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The Lean Machine


Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


You're going the wrong way!
How does he know where we're going?
Yeah! How does he know where we're going?

--Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Have you ever seen a day when the entire trading community was leaning the wrong way? That's what today's tape feels like as last night's double dose of tech verbose injected fresh hope into an already anxious environment. As the day evolved and the Minx fluttered about, most every trader I spoke with was on Terrapin watch for Snapper. When he didn't peek his beak out (YET), the crowded long side hit the eject button and, well, here we are.

They say -- or, I say -- the difference between a mistake and a lesson is the ability to learn from it. What have we learned today? Well, the dollar (and the FTSE) never rallied with the post-earnings (and pre-market) futures and that was today's red flag. We also discussed the potential for bear market rallies to end on good news (not bad) and while it's too early to write Hoofy's epitaph, the bulls took a ding.

With that said, and purely as a function of discipline, I am slipping that appendage back out of my bear costume (leaves one leg, or 25% conviction on the short side) as we edge towards the closing bell. I'm quite aware that I might be VERY early but I'm in baby step mode and, well, this tape is a rattle. The elements for a larger decline still ring loudly in my ears but I strive to make this column an extension of my thought process and now it is.

I've gotta hop and do my thing before scooting on the bell so please lemme jump. Once again, I'd like to wish you all a most joyous holiday and, regardless if you're chowing matzos or hoppin' with bunnies, a safe, happy and healthy time with the fam. Work to live -- don't live to work -- and make every second count.

Have a peaceful night.
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