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Payroll Data Is Out: Where Do We Go From Here?

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One man's risk-management game plan.

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Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter.

Yesterday, in real-time on the Buzz & Banter, we made a few observations:

"Hope isn't a viable investment vehicle, but in a perfect world, I would like to see a pop up to S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) 1630 or so, so I can re-initiate some downside risk through December SPY (NYSEARCS:SPY) puts and define my risk in kind (through the lens of the downward sloping trend channel that has been in place since May 22)."

And:

"The trickiest print (on payrolls) -- and perhaps the path of maximum frustration -- would be in line, and we would quickly hear three days of volatility getting sucked out of option premiums."

Fast-forward to this morning, moments after the economic data was released; we had 1) in-line non-farm payrolls (178K vs. est. 175K) and S&P Futures trading at 1630.

Be careful what you wish for, right?

With the dueling channels still in play -- with the modified, and some would say truer trend line in place below at S&P 1600, which was our downside target that held like a champ yesterday -- a lot of traders will defer to technical analysis today now that the big, bad catalyst is out of the way.

I will also note that as a function of the slope of the (shorter-duration) downtrend channel, S&P 1640 will provide a nice and tight defined risk for those looking to fade this initial move higher.

For my part, after trading around a short bias through September SPY puts, I flattened the remaining 25% yesterday into yesterday's dip to +/-1600 (after peeling out of the other 75% into Wednesday's melt).

While I have a few one-off long positions -- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for a trade, and another blue-chip smartphone maker-I entered today's session sans S&P exposure, for the first time in a long time, with an eye toward adding downside December paper in and around S&P 1630, per yesterday's vibe, with a tight stop above S&P 1640.

Should the bulls push through that level, they've got a clear shot, through a pure technical lens, toward S&P 1700.



I continue to feel that the bears have some unfinished business -- perhaps down to S&P 1500 -- and with a stair-step risk management approach, we can tier our position structure with advantageous risk reward such that we can trip, but not fall, if we're wrong.

Random Thoughts:
  • In terms of my defined risk in Facebook, the chart below speaks volumes. My trade trigger is rumbling that its "in-stream advertising" is driving substantial revenues. It's an anecdotal data point -- not gospel -- but you can try anything as long as you're disciplined.


  • Japan continues to make waves; check the chart below, which is the Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) vs. the S&P.


  • Pulling back the aperture a bit, look at the five-year chart of commodities vs. the S&P.


  • I'll be doing a Power Trading Radio segment tonight at 6:00 p.m. EDT, for those who can't get enough markets during the trading days!
R.P.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

Follow Todd and over 30 professional traders as they share their ideas in real-time with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter.
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Position in FB and SPY.

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 todd@minyanville.com.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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