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Buzz Fuzz

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From our family to yours--have an awesome night!

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Be still my beating heart
It would be better to be cool
It's not time to be open just yet
A lesson once learned is so hard to forget


(Sting)


The afternoon tape tries to escape as the bulls try to feed the bears sour grapes. After two sessions of crimson muck, the Matador crowd has thus far held the S&P 200-day (and SOX 385) in thin holiday trading. Redemption? Victory? Celebration? Nah...more likely the ebb to the recent flow and some simple manicuring ahead of 2004's last look at earnings.

I'm not sure there's much to add after today's fray as there hasn't been a shift to the landscape. Crude remains an eyesore, levels remain on either side of the ride, energy and metals are exhaling after a monstrous run and fund managers are sharpenin' their #2's ahead of the earnings avalanche. Trading is a constant assimilation of our four primary metrics and the coming corporate coffee klotches will soon put the fundies on center stage. What's more, it'll be the last blast before our final run for the roses.

Mother Merrill (MER:NYSE), State Street (STT:NYSE) and Johnny John (JNJ:NYSE) lead the morning releases while Intel (INTC:NASD), Linear Tech (LLTC:NASD) and Yahoo! (YHOO:NASD) will pace the afternoon race. Everyone and their sister knows that earnings deceleration is "out there" but it'll be interesting to see how the facts stack in front of us. In other words, just how long can the market rationalize "transitory" if outlooks don't emerge to support that claim?

Where do I stand? Simple--I respect the upside (as a function of the horse and the absence of discernable selling pressure) but expect some downside. There are a ton of intuitive reasons for the market to retreat and while it's bullish that we haven't (follow?), that "catalyst" will disappear only after the bids do. Either way, and depending on your time horizon, plenty of levels are nestled in our midst that allow for risk definition and should serve as road signs in the days ahead.

That's about it from where I sit--I know there wasn't much to discuss today but that's bound to happen (especially on holidays). Still, I'm hopeful that you picked up some tidbits in the 'Ville as that's the reason we open the doors each day. If you're jonsin' for action, sit tight my friends...the next few weeks will feature plenty of earnings and a rather tight election. And if my antennas are working properly, we'll have plenty to discuss (and trade) as we edge towards November.

Fare ye well into the bell and have a very peaceful evening.

R.P.
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