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Random Thoughts: A Quarter-End Bender Approaches


Talking tape as Q1 comes to a close.

Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter.

I'm about to hole up for a wire-to-wire in-house MVP Products meeting-we're doing some terrific things on that front, and today is the day we finalize the remaining pieces of the puzzle-so I'm gonna evoke my literary license and shoot from the hip with some quick and dirty random thoughts. In no particular order:
  • The pink piggies (BKX) stood out in Red Dye yesterday as they took a breather from their 45% rally since the end of November. Of course, they remain almost 60% lower than they were in 2007, so where you stand is a function of where you sit.
  • The bulls will offer that yesterday's action was digestive, and until proved otherwise, that mindset will self-fulfill, particularly with quarter-end performance anxiety percolating.
  • In my experience-roughly 84 quarter-ends-the games people play (mark-ups) shifted in the Spitzer "corporate malfeasance" era. Now, instead of jam jobs into the closing bell of each quarter, the "manicuring" typically abates a few days prior.
  • Before I scooted to Palo Alto, we discussed the 'reverse dandruff' that worked to S&P 1410 (it's actually S&P 1420; I fat-fingered my calculator at the time). We're up and around there now.
  • Of course, the 'reverse dandruff' we spied in December worked to S&P 1360 and kept going and going and going, so please remember that technical analysis is more of a risk context than actionable catalyst.
  • Conventional wisdom has a way of paving a path of maximum frustration.
  • The good news-for all of us-is that Mercury Retrograde starts to fade late next week.
  • The great part about trading-and yes, there are some-is that every day is a new day with fresh opportunities. If you've had a chilly feel of late (hand raised), clear the mechanism; profits reside in the ride ahead.
  • The bears are left to wonder if the European 'solution' is behind us, and if so, what upward taxation and austerity measures mean for global growth.
  • On the sentiment side, I'll again draw your attention to the ursine capitulation column I highlighted a few days ago.
  • Another takeaway from Silicon Valley? Confirmation of my long-standing sense that the Millennials will be the human doers of the next generation. The digital generation has blurred the line between skill sets and experience.
  • Do you see that gold (+1.5%) has rallied directly into its 200-day moving average at $1687?
  • Is the action of late "migration" or "panic," and does that answer differ depending on your time horizon?
  • Did President Obama focus on health care when he first arrived in office in an attempt to divert attention away from the banks so that TARP would reflate equities and corporate America could roll their debt-and buoy their balance sheets-before being brought back in the public crosshairs?
  • Too tin-foil hat? Yeah, I know; it typically is…until it isn't.
  • Will the mirror image of this upside tail arrive before 2012 ends?
  • Would it have mattered if Fab Melo played against Ohio State? Dunno-that J.D. Salinger is a beast!
  • I was recently asked in an interview what the greatest gift I ever received was. The words, "my family" blurted out before the interviewer was done with the question. Balance, while elusive, is right up there with "truth," "trust," and "free will" as some of the most powerful forces in the universe.
  • If nuts and guts trading stuff is your thing, the Buzz & Banter is for you. While I'll be huddled up in our conference room all day today, that's typically where I spend my sessions and share my trades in real-time, along with other "trusted choices for financial voices." There's a free two-week trial, if you so choose!
  • May peace be with you.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

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