Freaky Friday Potpourri
Whereas I used to be all about the bigger, better things, I've come to appreciate the little, mindful things...
See some old friends, it's good for the soul! Last night, after enjoying some mindful time with the Wassongs, Succos and Kellners, the Queen and I made a quick cameo to wish my good friend Steve Starker happy birthday. I don't do those Wall Street shuffles as often as I used to but I'll tell ya, it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces. There's alotta good cookies on the Street and it's amazing how many of them are Minyans.
And yes, that explains the slightly tardy Friday opener. It's all good though, balance is something I've yet to master but continue to strive for.
The BKX broke the 50-day yesterday for the first time since early June--remember how much fun that was? BKX 109ish is the Auggie low and alotta folks are eyeing that level as we edge towards the weekend.
Strange how the "lower crude, higher stocks" causation has seemingly ceased to exist as reasons for the Minxy rhyme. With Texas Tea off 13% this past month, the S&P is clinging to a 2% gain. Keep close tabs on crude as it's sitting directly on its 200-day moving average for the first time since March.
Keep close tabs on those metals, Mon Frere, as gold is getting scolded for another $10 and silver is off 4%. If the asset class deflation vs. dollar devaluation thesis is in tact, equities should eventually shoulder further supply.
And yes, that would lead to higher levels of volatility, which I think is simply a matter of time.
I've gotten a flood of emails this past week from folks either A) looking for jobs on the Street, B) leaving the Street altogether or C) generally fed up with the Street. This is par for the course in the long, hard road and my fear is that it'll continue. How far? Well, when financials no longer comprise the highest weighting in the S&P---or, dare I say, toggle to the other side of that spectrum--we'll readdress the mess. Can't happen, you say? Tell that to those loaded to the gills with energy in the early 70's.
Trouble Ahead, Homies are Red! Lennar Corp (LEN) cut its 3Q EPS guidance to $1.25-1.35 from $1.90-1.95 and vs. $1.81 cons, saying the housing market has continued to deteriorate, and given difficult market conditions, it has limited land purchases. This is the fourth bullet in two days, Minyans, so watch this sector for signs of slippage or traction. And remember, there's a difference between housing stocks, real estate and land. If that trifecta were a butterfly, I would be short the guts and flat the wings.
"The bounce off the lows eliminated the "extremely rare" back-to-back gap from low days, but here is another random weekly chart observation. It's worth noting that the SPX took out last week's low today forming an outside week (and from a multi-month high). The close is critical tomorrow for the SPX. But you may be surprised to know the NDX weekly chart hasn't made lower low since the week of July expiration. Given that the high of this week in the NDX is almost exactly 50% of the year's range, I'd think we see a lower low on the weekly chart next week. The last time the NDX had 7 higher lows on the weekly chart? Nov. 2004. And prior to then you have to go back to 1999." Jason Roney on yesterday's Buzz.
A Mindful Mailbag
"I gotta tell ya, there's something to be said for opening a taco shack on a beach. When I was younger, I used to look at that existence through vastly different eyes than I do now. I suppose my definition of wealth is a lot different now than it was then." Todd Harrison, Buzz & Banter,
September 7, 2006
Your definition of wealth may have changed, but my guess is a lot of people would find it easier to live for self worth instead of net worth if they could trade checkbooks with you. I look forward to the day when I can step off the hamster wheel and spend more time focusing on the important stuff, but I think I'm still a couple zeros in the net worth dept away from doing that. Not intended as a dig at all, because you do spend more time preaching the important stuff than any Street guy I know, but I'm sure you remember the days when you were in my shoes and didn't have the luxury of taking quick trips to Costa Rica, let alone thoughts of opening taco shacks. Minyan C.
I wrote a column a while back called The Money Tree, which walked through some (painful) lessons that I've learned on the Street. While your point is well taken--I know why most of us do what we do--it's a means to an end. My intention in blurbing that stream of consciousness was simply to highlight my shift in perspective. Whereas I used to be all about the bigger, better things, I've come to appreciate the little, mindful things. It's taken a round trip to get there but I'm a better man for it.
I understand that I sometimes enjoy luxuries that others don't--taking my fiancé away for her 30th birthday among them--but take me at my word when I tell you that my lifestyle is considerably different and entirely more toned down than it once was. My sense is that in the years ahead, there will be a lot of self-introspection and moral revaluation as we take stock of what truly matters. And that, for many, will be a tough nut to swallow as they learn the distinction between self-worth and net worth.
Perhaps I'm already feeling the effects of Monday as the five year anniversary creeps up. I no longer measure years by the calendar as I live from September to September. I won't pretend that this is an easy time of the year but I'm trying to use it as a personal catalyst for growth. Many of my friends and colleagues have buried the memories but they'll eventually creep back into their consciousness. For me, I write...and share...as it's been a catharsis on more levels than I can possibly communicate.
So yes, my friend, I know we're not all in the same boat financially. But we're on the same journey and my intention was to speak to that point.
Thanks--and have a great weekend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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