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Sight Unseen

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Active Minyans can use S&P 1010 as support and S&P 1020 as the nearest term resistance!

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When something goes right
Well it's likely to lose me
It's apt to confuse me
It's such an unusual sight


(Paul Simon)


Good morning and welcome back to Simon Sez. Yesterday's meander barely changed the page and we awake this morning to much the same stage. With two weeks left in the third quarter, the time is getting shorter. Will Hoofy continue to wear his thorny crown or will the tick chasers end the day with a frown? It's a new day of anxious fray so let's settle in and get ready to play!

Having spent last weekend with a collection of money managers, it provided an opportunity to take a sample study of the collective thought process. For the most part, the group was divided into three contingencies. First, there were those who have been bullish and, after a rough couple of years, now find themselves back in the sunlight. Next, there was the cautiously optimistic sect and, while they're doing alright, are kicking themselves for not being more aggressive. Lastly, there was a minority--the group who have been bearish, stayed bearish and remain bearish.

It's hard to argue with success and, at some level, all of these folks have made a name for themselves on the street. While trading styles are as distinctive as personalities, the common thread, at the end of the day, is that there is more than one way to skin a Minx. Each of the arguments was quite valid in some degree. The bulls have been redeemed and, as long as the screens are green, it's hard to argue with their performance. The "tweeners" are balancing risk vs. reward and understand the muted results (both ways) that are inherent in such an approach. The bears have made some nice coin over the last few years and while they're currently frazzled, the jury is out on whether they'll have the last snort.

The point--and yes, there is one--is that there isn't a single approach to the stock market. Each individual must look at their needs, wants, horizon and risk profile and implement a strategy that works for them. There is a subtle difference between being adaptive and reactive and identifying that line is a constant and dynamic process. It's not easy, my friends, but not many things in life that are worth achieving are.

I bring this up as we ready ourselves for the home stretch of a long and windy road. You know the drill by now--we're either basing above the recent trend channel and readying for a (further) upside assault or sucking everyone into the promise of a better tomorrow before pulling the rug out (again).

The answer to that $64 zillion dollar question lies in the assimilation of our primary metrics. The fundies are better--but is that baked into these levels? The technicals have broken out (S&P)--but isn't it necessary for everyone to bite the forbidden fruit? Psychology has morphed the Minx back into a momentum driven environment--but now that everyone is bullish, is the trap door set? And finally, the structural (fiscal and monetary) impetus has clearly spurred the economy at some level--but how long can that last without a tangible pick-up in end demand (and/or higher rates)?

I have my inclinations but I certainly don't have the answers--with the stakes so high, those are determinations you must arrive at individually. Depending on your stylistic approach, the guides are there--we can watch our levels, follow our tells, monitor the leadership sectors, smell the breadth and listen for sea changes. How you implement them--and when--will be the ultimate determinant of profitability.

With all of that said, I wish you luck as we power up for a new adventure. I would also like to remind you that our philanthropic efforts continue to build and we're edging ever so closer to the Critters Choice Awards. Our auction--which will provide the winner with two VIP seats to the November 12 event and a starring role in the first ever Minyanville animated trailer--will end at high noon on Friday. Currently, Minyan Neal Greenberg sits atop the leader board and I know he's secretly psyched to win the prize. The net proceeds will benefit the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education and the broad range of efforts that it supports. It's for the kids, Minyans, it's for the kids.

Good luck today.

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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 todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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