Oct 30, 2004

More on Haliburton

There is now a U.K enquiry into Haliburton that is investigating bribery charges while V.P. Cheney was the CEO there.

I am very aware that all this news peppering the tape now is the result of Tuesday's election. It still seems to me though that all this attention is unwanted if you are an HAL holder. Very few large companies come out of these investigations without more bad news hitting. For CSFB and Arthur Anderson the investigation itself led to obstruction charges as employees sought to destroy evidence. And this U.K. investigation is certainly out of the control of whomever wins our Presidency.

With the other oil drillers being hit so hard by the move in oil while HAL hangs tough I will be avoiding HAL. Maybe there is a trade there and maybe not but for now it seems like dead money on the short side.

I will point out that the overall strength in yesterday's tape was similar to HAL's. October 31 is mutual fund year end so Friday was the last trading day. I am never quite sure how to gauge these events but it certainly could account for the inability of stocks to go down. The rollover in GOOG (Google) that caught a bid in the afternoon is another good example. That stock could easily have traded down another 5 or 10 points with no clear support until the top of its earnings gap at 175. Maybe on Monday.

Lastly, the dollar went out at the lows of the day, which also happens to be right near multiyear lows. It does look a bit scary but keep in mind that being short the dollar is the only trade in the world right now that everyone believes in. No lack of conviction there. With everyone on the same side there should be plenty of sharp rallies and these lows with the election as a news catalyst still seems like a good place to start one.

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