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Random Thoughts


The financials just aren't participating in my party!


  • When was the last time you smiled so hard that your face hurt?

  • The semis appear to be breaking out while the financials are lagging. That's a recipe for N's over S's.

  • The Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE) 50-day moving average has crossed over the 200-day moving average (on the downside). That's a technical negative.

  • The Jinx surmounted 10,000 for the first time in a year.

  • Your thumb is the same length as your nose.

  • VIX breaks 20.

  • The breadth is minty fresh thus far.

  • My brother called from Camden Yards and left an explicative-filled message on my voice mail. The Yankees must be in town!

  • The SOX has traded as high as 413 on an intraday basis (since June) but hasn't closed above 402ish. Watch this group as the day evolves.

  • This from Minyan Robert Pederson: "Admiral Stockdale was the highest ranking US officer held as a POW during the Vietnam War. He was asked several times why he and others like him were able to survive so long in captivity. Once, he was also asked who did not make it back home. He replied "the optimists." He said they were always thinking "we'll be home by Christmas." Christmas would come and go. Then it would be "we'll be home by Independence Day." Before you know it, Thanksgiving would be here, another Christmas would pass, and so on. He said that eventually, the optimists died "of a broken heart" as they constantly deluded themselves into thinking their release was just around the corner. He said that those who survived never doubted they would return home, but they also knew they were in for a long, hard struggle. It is rather gruesome, but it would seem the "second half recovery" crowd (for the third year in a row) are analogous to the optimists."

  • The sideways Sally (since early June) has sanded the edges off the near-term picture. That, in a nutshell, is why discipline is uber-important right now regardless of your posture.

  • Did you hold your thumb up to your nose yet?

  • Did you ever notice that it says on the box of Pop-Tarts "Warning: pastry filling may be hot when heated."

  • With vols so low, stock replacements and upside hedges (via calls) make a ton of sense. I've employed the latter strategy (to a degree) as the SOX edged through resistance. This allows me to hold onto my downside exposure (financials) while playing the semi breakouts (Texas Instruments (TXN:NASD) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD:NYSE) with defined risk.

  • If (big if) the Minx does breakout, rolling stops is a smart methodology for the active Minyans among you (protects against a false breakout).

  • It's not necessary to play every move, it's only necessary to have a high win percentage on the moves you choose to play.

  • 20 days until the Raiders begin the long journey back to the Super Bowl.

  • With the Dow and Semis giving buy signals, I've adopted a more neutral delta position with fairly sizable gamma. With vols this low, I wanna be long puts (as a spec) and calls (as a hedge). This way, I'll profit from a breakout or breakdown (but will drip premium if we slither sideways).


  • I just heard some low level anthrax chatter. I can't confirm its legitimacy but it's out there.

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position in spx, fnm, amd, txn

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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