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Songs of Flight


Keep an eye on Venezuela,'s starting to get loud.


All I know is something like a bird within her sang
All I know she sang a little while and flew on
Laugh in the sunshine sing, cry in the dark
Fly through the night

(Grateful Dead)

The afternoon flux continues as the Minx finds her way through December's expiration. Call me crazy, but something tells me that this tape isn't going to end the day at these levels. I've sniffed out a program that seems to be buoying the action but, absent that, I'm not seeing nuttin' honey. I have picked up a story off of Reuters that I found interesting but I'm not sure how it will affect the market. It seems that Robert Cusack was busted at LAX airport trying to smuggle a pair of monkeys through his pants! I kid you not. The guy was sentenced to 57 days in a California jail for his transgressions although it isn't known, at the time, what the monkeys got!

I ran to the bank to sign some papers and I returned to find the market virtually unchanged. As it stands, the S&P continues to act much better then the Nazz but, as we know, the "rebalance" probably has something to do with that. If history is any guide, the price action (in the tape) should start to pick up in about a half hour as traders awake from a day long nap to square their derivative exposure. I've been scanning for actionable pins and punts but I haven't identified anything of note. Yes, I know I'm not going to be here to trade 'em but I was hoping to throw the readers a bone.

I've still got both legs in my metaphorical bear costume (50% conviction on the short side) and will remove those appendages either as a function of time or price. In other words, I'll be naked (flat) by 4pm or S&P 900-whichever comes first. I've been watching the tape all day but, for all intensive purposes, my year is done. I've been spending some of my time talking to my co-workers and trying to squeeze in some extra memories. I must say, I'll particularly miss young Martin and his fragile frame-keep your head up, kid, and remember to think're going to go far.

Meanwhile, I'd be remiss in not bringing up the Latin America discord as it (potentially) has HUGE ramifications for the banks. The last thing the bulls need right now is turmoil in the emerging markets-especially if nobody is focusing on it. I don't want to be a chicken little-but do me (and yourself) a favor and key off the financials in my absence. Anybody who lived through the Asian Contagion can tell you that these economies DO matter. I mean, I still think about the Thai Bhat!

Finally, be smart as you craft your year-end risk profile and don't let the fear of missing affect your judgment. Identify your horizon, leave room for a margin of error and, most importantly, don't bite off more than you can chew. If you spend this holiday bummin' about the market, it's a huge waste- in more ways than one.

Good luck, Mon Frere.


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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

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