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Random Thoughts: Sell Hope, Buy Despair?


Take high percentage jabs and cover up in this market.

  • And you thought Wal-Mart was pushing the envelope?

  • Television's JeffMacke, fresh from his road show in Miami, drew the parallels between South Florida real estate and San Francisco after the tech bubble imploded. In his words, "when every potential light at the end of the tunnel seemed more like an oncoming train."

  • I agree with my follicly challenged friend, as discussed in my Five Reasons for Optimism missive from late January. The opportunities are selective but there are deals to be made, particularly for those with patience and dry powder.

  • Dude, Professor Ryan Krueger was like so over this a few years ago. Nothing like the financial news you need to know before you know you need it.

  • Seriously, Sisyphus had nothing on my inbox.

  • Braveheart or Gladiator?

Jeff "Coops DeVille" Cooper offered on the Buzz that March is one of the key turning points of the year. That's food for thought in the following context:

The Following Buzz appeared at 11:07 AM:

Monday Forecast? Crimson, with a scattered chance of giggles!

This is one fakakta tape. One day it feels like the doom is too gloomy and the next session feels like we need a good, strong flush for perception to ketchup with reality. I'll tell ya, Mama used to say I should be a veterinarian but I had no idea I would be treating the wounded egos of bulls and bears!

As per my morning Buzzes, I bought some Baidu (BIDU) into the first dip but was quick to parcel out into the subsequent blip. It was a flat trade but I wanted to share the thought process as it has broader implications.

We always talk about how you can learn a lot just by watching. My eyes, during that Snapper off the lows, were spying heavy financials and struggling beta. There's a rule of thumb that says when Goldman (GS) and Google (GOOG) are pointing the same way, the tape has a tendency to follow. That, along with the tenor outside energy and metals, was cause for pause and remains a principal point of concern.

I'm well aware of the bearish flair in the media. The contrarian in me wants to to sell hope and buy despair but I'm yet unconvinced that we're at a pain fulcrum (the VXO is about 50% there). We've been stuck in a range between the January lows and from where we broke (S&P 1405, DJIA 12,800) and my sense is that this "churn" will resolve to the downside.

How much am I betting on that sweat? As of right here, right now, not much. I'm "powder rich" and "trigger disciplined," which is to say that I want to take quick, high percentage jabs and cover up when the market swings wildly. It's the Winky in me, a stylistic approach I've been consistent in sharing. I'll always share my best thoughts with ye faithful, however, and these are pretty much them.

Good luck, friends, and be careful.

We now resume with the regularly scheduled Randoms:

  • Raise your hand if February is officially your least favorite month?

  • March Madness should be a colorful affair. Unfortunately, that spectrum likely won't include any Orange.

  • And I was born in Newark. No, seriously. Exit 14.

  • You wonder why we're so worried about the credit card delinquencies and the other side of zero-percent financing?

  • There was deep discourse on The Exchange regarding the top three guitar players ever. That debate continues to rage.

  • R.I.P Jeff Healy, who succumbed to cancer at the age of 41.

  • Toss United Tech's (UTX) bid for Diebold (DBD) on the list (with BHP Billiton's (BHP) bid for Rio Tinto (RTP) and Microsoft's (MSFT) run at Yahoo (YHOO)) as hostile bids. Whether this is bullish (we see value!) or bearish (an extension of societal and geopolitical acrimony) remains to be seen.

  • Remember that Wachovia Bank $30 vibe? Wachovia (WB) got there this morning and it-along with American Express (AXP)-has since flipped the upside switch.

  • And the bond insurer bail-out deal is where?

  • Have you checked out Minyanville's newest premium product, the FlexFolio by Quint Tatro? Give it a look and take a 14 day free trial.


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

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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