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Freaky Thursday Potpourri: Trading on Fantasy Island


These markets can make one go nuts.

Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything to take us out of this blue
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy


Does anyone else feel like a moth in a light bulb factory? We've got freaky financials to the left, crazy crude to the right and bickering, flickering ticks all over. It's enough to make you nuts and old school Minyans will tell you I'm well on my way.

As I cast one eye on the elasticity of credit, er, retail sales and the other towards tomorrow night's Petty-Winwood Boston T-Party, I'm letting the goose loose and spew as I do without further adieu.

  • Point of parliamentary procedure, I swapped out of Gold Fields (GFI) yesterday for straight up GLD calls. This, of course, is paired against my USO puts.

  • This position was legged into "dollar neutral" but I skewed it heavily to the short side of crude as a function of price. This was, of course, discussed in real-time on the Buzz & Banter.

  • With S&P 1350, Hoofy has his back to the wall as he sucks straws through the squall. The March lows (S&P 1275) are the next, intuitive level of lore.

  • Remember our theme of the transfer of wealth? It takes many forms.

  • As go the piggies, so goes the poke. We don't say it because we like the way it sounds-we say it because it's the strongest tell in our finance-based marketplace.

  • F-R-E-E that spells free. Credit report, bay-be.

  • Goldman (GS) is now down 35% since October, when the phrase "best of breed" was making the round on the streets. I faded (read: bought) this name yesterday with one eye on $160 and the other on the oversold field position into earnings.

  • SO, does trading make you A.D.D. or do A.D.D. people make better traders? I wanna figure that out but keep forgetting to do so.

  • Why can't I listen to Phil Collins and Genesis without thinking of Christian Bale in American Psycho?

  • How does someone with a fledging financial fitness franchise assimilate the perception that folks will need to become more proactive in the efforts versus the adage that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy?

  • What's the last thing I "wanted" to do last night after a long day? Schlep up to East Harlem to the Children's Aid Society "East Harlem Idol" pageant.

  • What's the BEST thing I've done in a very long time? Schlep to East Harlem to see the smiles and hear the laughter of hundred's of children. The Ruby Peck Foundation is a big supporter of CAS and I could feel my grandfather's energy as his spirit manifested in kind. Thanks, Grandpa-I needed that.

  • If you looked up "where there's smoke, there's fire," you would prolly find a picture of Lehman Brothers (LEH).

  • Goldman wouldn't buy Lehman. Would it?

  • How long do you think it'll be before taxi cabs are allowed to pick up multiple passengers in the big city? That should help the societal acrimony!

Question: If people can barely afford gas, is alternative energy really worth the investment?

My two cents:

Alternative energy sounds great conceptually but given the option, people will choose to feed their kids before they save a tree.

A friend of mine recently installed solar panels in his home but it will take 8 years for him to achieve cost savings.

So why did he do it? As a hedge against brown-outs that he feels will inevitably roll through this great nation of ours.

More Randoms:

  • I'm being told that the Lowry's Buying Power Index is at the lowest level since 1982. That shows a lack of demand for stocks. In a new bull market, demand explodes higher. We're not seeing that right now.

  • To add spice to that mix, never in the 75-year history of that fabled firm did the Buying Power Index make new lows eight to ten weeks after an important market bottom.

  • This fits nicely into the "risk reduction" mindset that we've been monitoring in Minyanville. Social mood and risk appetites shape the tape.


Positions in GLD, USO, GS

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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