Afternoons & Coffee Spoons

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First, I want to acknowledge how I have not been my usual prolific self. My disposition toward my health is binary: I am either (a) immortal or (b) at death’s door. And (b) does not require anything severe. If I am anything less than absolutely healthy, I become consumed with whatever ailment I’ve got. Annoying muscle pains over the past week have kept me in full blown I’m-going-to-die-any-second mode, but I think it’s abating now. It makes me even more joyful to be around than usual.

Not that anyone asked.

In any case, you know me better than to think I’ve actually been lazy. I continue to work 7 days every week, thinking of little else except Slope and how to make it better. Most imminently , our long-anticipated Mobile App should have its official launch on October 1st, and our increasingly feature-rich virtual trading is making steady progress toward a full rollout this autumn.

As for today, of course, it was all about the Fed, and the market action can be summed up with a simple chart of the QQQ:

slopechart QQQ

In other words, in exchange for…………

  1. A pledge of at least $120 billion in purchases every blessed month;
  2. A projection of 0% interest rates for at least four years;
  3. A promise of endless “tools” and accommodation and an assertion that “we’re not even close to being out of ammunition“………

What the Fed got was a bearish engulfing pattern and a down day. Nice job, Jerome. Makes sense you’re a government bureaucrat. It’s what you were born to do.

Of course, to hear it from D.C., everything is just peaches-and-cream in the business world, and the economy is raging forward to never-before-seen wonderfulness. In real life, however, it’s a total shit-show. This headline that The Director sent me sums it up:


That’s precisely what I’m seeing in my beloved Palo Alto. Empty stores, shuttered businesses and a sense of foreboding doom. The only good news is that, for the first time in a month, there are actually blue skies overhead. I just took this shot, and believe me, people are confused at the color in the sky.


I was greatly annoyed at small caps. That’s where my concentration of bearish positions is, so while high-tech stocks were falling to pieces, small caps had taken their vitamins and were strong – – at times, exceptionally strong – – all day long. Grrrrrrrrr. At least the line held, but it scares the hell out of me.


The thing I didn’t realize until today is that there are no more Fed meetings until after the Election. Indeed, there is an utter dearth of important scheduled announcements beforehand……….


On yet on the week of November 2, all holy hell is going to break loose (and this little calendar doesn’t even mention that the election will have just taken place, and God knows what’s going to happen at that point).


I have felt almost zero traction with this confounded market in recent days. I have 52 positions, all of them in the green, and I feel miserable about it. There’s just no trend. At least the Fed is behind us. Perhaps the smoke will start to clear, as it sometimes done once these stupid FOMC love-fests are through.