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A Great Buying Opportunity?


Maybe - but play it from the short side.


Hello from New York, where I'd like to be optimistic, if only because there are even more neo-cynics than there are fresh Phillie Phanatics. The Bears are way too cocky. It's too easy to be short, and someday we're going to get a 1000-point Dow rally. Maybe even today.

The problem, of course, is that days like today -- where we had ample excuse for a bounce, and so far can't find anything more than a bounce to 3 p.m. yesterday -- make any bet on the long side feel futile.

With the short side crowded and my general skepticism on anything "political" leading us out, I'm still hanging on the sidelines.

Here's what I'm doing, when not teaching the kids to pick pockets and stealthily hop on moving freight cars:

  • Japan hitting 26-year lows is the kind of stat that makes a guy think that "timing the market," while difficult -- if not impossible -- is better than blithely buying and holding.

  • How hard is it to pull the trigger in this market? Consider Las Vegas Sands (LVS): Down 95% for the year, 90% for the month and, most gallingly, more than 60% since I noted casinos were all still going lower in mid-month. Just because you see the pain coming doesn't mean it's easy to make money off it.

  • The Vaguely Bullish Stat of the Day: General Motors (GM) could (and likely will) fall to zero; the move would only cost the Dow Jones Industrial Average about 60 points.

  • Those of you spending the day trying to figure out ways to make money off the move in today's Volkswagen move probably aren't going to listen but, if only to fill this bullet, I'll say this: Just walk away. It's much cheaper.

  • Of course, if Toyota (TM) gets back to the mid-70s, color me "there" on the short side. "Fahrfegneugen" is German for "Do as I say, not as I do."

  • If you're buying this rally (picking up steam as I type), and were selling yesterday's close, take a step back and breathe. This may prove to be the greatest of all buying opportunities - but I'm going to play it from the short side, for what it's worth.

  • "Alternative energy"? Really? Where's the candidate in favor of something at least somewhat resembling a free market? I'd settle for a Bull Moose Progressive, at this point.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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