What do we Want

A week or so ago I wrote a blog called “Which Way is Up“. Like most of my writing, it also was of a rambling nature, but also like most of my writing, there was a minimally cohesive theme.

I moaned about the fact that with the available investment instruments, sometimes it’s difficult to remember what it is exactly that you want. Buy or selling a stock is simplistic, but then you get into all of the derivative variations, the vast majority that I will never go near.

I’m a pretty bright guy, but still can never remember the difference between “strangles” and “straddles” and the other Kama Sutra positions. Actually, I think the “strangle and straddle” was a Brazilian Snuff Film from the 70’s.

Uncle Sam - I Want YouSometimes the message is pretty simple. There’s not much mistaking the “I Want You” message from a few generations ago. The aim was clear, as was the objective. The only downside to answering the call was death, but even that was pretty clear.

Today, the messages aren’t necessarily as clear, even though sometimes the end result can be financial death.

But do you remember the time, not to long ago when there was a broadly agreed upon moan from leading economists and government officials that we, as Americans werent saving enough?

Remember when all of those posters were trotted out comparing our savings rate compared to the rest of the economically civilized world?

I’m sure that retailers didn’t mind that we had a negative savings rate, because after all, if we weren’t saving, we were buying.

Not only were we buying, but we were buying in a way that was anything other than zero sum. During boom times, when both money and credit are readily available, not only do we buy, but we buy inefficiently. We aren’t price sensitive, we don’t wait until the end of an item’s useful life has come and we buy in a frivolous manner.

These days, when you buy an iPad, that means that while Apple prospers, some other company, such as Hewlett Packard suffers, because there are no discretionary spending dollars. Whatever is left over is going toward paying down debt or waiting for a heavily discounted sale.

Now, wouldn’t those economist and government officials like to see the newly adopted frugality and savings behavior just quietly go away?

And since the Supreme Court has decided that corporations are people, it should come as no surprise that corporate behavior mirrors societal behavior. Over the last couple of days there’s been so much talk about how much cash certain corporations are sitting upon. Of course Apple is way up there. With the speculation that Apple might buy Hulu for $2.5 Billion, someone reported that was Apples cash flow in less than 3 weeks.


Throw General Electric into the mix and we’re talking some real money.

Last July, USA Today, a newspaper not owned by The Murdochs, reported that U.S. companies were sitting on $837 Billion. In February 2011, President Obama put the figure at $2 Trillion, which is James Altucher’s projected market capitalization of Apple.

Who are you going to believe, an all color newspaper or the President of the United States?

Or a Harry Potter look-alike venture capitalist blogger from the Bronx?

I don’t know whether either of tthe above figures include cash being held overseas due to tax liabilities if transferred back to the US. No matter, you can get lots of stylish haircuts and cute glasses with that kind of money.

Understanding why the government hasn’t come up with a tax based incentive and performance monitored plan for companies to repatriate foreign held profits in order to benefit the USD economy is the topic for a different rant.

Byt why is the stock market continuing its rise despite the somnolent economy? Because corporate profits are great. But the reason they’re great is that they are just not spending money where it’s needed the most.

Companies are just not hiring. Simply balance sheet stuff. Increased productivity, fewer workers, even with lower revenues you can have improving margins.

See. Saving money is bad. That’s why I sleep on a concrete slab.

Although I know that it’s a good idea to keep investing cash around to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, I am typically 100% invested. I have a really hard time keeping cash uninvested. Of course, the problem with that is also that not every purchase is a bargain. Investing for the sake of investing, as I wrote in Feeding the Beast, can be deadly.

But that’s why these weekly options are so nice.

Now, I typically have a stream of new cash sitting in the account every Monday morning, instead of just on the Monday following the third Friday of the month.

This past Friday, that meant losing shares of JP Morgan, ProShares Mid-Cap, QQQ and SPY.

JP Morgan was a holding that I had successfully sold weekly options on 11 weeks in a row. Although it was sometimes assigned, I always bought it back within a day at an even lower price.

Ah, ecstasy.

So, I’m already salivating. hat money is as good as spent with an eye already on Praxair, which was assigned from me just last week, but suffered a 2% loss today, bringing it right back into my neighborhood.

It’s like riding a sine wave, not to be geeky. As soon as your flush wiuth cash on the top, I just projectile vomit it out and suck it all in again.

And that’s what corporations should be doing.

The financial industry let us down. Despite the TARP rescue, they did little to infuse cash into the system and lend at what would be bargain rates and bargain prices for land and labor. That lending would now have resulted in tangible jobs.

Jobs means salaries and salaries mean spending.

We don’t need no stinking savings. We need the Apples and GE’s pf the world to step it up and invest in jobs. Let them have the confidence trhat they have products that the consumers or industry desire and put people to work making them.

Once they’re back to work and flush with cash, what kind of behavior do you think Americans are going to revert to?

That’s what we should want.


Most days it’s relatively easy to get inspiration from some ridiculous event that inappropriately effects our lives, or more importantly, my life.

On days that the market has a slow, steady and sustained rise, it’s a little harder to get incensed about anything, I suppose, however, that on those days, I could outsource the blog to the kind of person that leaves the movie theater after having seen Bambi and complains about how inappropriate and psychologically damaging it was for their child to be exposed to Bambi’s mother’s death.

There’s always a black lining if you’re willing to look for it or create it.

But I wasn’t about to outsource anything, it’s not like this blog is paying the bills.

By the time the market came to its close, despite the quietude, I ended up having made another 11 trades, again most of them being call options sales. But when I looked back I realized that there was a unifying theme throughout the day.

Some things just don’t go together. Oxymoron

Everyone knows about the standard oxymorons, like jumbo shrimp and superette. Please don’t take the image to the left as giving insight into my political leanings. It’s just there to illustrate the point that 50.1% of the 2000 electorate believed to be true. Even more in 2004.

Go figure.

Just in case you don’t get it, the operative word is not “left”.

Some other things are just a matter of taste and aren’t necessarily obvious.

To this day my Sugar Momma is revulsed by the thought of the vegetable quiche I made during our “courtship. At the time I didn’t know that she wasn’t a big fan of mushrooms, but there were plenty of onions, peppers and cucumbers to offset the funghi.

At the time, cucumbers seemed like a good idea to me, but now, in hindsight, her explanations of how they just don’t belong make a lot of sense.

She, on the other hand has thought nothing of adding broccoli to Chicken paprikas, a venerable Hungarian dish. Trust me, no Hungarian uses broccoli for anything, not even broccoli.

Then news came that the European Central Bank had decided that it would accept Greek collateral for the loans necessary to rescue the nation’s economy.

That was the initial stimulus for the initial market climb on top of an already good opening. For the likes of Bechtel and other international builders, like the bin Laden family, the prospects of erecting giant silos all across the European zone to store all of that feta was welcome news, as such large projects had dried up.

Then came news that threw cold water on the plan, as certain silo owners demurred on storing both feta cheese and lamb, as that was a clear violation of the Kosher laws. Meat and dairy do not go together. 

What kind of an uncivilized animal drinks a tall cool glass of milk with a hamburger?

I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that would eat a cheeseburger.

But it didn’t end there.

There was more talk of Carl Icahn and his bid for Clorox. He now seemed to be bidding against himself to take control of the company. If anything, the last 25 years indicates that Carl Icahn doesn’tt belong in ownership of any publicly traded company.

Of course, there’s also Buy and Hold, although I do have some new found respect for the concept. Mostly because a well know proponent, Eddy Elfenbein of Crossing Wall Street, who in addition to having a great investment record, may be alternatively the funniest and most insightful financial Tweeter I’ve found.

As long as I’m the tangential subject of favorite Tweeters, for pure cynicism and brutally honest self-deprecation mixed with stock and market insights, I go to someone named “Dasan

Okay, back to topic at hand.

Then there are those things that shouldn’t go together, but really should.

Although I currently own neither of these, how appropriate and complete would a portfolio be if it had shares in Altria and Aetna? Talk about a natural hedge.

But what really caught my attention yesterday morning was listening to Senator Kent Conrad (D – North Dakota).

As a member of the “Gang of Six” which was recently rejoined by Senator Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma). He was giving a rare optimistic report of potential bipartisan compromise on the deficit ceiling.

What struck me was a common theme. It seems that the only voices of reason in Washington D.C. come from lame ducks or retired elected officials. Conrad has let it be known that he’s done. Have you heard Allan Simpson recently? All of a sudden, his barbed wit is a tool for mocking both sides.

Amazing, once re-election is out of the picture, these guys actually think in terms of what’s right, not just what’s right for re-election.

For me, it just confirms that the most useless thing is a machine whose only function is to create copies of itself, with those copies also just having that singular skill. That’s precisely what nationally elected officials are, particularly members of the House of Representatives.

Seems that elected officials don’t belong in elective office.

I know how to get the broccoli out of paprikas, but I’m not sure how to tget the elected guy out of elective office.

Term limits? Coup d’etat?

Both so un-American.

Being an American, I did find the time to trade, since I really didn’t ponder these issues too long.

My faith in Riverbed Technologies would have been rewarded had I been quick enough. After being up to about $32.50, the shares turned on a dime and closed down another $0.75, so I didn’t get to sell options.

I did however buy back the Bank of America puts that were expiring today at a nice 3 day profit of 3%.

I had thought about selling July 29, 2011 $10 puts instead, but wouldn’t you know it,, the bid and ask prices weren’t going together. As Bank of America kept rising in price, the ask of the $10 out of the money put kept rising, while the bid, more appropriately kept falling. The spread was huge.

The market doesn’t always price to perfection, nor apply the mathematical relationships that should determine the premium price.

One Twitter follower, actually a favorite of mine, suggested that instead of buying stocks and selling calls, I should just sell puts, as the end result was the same and incurred less trading commissions

To my sense of thinking I discounted the commissions, since in blocks of 1000+ shares and 10+ options contracts per trade, the cost was less tha $0.02/share. Additionally, I could double dip and get dividends, as well.

His resposne was that the dividend is factored into the premium price

I agree, at least on a theoretical basis. But theory, common sense and application of theory don’t always go hand in hand.  It’s in the imperfection of the individual and the greed factor, that there are non-scripted opportunities.

Its own brand of oxymoronism.

Instead, I used the money to pick up shares of the ProShares VIX, which is really volatile and, therefore carries a nice options premium.

I also bought more of the ProShares Ultra Silver and sold those calls, as well.

The same with DuPont, Dow Chemical, Mosaic, Hasbro and Williams-Sonoma. Buy shares, then sell calls. Sometimes you buy them back and just sell them again.

Seems so natural doing things that do go together and living happily ever after in the forest.







Blind Faith

So much of our lives are based on blind faith. Many years ago, someone told me that if we followed a purely rationale thought process, we would never make the key and truly important decisions in our lives. We would always find logical reasons to not follow through.

Despite what should have been a logical decision, our first child was conceived in his home. And you see, that worked out pretty well.

After trading hours on Tuesday word came out that RIverbed Technology’s earnings, despite record numbers, were disappointing. I watched it go down by about $9, but didn’t have the kind of severe gut wrenching reaction as others may have had.

The last time I owned it was about 2 months ago and subsequently lost it to assignment.

What else is new?

But as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, RIverbed Technology has been one of my all time very favorite stocks, as it consistently has offered a 4-6% options premium for its near the money options strikes.

I’ve held and lost my shares over and over the past few years and never moaned about the loss when shares went higher, even beyond the option premium that I received. Knowing that I, like most people, tend not to sell their shares at the top, those “lost” profits would have been unrealized anyway.

I wanted to pick up shares again last month or the month before on the first day of trading for the new options cycle but as I recall, shares popped by $2 or so. It just wasn’t in the cards.There wasn’t too much reason to chase after it. I may have loved the shares. but I had some dignity.

As I waited for RIverbed to return to a more reasonable $34 range, it just kept going higher and higher.

Faith and ReasonBut I had faith it would return to the neighborhood in which we both felt comfortable.

Blind Faith, actually. The phrase itself suddenly seems repetitive.

I suppose that I could have checked the charts to reinforce the belief, but I didn’t have to. My faith was reinforced with memories and the knowledge that Newton got it right 400 years ago.

I suppose that I also had faith that the Laws of Physics are inviolable.

So the prospects of a bargain share price come the morning, I was ready to pounce on new shares. Despite not bothering to get too much detail about the earnings and guidance, I had faith that Riverbed would lead me back again to The Promised Land.

For starters, I also had faith that I would still be of sound mind and body, come the morning. Based upon my current status, that would be an increase of one.

What I had in faith though,  I lacked in funds.

I eagerly awaited the opening bell, but there was just one additional problem.

I had to take my visiting niece from California to the airport for the next leg of her trip. She was off to Florida and was excited about going to Disney World, despite the fact that she lives within 30 minutes of Disney Land.

It’s like getting excited about seeing a Dominos Pizza place when you cross the border into West Virginia.

Anyway, we were on the road at the opening bell.

I took my Droid phone, rationalized that I wasn’t really texting while driving and instead attempted to trade on the E*Trade Droid platform.

To get the funds, I broke cardinal rules in addition to driving laws,  I suppose. I sold my shares of McKesson that I had only recently purchased. The dividend that I captured offset the capital loss, but otherwise it was a wasted two weeks of holding.

But I couldn’t keep my eyes on the road and get my too fat fingers to negotiate the keyboard well enough to put in a limit order, so I just succumbed to my need to trade and placed a market order. Not only did I take a loss, but there went the other cardinal rule.

Market order. Ugh!

But I had faith that it would work out well, and it did. I actually sold shares at the high for the day. How that happened I have no idea, but the shares may have gone to the same guy who put in a market order for Zillow upon its IPO and paid $60, shortly before the $20 issue price roared to $43.

Or depending on your perspective, plunged to $43.

Still, it didn’t turn out badly for me.

Then I did the same with my Riverbed purchase, although I did so from another lane, not really having the memory of moving over.

But I had faith that I wouldn’t drive into the guard rail.

I told my niece not to do as I do.

I wasn’t referring to the texting or trading while driving, though.

I was referring to placing market orders. Really, faith can only take you so far.

By the time we got to the airport, I placed an additional Buy order for Riverbed, this time at a limit price and the resulting average price of $32.02 made me happy.

I like my purchase prices to be very close to strike prices for reasons that seem obvious to me.

Once she was safely through security I got my quick market summary and saw that Textron was up big. I mentioned Textron in Tuesday’s blog as well. Together with Riverbed, Textron and a few others have been great to me with the options premiums spun off.

This time I decided to have faith that when I returned home 30 minutes later, the price would still be there for a good options sale.

I did sell options on a piece of my Textron holdings the day before, which made up about 7% of my combined portfolios. I often do that if I have different priced lots and in the case of Textron, I did, as I averaged down my cost last month.

Faith was rewarded, because Textron went even higher and I changed my plans, instead selling the August $25 options, rather than the $24’s.

Even better, my faith that Bank America would cling to its $10 level seemed to have been rewarded. I sold $10 in the money puts expiring this Friday. The strange thing is that I often sweat the small things way out of proportion. I get more nervous thinking about a quarter in a slot machine than the prospects of looking at a single day’s paper loss of $100,000.

Both have happened. The difference being that I never was able to recover the quarter.

If my Bank of America puts were assigned, they would represent just a very small fraction of the overall portfolio, yet I found myself checking Bank of America’s share price even more than that of Riverhead, which now represented about 3% of my assets.

Clearly, however, I didn’t have that much faith in RIverbed, since my typical holding is about 7%. I’m not trying to draw any parallels to Moses here, but his faith was sometimes lukewarm and look what happened to him.

Could you imagine being left to dig your own grave in suburban Egypt? Coincidentally, I have a plot picked out adjacent to a Dominos in West Virginia.

It’s my sincere hope that my lack of complete faith will see a triumphant rise in shares of Riverbed, making me wish that I had full and unquestioning faith in the purchase of its shares.

That’ll teach me.

Here’s to a vengeful God.


Personal Hygiene

I’m a big believer in personal hygiene.

I know that it takes some courage to come right out and say that, but it needed to be said.

ShowerUnfortunately, sometimes time seems to fly and it’s only when I see the flies circling about me do I realize what’s been neglected.

In the winter, when no flies are to be had, I usually get the message when Laszlo refuses to lick me.

If you’re not a regular reader of this blog, Laszlo is my personal assistant.

Most mornings I’m usually up and esconced in my La-Z-Boy sometime between 6 and 7 AM after having checked into FourSquare. Coffee made, sipping slowly and studying the pre-open mood and scouring the New York Times.

Of course, given my professional education and training, I do brush my teeth before heading to my “office”. I felt that needed to be said, as well.

Both yesterday and today it was a simple matter to break away from trading in order to exercise personal hygiene.

I love big moves, up or down, especially once they show signs of stability. That’s when it’s safe to move away from the monitor and TV screen.

Yesterday, however, I could have taken a very extended shower and perhaps had a kidney removed as well, as CNBC coverage of the Murdoch’s appearance before the British Parliament committee hearing just went on for an insufferable amount of time.

But CNBC wasn’t alone. Bloomberg, MSNBC FOX News, FOX Biz, CNN, Home Shopping Network, Comedy Central, The Sci-Fi Channel and even a C-SPAN channel all devoted themselves to the Britsh equivalent of gavel to gavel coverage.

Well, at least Nancy Grace went on unencumbered. For a while, I thought maybe one of the Murdochs had perhaps vanished and she was trying to find the truth. As it turned out,  just a pie went missing off the HLN sill.

After a major flurry of trades in the first 30 minutes of the morning’s session, I was able to sell calls on lots of my positions as the market opened high and just went even higher.

At that point and then faced when the droning sound of various United Kingdom accents, it was safe to shower.

Back in the days that I travelled quite a bit, I always thought that I did my best thinking while en-route.When driving, I’d often lose track of where I was. When flying, I’d forget to disembark if there some relly good ideas percolating.

These days I rarely travel, so instead I try to get my best thinking in while in the shower.

For some reason I was reminded of a friend from long ago who used to refer to his morning routine as “Shit, shower, shampoo and shave.” I did try convincing him that the “it’s all the same drain, dude” theory didn’t really apply, but to no avail, I believe.

For some reason, I continue to believe that there was one more act in that group and for the life of me, I just can’t recall. That has made me think that I’ve been omitting some inportant act of personal hygiene for the past 30 years.

Did I mention that I have no friends?

What I didn’t expect after returning to my perch was how dirty I would feel listening to the Murdochs try and  relieve themselves of responsibility or advanced knowledge of the cellphone hacking charges

When Rupert Murdoch ascribed responsibility to his subordinates or their subordinates, I was fully expecting him to continue down the line until he finally arrived at the people whose cell phone accounts had been hacked. It doesn’t take too much of a stretch to blame them for not using something other than the default password.

I mean, after all, for how many centuries did the plea that the rape victim was dressed seductively help to exonerate the accused?

How I would have love to have heard the word “mis-remembered”, but I guess that’s a  uniquely steroid induced American word.

PiedWhat really amazed me was the initial reaction of the huckster that tried to “pie” the elder Murdoch. For the first few moments neither the small portion of the Twittersphere that I follow, nor the media seemed to understand exactly what a “foam filled plate” signified.

In fact, as late as 4:15 PM, Maria Bartiromo still referred to it in that manner.

Maria, darling. He was “pied”.

The pie in the face used to be a universally recognized comedy staple and statement of political beliefs. In the early part of this century it was the symbol of the Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party, except they were real whipped cream pies and Roosevelt devoured them..

Apparently, with our lives taken over by electronics and social media, where human contact is ever diminishing, the old pie in the face has lost its rightfful place in our coollective experience.

With wife Wendi coming to Murdoch’s defense, the hearings went on after a brief delay, with Murdoch only needing to shed his suit jacket.

Although most every native born Brit is expected to carry a Shepard’s Pie at all times, it’s hard to believe how a shaving cream pie could have escaped detection by security personnel in Parliament.

So of course after listening to all of the tripe, it was time for yet another shower.

What was really fascinating was that after listening to Murdoch the flies came back, but this time they circled counter-clockwise.

When I came back, I was rewarded for the decision earlier in the day to purchase more shares of the ProShares Ultrashort Silver ETF’s.

Apparently, after President Obama’s statement that the “Gang of Six” seemed to be coming to some agreement, precious metals decided to reverse course and give up those last few days worth of gains.

I also purchased more shares of Lowe’s and just as quickly sold those calls, in addition to selling calls on the ETF’s.

After the close, all eyes were on Apple’s earnings report. As usual, they blew away their perennially under-reported guidance numbers and eclipsed the $400 level for a short time.

My eyes though were on Riverbed Technolgy, one of my favorites, that I last held 2 months ago. I have made more money selling calls on Riverbed than on any stock, other than Sallie Mae, Goldman Sachs, Textron, Rio Tinto and JP Morgan.

Okay, there may have been a few others, as well, but I got tired of checking it out.

Regardless, over the past 4 years or so, Riverbed Technology has spun off about $25,000 in premiums.

Given that it is earnings season, it was now their turn. Despite a 72% surge in earnings and record margins, Riverbed lost 25% in the after hours because it “missed on top line growth analyst expectations.”

I have no idea what that even means, but as  “Chico Escuela” used to say “Ribberbed been berry berry good to me”, so after it’s stink wears off, I plan to purchase more shares with proceeds from any assigned weekly contracts.

Then, we can get rid of our stink together.

If it means getting good companies at good prices, I will exercise personal hygiene on a predictable and regular basis. But its funny how it takes a stinker of a price drop to make something attractive again.

Maybe I need to rethink my own personal hygiene schedule and take a lead from Riverbed.

Noseclips anyone?




Mixed Emotions

Listening to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner during his interview yesterday left me wondering what kind of emotions to have.

Perhaps in a similar vein, my dog Laszlo may be going through an identical dilemma, but he’s probably dealing with it in a more mature fashion, because in his case, there was no money involved.

Nathan's Hot DogsOnly casings.

While Sugar Momma was in New York City this weekend with our visiting California niece, I threw all cholesterol caution to the wind and purchased some Nathan’s Hot Dogs and their frozen french fry counterpart from the supermarket. Without a doubt, had I succumbed to a cholesterol chunk lodging in a coronary artery, that market would be held as an accomplice to my death.

Casey Anthony made not have been so clear cut, but no jury would let Harris Teeter get away with the role they played.

Amazingly, the fries tasted Coney Island authentic, although I don’t know if that could also be said had I baked them. Listen, I said “ALL” caution to the wind, although I did use canola oil in the spirit of compromise.

Unfortunately, that spirit can’t seem to migrate 20 miles or so down the road as we approach that August 2nd debt ceiling deadline.

I probably should have invited Eric Cenator over for dinner. I would have also broken out a new box of wine for the occasion.

But I wasn’t the only one reveling this weekend.

Laszlo, our long haired miniature dachshund got to enjoy cannibalism as he had his first ever wiener. That’s right. The wiener dog ate a wiener.

Usually a picky eater, he went wild, devouring what seemed to be his body weight in hot dogs on two successive nights.

He clearly enjoyed his repast, but his digestive system didn’t and it looks as if we may have to burn some carpets.

My guess is that if faced with the hot dog temptation again, Laszlo would choose to forget the distress and remember the joy. I don’t think he would spend too much time dealing with the emotional extremes or the consequences of his actions.

It’s like the time I had unprotected sex with the Angolan prostitute after we finished passing the needle.

So when Tim Geithner very clearly stated that the aims of the US banks were counter to the well being of our economic system at first I was ecstatic to hear that level of forthright thought. No one could accuse him of class warfare or pitting Main Street versus Wall Street on this one. After all, he was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. It’s not like he didn’t know what banks were all about.

I’m not one of those people who believes that bankers are evil. I’ve been very happy to own JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others. Alright, not so happy with Goldman at the moment.

I don’t even think credit card issuers are evil, also having been very happy to own Visa and MasterCard.

I have also owned Altria and Philip Morris, even though I think lung cancer is evil.

But you do have to believe that there were some excesses that got us to the abyss and you also have to believe that despite the infusion of liquidity through TARP, QE1 and QE2, the mainstream financial systems may not have done very much to help us climb out of that crater, although with just 6,000 more ThankYou points I can get a door placed on our guest bathroom.

I was also pleased to see that the market was opening down, perhaps in reaction to the Secretary’s opinions. Happy, because I did have to replenish about 35% my portfolio after assignments and it appeared that there were some good prices to be had.

In fact, I was able to repurchase shares of Sallie Mae, Williams Sonoma, ProShares Mid-Cap 400, Rio Tinto and Transocean at prices lower than I had to release them to assignment

I also thought that I got good prices on my purchases of British Petroleum, Mosaic, JP Morgan, Hasbro, ProShares Ultra Silver, ProShares SPDR S&P 500.

But then it seem that the market started to do what Laszlo did. It started to try and digest Geithner’s words.

That process wasn’t very pretty, as the Dow slumped another 80 points from where I had made the majority of my purchases.

I didn’t see what the floor of the NYSE looked like, but I doubt that it is carpeted.

Good thing.

Normally, I like to sell my call options soon after my share purchase, although I try to wait for a down pattern to shift gears before making those sales. That’s probably greed coming into the equation, but I prefer to think of it as optimism.

That wasn’t going to be the case yesterday. Although by the close the market had cut its loss by almost 50% from the days’ low I still didn’t find the opportunity to cash in, possibly due to the fact that I also fell to sleep during the extended period of boredom that gripped the market at about noon.

As I went to the New York Times to see their take on the day, they ascribed the market’s fall to the European debt crisis. Not a single mention of Geithner.

The lack of credit for his market moving words was consistent with the theme earlier in the day on CNBC when Geithner’s influence on Congressional members relating to the debt ceiling issue was being downplayed.

All while lauding his skills and deft.

That’s probably one way of dealing with mixed emotions. On the one hand he’s situationally impotent to effect change of opinion, but on the other hand, he’s the best of all impotent Treasury Secretaries.

I hope that he’s not overly distressed.

I do know one thing that will make him feel better.

A Nathan’s Hot Dog.

At least for a while, until the next crisis hits.