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Random Thoughts

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Hey Laurie, do the washing machines spin the opposite way down there?

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  • "There is no internet, there are no cable channels. There are digital networks--input, output. That's it." -- MV Prez Kevin Wassong

  • I met with the chairman of a massive non-profit educational concern yesterday. He's "big by big" as we used to say on the desk, the type of guy who testifies before congress on the state of fiscal literacy. His concerns run deep as he believes the chasm between fiscal literacy and the "need to know" extend to both sides of the learning curve (pre-school to old school). He also "introduced" the notion that the middle class is being weeded out and we're edging to a land of "haves" and "have nots." I nodded my head in agreement as his take took hold.

  • A few Minyans have asked if we plan on adding new professors to the mix and the answer is an absolute "yes!" We're gonna roll out the new Minyanville digs (next week) before making any fresh announcements on that front. Take us at our word, the critter adventure has only just begun.

  • No worries, Mate, Laurie is alright.

  • No volatility? Tell that to Phelps Dodge (PD) holders (-10%), Alcoa (AA) traders (-6%) or anyone dabblin' in commodities of late. And yes, I think it continues to "roll" through equity land.

  • While today remains Boo's best shot at some downside redemption, please keep an eye on market internals. They're creepin' while ya sleepin' and edging back to flat.

  • "Gold has made a fresh relative high versus Financials, an indicator usually associated with bearish conditions in financial markets. The message out of this indicator is interesting, for it suggests that inflation pressures are not contained and that a Fed pause, may well be premature if the bank's mandate of price stability is valid." -- Jeff DeGraaf of Lehman Brothers.

  • Why can't I shake the vibe that IBM will follow General Motor's (GM) Red Dye tread marks? And that was before I spied the textbook dandruff.

  • An odd-lotter scooped 50,000 QQQQ January 43 puts this morning (to open).

  • Emerging themes crystallizing in my keppe for 2006? Consolidation in metal/energy industries, diversification away from dollar denominated assets and "foreigner to foreigner" transactions.

  • I'm covering my short cheese position.

  • Steve Shobin, an avid reader of the 'Ville, called to offer his humble vibe on the financials. "I think you're right on the BKX," he said, "but it may take a while to kick in." He mentioned the (less than zesty) relative strength in the BKX since the end of '04 and asked us to run some regressions. As I only regress when watching Mel Brooks, Pepe assured me he was up to the task. I told him that I was surprised that the piggies haven't taken out BKX 106 despite Duke & Duke's run through XBD 200. "They're two different animals," he offered, "like a llama and a dog" True dat, my friend, while the BKX is top heavy with BankAmerica (BAC), Citigroup (C), JP Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) (40% of the BKX), the top five weightings in the XBD are Raymond James (RJF) (noice), Ameritrade (AMTD), E*Trade (ET), Legg Mason (LM) and Charlie Schwab (SCHW).

  • Spam-a-lot?

  • One, two, three reasons why I put some SunMicro (SUNW) away for a rainy day.

  • Hoofy continues to use S&P 1275 and NDX 1705 as "what, me worry?" backstops.

  • Virtual real estate.

R.P.

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