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Hollow Man


The Help Wanted Index is released at 10 a.m. (exp. 38)


I'd rather be in some dark hollow
Where the sun don't ever shine
Then to be at home alone and knowin' that you're gone
Would cause me to lose my mind

(Grateful Dead)

Good morning and welcome back to the petting zoo. I walked into my office this morning to find the menagerie patiently awaiting my arrival. Somewhat perplexed, I tossed my Journal on the desk, shot Fokker a quick glance and settled into my well-worn seat. After taking a sip of my hot tea and scanning the morning price action, I leaned back and addressed the fearsome fivesome.

Toddo: Wasabi guys? You're up early this morning.

Sammy: (clearing his throat) Yeah, we've been here for a few hours kicking around some ideas. (pauses) The truth is, I've spent the better part of my morning playing Switzerland to Hoofy and Boo and quite frankly, that's not my metaphorical role in this gig.

Boo: (standing up and pacing) This is the thing, Toddo, the Minx is on a mission to suck all of my friends into Hoofy's harem. It's not like the aggregate news is gangbusters -- not by a long shot -- but it doesn't seem to matter (yet). Now, as we tickle the S&P 950-965 resistance zone, I'm have a serious sense of deja boo... and it's starting to piss me off a little!

Hoofy: Haven't you ever heard of "the trend is your friend," or "don't fight the Fed?"

Boo: (mocking tone) Haven't you ever heard of "if you're buying when they're selling, a cardboard box will be your dwelling. If you're selling when they're buying, you'll be laughing when they're smiling?" And seriously... "don't fight the Fed?" Uhh... Earth to Mykos, you've been saying that for a mighty long time, haven't you?

Sammy: See Toddo? I've been dealing with this all morning. Help me out a little.

Toddo: Listen, we all know the arguments for both camps, right? The action has been very constructive, the right sectors are providing leadership, an intramarket rotation has buoyed the averages, there's alligator chatter everywhere (structural) and performance anxiety is sucking fresh capital in daily. At the same time, there are ample and valid reasons for the tape to take a hard right turn. Sentiment is manic, we're near resistance (until proven otherwise), the economy is far from inspiring, complacency abounds and we're pretty extended on an intermediate-term basis.

Daisy: Man, Toddo, I haven't seen straddling like that since Hoofy and I started dating!

Toddo: (smiling) Not straddling, Daisy, just seeing both sides. I've been relatively consistent in my view, and while I respect the upside momentum, I can't defer to it. Remember, if the only reason you get long is because they act great, you'll lose your catalyst when they're lower. Then what? My point is, you can play anyway you stray but define your two-sided risk.

Snapper: Do you still see a reversal in the cards?

Toddo: "When," not "if," in my opinion Snaps -- but as we know, if you're early, you're gonna have issues. We've been kicking around the S&P 970 and NDX 1200 levels in my crowded keppe and I'd be surprised if they get much beyond that without a meaningful pullback. There are two concerns for Boo: First, that this resistance is too "obvious" and the short side "stops" need to trigger (to remove the remaining shorts). Second, most every bear I speak to is waiting for the upside exhaustion rally to sell/short into. That's kinda what I'm weighing.

Boo: Yeah, that and 210 pounds! Hey Toddo, whatever happened to my gig on The Bachelor? When is that gonna happen?

Toddo: We received a lot of applicants, Boo, and I think you're gonna be psyched. Delilah, Cherise and (my personal favorite) Cassidy are in the game and they're crunchy! Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some work to do before the opening. Please know, Minyans and critters alike, that I've got a doctor's appointment this morning and a couple of meetings this afternoon. I will try to post when I can but no promises.

Boo: A'ight slacker.

Toddo: In my absence, watch those financials, Microsoft (MSFT:Nasdaq), the biotechs, retail, the breadth and the macro tells. Also be aware that there are structural pressures (both ways) in the marketplace in the form of allocation trades. While the media picks up the chatter of the states raising equity allocations (we discussed that a few days ago), please understand that by the time it hits TV, it may or may not still be in motion.

All: Check!

The critters jumped up and filed out the door while I began to power through my chart work. As I told them, I'm gonna be AWOL for a bit today as I tend to a few things so apologies in advance for the lack of columns. I'll do my best, this you know, but in my absence, remember our lessons learned, trade to win and coin a coupla shekels on this fine Thursday.

Good luck today.

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