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Random Thoughts: Expect More Write-Offs Into Year-End


Now, if only we knew how the tape is gonna react to the write-offs, we'd be cooler than the T-Birds.

  • Pity Party! The early green on my screen included Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), Caterpillar (CAT), Weatherford (WFT)... along with Google (GOOG), (BIDU) and Research in Motion (RIMM) (yawn!).

  • Why do we point that out? The same reason we highlight stocks that open flat to down during a gap higher. You can learn a lot just by watching and the opening action sometimes shows the hand of the big players at the daily table.

  • I can't stop sniffing at General Electric (GE) puts. It is, after all, a financial in drag and the financials have been rather draggy.

  • I did a quick TV spot last night--do you have any idea how tough it is to explain Level III accounting in less than two minutes?

  • You know, my ex called me a bad lover and I always wondered how she could tell in two minutes.

  • Let's agree to agree that there are gonna be a ton of new write-offs. $100 billion by year-end and I'm sticking to it. Now, if only we knew how the tape is gonna react to that, we'd be cooler than the T-Birds.
  • You think equities are volatile? Holy mother of macaroni, these commodities are swinging like London, in the late sixties!

  • And you know what? Volatility migrates across asset classes. These we've seen. This, we know. This, we should be wary of.

  • The Following Buzz took place, well, right at 11:00 AM

    Tell me about it, Stud!

    The more often a level is tested, the weaker it becomes. It's an old school adage but one that behooves us to remember as we nip-tuck at S&P 1500 and, ultimately, 1490. Given the breadth and the banks, I think the first level is dust in the wind, dude. The second? It'll be tested like a high school honors student.

    So it's said and for what it's worth, I nibbled a bit on December S&P puts into that first Snapper attempt. The double top followed by a lower higher--or two!--is still in play and I'll set my stop on the other side of that pattern (and look to roll it lower if the tape gets Sandy).

    I take nothing for granted in this tape and respect the two-sided risk, especially with Hank and the Banks on the case. Still, you can do anything as long as you're disciplined and if Danny Zuko can do it, we sure as schvitz can.

  • T-minus one month even before the Succo's, Santoli's, Saut's, Sedacca's, Shedlock's, Scotto's, Shobin's, Spomboys---and that's just the S's!--converge for some southern BBQ and a triple shot of old school music. Lock your spot, Minyans, it's gonna be one for the books!
  • Now HE'S a Minyan! Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Credit Strategist Bob Janjuah just came out with a note saying that US banks and brokers face as much as $100 billion in writedowns due to Level III accounting.
  • More Answers I Really Wanna Know…

    • Is the first fade (read: sale) at crude $100 the easiest trade of the year?

    • Or is it too easy?

    • Which mirrors the DJIA?

    • Why is it that, on the conference call today regarding the surprises at the Holiday Festivus, when I was asked to choose treats and surprises for the crowd, my answer was "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... you know what, just do it all!"?

    • Smelly cat, nosty breadth, what are you thinking of? (It's 4:1 negative)

    • Was yesterday's rally a "can't get 'em down" spurt (starting at 1490 on Monday)?

    • By extension, does the longer we hold above S&P 1500 give Snapper license to thrill?

    • When, oh when, are they gonna get to beta?

    • Who's on first?

    • What's for lunch?


Holiday Festivus is here! Come join us and support the Ruby Peck Foundation For Children's Education at an old-fashioned Southern-style hoe-down in the heart of New York City on December 7th. Click the image below to learn more!

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Position in S&P

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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