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Sweat Shop!

By

I like to shop in the Gap!

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In the day we sweat it out in the streets
Of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory
In suicide machines


(Bruce Springsteen)


So, Iraq "put it out there" that Saddam is going to address the world in a news conference and, sure enough, he pulled a no-show.

That began a domino effect in the trading mindset: Nobody's seen him... he must be dead... that weakens the Iraqi regime... Baghdad is ready to fall... that will lift the veil of uncertainty... business will once again pick up... the economy will rebound. Yes, that entire thought process occurred in a millisecond and while I (seriously) doubt the back end of that thesis, it's why the tape lifted.

A couple of early afternoon thoughts for my fellow Minyans. I'm seeing some alligator sightings as money shifts from fixed income to equities and that's furthering the S's over N's backdrop. How am I incorporating that into my daily process? When looking for shorts, I'm scanning the four-letter (tech) names and if I have an inclination to the buy side, I'll look to the old school. It remains unclear if the S&P will lift tech or if the Nazz will drag down the broader tape. Stay tuned!

Despite my barren posture, I'm trading the "tape" from the short side (tight stops) while finding "situations" both ways. I also continue to scale into May puts with hopes of establishing some gamma.

Could vols trade lower? Sure -- but I sense that this is a decent starting point to be "long paper." I know two things -- I want to keep my overnight risk defined (both ways) and my "gut" continues to point to lower prices. As always, that's just my honest take and I share it with the most benevolent of intentions.

The post non-Saddam flurry illustrates the nature of today's market participants. Aside from the sporadic alligator tracks, the primary source of flow is the trading community. Shocker there! The gorillas are noticeably absent (again) and the hedge fund hot potato is ushering inventory to and fro. There are themes -- the banks and retailers being the most obvious -- but for the most part, it's a relatively quiet session (thus far).

So you're aware, Fokker got a TON of knee jerk emails asking him why he got canned (including from his dad!). I can't help but tag the kid here and there as he's good-natured and takes it all in stride. I also feel a sense of obligation to keep him on board because I've seen his travel planning skills and I'm fairly certain that he needs to keep his day job.

That's about it, my friends, as we wade through another session with our hearts on our sleeves and our fingers on the trigger. I continue to be humbled by the growth of our community and I want to thank all of you who continue to spread the word. It's kind of awesome, really, that we can all be a part of an educational effort that works towards a greater good. The Ruby Peck Foundation website will be up soon and that'll tie together all of our philanthropic efforts. As I sit here surrounded by pictures of my grandfather, I know he'd be saying "Thank you ever so much." No problem Grandpa. It's done with love and respect.

As always, I hope this finds you well.

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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 todd@minyanville.com.

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.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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