May peace be with you and your family!
Afraid of my own shadow in the face of grace
Heart full of darkness, spotlight on my face
There was love all around me, I was looking for revenge
Thank God it never found me, would have been the end
(Stevie Ray Vaughn)
I've gotta tell ya, this tape is getting whipped harder than Gimp Fokker in the basement of Minyanfest! I'm not talking about a handful of points here or there -- I'm talking about multiple hundred point swings in the blink of an eye. It's wild, it's fast, it's thin and it's a recipe for disaster if you're caught looking the wrong way. Stay on your toes, Minyans, and think about your risk management decisions into the close -- you'll have to live with them all night.
Today's action, while nasty at times, did little to quell the great debate. The bulls will argue that a pullback was a healthy necessity before the resumption of the rally. Boo, meanwhile, will (humbly) offer that the recent buying panic was a textbook bear market rally and all kinds of fresh capital was (once again) sucked into the Hoofy head fake. While the answers will only be found with the benefit of hindsight, our profitability requires us to proactively discount those possibilities. Easier said than done but, then again, nobody ever said it was gonna be easy!
For my part, I used today's weakness to remove two appendages from the fur and scale back some short side exposure. While I firmly remain in the big picture bear camp, there's a ton of two-sided risk in the near term and I've opted for a tighter posture. I've left one leg in the imagery out of respect for my defined risk puts and my belief that last week's rally will prove fadable. Can we thrust higher first? Sure -- but as it stands, I am more balanced and have the ability to fade that move should I choose to.
Virtually every internal and macro measure got smushed today and, even still, the VIX failed to move appreciably higher. Think about it -- the market is down 300 points and the bears are more scared than the bulls. That's goofy! I maintain that the current readings aren't the stuff bull market cusps are made of, but as we know, timing is everything. Hoofy's heroes will likely defend S&P 850 and their ability to do so will offer hints as to their fortitude.
Looking forward, earnings are relatively light this week although we've gotta be on the lookout for preannouncements. I'm unsure if they'll matter -- the bulls will blame the war for the fundamental leakage -- but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the potential that they occur. Monsieur Beeks will also swing by tomorrow with consumer confidence (exp. 62) and new home sales (exp. 5.8M) and investors will be paying close attention for outliers either way.
One step at a time, my friends, as we find our way through this most difficult environment. I will remind you that there's a discernable difference between loss and loss, and perspective remains an essential element of any thought process. Your P&L doesn't define you -- YOU define you -- and that's constant regardless of how you did today. Sometimes, the little things make all the difference in the world -- be kind, be strong and be safe. This too shall pass.
Have a peaceful night.
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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