Doug Kass fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:

  • How the term winner can depend on the vantage point.
  • How J.C. Penney is doing.

Visit here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Doug Kass'--and reader comments--in real time.

My Takeaways and Observations

"If it is what you say I love it...."

- Donald Trump Jr

Risk Happens Fast -- and the reverberations of Tuesday's disclosures may weigh on the markets for a while as the administration's initiatives get further lost in the bowels of Washington D.C.

The Carnage in Retail -- is it an opportunity or game ender?

Question of the Day -- Who is "winning?" I suppose it depends on your vantage point!

Watch JCP debt prices to determine whether to invest in the stock.

Shooting a hole in the pro economic growth, bullish market arguments.

Back long SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) - Get Report -- in a small way. I like that GLD breached support of $115 and rather than tank, regained that support and is close to $116. Also the junior mining ETFs were strong Wednesday.

Drink with Jim ... and learn in late July at Bar San Miguel in Brooklyn!

Only trades today -- added to Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report and Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report (ex dividend).

A Trump related dip -- now flattish with Qs agains over Ss. I suspect Sir Arthur Cashin was right -- the delay in the Congressional recess may have aided the markets.

* The U.S. dollar weakened and is now near a multimonth low.

* The price of crude oil rose by +$0.74 to over $45.

* Gold rallied by +$2.40.

* Ag commodities consolidated yesterday's large gains. Wheat +1, corn -1, soybeans +2.50 and oats+2.

* Bonds fell by one basis point in yield.

* The 2s/10s spread was unchanged at 98 basis points.

* Little movement in municipals or high yield bonds.

* Banks were lower from the get go. I have been adding to my financial shorts this week -- as posted.

* Insurance stocks fell but Hartford Financial  (HIG) - Get Report held in near highs

* Brokerages caught a bid.

* Autos continue to rally.

* So does ag equipment

* Biotech stabilized after Wednesday's weakness. Celgene (CELG) - Get Report and Allergan (AGN) - Get Report higher.

* Speculative biotech recovered from Monday's hit.

* Big Pharma was lower.

* Consumer non durables were lower, save (CPB) - Get Report (which I have been buying).

* Mixed media.

* Energy shares recovered with a higher commodity price. Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report +2%.

* Old tech had a small bid.

* Optical was sold.

* Homebuilders sold off after making 2017 high Wednesday.

* Retail rallied a bit from Wednesday's schmeissing. (I discussed the sector in my opening missive). I tried to add to Dillard's (DDS) - Get Report but missed on price when it fell in the early going. Rallied later on.

* Little movement in (T)FAANG Thursday

* In individual stocks, TWTR was a standout. (I added Thursday).


Here are some value added contributions on our site today:

1. Jim "El Capitan" Cramer delivers a strong analysis on retail.

2. Ulta Beauty's woes described by Ed Ponsi "Scheme." Sic transit gloria.

3. Rev's take on Jr's message and that of Jamie Dimon.

4. Brian Sozzi snaps on SNAP.

5. The Big O on corporate bond investing.

Position: Long CPB SDS SDS calls SQQQ HIG AGN TWTR DDS XLE GLD Short SPY QQQ DIS AAPL C BAC JPM MS GS.

Originally published July 11 at 3:18 p.m. EST

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Quick CFO Exit Isn't a Penney From Heaven

Speaking of retail, as I do at length in my opener, there is a lot of interest in J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get Report based on frequent discussion in our Comments Section.

After the close of trading Monday, J.C. Penney announced the abrupt departure of its CFO. Needless to say, the quick exit of a CFO is usually a worrisome development; it is almost never a good thing.

The move surprised the Street.

JCP always has been far above the pack on investor relations and I think it is significant that an earnings change was not made concurrent to the CFO announcement. But, that is the only positive I can find.

It should be noted that a major credit agreement was inked in late June. The stock traded off only slightly on Monday, but with a market cap of less than $1.3 billion that is hardly a cause for cheer.

Hopefully, further details will be forthcoming.

The bond and credit markets probably will be helpful in providing trading clues on JCP. Given the interest expressed, I certainly will be mining them.

From my perch (I took my relatively small loss earlier in the year at higher prices), the disruptions in retail delay the investment case (read: deleveraging) for the company. That said, the $4 price is an option on survivability of the retailer.

Position: None.

Originally published July 11 at 8:59 a.m. EST

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Action Alerts PLUS, which Jim Cramer manages as a charitable trust, is long Allergan.