Trading like a Gaul

The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious rites; and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe diseases and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man, the mind of the immortal gods cannot be rendered propitious, and they have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the flames. They consider that the oblation of such as have been taken in theft, or in robbery, or any other offence, is more acceptable to the immortal gods; but when a supply of that class is wanting, they have recourse to the oblation of even the innocent. – Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War, translated by Edward Brooks, Jr. (Chicago: Farquhar and Albrecht, 1896) ch. 16, pp. 202-203.

Remember yesterday when I was pondering the concept that a go-nowhere market for the near-term would be the most-unexpected and therefore most likely outcome in the near-term? Man, it’s flat again today. It’s up 20 bps (bps stands for basis points and a basis point is 1/100 of 1%. That is, 100 basis points = 1%) and then down 20 bps the next day.  How long will it last? Until the bulls or bears finally panic and start a self-reinforcing near-term cycle of rally or selloff. I’m leaning towards the former — as you guys know, I’m looking for more market upside as we work out of this range. But we’ll have to be flexible in our analysis and trading. On that note, I am indeed closing out anything of value in my Bank of New York (BK) short, as I’d noted in that lengthy analysis piece I sent out yesterday afternoon. I’ve still got some now-very-far out-of-the-money puts in BK that I paid more than a dollar for and are now trading for less than a quarter and I’ll probably just hold those, but I’ll sell any puts that have any value left in them and take the losses on this big mistake of a trade.

Sometimes you have to sacrifice a stock to the trading gods. So be it.