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A Few Good Trades



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 certain that 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.

Good luck.


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

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.

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