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Buzz Bits: Dow, Nasdaq Move Up


Your daily Buzz & Banter highlights...

Editor's Note: This is a small sample of the content available on the Buzz & Banter.

Bell Buzz - Todd Harrison - 3:53 PM

As Hoofy skips and Boo trips, the natural question on the lips of the critters is whether the worst is behind us and the fourth quarter rally has begun.

Professor Cooper asked on the Buzz whether the Giddy City is a mirror's image of the August 16 scrimmage. Art Cashin, when posed a similar question, wryly opined "tell me whether there are more shoes to drop and I'll answer that question. Me? I think they're both right--I'm just not smart enough to know how or when it'll manifest.

What I do know is this, and I offer these thoughts in no particular order:
  • The volume today is more lethargic than I am (and that's saying something).

  • After covering 75% of my short position into last Tuesday's decline, I stayed relatively light into the holiday, adding a small schnitzel of puts into the S&P 200-day at 1458 (Wednesday) and the 50-day today (at 1486).

  • I'm wrong on those last two adds (for now) but that's where my head is at for what it's worth (admittedly not much thus far) as I trade around my bias.

  • The "half step slow" crowd (who was giddy at the highs and despondent at the lows) is again screaming "game on." That doesn't mean we can't rally, natch, but those who don't learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

  • Minyan Jeff "As Good as it Gets" Saut pinged me to make sure that I studied the two charts he highlighted in his column today. On it, sir.

  • I think I'm using "faces" too much in my emails and text messages. :-)

  • Hopin' into the close before squeezing five days of meetings into four (drat, three) days of work. As always, I hope this finds you well, mindful and not letting your P&L dictate your mood. I know that the family of one very talented trader who would gladly swap his loss for flickering losses so keep that in mind as you digest today's fray.

  • May peace be with you.


Position in S&P.

Quick VIX - Adam Warner - 11:11 AM

Those volatility indicators remain pesky strong, a shiny green early today (now unch.) amidst a slow up day in the market. Just the time you would anticipate some options meltage.

But all is not as it appears.

Holiday weeks can play havoc with a calculated number like this. Traders presumably lower bids ahead of a long weekend's decay, so thus you get some statistical makeup on a day like today.

In other words, prices Friday moderately understated the real volatility bid in the market, today essentially gets it back into equilibrium. Net it all out though , and it's pretty impressive that the VIX still has a 23 full.

Again, options remain very high. So the jillion dollar question is whether they are a blazing sale, or are telling us September is going to be pretty interesting. I'm thinking the latter.

Has FMD Lost Its Marbles? - Jeffrey Cooper - 9:31 AM

Last week I mentioned the inverted cup and handle on First Marblehead (FMD). On August 31st, the company announced it was served with a supoena by th office of the NY attorney general... on August 22nd.

That seems like a long time to clear its throat. Maybe the company thought it was a subscription to Playboy. It is in the eucational lending business after all.

On the radar:

  • Manpower (MAN) was cut as was Blue Nile (NILE) which looks like a head and shoulders.
  • Garmin (GRMN) tailed off sharply on Friday and this AM's 'pop tart' in the stock may prove tasty for Boo.
  • The OIH at 180 tailed off from the breakdown point

Positions in MAN and GRMN.

View From Q - Quint Tatro - 8:03 AM

Good morning, Minyans. While you're sipping on that coffee and catching up on the news flow, here are some ideas to consider for the day:

The soft open after Friday's late day rinse gives the bears the upper hand and I will be watching closely to see what they can do with it. If they can't get any momentum going, I think we could see some further upside and pockets of momentum.

I found it interesting that many of the Oil and Gas names look weak, particularly GMX Resources (GMXR), Petrohawk Energy (HK) and Plains Exploration (PXP). I will be looking for short opportunities in these areas should they fall below their most recent lows.

On the long side I am finding many opportunities, however last week's run needs to be consolidated a bit before prudent entries present themselves in the names I have already been playing. Some new names include NVE Corp. (NVEC) over $35.50 on high volume and Under Armour, (UA) which looks ripe for a starter in this area.

After the long weekend, I expect us to remain choppy as the big boys return from their break. Don't subscribe to any particular thesis, but rather stay flexible and open-minded this week, being prepared for anything.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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