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Scratch n' Sniff

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May peace be with you!

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They were two lonely folks doin' the do's and don'ts
And got the notion together they'd be happy
Thought they'd lose the crowd and do the mess around
Decided to make it snappy


(Stevie Ray Vaughan)


The Monday tape continues to scrape as the pressers chew on sour grapes. What started as a spirited downside probe has morphed into a lethargic meander with pockets of excitement. Google (GOOG:NASD) (up another 15), the homies (on their horse), the semis (trying to push past SOX 400) and 1% slippage in crude are today's subtle subplots in what promises to be a much bigger drama. Is it a tad too quiet for you? Fear not, Minyans, for the next coupla weeks promise to be quite eventful.

I positioned for a slight Snapper during this morning's muck with an uber-tight downside stop (Citigroup (C:NYSE) $42). Perhaps I'm trying to pick up dimes in front of a bulldozer (by gaming a cutesy lift in the midst of electoral unknowns) but you can trade seven ways till Sunday as long as you're disciplined. And while we've seen some snappage (and could see more), I intend to keep my overnight risk as defined as possible given the current environment.

Meanwhile, over on the Spitzer Schvitz, the WSJ.com is reporting that Marsh Mack CEO Jeff Greenberg will be replaced by Michael Cherkasky. We've been watching the events in the insurance sector for a number of reasons and the collective reaction to this news will be interesting to note. My concerns involve the "behind the scenes" counter-party risk and how that'll manifest in the financial complex (anytime you have hard, sharp movements, the potential exists for it to ripple through still financial waters). I doubt the attendant risks will dissipate quickly but a reaction rally would bode well for investor psychology.

Heading into the home stretch, Hoofy has focused his attention on the oversold S&P stochastics, relative strength in the semis and the (don't blink) slippage in crude. Boo, for his part, knows that moves don't typically occur in a straight line but is encouraged by the lower highs and technical damage. The rest of the critters are standing on the sidelines and picking their spots, as they know that the next week will be particularly freaky and full of fits and starts on both sides of town.

I've gotta juggle lids and focus my attention on today's close. I sincerely hope you're all hanging tough and keeping a stiff upper lip. Nobody said it was gonna be easy, my friends, and the lessons we've learned will soon be put to the test. Fare ye well into the bell and have a peaceful evening.

R.P.
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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 todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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