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Critters on a Perch

By

My favorite Raider of all-time is Kenny Stabler!

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Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

(The Beatles)

It's a s-l-o-w session in Minyanville as the clock continues to edge towards the closing bell and, true be told, I'm running on the redeye fumes! I've spoken to a lot of traders who are making (forcing) bets today but I don't see the edge. Many of us have been conditioned to believe we must trade every day. Rather than trying to squeeze water from the stone, why not use this time to map out the week ahead? There's gonna be plenty of time to put on risk in the next few days--trust me!

One of the primary themes I continue to see is a preponderance of call buying (particularly in the semis). With Intel's earnings out tomorrow (night), it's clear that trading types are making the bet on the long side. Will the boyz from Santa Clara come through for investors? I can't tell you for sure--but with expectations where they are, they'd better have something good to say!

While you're focusing on the forthcoming earning's season, don't forget about tomorrow morning's retail sales figures (exp. 1.5%, ex autos .3%). The consumer has (surprisingly) been the glue that's held the economy together and an outlier (either way) has the potential to shift psychology. The word from Main Street is that sales are active, but don't take my word for it...see for yourself!

The contra-hour is set to begin and thus far, Monday's been a yawnfest (in more ways than one!). It's hard to read into action like this and, rather than forcing trades, try to get to a point where you can let prices work for you. In other words, if you're bearish, you should be psyched if the tape lifts (so you can to your shorts). If you're hangin' with Hoofs, you should be jazzed on pullbacks (cheaper inventory). Either way, try to remain proactive as you craft a risk profile--pressing and guessing is no way to spend your day!

I've got a truckload of meetings after the close and, depending on how the next hour goes, I may try to get an early start. Either way, I'll continue to keep one eye on the tape as I scan for actionable levels and price points. I've got plenty of dry powder as a breakout through these levels wouldn't cause me to fall over and go bump! Still, as a function of the metrics we've discussed, my inclination is to let the tape do what it has to and pick my spots on the short side. That may not be a desired strategy for you but, hey...I can only share with you what I'm thinking. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong. Always honest.

I hope this finds you well.

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