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Random Thoughts: Opportunities Are Made Up Easier Than Losses


The semis, weighed down by the semicap names, continue to flirt with the bubble low trendline.

  • File this under "for what it's worth" but I've used the opening snazz to flatten the long side of my heretofore core holdings including JAVA, GSS and EWT (Taiwan).

  • I also nibbled anew on a snivlent of year-end S&P puts. Nothing crazy, just trying to use price to my advantage and keeping powder dry.

  • And, when the S&P filled the opening gap, I dutifully nibbled a bit as a function of discipline (as market breadth remained firm).

  • Opportunities are made up easier than losses, as we've learned all-to-often through the years.

  • Note where Merrill Lynch opened---right at the $65 level we spoke about earlier in the week. Past support is future er, current resistance.

  • While there are those who subscribe to the "good earnings equal a good market," I've always viewed the dew through four primary metrics. In order of importance--at least to my tired eyes--they're psychology, structural, fundamental, technical.

  • We noted the scrunched nose in Smith International this morning and it's off 1.5% in Freaky Friday trade. I'll again note that the OSX if flat with crude up an udder percent. That, to me, speaks of supply.

  • Time is the arbiter of all fate.

  • Smelly Caps, Sme-lly Caps, What are you Thinking of? You wanna know what else trades punk? The semis, weighed down by the semicap names, continue to flirt with the bubble low trendline. See the pennant. Feel the pennant. Be the pennant.

  • I can't get this song out of my head! Like my head needs another distraction!

  • We're seeing lotsa short call covering in Microsoft, which is adding to the upside volatility. So you know. That's the "other side" of over-righting and there's massive open interest in the $30, $32.5 and $35 lines.

  • Hey Luuuuuuuuuucy! You're SO old-school!

    I had dinner with my buddy last night (among others) who has been bang on with his BIDU call. He told me off-line that he plans on selling his holdings to the Chinese whe those "in country" are finally allowed to buy the stock (ie-it's listed overseas). His take, for what it's worth, is that BIDU will pop a few hundred points on that news and he'll make a sale with an 8-handle.

  • To be clear, I have never owned this stock and I'm not buying it now. But, as he's been very good in the name, I wanted to share his fare. You always wanna see both sides of every trade and, well, now you do.

  • Mozilla, Mozilla Gorilla for Sale. How much is that mortgage in the window?

Countrywide is up 14% this morning on the heels of earnings. Which is nice, for those who bought it on yesterday's close. As for everyone else, please remember that the stock got hit for 68% since the summer and, as stocks are a leading indicator, much of this mess is baked into the news.

In a bear market, we "sell the rumor, buy the news" and this stock (the mortgage arena) is clearly in a bear market. I will also offer that sentiment got very negative and shorts piled in, so some of this is a squeeze as they not going belly up (yet). Finally and as an aside, please remember that Bank America plunked down $2 billion through a convert at the $18 level, which should lead to a write-down for BofA in time.

I asked our friend Mr. Practical what he thought and his vibe was "this is a very volatile and emotional stock. The numbers were very bad but the company said "things are going to get better, we promise!" That is why the stock is higher but my sense is that it will ultimately settle into the 11-range." (Mr. Practical has a position in cfc).

Just as the sharpest corrections occur in the context of a bull market, the sharpest rallies occur in the context of a bear market. I don't believe the worst is over for the mortgage arena (we're gonna see a steady stream of multi-billion dollar write-downs) but I, for one, think there are easier wars to fight than Countrywide (which is why I'm not involved).

  • A gorilla in our midst has steadily and quietly accumulated 100,000 QQQQ March 51 puts over the last . As they have a 30 delta, that has created 3,000,000 QQQQ for sale (as the dealer that sold the puts sells the underlying instrument as a hedge).

  • Enjoy the weekend, Minyans, you've most definitely earned it. We've got some surprises for you next week, including the long-awaiting launch of Minyanville Kids. Take me at my word when I tell you that the Mini-Minyans in our midst will absolutely love this!

    May peace be with you.


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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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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