For my first job out of business school, I found my way onto the proprietary trading desk of a large broker-dealer.  Despite not knowing how to effectively manage money, I somehow drew the short straw in organizing the group’s recruitment within the firm.  As a result, I met a parade of candidates that spanned a wide range of educational backgrounds and employment experience.  I tailored my interviews appropriately, but asked one specific question to everyone.  After trying to explain my job function (like I said previously, I was clueless), I would open up a new X-Trader window loaded with S&P 500 E-Minis.  I provided a tour of the platform by demonstrating the ease of executing trades for either hedging or speculative purposes.  At that moment, with blood frothing in the water, I would ask innocuously, “So, do you have any issues with the electronic futures market?”

Only one insightful soul out of the dozens queried had the right answer.  He bluntly stated, “It looks like the Continue reading »

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As we close the page on July, I would have expected to speak of potential month end asset allocation flows skewed for a late day upside move in stocks as treasuries have outperformed equities during the month.  Given that both the average closing and intraday NYSE TICK readings over the past 22 sessions have again reached oversold levels, I most likely would have discussed the ramifications for an imminent major bottom in the market as well.  Certainly, Thursday’s Jobless Claims report which dropped below the critical 400K level for the first time since April also would have deserved ample attention.  

I even could have written a full commentary on a preview of this morning’s Q2 Advanced GDP figures as well as the sustainability of last month’s big bounce in the Chicago PMI.  I should have so much material for discussion today Continue reading »

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In a prior life, I worked as an IT consultant helping to implement large information systems.  My first assignment was assisting the State of Nevada with installing workers compensation processing software.  That required me to spend a fair amount of time in Carson City, the smallest of the fifty state capitals.  While staying at the Best Western represented an upgrade on our overnight accommodations, a real treat was bunking up in nearby Reno which was far more honky-tonk than casino glitz.

When staying in “America’s Biggest Little City,” I preferred kicking my feet up at Circus Circus, for the hotel’s Channel 1 claimed that its 13″ buffet plate Continue reading »

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