opening an hour earlier, they may actually win the vote of public opinion.

  • How was eBay? Far from a win but take a look at the chart before you press the mess. Ultimately, I think beta has issues (and value will outperform) but slowing growth isn't a clairvoyant thought.

  • For those celebrating the Jewish holidays, I wish you the finest family time you've ever had. There is nothing more important that sharing and caring with those you love.

  • I spoke on a panel at the Lubin House last night about "Alternative Investments" and the direction of the industry. I thought the discussion was accretive although it's clear that a lot of sand remains for those that are thirsty. My main bullet points?

    • The integrity of our effort is a point of differention. We must be consistent in our approach and ethically ground our endeavors.
    • Time management (living to work) is easily the least satisfying aspect of my professional existence.
    • The greatest milestone of my career? Easy-- absorbing the pain from 9/11 and knowing thereafter that I have the internal capacity to overcome any obstacle.
    • Net worth doesn't equal self-worth.
    • What sets us apart? Tenacity, commitment, integrity, humanity.
    • How do you grow a successful business? Build it with people who themselves can grow. Human capital remains the single most stable investment.
    • Understand that there's a collective agenda and a burgeoning corprotocracy. Don't just "hear" the message in the marketplace, "see" where it's coming from.
    • The best advice I can offer? Enjoy what you do, work with people you respect and try to serve the greater good.
    • What will determine whether a hedge fund is successful? Discipline.
    • The single best piece of advice when looking for a job? Do you trust them?
  • Watch the homies on the heels of Uber-Minyan John Roque's recent vibe.

  • Motorola (MOT) toasted their numbers last night and Nokia (NOK) phoned home this morning. I know--Intel, Caterpillar and Yahoo! kicked butt as well--but we need to respect the fundamental metric even if it seems to be on the bottom of the trading totem pole.

  • Speaking of which, one of the first things I learned in this business is that bad news doesn't matter in a good tape and good news doesn't matter in a bad tape. The former reminds me of 2003 and the latter feels like yesterday's wreck.

  • From yesterday's late Buzz and just 'cause I think it's important:

    Please stop...We don't disrespect anyone in the 'Ville--it's one of the core components of our community--but the teletubbie chatter of a capitulation is borderline disingenuous. We can certainly reverse higher--we know that the Minx has a mind of her own--but to make that statement with vols still swimming in the mid-teens is downright silly. When I think of capitulation, I think of VIX 60, bids wanted and not caring that it's a capitulation--"just get me out!!!" I've been there a few times--Thai Bhat and post 9/11 come to mind--and we're nowhere near that level of fear. Just my humble vibe and no disrespect intended. R.P.

  • CYC 700 is being probed like Frieda's boss. If (uber-monster if) the tape can find legs, this chart will attract alotta turtles.

  • If any Minyan academia would like to participate in a "beta test syndicate" that is migrating our critters through the university spectrum, please let us know. A dream is only as powerful as the people who believe in it and there are alotta good Minyans in our midst.

  • There was a time in my career that "calling" the tape validated my financial existence. Now it's a single element of my broader experience.

  • If we rallied yesterday, the obvious reason for that rhyme woulda been the "huge" earnings. As we didn't, the mainstream media focused on inflation. I maintain that there's a bull market and a bear market simulaneously occuring every day. Our goal in Minyanville is to map out the dynamic and provide you with the insight to make better decisions for yourself.

  • This will surely renew the chatter of euro-denominated commodities

  • I love you mom.

  • S&P 1140 and NDX 1405 (former support) are initial resistance while S&P 1153-63 and NDX 1460 remain staunch resistance.

  • XBD 130 (if and when) will be support for Duke & Duke but broader suport is a ways away. XBD 137.50 (200-day) and XBD 144 remain upside lines in the sand.

  • Technicals are simply a framework, we know, but lotsa hedgies have grown dependent on this metric as a risk definition tool.

  • Please be sure to circle August 18-21st for our second annual Minyans in the Mountains financial retreat in Santa Barbara, California. We'll announce particulars in early May and I promise that they'll blow away any expectations that you may have. We come to the 'Ville everyday to help find our collective way. This event will embody that effort and highlight the human capital that is the Minyan network.

This will be my last column of the week as I head west to pay my respects and offer support to a friend. There is loss and loss--this I know--and I will leave the 'Ville in the capable hands of my fellow professors. I thank you in advance for your kind understanding as some things trump the flickering ticks.

At the end of our journey, we will all ask ourselves "Was I a good friend? Did I do the right thing?" That answer is defined by our everyday actions and this decision is a no brainer for yours truly. Good luck, trade smart and think positive--we'll get there.

Good luck today.


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