Monday, March 15, 2010

Bookkeeping: 2 New Shorts

I have a bunch of limit short orders outstanding now, but most stocks targeted will need to jump 4-7% for me to hit.  I found a handful of candidates but most of the names I really would like to short are down quite strongly today - that doesn't mean they cannot continue to tail spin but if this market reverses and heads over S&P 1150, I don't want to take the chance.

Instead I went for some secondary choices to replace the short exposure I let go today, simply to keep my allocations consistent.

First, Cemex (CX) - one of the world's largest cement producers; which was on the brink of default if memory serves me, a year or so ago.  I have shorted a 3% allocation at $10.20.   Any move over last week's highs, i.e. $10.60ish will have me out of the stock.  Dream scenario is a move down to $9.25 but I'd probably be content with $9.50 - which would be a 7% gain.  Technically the stock has run into the 50 day moving average and hopefully it stalls there.

Second, Vulcan Materials (VMC) - which is almost the same sector as Cemex... construction aggregrates.  I don't expect huge profits on this one, 4-5% would be fine and it's mostly a market hedge for downside... but the entry point is so low risk I had to take it.   I am shorting with a 3% allocation around $45.30 and have a clear exit point just over $46.00 which is less than a 2% loss if it triggers.

I also considered Shanda Interactive (SNDA) - a Chinese video game operator.  One could make a play here at shorting at the 20 day moving average... trying to be greedy I instead placed my stop order near to the 50 day moving average.  Not sure if it will have the juice to reach it, but if so it will provide more of a margin of safety.  In the real world, I'd probably place a short here (20 day moving average) with a very tiny stop loss (within 1%) - but I don't want to bother writing the transactions out on the website ("I'm short!" but 20 minutes later "I'm stopped out!"), so I'm skipping it at this level, but it's one of my outstanding short limit orders and worthwhile for the nimble...

First Solar (FSLR) was another option - but a very volatile stock in which a news announcement can move it 10% overnight.  Love the pattern though.

Short Cemex, Vulcan Materials in fund; no personal position

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