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Tuesday Morning Quarterback


That's a pretty snazzy beta!


The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here!

Good morning and welcome back to the critter shack! After anxious anticipation and considerable consternation, the critters are proud to present the fruits of their labor. This beta version of our portal will serve as the genesis of the Minyanville network-adding functionality as we evolve through the digital age-and provide a multimedia content delivery solution that will forever shift the face of finance. Nobody has ever accused us of dreaming small in the 'Ville but why not? If not us, who? And if not now, when?

As we're big believers in substance over style, we understand that the quality of our content will provide the roots of the Minyanville experience. We are committed to the process of fiscal literacy through shared learning and aim to remain on point in that regard. As with the old Minyanville, the new digs will feature longer-form articles on the News & Views and real-time flava on the Buzz & Banter desktop tool. And as we're never one to rest on our laurels (whatever that means), expect to see new professors and continued tweaks as we edge forward through the new year.

Thank you for your continued support of the Minyanville mission. We've only just begun...

Tape talk

Hoofy will argue that last week's sideways slither was a healthy basing on the heels of fresh acne. After meandering between S&P 1245 and S&P 1275 to finish a frustrating '05, the light at the end-of-the-rate-hike tunnel spurred the herd out of the '06 gate. As textbook technical analysis dictates that past resistance is future support (and the optimal entry point is the retest of those levels), there will be nary a care in Matador City as long as S&P 1275 and NDX 1705 remain underfoot.

The bovine bravado was impressive as it effectively trumped a spate of legitimate concerns. To be sure, there is ample ammunition in Red Dye in the form of fresh geopolitical tension, early earnings oops, lopsided sentiment and ever-so-compressed volatility levels. And while last week had the distinct feel of a tape-in-waiting for clues from the earnings news, one has to wonder if the structural forces and overriding psychology will matter more to the final score.

Be that as it may, we're chock full of catalysts as we ready for a fearsome foursome featuring earnings expiration. With IBM (watch $81), Intel (note the 200-day directly below), Yahoo!, JP Morgan, Merrill, Citigroup (watch $48-$50) and General Electric ($35 is a big level) all stepping on stage, there will be alotta meat to this minxy bone. Please pay particular attention to the financials as we've spoken about the acne in the brokers (above XBD 200) and the non-confirmation of the piggies (below BKX 106). The winner of this particular battle will likely influence the outcome of the war.

Taking a step back

I tend to get a lot of questions from friends regarding the next best trade. My first response is constant: "what's your time horizon?" If it's longer-term, I often opine that anything with a defined supply--water, oil, organic food, metals--will have secular winds at their back for years to come. And, for my part, I would rather own something 'tangible' versus a subjective valuation (it seems that the only thing our country manufactures these days is debt!) In a service based economy loaded with structural imbalances, there may very well be higher returns in four-letter tech stocks. It's the difference between a trade and an investment and, perhaps more importantly, the attendant risk profile inherent in each.

My sense is that, as the middle class dissolves and we edge towards a two-tiered society, the true story won't be reflected by government statistics or reporting mechanisms. In so far as we're conditioned to believe what we read, see or hear--and the wealth of the 'haves' will offset the growing discord of the 'have nots'--the disconnect between the perception of economic recovery and the reality of debt-dependency has profound implications. Maybe not today and perhaps not this year but the chasm is growing--not shrinking--despite headlines of five year highs.

As we ready for the first flurry of 2006, I will remind ye faithful that defined risk, capital preservation and proactive patience will serve us in good stead. It takes alotta muscle to make money and a momentary lapse in judgment to give it all back. Take a deep breath, think positive and remain balanced-we'll get there.

Good luck today.

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position in jpm. energy, metal equities
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