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In the Face!

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May peace be with you!

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"Oh yeah, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. Then I moved up to washing lettuces. Now, I'm working the fat fryer. Pretty soon I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

Maurice, Coming to America



Our freaky first week ends with a chop as Hoofy staves off another tape flop. Indeed, after a day of blips, dips, grips and flips, it looks as if the bulls will hold double secret support (NDX 1560/S&P 1183) and enter the weekend with a ray of hope. It's a small victory in the '05 battle but they know that the war has only just begun. With earnings on tap and traders already emotional, chances are that we'll see a further freak when we arrive next week.

Over on the Buzz (which is geared to a more active audience), I mentioned the potential for an upside "college try" this morning. I was admittedly eyeing my bull costume but held off as a function of the bunk breadth. The internals have been the single best intraday tell and while they sometimes lag (particularly in "futures led" markets), it was the one duck that I refused to dance without. I offer that vibe in the face of crimson financials, as the prospect of "N's over S's" rotation diminished the piggies as a primary read.

If these past five sessions were a football game, yellow flags would already litter the field. It seems that alotta folks got caught between a lopsided lean and the macro agenda, a dichotomy that was painful for the seasonal inflow front-runners. I'm not sure when that tapers off (reverts) but it is worth noting that my stochastics (NDX, SOX) are about to trigger buy signals. That didn't matter "the other way" throughout 2003 and the latter half of 2004 but it's certainly an input worthy of a mention.

This is, of course, assuming that the big picture continues to operate as a series of little pictures. The macro concerns have been "on mute" as they haven't mattered but the conditional elements for a bear scare are still in place. With sentiment, as measured by Investors Intelligence, at the highest level since '87 and vols in teenage wasteland, the path of maximum frustration likely leads through Red Dye. While a bounce is certainly possible in the coming sessions, these inputs should be "sticky-padded" to the bottom of your screen.

That's about it from where I sit as I hear the Buzz calling my name. A buddy of mine just pinged to lament how much money he lost this week and I asked him if his family was feeling better. When he told me that "they feel fine," I responded with "exactly." It's easy to forget the difference between loss and loss but with all the suffering in the world, the onus is on us to maintain perspective. After all, it should never take something bad to make you realize that you've got it good.

Have a peaceful weekend.

R.P.
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