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Todd Harrison: Random Thoughts on Life, Cannabis, and the Stock Market


Vibes from the front lines with fireworks on the horizon.

Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter where subscribers can follow over 30 professional traders as they share their ideas in real time. Want access to the Buzz plus unlimited market commentary? Click here to learn more about MVPRO.

Red and white, blue suede shoes.  I'm Uncle Sam; how do you do?"
--Grateful Dead

It's a new day on Wall Street, fresh with hope and devoid of fear.  With the Fourth of July holiday on tap next week, you can't blame folks for looking ahead; the unofficial halftime respite couldn't come soon enough for those who spend their days in front of screens, and they'll soon turn their attention to the important things in life: baby back ribs and World Cup soccer.

After writing every session for 15 years, I'll be the first to admit the sporadic nature of my recent scribes feels a bit odd. It's all relative, of course -- I posted my most recent market thoughts on Monday -- but repetition breeds expectation, or so it seems.  As communicated, I've been spending more of my time mapping the next iteration of Minyanville -- discussed here and here -- an effort that requires eye-to-eye handshakes at every turn.  We'll see how that evolves and I'm excited for the next chapter.

Tape-wise, the vexing VXO signal mentioned Monday worked like a charm on Turnaround Tuesday, although the bulls made a stand as we hiked over the Hump.  Market breadth was positive on the big board (3:2) and slightly negative on the Nazz, although the price action was mixed, both for equities and within the commodity realm.  I will note that periods like we've witnessed for much of the first half of the year -- historical lows in volatility, drifty and haphazard movement -- is far from sexy.  The tape has been a grind, seasonality notwithstanding.

Position wise, I've still got some Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) with an entry price of $29.99 -- or, should I say my wife still has Twitter, as she insisted we hold it -- and I've been dabbling in some cannabis plays -- gels, this time around -- most gingerly with MaryAnn.  I'm seeing the green rush, up close and personal, as funds spring to fruition and ETFs attempt to form.  I think it's too early for the latter matter -- there aren't enough green-chip companies to build a legitimate ETF yet -- but they will eventually arrive and in my view, prosper.

So that's what I'm seeing and doing, in a nutshell, as I continue to monitor the devolution of social mood and its implications for society, particularly as the Kardashians take the Hamptons.  Sometimes, as I look and juxtapose the world I see against all-time highs, it feels like I'm taking crazy pills.  And then I look at my beautiful wife and hear the laughter of my children and feel like the luckiest bastard on the face of the Earth. 

Somewhere between those two perceptions are the reality, or my reality, and I'll take it any day -- and twice on Sunday.

Random Thoughts:
  • The Bloomberg Smart Money Index looks exactly as it did last May, but only in reverse.
  • Crude (basing) above $105 is telling us that geopolitical concerns are still on the table.
  • I don't think Wall Street is evil; it's just misunderstood.
  • I recently culled my Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) "friends" from 2,500 to fewer than 1,000, largely due to the fact that I have pictures of my kids on there and I prefer to use other social media outlets (LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Twitter) for business.  Man, people get bent out of shape when they're un-friended!
  • We threw our hat in the ring for a "POT-folio" last year, removing the penny stocks (we don't talk about those; too risky).  Here it is, for those curious; although GW Pharma (NASDAQ:GWPH) -- which we've liked for a long time -- is conspicuously absent.   I would caution that whenever folks start frothing about a stock after a 1,000% rally, it's usually a sign that a top is near.
  • So, China found $15 billion of loans backed by falsified gold trades?  Not good, but not new, either; in fact the three Chinese IPOs last night were oversubscribed by 120X and all three traded limit up in the first 30 minutes of trading.  So much for the liquidity shortfall everyone was worried about.
  • Two years ago, I got social in Palo Alto with YPO.  The lessons learned during that trip remain relevant.  And I continue to believe that the millennial generation will solve many more problems than they will create.  You just gotta believe.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

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Author holds position in TWTR.
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