Editor's Note: Combining his passions for the markets,humor and food, "What's cookin' with Kenny Polcari" is a blog published twice weekly on CNBC.com. With more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street, Polcari provides insight and analysis on the markets, as well as a recipe du jour. Buon Appetito!
Monday morning and Boom! Stocks rocketed out of the gate, as the U.S. dollar fell on upbeat news out of China and Japan gave investors an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief—at least for now.
Anticipation of the Apple conference/presentation Tuesday gave techies another reason to celebrate as they await this highly anticipated event. Strategists around the Street raised outlook and estimates for Apple going into the all-important year-end holiday shopping season.
And like food, "it's all in the presentation." It has to be appealing to both the eye and the brain. Tuesday's recipe takes a favorite, pork loin and adorns it with apples, in celebration of Apple CEO Tim Cook's appearance, but more on that later.
(Read more: Why 'device exhaustion' spells trouble for Apple)
Back to the market: Traders that again got short last week into the weekend, expecting an "event" to happen, were once again disappointed. Add in the very unexpected positive macro data out of Asia and the low trading volumes and BOOM! Markets moved swiftly to the upside, pausing at resistance (1,662 on the S&P) and then finding the strength to barrel through, as it appears there may be a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, setting the world at ease, for now.
The sense is that traders are a bit tired of worrying about what they can't control, but the lack of volume suggests that the big asset managers are not convinced yet that we can ring the dinner bell.
In what strains logic, it is a bit interesting that China's exports are suddenly improving, climbing to 7.2 percent in August. Can global demand really be heating up with crude oil pushing $110 a barrel? I mean in a visibly stronger economy, then $110 a barrel might not be such an issue. At this point in the recovery, however, I would think that oil at this price will be a strong headwind. Can this report be an anomaly?
It looks like we might see history repeat itself. Recall what happened in May-June during what looked like an intermediate-term correction.
The chatter over the Federal Reserve tapering its asset purchase program triggered investors to lighten their load as traders sold short. Then when the data did not confirm, the talk of taper suddenly got pushed back to September as we awaited three more months of data. The big banks jumped in, which caused the shorts to run for cover, taking the market to new highs.
(Read more: Fed will get its inflation; here's who will pay)
Next week, we are about to find out if the Fed has set up investors again, lining them up with the anticipation of tapering much like they did in May-June. Do the data of late support tapering or not? (Read horrendous NFP report.) Could the Fed say that the economy is still too weak to justify tapering or that the timing of this matter is not appropriate given the recent geopolitical issues in the Middle East? And the fact that we may get a diplomatic solution DOES take some of the fear and risk off the table—thus traders pile back in—more assured of a "big nothing done."
And now from the kitchen of Kenny Polcari, here's his recipe of the day!
Pork loin with apples
- Seared pork loin adorned with apples
- Olive oil
- 1-2 pounds boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Large Vidalia onion, thickly sliced
- Carrots, thickly sliced
- Celery, thickly sliced
- 4 smashed cloves garlic
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
- ½ stick of butter
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
- Apple cider vinegar
- Apple cider
- Whole grain mustard
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the pork loin generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside.
Next add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs plus about 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Do not let them burn. Now add the sliced apples, sauté and then push the mixture to the sides of the skillet and place the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate.
Now put the ovenproof skillet in the oven and roast the loin for about 30 minutes or so. When you insert an instant read thermometer into the center of the meat, it should register 140 to 150 degrees F.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil and let it rest while you make the sauce. Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside.
Remove and toss the herb sprigs. Put the skillet back on the burner and raise the heat to high, add about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add 1 cup of apple cider and reduce by about half again.
Now remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice into ½-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Be sure to remove the string. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side for your guests.
—By Kenny Polcari, director of NYSE floor operations, O'Neil Securities and CNBC contributor, often appearing on "Power Lunch." The author is not compensated by CNBC for this or any other written materials found on CNBC.com.
About Kenny: Kenny has more than 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Currently director of NYSE floor operations on behalf of O'Neil Securities, he has also worked for Icap and Salomon Brothers. You can follow Kenny on Twitter
@kennypolcari and visit him at kennypolcari.com.
Disclosure: The market commentary is the opinion of the author and is based on decades of industry and market experience; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to these opinions. This commentary is not nor is it intended to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgment. The comments noted herein should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any financial product, or an official statement or endorsement of O'Neil Securities or its affiliates.