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A Ferklempt Kemp!


How do I short duct tape?


Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Hot as a pistol but cool inside
Cat on a tin roof, Dogs in a pile
Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile

(Grateful Dead)

So, you wanna be a trader, eh? It's times like these--gut check times--that separate the critters from the fritters. It's surely not easy and it's certainly not fun but, if nothing else, emotional markets offer the most compelling trade opportunities. You just can't be too early...and you can't stay too late.

For those of you gigglin' along with the NDX 21-day gip (chart), the channel is relatively defined on both sides. Speaking of charts, Tony makes some astute observations regarding the current juncture and, I hope you know by now, I would never recommend something unless I felt it adds value. His latest observations are a must read for those dancing to this trippy music.

What am I thinking? Well, for one, the life of a zagger is often a lonely existence but I've learned that the toughest fades are always the best fades. It felt that way on the other side of BKX 800 and it's starting to feel that way now. Obviously, with so many balls in the air, it's impossible to know, for sure, how this will play out. That, my friends, is why I've chosen to define my risk via call options.

What vehicle am I using? I've got a smattering of index paper (out to march) and a few select (coiled) big cap tech names. Front month paper (February) is obviously cheaper and, as such, may be the proverbial "gun to your head" into next week's expiry. It's alright to "punt" on some of these instruments, but understand that, typically, the lion's share of those cheapies go out worthless.

As Inspector Kemp said in Young Frankenstein, "A riot is an ugly thing. And once you get it started, there's little chance of stopping it, short of bloodshed. But, before we go around killing people, we had better make damned sure of our evidence." The good inspector has a point--there's a rumor coming out almost every ten minutes and traders are shooting first. Take a deep breath, Mon Frere, and remove emotion from your mix--we'll get through this.

Good luck!

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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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