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The Drift and Sift


One down and three to go, Minyans -- take a deep breath!


Day after day I'm more confused
But I look for the light through the pouring rain
You know that's a game that I hate to lose
I'm feelin' the strain, ain't it a shame?

(Dobie Gray)

You wanna see a chart where everyone is using the same stop levels? Pull up a daily of the S&P and take a peek at what happened when Hoofy started to fill the opening gap. It seems that everyone and their sister was watching that "vacuum" (for possible fillage) and that's the likely reason for the most recent pop and drop. So you know... and if you care!

A couple of quick observations from the front. We wrote last week about how equities are trading as a single vehicle (vs. the dollar, crude, gold and fixed income) and that theme has continued into this week. The retailers act well, I suppose, relative to the financials, semiconductors and cyclicals but that's not saying much. One thing is clear: both the bulls and the bears understand the technical importance of these levels and they're both leaving their best efforts on the field.

As we edge towards the closing bell, understand that there are agendas in play and that makes for curious price action at times. That's not an actionable thought, it's simply an observation and something to monitor as we wade through the muck. If you're actively trading into the close, be sure to put limits on those orders so you don't get any nasty surprises to end your quarter

I plan on sleeping naked tonight (without the bull or bear costume) and will come in tomorrow fresh and ready to play. So you're aware, the question in my mind's eye isn't if we're going lower but rather how (and when) we're going to get there. There's rally risk to this tape (from these levels) and the current odds are decided mixed (either way). Rather than blindly bet on a direction, I want to do stay relatively flat and, when applicable, set up some gamma.

There are times when I'll eloquently communicate my market thoughts -- and today clearly wasn't one of them! I'm uncertain if it's me or if the Minx is, in fact, that cloudy. Either way, I know enough to know that I don't want LOSS to dictate a lack of feel. The ability to proactively identify lower percentage trades is the first step to seeing (and playing) the high percentage trades. Know thyself, Minyans, and please don't press.

I'm going to juggle my hats and watch the carnival into the close. I know these are tough times but if you're bummin' out about performance, stop by and visit my friend Joel. He's always had the uncanny ability to offer perspective and keep it real. Do something Joel today and the rewards will be rich -- I promise.

Have a peaceful night.

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

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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