When will the Barking Stop?

Laszlo the DachsundWe have a 15 month old long haired miniature Dachshund, named Laszlo.


When we got him, my Sugar Momma very specifically told me that I couldn’t refer to him as a “replacement” for our dearly departed Golden Retriever, Murray. We had to love him for his own self and respect his own identity.


Well, Laszlo has this bad habit and he certainly has an identity all his own


He howls incessantly. Perched on an easy chair top and peering out the window of our cul-de-sac, whenever he sees a jogger or any casual stroller, he goes beserk. If you don’t immediately let him out, he starts a pitiful whining noise.


MurrayMurray, bless his soul. was as dumb as a door knob, but he was incredibly sweet. Don’t let the mortarboard on his head fool you. He wasn’t even GED material. But the personality more than offset the lack of intellect. Sure, he barked as well, but only because he wanted to play with people.


Laszlo just wants to bark.


When he gets near people, he just does more of the same.


There’s another important difference. Murray only breached the electric fence once in 12 years. He may have been stupid, but he wasn’t dumb. We’d let him out into our substantially sized yard and never have to worry whether he would chase some innocent passerby.


Laszlo seems to care less if he gets zapped. He spits in the eye of the invisible enemy. He never seems to get tired of barking sheerly for barking’s sake.But he’ll also then lunge past the boundaries when someone passes by. Occasionally, he’ll do that with a car, as well.


I have long thought Laszlo to be very smart, but still he is the Spawn of Satan.


He’s also seemed to learn how to communicate. We can tell the difference between his barks for people, other dogs and birds.


A lot of good that does us.


But, the really annoying habit is that at about 3:30 or so each morning, and the time has gotten consistently earlier as we approach the summer solstice, Laszlo has been catapaulting out of our bed and howling, while he runs downstairs to the front door.


Laszlo is smarter than we are. He knows that we won’t be consistent with him in our approach to his behaviors. Our kids had us figured out like that, as well. When she was just my wife and not my Sugar Momma we would argue over issues like that with the kids. Now that we are empty nesters and she is, in fact, my Sugar Momma, I defer to her on all issues of behavior management.


We’ve tried just letting him bark, figuring that he would poop out, but that has yet to be the case. He goes on and on, howling over some unseen critter in the yard. Since we’re surrounded by sheep, cows, horses, deer and Lord know what else, I assume he hears soem rustling and wants to fetch us a varmint.


Although we still haven’t figured out at what point Laszlo will give up, even a brief moment of silence would be incredibly welcome .


That was precisley the atmosphere in the markets today.


Six straight losing days. It just went on and on and on. There really wasn’t any end in sight. Despite the typical onslaught of economic data and political events, there really was nothing out of the ordinary.


At this point, how are we going to be surprised by disappointing jobs numbers? But dispite the release of the ADP numbers last Wednesday and the absolute conviction with which the official government numbers would be dreadful as well the following Friday, the market dumped yet again.


How long have we known about the Greek crisis? Did it take a genius to realize that the Japanese disaster would also wreak havoc on the earnings of a number of American companies?


Even more maddening, almost like a momentary stop in the spine tingling barking, there were a few days in the past couple of weeks that it appeared as if the markets were going to eke out a gain.


I’ve lost track of how many days in that time period I saw five digit gains turn into losses. I was actually ecstatic for the one day that a five digit gain remained that way, just as long as you counted the decimal points at he the end of the trading day.


Even when all of those nice kind hearted buyers just wanted to pick up some shares, the market just barked at them.


But you just don’t know what to do. Just like with Laszlo, I know that yelling won’t help anything. Giving in, selling shares at a loss only reinforces bad behavior.


Sometimes all you can hope for is that the evil beast poops out and just has to take a breather.


That’s what happened today.


By 3 PM, the market had reached a gain of about 130 points. I squeezed out a few trades to capture a couple of more pennies from those weekly call options.


I bought back some $42 JP Morgan options and quickly resold them at $41. I also sold some AIG calls on my remaining shares. Both closed the day in the money.


I also sold some weekly $135 Goldman Sachs, which briefy went over the mark, but settled the day below $134.


I’m not sure what statment I was sending with those trades, other than my desperation to bring in a few more dollars of income, which is how I treat the options premiums.


In reality, I was saying that I didn’t believe that there would be follow through on the upward climb on Friday, the expiration date of many of my call options.


I was betting that the barking would start all over again.


Playing to script, by the time the final bell rang, the market closed up a respectable 76 points, but still, that was a sizeable drop from its intra-day high.


Was today just a Satan like breather or are we going somewhere far better?


It felt so good to see that everyone of my holdings stayed in the green. In all, only 4 of the 60 or so stocks that I follow lost money today.


Even RIMM and Goldman Sachs closed higher today. When was the last time that happened?


Even though I’m usually an optimist, I don’t think Laszlo will mellow out in the near future. I think that he’s going to continue getting up at ungodly hours until the frost comes. I think that whatever sounds of silence that we hear will just be momentary spells of silence, when he’s just a bit too tired and needs to actually breathe.


As far as the market goes, even though I made a few  bearish kind of trades today, I’m still hopeful. Hopeful that todays gain, despite the breather at the end of the day, is part of the market returning to a more acceptible behavior.


What really bothers me about this bearish beast of a dog is that he is also very hard to catch. Good old Murray would walk right up to you and never tried to run away. Laszlo plays this game and scampers away whenever you get close. Tantalizingly close, but not close enough. Just like market profits these days, he’s very elusive.


But at least I went to bed last night a little less nervous and at the very least, I can still dream about Murray while Satan is at my back.


As I do so, I think what we need is just a big capitulation. I think I need to let the dog out, just get it out of his system.


Maybe that’s what all of the barking is about. Once he realizes that he can’t catch the critters grabbing his attention, maybe Laszlo will throw it in and exorcise his demons.


Hmm. Maybe the market needs to do the same.


 

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It Could Have Been Worse

Just when you think things are really bad, some people prepare themselves for even worse to come, while others are grateful that things didn’t turn out even worse.


IMussolini the Trainmagine if Mussolini wasn’t able to make the trains run on time.


I like to think in terms of how bad things could have been, but weren’t.


Today was another of those kind of days. Bad things happened, but we’re all still here, unless you recently got a margin call.


I don’t really take great delight in seeing the fall of someone in power.


Let me qualify that, unless they deserved it, or unless they didn’t deserve to be in power in the first place.


There’s a good chance that some of the deposed leaders in the Middle East deserved to go and perhaps an even better chance that the currently embattled leaders of Lybia, Syria and Yemen deserve some hastened fall from grace.


In fact, they probably deserve to be on the express departing from Grace, non-stop to Hell.


With those obvious kind of exceptions out of the way, I should also add that I do take some delight in seeing the downfall of those that were quickest to sling the first stone, only to have their own peccaddilloes turn out to be major character flaws.


Think Newt Gingrich. How about the late Henry Hyde? Jimmy Swaggart anyone? They didn’t believe in virtual genital transmission. They went for the real thing.


I feel a little vomit working its way upward as I begin to type John Edwards’ name.


There’s a long list of hypocrites who so loudly decry the behavior of others only to cower in the reality that is their lives.


When news came out that there were additional photos, including the same kind of shirtless ones that resulted in Chris Lee’s resignation, it prompted me to Tweet the obvious joke, that perhaps Anthony Weiner should go by the name Chester Weiner.


But then the truth surfaced at this afternoon’s press conference.


So today came the admission by Anthony Weiner that not only were the released shirtless and pantless images of him, but that he was the one who sent them.


He lied.


What a shocker. He’s a politician. You almost can’t spell “politician” without “L-I-A-R”.


On a positive note, Weiner is now the most sought after “member” in Congress.


Now if you follow politics, Weiner is a pretty voluble guy. He’s no shrinking violet, unless he’s just come out of the water. Based on his underwear photo and the shadow cast, he’s no shrinking “member” of congress, either.


Now that the truth has come out, I’m certain that Weiner will backtrack on that “Photoshop” line of defense.


But at least he’s not been a hypocrite. He hasn’t lead the drum beats to jump over other members of congress that have auditioned to appear on “Dateline”.


One theory is that Democrat Weiner’s “six pack” wasn’t quite up to Republican Lee’s standard.


Just to be clear, political hypocrites come in all parties and not just related to sexually inappropriate actions.


Take Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, now being mentioned as another Republican candidate for the Presidency. Forget about the fact hat he was pushing Texas seccession. How about the way he decried the TARP, loudly condemning it at every possible venue and then taking credit for jobs created in Texas having used TARP funds.


Palin and RevereAs I watched yesterday’s evening news, I wonder what’s worse. Lying to save a bit of whatever self-respect you have left and perhaps give yourself some time to work out issues with your family, or trying to re-write history to make you look like less of an idiot than you already are well known to be.


I say that as I sit watching Sarah Palin trying to convince us that Paul Revere rode through the Massachusetts countryside in an effort to warn the British that the Colonists were going to whoop their buttocks.


Even Chris Wallace wasn’t buying it.


Really, what’s worse? Weiner lying, when we all knew he was lying, or Palin, thinking that we’re all idiots and could be snowed by some two century old revisionist history.


You know, I understand historical revisionism. It’s done all the time in order to promote or denigrate a particular agenda.


I can respect that. It’s one of the benefits of having power.


But revisionism for the sake of convincing people that you have a double digit IQ is a new low.


Oh, and let’s not forget the evils of the cover-up. True, Weiner lied in an effort to cover-up his love of all things social media.


On the other hand, Palin’s supporters have been caught trying to re-write the Wikipedia pages regarding Paul Revere’s ride to better reflect Palin’s developmentally disabled view of history.


I’ll give Palin benefit of the doubt on this one. She probably didn’t tell her supporters to put Wikipedia in their “crosshairs”, but how could you not. You just know what Moma Bear would do.


Alright, but where’s the parallel to stocks and investments?


Are you serious? They’re unending. The lies, the distortions, the doublespeak all seek to send you down a path not travelled enough.


Just look at Steve Jobs today, introducing a new Apple operating system and its version of cloud management, the iCloud.


What else would you have called it? I mean, after deciding on iPad, there was no turning back.


Anyway, it was just a few short years ago that questions of Jobs’ health were dismissed, deflected and decried.


I’m still surprised that a class actions uit didn’t arise out of that period when Apple’s stock plunged to about $70 when the truth finally came out.


Clearly, Jobs is an unmatched icon. In my eyes, he will be long remembered after Bill Gates is forgotten. Innovator versus stagnator, even though I’m a PC.


But still, great man, great visionary and he enriched the lives of untold millions, figuratively and literally, but he lied.


How about anyone in the financial sector? I know that’s painting with a broad brush, but look at the statements and actions of  Dick Fuld, Jimmy Cayne and even Lloyd Blankfein of my not quite late, but moribund beloved Goldman Sachs.


In the case of the financial meltdown, it to could have been worse, but probably not by much.


John Chambers, anyone?


That list is endless as well.


What I do know is that like all breaking economic news, regardless of how the market may be whipsawed at the moments surrounding data release, before you know it, all is forgotten.


Weiner will still be a weiner, new scandals will sway our attention and we’ll all choose to believe in the way in which we have been programmed.


I’ll continue to believe that things could have been worse. Goldman Sachs could return to 2008 levels, RIMM could sell itself to Nokia and Weiner could go on to open a string of Goldman’s Gyms and replace Ron Jeremy as the everyday man’s pornography hero.


Thank God for optimism.


Where’s my train?


 

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Death Becomes Us





 


I have an unhealthy pre-occupation with death.


It’s not that I fear it, it’s just that I’m fascinated by other people’s deaths. That’s something that I inherited from my mother. Not to be outdone by this site dedicated to my father, she has a website dedicated to her memory as well, but it’s more serious, befitting her personality.


My mother used to be an inveterate reader of the daily obituaries. One of her favorite comments was something to the effect of ” He’s dead? I never even knew that he was ever alive!”


NY Times ObitsThat really sums up my fascination, as well, as I begin each morning not looking at the pre-opening market numbers, but rather at the New York Times obituaries, with a particular eye toward the lesser known luminaries.


When my mother was nearing her final months of life, I knew she was disconnected when she showed no reaction to the news that Bob Hope had died. A few months earlier, when told of Milton Berle’s passing, even though she was not verbal, you could see the amazement in her eyes, as she processed that information.


Bob Hope? Nothing.


What amazes me is how many relatively unsung and generally unknown people have made such incredible contributions to the world. One of my regrets in having moved away from New York is that I can no longer browse the New York Times Death Notices that detailed even more obscure local passings, not quite important enough for for the on-line edition.


Those local obituary notices contained not only gems among gems, but occasionally unwelcome news of someone I had known.


This weekend was replete with death.


Much of it gleamed from Twitter from posting by comedians. Interestingly, many of their postings are not very funny, at all.


I learned that Wally Boag, Andrew Gold and Omar Shapli had passed away.


Who? Look them up. Do I look like Google to you?


Although Lawrence Eagleburger was probably the most prominent of this weekends’ necrology news, he didn’t make the top of my list. Nor did James Arness and Jack Kevorkian.


I did find it somewhat ironic though that Jack Kevorkian chose to have his body cryo-preserved until that day that modern science comes up with an understanding of what actually kept him alive.


The passing that most caught my eye, though, was that of Dr. Rosalyn Yalow. I certainly won’t try to chronicle her achievements, but suffice it to say, she was a women, Jewish and from the Bronx. Three strikes against her, especially when it came to setting her odds on ever winning a Nobel Prize for Medicine.


My sister, who also shares those characteristics with Dr. Yalow was once told by someone that she could never go forward in life unless she got out of The Bronx.


“Good people aren’t from The Bronx”, was the bottom line.


My sister eventually did leave The Bronx and has not yet won a Nobel Prize, so I wonder how accurate that advice really was.


Being Bronx bred and having worked in the Bronx in my early professional days, Rosalyn Yalow was an institution. Not only an incredibly accomplished researcher and mentor, but also a dedicated mother and wife. More than a triple threat, she was a quadruple threat. She proved that you could have it all, despite the roadblocks.


On top of all that, in her world so strongly influenced by science and data, she was an observant person, one of deep and abiding faith.


As an added bonus, she didn’t go around killing people.


My fascination with death is not entirely paralleled in my fascination for stocks.


For starters, I chose to ignore the lesser known stocks. I tend to gravitate toward the more household names. I rarely look to capitalize on an undiscovered gem. Let someone else get the thrills of discovering one of those. I don’t want to dirty myself.


The stock market mentality in me gravitates much more toward Jack Kevorkian than Rosalyn Yalow.


The stock market mentality in me also looks at death, but in a different way. It doesn’t allow me the fascination with a life well lived. Instead, it wants continued vibrancy. I don’t really care what you did yesterday. I want to know what you’re going to do to line my account tomorrow.


While at am somewhat awed by the lives that the recently departed lived and the impacts made, I have a very different attitude toward stocks that are “dead to me”.


I do, however, distinguish between “dead money” and “dead to me”.


For me, “dead money” is just a question of poor timing or extrinsic factors effecting stock price, that I don’t believe will be corrected in the short term. I don’t mind or totally rule out the possibility of investing in those companies sometime in the future.


Right now, I look at my holdings in British Petroleum as dead money. I’ve made lots investing in shares well before the bad days surrounding the Gulf spill and after. But lately, it’s going nowhere and I don’t see anything on the horizon to prompt it much beyond $48.


Even worse, as its volatility drops, so does its options premium.


When a “dead money” stock starts picking up in volatility, then I start getting interested again.


Then there are the “dead to me” companies. The ones whose intrinsic doings seem to doom any hope for price rebounds in my lifetime. Those stocks often get recharacterized by some as “value stocks” and by others as “value traps”.


Value is great, except when it’s not real.


Take Research in Motion. And I mean that literally. Just take my Research in Motion. No amount of volatility at this point makes it appealing anymore.


Not that we didn’t have good times, but it sometimes becomes time to move on and not look back.


I hate losing money in the market. Although I sometimes rationalize selling in order to take a tax loss, I’m really not kidding myself. I’d rather be in a position to pay more taxes, than looking for losses.


Recently AIG joined the list of “dead to me” stocks. Although, at the moment, it’s one of those hideous “partial death” sort of things, because I still hold shares.


Granted, with its volatility, I was able to repeatedly sell call options on AIG, yet its spiral downward fro $40 to $28 has been too much for even my beloved covered call writing strategy to withstand.


AIG? Dead to me.


Ford Motor. I spit on you.


Don’t even get me started with YRCW. Only a class action suit can do anything for that horror. Once the darling of cable TV, you don’t really see CEO Bill Zollars on anyone’s guest list these days.


In the markets, everyone loves a winner. A high profile homerun hitter.


Zoeller? Dead to me. Not a woman, not from the Bronx and really don’t care about his religion.


Rosalyn Yalow? Always a hero to me and hopefully to a few more now.



 




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Party Like its 1999

I don’t remember much about 1999.


Not that I was in a drug filled haze, or anything like that. If anything, that would have been many years earlier and I still remembered all of those times.


What I do remember is that we spent the most pathetic New Year’s Eve ever welcoming in 2000 at our neighbor’s house.


I can make those statements because they have since moved to Florida and I don’t believe that they were literate.


PrinceFor starters, just about everyone at the party was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers shirt. Mind you , we were in a part of Maryland that was not at all close to the Monongehela River. Most of the men and some of the women, I think they were women, were watching ESPN Classic Pittsburgh Steelers games from the past.


Happy New Year to you, too.


Anyway, the only music playing all night was the ubiquitous song by Prince, at a time when he was known as something else. It amazes me that an entire world had been waiting 17 years for that song to be relevant. But then again, these were the people watching an equally old football game that had at least as much relevance.


What I do remember about 1999 is that I sat on the sidelines when it came to my investments.


If you were a reader of the first incarnation of the Szelhamos Rules blog, you’ll know that I had a wonderful broker, Bob Shapiro. If you read the Option to Profit book you’ll also know that he passed away very unexpectedly.


Back when Bob was managing my account, I still followed the markets daily, even though he had full discretionary trading rights. I never micro-managed.


But on the sidelines I saw the wild amounts of money being made by people who weren’t me. It didn’t really matter that my own portfolio was performing well, because it wasn’t performing dot com well.


The stories of excess were legendary. The money was coming in and was going out even faster. Unfortunately, the money that was coming in wasn’t really from sales.


Long story short, I was spared the roller coaster rides of that era. I don’t have any sock puppet momentos inthe closet, nor reams of class action papers as a reminder of the wild times. Bob stayed on a much more sedate path. Sure we had ups and downs, but I never puked on the way down.


And so yesterday the big news came. No, not the news that Goldman Sachs was served with a subpoena by the Manhattan District Attorney. We all knew that was coming.I’ve got nothing left to puke on that one.


It was the other news that we all knew was coming.


A couple of weeks after the LinkedIn IPO came the much awaited word that Groupon was going to go public.


Within minutes also came word that Pandora, the music service with the artificial intelligence algorithm was also coming public. Since both are Morgan Stanley offerings, you’d think that maybe they would have timed the announcements to let Pandora have at least a little glory that Groupon was gobbling up.


Now, for full disclosure, my son works for Groupon’s biggest competitor, LivingSocial. He is responsible of overseeing the huge hiring spree that LivingSocial is currently engaged in. At least, that’s what a proud father would like to believe. In fact, a silver lining in ADP’s employment numbers was that LivingSocial accounted for 1/3% of all new hires in May. Not bad for a pretty small company.


A pretty small company that keeps company with Steve Case and Jeff Bezos.


Anyway, you remember Groupon. They spurned Google’s $6 Billion offer.


You remember Google, don’t you? They’re starting a Groupon like sevice tomorrow, Google Offers, in San Diego. Interesting, just a couple of days after they announced Google Wallet. 


Have you seen Groupon’s CEO?


‘Nuff said. I’ll let you scour YouTube for some clips, but yesterday’s statement that the money losing Groupon would not measure its performance in the usual fashion, should be sending a bad message. But if you don’t want to go the high tech route and search YouTube, just dust off your Funk and Waganalls and look for the illustration for the words “arrogant” and “obnoxious”.


Remember, I’m biased, but I’m being objective on this one.


The fact that Groupon employs 400 full time staff writers should send another message. How much effort does it take to write the same tripe for every tooth whitening offer in the country?


But there was unbridled enthusiasm yesterday as the announcement came across the news wire at about 3 PM. LinkedIn was the teaser, Groupon just a tasting, with everyone waiting for the 800 pound gorilla.


Facebook, with a current valuation of about $50-80 Billion.


And if this really is 1999 redux, there’ll be lots of drek coming along too, vying for your investment dollars.


What really makes me believe that we’re already nearing a top in social media is that my son, who made his first stock investment about two weeks ago, had already read Groupon’s S-1 filing and he was critiquing it for me, analyzing their dividend payments and compensation packages.


WTF?


Since I have an aversion to speculation, I won’t jump in, even if given the chance.


Which I won’t be.


On the positive side, I’m hopeful that my son’s LivingSocial stake will get the benefit of a wildly bid up valuation on the heels of Groupon and others.


In the meantime, I see a different outcome, at least for LivingSocial.


Granted the Google alliance with AOL didn’t turn out as planned, that alliance was with a Time Warner- AOL and not with a Steve Case led AOL.


Microsoft already has a small piece of the consumer market and no doubt that Google wants to keep Microsoft from gobbling up a big player in the daily coupon business.


After all, wasn’t that why they picked up a stake in AOL in the first place?


So I see Google, Steve Case and Amazon coming together on this one and blowing Groupon out of the water.


The difference between 1999 and 2011 is that all of this froth is based on people to people businesses. No real technology, per se, just a better way to get the non-proprietary tangibles that we all need.


Food, recreation and 50% discounted bikini waxes.


Why didn’t they think of that in 1999 and spare a generation that pain?



 

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Some Days it Just doesn’t Pay

Today was one of those days that you just wished that The End of Days had actually occured.


As if a 280 point drop in the Dow Jones wasn’t enough, watching Trump eat his Pizza with a fork and knife in a prototypical New York Pizzeria joint was enough to question everything in life.


Trump PizzaDuring World War II, reportedly American GI’s tested suspected spies by peppering them with baseball related questions. That was one sure way to test someone’s stripes. If you fell for the old, was Joe DiMaggio your favorite Brooklyn Dodger question, your ass was toast. Especially if you answered “Yah”.


No doubt, after seeing Trump elegantly dining on Pizza, one would be well justified to question the nation of Trump’s birth. Even Kenyan’s know how to eat Pizza.


They certainly don’t stack their slices and they’ll usually walk the extra 20 feet to bypass the Albanian Pizza place for a chance to get some really authentic New York Pizza, made my authentic Italians.


Let’s be clear, The Donald’s excuse for using a knife, fork, spork, whatever, doesn’t hold up to well. He said that he eats it that way so that he can bypass the dough, to keep his weight down.


The stacking sort of speaks a different story, unless Trump uses one of those Intuitive Surgical Da Vinci robotics to extricate the mozzarella and tomato sauce from between the soggy crusted slices.


Palin Star of DavidAnd then, there’s this image of Sarah Palin with her daughter Piper apologizing for pushing a cameraman. Well, as if the Jewish people don’t have enough problems, Palin is wearing a huge Star of David.


It was pretty unmistakenable. Maybe she was just trying to be prepared for any possible host awaiting her upon last week’s cancelled Rapturapalooza.


Don’t know, but once again it has me questioning everything. I had no problem with a Tina Turner beating Ike Turner or baseball bashing Rod Carew wearing the Star of David, but this? Too much. Just too much.


These sights were no way to end an absolutely horrid day.


Like most days that the markets are opened, I eagerly look forward to the days’ action.


Today was no different.


But like most days recently, our Dachshund, Laszlo, has been waking up and howling at an obscene hour in the morning.


Letting my Sugar Momma sleep, I get up and let Laszlo out with the full intention of going back to bed.


That never happens. Just can’t do it.


And so, I wait more than 4 hours waiting for that opening bell with my days’ trading strategies all planned out. I was fully expecting a rebound in Research in Motion and another upward bump in Freeport McMoRan.


Besides, the pre-open numbers indicated only a mild drop. Plenty of reason for sustained optimism.


But for the first time in a very long time, the market acted in an appropriate fashion for the economic news at hand.


The ADP employment numbers and then the ISM (Institute for Supply Management) data were not very good. But instead of moving in the irrational direction, the market actually did what a normal person would have predicted.


Given yesterday’s 128 point climb, today’s numbers gave a good reason to take some profits, but it was really an overdone reaction.


Given that Friday are the official government job numbers, I can’t imagine another such reaction for the release of numbers that should roughly mimic ADP’s numbers. The caveat being whether there are substantive revisions to previous month’s data.


Unfortunately, I’m not very well hedged and today was quite a hit. Normally at this stage of the month I’m fully hedged, but I change gears a bit if the previous month didn’t have many assignments. That usually means that I’m holding positions that are in negative territotry and I expect price rebounds.


In a perfect world, I’d rather make profits from an always upward spiraling stock price, but that’s just not the way of the world. Sometimes stock prices move downward and options premiums offest those paper losses very nicely.


That was the case during the May 2011 options cycle. I chose to not write June call options on a number of positions until they exhibited some price rises.


That was the strategy that I used during the early period of the post 2009 recovery. Back then, I went for capital gains on the stocks and smaller call option premiums.


For the pasy year, however, especially when volatility was high, I was particularly happy with the options premiums that came with near the money strike positions.


So today ened up being a total disappointment.


Rather than rapture, today was definitely a day from Hell.


Trump, Palin, The Dow Jones and Laszlo.


But at least my day tomorrow will have a much better chance of improving.


Don’t think Rep. Anthony Weiner will be able to say the same thing, although I guess we both could be guilty of letting the dog out.


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