I DID NOT MISS MUCH APPARENTLY
This is a shot from the mezzanine level of the CBOT last Friday. We were given our awards up there and then we turned and held them up and were cheered by the folks in the Eurodollar options pit. I took a picture with my Blackberry while we were standing there waiting for the awards. I also took a few others before getting spanked by the head of the exchange since they don't allow pictures! A few observations about the CBOT.
First, it was striking initially how many fewer people there are down there than there used to be before the electronic markets were introduced. It is relatively quiet most of the time down there other than frenzies right at the close. We caught a Trading Places type of close in the Soybeans that was hysterical. We were standing right next to the pit when the final 15 seconds came around. You could have heard a pin drop, until finally the one buyer gave up the edge and was bombarded with sell orders. Five just guys screaming right in his face. It was priceless.
Second, it is awesome to be down there with all the history that goes along with this place and what it represents. If by chance Chad or anyone else from Robbins happens to check in, thank for you a great experience. I enjoyed myself immensely.
Third, it is on the other hand sad in a way to see how this great bastion of capitalism has taken a hit. I wonder in 10 years if anyone will be down there filling orders at all? It was really interesting to be above in one of the conference rooms looking down after everyone had left at about 2 pm, and see all the little pieces of paper on the floor waiting for the clean up. It still reminded me of the good ole days down there. I never traded on the floor, but I am just referring to what it used to look like. Even the S&P pit was dead. It is certainly very easy to see how the Fed can manipulate a close now, by dropping in buy programs during these slow periods. The price has no choice but to zoom up, there is nobody there to take the other side. The guys might as well be looking at their nails to check their manicures out.
This elongated period of very light volume that started in 2009, is really bizarre when watching at home on the screen. It is even more eery watching it live. There was just nothing going on in many of the pits as we walked around.
I had a nice dinner with the other two contestants, and as I suspected, their styles were both completely different from each other and different from mine as well. This goes to show that there are many ways to skin the cat as I have always said. There is no "right" way to do this.
On the way back I stopped by Indiana to see my best friend from college Dave Morway who is the Gm of the Indiana Pacers. I went to a playoff game with he and his wife and kids. I can tell you this, going to a sporting event with the GM is a little better than going as a general admission fan! First, I did not need a ticket which was different. It is kind of like being President for a day. You go wherever you want, drink and eat way better than you normally would for free. You get complete access to the whole place form the locker room to the media area to you name it. I even got to go into the coach's office and talk some X's and O's with him after practice the day following the game. Just a great experience. I even got worked some by his staff whom he had obviously told that my award presentation was on Fox. They all told me they saw it. I had no way of knowing if it was BS or not. I was filmed live at the time, but I had no idea if it was on the air at that moment, or was going to be aired at a later time. As a result I was a sitting duck for getting worked on it, and they did work me a bit.
I will link to the footage and interview I had once I get the links. I think I did ok but I guess we will see once the footage comes out. I did not make any wise cracks, the mood was just not conducive to that. I had the privilege of being the only guy in the zip code who was not wearing a blue suit and a red tie, I guess I missed the memo. I don't wear suits and ties so they had to live with my standard attire upgraded slightly from flip flops to shoes etc.. The head of their security was one of the 4 FBI agents who captured Ted Kazinski, kinda cool.
The guy who won the contest Tim Rea is a complete systems trader to the point where the order entry is automated. He got me to thinking about getting more into developing more of those types of things again, which I am working on now. I am not a huge fan of systems, but they do take the stress down quite a bit assuming they work, a big assumption at times.
I think the stock market is going to make new highs now the way it appears. All of my sell signals are long gone. I am also looking at Heating Oil on the long side here. I am tired from the trip and crashing early. I will get more individual market commentary going again tomorrow. There is nothing that jumps off the screen at me tonight.
The Bond long was exited tonight on the open at 142'24 for a gain of 2/32's. No new signals there for tomorrow. This was a crappy trade in that we had to sit in it for a few days and be within one tick of a stop out at one point, before rallying to basically get a scratch. However, in systems all the trades are the same. This is no different than one that made 2k or lost $1600, and that is how you have to look at this.