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Randoms: The Reaction to the News


The matador crowd tries to build momentum.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial). It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also All Aboard? and The Punditry Problem: An Insider's Take on Financial Media.

Gate Sniffage! - 10:05 am

  • Whoops, there it is--the S&P dumped General Electric's (GE) AAA rating that's been in place since 1956. The zillion dollar question is how much of that is baked into a stock that's down almost 80% since 2007 and 50% in 2008. Top tell status? As the savvy soothsayin' Jeff Saut would say, "You betcha!"

  • When I've got big risk on, I mentally "flip my book" (longs become shorts, shorts become longs) for purposes of perspective (seeing both sides). We--the collective we--have a subconscious tendency to see the data points that support our stance. That can be dangerous and it's a constant process to avoid falling into that trap.

  • Eyes of the World? JP Morgan (JPM) is another important tell, Apple (AAPL) flipped the upside switch in the pre-market (catching my eye and potentially demand), breadth is 3:1 negative (doesn't qualify as a tell until 10:00) and commodities (energy and metals) trade dry despite a grabby greenback.

  • Call me a tree hugger but I think the alarming plight of coral reefs deserves a mention despite the global focus on the financial crisis.

  • I'm supposed to head to Los Angeles next week for some important melds but for the life of me, I can't imagine stepping away from the tape at this juncture.

  • Where the heck did Jody Watley come from? She's been in my head all morning.

  • I wanna trade from the long side but I've yet to bet my hard earned coin (don't blink). If my greatest cost is that of opportunity, I'll consider myself fortunate indeed. I'm keying off GE and JP Morgan as a tag-team tell--if they find a bid, it'll serve as a carrot to the market horse.

  • Good luck Minyans--be the ball.

Guilty Pleasures! - 11:53 am

I've never been accused of being a slacker but for some reason, it sometimes feels like I'm spinning my wheels. Despite best efforts--which includes this--it often feels like several stones are left unturned. I'm not complaining (it's a heckuva lot better than the alternative), I'm just sayin' there's a lot going at the crossroads of finance and media.

Focusing on the former:

  • How 'bout some snappage for the brand spankin' new Minyanville Options section?

  • The SEC says regulators may move on mark-to-market and fair value accounting within weeks. Again, that's more drugs and less medicine but it could shift the path we take to our ultimate destination.

  • What did my eyes spy while jugglin' cats this morning? In no particular order, General Electric (GE) and JP Morgan (JPM) (as flagged this morning), American Express (AXP) (trades like it has the black lung), the lethargy in the energy patch (despite the 3% rally in crude), 2:1 positive breadth, the master betas trade heavy, other than Apple (AAPL) (Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Research in Motion (RIMM), Baidu (BIDU)) and the dollar holds a bid.

  • Circling back beta, could it be as easy as a sector rotation back into the financials?

  • Remember when trading was predicated on sector rotation, fundamentals, technicals and the such? Ah, the innocence of it all.

  • While my tea leaves (and inclination) point higher in the near-term, I haven't had time to catch my breath much less craft a risk profile. As such, I'm doing what any self-respecting man would do right now--taking a walk around the block.

  • Good luck Minyans, and as always, I hope this finds you well.


No positions in stocks mentioned.

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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