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Mark L Schemper

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Ides of March - School is Killing Me

Up to my eyeballs in projects/distractions right now. Volatile markets, the Spam portfolio, March Madness picks, and a hefty research paper backtesting the 3x2 Trading System. Trying to get this all done so I can leave for Florida tonight. I'll be out until Tuesday, so no Spam updates for a while. I suppose this is OK, as it is now vividly clear where this portfolio is going. Heck, it's already there.

Tuesday's mini-thrashing of the US markets renders void the predicted tops in the previous post. I don't have time now to do any deep research, but I doubt the S&P will go past 1410, and it will go back down to 1350.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

This Bounce

This bounce is similar to the one that followed the crash of October 1997. They both recovered quite quickly; the market was back on its feet in no time. However, in '97 as in most breakdowns, there was a retest to the downside. I have no reason to believe there will not be one here. The market today is already showing some weakness and little conviction to the upside. NYSE volume is the lowest it's been since the crash last Tuesday. The jobs report wasn't good enough to push the indices through the technicals, and traders are still skiddish and may be reducing long exposure prior to another volatile weekend. Assuming the market has the strength to continue upward, I posit the market will not breech the following levels without a retest.

Dow: 12,400
S&P 500: 1,420
Nasdaq: 2,430


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Sunday, March 4, 2007

NYT - In Las Vegas, the Drink Makes the Mayor

"I am an expert in martinis," said Mr. Goodman, a 67-year-old Democrat who calls himself "the happiest mayor in the world. If I could finish all the gin I have in my home, I would live to be about 3,000 years old."

Gin lovers, Vegas lovers, Politic Lovers, heck, everyone will like this.

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Friday, March 2, 2007

A Needed Reprieve - The Greatest Rock n Roll Song Ever Written

It was mental exhaustion. I left at 3:25pm today, a good hour or two - sometimes three - before I usually leave. Tye called on the way out - I told him "I'm gonna drink a Martini and go to bed." He laughed and said I sound like DiSalvo. I laughed - I'm too young for that. Sorry, Paul.

I got home and, after a quick ponder of rest, went out for some dinner and drinks with friends. Earlier - at 3:25 to be exact - I felt a distinctive and unmistakable craving for chilled gin. A Sapphire Martini, Dry. Upon arrival, I had Three, and my inner shoulders finally relaxed.

On my way out, I turned on the radio and was greeted by what I casually consider The Greatest Rock n Roll Song Ever. So simple, so perfect, so appropriate for the official end of a week. Any week. Especially a week like this.

Thank you Kretz, DeLeo, DeLeo, and Weiland, for plowing through so much media-inflicted shit in your early years. Had you not, we would not be blessed with The Greatest Song Ever. I know the story sucks, but some of us - even 13 years later and at the end of our proverbial rope - still get it. And love it.

Until Monday, I leave all two of you with a Gin-Soaked Olive. Enjoy the weekend. Monday is Big.

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The VIX Matters. Volatility Matters. Just ask CNBC.

Welcome to the end of the week that was. My apologies for not updating the spam portfolio in a timely matter, but it has been an extremely busy week for me at work. Especially tiring after a weekend in Vegas, but I honestly have no complaints. Sure, I'm upset I missed the greatest short opportunity in years. I went big on a 2x short Nasdaq 100 bet via RYVNX (an open end mutual fund, excluded from my trading restrictions) on February 15 and closed on the 20th; what can I say, timing is still a problem. But I was 45% cash when the storm hit Tuesday, and I'm still patting myself on the back for that one. Good job, Rookie.

I'm genuinely amused by the shift in attitude toward the VIX since Tuesday. I'm referring to the Talking Heads on CNBC, and how they can't get enough vol talk now. VIX this, VIX that, VIX is the most important gauge of the day, blah blah blah. Are these the same people who wouldn't have any mention of it just a week ago? As I said in an earlier post, I was beginning to wonder if what was considered acceptable volatility had moved to the downside. Apparently, it's not so. Like Ice Cube said, "Back to the mutha f'in basics."

I don't think the bleeding is finished... I could see another 2-3% trimmed from the US markets. Put that on the permanent record. In the meantime, enjoy this video, found on Crossing Wall Street with the help of Mr. Altucher. Confusion and exhilaration - what's not to love?

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