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Randoms: Hugs Not Thugs


Diplomacy is the most profitable resolution.


Editor's Note: The following content 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.

12:56 pm

Please note Grandma Goldman (GS) has suddenly flipped the downside switch.

The Bank Shot!
1:46 pm

  • When it comes to geopolitical commentary, George Friedman is second to none. His latest musings on the deepening crisis in Iran should remain on our radars regardless of your particular posture.

  • You say Iran and I immediately think of A Flock of Seagulls. Go figure.

  • One stock does not a market make, we know, and Hoofy is feeling groovy given the uptrend lines in the N's and S's are firmly in tact. Still, given it's financial Deity status, a sharp reversal lower in Goldman warrants a nose scrunch.

  • I nibbled on some downside exposure in the name when I spied the lagginess but it's a pure trade with an uber-tight trailing stop. IF (and that's a big IF) it notches a 52-week high (check) and the worm squirms (open question), I would imagine that would quell the sentiment swell.

  • A Minyan asked "given the uptrend is in place, why would you be operating from the short side?" Valid question. My response was that (after several unsuccessful stabs) I re-initated the meat of my exposure at higher levels (than here), covered a chunk last Thursday and Friday and I'm operating with defined risk. That doesn't make it right but it sure as schvitz makes it honest.

  • And yes, "pure eyes" (the tone of the tape) sure feels like this battle is setting up for the mother of all face-offs at S&P 1120. One step at a time, of course and always, but preparedness is the first step towards profitability.

  • American Express (AXP) has also slipped into Red Dye--and Bank America (BAC) is fading fast--for those who still subscribe to the notion that 'as go the piggies, so goes the smoke."

  • Are DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alex Winters modern day equivalents of Art Garfunkel?

  • I've got more meetings than J-Date this week--and this is my "off" week, meetings wise--so lemme get this your way and refocus on the fray. As always, I hope this finds you pork chops and apple sauce swell.

Hugs Not Thugs!
3:03 pm

To be perfectly clear, I hope against hope we identify a diplomatic solution with regard to Iran. I'm not "rooting" for something geopolitical to boil over--take me at my word on this, I would much rather lose money than lives. That isn't a political statement as much as a human one and given the implications, it's a topic we must discuss as disturbing as it may be.

The Minyanville mission is to provoke thought and effect positive change through financial understanding. This is simply one man's humble opinion that real risk exists--perhaps more than the mainstream mindset believes--and consistent with our mandate of "truth and trust," I'm compelled to share the fare for those that care.

From there, once you've got sufficient information, observations and opinions, you can choose to do with it as you wish. Free will, some would say, is God's greatest gift.

Other (entirely less sensitive controversial) top-line vibes as we edge through contra-hour:

  • Breadth is "only" 2:1 positive, which still ain't too shabby. That, coupled with contra-hour, continues to support the Matador Crowd. I'm trading them the other way, mind you, but I always try to see both sides.

  • Keyser Soze once showed men of will what will really was. During these tenuous times, that will--to succeed, to smile, to make sacrifices for the greater good--will define our collective legacy. That's counter-intuitive in the current culture, one where many cut corners to get ahead, but society is a sum of the parts and that mindset will make a difference. Do Something Joel (a random act of kindness) each day and see what happens; you never know how far a positive pebble will ripple in the pond of life.

  • While I've appeared on the tube with him before, I didn't know what to expect when I sat down for my thirty minute chat with Steve Forbes. My takeaway? The man is a gentleman and extremely easy to get along with. He--and his entire team, for that matter--were top-notch across the board. I think it's safe to say we connected.

  • It's sorta hard to believe but the final chapter of the (online version of) Memoirs will post tomorrow (or tonight, for those on The Minyanville Underground Railroad). Writing about that journey was in many ways like living it; it wasn't always easy but I'm a better man for the lessons learned.

  • As it stands and as I sit, we're still in those pesky pennants that we discussed earlier, which isn't to be confused with the MOAP (Mother of All Pennants) that will arrive if we leg higher into--or out of--earnings. Keep your eyes open, your right hand up and your mind open. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

  • Mucho Snappage to Professor Adam Warner on his fresh-off-the-presses Options Volatility Trading book! Nicely done, young man!

  • Fare ye well into the bell and have a very peaceful night.


Positions in GS, S&P and NDX

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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