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Random Thoughts: Massive Two-Sided Risk Looms


Trading has become a game of chicken.

  • Traditional trading is an assimilation of four primary metrics-technical analysis, fundamentals, structural forces and psychology-but since the Fed has taken such a proactive stance, we've boiled down to a game of chicken, with the cumulative structural imbalances on one side and an aggressive agenda on the other.

  • With that in mind-technical levels are more of a context than a catalyst with which to frame risk-we're watching S&P 1340-1350 as a pretty important line in the sand that must hold if there's any hope for a summer rally. My gut sense remains that the conditional elements are in place for a downside disconnect but the bulls have hope above that level.

  • Why can't I get the stump at the end of The Giving Tree out of my crowded keppe?

  • As per my morning missive, the inability of Apple (AAPL) to catch a bid in the face of flying pre-market futures spoke to looming supply. In the interest of "sharing thy process," I bought some puts out of the gate (with the stock down 75-ish cents and a "stop" on the other side of the flat line) and pared the position into the morning nose-dive. I'm yet unsure if I wanna be there when the big dog steps on stage at 1:00 pm EST but if I am, I'm stopping myself out on the first tick of green.

  • Crude down, drillers up?! It seems like someone spent some time over the weekend trying to identify safe places to put money. There's no such thing as a safe commodity bet, my friends, so be careful if you're digging that ditch

  • Why is crude down? Iran didn't heat up... yet.

  • While I have zero, nada, zilch, no interest in trying to call a housing bottom, I'm entirely more open to trying the beaten and busted homies for an upside trade. Field position is everything, we know, and with sentiment this drekky, it may not take much to ignite 'em for a schnitzel.

  • I nibbled on some Pulte Homes (PHM) around 11.20 and have since been stopped out below recent lows at $10.80 (always honest). Those with a longer horizon can set their stop below $8-ish, which is the cycle low for the stock.

  • If Lehman (LEH) isn't the second coming of Bear Stearns (BSC), won't "sell the rumor, buy the news" come into play?

  • Given the massive two-sided directional potential, risk definition (both ways) is perhaps the single most important trading discipline. After all, doesn't setting stops remove emotion?

  • Another day, another dime (10%) for WaMu (WM) the killer whale?

  • What does it say that the NYSE internals are still flat to the share?

  • The kid is from Oakland --what did you expect?

  • I finally saw Charlie Wilson's War on my brother's massive home theater this weekend. Great flick-I'll tell ya, Philip Seymour Hoffman sure has come a long way since Scotty J!


Positions in LEH, AAPL

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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