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The Box Trot


Enjoy tonight--it'll be the last November 2004 EVER!


Walk out of any doorway,
Feel your way, feel your way like the day before.
Maybe you'll find direction
Around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you

(Grateful Dead)

Boring? You think this tape is boring? That would be a massive uptick from what we've seen thus far! With the S&P migrating in a four handle range, the only action today has been self-inflicted and quite conflicted. The bovine are standing on one side screaming TravelZoo!(TZOO:NASD) while the bears are on the other whispering "bull trap." Bulls to the left of us, ursine to the right? Here I am, stuck in the middle with you!

I just asked Collins for some thoughts about an afternoon topic and he half-smiled and said "Why don't you discuss foreign ownership of our debt?" It took me a moment to realize that he was mocking me but that's alright--it's already December and it's quiet enough to hear his bonus drop! Speaking of which, today is month-end and while quarters usually have more orders, the performance anxiety may lead to quicker ticks into the bell.

Novellus (NVLS:NASD) will paint the tape after the close and Beeks will drop off the I to the ISM tomorrow morning. After that, and with the exception of a few bullets from CS First Boston, the Mother Chip will take center stage on the trading radar. I know you know this already but the simple truth is that there hasn't been a whole heckuva lotta change in the last six hours. In fact, the sideways slither has served to alleviate some of the overbought condition and that makes the next leg tougher to game.

S&P 1140ish continues to resonate in my crowded keppe although it's more of an intuition than a true feel. With the calendar flippin' at the stroke of midnight, it'll be "game on'" for the hedge fund hot potato. I'm torn between what is and what shall be so I'll instead try to offer my eyes as they scan for changes in the landscape. It's the least I can do for ye faithful who continue to grace us with their presence each day. And no, I'm not being facetious.

I've been jammin' like a banshee so please lemme hop and ride out the chop. I sincerely hope that you all had a "painless" session and--more importantly--that you have a plentiful evening. Just remember, Minyans--in 100 years, nobody will remember today's P&L.

Fare ye well into thy bell.

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