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Robbing the Cradle!


If the tape wants to sit here at S&P 840, that would suit me just fine!


My child arrived just the other day
Came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to trade while I was away

(Harry Chapin)

Well, I've gotta say I'm one lucky guy. If I hadn't tossed out that trivia question, I woulda spaced (again) on ordering cat food and it coulda been ugly when I got home! Anyway, my two fantastic felines, Phoebe and Zoebird, were correctly identified (first) by Canadian Philip Denolf and he is the proud owner of a spankin' brand new Minyanville tee! Nice work, eh?

I returned to my turret to find a tug-o-war at S&P 840, firm biotechs, improving internals and Fokker standing by the door with his legs crossed and a strained look on his face. Listen kid, you don't need to ask for permission every time you go to the bathroom--I've already hired you. Just don't let it happen too often!

A couple of observations with regard to the Minx. There's a lotta chatter going around regarding the high put/call level (bullish). While this is usually a decent short term sentiment gauge, I wanted to make sure you saw the large "unwinds" in the market today (skewing the reading). Some gorilla sold 200,000 put spreads and, as a result, the put/call was much higher than normal. That doesn't mean it's bearish, per se, it just means it's not as bullish.

With regard to S&P 840, there's a nasty battle going on as both camps understand the technical importance. For purposes of my work, the break has "confirmed." However, I typically don't like to press these breaks the first time when we're this oversold. As a matter of fact, it smelled like a bear trap when the shorts piled on and, as such, I zagged a bit and trying my hoof on the long side.

The financials have rallied back and, as this was the single biggest negative today, we must stand up and take notice. They're still lethargic, mind you, but they've rallied almost 2% off the low and, if they can turn to the north side, the weak shorts might panic. The tape feels like it wants to go higher but there's still a lot of trading left in the day. I continue to hop around with one leg in my bull costume (S&P 830 stop) and I'm keeping that right hand up.

A few Minyans have emailed me and asked why I've turned into such a pea shooter. "You used to get dressed in three, sometimes four appendages. What gives?" The answer is--and there's no shame in admitting this--it's hard out there! As a function of the environment, I've adapted my style to the market and spend my time looking for high percentage trades. I'll never write one thing and do another so, as I'm not taking down monster risk, I'm not fully suiting up in my silly outfits.

Deep breaths, my friends...we'll get there. I'm sincerely hoping that you're taking this muck in stride and not pressing, guessing or stressing too much. The weeding out process continues and, at the risk of redundancy, at the risk of redundancy, I'll remind you that the goal is one of consistency.

I hope this finds you well.

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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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