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Buzz Bits: Dow, Nasdaq Drop

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Your daily Buzz & Banter highlights.

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Iz It Safe? Iz it Safe? - Todd Harrison - 3:37 PM

The standout action today? Nope, not the banks (they continue to migrate "around" key support). Nyet the dollar which, while up a bit, is pretty much a non-event (ditto commodities). It's...beta. Master beta, to be clear. You know, the names that everyone and their sister has been hiding in for year-end bang-for-the-performance anxiety buck.

With Baidu.com (BIDU) down $33, Google (GOOG) off $20 and Amazon and RIMM (RIMM) both taking a 4% haircut, the answer we really wanted to know---whether holders could safely hide in this complex--is being answered in real-time. I'm not involved in those puppies, mind you, but I am watching them as potential psychology proxies.

Leadership has been narrowing for some time--this, we knew--the question, I suppose, is whether it will wither away completely.

Stay tuned... and stay tight.

R.P.


Loonie Toons - Ryan Krueger - 2:51 PM

What do Suncor (SU), Research in Motion (RIMM), Potash (POT), and Sun Life (SLF) have in common? They are four of the largest holdings in the Canadian Index (EWC), which I am touring this morning wondering if the recent pullback in its currency may set up some positive surprises next quarter. There is a lot of talent north of the border that many folks don't even realize are headquartered there.

We're so focused on the weaker dollar in the U.S. and what it has done for exports, I wonder instead what an even slightly stronger dollar would do for other countries. A loonie idea I know. But when I saw an "Exports" ETF this weekend I suddenly have about as much confidence that that streak continues without interruption as Eli on passing downs.

The secular trend of a stronger Canadian Dollar driven in part by its natural resources seems solidly intact. My partner was laughed at down here in Texas a few years ago when telling our friends drilling up there that soon they would see the Canadian Dollar and US greenback trade at $1 parity. We saw that level and traded through it. Does this break down circled below end that shift? Probably not. But worth keeping an eye on especially since it feels just as silly now to suggest the Canadian Loonie falls in value.

In general I would rather be long "would?" and short "has!"


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Minyan Peter: What The Bottom Looks Like - Minyanville Staff - 1:23 PM

I keep reading different reports suggesting that the capital issuances by Citigroup (C), Washington Mutual (WM) and others signify a bottom for financial services firms. I can't emphasize enough that the bottom is defined by when deals can't get done.

Buried in Saturday's Wall Street Journal is an article reporting the sale by Taiwan's equivalent of the FDIC of a failed Taiwanese bank, The Chinese Bank, to HSBC (HBC). Under the terms of the sale, the Taiwan government will pay HSBC almost $1.5 bln "to take over the struggling lender."

That is what the bottom looks like: Strategic buyers having to be paid to take on failed banks, because otherwise there is no deal at all.


Down The Stretch... - Quint Tatro - 10:50 AM



Well Minyans, as we stroll on into the final two weeks of the year, it sure does look and feel like the white towels are piling up faster than the snow in the North East. I don't know many who are actively trying to game this tape which means the action will be light and definitely choppy. Within this tricky action I will remain at my perch trying to squeeze out any last opportunities however I will play with a very small hand and a tight leash.

On the dark side it is nice to see Blue Nile (NILE) breaking down however I wouldn't be chasing the short here. I am letting my shares run while lowering my stop to today's high.

On the long side, I am once again warming up to the exchanges and Friday I started a position in Intercontinental (ICE) on the break and am now waiting patiently for a prudent add point. Ideally, I would like to see this consolidate a bit around the $185 level setting up for another push over highs. I would add as the pattern quiets down a bit.

I also like NASDAQ (NDAQ) which is going through this same quieting process right now. I just added some back and am now waiting for a move over $48.11 to add another piece.

Play it slow and small out there, or don't play it at all. There is no room for heroics.

Positions in NILE, ICE and NDAQ.

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