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Dead Calm

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There are things you can replace
And others you cannot
The time has come to weigh those things
This space is getting hot-
You know this space is getting hot


(Grateful Dead)

Well, that's an interesting concept. In our world, colleges have various critters as mascots...so I suppose it stands to reason that in a world of critters, they'd have a human mascot! I'm not totally sold on the idea yet, but as always, I remain open minded. The University is in the process of finals (before breaking for the holiday) and the next session begins in late January so we've got time to figure it out. The winner, by the way, will get some really cool Minyanville merchandise...but I'm not allowed to talk about that just yet.

Back to life, back in reality, the tape is trading a bit fugly as we approach the end of contra-hour. As you know, I've been keying off the banks and once again, they're leading the market around by the nose. This index was trading near 800 last weeks and it's no coincidence that Hoofs has taken it on the chin as these names came for sale. Sure, other sector bases are down as well but the financials led us lower and we get paid to anticipate the price action, not follow it.

Tech continues to trade drier than their big board cousins but keep in mind that AMAT earnings tonight will color psychology in a big way. The consumer names also act well but you can almost hear them meow after yesterday's drubbing. The drugs, meanwhile, are getting dismantled on some negative MRK and BMY chatter and while I'm not involved, I wanted to point it out.

On the flow front, it's surprisingly quiet during this slippage. It feels to me as if the shorts covered what they had too and, when finished, there weren't many buyers left. Obviously, that can change on a dime but, as of now, they don't feel so good.

Boo just walked by and called me a pansy for not putting that other leg back into my bear costume--but I'm immune to his taunts by now. I know that if I play my game and stick to my discipline, it will all work out in the end. Watch today's lows (S&P 872, NDX 986) as the next downside levels, for if they don't hold, the selling could pick up in pace. I'm going to toss my trading visor back on and play trader, so I'll catch up with you in a bit.

Good luck into the close.

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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