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Buzz Bits: Dow, Nasdaq Finish In the Green


Your daily Buzz highlights...


Editor's Note: This is a small sample of the content available on the Buzz and Banter.

Bell Buzz - Todd Harrison - 3:56 PM

  • How was the CNBC gig? I don't remember--as soon as they started playing Sinatra, I couldn't get the tune out of my keppe!

  • I continue to see upside calls for sale as fund managers scramble for crumbs of performance. That could fuel short covering down the road but it also adds a slew of compression to an already compressed tape.

  • Remember, a "buy write" (long stock, short calls) is the same exact risk profile as a naked short put.

  • The best of times, the worst of times? The "read" I'm getting is that alotta funds are piled into the same trade. Hey, the rising tide could lift all boats and it better----there aren't enough life rafts to go around!

  • It's been a long day and we're only half way there. I'm gonna jump and juggle as we ready for the last MVHQ staff meeting of August, 2006. And then? Succofest, Santoli style...and there's a rumor that Miss Stephanie Pomboy will be joining us as well.

  • Have a fantastic night, Minyans, and I'll see YOU tomorrow.


Hi Honey! - Kevin Depew - 1:22 PM

  • While everyone continues to cheer for Fannie Mae (FNM) (Fannie Mae I? Why, sure you can!) Note that Freddie Mac (FRE) is registering a TD-Combo sell signal today... and now off 1.4%
  • The Oil Service HLDRs (OIH) has formed a long-term head and shoulders top going back to February (see the chart here via The break at 130 violated the 132 neckline. The subsequent bounce looks like possibly the "kiss goodbye."
  • A preliminary downside objective based on the new breakdown at 138 counts to 118.
  • Deflation Watch: Dollar up, bonds up, commodities down... are we there yet?
  • Wonder what happens when you add a prolonged (and still seemingly endless) two-week moving event, a lot of missing furniture and five straight days without sunlight to the Day Couples Are Most Likely to Fight? I should find out in about six hours (gulp). Hi honey!

Check point - Brian Gilmartin - 1:03 PM

Novellus (NVLS) updates the investment community with its mid-quarter update tonight after the close.

Given that Applied Materials (AMAT) lowered 4Q order guidance and the stock is higher, and National Semi (SEMI) warned, lowered eps and revenue guidance and the stock closed higher the next day on heavier-than-average volume, I was wondering if NVLS would continue the streak.

Semi's have had a scorching August, and we'd actually like to see them stabilize a bit to allow for longer-term investors to buy at decent levels, so I was actually hoping NVLS would spoil the party here and depress the group.

position in AMAT and select semis

Ask a Californian - Jeff Macke - 12:18 PM

In life, as in golf, it's important to keep a balance between work and play. Why, just last night I had my loyal caddy/man-servant Odd-Job reading my emails for dictated response when we came across the following note from last Thursday:

"Any thoughts on why Costco (COST) would be under-performing the Retail ETF (RTH) today (Thursday, August 24th)?"

Casually dropping some grass to check wind direction, I came to a decision: I'd let Mr. 8-Iron be our guide! Just seconds later I knew the answer. Costco (per Mr. 8-iron) was slightly over-reaching, hoping to tuck its quarter just beyond the trap and safely near a front pin. Alas, as the quarter neared its apex, the warm head-winds of fate stepped up, causing the effort to fall slightly but horrifically short of the intended target. Presumably the company then tried to smooth the results over with some mediocre wedge play but had left itself too long a putt to save the quarter/the par/it's $2 Nassau.

So, it was a miss but at least it wasn't my driver/ Wal-Mart (WMT), spraying itself all over the place like a feral, threatened cat promising to someday return to dominance by finding every fairway/micro-marketing in all 4,000-odd stores.

The lesson, as always, is that I need to play more golf. That or get another Odd-Job.

Playing the waiting game - Adam Michael - 12:09 PM

Minyans at Minyans in the Mountains III know that I have been bearish on crude for several weeks due to the all-time high Open Interest and bearish Net Short position by the Commercials. Today we got the latest weekly Petroleum Data report which showed a larger than expected build in crude inventories (bearish for crude).

I am looking forward to Friday's COT data to see if Commercials unwound any more of their net short position. My gut says crude finds a bottom around $68ish, but I plan to let the data prove it to me as I'd like to see Commercials go flat (or even long) crude futures.

Silver Bells - Adam Warner - 8:50 AM

Congrats to Toddo on the Raiders signing of Jeff George. Just Win, Baby!

Despite this news, silver the commodity remains notably non volatile.

A couple of interesting things in regards to commodity performance here, in addition to the overall CRB break. First off, I would think the stocks themselves would either be leading the way, i.e. getting plowed right now, or in total non-confirmation. But really neither is happening. This PAAS vs. Silver chart is pretty representative; a whole lotta nothing.

Secondly, I would expect option volatility to perk up. Even on a relative basis, as it can't ignore the calender. But that's not happening either, as options in the Commodity stock space act as poorly as anywhere.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you hold a chart break party, don't do it on a pre-holiday week.

Position in PAAS

What you need to know... - Jon Doctor J Najarian - 8:10 AM

Google (GOOG) CEO Takes Apple (AAPL) Board Seat - Sure it's another feather in his cap, but doesn't Eric Schmidt have enough to do, given Sergy and Larry's lack of focus? I mean Mr. Schmidt already sits on the Princeton University board of trustees and GOOG is $100 (21%) under its recent highs.

Schering-Plough (SGP) Pays $435 Million For Medicaid Fraud – Yet another firm buys its way out of criminal wrongdoing. This time the tab is $435 million and a guilty plea for conspiracy and overcharging Medicaid for certain drugs.

Costco (COST) Warns! Shares of the discount retailer will most certainly be hit on news released this morning that earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter would come in below consensus analyst estimates due to thinner-than-expected profit margins and an income-tax charge. Shares closed at $49.25.

Positions in AAPL, COST

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