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The Ball Peen Hammer


I'm not sure if it's a function of Halloween, but today has a very odd feel to it. The tape has been trading particularly fluxy, nerves around the street seem to be frayed and I've been spending the better part of the day brainstorming with my partners. When it's quiet, it's sometimes helpful to step away from the screens and free associate. Staring at the flickering ticks for too long can play tricks with the mind. Hmm...come to think of it, I agree with that. And so do I!

As I watch the stocks continue their shrugfest in the face of bad news, the topic of perspective once again comes to mind. Hoofy maintains that a resilient market is a clear sign that demand is in control and the tenor of the tape is bullish. Regardless of your current posture, it's hard to argue that point with our bodacious bovine. However, as we attempt to peek around the corner at the next potential leg of this move, we must ask ourselves when the news will matter. Typically, when the masses are manic, it takes a series of negatives to ping the market over the head for the bulls sit up and take notice. A string of overtly negative economic reports could be the beginning and that makes tomorrow's releases all the more important.

Our good friend Beeks will take off his gorilla costume tomorrow morning and drop off the Unemployment rate (exp. 5.8%), change in Nonfarm payrolls (exp. 0), change in Manufacturing payrolls (exp.-25k), Average Weekly Hours (34.2), ISM Manufacturing (49) and ISM Prices Paid (60.). I must say, I don't know whose working 34 hours a week but I want their job! In addition to economics 101, we'll also hear important numbers from the auto sector as October sales are released.

The sector bases are starting to dance and it's uncanny how many disparities there can be during a relatively quiet day. I mean, look at specialty healthcare! THC down 7, UNH down 5, HCA down 4...ya think someone wants these off their sheets? Ya think?

Contra hour comes to a close as traders prepare themselves for today's final flurry and I'm going to head back into another mindmeld. I've gotta tell you, I've had more meetings today than a Lifestyles convention! I told the Menagerie last weekend that, in a bear market, you're ability not to trade is almost as important as your ability to trade. Tremendous opportunities arise when you're patient enough to wait for disconnects and edges--so don't be a junkie, monkey, and wait for your pitch.

Good luck into the close

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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

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