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Random Thoughts: Soup For You?


Consumer non-durables are mmm mmm good.


Editor's Note: This content was posted in real time on the Buzz & Banter and is being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community.

Gate Sniffage - 9:55 am

  • I felt like Rod Tidwell on Larry King during that moment of silence.

  • Green beans in the Red Sea? Consumer non-durables, such as Campbell Soup (CPB), General Mills (GIS), Coca-Cola (KO)...

  • Hello darkness my old friend! I punted my paper plays (for a loss) a while ago but nibbled anew on some Gannett (GCI) this morning following Carlos Slim's stake in the New York Times (NYT). Not advice--just sharing the thought process and looking for peripheral plays.

  • Chatter abounds that a new solution will be unveiled that will save the tape and squeeze the bears. Could it happen? Yes, Washington is desperate. Is that an actionable catalyst? Not in my view.

  • Merrill Lynch (MER) a teenager (well below the $22.50 level we noted yesterday). Lehman Brothers (LEH) is down another 40%. AIG (AIG) down another 12%. Washington Mutual (WM) trading with a one-handle. This isn't for the feint of heart, Minyans, so take a deep breath and preserve capital. Alotta folks don't have that option.

  • S&P 1200 is the 2008 intra-day low and a level to watch.

  • It's also worth noting that the BKX remains well above its 2008 low.

  • IF (huge, monster, crazy huge IF) they can hold him, the bulls will look back at this "positive non-confirmation" with pride. Hey, just trying to see both sides of the trade!

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.

Just Trading... - 10:11 am

I don't know nuttin', honey, but in the interest of full disclosure and forthright honesty, I nibbled on some Lehman Brothers (LEH) at $4.10 for a PURE TRADE.

Risk is high and NOT advice... but gun to head, they won't let 'em crash on 9/11.

That is, if they have any ammo left in their arsenal.

She's my yo-yo, I'm her string. Listen to the birds on the hot wire sing... - 10:30 am

  • Am I N-V-T-S nuts for buying Lehman (LEH)? Dude, it's a quickie from Kenicke and will likely be gonzo by the end of the session.

  • I'm also gonna slap a stop loss on this puppy slightly under my cost basis and trail the snail higher, if and when.

  • My eyes keep drifting towards pharma (big cap and biotech) but I haven't pulled any triggas there.

  • Google (GOOG). Green.

  • So is Mr. Softee (MSFT).

  • Breadth? Somewhere between onion eggs and chopped liver.

  • Can we crash? Yes, we can.

  • Will we crash? By definition, it's an outlier (low probability) event.

  • The key to successful trading is to assimilate all scenarios and allow for a margin of error in your approach.

Duck, Duck, Goose! - 11:18 am

  • I sold partial positions in a few financials that I added into the opening abyss (and adjusted my sell-stop orders higher to "ensure" (minus a halt and gap lower) trading for a credit.

  • Why? I'm happy to feed the equity ducks given the uncertainties in the credit markets despite the strong sense that they won't let 'em crash. Not today, at least.

  • No soup for me? I haven't sold my Campbell Soup (CPB) calls yet. Why? I wanna see how it reacts to the $38 level, which is acne of sorts.

  • Tighter than a snare drum! Oops, there it is... stopped out on Lehman (LEH). All that for 40 cents? Hey, it's better than losing 40 cents.

  • Market internals remain in pain.

  • Hit it to quit it and leave emotions for weddings and funerals.

  • I'm unwinding the Gannett (GCI) calls. If it can't rally in that Snapper (and on the back of New York Times (NYT)), it's not a battle I wanna fight right now.

  • I almost wore a Hawaiian shirt to work today in honor of my ol' friend.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.

Hoisen Daddy? - 11:29 am

Toss this in the "when in doubt, leave it out" folder...

I arbitrarily pulled up a chart of the FXI with hopes of finding something I liked. What I found, however, was the definition of ugly (a massive break below $40).

Click to enlarge

That doesn't mean it can't rally, naturally, but if we look at trading through four primary lenses--structural, psychological, technical, fundamental--you want as many ducks as possible to line up.

The quack count, in this particular case, isn't tempting to me.


Positions in GCI, CPB, LEH

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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