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Random Thoughts: Mercury Retrograde Won't Leave Without a Fight


Dow dips below 9000. Again.


Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter. It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community. See also Truth and Consequence, Traders Take Your Mark and This Volatility Ain't Constructive .

Answers I Really Wanna Know... - 12:08 pm

  • Forget Vince--how tough must it be out there when Jay-Z is on the Bar Mitzvah tour?

  • Of the 36 times the S&P rallied 6% in a single day during the last 80 years, 32 occurred between 1929 and 1933?

  • Is it technically significant that crude--which ran from $50/brl in 2006 to almost $150 in July--has organically split two-for-one?

  • Be careful for what you wish, eh?

  • Are you watching S&P 942 and NDX 1337 as 50% retracements of the Friday low to Tuesday high moves?

  • Are there any magic bunnies left for this expiration?

  • Wouldn't it be ironic if I become constructive for a trade right before the crash after warning of its potential for as long as I have?

  • Did Mercury Retrograde really have to prove it's still here for a day?

  • Can we all agree that it's bad out there?

  • Is there only ONE thing left to do?

Messing with Mother Nature! - 1:40 pm

No, I'm not talking about Hank & Ben--although that prolly applies--I'm talking about my quip this morning when I said "Good riddance Mercury Retrograde!" I should know better but, lest I ever again forget, it ain't over till it's over. Mea culpa Mother Nature, now let's please allow our communications to return to a semblance of normalcy. Along those lines...

Our "check list for price discovery" includes credit market fluidity (marginally better but far from good), the US Dollar (+1%, which doesn't bode well), reaction to news (Intel (INTC), JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Coca-Cola (KO) actually hang tough, which is incrementally positive) and the tenor of the test (breadth is horrific and the 'higher low" remains an open question.

Some other, random observations as we search for a brave puss:

  • S&P 942, INDU 8860 and NDX 1337 are 50% retracements of the rally from Friday's low to Tuesday's high. Keep an eye on those levels as we Fletch lower.

  • There are two ways to trade this fade. Set stops and define risk or scale exposure as a function of price.

  • Where you stand is a function of where you sit but, as I've been cash hoarding, I'm (cough) comfy adding some exposure into this meltage.

  • Famous last words? Time will tell but I'm only trading with what I can afford to lose. So, no matter what, these won't be my last words if you catch my drift.

  • OK, maybe "comfy" isn't the right word. It feels entirely uncomfortable and extremely wrong (again). Who was it that said the toughest fades are typically the best trades?

  • (Thinking of something funny, snarky or profound but nothing is coming to mind).

  • People are really talking about 80% tax brackets?

  • I wonder what the tax rate is in Malta? (And I have a feeling our Maltese Minyans will let me know!)

  • Make or break, baby, make or break.

  • As always, I hope this finds you happy. Net worth and self-worth are mutually exclusive endeavors.
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Position in QLD

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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