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Randoms: The Battle of S&P 800


How the tape reacts to key levels sets the tone for the rest of the day.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial). It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also When Push Comes to Shove.

Gate Sniffage - 9:58 am

  • Please keep BKX 25 on your radar as an important level, both on a near-term chart and with regard to long-term levels last seen in 1992. Yes, 1992.

  • Green beans in the Red Sea? Wal-Mart (WMT), which is news specific, but keep an eye on the Target (TGT) on the periphery. Outside of several inverse ETF's (DUG, QID, SDS) and a slew of gold miners, my screens are currently void of other relative strength.

  • Having pared my financial exposure late Friday as a function of discipline, I'm making a conscious decision to look away from that complex for upside exposure when the time arrives (S&P 783). There are other fish to fry, at least for the time being, which is a different conversation than saying they won't--or can't--rally.

  • MinyanLand TV is now live in the Main Street Theater with movie trailers, game previews, full-length cartoons and interviews with kids who do extreme sports in Kids Who Rip. (all our content is PG-rated). Please be sure to pass along this exciting news to the Mini-Minyans in our midst!

  • Into S&P 783--which is coming up quick--I'm gonna take a stab at some S&P with a tight, trailing stop. Remember, you can do anything as long as you're disciplined.

  • Explaining Minyanville to folks who haven't experienced our community is like trying to capture lightening in a bottle. I offered as much to incoming Professor Steve Smith and directed him to links here, here, here, here and here.

  • Good luck Minyans and remember that profitability begins within.

Ready, Fire, Aim! - 11:01 am

  • The voodoo that you do? I suppose it was only a matter of time before a Bernie Madoff doll hit the market. It's unclear, at present, whether push pins are included.

  • After almost 20 years of trading, I've yet to figure out if Turnaround Tuesday is pushed to Wednesday after a three-day weekend. Or, perhaps I have and I'm just too A.D.D. to remember.

  • I nibbled on some Target (TGT) as a Wal-Mart (WMT) periphery play out of the opening gate. Two thoughts. First, ketchup plays (such as this) typically act better more quickly (if they're to work) and two, there will be no rationalization of risk should my trailing stop trigger.

  • As levels weaken with each subsequent retest, S&P 800 was living on borrowed time. Given past support is future resistance, recapturing that level will likely lead to a Snapper, if only for a trade. See it, Minyans, even if you're not trading it.

  • If you can't find individual stocks to purchase, don't buy an index as an alternative. It is a market of stocks, not a stock market.

  • Discipline over conviction saved me some serious coin in the trading crack also known an FAS. Remind me of that the next time I lament over opportunities lost.

  • Having spent ten hours in front of a computer yesterday, I was reminded that if you're gonna succeed in this day and age, you really gotta want it. Funny thing is, I remember stepping down from my high profile hedge fund perch and actually believing that it was a lifestyle decision!

  • Hey now, S&P 800. Let's see how the tape responds in and around it as it'll pave the way for the rest of the day. Good luck Yo.

You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain. Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain... - 11:55 am

  • What's the difference between "basing" and "churning?" The former occurs above support while the latter takes shape below resistance.

  • While the mainstay averages continue their "textbook churn," Morgan Stanley (MS) is a real-time example of a healthy base (above $20). Please keep in mind that technicals are but one of four primary metrics and, in my view, a better context (for risk definition) than catalyst.

  • NYSE internals are 14:1 negative (not a typo) so fit that into your crowded keppe at some level.

  • This is the first time in some time that I didn't use the opening bruise to buy the banks for a trade. That's either good discipline or a tell-tale sign that they're going higher. Either way, I won't look back as they are no profits in the rear-view mirror.

  • Target (TGT), for its part, acts like it wants to trade higher but it's the salmon in the broader stream (below S&P 800). Again, setting (trailing) stops removes emotion and that's how I'm hanging with this bulls-eye.

  • Size matters (in trading too!). Indeed, I entered today with a coupla small placeholders (Yahoo (YHOO), USO) and both are getting beaten with an ugly stick. For what it's worth and so it's said, I doubled down on the USO into this muck (although, in the grand scheme of things, it's still a relatively tame bet). Just sharing the process.

  • Finally, in what can only be viewed as zigging into the societal zag, I've proposed to our staff that we shake up the mojo and pick a night for some Minyan Karaoke. Fair warning, friends, I can belt out a mean Thunder Road.

  • As always, I hope this finds you well.


Position in TGT, USO, YHOO

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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