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The Sum of the Parts


Remaining proactive is the best way to cope with the storm.


"Father, father, we don't need to escalate. You see war is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate." --Marvin Gaye

It's the definition of a loaded question. This morning, after taking a mindful moment to appreciate the white winter blanket covering Manhattan, I stepped into my office building and onto the elevator. As I made eye contact with someone who works as a trader on another floor, I smiled and said good morning. "Yo Toddo," he responded, "What's going on?"

I paused to absorb the question as we climbed the concrete tower and he let out a deep sigh. I could tell the environment was weighing on him, as it is most people in this day and age. As we arrived at my floor, I turned and said to him "We're still in the game, boss, fighting the good fight. Keep your chin up-it could be worse."

There were other ways I could have answered him. I could have mentioned Apple (AAPL), which is down 7% in pre-market trading after Steve Jobs announced he was taking a health-related sabbatical.

There's Bank America (BAC), which needs billions in fresh capital if it's to close the Merrill Lynch marriage.

And of course, there's JP Morgan (JPM) reporting a 76% drop in profits as its CEO Jamie Dimon predicts more pain in the coming year.

All of this comes, we know, as the market struggles to regain footing after a most tenuous stretch. We spoke yesterday about the state of our union and understand the critical nature of our current juncture, not only through the lens of our four primary metrics but the ramifications for society as a whole.

So what to do? What we must, as always. There are two options here. The first is to assume the ostrich position, bury our heads and hope the storm passes. The second is to remain proactive and continually educate ourselves as we edge our way through this New World Order. Nobody said it was gonna be easy but alas, it won't be impossible either.

Some Random Thoughts

  • While one of my ten 2009 themes was the migration of societal acrimony to social unrest and geopolitical conflict, it's not something I want to see. Still, it's something we must monitor for obvious reasons and along those lines, I'll draw your attention to this article alluding to the "sudden collapse" of Mexico.

  • The nice thing about being A.D.D.? I started making some sales yesterday, got distracted by an e-mail, saw a shiny penny, thought about Juno, sprinkled some peanuts in my salad and, by the time I looked up, crude popped 5% just in time for me to pare some of the USO I bought in the hole. Better scattered than smart!

  • This was, of course, chewed through in real-time on the Buzz & Banter. If you're not familiar with that tool, take a gratis sniff on us. It is the most fertile, actionable idea-oriented content in the 'Ville and a great companion during the day.

  • A Minyan recently tossed EMC Corp. (EMC) on my radar. "Dry as a bone, Fred Hickey digs it, check it out." Noted and appreciated, friend, and I'll pass it along for others to noodle.

  • Is it me or is gerbil fur everywhere these days?

  • NYC Minyans are invited to join me as we belly up for a great cause on Wednesday. In this day and age, giving back is the best revenge!

  • Take a look at Apple $80 and what it's meant over the last few years. This is a pretty important level through a technical lens and one that Hoofy will attempt to defend.

    Click to enlarge

  • I guess we know why Research in Motion (RIMM) has been acting so well, eh? This sure is a brutal business.
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Position in USO

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

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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