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The Dire Fire


Fare ye well into the bell!


In the backwash of Fennario
The black and bloody mire
The Dire Wolf collects his dues
While the boys sing 'round the fire

(Grateful Dead)

The minxy express is a crimson red mess as the ursine get set for the end of day press. The tape has traded under pressure all session but, much like yesterday, it could be a lot worse. That may seem strange considering the touchy tallies but a dose of perspective is necessary. Remember how the market climbed hand over fist last year and confounded young Boo? Turnaround is fair play, he asserts, and there's a lot of air if we start to scare.

A quick check of our metric wreck finds the technicals broke and broken, the fundies slow and slowing, psychology hope and hoping and Elmer running out of fingers to stick in the dyke. That doesn't mean Snapper can't make an occasional cameo but the weight of the world is starting to shiver with quivers. Think about the sequence of events since the bubble and how our fabled Fed has attempted to buy time for the recovery to unfold. The drunken skunk was bound to sober up sooner or later--we've just gotta discern when the bartender finally cuts 'em off.

The story of the session is the "oops I did it again" jobs data and the collective reaction. Yields ratcheted lower, goldy locked $400, the greenback gave it's green back and equities found the softer side of sentiment. Despite the fright, lotsa folks continue to pick bottoms and rationalize the environment (not unlike the March '03 in reverse). I'm not saying it's all over but the shouting (S&P 1050 'should' act as a near-term backstop), but if you're shouting all over, take a deep breath and map out a strategy.

The Cisco kid (CSCO:NASD) will arrive next week and headline another nutty catalyst calendar. The bellwethers haven't been treated too kindly, Hoss, but the field position is a bit more "heelsy" now. We'll also hear Elmer's muffled message from between the rock and a hard place. He'll likely lift rates (as telegraphed) but I'm not so sure applying brakes into a skid is the right way to avoid an accident.

I'm gonna scuttle as I'm catching a train to Philly for tomorrow night's Dead show. It's hard to believe that it's been nine years to the day since Jerry died--wow, time is racing by. The last few years have prompted me to give thought to how I live my life and how I'll be remembered when I'm gone. That's an evolving legacy that each of us crafts daily, so be good to others, better to yourselves and always remember to listen to the music.

May peace be with you.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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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