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Random Thoughts


Nice set list!

  • Todd Christian, 26, who flies 40 feet through the air as "Todd the Human Cannonball" for Britain's Cottle and Austin Circus, was fired because he refused a training assignment in Brazil, protesting that he doesn't like long airplane flights. (Agence France-Presse).

  • Those weighing social security reform will do well to read the United Airlines pension mention in yesterday's NYT Business Section.

  • Please "see" the action in the CRB as the commodity index pushed through multiple tops at 313. Not a shocker given the jig in crude and the action in the metals but worth a mention as we fit the puzzle together. CRB 323 (March highs) become the next technical bogie.

  • "With a focus on potentially higher interest rates back in vogue, the utilities are suddenly struggling to find traction. The PHLX Utilities Sector Index (UTY) will give its first point & figure sell signal since May with a move below 426. Note the HGX also feeling the sting today." -- Pepe Depew on today's Buzz.

  • There's a lot of prepping in front of MiM2 but perhaps the most critical element is delivering a "set list wish list" for the Saturday night barn blowout. I took an initial stab at it this weekend and arrived at the following tunes. Please feel free to toss suggestions in the ring (regardless if you'll be there).

    • Bad- U2,
    • Black- Pearl Jam,
    • Little Wing- Jimi,
    • Shining Star- Jerry Garcia Band,
    • One More Saturday Night- Grateful Dead,
    • Yer So Bad- Tom Petty,
    • Peace Frog- Zeppelin,
    • Wish You Were Here- Floyd,
    • Neil Young/CSN (pick 'em),
    • Running to Stand Still- U2,
    • Midnight Rider- Allman Bros,
    • Bertha- Grateful Dead,
    • LA Woman- Doors,
    • John Mayer,
    • Aiko Aiko--> Woman are Smarter
    • Minyans in the Mountains (sung to 'Fire on the Mountain)- Grateful Dead

  • "Bottom line: it's too early to short stocks aggressively, but being a bull is a consensus call. Treasuries are looking heavier and heavier and we suspect the damage is not yet complete in the asset class. Stocks have room for continued upside, but we prefer dormant names breaking out such as Telecom. SPX support at 1185 and count resistance up around 1275." Lehman's aptly named technician Jeff DeGraaf

  • The difference between mistakes and lessons is an ability to learn from them.

  • Interesting juncture for Citigroup (C) as it edges back to breakdown resistance (44) just as the stochastics are about to hook positively. Ditto for Microsoft (MSFT) as it tickles the 200-day.

  • The pilgrimage to Ojai takes a detour.

  • See the rude 'tude in crude as we edge towards July's high ($61.90/brl).

  • "As many portfolios will attest, the telecom sector has seen better days. The group, as a % of the S&P 500, peaked at 10% in August 1993 and then deteriorated for nearly four years until it made a low and turned in July 1997 at 5.72% of the S&P 500. Less than two years later the index completed a lower high when it topped out at 8.8% of the S&P 500 in February 1999. Currently, the index is about 3% of the S&P 500 or just above the low of 2.85% seen in February of this year. We figure it's pretty safe to say that if there is a turn developing in this sector that it's "still early." We're concentrating on the following stocks, some of which are not traditional telecoms (i.e., equipment, ADRs, etc), with improving to good technical set-ups:

    NTT Docomo (DCM), France Telecom (FTE), CenturyTel (CTL), KT Corp (KTC), Sprint (FON), Alamosa Holdings (APCS), Alltel (AT), Converse Tech (CMVT), and Viasat (VSAT)."
    -- Uber-Minyan John Roque of Natexis Bleichroeder

  • According to police in Shreveport, Louisiana Jared Gipson, 24, had entered Blalock's Beauty College looking to rob the place but left "crying, bleeding and under arrest" after the 20 students and teachers -- almost all women -- wrestled him down and attacked him with curling irons, chairs and a table leg, as well as their fists. Manager Dianne Mitchell had led the charge, tripping Gipson as he headed out the door, then yelling "Get that sucker!" (Shreveport Times)

  • Some analogs in the S's and N's from General Fari Hamzei.
  • "Greed is always hard to measure. Assuredly we saw "tech stock" greed back in the late 1990s, just like we are seeing "real estate" greed currently. Yet, we have seen greed before. In the 1960s it was the "go go" stocks epitomized by bowling alleys, color TVs, conglomerates, Alaskan oil, Florida land, double knits, air pollution, soft contact lenses, etc. In the 1970s it was all about commodities. In the early 1980s, other than in oil, nobody was greedy after index-type mutual funds had returned ZERO capital appreciation for 16 years, save their dividend yield, which for the major indices at the 1982 bottom was over 6%. In the late-1980s/early-1990s it was about Michael Milken and l-e-v-e-r-a-g-e!" MiM2 Keynote Jeff Saut of Raymond James.

  • Thus far, the anticipated monthly inflows have yet to spur the bovine herd. Market internals (skewed by the bund bonds) have come off their best levels and are relatively flat. The question becomes one of patience and fortitude for the Madator Crowd. My sense-for what it's worth-is that the longer it takes to find the bid, the less likely it becomes that it evolves at all.

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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

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