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Random Thoughts: Is the Obama Bounce Coming?


The tape watches Washington with bated breath.


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 History in the Making?

Now, if only Mr. Lewis would stop hanging out with Vivian Ward! - 9:46 am

Back in November, I bought the "Citigroup (C) $3.75 Infinity Call" for $3.75 and subsequently sold it for close to a double. A few Minyans have inquired whether similar opportunities exist in Bank America (BAC) or others.

My response, shared now, is that it's certainly possible to catch a trade in these names but the capital structure, coupled with the specter of nationalization, makes equity a vulnerable investment.

Be that as it may, and due in part to my sense that we won't see an outright drubbing today as our new President takes office, the e-mail triggered my trigger finger and I bought some Bank America (under $6) for a trade. I'll slap a trailing stop on it--nice and tight, like fitty cents--and look for the next opportunity.

Win, lose or draw, defined risk is your friend.

Gate Sniffage! - 10:15 am

  • I was prepared to scoop some energy down 7%, where it was trading pre-market. It never dipped there during market hours and, as such, I've hand sat on that for the time being.

  • I did, as discussed, buy some Bank America (BAC) in and around $5.90 for a pure trade and with a tight, trailing stop. I think the financials are tainted, as discussed, but I'm trying not to let an opinion get in the way of making money.

  • Ditto some SSO (around $22) as the first fade (higher) may be the easy trade today. Tight trailing stops on these trading tries will limit my exposure should I be dead wrong, which of of course happens to the best of us at times.

  • In a perfect world, we'll soon see an initial Snapper that nudges my "trailing stop" above my entry point, effectively locking in a "trade for a credit." Easier said than done, natch, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying.

  • It goes without saying that none of this is advice, right? It would be disingenuous for me to do that given I don't know the time horizon and risk profile of each and every Minyan.

  • Jeezums, State Street (STT) is down 52%. There's a sobering splash in the face of Snapper, eh?

  • I wonder if Jack Bauer is in Washington DC today? I'll bet he is and I, for one, am glad he's back on the case.

  • Green Beans? Research in Motion (RIMM), Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Motorola (MOT), Toyota (TM) and the consumer non-durables.

  • The BKX is down 31% in two weeks? I guess the Toddo Sleep-O-Meter is alive and well.

  • Guess who hit the gym for the first time in months yesterday? That, along with new healthier eating habits, are officially in motion for yours truly. I wanted to share... lest I get cranky at times.

  • Head up Minyans, profitability begins within.

Star Power - 11:16 am

  • Societal Acrimony? What societal acrimony?

  • A pure read of our tea leaves warrants continued caution. The BKX is down 12% (yowza), breadth is 5:1 negative, big beta (with the exception of Research in Motion (RIMM)) is getting five-finger Sallied and, perhaps most disturbing, the greenback remains grabby (DXY +1.6%).

  • So how am I positioned? Long a placeholder USO position (from last week) and two upside trading tries, including Bank of America (BAC) (entry level $5.90ish) and the SSO (around $22). Both "trailing stop" orders are already in my system as I'm willing to lose a buck on either, or both in a worst case scenario.

  • I know, sometimes I shake my head at myself too, particularly after looking at my recent assimilation of our four primary market metrics.

  • After years of reckless spending, conspicuous consumption and mismanaged policy, we, the people, must offer a collective "mea culpa" if we hope to regain respectability on a global stage. There aren't any magic pills, mind you, but humility, diplomacy and cooperative intelligence are intuitive starting points on the road to redemption.

  • Why can't I shake Ringo Star today?

  • I've gotta hop across the Street for a quick meld before strapping in to finish my weekly syndicated vibe and riding the market home with ye faithful. As always, Minyans, I hope this finds you well.

  • Have you seen Hoofy and Boo's coverage from the Beltway?


Position in BAC, SSO, 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

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