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1. Morning Trading Notes/SKF Again?
By Paul Rubillo
9:15 a.m. EDT

The futures are replaying yesterday morning's early stance. I think today was setting up to be a consolidation day, as the headlines continue to come in on the negative side. My short exposure is primarily in the ProShares UltraShort FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ( FXP), which is up nearly 5% in the premarket. The SRS/SKF plays are up nearly 5% as well. I am looking at re-entering the ProShares UltraShort Financials ( SKF) if this morning's opening tick can hold firmly.

I will be watching Northern Trust ( NTRS) -- the company is indicated down 6% on news the bank will be selling a boatload of shares. I will be watching to see of the liquidity window will stay open as wide as it is now. Also, Baidu ( BIDU) had a good report last night and was indicated up 3% in the premarket. Lastly, keep your eyes on Priceline ( PCLN) and Continental ( CAL) as indicators of the swine flu affecting travel.

Long FXP


2. Further Comment on Chemed
By Damien Park
9:41 a.m. EDT

Chemed ( CHE) is a very interesting situation. An activist investor -- MMI Investments -- is trying to replace five directors up for election at this year's annual meeting scheduled for May 29. See this morning's press release from MMI.

MMI owns 3.5% of CHE and ultimately wants that company to do a tax-free spin-off of the Roto-Rooter business. In a press release issued by MMI in February, the activist fund announced that the spin-off could lead to potential value creation of 40% to 70%. If you like, you can read a quick summary of this situation from our weekly activist investing report on Feb. 13.

I haven't studied this situation closely enough to determine whether MMI will be successful replacing the incumbent directors, but it's rare for MMI to undergo a fight like this without a good chance of victory.

MMI did something similar with Brinks Co. ( BCO) last year. Brinks ended up spinning off its Home Security business which now trades under the ticker CFL. They are also currently pressing Unisys Corporation ( UIS) to sell off its government IT business.

No positions


3. Traders' Market
By Christopher Grey
10:23 a.M. EDT

This is really a great market for short-term traders. I have mostly been daytrading Ultra Real Estate ProShares ( URE) on the long side, buying on weakness and selling into strength. It keeps working.

I am still short-term bullish into May but I see another leg down later in the summer and early fall mainly because we still are on the wrong path for dealing with the financial system.

If we would just treat the big financials like the big autos, we would be a lot closer to fixing this mess. Make them really restructure and shrink, change their business models, take away the massive government subsidies, wipe out the equity, cram down the bondholders and so forth.

We already have the playbook. All we need to do is follow it.

No positions


4. Still Arbitraging Citi
By Timothy Collins
1:01 p.m. EDT

For the last several days we've been looking at the May arbitrage on Citigroup ( C). Today, we've been buying the Citigroup "box" trade (short May 1 calls, long May 3 calls, short May 3 puts and long May 1 puts) for $2.09, $2.10, and even some at $2.11, although we have been targeting $2.10. This is still not a riskless trade as shares could get called, then your broker could call in your short.

Fortunately, we've been able to hold our short shares of Citigroup on another arbitrage trade. The yield isn't huge, but the margin requirement is nil to us and we feel the risk is well controlled. Total time for the trade is less than three weeks.

We have been buying (for a net credit) the Citigroup reversal as well (short 100 shares, short one May 4 put, long one May 4 call) for $4.15 through $4.21. Unfortunately, the net credits in the $4.16 to $4.21 range are gone, but those were late last week so the holding time has shorten while the credit has fallen. This too is hedged, and the biggest risk is not getting the shares to borrow. Some have that problem, some don't. The same trade for June expiration can be done for a credit around $4.31 or $4.32.

Multiple positions, but all fully hedged/arbitraged, so we are technically neutral on the stock and selling the volatility around it.


5. Dendreon
By Adam Feuerstein
2:31 p.m. EDT

CHICAGO -- How good is Dendreon's ( DNDN) Provenge data in prostate cancer?

Quite good. I'd say a 4.1-month survival benefit is on the upper end of expectations. The 22.5% reduction in the risk of death less so, but optically, being able to say that Provenge improves survival by more than 4 months is huge. There are very few cancer drugs that can make that claim. In fact, I can only think of a single drug, Genentech's Avastin, which improved survival in advanced colon cancer by 4.7 months.

If this data holds up and the drug is approved, it's a blockbuster.

I don't know where Dendreon's stock price will open. As we've seen, the volatility is insane.

You'll hear more from me after the Provenge data presentation and a couple of press conferences. Stay tuned.

No positions

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