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Random Thoughts: Midday Market Update!


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Editor's Note: The following content posted in real-time on Minyanville's Buzz & Banter. Click here for a free trial of our best content.

Face for Radio! - 11:46 AM

  • I return from the Mother Ship that is BBHQ to find a slew of boxes, yet unpacked, and all sorts of flickering, bickering ticks. The following vibes are top 'o mind as I strap myself in for the final four-ish hours at the current iteration of MVHQ.

  • Do you think Patio Furniture celebrates St. Patrick's Day?

  • If I were at my turret, I would have most certainly "picked" against my S&P long gamma position at the 200-day (S&P 1095), particularly with vols "jacked (the VXO was up 200% in thirteen sessions at today's high, or 166% since we declared "long vol" the best bet on the board on March 22).

  • As rear-view is pooh (wasted energy; opportunities and profitability reside in the ride ahead), I offered partial put positions a nickel below 'the ask' when the Spooz were down 12 (I'm offering options rather than nibbling on stock as a function of the inflated volatility). I didn't get lifted... yet. Geez, that sure was an expensive TV "hit" so far!

  • I offered yesterday (Wednesday? This week feels like one long week!) that if S&P 1150 was breached, we'd see a date with destiny at the 200-day moving average; I didn't, however, foresee it would be the same (next) day (always honest).

    Click to enlarge

  • Be that as it may, I didn't consider yesterday's test legitimate-from a price or capitulation standpoint-as nothing traded there and what did was taken off the tape. I "think" today's test was the real deal (again, I wasn't here) and a Snapper at that level makes all sorts of intuitive sense.

  • Two observations on that front; first, levels (both ways) weaken with each subsequent test and second, by definition, "things" don't work during market crashes, including technical analysis.

  • Speaking of intuition, scary...right? I'm not "feeling good" about the feel, but I'm hopeful sharing it added utility at some level for ye faithful.

  • When I mentioned to Margaret Brennan that I wouldn't be shocked to see government intervention today, she said something along the lines of "We didn't see it overnight, as many people expected." I offered that there's what we see and what there is; the Working Group on Financial Markets most certainly has their finger near the button.

  • And then there's this. reading between the lines -- German Chancellor Angie Merkel declared war on speculators last night -- the probability of game-changing regulation increases in kind. That would likely trigger a knee-jerk melt-up but unintended consequences include all sorts of counter-party contagion risk.

  • Do you think Jean-Claude Trichet would take a mulligan if he could?

  • Do you think it looks a little like this? Geez, That Was Easy!

  • Lemme hop; I'll be back faster than you can say, "what the heck do my positions look like after yesterday's "WTF?"
Chatta Box! - 11:50 AM

No sooner did I hit the "post" button on my last Buzz than I'm picking up all sorts of chatter that there will be a massive Euro ECB loan facility announced over the weekend, including one year 1% loans to cover 1100 banks. It's almost as if global central banks are whispering BOO! into the ears of the bears.

NOT CONFIRMED, naturally, but mis ojos son los ojos y los oídos son los oídos.

Answers I Really Wanna Know… -- 12:38 PM

  • What would Inspector Kemp do right about now?

  • Is it possible that the infamous Goldman (GS) code" that was stolen (that "could be used to manipulate markets in unfair ways") fell into enemy hands?

  • Or am I channeling Jack Bauer again?

  • Next to "time," are "truth" and "trust" the most precious commodities these days?

  • While we need to toss an asterisk on all things technical in this environment, are you keeping an eye on GS $150, if and when?

  • Did Minyan Mason Slaine nail it again with his $20 price target on AOL (AOL)?

  • How bout some snaps to the hard-working MVHQ editorial team and the tireless effort of the MV Professors, who leave it on the field each and every day?

  • If you're getting bullish higher and bearish lower, why not start your weekend early and save yourself some coin (and hair)?

  • "If we're trading fluxy midday, the stage will be set for a Fugly Friday that leads to chatter of another Black Monday?"

  • Or is that what they want you to think?

  • Why does Nokia (NOK)-Apple (AAPL) remind me of AMD (AMD)-Intel (INTC)?

  • Is anyone else looking forward to the end of Mercury Retrograde on May 28?

  • There are 10,000,000 adjectives that can be used to describe this price action but would it be safe to say "healthy" isn't among them?

  • Is it worth noting that crashes occur in oversold tapes?

  • Or is that something Chicken Little would say after a 10% drop in ten sessions?

  • Is your risk profile such that you'll be able to enjoy the important stuff--friends, families, freshly snipped and clipped cats-this weekend?


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Position in S&P

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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