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The Quiet Storm


Bulls are leading against S&P 905 and NDX 1100ish


Ain't nobody messin with you but you
Your friends are getting most concerned
Loose with the truth, maybe it's your fire
But baby don't get burned

(The Grateful Dead)

Does anybody else get the sense that we're all playing a high stakes game of musical chairs? I've spoken to a lot of traders who want to "play the game" before finding a warm and secure spot. It's the nature of the beast, I suppose, and while there are surely opportunities in this tricky tape, we must stay on our toes as we circle the seats.

The indices continue to work around their breakout levels, and while there's surely an underlying bid, there's been supply offered above. The early morning breadth is flat, the semiconductor/bank duopoly has yet to confirm (either way), the retailers are somewhat lethargic, the dollar is hangin' tough and crude is offered lower. In short, it's a mixed bag thus far and while my left eye keeps spotting the sloppy semicaps, my right eye is finding a firmer eBay (EBAY:Nasdaq) and Amgen (AMGN:Nasdaq).

The bull/bear sentiment survey reported a sharp drop in bullish sentiment but, interestingly enough, I've yet to come across one in my daily sniffage. Perhaps that's a nonsensical observation but worth noting nonetheless. I speak with folks who I consider to be pretty smart cookies and even the old school bears are bullish for a trade. Actionable? Probably not... but file it away in the back of your keppe.

With performance anxiety in full frontal effect, the beta chase is readily apparent. While this is potentially self-fulfilling, we need to remember the importance of respecting the price action but NOT deferring to it. Have a strategy mapped out before you step on the field and define your risk parameters. It takes a lot of effort to make money in this market but a single lapse of judgment will take it all away. Play smart.

I've got a lunch meeting that will require my attention but I'll surely try to sneak out some random thoughts before it begins. I sincerely hope this finds you playing to your potential and puttin' some coin in the till. Don't forget to book some, Dano, and don't let greed ever cloud your discipline.

I'll be back.
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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

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