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Freaky Friday Potpourri: Trading an Invisible Sun


Recovery is on the distant horizon.


"Is it safe? Is it safe?"
Christian Snell, Marathon Man

Pop Quiz:

If you had to miss a day of trading and writing through the world's nuttiest reality show, would you rather:

A) Get a full-and I mean full-physical, as is required ahead of next week's knee surgery? (No, the doctor didn't buy me a drink first!).

B) Get your teeth drilled with a whirling metal bit as you watch and smell them disintegrate.

Sneak in some dinner-which is a challenge when you can't chew-with my brother Jeff Saut, who's in Gotham for tonight's Minyanville Circle of Trust soiree.

Have two backstage passes to The Police MSG finale dropped in your lap at the very last second.

All of the Above

After a full day of prodding, poking, needles, nudges, drills, smoke, more needles and a numb face, the night took a turn for the better as we bellied up with the savvy soothsayer. If there's a finer forward-looking man on the sell side of Wall Street, I've yet to meet him. Minyans should be psyched they have the opportunity to pick his brain on a weekly basis.

From there, it was a straight shot to the Garden for the final fray of the reunion tour. Serious snaps to Sting and Bobby Sager (who took those incredible pictures during Invisible Sun) for a fantastic tour and their tremendous hospitality throughout.

Without further adieu, some Freaky Friday spew:

  • My first thought upon returning to my home office early yesterday afternoon was N's over S's, which was consistent with the rotation theme we've been vibing on of late.

  • The inability of crude to stretch its legs over the all-important $120 level also stood out (and that supply continues today). The "par ($100) in front of the election" vibe continues to continue, one stair-step at a time.

  • One of our Ten Themes for 2008 was and is the stronger dollar. While it's still off for the year, the recent action has made that call more feasible as we edge through the back nine.

  • Be careful for what you wish-just as "lower crude is equity positive" will work until people wrap their paws around slowing global growth, a grabby greenback will have profound implications across the asset class spectrum.

  • Through the lens of pure discipline, I unwound my trades in Visa (V) and Continental (CAL) yesterday (discussed real-time on the Buzz & Banter). Small schnitzels but hey, schnitzels R' Us!

  • If you haven't already, you should take your FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter

  • See the downside gap in Baidu (BIDU), which "works" to $300. Given my current mindset, I'd be a better buyer at $300 rather than a seller at $320, for what it's worth.

  • Fannie Mae (FNM) and AIG (AIG) are shoes anew. The reason I rotated my risk away from that complex was that they have enough shoes to make Imelda Marcos blush. The reaction to those shoes, er, news, is what we need to pay close attention to.

  • The technical construct remains positive above S&P 1250. The risk to that bovine posture are:

    • Credit continues to struggle and that's the horse to the equity cart.
    • Technical analysis is but one of our four primary metrics.
    • Levels work--until they don't.
    • It's tough to tell when crude psychology will take a turn for the worse.
    • Overnight risks are skewed Boo.

  • You can also use NDX 1850 (also not that tight) or shift your risk stock specific and identify levels in particular names. That, to me, makes all the more sense, as does "proactive patience" while waiting for the fat pitch.

  • For years, Minyanville was labeled too bearish as we waited for the cumulative structural imbalances to come home to roost. Now that they are-and it will take a few years to fully cycle through-we've begun to cast a lens toward the recovery. And yes, we'll likely be early there as well.

  • Have a great day, Minyans, and remember to breathe as find our way towards our requisite two-day respite.

Toddo and Sting share a backstage smile prior to the grand finale


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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