Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fear and no fear

10:14 am (Hawaii) Not long ago, perhaps a few days, the market seemed to tremble with the end of QE2 — the lingering aftereffects. But today? Stuff like Orbitz (OWW) shot up 26%. It was already up from recent lows in the 2.20s to 2.76 in the final half hour of the session. Then, from what I understand, CNBC touted the news of Orbitz's new deal with Virgin Australia.

How good is the deal? I've yet to see any numbers crunched down to specify even the potential of what it means for OWW. But it was enough for daytraders to take OWW from 2.76 to 3.18 before the closing bell. I bought OWW on its last short squeeze a month ago at 3.45, only to sell my teeny weeny position at 2.35 or so a week later. Of course, when the pain is too much, that's usually when smart shoppers open a position, not sell out. But for OWW, it's another day in the daytrader zoo. Where does it go in afterhours? In tomorrow's premarket?

Let's just say that fear is not in the market right now. Obliterated. OWW is back to being a favorite toy. So is GSVC, which hit a new high of 18.70 in the morning, but finally pulled back below 18 before the close. One thing is certain: whether it's an overhyped deal for a stock related to the wonky travel/airlines industries, or a knee-high stock that has a little toe in the sexiest IPO of the future (Facebook), daytraders have a sense of urgency. They have no fear of the present, but fear of the future — say Thursday or Friday or Monday — is coming. They trade recklessly and jump ship at the first sneeze, lest they also catch that dreaded piggy virus that plagues the majority of short-term traders.

Though OWW seems like the better value at 3.25 (afterhours), will it ever get a trigger mechanism like Facebook under its wings? No way. GSVC has a float of 3.34 million shares and could go to 10 just as easily as it could go to 25. But I'm touching neither here. With short-term daytraders and high-frequency robots dominating the action, it makes more sense to plant a seed, take a tiny or small position in an underappreciated name. Then wait. And wait. It breaks out, take half the profit off the table. Let the rest ride.

All that would matter is, who is the next GSVC or OWW? That would be a patient soul's game. Trying to time the ride when the world is typing frantically on CNBC hype is far too crowded far too often. I haven't mastered a darn thing, but I'm getting closer each day.

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