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Randoms: The Law of Attraction


The Universe has a way of coming full circle.

  • I don't feel tardy!

  • The standout action out of this morning's gate was the insta-smackage in big beta, including Apple (AAPL) (which broke the trendline and is sitting on previous acne support), Baidu (BIDU) and Amazon (AMZN).

  • Research in Motion (RIMM) has out-performed it's peers on a relative basis (flattish) and Hoofy, looking for some bang-for-the-buck quarter-end beta exposure, surely spied that.

  • As discussed in real-time on the Buzz & Banter, I joined him for a trade, set my initial stop below session lows and have trailed it up in kind.

  • You know what I was thinking about last night (in addition to brownies, age and friendships)? State solvency and municipalities. The government is already up Shivtz Creek without a paddle and states are starting to crystallize as the next potential shoe (as everyone watches commercial real estate).

  • Keep Bank of America (BAC) (+3%) on your radar as it's earned the "single best tell" title for the time being.

  • Beats being the single whitest female, right?

  • If you were out yesterday and want a bead on my feel for the tape, please check out the Quarterback.

  • I would be remiss if I didn't sincerely thank Charlie, J-Roh, Dave, Dan and Brendan for doing such a snazzy job! Top notch boyz... seriously.

  • Time horizon and risk profile are critical contexts when discussing financial posturing. Given my big picture bent, my inclination is to trade from the short-side under S&P 950. That doesn't preclude upside tries, it simply means they should serve as the salmon to the broader stream as we stair-step our way towards tomorrow.

  • While both the dollar and assets classes can decline in sync, a lower greenback is a necessary precursor to higher asset classes.

  • Through that lens, we must respect (but not defer to) the fact that the greenback is at session lows.

  • Other tells are mixed--breadth is balanced, the banks are bid big beta lags and we're in "no man's land" above S&P 875 and below S&P 900.

  • One step at a time, Minyans, in the markets as with life.

Warning: The Following Content Has Nothing To Do With the Tape!

File this under the "weirdness" department and please allow for some creative latitude as it is my 40th.

At the beginning of the Hoofy and Boo tribute video Friday night, there was a pencil drawn picture of a Time Magazine cover with hundreds of small numbers surrounding a hand drawn man. At the bottom left of the page were the words "Todd Harrison, Wall Street Wizard."

Now, you know me--I'm a humble guy. I bit my lip wondering who would play such a prank? Figuring it was one of the (many) loving digs that were tossed my way.

Yesterday, while speaking with my mother, she informed me that I wrote it when I was a kid. I had no idea--it didn't even register--until she sent me a copy today.

The accompanying letter read:

"I've decided how to spend my life...I want to be a financial advisor/money manager. I want to read outside materials on the stock market and the national economy. I want to own a Porsche and be on the cover of Time (see illustration). I want to make money and go to Wall Street. If I write a newsletter at $200 a year and we have 1500 people...well, you can multiply."

I don't know about you but I think that's just plain spooky. It also "fits" quite nicely with the over-arching theme of the false idolatry of money that we discuss in Memoirs of a Minyan (the third chapter is set to publish tomorrow).

Someone once told me that the Law of Attraction is the most powerful force in the universe; that you have to "put it out there" for it to come true. I share this for that reason and with hopes that Minyans around the globe dare to dream and reach for the stars.

Minyan Mailbag

Hi Toddo,

Kindly please ignore my lack of understanding and explain what do you mean by this statement?

"The leaders coming out of a crisis are never the same as the leaders that enter it. Through that lens, it's a great time to be a boutique shop on Wall Street."

Of course at your convenience.

Thank you,
Minyan K

Minyan K,

The smaller shops--those not lugging balance sheet baggage--will emerge as winners in the new Wall Street World. If you remember when we discussed the "State of the Art" on Wall Street in 2006, we offered:

"Traditional brokers will need to highlight their human capital and provide a platform that marries low cost trading solutions with real-time information flow. The current "one and done" morning call won't cut it, not in the world of instant messages and real-time decision making.

Therein lies the task at hand for financial professionals around the world-the sell-side, once a conduit of execution, must reassert themselves and demonstrate relative and compliant value if they're to stay in the mix.

There will always be a Wall Street and a need for capital markets. The trick, for an industry mired in overcapacity, is to proactively adapt before the trade passes them by."

The leaders coming out of a crisis are never the same as those that enter it. Just as Minyanville Media is skating to where the puck is going (rather than where it was), several boutique brokers are doing the same and gaining share. The emergence of shops like WJB Capital and BTIG speak to this evolving trend. That's not to say there won't be white shoe firms like Goldman (GS) and Morgan (MS) in the mix, it simply speaks to the opportunity that exists for niche players.

Hope this helps--thanks!


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