Merry Monday: The True Meaning Of Christmas

Includes: SPY
by: Philip Davis

Why it's almost Christmas Eve, Mr. Scrooge!

The global markets are closed tomorrow and we're bound to have a very slow day - if you are waiting for a Santa Claus rally on today's trading, you are very likely to be disappointed. Today is a day for relaxation and reflection. Remember, the words of Jacob Marley, who said:

Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

Marley was a man who worked and worked until the day he died and regretted it every day after. If you don't believe in an afterlife and you don't believe in leaving behind the world a better place than you found it, at least find some time for yourself so people don't call you "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner" after you're gone.

I was inspired this morning by an old post on Barry's site titled "Give and You Will Receive" listing 13 good ways we can all give every day.

'Tis the season of giving and goodwill to all man and all that and my children just completed their annual ritual of wrapping up all the toys they are done with to give to children who need them more than they do.

It's a little thing, but if you want your kids to learn the benefits of charity, actually parting with things they like or liked and physically giving them to kids who clearly appreciate it is much more gratifying than writing a check to some anonymous organization.

The same goes for volunteering some time (and money!) at a local shelter and helping some people come in from the cold for a nice, warm meal - it makes you appreciate your family dinner a LOT more!

We went into the weekend long after taking advantage of Friday's dip to cash out our short positions. Hopefully, we picked an opportune time to get bullish and the markets have recovered nicely off the open (as we ALWAYS sell into the initial excitement) and we'll see if stocks can keep the upward momentum in what's bound to be ultra-thin trading today - especially our precious Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) - which needs to get back over that $528 line we were watching last week.

In Member Chat this weekend, Winston shared with us how his Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV) trade went over the course of the yearand it's a great review for those who like to build and stay with positions over the long-term. Likewise our "One Trade" for 2012 has exceeded expectations and made its full 58% return for the year and, as expected, most of us would have done better simply putting all our money into that one trade this year. Hopefully we'll find another just like it for 2013 but the current uncertainty prevents us from jumping into anything until this cliff nonsense resolves - one way or the other.

I suppose, in a way, AAPL is already our one trade for 2013 as we have a heavy position in it in our $25,000 Portfolio as well as, of course, our AAPL Money Portfolio but we'll try to find something a little more conservative than that - like our SEE trade idea from the weekend Member Chat - which is a lovely buy/write with a nice built-in hedge.

As you can see from the Big Chart - not all that much damage has been done and we're still leaning bullish but we're also rapidly approaching that cliff and who knows what lies on the other side? So cashy and cautious is how we're rolling into 2013. We're still long-term bullish but, short-term, it's anybody's game and totally dependent on what does or does not come out of Washington.

All we mortals can do is enjoy this time with our families and, oh yes, if you are so inclined - pray.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

From all of us to all of you: Thanks for 2012, it's been a crazy start to the decade, but the century is young and, as long as we have the spirit to match it - what is there that we can't accomplish together?

Looking forward to next year's challenges and accomplishments to come.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, HPQ, BBY, T, SCO, IMAX, GDX, TZA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Positions as indicated but subject to change (fairly even mix of long and short positions - see previous posts for other trade ideas).