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Randoms: The Moment of Truth


Hold and be bold, fold and get rolled.

  • Remember when we offered that the "worst case" scenario for the bank stress tests could prove conservative? In many ways, the recent political posturing seems to be pointing in that very direction.

  • Word on the street is that sellers are fronting the perception of a soft earnings season. I'm actually in a slightly different camp-I think this will be the best quarter for some time (think rear-view mirror) and glory will be fleeting as municipalities jockey for mindshare.

  • S&P 875 is the mirror image of S&P 950. Hold and be bold, fold and get rolled. It's really that simple.

  • With regard to the real-time Research in Motion (RIMM) downside effort, please keep your eyes peeled to various technical levels in the context of the potentially negative dandruff sitting above a meaty gap. Levels of lore include $66.50 (the neckline), $58.50 (top of gap) and $49 (bottom of gap). Risk can be defined the other way with a move above $72-$73.

  • Given the proximity of the MOAL (Mother Of All Levels) at S&P 875, there's no shame in trading "in between" while operating with a disciplined stylistic approach.

  • Stimulus funds being used by states to offset budget shortfalls?

  • General Electric (GE) has been rubbing me the wrong way and something doesn't feel right (as evidenced on their dependence on the government teat). The inability to rally when the market last lifted spoke volumes (mea culpa on just now getting that through my mental Rolodex).

  • One of the sharpest tacks in the credit shack offers "the action in credit is great" while remaining near-term cautious on equities. Fair nuff, and food for thought if and when we traverse down the backside of the "W."

  • Memoirs Chapter 5 has officially left the barn. Next week we deep dive into Galleon and then edge into the Cramer, Berkowitz and TSCM years. Trust me when I tell you that I've written this whole missive through the lens of the high road so please keep that in mind as you chew through the dew.

  • Hump Day tea leaves include pink piggies (note Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC), slinky semis (we touched on the technical construct yesterday), sloppy commodities (despite a flattish/higher dollar) and stealth traction in pharma.

  • There's an article in the Wall Street Journal discussing the virtues of "covered call' strategies" (selling call options against long stock positions). Minyans should know that risk profile is precisely the same as selling naked put options. Please understand the risks before making any investment decisions and make sure to arm yourself with John Succo's six-part tutorial on derivatives.

  • Well, that and some classic Boss as we hike up the Hump!

  • My 2009 Year in Review-what was, what is, and what (I perceive) will be-lest you missed it yesterday.

  • The financial crisis has morphed into more than an economic crisis-it's now a social crisis. I referenced a data point at Texas A&M and was quickly inundated from Minyans around the world with similar stories sprinkled throughout the educational realm (including youth sports in Beverly Hills)!

  • The doubling of the LA county default rate doesn't exactly scream "Green Shoots!"

  • Why is it that every time I hear the word "Alcoa" I think of the song "Althea?"

  • Watch Bank of America as the single whitest greatest intraday tell and let's be careful out there!


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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

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