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Ship of Fools


What do you think, I'm just some crazy old coot recklessly driving the whole ship into danger as a yell "YEE-HA!"?


"May I have your attention please. Mr. Hunter has brought it to my attention that morale may be a bit low. That you may be a bit...on edge. So I suggest this...any crew member who feels he can't handle the situation can leave the ship right now. Gentleman, we're at DEFCON three, war is imminent. This is the captain. That is all."

--Capt. Frank Ramsey, USS Alabama

Sorry Minyans, I couldn't resist pullin' out my favorite Crimson quote in honor of Elmer's imminent arrival. It's apt, to be sure, as the entire Atlantic fleet is on alert and Radchenko is fueling his birds. While the enemy in the nuclear world is war itself, the true enemy when trading is not having a set (yet adaptive) strategy. As such, I will ask that you map out a game plan, Mr. Cob, and float the minxy buoy.

Our current coordinates have us within periscope depth of yesterday's lows. That's the level Captain Snapper is defending and, as it stands, he's doing his job. Remember this morning when we discussed a potential probe before the terrapins took over the station? That's pretty much what we've seen thus far although, to be fair, the negative breadth in the Nazz and relative lethargy in the Russell, biotechs and peripheral brokerage stocks raised a midday flag for yours truly.

Obviously, as most of you know, Elmer will trump these tells with a wag of his tongue. Virtually nobody expects him to trigger a mutiny but that fact, in and of itself, is worthy of a nose scrunch. The bottom line is this--more likely than not, he'll stand pat and stay on course. Any hint of relative weakness in the economy would likely be perceived as a negative, in my opinion, as the "low rate and wait" song might be getting a bit stale.

Finally, the oldest adage in the FOMC book is that the first move is a head-fake so if you're playing the announcement (I'm not), don't trade reactively and put limits on those orders. The last thing you want is to get a report from your broker that is a minute old and a point away.

I expect and demand your very best, Minyans. Anything less, you should have joined the Air Force. Best of 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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