We need to talk about something that's so front and center that it's killing me people are missing it: individual stocks of individual companies, real companies, are being tossed around as part of group moves and if we don't prepare ourselves for them we are nuts.
I know on days like today we have to fall back on that seminal stock guru Eddie Veder who told us in "Yellow Ledbetter" that sometimes we don't know if we are the boxer or the bag.
But let's agree on something real important: you can choose to be which one you want. You want to be the bag, go ahead, get the stuffings beaten out of you by panicking and selling low or giddy upping and buying high. That's what suckers do and they are born every minute in this tape.
Or you can be the boxer. The boxer takes advantage of all of the to and fro and uses the practice of beating that bag and plays offense while rope-a-doping his way to profits.
What do I mean?
Okay, so this morning, at about 5 a.m. the futures, which were trading pretty heavily, indicated we would be down 300 Dow points. It would be a repeal of a lot of the gains we had in yesterday's session, particularly the gains that occurred after 2:45 when I tell you we really find out the coloration of the session.
Well that didn't happen. We roared higher, just slammed it, traversing 300 points in the blink of an eye.
But then three-and-a-half hours later we gave it all up, crushed and we went into free fall, led by Apple (AAPL) , for no reason whatsoever, but backed up by a weak treasury auction that spooked those who believe that rates are stabilizing.
What do you do with days like today? We fall back on the themes. We buy the defense stocks knowing that Congress will avoid a shutdown and will embark soon on a spend-a-thon.
We include aerospace, where we get in to buy Boeing (BA) at a cheaper price than we thought.
You buy some Disney (DIS) because it is putting the so-called woes of ESPN behind them with the Fox acquisition and the $4.99 personalized sports programming offering.
And we pick up some tech at a discount: Amazon (AMZN) and Apple come to mind.
We're the boxer, not the bag.