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Randoms: Is Crude an Upside Hedge Against the S&P?


Geopolitical instability could create a profitable wishbone.

  • Why is this a particularly important juncture for the market? For the first time since July, the S&P could be tracing out a lower high. It may be fleeting (as it was in July), but it offers a contextual framework with which to define risk.

  • In my A.D.D.-ness, I forgot that Minyan J-Kelly postured a bet my way on Friday "$500 for the kids vs. you wearing a Bronco hat and posting that picture on the 'Ville." As I took the bet and I'm a man of my word, I'll do just that...before using the lid to scoop out Phoebe's litter box.

  • I respect that policymakers face a massively tough task of protecting the capital market construct in an environment where the underlying (and currently stealth) cancer is bigger than the economic patient. While their predecessors planted the problematic seeds, we've inherited the resulting weeds and must stick together as we strive to identify a viable solution (preferably one that doesn't transfer "the other side" of our societal largesse to our children).

  • With that said, I can't shake the image of a shell game as I watch programs and proposals emerge from the Beltway. There is a massive difference between medicine that cures the disease of debt dependency and drugs that mask the symptoms. That vibe, more than anything, is why I'm steadfast in my view that this monster rally is a cyclical, not secular, bull.

  • S&P 1040-1070 is the range; Mr. Valentine (and Mr. Cooper) have set the price and a breach of either band tag could hold valuable clues to the next market fuse.

  • I'm always early, right?

  • When I tell ya the boy has got his own money, I mean the boy has got his own MONEY! Minyanville has launched an effort to turn your buck into a Benji. Input the serial number of your dollar bills into this page and you could quickly realize a 10,000% return! Not too shabby, eh?

  • Window dressing typically abates in the day or so prior to the actual quarter-end. We used to call that "The Spitzer Effect" on the desk, before that descriptor adopted an entirely different meaning.

  • Either way, the master beta "bang for the buck" realm (Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Research in Motion (RIMM), Apple (AAPL), Baidu (BIDU)) warrants attention, not only into quarter-end but into the start of the fourth quarter (as a proxy for inflows and risk appetites).

  • Speaking of Spitzer, I recently watched him on Bill Maher and he made some strong points about the current state of affairs. I'm not sure if the mainstream mindset will allow him to enter The Second Chance Saloon but society has traditionally been forgiving for those who've transgressed.

  • In terms of tea leaves, the banks are front and center (reaction to news on the FDIC proposal), big beta (discussed above) is pretty in pink, the greenback has a green tint, market internals are flattish and I, for one, feel particularly atoned. Looking within will do that, as will be evidenced by tomorrow's chapter of Memoirs.

  • If you believe that you're name and word still mean something and honest, trust and respect are the foundational constructs of any successful endeavor, climb aboard the Minyanville Underground Railroad. In addition to a sneak peak at tomorrow's chapter of Memoirs, we're taking this week's missive in a slightly different direction. Come on, ride that train (you know you want to!)

Answers I Really Wanna Know…

  • If you had a spectacular one-two punch of Michael Bush and DMC, why would you let your QB-who hasn't been able to hit the side of a barn this season-throw the ball before your running game is established?

  • Will banks use TARP money to provide capital to the FDIC?

  • With so much being made of the S&P "outside down day" last week, shouldn't we respect that July was an "outside up month?"

  • To Professor Fil "my pockets" Zucchi's salient point about Israel's deafening silence on the most recent saga of the Iran chronicles, are energy names and intuitive hedge against broad based equity risk?

  • As long as those who set that trade up understand that the phantom of deflation knows no allies on an absolute price basis?

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

  • Will the gush of liquidity push the point of pain into 2010 or is the DNA of this market drastically different than anything any of us have ever witnessed?

  • Through a shorter-term lens, who isn't expecting strength into quarter-end and what happens if we don't get it?


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