All Aboard?

By Todd Harrison  MAR 12, 2009 9:25 AM

Investors weigh whether the train is leaving the station.


“Trouble ahead, trouble behind. And you know that notion just crossed my mind.” --Grateful Dead

Apropos of Bennet's Beatle's Tribute earlier this week—and consistent with the Minyanville Underground RailroadI can't seem to shake this song from my crowded keppe. Perhaps it's fitting, as the whole is wondering if we've got a ticket to ride.

We saw two true downside tests yesterday—the first led by JP Morgan (JPM) and second by Wells Fargo (WFC)—and Hoofy held his ground. A checklist of our daily tells served as a scorecard as we edged towards today’s big day. It was thin and whippy, as one might expect when reactive traders posture into a catalyst.

Best I can tell, reading the tea leaves out of Washington , we won’t see the suspension of mark-to-market accounting. What we could see, however, is an adjustment in how fair market value measurements are applied. It’s all very confusing which would perhaps explain why policy makers are so very confused.

For my part, and this is me being honest, my risk leash is tighter than a snare drum for a variety reasons.

First, I operated from the long side into this event and booked some shekels (not a victory lap, just sharing my process).

Second, I'm being pulled in twelve different directions and I learned a long time ago that trading demands 100% focus (which is a tall order even when I'm not cat juggling).

Third, I'm working on some monster projects that require immediate attention. It's "all good," Snoop, just labor intensive across the board.

Fourth, I'm allowed to patiently await my pitch as long as I understand that opportunity cost is the other side of discipline.

Fifth, I can't get that darn Juicy Fruit commercial out of my head.

Sixth, I wanna watch the tone and tenor of the tape, including reaction to both news and supply. In particular, if we don’t get any discernible news today, I’m wary of the sessions that bookmark the weekend.

Seventh, heaven. Remember that game?

Eighth? Is enough. Man, I'm showing my age.

Ninth? Deuce.

Tenth? Our Trading Commandments, for the newbie Minyans in our midst.

Only trade with what you can afford to lose, manage risk (don't chase reward) and above all else, be good to others and better to yourselves. There's so much hate in the world—be a part of the solution rather than part of an ever-growing problem. Drizzam.

Random Thoughts

Answers I Really Wanna Know...

Good luck today, Minyans—be the ball.



No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

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