Alex Saitta of Salomon Brothers by Thom Hartle
Seasoned equity traders know that interest rates are a key force behind the direction of the stock market. The term "interest rates," of course, is really a catch-all phrase for a group of markets that professional traders refer to as fixed income, and the most common group of those is the Treasury bond market. So what are some features that any technically based trader or investor should know about the workings of the bond market? To find out, Stocks & Commodities Editor Thom Hartle spoke with Alex Saitta, technical analyst and vice president of Salomon Brothers, via telephone on December 20, 1996, covering such subjects as intermarket relationships, the importance of testing trading theories and more.
Q: Letís start with your background.
A: I received a management degree from New York University in 1984, and shortly thereafter I went to work for Paine Webber as a sales liaison on the fixed-income trading floor. One of the brokers was a chartist, and he would look for chart patterns like head-and-shoulders, double tops. I noticed that the patterns seemed to work more often than not, which encouraged me to buy my first technical analysis book. Then, about a year later, I left Paine Webber to work for Salomon Brothers in a similar position. In 1989, I moved off the floor and into the research department and began writing a daily technical analysis report entitled Financial Markets Daily Outlook for the firmís clients, salesmen and traders.