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A Thousand Points of Blight

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Seeing the crash before the rally not as easy as it looks.

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Hello from New York, where not even I have the gall to point to yesterday's comment that "someday we're going to get a 1000-point rally", chop it up, ignore the caveats and claim I saw this one coming yesterday.

Sure, I did see it coming, vaguely. A lot of people saw the crash that came before yesterday's rally as well. Far fewer folks had the won-tons or blind luck to cash in either yesterday's long or the 4 weeks of shorting glory that came prior to yesterday.

If trading were easy, everyone would do it (which, come to think of it, actually is a pretty good summary of the difference between bulls and bears: Everyone is a "day trader" in bull tapes, which is a stark contrast to today).

Here's what I'm thinking, while not empathizing with American buffaloes getting shot by passing trains:

  • None other than Barton "Mr." Biggs was right there, picking a fight with me on last night's Fast Money. For those who missed the row, Mr. Biggs believes October's "Historic Decline" is a reason to be bullish; he takes exception to those who suggest yesterday's equally historic rally is a decent excuse to sell. Happily, he's waiving my (and presumably all of our) obligations to call him personally prior to trimming gains. Bigg of him, I think.

  • I'm neither bullish nor bearish. Do I rue my oft-shared stance of remaining "largely on the sidelines" into yesterday and today? Sure. I also rue, in no particular order:

    • Not loading up on all the casino stocks yesterday after noting that I missed the sell-off (naturally, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has doubled since I made my post while other gaming names such as Wynn (WYNN), MGM (MGM) et al are up a mere 25%, give or take).

    • Not staying short General Motors (GM) from 2004 until yesterday at about 2 pm, ever getting involved with Microsoft (MSFT) and having even a smattering of SDS and UUP left on my books. The key to trading (and life) is embracing regret without letting it paralyze you.

  • Unlike the other casinos, which were merely "oversold", Las Vegas Sands has a news catalyst. Specifically, the troubled casino operator was in discussions with the Singapore Tourism Board to 'facilitate the success' (read: help complete in exchange for a massively dilutive ownership stake) of LVS' downtown Singapore project. Assuming this deal gets done, all LVS needs is a massive global recovery, a good Singapore lawyer and absurdly generous bankers to avoid LVS equity ending up at $0.

  • In related news, General Motors was up earlier on rumors that the company was going to go hat in hand to Toyota (TM) for help in being less horrible. GM pulled back after Rick Waggoner slowly strung together the translation from Japanese of the phrase "get bent, Yankee loser".

  • I don't golf much anymore but, if I did, my suddenly-positive stake in McDonald's (MCD) would remind me of a tee shot shanked out of the box, off a tree, into the back of idling; cart the driver of which unwittingly carried the ball to the base of the green where it rolled to the ground for a chip n' putt par. "Of course it's up, that's what I expected when I bought the stock/ swung the club".

  • For those getting equally cocky about their own PnL recoveries, I'd note that Citigroup (C), like many other 2007 Stampede Favorites, is just a triple away from getting back to where it traded last year at this time. Bear markets live off folks who feel like Big Shots after every rally.


Enjoy the Fed Release!

Position in MCD

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