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Random Thoughts


Will this wishbone (N's over S's) snap soon!


  • We know all about the Yukos yuck and the Mid East muck. But keep an eye on Sudan as well...

  • What's causing the bid in the marketplace? It's not as simple as the Bernstein semiconductor note--although that may have helped spur the sentiment shift. It feels to me as if the beta chase is fueling the race and the "fear of missing" is the dominant theme. Why? The participatory groups are of the high beta ilk--Google (GOOG:NASD) is my net proxy, the semicaps are "moveable" and the thinner names are boasting the most jig. Can it last? Yep. Is buying because "they're higher" dangerous? Oh yeah...

  • With that said, please note that the financials and consumers can't seem to find sponsorship yet. I gotta think attention is starting to shift towards tomorrow's rate hike in the face of further proof of a softening economy.

  • Hopkins is lucky he knocked out Oscar Saturday night. If it was close--and it was--the judges would have surely given the nod to De la Hoya with hopes of hookin' a rematch.

  • The Kerry Ferry isn't ready to return to port yet.

  • Breadth remains marginally negative across the boad.

  • Jon Stewart won a coupla Emmys last night for his ability to bridge entertainment and media. The critters are encouraged by that effort!

  • Credit Nation!

  • We may not want to talk about it and you may not agree with it. Still, as we wade through the psychology bubble, we must acknowledge it as a potential prick.

  • Despite the udder, er, utter spanking the Yanks delivered to the BoSox, I am a bit worried by Mariano Rivera. He seemed tentative and lacked confidence during his Friday night blow. If he pulls a Knoblach, it's all over but the shouting.

  • The Roach Motel. Bovine check in but they won't check out.

  • Minyan Jeff Saut from Raymond James--who, in my opinion, is as good as it gets--offers some nice nuggets in his Monday missive: 1) Historically, with money supply falling and consumer sentiment waning, stocks have stumbled. 2) Perhaps that's why the savvy commercial floor traders have their largest net short position in the S&P 500 futures since early July 2002. 3) In seven of the last eight years, equities began September well but ended the month poorly. 4) If he "had" to go long something, it would be the VIX as he believes "it has nowhere to go but up." Boo and I agree in lockstep.

  • Congrats to my Silver and Black on win #1. While Buffalo's onside kick was a tad close for comfort, we'll take the "W" and welcome our dance with Chucky next week. Ahh...if only Corey Dillon found his way to the hole...

  • If it were easy, everyone would do it.

  • "The last week can best be characterized by a loss of momentum. Not that momentum in this market was ever spectacular, or suggestive of much more than an oversold bounce, but what had developed decayed a bit over the last 5-days. Our Trifecta, which measures breadth, volume and price, is close to turning negative, while accumulation signals for the SPX remain elusive. The percentage of issues above their 50-day moving average on the SPX now stands at 80%, an overbought reading, but one that continues to expand. That matches our master price proximity oscillator which also suggests a market stretched from its regressed mean, but we caution that these indicators rarely provide good sell signals as they expand." -Jeff DeGraaf of Lehman Brothers.

  • Session lows for Citgroup (C:NYSE).

  • Three steps and a stumble? No, I'm not talking about Edson Gould--I'm talking about my diet riot. After a strong showing out of the gate (225 lbs. to 216.5 lbs), I've rediscovered the joy of food. I enter the new week tippin' the scales at 220 lbs. and must now get back on the slim saddle.

  • Current psychology is a tug-o-war between A) and B).

  • The Sunday New York Times reports that the big city is now 27th most expensive place to live in the world (Tokyo tapped top billing). It's a function of the declining dollar and, if my big picture bent proves true, folks will wake up one day to find that their savings has suffered a similar fate. Most folks don't stop to think about the basis of their investments or--more likely--think they're "safe" in cash.

  • Overcapacity? You can't walk a single city block without finding a bank.

  • We've long discussed the fugly food chain that is Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE) but the mortgage lender seems impervious to prolonged pain. Still, please give this situation the proper respect as news and clues emerge from Washington. While many view the F-troop as "too big to fail," the ripples associated with curtailed lending or accounting "guidelines" would have profound effects throughout the financial industry. Keep it on your radar, please, and understand the enormity of the crosscurrents.

  • Note the NDX 200-day resting above at 1400. That's the level the beta chasers are hoping to mount.

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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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