Not Enough Mojo for a Turnaround Tuesday
The market has had a mild but concerning pullback.
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Greetings from New York, where the best trade I've made since moving here was jumping on the Yankee (WIN) bandwagon when A. Rod was going through his off-season of misery. You can't just move someplace and become a fan of a team on top. I shopped around, found the Mets a loathsome Robert Moses project. In contrast, the Yankees are first class, colorful (I spent 15 years in San Fran; steroids in baseball are just a demonstrable desire to win to me) and you don't really "get" Jeter unless you live here.
So, having dispensed with my pleasant thoughts, let's turn to the market:
- I've muttered about growing market concerns for a couple weeks, both while Unmuzzled and while Buzzing. For those who missed it on our cool beta version of "Ticker Talk", I've gone from fretting but buying dips to snarling and shorting rips. I give details on what flipped me in an Unmuzzled which has become my Pet Sounds through the magic of technological snags.
- Adding to my conviction, market lore and trader superstition all but demanded that today be a Turnaround Tuesday. As I write, the S&P is down, the Dow is up barely, and NASDAQ is down with wild conviction. The Market has quietly had a mild but concerning pullback over the last six trading days. Frankly, I was hoping to short a pop today, but we never got enough mojo to make the trade worth it.
- A stock to watch here: New York Times (NYT), which you can't short unless you go huge and pay usurious interest. The grey lady was up 25% last week and actually got over $10 for the first time in a year. In case Dow 10k didn't remind you, sharp gains running into Big Round Numbers tends to equal Sell.
- More? Let's go obvious, and personal, with Gap (GPS) and Target (TGT). I'm completely out of both as of yesterday's open. Didn't save me much as the positions were wee, but both stocks, and most things retail, are trading heavier than Andre the Giant today. Sort of fitting in the group is Amazon (AMZN). The best retailer extant turned back the clock last Friday with a one-day rally of 25%. Sure, we can dismiss today as a standard pullback after a huge rally. Then again, it's trading under $120 now. If you caught the move, it's about time to ask yourself what long-side catalyst you're waiting for before you sell.
- The financials are a pit of despair. Standard pullback or a reaction to the latest government plan to micro-manage? You know where I sit. To further support my obsessive grousing on the topic, I'd note that Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) are down about 18% and 15%, respectively, since October 16, when the government escalated its curious war against companies they just used our taxes to purchase. For what it's worth, I agree with Don Corleone: I don't believe in accidents or coincidences.
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Bringing us full circle and back to cheery non sequiturs; taking my son skating last week has been on my mind ever since. It's not just that I was watching a miniature version of me dragging himself off the ice for an hour straight, just like his old man did 36 years ago. It was also the smell of an arena. You could blindfold anyone who played hockey as a kid and drop them in any high school rink in the country and they would know where they were immediately. The places simply have echoes and odors that don't exist anywhere else.
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