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Once Forgotten Scoundrels


What, me worry?


A poacher who shoots at rabbits may scare big game away.

--Lawrence Jamieson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Alright Ruprecht, here we are. There are two incrementally negative catalysts (Freddi Mac (FRE:NYSE), Motorola (MOT:NYSE)), the Minx is "following through" to the downside (after Friday's reversal), breadth is 2:1 (the OTHER way), the long side is uber-crowded and, after the opening gap was filled, the path of least resistance is seemingly lower. Does all of this mean that we can finally remove the corks from our furry forks?

While the Freddy Benson news continues to digest, the management shake up (and the chatter surrounding it) is spilling into Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE) and, to a degree, SLM (SLM:NYSE). That, in turn, is pressuring the other financials and, as we're painfully aware, those names have been the lynchpin of the recent market rip. We've gotten "scares" from these names before (what kind of name IS Poole?) but the tape shook 'em off and marched higher. Pay particularly close attention to these names as 1) they're widely held and 2) they'll serve as a psychological proxy of sorts.

Away from that fray, the techs held tough in the early going but have since succumbed to the gravitational pull. The semis, fresh off a Motorola warning, are taking a 3% haircut and they're setting the tone for the tech tape. Breadth is poor across the board and, with S&P 980 having been breached, S&P 950 (NDX 1150) are the next discernable support levels.

We added a furry appendage into Friday morning's ramp to make two legs, or 50% conviction on the short side. While this day is FAR from over (and I'm on my toes), I'm inclined to give it a bit of room. Regardless of whether this is a "healthy" pullback or something more ominous, some downside testage makes intuitive sense. Hoofy's gotten a little cocky recently and as we know, the Minx likes her critters to be humble.

Finally, I'd like to give a big thanks to my fellow Minyans from Chi-town. Gibson's was tremendous, the company was refreshing and Wrigley was awesome (despite the Rocket's misfire). Thanks Chazz, B.R, Brendan and Skinny for the good fun with good friends (along with the generous donation to the Ruby Foundation). And Skinny, dig in already -- you know I'm only kidding!

Hope this finds you putting some wood to the ball.
position is spx, fnm, slm

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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