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The Ramble Gamble


What else ya got, Elmer?


Goodbye, Mama and Papa
Goodbye, Jack and Jill
The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter
Either side of the hill

(Grateful Dead)

Boo just bum rushed into the office and tagged Fokker with a left cross! It seems as if our resident bear is frustrated by the recent action and I can't say I blame him. If, by chance, the economic numbers were good, the Minx would have screamed higher. The release was horrible, however, and the Minx... hung tough?

The "neutral" observer would argue that the ability of the market to shrug off bad news is a bullish omen. With that said, how you react to these numbers is purely a function of your time horizon. The tape certainly seems like it wants to rally in the short-term and you must decide if that risk is worth assuming. I'm having a hard time "buying into" the notion that the war will cure all our ills but, again, that won't matter until it does. As such, I'm "trading around" a short bias with the understanding that the bulls currently have the mojo.

Looking at our all-important macro tells, bonds are flat, crude is higher, the dollar is week and gold has been under pressure all day. Our stateside tells are similarly mixed: breadth is flat, the banks are marginally lower, retail is dry and the consumers are a bit heavy. All in all, the tenor of the overall market is (thus far) firm.

A quick look at flow's diner is dominated by put sellers and call buyers. A customer punted 100,000 QQQ April 25 puts and, as I write, I'm watching S&P calls being bought in size and "real money" accumulating big cap tech. One thing for sure, Minyans, the consensus is betting on much higher prices.

While today's outcome is still very much up in the air, I will offer that an early push higher was necessary IF (big if) there's to be downside. Mind the gaps approaching in the S&P and NDX as well as the 200-day averages that are resting immediately to the north. Make no mistake, the bulls are gunning for those breakouts as they attempt to break the will of the bears.

Jammin' a little, my friends... I'll be back.

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