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Random Thoughts: To Cut or Not to Cut?


Does anyone else remember how much play "zero percent financing" got?


As we shake the sand from our shorts and rub the sleep from our eyes, it's time to chime on the tape sublime. Let's get ready to rumble, Minyans, and let's get ready for some football! Some initial thoughts from the MVHQ front lines:

  • Given the collective hangover after the long weekend, please give the Minx a few hours to ascertain her tone. That doesn't mean our tells are faulty, it just means that we should absorb them with a grain of salt and a shake of pepper.

  • And where to they stand out of the Tuesday gate? Breadth is snazzy (NYSE 5:1), the financials are firm (the banks have lotsa room before resistance (BKX 111.50) or support (BKX 101)) and beta has a bid (YHOO, EBAY, AMZN, GOOG).

  • That's the good news. On the other side of the ride, the homies (CTX, LEN), Retail (HD, LOW), the cyclicals (UTX, BA, HON, AA) and pharma trade punk.

  • Consistent with my vibes from late last week (OK, mid-last week... I took a long weekend), I enter this center with a pared down and digestible spate of S&P puts and I'm looking for levels to add back some out-month downside exposure. Lemme get my bearings and I'll be back.

  • And indeed I did. As we ticked S&P 1486 (from where we broke and the 50-day moving average), I dribbled in an additional snivlet of S&P puts.

  • I'm being Ginger (not Mary Ann) given the tone (banks, semis), tenor (NYSE internals working 9:5) and timing (I like to give myself a few days after a respite) but as it's on the lung, it's on the tongue.

  • Riddle me this: What happens if we tap our debt ceiling (we're a mere $11 billion away) in the context of a credit crunch?

  • I gotta think the University of Michigan Confidence number is gonna be shaken (and stirred) after their loss to Appalachian State.

  • Speaking of humble pie---and as a function of my bet with Minyan Alex Washburn--I must offer a nod to the Huskies after they beat down my Syracuse Orange (I always pay my debts).

  • I'm tellin' ya, Sisyphus had nothing on my post-holiday email!

  • Does anyone else remember how much play "zero percent financing" got? Isn't that the type of immediate gratification, consume now and pay later mindset that got us into trouble in the first place?

  • Minyan Peter, who wrote that fantastic Bird's-Eye View column last week, emailed me this presentation, prepared by the economics team at the Economist, and asked that I share it with ye faithful. Done and done, Pete and Repeat!

And finally, we take a step back from the flickering and bickering ticks for a mindful moment of reflection on Seth Tobias.

Seth, who we've known for many years, was one of the first folks to step up and help with the Minyanville All-Star Guitar that was auctioned off for the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education.

Seth passed away this weekend at the age of 44.

We would like to extend the entire spectrum of Minyanville white light to his family during this tragic time.

May peace be with you.


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

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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