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Random Thoughts: Finding Our Way Through an Historic Day


This tape is demanding that traders listen.


Editor's Note: The following content was posted in real-time on our premium Buzz & Banter and is being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. This is a continuation from Random Thoughts: What Does It All Mean?

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world... - 10:52 am

  • A'ight, so we got the first probe lower and now we're seeing the rally attempt as the winners and sinners separate.

  • Winners? Homies, among others, along with "homie retail" such as Lowe's (LOW) and Home Depot (HD).

  • Sinners? Financial antelopes such as Lehman Brothers (LEH) (-12%), Washington Mutual (WM) (-12%), many semis and select drillers.

  • For what it's worth and so it's said, I had Lehman circled as a short candidate on the opening but got so busy I forgot to pull the trigger. No news is bad news for the time being but I'm most certainly not chasing it lower. The "easy" trade, as they say, has passed.

  • Remember Minyans--a few hundred billion for Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE) is a few hundred billion less for other troubled financial institutions.

  • Is anyone really psyched that football season has officially arrived?

  • I cut my USO call position in half near the opening (again, as a function of the stronger dollar) and left have with an eye towards Hurricane Ike.

  • Net/net, I think energy has further bounce but I'm playing smaller with an eye towards my broader, deflationary vibes. Just trading, Winky.

  • It's been a long week this morning so take a deep breath and remember that there's a LOT of trading left in the day, week, month and year.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.

Lunch Meat! - 12:16 pm

  • It's a classic fish out of water tale.

  • So, lemme get this straight... $200 billion in cash, the tax-payer has exposure on trillions of dollars of paper and stocks are... where they were Friday?

  • If I were Hank Paulson and I had a button, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be furiously pushing it as the Spooz get near the flat line.

  • What have I done since we last spoke? You mean other than get bumped from my morning TV hit (oh, the irony!).

    • I've pared some short exposure (Sears Holding (SHLD), Wal-Mart (WMT)) as I punted the General Mills (GIS) on the opening and cut the Coke (KO) in half.

    • I got the USO calls down to 25% of my weekend position size (with one eye on the dollar and the other on crude par).

    • I've sold just enough Wachovia (WB) puts to be disciplined and slapped a trailing stop on the leaves.

    • I haven't touched the SMH puts, despite the additional short exposure added on the opening (although I prolly will soon).

    • I haven't touched the General Electric (GE) puts (that I doubled down on the opening) although again, I prolly will soon.

  • I am trying to look forward to Thursday as we'll be "turning obstacles into opportunities" and celebrating life, love and each other on that fateful anniversary.

  • I would be remiss (and not entirely honest) however if I didn't share that I had a tough stretch this weekend as I pulled together my anniversary tribute. It was a dark place and a dark time and I suppose some introspection is to be expected.

  • As always, Minyans, I hope this finds you well.

Answers I Really Wanna Know... - 1:22 pm

  • While Boston sports teams are a core short position of mine, is anyone else really disappointed to see Tom Brady go out like that?

  • Will crude rally ahead of Hurricane Ike or continue to drip as a function of slowing global growth and the secular turn higher by the dollar?

  • Why not both?

  • In that light, shouldn't I share that I bought back some of those USO calls that I punted into the higher opening?

  • What happens to Lehman (LEH) or Washington Mutual (WM) in this new world order?

  • At what price, to both shareholders and society?

  • And what about General Motors (GM) and the other autos?

  • Or the airlines, for that matter?

  • Isn't that the problem with socialization?

  • Where do you draw the line?

  • Long Hank, long Pampers on a pairs?

  • The Raiders game starts at 10:15 PM EST tonight?

  • Don't these people work?!?


Position in USO, SHLD, GE, WMT, WB, SMH

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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