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Random Thoughts: The Devil Made Me Do It!


Top-line vibes from the home office.


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

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet as it's more of a communication than a musing; it is, after all, earnings season and this is no time to slack off.

Yesterday afternoon, on my way back to the office from a cross-town meeting, I began having sharp chest pains; it was nothing I've ever experienced and truth be told, it was incredibly painful.

I texted Jamie, my betrothed, and informed her that my heart felt like it was about to explode. She immediately called and told me to go to the doctor. "I can't, baby," I said in a serious tone. "There's too much going on; Apple (AAPL) reports tonight!"

The silence-and subsequent dial tone-was all I needed to hear; and I went to the doctor, more or less to keep the peace.

The good news is that I wasn't having a heart attack. The less-than-thrilling news was that I contracted something called Bornholm Syndrome, or "The Devil's Grip." It stemmed from an upper-respiratory viral infection-which was no doubt caught from the kids, as all of them have been sick of late-and the symptoms mirror that of a heart attack.

I am actually pretty psyched about this-relative to the alternative, that is-but I'm nonetheless laid up, infectious, and in a fair amount of pain. I will attempt to weigh in throughout the day on our real-time Buzz & Banter but I'm not sure how useful I'll be; the prescribed medicine doesn't lend itself to lucid and proactive thought.

Still, lemme share some quick and dirty vibes, in no particular order:
  • I offered yesterday that, "The path of maximum frustration tomorrow may include Apple decoupling from the broader market, as too many folks are focusing on this stock as the market." I still believe that could occur, so don't pray to any false idolatry today.
  • While Europe is bouncing today, keep DAX 6500 on your forward radar; if it breaks that level, the Head & Shoulders pattern "works" (in a technical vacuum) to DAX 5820.
  • Hindsight was 20/20 on Apple last night, given the shellacking into earnings and its reputation for sandbagging guidance. Vols were pumped 3x normal levels, however, which put the individual investor at a competitive disadvantage vs. Wall Street firms that make their living picking off "retail flow."
  • I'm still long some Banco Santander (STD)-despite the symbol-against a dollar neutral amount of S&P puts, both of which I will trade as a function of time and price.
  • I'm "on board" the Millenial trade (seeing through to the other side); I just think we need to restructure and/or destroy a ton of sovereign debt, in a peaceful manner no less.
  • That's about it-for the time being, at least-hit 'em hard, watch our trading tells (financials, high-beta, breadth) and remember that we all have a lot to be thankful for!

Twitter: @todd_harrison

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Position in STD, SPX
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