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All Eyes on the Fed

By Tom Graff
06/22/09 7:09 a.m.

Expect bond market volume to be muted early this week as traders will wait to see what the

Fed

says on Wednesday. I'd say the consensus is for:

    No change in rate, and no hint about when a rate change might be coming.

    Some upgrade of the economic outlook, but to have it couched in very tenative terms.

    No additional Treasury bond purchase programs.

    Possibly some expansion (or hint of an expansion) of the Agency/MBS programs.

    If the Fed's statement seems more bullish on the economy and/or more worried about inflation, even without any particular hint about hiking rates, the front end of the yield curve will sell off sharply. The long end will perform better, flattening the curve substantially.

    If the Fed is less upbeat and/or announced an expansion of any of their major programs (QE or TALF), the front end probably rallies.

    Selling ATVI

    By Tim Melvin
    06/22/09 8:48 a.m.

    While flipping through

    Barron's

    this weekend, I noted a very large sale of stock at

    Activision Blizzard

    (ATVI) - Get Report

    . I like this company as a way to play the long-term trends in the home gaming industry and the "staycation" theme in general, but I do not like insider selling.

    The company CEO, Michael Griffith, sold 1.6 million shares last week. Although the bulk of the shares were from options grants, he sold them the minute they were vested, leaving him with just 100,000 shares in the company. The stock has had a good run since I originally suggested it a few months back, and it is time to either let the shares go and take gains or sell calls against a long position.

    I think this company has a bright future and will do well in the years to come. But if insiders do not want to own it right now, neither do I.

    Positions: Long ATVI but not much longer

    Morning Prep

    By Ken Wolff
    06/22/09 8:51 a.m.

    It appeared that we had bottomed after a pullback at

    PowerShares QQQ

    (QQQQ)

    $35.40. ...

    S&P Depositary Receipts

    (SPY) - Get Report

    just under $91. ... Normally after a pullback, buyers come in dramatically as money comes in off the sidelines believing in a bull market and higher highs. ... The weakness this market has been displaying means we may go lower, which means you can draw a line from the high on June 11 down to Friday's high, and that would be our resistance for today. ... We can pop to that line, and it would be a short to see if we do go lower. ... I will be looking for early buying and then go short at just over QQQQ $35...

    No positions

    Adding Into Weakness

    By Christopher Grey
    06/22/09 10:51 a.m.

    I am adding to my positions in

    Ultra Real Estate ProShares

    (URE) - Get Report

    and

    ProShares Double Long Gold

    (DGP) - Get Report

    into the weakness today. Gold is now more of a long-term position for me as a hedge against cash, while URE is trade that I think has 10% to 20% upside going into the end of this month.

    Positions: Long URE, DGP

    Corps Getting Hit Hard

    By Tom Graff
    06/22/09 i:34 p.m.

    The corporate bond ETFs are weak today. Junk-bond funds

    iShares High-Yield Corporate Bond Fund

    (HYG) - Get Report

    and

    SPDR Capital High-Yield

    (JNK) - Get Report

    are down about 1.5% on somewhat elevated volume. Investment-grade bonds are doing a bit better: the

    iShares Investment Grade Bond Fund

    (LQD) - Get Report

    is up 0.25%, but that's underperforming Treasuries, which are up 0.75%. This implies about 6 basis points of widening today.

    On the new issue front,

    Merck

    (MRK) - Get Report

    is bringing a multi-billion-dollar new deal with various maturities. Given the weak environment, I'd expect the company to price tight but for there to be limited follow-through performance in the secondary market.

    On high-yield, I said on Friday that I had closed my long of JNK and HYG. I believe credit is a momentum market for the time being, and I feel the momentum is shifting.

    Positions: Long LQD

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    This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.