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Waking Up With Same-Store Sales in Your Cup


Retailers show all tomorrow morning.


Hello from the NASDAQ where I've managed to just about fully wind myself up again after exactly one day back at work. It's that kind of market, that kind of year and, let's level with one another, I'm a pretty "wound-up" kind of guy by nature.

Here's what I'm baffled, surly or confused about this afternoon as we head into the close:

  • As a recovered hedgie I fully understand that it's not a sympathetic group of folks but, seriously, if you know a hedge fund manager in 2008 you might want to give them a hug. The whale-sized funds are able to get away with whatever styles they want but most are locked into some sort of style. "Commodities" or "financials" for example. If you run money of any size and have been able to navigate the ebbs and flows of this year, you're a better hedgie than I was, Gunga Din.

  • The upside of the ebb and flow; those of us who are now financially pared down enough to jump in and out of sectors with some haste have never had a greater advantage over the giants.

  • Speaking of which, if it didn't have a habit of gapping down 10 points at the open lately, I'd be eyeballing a longside trade in Potash (POT) as it nears what seems to be some sort of support at $150. It's a counter-trend trade for sure but nothing falls in a straight line the way the Ags have been forever. The Idea would buying here, flipping out if we close below $145 or trade below $139 and take profits if (big IF) they come rather quickly.

  • Same Store Sales are out in the morning. In the off-chance there was any suspense: the results will be bad. For what it's worth, JC Penney (JCP) and Kohl's (KSS) are reacting well to poor results. Costco (COST) (which I remain out of) is reacting poorly to decent numbers. Draw your own conclusions; I'm just staying long Wal-Mart (WMT).

  • From where I'm sitting, Steve Jobs' health is still the most important near term driver of Apple's (AAPL) stock. It's impolite to talk about it for reasons that baffle me to the extent I don't just ignore them but I'll continue to bring it up until Jobs either shows up healthy (as I hope he does) or Apple's board does its job and fills us in on what's happening. Put it this way, I don't want to be long AAPL if Jobs is a no show at Apple's shin-dig on September 9th, whether he's "expected" to be there or not.

  • General Motors (GM) continues to act well almost regardless of what the company says. It's not letting me in as a long hedge for my Toyota (TM) short. I'm taking that fact personally.

  • Speaking of responding to bad news, the Retail Holdrs Trust (RTH) is approaching $100. Lotta resistance between there and $105.

  • Goldman Sachs removing Monsanto (MON) from the firm's Conviction Buy List is the kind of move that makes one wonder what "Conviction Buy List" means. Listening to my Purple Crayon and selling MON when it broke support coulda saved the snooty ones some $25 bucks. Of course, you don't get a job at Goldman Sachs saying things like "Use a straight edge to find an uptrend and sell when the stock breaks lower". You make (and save) money saying and doing things like that. You just don't work for Goldman Sachs while you do.
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Positions in WMT, TM

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