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Stephen's Greetings

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Denial is a river in Egypt!

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Stephen prosper in his time
Well he may and he may decline
Did it matter? Does it now?
Stephen would answer if he only knew how


(Grateful Dead)


The morning flurry is intense and blurry as crosscurrents whip through Minyanville. The early traction is impressive, particularly given the meltage in Caterpillar (CAT:NYSE) and slippage in IBM (IBM:NYSE). The former has been flying high on hopes of a continued cyclical recovery and the latter on whispers of a pickup in investment technology spending. Both disappointed (relative to expectations) but thus far the market is in Shruggsville.

There was clearly some early pressing (on the heels of earnings) and the initial snappage may be a direct result of that (covering). The inability to smoke 'em is one of two things: a lack of motivation by the sellers or denial in the bull camp. Perhaps it's both (likely) as upside habits are hard to break. Still, I think that once this choppy action abates, the Minx is gonna get Wrigglied.

Is that today's business? A quick check of our daily tells has winners trumping losers 3:2 and our mainstay sectors clinging green. To be sure, the ability to brush off bad news is the sign of a strong tape and if she can persevere, it'll bode well for young Hoofy. With that said, the day is but an hour old and it's entirely too early to draw conclusions (or pictures). Watch S&P 1050 as we edge higher and understand that it's quite emotional out there.

What have I done today? Pared some of my front month punts (that kicked in) and nibbled on some more "cheap" November paper (both sides but skewed to puts). I "think" Boo can build shorts into further strength (S&P 1050-1070) as long as he's defined and disciplined. THE question, in my mind, is when the psychology shift takes place (regarding the recovery). If a few more big shots "don't see it," chances are it may turn the trick.

As always, I hope this finds you well.
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