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10th Avenue Squeeze Out

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He's talking much tougher than usual!

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Tear drops on the city
Bad Scooter searching for his groove
Seem like the whole world walking pretty
And you can't find the room to move

(Bruce Springsteen)

Is it me or is Colin's tone more Powellful than usual? You kinda get the sense that Dubya's getting anxious and that's coming through in the body language of his top lieutenants. I'm not quite sure that's it's gamable but it's certainly worth filing away in the back of our crowded keppes. One thing for sure, it's putting the specter of war smack dab in front of us and that's causing some traders to tighten and lighten.

Meanwhile, the Beige Book was released and the tone wasn't exactly robust. Growth "remained subdued," "few districts reported improvement," "spending remained weak," there was "little change in capital spending or hiring plans," "manufacturing is lackluster" and "higher energy costs are having wide ranging effects." I'm no economist--I'm doing the best I can to be a trader--but that doesn't sound bullish to me.

The tape has leveled off and traders continue to scratch their head. I'm not gonna lie to you, I had a couple of deep breaths and face rubs during that spike higher--and I'm not even that big right now! I added some puts (not huge) into the rally and day traded some SPY small (from the short side). Other than that, I'm light, tight and staying alert for opportunities (either way).

There's not much going on after the close (as far as we know) but it IS preannouncement season so factor that into your mix at some level. If you're finding this environment difficult to manage, know that it's NOT you--it's really dicey out there. Don't trade just to trade--attempt to use price to your advantage and always allow for a margin of error.

Das about it, Minyans--don't forget to ping Fokker@Minyanville.com if you're interested in our March Madness Minyanfest in NYC on the 23rd. You know those White Castle sliders--the ones you can taste for a week after you eat them? We're gonna see how many Greg RN can eat in an hour--and I'm toying with offering a free Fleece to the closest guess. Wasabi!

I hope you're--awake--and faring well.
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