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Randoms: Animal House into Quarter-End!


Clues to the fuse as the clock ticks loudly.


It's been one of those mornings! After awaking at 5:00 AM and hitting a spin class with hopes of shedding those post-ciggie 15 libbies, my mind has been a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

You'll see the meat of that heat in my (other) morning missive so in the meantime, lemme get hopping while the hopping is good. Some top-line vibes:

  • Yes, I was channeling Hedley Lamarr above and no, I have no idea where these random thoughts germinate.

  • Yesterday we spoke about the "lower highs," which is a potential set-up for Boo across the mainstay indices. I've set my stop on a chunk of my (recently added) short-side exposure on the other side of those downtrends (defined risk is my friend) and I'm watching S&P 1040 and NDX 1690 as near-term support levels (which, if broken, could lead to another leg lower.

  • The above bullet doesn't preclude nibbling a bit into the early Art Carnage. After almost 20 years of staring at flickering ticks, I've found trading "in between" to be a helpful step after the proverbial dry spell. And yes, it happens to the best of us; the reaction to bruise is more important than the bruise itself.

  • Indeed, I look at trading much the way I look at dieting. When I step on a scale, it doesn't tell me how much I weigh, it tells me how much I weighed. Same goes for trading; our P&L isn't what is, it's what was. What you do now, and how you operate going forward, will shape both your waist and your wallet.

  • On a personal note, I'll be excusing myself from the 'Ville today around 1:00 PM so I can pay proper respects to my dear friend MJ on the passing of her father. If you're incessantly stressed about loss, take a moment of perspective and understand what true loss is. White light and much love to the entire Pedone clan during this most difficult time. I'll see you soon.

  • A quick sniff of the tea leaves finds NYSE internals almost 4:1 negative, big beta mixed (Amazon (AMZN) and Research in Motion (RIMM) higher, Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and Baidu (BIDU) lower) and the banks lower, albeit begrudgingly so. Factor in the slippage in the greenback--which is a necessary precursor to, but no guarantor of, higher asset classes--and Hoofy can conceivably make the case that Snapper, while limping, could still attempt to make a run into quarter-end.

  • If you're looking for trading ideas from different perspectives all day in real-time, try our Buzz & Banter. If you're looking for specific trades and a long/short equity portfolio to follow, try our FlexFolio by Quint Tatro. Both have free trials and both could help your trading.

  • You saw gun laws, I saw societal acrimony. It's a delicate debate; on the one hand, lives are being lost and crime will likely rise. On the other, well, there's that thing called the Constitution. We've talked about similar subjects before, offering:

    "We watched those seeds begin to sow when research reports triggered lawsuits and brought to bear our First Amendment rights.

    'We revisited them when
    martial law was declared for the markets and short sales were banned in the financials.

    We monitored moral hazard when our government bought the cancer and sold the car crash as the bailout bonanza begun.

    'This is a critical crossroads for the United States of America, one that has little to do with the next few percent or the color of our bottom line. It's about understanding the ramifications of our current course, respecting political risk stateside and abroad and staying true to
    the foundational construct of our free-market society.

    'We've not yet passed the point of no return. We can still shift towards a legitimate meritocracy where those who proactively prepared themselves and their organizations are rewarded for their efforts and those who transgressed pay the price as debt is destroyed and markets reset.

    'To this I would ask if not us, who and if not now, when? I, for one, would rather bear this burden rather than pass the residue of societal excess to future generations. It won't be a pleasant process but the sooner we're allowed to go through it, the quicker we'll be able to get through it."

  • I know, I're not gonna sit there and let anyone bad mouth the United States of America. But that's sorta the point. I love my country, dig apple pie and enjoy few things better than October baseball in the Bronx. As a citizen, it's not only my right to question the direction of our government policies, it's my responsibility, and given the finance-based, derivative laced global economy, we need to monitor political risk on par with financial risk. Or at least that's my most humble view.

Good luck today, Minyans, and think positive; profitability begins within.


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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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