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Do YOU have what it takes to be my leading man?


Good morning and welcome to the perfect storm. As Isabel arrived in the U.S.A, the bulls broke out to dance and play. The bears got blasted, the upside lasted and those caught short were just lambasted. Will the race continue as it rains or will the ursine stem their insane pain? It's freaky Friday in Minyanville and the crowd is here so come on in and join the cheer!

With the market climbing to new heights, the shorts have shared a painful plight. Why doubt the clout of the tout if making coin is what it's all about? That's the question that they share as the Minx ramps on her upside tear. Indeed, the momentum is fierce, the leadership is broad and everyone now has climbed aboard. In other words, how does one weigh the abstract negatives against the tangible metrics that seem to point to the moon, Alice?

We've spoken ad nauseum about the liquidity that's been pumped into the system by Sir Elmer and his printing plant. That injected demand, coupled with incrementally improving fundamentals and bubbly psychology pushed the tape through major resistance as traders returned from their summer vacations. After a few weeks of Sammy's salsa and a handful of preannouncements in the financial (mortgage lending) space, a new layer of shorts filtered into the mix. Yesterday, that fur was added to the bon fire of the vanities.

So here we stand. The charts look splendid across the board, portfolio managers are playing ketchup, earnings seem to be validating and the electoral agenda is in full swing. How do you balance that against the possible derailments? It's difficult (if not impossible) to guard against an exogenous shock, the record pace of insider sales hasn't mattered nor, for that matter, has the uber-crowded bull camp or widespread complacency. The bubble taught us that irrationality can outlast solvency and the higher they go, the more people believe.

The difficulty of a momentum driven market is that if you're wrong, you're very wrong. That fact has removed a lot of bears from the equation which has furthered the drive higher while, at the same time, removed an eventual throng of demand. That won't matter until it does--and until it does, focusing on the potential negatives will continue to be costly. When it does, however, chances are that the pop culture will sing a collective "Oops, I did it again!"

I can't (nor would I ever) tell any Minyan what to do--that's not what we're all about--but sometimes we can share how we do it. Hedges aren't just for gardeners, my friends, and with volatility so cheap, it may pay to toss on some cheapie downsides (if you're lugging long stock). This would allow for continued participation on the upside while protecting you from any unexpected surprises. Basically, your risk profile morphs from a "naked long" position to a "long call" position. Just a random thought as we edge into the fray.

Finally, it's D-day for the Critters Choice Awards big screen scream and when the clock strikes twelve, our animated auction will officially close its doors. Sean Michael Mueller--Bronco nut extraordinaire--enters the home stretch atop the leader board. The high bid and high noon will score a starring role in the first ever Minyanville trailer that will premiere at the Critters Choice Awards in New York City on November 12. You can almost hear Daisy--and the kids--cheering in the background!

Good luck today.

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