Col. Nathan R. Jessup just marched into our office (in his dress greens), cleared his throat and announced:
"Son, we live in a market that has levels, and those levels have to be guarded by traders with orders. Who's gonna do it? You? (turning to me) You, trader Toddo? I have more responsibility here than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Hoofy and you curse the sellers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Hoofy's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me trading, you need me trading. We use words like discipline, patience and integrity. We use these words as the backbone of a trading existence that is our livelihood. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a Bull who rises and sleeps under the watchful eye of my discipline, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you start stamping tickets and prepare to trade. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!"
Whoa, relax there soldier, we strenuously object to your tone! Yes, it's a difficult tape, but if we've learned anything, it's that emotion, not price action, is the enemy when trading. Think of it...have you ever met an emotional trader worth his weight in salt? Me neither! We're just humbly walking our walk and respecting our levels. As a matter of fact, we were just looking at S&P 800, as there are "sell stops" sitting right below (778.50) If we breach this zone, S&P 775 is the next discernable support. Are we clear?
The breadth continues to deteriorate as the chatter on the trading wires starts to (once again) focus on Iraq. I'm not certainthat the Minx is going to order a code red, but I do know that Sergeant Snapper needs to see some improvement in the internals if he's going to show his face. You want answers? I want the truth! And the truth is, without a marked improvement in breadth, leadership in the financials, or a sizable allocation, we may have to call in some reserves from Gitmo.
I hope this finds you trading within your means. Remember---there are going to be better days and brighter portfolios...your goal is to be there to participate.
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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