Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12/16/10 I'm Not Lisa



Anyone remember this one from the seventies?  The lyrics come to mind sometimes when I run into the same old strung out longhairs on my way to/from work.  I can think of few 'situations' as tragic as spending a lifetime lost in the haze of mental illness.  Family?  Well, the 'family' might be the reason they hit the streets in the first place. 

What does this have to do with trading?  There's a 'Bernanke Saves' sign that juts out from a small mission on 6th near Market- a 60-watt bulb illmuninates the concrete step and unadorned glass door that leads inside.  It takes a resolute faith to believe portfolios taken down by inverse leveraged funds with street names like TZA (let's set aside the reverse split makeovers that fool no one) will someday be resurrected.

Those are exactly the kind of beaten down ETFs I want to invite into my portfolio.  They're volatile personalities, however, that require protective stops and more importantly, exquisite timing.  Shrinks like Bernanke have it right- serial POMO injections may cause a little short-term pain, but should ultimately breathe life into these lost souls.

114 comments:

  1. Damn- Rain Friday, and continuing for a week?

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  2. Tell me about it. This has been the worst summer ever. It's really impacted my job as it's a major remodel an the entire roof had to come off. 6,000 sf house with a 12/12 pitch. It's been a real bitch.

    1230 is the number I've been keeping an eye on for the ES. Finger nail time.

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  3. ES 1231.75....I'm still alive!!!

    VB- No balls yet today. After dinner, of course.

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  4. I guess the question is, did most fund managers get it right in Nov. or will they need to chase into year end?

    Right now my guess is they got it right and want to lock in EOY returns.

    On the other hand, I don't need to do that. My 9000 shares of BAC seems like a lock. If you take today's AH news/price for real, I still see 17.65 as a reasonable target.

    The largest VWAP bar is 12.69 which is right where we are.

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  5. ALl of the kids at daycare have been fighting a virus, including my 2 yr old so I stayed home with her today. You really don't get to focus on anything else when its just the two of you but I did see about 90 seconds of CNBC comentary on cloud computing and I kept thinking this cloud computing seems to be a great environment for a VIRUS.

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  6. port- Ask my bro, JB. This is his field. From what I hear, the security is far tighter than what we deal with. IE, no random searches for video...Right??

    VB...Not a single ball yet, stop it!! :)

    OK, now I'm done with work. Getting a budget ready for the new job I've been talking about. Looks like 3.88M.

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  7. YIKES look at dem typo's. I'm getting a big delay between my typing and what I see on the monitor.

    Fast Money guys seem to think higher interest rates mean things are getting better. Peter Schiff was taking the other side of that debate. I think it depends on why interest rates are going up. If big money was switching out of bonds in favor of US equities wouldn't the indicies be trading up or did that already happen?

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  8. Good idea, hey JB, do you think cloud computing will make it easier to viruses to spread?

    Great commentary on position sizing today. That's one of those things that I've read in the past and put it aside, mostly a lack of discipline on my part.

    later

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  9. Man, at least I can go to bed with the ES above 1230 and green.

    See you guys at the bar...uh...open :).

    Ciao.

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  10. 7:45 AM CT natty update
    Don't need a jacket today.
    Hub cash 4.205, bal mo 4.15, Jan 4.185

    port

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  11. Hulbert on 'The Inside(r) Bet' newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5049 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 09:39 #76085
    http://tinyurl.com/2c6z7ex

    'Corporate insiders evidently believe that the stock market’s rally will soon run out of steam.

    'That’s because they recently have been selling the shares of their companies’ stock at a pace last seen since early 2007.'

    That's enough to keep me on the sidelines.

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  12. good morning! well, not that good!

    slw ngd

    mark, ms clause needs those mailing addresses for the bb's!

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  13. Opening Bid On TZA> 16.58 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5050 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 09:51 #76086
    Tight stop.

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  14. Re: Opening Bid On TZA> 16.58/ Off 16.68 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5051 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 10:06 #76088 (in reply to #76086)
    Damn- OK, so the first spike down gets bought. Awaiting the next wave.

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  15. Not just here, but all the stuff I read, there sure seems to be plenty of bears all of a sudden.

    I don't know man. You all know I watch X like a hawk, and it's still chugging higher. TIE not so much of course :).

    I also saw what I thought was panic selling in some of the stuff I follow this am.

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  16. Mark- That's good info. Kind of stuff that helps when making decisions in real time.

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  17. David - I just wanted to let you know that I bailed on my OPEN puts at $4.8 this morning. I bought them at $4.6 and I felt like it is smart to sell given the news that Bing is going to include their service in their web browser. This stock is extremely volatile and I'm done with it. If I could short the stock I would but with these puts being so illiquid and the stock so volatile, it makes sense to take risk off.

    I do want exposure to the downside, though, so I just added Jan $126 SPY puts at $3.88 avg with the money I had in OPEN.

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  18. Long JPM $39 Jan Calls at $2.03 on this panic sell off.

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  19. Bidding to add C @ 4.50. Let's see if it can fill it's gap.

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  20. Took a large position in PIR at $9.74 just now. Earnings were very good. I think the stock turns around and goes higher.

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  21. Took PHM off @ 6.80 for a 2.2% loss. I want the $'s for C.

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  22. Closed my TYP position at $24.86 this morning. I figure I will have a better entry point soon.

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  23. Closed my SPY puts this morning at about a 10% profit. Re-entered longer dated ones (i.e., March) and hedged with short dated (i.e., Dec 23) calls to play a swing higher before a fall.

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  24. Mark - sorry about dragging you into PHM, but I think that one goes much higher eventually. I plan on getting back into it.

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  25. Added to my JPM Jan $39 Calls; avg is now $2.12. Stock is down $2 from highs a few days ago. I say it bounces.

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  26. TOF- Not at all. I still really like the play on housing. I'm going to be back in also, just think for the next month or so C can do better. Man, I hope it can fill it's gap. I hate those.

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  27. Damn, Mort. rates are 1% higher than what I got already.

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  28. VXX @ 39.61 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5052 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 11:07 #76095
    tight stop. toying with the downside.

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  29. Patiently Holding dry powder for $20 silver, just in case.

    As a note, today may be a good opportunity to add GMO b/c the general consensus is water permits are likely to be approved. That said, I'm gonna wait and see what happens.

    Chinese equities - I've noticed they can move much lower than one might imagine, it pays to be patient on these. I think CADC is consolidating for a move to the upside, but again, I'm not adding here in case old axioms come true...

    So for me it's either silver @~$20, CADC sub $3, or perhaps even ATNI around $32...

    I bet I still don't get my chance, there are other good buys such as PKX but I can't keep track of so many long positions.

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  30. Mark - $500 should put a healthy dinner on the table for several days out of the month, good work!

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  31. Glad I closed almost all of my shorts this morning and decided to go long. Sometimes its better to be lucky and/or listen to your gut. I couldn't shake the upside possibility after seeing the action in FDX.

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  32. Re: VXX @ 39.61/ Added at 39.13 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5053 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 11:17 #76096 (in reply to #76095)

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  33. Conference call for PIR is pretty damn positive. I think I lucked out on my entry point.

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  34. We've got 4" of snow bearing down on us for today, we're right here in the bulls-eye of this one.

    UPS driver said this and next week will be long ones for them, I told her to get a red suit!

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  35. Today is a perfect example to me that it makes more sense to just wait for prices to come to you and go long than to try to short. It's fun trading, but in 2 days I made a whopping 1% on my ultra short position in TYP. I had a very large position in it. On the flipside, I entered a very large position in PIR and I am now up almost 4%.

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  36. PKX is a good buy here folks, if you need a long...

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  37. The phenomenon we've been witnessing, I believe, is from tax-loss selling, mixed this week with op-ex.

    The media has just been adding to the confusion, where are the stories about tax loss, p/e and op-ex evaluations? Few and far between, I don't hear much about these.

    Of course I'm no expert, so I could be wrong...

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  38. Sold PIR just now at $10.14. Made a cool $4k on that!

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  39. Re: VXX @ 39.61/ Added at 39.13/ Half off 39.38+Add TZA 16.23 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5054 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 11:45 #76099 (in reply to #76096)
    tag-teaming the downside...

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  40. long FAS at $25.89.

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  41. VXX/TZA/UNG. I guess we all have our own personal crack ;)

    UNG- Man, I F'ed up this trade. Good job for taking profits David. By doing nothing, I've managed to turn a 2K gain into a 300 loss.
    I guess I am under estimating the stupidity of the marginal natty drillers. The US is in a Fing freeze zone, it's colder than hell here again, their calling for a la nina weather pattern ( colder water temps which usually means a colder/dryer winter), UNG is in a roll right now to LOWER future prices and the Fing thing tanks 8% over 2 storage reports that both came in at the upper end of estimates.

    Crack indeed.

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  42. wow, tons to catch up on.

    mark - you're trading futes now, thru infinity/trans act? got the refi in just in time, CONGRATS, shoot me a note and fill me in on the new job, sounds very cool

    port - the entire cloud topic is very interesting. right now I'm working with both HP and Dell on SAP/Private cloud certification. To your specific question I don't think a "cloud computing platform" is more susceptible to an attack but what I do worry about is if there is a problem the scale of that problem could be massive. David probably knows much more than I do on this topic so hopefully he will chime in.

    Good trades 2nd and tof.

    CP - stay clear of that yellow snow!

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  43. What the heck is happening with V/MA?

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  44. "UNG is in a roll right now to LOWER future prices and the Fing thing tanks 8% over 2 storage reports that both came in at the upper end of estimates."

    My feeling exactly, Mark. I did have concerns about the recent UNG rally being only a temporary one and dissipating as soon as the weather forecast would start warming up, but I didn't expect it to happen SO quickly.

    I had a buy limit order for 400 shares of UNG at $5.60 which got triggered today, and I placed a sell limit order for those shares at $5.90. I am using a risky "wishful thinking" strategy -- let's see how much damage it does to my port this time...

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  45. Must be the Discover con call.

    Hey bro- I'll give you a call. Not much to tell about the new project really. Still in the early stages. Not trading futes yet. Just keep an eye on them for support/resistance.

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  46. Stopped out of FAS at $25.85. Sold my SPY Calls.

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  47. WTF is going on right now. Financials/V/MA etc. are trading like crazy??

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  48. Crikes. V just broke the 100. I'm seriously thing about buying 1000 shares.

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  49. Cleared my longs off the table and bought back a big position in TYP at $24.55. Also bought a lot BGZ at $9.18. The market can't get through 11,500 for whatever reason.

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  50. Re: VXX @ 39.61/ Off 39.56...TZA 16.23>Off 16.35 newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5055 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 14:28 #76110 (in reply to #76099)
    done

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  51. Visa Inc.

    Submitted by Vadym Graifer (1650 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 14:44 #76112

    Visa Inc. Visa and Mastercard: Fed issuing proposals on interchange fees; lays out two proposals for capping debit card fees- With respect to the interchange fee standards, the Board is requesting comment on two alternatives that would apply to covered issuers: (1) an issuer-specific standard with a safe harbor and a cap, or (2) a cap applicable to all such issuers. The proposed rule would additionally prohibit circumvention or evasion of the interchange fee limitations (under both alternatives) by preventing the issuer from receiving net compensation from the network (excluding interchange fees passed through the network). The Board also is requesting comment on possible frameworks for an adjustment to interchange fees for fraud-prevention costs. With respect to the debit-card routing rules, the Board is requesting comment on two alternative rules prohibiting network exclusivity: one alternative would require at least two unaffiliated networks per debit card, and the other would require at least two unaffiliated networks for each type of transaction authorization method. Under both alternatives, the issuers and networks would be prohibited from inhibiting a merchants ability to direct the routing of an electronic debit transaction over any network that may process such transactions. - Under Alternative 2, an issuer would comply with the standard for interchange fees as long as it does not receive or charge a fee above the cap, which would be set at an initial level of 12 cents per transaction. Each payment card network would have to set interchange fees such that issuers do not receive or charge any interchange fee in excess of the cap. - EFTA Section 920 requires the Board to establish interchange fee standards and rules prohibiting circumvention or evasion no later than April 21, 2011. These interchange transaction fee rules will become effective on July 21, 2011.

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  52. UNG - I think these guys have been after the liquid distillates due to rising price of crude and the gas itself is really a by-product at this point?

    Anyway, the way I see natty is there's a glut in terms of all the new wells opening up, I think it's bound to be cheap at least all winter. Just my perspective... I don't personally know much about the real innards of the energy industry(everything seems pretty tight lipped) except for one oil guy who exited the business years ago and currently he only seems interested in finance (AIG).

    Looks like he's done well with his pick, not my style holding BK stocks though...

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  53. This guy didn't do too well with his GM pick though, the bottom fell out on him when they cut their div and filed BK...

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  54. Mark - I just followed you on V. Went long about 1800 shares at about a $67.8 avg.

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  55. TOF- NICE!!! I'll try and get back in again for a REAL hold :)))

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  56. SCCO/TGB - London Copper inventories have bounced up slightly, we may have seen peak Cu prices for this year.

    I see base metals are soft today as well... not anticipating appreciably higher metals prices til next year.

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  57. I decided to fight the ESLR battle to the bitter end and just bought 5500 more shares at $0.62.

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  58. Looks like my avg is actually $68.18. MA is performing better than V FYI.

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  59. All right. I'm keeping these shares of V.

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  60. Re: V newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5056 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 15:26 #76118 (in reply to #76112)
    Thanks for the alert, Vad. More confirmation that it pays to wait for 'prices to come to you.'

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  61. Well, it stopped snowing finally, hopefully that's it and we don't get the rain/sleet they said we might get.

    I'd say we got 3.5 inches of fairly light stuff, it's been hovering around 22~24*F, so unless there's more moisture and/or warmer temps, this mess should be coming to a lull.

    I should be in East Tx., not here.

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  62. Yikes...Why is my hand shaking? :)

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  63. Just sold 1 January $70 put on V at $3.70, so as to start scaling into V at $66.30.

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  64. Placing a buy limit order for 600 shares of UNG at $5.40.

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  65. Mark - Lay off the pipe man!

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  66. Just sold my SSO in my trading account to partially fund my V. +14.85%

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  67. TOF- No shit man!

    DIA @ 1500. Gap tonight would crush the bears. Let's see if we can hold it into the close.

    I'll be back in a sec. Need to change my underwear.

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  68. I'm such a wuss. Sold all of my V at $68.35. Made a whopping $300 on $129k at risk. Yeesh.

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  69. I don't know, guys. The proposed changes could be a game-changer for V. I'd have to think through the ramifications before taking a position here.

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  70. With all this oil consumption, you might think a few sticks of high-alloy pipe might be somewhere in the order book....

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  71. 2nd_ave -- the smart guys have probably already computed the impact of the proposed changes on the fair price of V, and that's why it dropped quickly 12% and then stalled. This is likely to be its new fair price, with some amount of panic built in already.

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  72. 2nd - You're absolutely right. Vad's remark of trading reversals on the RHS not the LHS comes to mind. Remember BP...

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  73. Re: V newSubmitted by 2nd_ave (5057 comments) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 15:55 #76127 (in reply to #76118)
    A -12% sell-off still leaves the stock price above where it was 3 months ago. Given the reasons behind the selling (and it's not clear yet what the ramifications are), I'd wait a few more days.

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  74. Added 300 more V @ 67.20. I'll hold these. 1,300 total.

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  75. Think back to CSCO. It took several days for prices to settle down.

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  76. Alright- I've got drinks riding on this: I say V drops further. Maybe to the low 60s.

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  77. "China Raises Export Taxes of Some Rare Earths to 25%"

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  78. 11499.25. Are you kidding me? :)

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  79. 2nd - I wasn't planning on holding overnight on Visa. Just a trade.

    I did managed to hop back into the BGZ train at the close...a little smaller this time but still a large position. Long at $9.16.

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  80. V - Sure, but who can resist a good weenie roast?

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  81. 2nd- Your probably right. I'm not very good @ jumping in after a stock moves without me and I made about 2.25K trading it today, so I'll use that as a cushion.

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  82. Mark - yeah it looks like 11,500 for whatever reason is a resistance level. Whenever I see a pin on the close like this after it has had a tough time getting through that resistance level it tells me that there is a good chance we get a short term pullback.

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  83. Wow...I just checked and I'm up 18% in the past month...and that's with me taking a big hit on a ultra short when the market gapped up from 1,180 to 1,200 a couple of weeks ago. i've basically become emotionally detached from all of my positions lately, which allows me to take more risk and cut losses quickly. here's to hoping this lasts through my wedding!

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  84. oh...actually scratch that. i'm up 10.3% for the past month. i was excluding the hit from the ultra short position. that was convenient. i should be a sell side analyst.

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  85. "i'm up 10.3% for the past month."

    This is still a great result, TOF! You have developed a great intuition for the short-term market moves!

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  86. Shit. I just saw that ADES (clean coal play) is at $7.7. I almost put a lot in that about 2 weeks ago at $4.90. Man. That sucks.

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  87. Some girl on CNBC just said she sees the S&P retracing all the way back to the 1,500's. That would be a doozy for everyone. I wonder how many people are positioned for that kind of move and are willing to stay on the train for the whole ride.

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  88. If that happened, I wonder what would perform the best. My bet would be on RAS.

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  89. TOF, I will start closing my puts as soon as we get 2 back to back down weeks, and will close all of them if we get 4 back to back down weeks. At that point, I'll be fully long and well position for the move to 1500. :)

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  90. geez, ya'll day trading V, why not come over to futes, all the pain without the gain (I'm joking, sort of).

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  91. regarding V and MA, I would need to do a lot of work trying to figure out, assuming the fed's 12 cent cap per trans goes thru, how much damage this would do to their cash flow before I would make an investment.

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  92. I decided to place a sell limit order at $0.72 for the 5500 shares of ESLR I purchased today at $0.62, so as to make a nice round $500 on this trade.

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  93. Here is what I found on the Web regarding V:

    "As part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, regulators are looking into placing a cap of $0.12 on debit card interchange fees. The interchange fees are the fees that banks (the card issuers) charge the acquirers (the folks that connect merchants to the network) when a transaction is processed. Visa and MasterCard don't actually get any of the interchange fees, so it's the major card issuers like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Capital One (NYSE: COF), and Citigroup (NYSE: C) that will be hit in the pockets if this cap goes through. However, this is still a concern for Visa and MasterCard since they depend on the attractiveness -- to all parties involved -- of using cards as a payment form. If government regulation suddenly makes it less attractive for banks to issue debit cards, then volume on the Visa and MasterCard networks could be affected. Some banks have released estimates on what this could cost them. Bank of America, for instance, said it could run between $1.8 billion and $2.3 billion in annual revenue. The cost to Visa and MasterCard is far less clear, and, if banks make up for the lost interchange fees by boosting fees elsewhere, the impact could be fairly minimal. But the broader risk here is that once the government gets involved it will dig in further and cause larger disruptions in the card markets."

    This doesn't look like a cause for panic to me. Did anyone find any other ramifications of this deal that have a direct negative effect on V?

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  94. I'm probably crazy in thinking this, but DF sure looks like a good value to me. It's trading at 4 times free cash flow right now (only 1/30th of OPEN but who's counting). Their debt load is way too high so that's the risk. But they have some big brand name products.

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  95. David - that's interesting and its what got me interested in trading the stock. Is seems to me that MA is trading better than MA for some reason. I also see that AXP got hit on this but don't they only issue credit cards and not debit cards?

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  96. DF - Oh crap, that does look cheap! Notice the EOY timing, too, set up for a 30day tax-loss rally commencing next month...?

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  97. V....

    David. I've done reading on this because of my position in BAC. The article you posted about the fee's is correct.

    JB. Research on V like you do trading ES? :)

    My play is one of human nature here. This is different than what happened with CSCO ect. This is just typical political head line grabbing shit. Give me a break. Do you really think the merchants will pass this discount on the fee's back to the consumer. Right. The barriers of entry are just way to big in this space. In my entire life time, Discover is the only new player here. "Plastic" usage in one form or another will only grow with the EEM. Now that the headlines have been printed and the masses can feel like the govt. has their back, a deal will be worked out just like it always does.

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  98. CADC - Man I'd really like to add here but it goes against my rule of not adding above my basis price...

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  99. V - You're probably right, never assume government is going to win the battle in behalf of the consumer, especially when you already know who's greasing the palms and writing the rules...

    I bet there aren't many congressmen actually possessing enough skills to write meaningful stand-alone legislation, they barely can even read it. These feats are only accomplished by corporate lawyers, which explains why so much of the little stuff is done using parasitic ear marks riding along tucked safely in the bowels.

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  100. Don't forget, the 49ers start beating the Bolts tonight @ 5:00.

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  101. V initial responce...

    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2010-- “Visa has received the initial recommendations of the
    Federal Reserve related to the debit card regulation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. At this time, Visa is still
    reviewing the specific elements of the recommendations.
    “We cannot comment in detail on the proposed regulations until we have had a chance to fully consider its
    proposal. It is clear, however, that the Federal Reserve has left a significant number of issues open for
    additional comment and deliberation in the coming months. Visa also has concerns that the Federal
    Reserve’s proposal includes artificial caps on debit interchange that do not realistically reflect the value of
    card acceptance and do not reflect the actual costs of running a secure, reliable and efficient debit network.
    Further, the proposed routing and exclusivity alternatives put retailer profits ahead of consumer protection,
    choice and convenience.
    “We urge the Federal Reserve to give appropriate consideration to the important issues raised in letters
    recently sent to Chairman Bernanke by members of Congress, regarding the potential harmful impact the
    recommendations will have on consumer choice, privacy and data security protections as well as its impact
    on the ability of small financial institutions to compete effectively.
    “Given the importance and complexity of this undertaking, we believe the Federal Reserve must be given
    additional time to fulfill its responsibilities and to analyze the unintended consequences of the proposals on
    the industry and consumers.
    “We remain confident in Visa’s ability to compete, win and grow in the payments marketplace through a
    resilient business model in the U.S., aggressive growth strategies globally and as a leader in product
    innovation in our industry.
    “We will provide the Federal Reserve feedback on its initial recommendations and the serious questions they
    have raised as soon as possible.”

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  102. Dear lord...The 6 year old is having the Christmas singing thingy tonight.

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  103. Damn, another huge day for lumber futures. Clients aren't going to like that. I will though :)

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