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Random Thoughts: Oy Vey is Here!


U.S. banks in dire straits.

  • How is world peace gonna break out when you have foreign leaders saying things like this?

  • The standout stock today? Bank America (BAC), which is down another 22%.

  • I would also draw your attention to Wells Fargo (WFC) (-10%), Citigroup (C) (-20%) and JP Morgan (JPM) (+3%) for "reaction to the news." BKX 33ish, as we know, is a 14-year low for the piggies (we're there now).

  • The End of an Era! I remember trading Nortel in size when I was whipping 'em around for Cramer, Berkowitz. Perhaps the company's toe tag is a sign of the times but it makes you stop and think about the mighty that have fallen.

  • My approach of late has been to swing the risk bat intra-day but keep a tight leash overnight. There is an opportunity cost associated with that, of course, but the alternative is to build-and justify-positions.

  • Case in point Halliburton (HAL), which was stopped out with the trade below $20. If I held that stock, I would be down an additional 18% in a week. I'll tell ya, the margin for error these days is quite thin.

  • Gold is trying to hang tough at important support (GLD $80). I tried an upside schnitzel yesterday-at this level-but cut bait given my eyes, gut and feel.

  • Chatter abounds that a major U.S. bank will be nationalized this weekend and it doesn't take Inspector Gadget to see that Bank America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) are in the crosshairs of that conversation.

  • General Electric (GE). Bar Mitzvah. Insane.

  • I continue to eye Research in Motion (RIMM) as it holds $45 into tomorrow's expiration. This is one of those situations where IF the tape turns, this stocks should jack higher. Of course, the operable word in that statement is "if."

  • Given the ruminations that made the rounds regarding Steve Jobs' health, I'm curious if "sell the rumor, buy the news" will come into play for Apple (AAPL). I'm not involved in the stock-and see the importance of the $80 level-but it's worthy of watching as we together find our way.

  • Boo is sitting on my left shoulder whispering something about piggies, pokes and fresh 15-year lows.

  • Hoofy, on the right, is pointing to Research in Motion (RIMM) (+2.5%), Amazon (AMZN) (+3%), eBay (EBAY) and the relative traction in the semiconductor space.

  • What to do? See both sides and understand that today's fray is "N's over S's."

  • In other words, if you're looking to add upside exposure for a trade, you've got tailwinds in four-letter land. If you're playing the dark side, the old school is fielding the supply.

  • Who has final say on what animals are eligible for animal crackers?

  • In the immortal worlds of Captain Ramsey, "We have rules that are not open to interpretation, personal intuition, gut feelings, hairs on the back of your neck, little devils or angels sitting on your shoulder."

  • I entered today with a "place holder" position in the USO (after trading around it yesterday) and, so you know, nibbled anew in here ($29.50) for the first time today.

  • Toss retail on ye radar as Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), Target (TGT) and Sears (SHLD) all giggle green.

  • Select smatterings aside--and respectful that expiration lends to whippage both ways--our mainstay tells, including the dollar, continue to warrant caution.

  • T-Minus five days, which isn't a political statement as much as a conscious nod to a potential inflection point. We've been eyeing that date for many months, hopeful that "something serious" didn't happen in the Middle East prior to the passing of the torch.

  • Hmm... levity, levity, levity... let's see. Oh, Here!


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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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