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Random Thoughts: Witch Hunt on Wall Street!


The tug-o-war between regulation and vilification.

  • Remember last week when we asked if the Toyota (TM) hearings were planting seeds of isolationism and protectionism? Those thoughts are beginning to sow.

  • Not to be lost in the regulatory race, the Department of Justice has asked hedge funds that attended a dinner hosted by boutique broker Monness, Crespi & Hardt to save the records as they relate to bets against the Euro, according to Bloomberg. It was evidently one of 23 themes discussed on February 8th, and there are witch-hunt whispers of collusion.

  • I've been on the Street for close to twenty years and will tell you these types of dinners are commonplace; idea generation and thought provocation are as old as Wall Street itself. Heck, it's not entirely different than Minyanville offering ten themes for 2010. The fact that the DOJ is circling the wagons--and folks are quickly climbing aboard--speaks volumes about the scary social mood surrounding the street.

  • Much of the credit improvement we touched on this morning is a massive short-covering squeeze. While that can certainly self-sustain, a slug of demand has (by definition) been removed.

  • If you don't talk to your cat about catnip , who will?

  • While I'll be in Chattanooga Friday speaking at a financial literacy conference, the rest of the world will be digesting Breakfast with Beeks. Expectations are for non-farm payrolls to decrease by 58,000 and an unemployment rate of 9.8%. I have a strong sense that no matter what number prints -- likely a downtick -- post-rationalizers will quickly blame the shame on the weather.

  • As discussed over the past two months, I've been trading around a short side position in the S&P -- which actually worked out better than one would expect given the choppy, range bound sideways slither in the S&P -- and I've been consistent in communicating that I've set stops on the other side of layered resistance

  • We're right there and I would like to see A) a strong push through the top end of the S&P 1100-1120 range or B) several days of a close above that level to lay my position to rest. While I'm keeping a tight risk leash and exercising discipline over conviction -- particularly as I'll be flying blind the next two sessions--neither A) nor B) has yet occurred.

  • Independent of my trading posture. There is a marked difference between stock prices and the economy, even a finance-based economy. I don't know how "things" are by you but in these parts -- and from what I read, see and hear around the states and around the world -- the recovery is more capital punishment than capital-V.

  • A savvy seer once said, "Don't let an opinion get in the way of making money." The flip side of that would be, "Respect the price action but don't defer to it." For if you did that, my friends, you will follow the latest, greatest leader -- right over the side of the cliff.

  • Ruh Roh; this can't be good.

  • "Hey Coops, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your reports each day. Even if I wasn't making money from them I would still love them, they are that good. I haven't found anyone else on the net that has your unique perspective on the markets. Keep up the excellent work!" --Minyan Mark.

  • For a free trial of Jeff Cooper's Daily Market Report, click here!

  • The difference between Greece and Bear Stearns (JPM)? Relative field position for the stock market, along with a few less Greeks.

  • Trannies: Pause that refreshes or a recipe for a double top?

  • Isn't it ironic that in the digital age of social networks, more and more people are tightening their circles and taking care of their own?

  • Is this a modern day trading Anthem? (they just don't make music like that anymore)

  • What does the "death cross" in Goldman (GS) portend?

  • As the financials encapsulate oh-so-many of the big picture concerns, Goldman, along with Morgan (MS), Bank America (BAC) and JP Morgan remain trading tells regardless of whether or not you're involved.

  • How bout some white light for Chile?

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