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Good morning and welcome to the fishy flux. Yesterday's drip was shot from the hip after Elmer's glue failed to steady the slip. "It doesn't add up," said Hoofy in fear, "we got what we wanted--the message was clear." Will the selling be swept from the chimney with care? Or can the ursine bounce back and rally the bears? It's Hump Day anew in the Minyanville Zoo so settle on in and let's start our review!
Last Wednesday, for the briefest of moments, NASDAQ climbed above the psychologically important (yet technically insignificant) 2000 level. It was a moment in the sun for the once proud proxy and the teletubbies could hardly contain their enthusiasm. After a messy fall from grace, tech was back with a vengeance and this milestone was the cherry on its sundae of a year. All they forgot was the whipped cream.
One week later, with tech coming off its sugar rush, the collective attention shifted towards a more newsworthy event--Dow 10,000. Heck, this was five times as big and entirely more juicy! The hats came out, the giggles began and the bitter bears were offered some salt to sprinkle on their wounds. Once again, the milestone was hit. Once again, it was the bulls who were bit.
While the jury is still out on who has the clout, Boo knows better than to scream and shout. Yeah, the semis broke a double bottom and their 50-day moving average. Yes, there were fresh negatives in the financials (Washington Mutual (WM:NYSE), the banks failed to impale BKX 950 and the homies got heavy. Sure, the bull camp is crowded, the insiders are dumping and the only way to induce supply is with lower levels. This we know--there have been overt negatives all year--but the long standing liquidity and short-sighted memories have rendered them obsolete.
While all this chatter and ursine lather mounts, the optimistic technicians will offer that this is a textbook basing (at support) that has pulled in a fresh round of shorts. They have a point--as it stands, and despite the shots across the bow, the S&P has held where it "had" to. The cannonballs are in the air (semis, banks) but, thus far, the intra-market rotation has absorbed the brunt of the supply. Pay particular attention to the internals as we edge into today's muck and stay true to your discipline. The definition of an investment should never be a trade that's gone against you.
We've been eyeballing S&P 1060 as THE inflection point and, as this past week has taught us, technical levels tend to get crowded. As such, understand that this is simply one metric in the swirling seas and don't blindly defer to them. The dollar may also play a role (it's finally showing signs of a bounce after the binge from the hinge), as will psychology (performance anxiety vs. performance protection) and sector leadership.
What do I think? As a function of the backdrop and unbalanced boat, it remains my contention that a capsize could emerge at any time. With that said, we've seen "one and dones" all year long and the dip shtick will remain thick until it fails to work. Watch for Hoofy to toe the line at S&P 1060 but if he can't--and the internals/leadership falters--there is room with the view. That decision doesn't have to be made right now but craft a game plan (either way) such that you're ready to be audible if need be.
Finally, in the spirit of the holidays and in the interest of the kids, our philanthropic auction continues today. Neal "the real deal" begins the session atop the leader board with a generous bid of $4000. The winner of this auction (and a guest) will join the Minyanville professors, Mike Santoli, the critters and the entire Minyanville family for our first annual holiday dinner in New York City on Wednesday, December 17th. The proceeds, of course, will be donated to the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education and the broad base of children's charities that it supports. Grandpa would be proud!
Good luck today.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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