Measuring the US Blues
Does AIG signal the turn?
Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter.
The tape has some pep in her step as a combination of positive fiscal cliff chatter and the perception that The Grand Experiment is being successfully unwound, with taxpayers netting $22.7 billion on the government's sale of AIG (NYSE:AIG). Nice trade Uncle Sam, although when I think of AIG I’ll always think of this.
Red and white; blue suede shoes? Perhaps; perception is reality in the marketplace, although I would offer that the unintended consequences that stem from the financial crisis won't be fully known without the benefit of hindsight. That, of course, will take a few years so we, as investors, must map a spectrum of forward probability and adjust our risk accordingly—and don’t forget to factor in the year-end performance anxiety!
Speaking of blue suede -- I have to get this in here -- if any late-night Festivus revelers mistakenly scooped a blue suede jacket, I would very much appreciate it's return as it was a gift and has huge sentimental value. No questions asked; as a matter of fact, I'll offer a bounty if it finds its way back to Minyanville HQ.
In terms of the tape, a few technical levels of note; the Nasdaq-100 (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) 50- and 200-day is right here, right now, so watch for the action/reaction in and around these levels.
Over in the Old School, the S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) is trying to trace out a reverse head-and-shoulders pattern that IF triggered (with a move through S&P 1425), would "work" in a technical vacuum to S&P 1520 (that's 6.7% higher than current levels).
Never anticipate patterns; just see both sides as we edge our way to another day.
In terms of my personal risk, not much has changed; I'm still long "situations," with a handful of S&P out-of-the-money February puts on against them. I'm delta long small, with positive gamma. Like the Hulk, with less muscles and slightly-less-green tint.
Keep your eyes on our aforementioned levels; in the absence of clarity, technical analysis assumes more importance. Respect -- but don't defer to -- the price action!
Finally, a little full disclosure on the perspective front...
One of the more amazing aspects of writing in real-time is that it's "out there" for better or for worse all day, each day the markets are open. That dynamic opened a door into my personal life, if only to explain to our readers why I'm not chained to my turret all day. Yesterday, I was obligated to share that fare anew over on our real-time Buzz & Banter, despite the fact that it's getting old -- even to me!
A few weeks ago, I shared a passage from one of ye faithful who scribed an accurate summary of my 2012 stretch away from the flickering ticks. While it has been a blessed year -- a marriage and a new home -- there has been a fair share of stress, including but not limited to emergency heart surgery, spending my bachelor party in an Icelandic hospital, getting kicked in the teeth by the Hurricane, and more recently, cancelling my upcoming honeymoon as my beloved is suffering from pneumonia.
On Monday night, around 9:00 p.m., my 18-month angel came down with a nasty case of croup; she couldn't breathe.
My wife and I, wearing nothing but our skivvies, rushed her through rain and red lights to the emergency room where she was successfully treated (she remains under careful watch). While this may be old hat for parents out there, I’ve never experienced this before and children don't come with instructions. We brought her home in the wee hours and got to sleep at a time when I usually awake.
This isn't venting -- I feel extremely blessed; now, perhaps, more than ever -- but if you’re stressing about your performance, I will remind you that there’s a difference between loss and loss. While I was MIA Friday getting ready for our annual benefit for children’s education -- which was simply amazing -- I missed yesterday for a more important agenda: to take care of my wife and children, and that’s a trade I will make every single day.
May peace be with you, and white light, Ruby Jett.
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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 email@example.com.
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