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Random Thoughts: The Trap Door in Crude


Bids in oil were disappearing.

  • There is a difference between legitimate economic growth and credit-fed consumption. Keep that in mind when you're talking about the retailers.

  • While you were peeping, the bids disappeared in crude and that's pressuring the drillers. As discussed on yesterday's Buzz, I went home short Schlumberger (SLB) and Halliburton (HAL) (via puts) and have been trading around those positions.

  • In the interest of communicating my stylistic approach, I peeled out of the lion's share of Schlumberger (into the $4 downside reversal) as I rotate risk and squirrel some acorns. Still there in Halliburton, much to Dick Cheney's chagrin.

  • Talk about tossing all your chips on eight the hard way! In 2006, Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) accounted for 39% of new conventional mortgage issuance. During the first quarter of this year, they're responsible for 80%!

  • Too big too fail? Maybe. Too big to nationalize? No Siree Bob… patiently watch and you'll see a saga unfold that currently seems inconceivable!

  • Why did I cover up Goldman (GS)? I spied traction in Lehman (LEH) and Merrill (MER) out of the gate. Of course, Granny now looks like she's gonna pin $185, leaving a few shekels on the table for yours truly. I hate it when that happens!

  • How is Sir Isaac Newton trading Apple (AAPL)? With a stop on the other side of $193 (recent highs). Big beta demands defined risk and that's how I roll, yo.

  • We always talk about how the retest of an acne level (breakout point) as the Textbook Technical zone with which to accumulate exposure. After yesterday's Pop & Drop, the tape held precisely at S&P 1405, NDX 2000, Russell 735 and (near) INDU 12800.

  • There is real risk to this tape (although that doesn't mean it's today's business). I'll offer once again, however, that IF Hoofy can put some distance between him and those levels, back-to-back trap doors might be too "easy."

  • I'm not playing the upside, per se-I have some put positions (SLB, HAL and Apple are the movers du jour), core longs (McClatchy (MNI), Gannett (GCI)) and Plenty O' Powder (I wonder if he knows Patio Furniture?). I'm not opposed to "make it to take it" rentals if they present themselves but I haven't squeezed those triggers yet.

  • So Big Ben strenuously urges banks to raise capital. I wonder if he can handle the truth about how dilutive (deflationary) that continued course of action will be.

  • Ya ever see the ESPN segments called "Miked up?" Take that to the next level and you'll get a sense of what this week-and my life going forward-is all about. I told the good folks at FOX Business that if we're gonna do Minyanville Buzz & Banter TV (every day at 11:38 and from 3-4 EST), I'm going to speak freely from the gut. Yesterday, when I opined that the tape has more swings than a Hedonism Vacation, I think they sorta understood what I meant!

  • If you're diggin' the 'Ville, please help us spread the word. That's how we grow, step by step, brick by brick and Minyan by Minyan. Thanks!


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Positions in HAL, SLB, AAPL, VIX, MNI, GCI
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