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Kass: Olympic Sabre Rattling

Tickers in this article: GS AXP PRU SPY LNC MET

As expressed by the investment strategy team at Goldman Sachs, more than ever, we live in a macro world .

The Original Statman

Aristotle compiled the first known comprehensive list of all winners of the Olympic Games. Which means that quite probably he was sat in a bar with Plato, muttering, "Go on then, give me any year you like and I'll tell you who won the four-man bobsleigh."

-- Mark Steel in The Independent (2006)

From my perch, the U.S. stock market is essentially fairly valued now.

At Friday's close, the S&P 500 stood at 1386, within 2% of my fair market value calculation . Unless the domestic economy begins to reaccelerate, my market valuation will have downside risk.

All In? No! All Out!!

On poker not making the Athens Olympics:

After all, the ribbon-waving rhythmic gymnasts are in. The shuttlecock-chasing badminton players are in. Even the ice-sweeping curlers are in. And poker's out? That's like throwing a party for mankind's greatest inventions and forgetting to invite indoor plumbing.

-- (2004)

During the middle of last week, I added to some of my favorite longs, including Lincoln National (LNC) , Prudential (PRU) and MetLife (MET) , which should benefit from the rising interest rate environment that I expect .

Late last week, as Mr. Market gapped higher, I added to some of my favorite shorts, including American Express (AXP) and Goldman Sachs (GS) , and hedged my long portfolio by shorting the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) .

I start the day approximately 15% net short.

Lady In Waiting?

Monica (Courtney Cox) : Well, Wendy's more of a ... professional waitress.
(Jennifer Aniston) : Oh, I see. And I'm sort of maintaining my amateur status so that I can waitress in the Olympics.

-- "Friends," The One With the Stoned Guy (1995)

No one would ever say that trading and investing would be fun or easy, and the action over the past two weeks (a market without memory) only served to reemphasize that point.

Ifs, Ands & Butts

Question: If the monarchy suddenly disbanded, which song would you want played at your gold medal ceremony instead of the National Anthem?
Answer: "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot.

-- Holly Lam-Moores, Team GB handball player on (2012)

Reward vs. risk has deteriorated within the context of last week's ramp.

Err on the side of conservatism.

And go U.S.A.!