There's nothing wrong with a little protein on OUR time!
Johnny take a walk with your sister the moon
Let her pale light in to fill up your room
You've been living underground, eating from a can
You've been running away from what you don't understand
So there I was-sitting with the critters at the end of a long day, dutifully scanning for clues from the muse. After chewing through the big picture, sniffing out sectors, eyeballing earnings, heeding headlines, taking temperature and weighing fray, I leaned back in my chair and slowly rubbed my forehead. I knew the Minx was in wait mode and the summer would stay static until Elmer spewed and Intel stewed.
Daisy put her silky sweet arm around me and asked me what was wrong. "I feel like I'm looking at a dry wall and trying to come up with witty adjectives to describe the vibe." I said, clearly unaware that I was speaking with a metaphorical cow. "We've already walked through the technical set-up (watch S&P 1192), noted the "S's over N's," chatted on the rolling rotation, given props to the structural stuff, discussed performance anxiety (into quarter-end), commented on the field position, offered fair warning from 40,000 feet and loudly announced the Sundance of Finance. What else can I say without fresh data points and new inputs?"
Sammy slithered over with a smug smile and gave me "that look." I knew where he was going with it, of course, as he's been the critter of choice on a number of levels (and through various time frames). "The problem with alotta traders is that they're looking to play the tape rather than find situations," he began, removing his eye-glasses for effect, "there are plenty of opportunities within the range if you can spot the rotations and stick to your discipline." He offered the action in the brokers of late, although he was quick to note that Elmer's Zoo would unleash the lion in the rate-sensitive names today.
Boo bellied up to my bookshelf and pointed to the teletubbies on television discussing how fantastic the upcoming Intel mid-quarter update would be. "Aren't stocks supposed to be leading indicators? The Mother Chip has rallied 25% since the middle of April! We all know the chip shtick will be good and thick but field position matters, particularly with 8000 hedge funds squinting at the very same catalyst." I nodded my head slowly as I shifted my eyes to stare at the triple top that is SOX 450.
Hoofy, sitting behind Daisy and rubbing her ribs, waited for the bear to finish finding fault. "Just remember, Toddo," He said with a quiet confidence, "we saw a sharp rally in four-letter land and you offered that a rolling rotation-one that self-corrects the sectors while not roiling the broader averages-would be the healthiest next step. That seems to be evolving so while it's alright to keep a right hand up, don't be afraid to use that jab." He reached down, grabbed a tall glass of milk and took a sip. "Mmmm....it does the body good!"
We sat there stunned as the metaphorical bull-sporting a milk moustache-got up and led his dairy diva into the other room. I scanned my screens one more time and then powered down and turned the page on another day. The Hump was officially over and it was time to find that elusive balance in the race through life. After 15 years of trading, I knew that the flickering ticks would be here in the morning. But tomorrow? That's promised to no man.
Good luck today.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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