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A Rally Off November's Lows?


Maybe - but keep that sell stop tight.


Greetings from Rantsville, New York, where I've returned after stopping just short of expletives in describing how I felt about the ongoing bailouts and finger-pointing from DC.

For what it's worth, I never really intend to seem so raging on those spots. I'm able to explain in a sedate manner why it's lunacy to attempt to shock an economy back to life with dribs of capital and accounting tricks. I'm even able to generally avoid getting crushed in the selling stampede that follows such a strategy. But then, the government doesn't exist to allow me to sell stock rallies to the pension-fund set. Indeed, it's my understanding the government exists to protect said folk.

So, when folks like the Woo Woo Kid tell me (as "the media") that it's not President Obama's fault that the market is weak, my issue isn't that Obama got us here. My problem is that the President is blowing his chance to be great.

It's not fair to blame Obama for the structural issues of the market. It's more than fair to criticize the lack of clarity coming from the new administration on the leader of the pack. If the economy the President was going to inherit upon taking office was too horrible to address proactively, then he shouldn't have run for the presidency.

I believe we are now being told that the government is going to cut the deficit in half while injecting massive stimulus. As a taxpayer, I woke up today and found the terrible idea of my long Citigroup (C) had been doubled down via plans to convert at a discount. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the Bush family's fault, any more than I can blame the Kennedys or the Clintons.

It would be unfair to blame prior regimes for today's problems. Blaming the current president for decisions being made, and not made, in the here-and-now is the essence of fair.

Here's what I'm watching, when not raging pointlessly against the machine:

  • I mentioned the idea that we could, even should, rally a touch off November's lows. Judging by today's action, I would keep that stop underneath tight, to say the least.

  • Toyota (TM), on which I should have taken profits completely at $70, is going right back to support along with the rest of the market. I may hold my nose and buy it if and when - but I see no reason to get ahead of the stops.

  • I met Jeff Bezos of Amazon (AMZN) fame in the make-up room at CNBC. I introduced myself by congratulating him on his terrific business, and by noting that I've been reliably wrong on his stock for ages. The latter elicited a Jeff Bezos laugh; as did my asking if they planned to stay in stock on the Kindle 2, which was released today.

    Given my lack of conviction regarding an equity bounce, what am I intending to do into the close? Sell a bit of my SDS ETF, which continues to be the stripper of the equity world (should you need a way to be short in the here and now, it makes for a cheap date - but you probably shouldn't be thinking marriage).

    How much will I take off? Let's just say I'll keep enough to get a seat in the Champagne Lounge.
Position in SDS, TM

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