Election election election. Every headline, every markets analysis, every supposed economic analysis, every segment on CNBC are all about the election and how its might or might not affect all of the above.
Will the election be a tie? Hanging chads! Electronic voting fraud. Voter harassment. This is actually the one quite clearly bearish outcome to Tuesday’s election. The markets hate uncertainty and that’s what any long contested vote will result in — uncertainty. We should probably buy puts Wednesday if there’s any serious doubt that morning about who won the election.
Otherwise, as I’ve said before, there’s is absolutely zero difference between the economic and foreign policies of either Obama or Romney and either one will get the “fiscal cliff” resolved sometime in early 2013 if not before. The markets and the economy will do what they will do regardless of the election’s outcome.
There’s a lot of tension out there from both the bulls and the bears right now. In last week’s poll, we had 74 bulls and 18 bears, meaning that we’re still at about a 75% reading on that sentiment contrarian indicator. And until that reading gets to 90% one way or the other, it’s just not that useful frankly.
Andy Beyer’s books about horse racing are actually very instructive for traders when it comes to managing your cash and determining bet (trade/investment) size. He’d tell you that “When the odds are in your favor, you bet big. When they aren’t, you bet small. That way, you can beat the long term odds and turn a profit.”
I just don’t like the odds of being either big long or big short right now. I’m still heavier in cash than I was three months ago after having trimmed and hedged when stocks were higher and I dont’ want to jeopardize our hard-fought gains by blindly scaling back in to more long exposure just yet. I’m betting smaller for now.
Apple’s up $7 after its $20 crash on Friday. Three million iPads in the first three days of the new iPad Mini is very strong. The bulls will need this thing to sell like hot cakes in the Christmas season forcing the sellside analysts to raise their estimates before the year’s over or Apple’s likely to just be a highly volatile reflection of the broader markets into year-end. I’m going to buy a small tranche of April 2013 Apple calls with $660-$700 strike prices.
Small though. Easy does it as we wait for better looking odds.