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Wal-Mart's Pep Rally


Big-box giant breaks $61 in trade of the day.


Hello from New York, where I was minding my own business and workin' the stick on Friday night's Fast Money when, BOOM - we had Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE) throw a huge monkey wrench into the whole operation.

When the news broke, we cut to a Steve Leisman promo and showed the charts of both stocks ramping higher as an initial reaction.

Curiously, and at the risk of oversharing, 2 thoughts popped into my mind simultaneously:

1. This show would be much cooler if we changed our "Breaking News Sound Blurb" to wrestling-entrance-style rock music, allowing me to say things like "Wait a minute! That can't possibly be...YES! It is!!! That's Steve Leisman's Music!!!

2. The traders who stayed at the office long enough to sell the pop in Fannie and Freddie had an absolutely unbelievable opportunity to get paid for their admirable work ethic. I mean, it didn't take a genius-level IQ or an encyclopedic sense of history to realize the Fed/ Treasury / Secret Powers Who Run the Earth (*cough... Goldman Sachs (GS)... *cough) weren't going to bail out GSE equity holders.

Happily, both me and the rest of the crew offered variants of "Sell the Pop!!!!" instead of trying to introduce even more wrestling-based shtick into my financial TV show. Here's what else I'm mulling as I get ready to take a steel chair to Pete Najarian's head in a couple of hours:

  • I'd like to put my humiliation front-and-center, just so it's clear: While I did dodge a rasslin' bullet at the top of the show, I did use the Altria (MO)/UST merger as an excuse to awkwardly jam my smoking monkey into the show after spending weeks waiting for an appropriate hook.

    My execution of the bit was, in a word, horrible. But the real humiliation came when, while walking off the set, I remembered that Friday was "Stand Up to Cancer Day" on all 3 major networks.

  • Moving along, today seems like another one-trade event. We may rip into the close to prove me wrong (a smoking monkey on Stand Up to Cancer Day is the type of thing that can leave a lingering dent in your mojo), but when they put a 250-point rip into the opening moments, it seems rather obvious you should "sell longs and call it a day."

    Stop me if you've heard this before, but "Buy Panic, Sell Enthusiasm" has been just about the only thing working in 2008. To paraphrase Duvall, "Someday that trade's going to stop working." But I'm sticking with it until it does.

    Talking smack on disputes is absolutely not encouraged around the 'Ville. Which, of course, made busting Todd-O's eggs about our Wal-Mart (WMT) debate an itch I simply had to scratch this morning. Bad mojo for sure, but a) he's my brother and knows it's in good fun, and b) I really thought Wal-Mart was going to hold its umpteenth effort to break through $61 on a day that simply screamed "sell everything at the open" and C) I knew he'd rise to the bait, giving me a chance to bust his chops even more by claiming total ignorance of his undeniable trading acumen (but don't tell him I said that).

  • Guy Adami suggested that Neuberger Berman should buy Lehman Brothers (LEH). Makes as much sense as a KKR bid, from where I'm sitting.

  • Good article on Henry Kravis and KKR in yesterday's NY Times. Once KKR goes public via an obscure and terrifying transaction, I'll be able to shudder at the thought of ever being long or short both KKR and Blackstone (BKX). Think of it as part 2 of Groucho's famous line about not wanting to be a part of any club that would have him for a member. "Once the super-smart elitists are willing you to let you buy your way into their club, it's time to clutch your wallet and back away slowly."

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Position in WMT

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