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Marine Biology


When the closing bell tolls, we're ALL on the same team!


"I expect to be well inside Iraq by the time you read this. Things are moving very quickly now. I'm ready and I think the rest of the Marines are too. Our gear is packed, our weapons are clean, and our Marines are as emotionally prepared as we can make them. I'm not sure how all this will play out, but I am glad that Captain H* is with us. I cannot think of any Marines I would rather go into battle with, especially with our skipper in command."

Excerpt from Sgt. Shep
United States Marine Corp
Submitted by his sister and fellow Minyan, Sarah

I sometimes wonder if it's appropriate to inject humor into my daily missives while the world is in such a fragile state. Then I think back to something that was said one day while I was a freshman in college and sitting in my first fraternity chapter meeting. During a particularly heated exchange, an elder brother cracked a joke that changed the entire completion of the room paved the way for a more lucid and productive discussion. As we were walking out of our weekly meeting, he looked at me and said "a little levity goes a long way."

There is, in fact, a method to my madness but at the same time, I don't want to confuse the message. These are serious times and there are serious consequences for our actions -- whether they're strategic military strikes or tactical trading strategies. I'm not reminding you of the gravity of our situation to bring you down. Quite the contrary. I share excerpts like the one above to offer perspective during this difficult juncture. I'm fairly certain that a number of our troops would argue that we don't know what real stress is.

Today's session waxed and waned on every news headline and when the dust settled, the Minx ended marginally lower. A single glance at an intraday chart illustrates the caveats of reactive trading as there were jittery head fakes all day. To add injury to the insult, the tape is incredibly thin and the air pockets are littering the landscape. Anybody who had positions on when the "red alert" rumor hit (and missed) can attest to the sudden lack of bids (offers). It's dangerous out there, my friends, and regardless of which way the next 5% is, we must factor that into our risk profile.

I'm powering down with one leg in my metaphorical bear costume and a smattering of May puts on my sheets. I "see" the bull case and funds are clearly chasing performance as the performance anxiety spreads. The action in the Internet stocks is a case in point as the high beta names are in particular demand.

While I respect the upside and the potential for a "mark," I remain wary and concerned for the market. That may, in fact, prove to be bullish (contrarian) but I will always offer my honest take with hopes that it adds value to your process. With objective eyes, I will offer that the tape trades dry and this may be a healthy digestion of the recent rally. Time will tell.

Nonetheless, it's time to turn it off and tune it out until tomorrow morning. If you're able, do yourself a huge favor and pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a DVD of either Uncle Buck or Young Frankenstein -- and let your brain veg for a few hours. These are taxing times -- particularly if your job is to digest and interpret this mess -- and a little stupid humor will do you good. Trust me. I may not know much about much but I know stupid humor!

Have a peaceful night -- and Neil, I gotcha again!

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