The S&P 500 traced an outside reversal pattern to the downside yesterday.  The last instance of such an event occurred on August 1 which preceded a near 16% drop in the blue chip index just six trading sessions later.  I suppose this does not instill any confidence in investors going into Ben Bernanke’s highly anticipated Jackson Hole speech, but I will assuage those fearful of another leg down in equities by arguing that the fundamentals will always trump the technicals if the former has enough direct influence on the broader market.  Certainly, this morning’s speech qualifies as such an externality.

I am not predicting that whatever spews from the Chairman’s mouth will send stocks soaring, for current mainstream consensus has forecasted a likely sell off.  Perhaps, traders already booked Continue reading »

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As a Lehman summer associate many moons ago, I split my ten weeks primarily between two desks – High Grade Corporates and Equity Program Trading.  The assignment coordinating gods smiled upon me as both groups were crown jewels at the bank, run by top shelf management with impeccable reputations and unmatched ability.  As part of the program, I did get to sample a few of the different areas on the Floor as we plebes needed as many people as possible to go to bat for us to secure the ultimate prize of a full time offer for the following September. 

One morning when I found myself on the Govie Desk, the Durable Goods numbers flashed across the Bloomberg of the trader I was sitting next to.  The headline ripped consensus which instantly sat on the Treasury market.  The economist for the firm who was unabashedly Continue reading »

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Managing two travel soccer teams, I hate this time of year as I have to register 30 players and four coaches for the upcoming season, a process that usually takes about 15 hours.  Sitting at my kitchen table yesterday afternoon, I paused for a moment as the Earth rumbled and my house swayed back and forth.  After living in Northern California for eight years, I acknowledged what was happening, shrugged my shoulders, and then cursed the parent of our left fullback who forgot to supply me her daughter’s birth certificate.

I suppose I did hearken back to the 7.1 Loma Prieta quake from 1989 which timed perfectly with my daily late afternoon bathroom trip Continue reading »

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