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Random Thoughts: Two Legs in My Bull Costume


Trading from the long side into the morning abyss.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter. It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also 800 Pund Gorilla in Our Midst..

Gate Sniffage! - 9:44 am

Jeezums, is it the trading day already? Seems like just moments ago we were signing off from the Hump Day frump. Alas, the flickering ticks are back and baby, they're better than ever. Some top of the morning vibage as I put the finishing touches on my opener while consuming bagels, shmear and a hot chocolate for good measure:

  • S&P 770-840 is the new range. Mr. Valentine has set the price with a conscious nod that technicals take a back seat to the structural and psychological metrics.

  • The first thing that jumped out on the opening? No, not the 5% drop in crude (I'm an aggressive buyer, for a trade)--it was the financials, which spurted green before getting punched in the throat again. Maybe something, maybe nothing but certainly worth watching.

  • Other green beans in the Red Sea? Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), KLA Tencor (KLAC), Amgen (AMGN), Amazon (AMZN), Cisco (CSCO) and Texas Instruments (TXN).

  • There's no hiding in the 'Ville and as such, I'll raise my hand and say "I was wrong (early) in nibbling yesterday." With that said, we mused last week that the break of S&P 840 might be a necessary precursor to a rally as everyone had their stop-loss set there.

  • I'm no Polly, Anna, but I'm slipping two legs into my bull costume (50% conviction on the upside) with hat in hand and a nod to the Gods. Give it to me baby.

Wowzers! - 10:24 am

There's alotta eye popping elements nestled in today's Art Carnage. In no particular order.

  • Morgan Stanley's (MS) market cap just dipped below $10 billion, which is below the amount it borrowed from the government last month. Think about that for a second.

  • General Electric (GE) just lost Bar Mitzvah status under $13.

  • A 57 cent loss in General Motors (GM) is 21%.

  • The CRB has organically split two for one since July.

  • Twenty beats your five, Citigroup (C). Five.

To be sure, nobody has ever seen anything like this--FDR didn't know what a derivative was--and we're in unchartered waters. It's scary, it's depressing and it's all consuming but don't give up--don't ever give up. Now, more than ever, is when lucidity will serve us in good stead.

It's possible that Dubya and Hank have tossed in the towel and passed the lame duck, er, buck to Obama. Still, please remember that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. Expiration looms large tomorrow and IF there are any bunnies left in the hat, they'll be pulled in front of tomorrow morning.

I continue to trade from the long side. Not profitably at it stands, but that's what I'm doing for better or for worse, with two legs in my bull costume as of this morning. It's my sense that S&P 840 needed to break in order to shake the trees, clear the seas and set the stage for a potential year-end lift.

Engine room, more scream!

It's Not Easy, E! - 10:51 am

Don't believe the hype, Yo, all is not lost. In fact, it's my fiduciary responsibility to inform ye faithful that the entire Minyanville editorial desk--present company included--has gone old school in our attempt to shake up the mojo. That's right, shoes are off in the city of critters, one and all and all for one. Call it a team effort. We do it because we care.

Some udder thoughts as we find our way:

  • SOX. Green.

  • Hoofy is watching the dollar, for he knows that any sustained lift must include a lower greenback.

  • Breadth? There musta been onions in them eggs as it's 5:1 negative (despite this Snapper attempt).

  • Citigroup (C) (-22%) reminds me of the visual we used all summer of the financial dike springing alotta holes with only so many fingers available to plug them.

  • N's over S's, if only for a trade. I still think big beta has the potential to lead the upside speed if and when performance anxiety begins to percolate.

  • Time and price, friends, time and price.

  • Pepe just told me that he's putting his shoes on to go to the men's room. Selfish! If this rally fails, you all know who to blame.



Did you know the doors to Festivus 2008 are officially open? Have you yet locked your spot for the critter trot as last year's soiree sold out? (This is our annual event to commingle our professors, partners and Minyans while chowing down and listening to live music. The very best part? It's for the kids in the good name of my grandfather.)

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