Options Trading News

January 31, 2013  Thu 8:14 AM CT

We've been raising cash for my charitable trust because we figure that stocks don't grow to the skies, and that's where they were headed. We bet that the Fed's outlook would be a good excuse for others to sell, and the uncertainty of Friday's employment number only gives you another excuse to ring the register.

I mean, you can only go up so much on the same news over and over--and the news is fine, not blowout. We had a weak GDP number (which was explained away). We had earnings that are fine. We had housing that is fine. We had no growth in Europe--and that is fine, too.

You can only go up for so far on "fine" without feeling like Larry Fine, the dumbest of the Three Stooges.

All that said, I think this market remains in "Mason Storm" mode, the Steven Seagal character in "Hard to Kill." In the movie, Storm was shot and remained in a coma for years but came out strong enough, after some training, to take on a corrupt politician and an army of thugs--and he managed to prevail because he had a superior attitude and a superior state of mind.

I like the imagery, if only because it is a reminder of a market that seems fictional in its run with almost every sector performing well.

Of course, if we get something "better than fine"--meaning a couple of upside surprises from some of the remaining industrials and retailers and a decent employment number--we could be right on track.

In the interim, after enjoying the best January most can recall, we're back in the coma stage for the moment. When the market comes to, I wouldn't be surprised if it challenges those highs that are so tantalizing right now but aren't yet ready to be taken out.
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