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Live From Wall Street: Caffeine Up, Markets Down

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There is only one Starbucks on Wall Street west of the broad and seldom crossed expanse of Water Street. It's just about a half a block from the New York Stock Exchange building. Traders in their unmistakable trading jackets and others line up each morning to place their orders, often chatting about their previous evening. Many place orders for five or six cups of varied and sometimes exotic caffeine cocktails, carrying them back to their co-workers on cardboard trays. Even when it comes to coffee there is a division of labor on Wall Street, some assigned to fetch the coffee while others remain at their work stations.
We stopped in this morning for an informal survey. It was more or less an eavesdropping morning. At this hour few seemed eager to talk to strangers, so it was mostly a morning of overhearing the conversations of others. Much of the talk was personal small-talk: greetings, weekend plans, gripes or praise for colleagues, the weather. The market relevant talk seemed mostly about how far the market would drop when the bell rang. It was full of a kind of nervous energy. But then again, a lot of talk in coffee shops has the sound of chemically-fueled
A few traders did pause to speak with us. And there message was very unanimous and clear: volume, volatility and a market about to head down with the opening bell. There is also concern about whether or not "the systems" can hold today, after the massive problems on Tuesday and lighter problems yesterday. Will "the Glitch" return?