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1. The Tax Man Drifteth

By Howard Simons

9:07 a.m. EDT

Dow Jones

is reporting Sen. Wyden (D., Ore.) is planning to introduce a bill to eliminate the capital gains tax treatment for speculators; the income would be treated as ordinary income instead. Pension funds would see their gains, if any, re-classified as "unrelated business taxable income."

Taxes always change behavior, often in unintended ways. As hedgers -- virtuous souls always

he snickers as he writes, having been a hedger -- still would receive a favored FAS 133 hedge treatment on their long fuel hedges, tax arbitrage opportunities would open. Let the games begin!

In addition, we would see things like an unwinding of contango storage trades and the shedding of this valuable private insurance held against future price spikes. Unlike the government's SPR, these inventories can and would be released on the basis of economics in the event of an actual market disruption. Finally, the government would have an incentive to maintain its revenue flow from those dastardly speculators.

Remember to send in your

Simons Cup

names. It's been a week since I was told,

"Do you think Gensler idly charges this stuff? Do you think Schapiro just says "it's manipulation"? They have knowledge, they have records."

We have speculators on the loose, ladies and gentlemen. Time to round 'em up, or at least tax them.

No positions.

2. RDN Calls: Take More Profits

By Kristen Koh Goldstein

9:50 a.m. EDT

I am selling more of my


(RDN) - Get Report

position. The August $5 strike calls purchased for 5 cents a few weeks ago just traded at $1.00. Pigs get slaughtered -- 20 times your money in two weeks does not happen often. I still own a thousand long-dated contracts (various strikes), but my original investment has been pulled out twice. Let the rest run.

RDN, RDN calls.

3. I Vote For Kraft

By Sham Gad

10:15 a.m. EDT

A research note out yesterday (prior to the earnings release) by Morgan Stanley suggests that investors may expect too much from


( KFT) and thus be disappointed. The note concludes with belief that there are better food assets to be had, namely

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report



(K) - Get Report


I'm going to disagree with the folks at Morgan on this one. Kraft is in the midst of a three-year turnaround plan that is showing signs of success. Kraft's cost-cutting and rebranding initiatives are working, as seen by the overall positive second-quarter results and full-year outlook. In this economy, I suspect that these three major food companies will all do well. But if Kraft continues to succeed in executing its turnaround plan -- which I believe it will -- then it clearly offers investors the better investment opportunity. Not to mention, Kraft's dividend yield is 30% higher than both Kellogg's and General Mills'. Simply ignoring this crucial fact is overlooking a lot of value.

Long KFT.

4. Onyx Pharma Raises Money ... and the Ire of Shareholders

By Adam Feuerstein

12:04 p.m. EDT

Investors are screaming at

Onyx Pharma


management on a conference call happening right now set up to discuss the company's stock and debt offering announced last night, according to a source who dialed in.

Onyx slid 15% today despite good second-quarter earnings last night after the company said it was going to raise money. Onyx management has a bad habit of killing any momentum in its stock price, and last night was a prime example.

It's not like the company needs more cash, it had almost $500 million on hand. But raising another $300 million has investors worried - and really pissed off -- that management is embarking on the purchase of something expensive and/or stupid.

One investor on today's call demanded the company put the financing to a shareholder vote, since it was just below the threshold for doing so, according to my source on the call. Onyx is apparently refusing to do so and believes shareholders will support the new offerings.

By the look of the stock today, I'm not sure what Onyx management is thinking.

No positions.

5. More Good News in Housing

By Gary Morrow

1:43 p.m. EDT

Lumber Liquidators

(LL) - Get Report

is on fire this morning. The country's largest hardwood flooring retailer is up 20% and at new all-time highs.

The company released its second-quarter results this morning, showing a 12% jump in net sales and an 18% increase in net income over last year's second quarter. Management also raised full-year guidance.

Volume on the massive breakout is very heavy and already double the stock's daily average.

I would be very hesitant to chase the stock up here but would welcome a retest of today's open. I would be a buyer near the $19.00 area on a low-volume pullback.

No positions.

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