A little perspective amidst the ticks of the tape.
Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter. It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. Full Disclosure
Today is a profoundly sad day in Minyanville as we received word that one of our own---one of our family--suffered a tragic accident. We are, above all else--above the acumen, humor, humanity, education, insight or foresight--a community. When one of our own hurts, we all hurt. When one of our own is in need, we are there to help shoulder the load.
Out of respect for the family, I cannot communicate details and will ask Minyans not to inquire further on this matter. I will share more when I'm able and do my best to focus on the task at hand, heavy heart and bloodshot eyes notwithstanding. I will ask for your understanding, patience and empathy, as our greatest loss today has nothing to do with a P&L.. I wrote my morning column last night and there are nuggets of wisdom nestled within. I'll do my best to share insights throughout the session but my head and heart are elsewhere. As we pride ourselves on honesty, trust and respect, I felt it important to communicate the situation as a context for my content, or lack thereof as the case may be. Thank you, Minyans, and good luck today.
Gate Sniffage...and Sniffage in General - 10:10 a.m.
I don't claim to fully understand Pep's DeMark analysis, but I know enough to know that it has such a loyal following for a reason. When he tells my that S&P 593 is back on the radar, I, for one, pay attention.
As discussed last week, I've been looking at S&P 600 as a level to add some long-term exposure -- 25% of my nest egg -- which, ironically, had nothing to do with the DeMark analysis. If and when that juncture arrives, I will stick to the game plan.
The twist to this plot, naturally, is the unknown - the game-changing, regulatory unknown that is a shift in mark-to-market accounting, or some other blast from the Beltway. I remain conscious that this could conceivably happen into expiration (Friday) or quarter-end (2 weeks from today).
Through a pure technical lens, S&P 800 is the next level of upside lore.
Once upon a time, trading was an assimilation of 4 primary metrics - fundamentals, technicals, structural and psychology. In 2007, we offered that our business morphed into a game of chicken, with structural imbalances on one side and global central banks on the other. That remains in play, now more than ever.
Finally, and take me on my word on this, please, Minyans, keep the flickering ticks in perspective. I don't know about you, but I've been holding on rather tight lately -- and most of the folks I know in the business have been doing the same -- but it should never take something bad to make you realize you've got it good. Unfortunately, once again, it has and I'll share particulars as I'm able.
What I can say with confidence is this: Take nothing for granted. If you think of a friend or loved one, pick up the phone and call them. Better yet, make plans and share some valuable time. My grandfather Ruby, may he rest in peace, told me long ago that time is the most precious of commodities. Sage words, and oh so true.
As always, I hope this finds you well.
Time Trials - 12:06 p.m.
Try as I may, the flavor of my prose is stark, absent and void as the shock and sadness of this sudden situation permeates. I've been on the horn making travel arrangements, so please excuse the brevity of my post. I've got one eye on the tape as this iswhat we do, but it's being done with new found -- and unfortunately familiar -- perspective. Some quick vibes:
We've been writing about the likely shift in mark-to-market and the possibility that it arrives into expiration or before quarter-end. That is the potential upside catalyst.
On the flip side, you've got a world of worry -- quite literally -- and unresolved technical business to the downside, quite possibly to S&P 600ish.
Keep in mind that there's massive performance anxiety in the fund community and the buyers are higher while the sellers are lower. The trick to the trade, quite naturally, is to take the other side of that see-saw.
Minyans will recall that over the last few weeks, I was hanging with Hoofy with an eye towards a lift into Thursday's mark-to-market hearing. I didn't trade it as well as I would have liked, but the thought process proved profitable.
With a conscious and respectful nod to the unknown, I've now nibbled on some downside April paper. How much? Let's put it this way, if we see a binary upside rip and they expire worthless, it'll sting but it won't put me out of business.
Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, always honest and please remember that I'll be out of pocket the rest of the week. No, I'm not shooting west for our meetings --President Fish will handle those -- but southbound, for an entirely more sobering experience.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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