Here we find your intrepid blogger Tim Knight, positioned at his usual table in the Los Altos Starbucks. I am going to offer up an all-text dump of my musings. Chart-free, low-fat, and no added meat by-products.
Welcome, Captain Obvious
I don't know where Captain Obvious came from, or how long he's been here, but I like the cut of his jib. His observations about the market are every bit as good as any talking head on television (or any Elliott Wave prognostication, for that matter). Welcome, Captain Obvious. We know you'll keep us on top of the markets and their machinations.
My Computer Museum Videos
I appreciate the kind words about my first installment of the Computer History Musem videos. I had no idea so many Slopers were old-timey computer types. I boast about starting in 1979 and getting online in 1981, but when other Slopers are regaling each other with tales of COBOL and FORTRAN, I feel positively youthful.
Damned Lies and Statistics
There was a time when stats would spook me. For instance, last night a lot of "this happens on September 1…...." banter was being kicked around. I vaguely remember one chap saying the past 15 out of 17 first-day-of-September trading days were positive, a few of them sharply so. Well, we end down triple-digits on the Dow today (after an initial, face-ripping pop that quickly fell to pieces), so here we have yet again another "factoid" that was not only useless, but potentially harmful.
I'm not saying to say or not say any of these things. I'm simply expressing my own indifference to such notions. I think I was finally cured of this a year ago when I embraced the statistic that September was far and away the weakest month of the trading year, and I spent September 2010 having my balls repeatedly ripped off (which seems unlikely, but my body features grow-back capabilities).
The Golden State
Here's a brief anecdote from this evening to make clear how broke the formerly great state of California is: I went to the Los Altos library (which is a town close to my beloved Palo Alto). I was there with my little girl and wanted to check out some books for her, as I've often done before. The librarian notified me that, as of July 1st, residents outside Los Altos were only permitted to check out books if they paid an $80 annual fee, thanks to budget cuts from California (how, precisely, my little girl checking out a few books actually costs anyone any marginal expense is beyond me, but there you have it).
I guess for someone like me who bankrolls government services that are provided by everyone else in the country, yet partakes of virtually none of them, having just about the only service ever provided to me by any government denied kind of pisses me off.
Hey, here's what I'd sign up for – – offer anyone in the nation 45 years or under the ability to stop paying any money into the social security (ha!) system in exchange for their relinquishing their right to any social security benefits. Where do I sign? Give me that form! Since, even as a little boy, I knew my benefits from such a system would total $0.00 in my lifetime, I'd be delighted to give up any and all future benefits. Heck, they can even keep the huge sum I've already paid into the flea trap. But I'm sure no such offer is forthcoming. So we keep transferring our cash to old people and wait for the collapse. Great. Glad granny got my cash before I had a chance. Spend it well, toots.
Now on to the markets. I entered the day about 67% committed and entirely short with 84 positions. That God-damned, stupid pop from the ISM report zapped me out of about 14 of those positions, and I was not a happy camper, particularly since the market had been weak just beforehand.
But here's the thing – – – and I'll hang on to this truth if we get another God-damned stupid pop from the jobs report tomorrow – – there are so many screaming, jumping-up-and-down shorts that it's just ridiculous. There's hardly any chart out there I would buy. Out of 1,000+ charts, there are probably 5 to 10 I could hold up as good buys (such as McDonalds, which seems to never, ever, ever go down). On the other hand, there are over 200 I could point to which are please-may-I-change-my-undies-now bearish opportunities.
Everyone's favorite Sloper, Hun, mockingly refers to looking at 6,000 charts per day, which is an obvious (Captain Obvious!) reference to the fact – yes, fact – that I look at over 1,000 charts per day. And my jaw has been dropping at the shorting opportunites. Morning pop be damned, my bottoms-up approach to investing tells me that the market is unsupportable. It is begging, pleading, and beseeching to be dropped and dropped hard.
So I hung on tight this morning, and things turned around. It was a profitable day (although it would have been moreso, obviously, were it not for those 14 positions being stopped out).
So, at the risk of being pointed-to and laughed-at in the face of a huge rally based on fake jobs data, I will declare that I am now nearly 80% committed with one hundred – count 'em, one hundred – positions. Oh, and they're short.
So there we have it. I have, besides that 100, about 150 other charts in my Bear Pen. I am not spending my days making ridiculous guesses and conjectures about QE3 or Obama's speech or whatever crap that disgusting cretin Shalom is up to. I'm focused on the charts, and the charts tell me that I'm correctly positioned.