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Air Traffic Control


Deja Boo!


"There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"

--Elaine Dickinson, Airplane

The deep breath index continues to redline as Snapper got bitch slapped by the bears. Wait a second! Can I say bitch slap in Minyanville? That's probably one of those borderline calls and I should err to the side of caution....nah! This is a tough environment and the readers could use a smile. Besides, taken in isolation: bitch n. A female canine animal, especially a dog. Slap n. A sharp blow made with the open hand or with a flat object; a smack. That's kosher, right Casey?


I guess we'll find out soon enough! The point is, Snapper took a smacker as he peeked his beak over S&P 830 and now the bears are swarming. As I write, I'm seeing "real money" selling QQQ and SPY and the fact that it coincided with the S&P 827 level probably isn't a fluke. In the absence of clarity, traders tend to focus on tangible metrics (read: technicals). Watch S&P 820 as the last real magnet between here and February's low and know that Dow Theorists are looking for a close below 7750 (to confirm the negative pattern).

When Snapper attempted his earlier lift, I was watching a handful of moving parts. First, the 830 resistance stuck out as it was former support and I wanted to see how the Minx reacted when she got there. As the S's approached that level, my intraday stochastics became overbought for the first time today. As I closely monitored the action in the financials (Citigroup in particular), the breadth (never confirmed) and the cyclicals (stayed heavy), I put out a SPY short with an upside stop (I've since covered). My point isn't to champion a trade (I didn't make that much anyway)--I'm simply trying to share the process such that you get a better handle on how I operate.

Looking ahead, the Morgan conference continues tomorrow with MU, TECD, PALM, LXK, A, FLEX, HPQ and CDN (among others), BEAV, SPLS, TOY all report preopening and we'll get that beige colored book in the afternoon. Other than that, we need to be on our toes for preannouncements (it's that time of year) and flava from the geopolitical front (ungamable).

Please do me a favor and RSVP to if you've got an interest in the March 23 Minyanfest. I want to make sure that we've got ample room to watch hoops, drink some brews and kick back. Fair warning--this is not a stockfest and I really don't want to waste a Sunday talking tape. It's a "faces to names" type of thing and I thought it would be a fun time.

I've been trading around a short bias and, as I'm gonna keep some puts on, that foot has to stay in the bear costume. Again, I wanna keep my overnight exposure defined as there's huge headline risk both ways. This surely isn't the sexiest approach to trading but it enables me to operate with controlled aggressiveness against a backdrop of capital preservation.

Shockingly, I've got a 4:00pm investor meeting and then a dinner with Minyanville's marketing guru--so while I'll try to sneak out another post, I can't make any promises. Either way, take today in stride and tonight with a smile. Flicks and ticks are stressful but, as we've painfully learned, it could be worse.

Be the ball.

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