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Random Thoughts


I think it's telling that there's no such thing as a mechanical bear...

  • Does anyone else see the humor in this?

  • Pass the Herb!

  • "How soon the labor of men would make a paradise of the whole earth, were it not for misgovernment, and a diversion of all his energies from their proper object -- the happiness of man -- to the selfish interest of kings, nobles, and priests." -- Thomas Jefferson to Ellen W. Coolidge, 1825

  • The growing need for fiscal literacy.

  • Have you properly perused the Ojai awards?

  • HGX 516-518 is, uh, was where the homies broke out from (and retested in June). Please keep it on ye housing radar.

  • Making the case for being a bit more patient on the precious metals.

  • A Red Barn Party casualty.

  • Vibes from the uber-snazzy Snoop Tony Dwyer of FTN Midwest Securities:

    • The strong durable goods orders during June have been reversed by a weak number in July. The reason that is important is it likely means the ISM readings have been overstated in the recent two months as well.

    • Remember our ISM signal since 1982; each time the ISM moves from > 55 to < 55, it breaks 50 and the Fed has never raised rates when it is under 50 since we moved to a services based economy. This is very important, because the upcoming ISM could suggest the recent two strong months could be reversed to some degree.

    • Bottom line - Now that everyone has priced in Fed rate hikes through 4%, evidence could come over the next couple of months suggesting the Fed may just take a break after the next hike or two (which is already priced into the market). The ISM will be released Sept. 1.

  • Energy Crisis!

  • The weekly investor's intelligence survey finds a drop in the number of bulls to 56.8% from 57.3% prior while Boo's crew of bears grew to 25% from 22.5% prior.

  • Wax off!

  • One of the "sharpest" trading ideas I heard in Ojai (which is entirely different than advice) was to buy out-of-the-money puts in the financials and short out-of-the-money puts in energy. This may not be the optimal entry point (if you think crude is gonna dip) but it sounds like snazzy big picture vibe.

  • Shocker!

  • "One of my shorter-term models is about as oversold as it gets, at least over the past couple of years, so if the stats (posted on today's Buzz) prove out again and we drift lower, I'll become more concerned that this is not a garden-variety correction and instead maybe a precursor to a larger-degree trend change." -- Jason Goepfert on today's Buzz.

  • Yet another Red Barn Party aftershock!

  • When the inevitable pullback in crude arrives, will the consensus be that it's stimulative (to the economy) or indicative of a global slowdown?

  • Crude discussions.

  • Is JP Morgan (JPM) the next Fannie Mae (FNM)?

  • Questions I'd really like to milk.

  • Please note that the gold 50- and 200-day moving average both live near $432.

  • Who's your daddy?!?!

  • "The hourly charts have developed channel formations with a downward bias over the last few weeks. Obviously a bullish call is premature until an upside break in this formation develops. On the sentiment front, Rydex data shows a modest contraction in the % of assets dedicated to their energy fund. It's about what we'd expect given the magnitude of the pull-back in the sector. Generally, investors in the long/short funds appear to be very skittish as they increase bearish short positions. These numbers are still neutral in our eyes, suggesting directionally, that people's concerns are mounting, but those concerns have not yet reached an extreme that appears exploitable." -- Lehman technician Jeff DeGraaf

  • Class morass.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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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