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Trading Lessons: How to Take a Beating


Getting knocked out -- and staying in the ring.


Greetings from New York, where I just got back from a weekend in Miami with Mrs. Jeffmacke and one of her best friends. Women can make best friends from grade school and keep them until their dying day. Men have to sniff one another out for an extended period of time and get a feel for what makes a guy tick before they can get totally comfortable with him. Not to say we can't (or don't) bust one another's chops within seconds of meeting (and certainly during the first time we play a round of golf). It's just that we must know what a guy's been through (and how he's handled what he's been through), to have his back under any circumstance.

Mrs. Jeffmacke's friend, Holly, is married to a guy named Rich. Rich was a dot-com gazillionaire gone bust. He handled it by remaking the money in a wildly different field. He just stayed in the ring, took his pounding like a man, and moved forward, using the lessons he'd learned during the beatdown. I consider him a friend for life.

My best friends -- the guys I'd call from a vermin-filled dumpster with nothing but a cellphone on me (no one would steal an iPod these days) -- have all taken a pounding and thrived after it. That's shorthand for they have wontons the size of LeBron James' fist. Todd-O, Pepe, Adam Warner, Ryan Krueger, scores of readers, and even the non-Minyans in my life have done well by being there for a friend they thought was going through some pain. My friends, I've been through pain I couldn't imagine sharing with any but a few.

Being an internet Pyrrha for a week? Minyans, I thank you for your continued well wishes. I am truly moved by them. But I've been mulling different angles on a comeback since it happened. I'll be fine because I know how to take a beating. I don't like it, but I can take it --and ask for more. I know exactly who I am. That awareness either destroys you or makes you largely impervious to games of hardball.

Much less philosophically and more practically speaking, here's what I'm watching as I get back into the swing of the tape:

  • I charted out some purple-crayon-based graphs last week that never got used for Wednesday's Fast Money. And, no real news to Minyans, I expressed my concern for the bullish side of the trade on Ford (F), Apple (AAPL), and Goldman Sachs (GS). Of the 3, I missed one major move in Apple (the most recent) and caught a few different moves in the others. But the crayon was telling me to sell, so I listened. I'm quite fine with not owning any of them. Of the 3, Apple is lower, Goldman is higher, and Ford is bouncing along support at $6.


    Click here to enlarge

    Goldman Sachs

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    Click here to enlarge

  • Speaking of Apple, short of Steve Jobs cartwheeling on stage while simultaneously typing a comprehensible message, I'll be back in a Pre or a Blackberry soon. I dig having all my songs on my phone. I abhor having to type text messages 9 times and getting no reception in my home area. In this case, I'm delighted to give in to the hate.

  • Is it okay to criticize Obama yet as he moves us towards totalitarianism? [This space edited for offensive content.] I guess it's still a little early, but it won't be for long.

  • My Apple stop is tighter than the underwear I wore in high school.

  • One positive to mull: Agrium (AGU), a name I played long for a few points earlier this year, is back to the $45 area I saw back then. I've got a sample-size position on it with, you guessed it, a tight stop.
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Position in AGU, AAPL

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