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The Battle Moil

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Be on the ball!

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"I like to keep mine razor sharp. Sharp enough you can shave with it. Why, I've been known to circumcise a gnat. You're not a gnat are you Bug? Wait a minute, bug, gnat. Is there a little similarity? Whoa, I think there is! Ha ha ha. You understand what I'm talking about? I don't think you do. I'll be right back."

--Uncle Buck


The afternoon fray has been led astray as the critters all wonder what Elmer will say. There's no doubt that the bespeckled Fed chief is the collective focus but you gotta wonder if folks are being a bit granular with regard to his imminent directive. We see it during every FOMC meeting when words like "foreseeable" and "patience" are dissected to the point of exhaustion. Now, with two full days on the soap box, Forrest Gumspan (as BM liked to say) will open up his thesaurus and do it again.

While yields are a relative inflection point (TNX), I'm not downplaying his potential impact. In fact, his soliloquies will likely remove the "big bad unknown" from the path of least resistance. Therein lies the crux of our decision making process: What IS that path and how can we best walk down it. A case can certainly be made both ways so in the interest of fairness, I wanted to give both Hoofy and Boo their respective 15 minutes.

The bodacious bovine will correctly point out that the broader market digested a 50 handle BKX plunge (old way) with nary a burp. "Stocks just don't go down well," he's quick to point out, "and this basing was a necessary precursor to a push through major resistance (which, once removed, will resume the equity migration). Further, he'll correctly remind us that the corporate bond market has yet to raise a flag and that typically precedes a shift in landscape.

The ursine ugly, for his part, is happy to dust off his master list. "Widespread complacency? Check. Crowded longs? Check. Stimulus fumes? Check. Cracks in the momentum mojo? Check. Looming resistance? Check. Insider selling? Check. Underappreciated geopolitical risk? Check. Volatility in other asset classes? Check. Do you really want me to go on? I'm happy to do so until we reach check, mate". I would, Boo, but I'm on a deadline--Elmer awaits.

For my part, I've tightened up the risk parameters and time horizon on my trading positions. So you know, and if you care, I'm content and comfortable with flattish deltas and positive gamma. I have a slight short-side bias but it's uber-contained and, for the most part, situation specific. And I've got my laundry list ready (both ways) should my patience, in fact, provide the entry points that I've been eyeing.

Good luck, Minyans, and think positive--it all starts with YOU.

R.P.
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 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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