Doug Kass is the president of Seabreeze Partners Management Inc. Until 1996, he was senior portfolio manager at Omega Advisors, a $6 billion investment partnership. Before that he was executive senior vice president and director of institutional equities of First Albany Corporation and JW Charles/CSG. He also was a General Partner of Glickenhaus & Co., and held various positions with Putnam Management and Kidder, Peabody.Expand

Kass received his bachelor's from Alfred University, and received a master's of business administration in finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1972. He co-authored "Citibank: The Ralph Nader Report" with Nader and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law and currently serves as a guest host on CNBC's "Squawk Box."Collapse

"Nothing outlasts the Energizer. They keep going and going and going ..." --

My Takeaways and Observations Real Money Pro($)

The dollar strengthened and is now at a four-month high; I find that few are looking at this. The price of crude oil fell by two bits to under $45 a barrel. Gold is up $3 to $1,332. Agricultural commodities got schmeissed: wheat -10, corn -13, soybean -35 and oats -2. This could weigh on fertilizers and ag equipment stocks. Lumber was down $3 following the housing starts numbers. Bonds rallied. The 10-year U.S. note yield fell by three basis points to 1.555% while the long bond yield dropped by the same basis points to 2.275%. I would add to my short with yield drops back to 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. Municipals were better to buy. Closed-end muni bond funds continue to rebound. Yesterday the sector was very strong after days of weakness). Junk bonds are stronger. Nonetheless, Blackstone/GSO Strategic Credit Fund (BGB) was lower by a few pennies. Banks were mixed, though Bank of America's (BAC) strong Monday carried through today. I am looking for a Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) short entry point. Brokerages were lower despite the Goldman Sachs (GS) beat. Here is Jimmy Cramer's take on Goldman. Life insurance was mixed. I am adding aggressively to HIG (where there is smoke, there is fire?)  Staples saw little price movement. Biotech was weaker. Speculative Intrexon (XON) (a former holding and Biotech Basket member) and Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP) getting clipped again. Ag equipment got hurt by the drop in commodities prices. Both Caterpillar (CAT) and Deere(DE) are lower. I would add to my CAT short above $80 a share. Retail was broadly lower. I have no longs in the space. My shorts Foot Locker (FL) and Nordstrom (JWN) were back down after strong gains on Monday. (T)FANG was up small, save for NFLX's big drop. Here are some value-added contributions from our great team: Tim "Not Judy or Phil" Collins in preparation of the Mr. Softee's (i.e., Microsoft's (MSFT) ) earnings report today.  "Meet" Bret Jensen on three reasons to expect a pullback.  RevShark on anticipation. I keep on way-way-waiting!  Roger Arnold on ways to play a recovery in first-time home buying.

Recommended Reading Real Money Pro($)

Check out famed Yale University housing economist Robert Shiller's New York Times column, Why Land and Homes Actually Tend to Be Disappointing Investments.
I'm using some pressure in the market to triple the sized of my August $217 monthly puts of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) .
Peter Boockvar checks out today's U.S. housing-start data:

My Current Strategy Real Money Pro($)

I'm adding to my short exposure of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) through defined-risk puts for now, but plan to get bolder on any inkling of the market losing momentum (i.e. SPY breaking down to $215 or so).
I covered another one-quarter of my short of Netflix (NFLX) at around $84.90 in addition to the 25% that I took in a little while ago. As such, I'm down to half of my original short in the name. I'm adding to my defined risk by
I took off one quarter of my short of Netflix (NFLX) at $85.40.

The Book of Boockvar Real Money Pro($)

Peter Boockvar checks out the latest economic data, including Citi's Economic Surprise Index (which I mentioned recently in my case for shorting bonds):

You Ask, I Answer Real Money Pro($)

I haven't covered any of my short of Netflix (NFLX) following last night's disappointing earnings release. I remain long on

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