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The Band Stand

By

Thanks Neal!

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Lighten up while you still can
Don't even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy


(Eagles)

The morning fray is underway as traders trade and the critters play. Hoofy and Boo have joined me at my turret for three distinct reasons. First, we're trading 'em baby and they have a vested interest in today's tape. Second, they're haggling over the holiday party seating chart and want to see if any new bidders emerge. Third, we're gonna audible and call a special hump day edition SushiWednesday. It's been a while, Minyans, and it's about time we shake up the mojo. Wasabi!

At Hoofy's urging, I actually bought some inventory near the opening (semis and spy's) to honor a potential Snapper (at S&P support). I'm overall bearish but I figured the late day pressers needed to be tested (I've been there and it sucks). My initial stop levels were quite tight and, after the subsequent lift, I raised them to my cost basis. Yes, this is "after the fact" reporting but my intention is to communicate the mechanics of the swing. This merchandise (along with tertiary exposure in some energy issues) offsets some downside exposure in the financials. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I will punt my longs if my stops are elected.

A quick walk through the morning dew finds (marginally) negative breadth and pouty piggies. That's offset by some early jig in the semis (N's over S's?) and strength in storage. I'm also keeping an eye on the brokers (reaction), Microsoft (MSFT:NASD) (was dry yesterday), the dollar (off best levels but holding gains), bonds (green), the retailers (consumer proxy) and the homies (smoke city). Gold, meanwhile, acts like...gold.

NDX 1400 will offer the first technical test (we broke there yesterday) as will S&P 1070-1075 and (smile) Dow 10,000. Breadth has yet to confirm the upside (it's early) and lower highs remain (since early December). I've said it before and I'll say it again--the only thing that'll motivate the supply is lower prices. Stay on your toes.

Neal "the real deal" remains atop the leader board for our charity auction. So you know (and if you care), The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education is registered with the State of New York as a 501c3 non-profit organization. I promise that it'll be a night to remember but, more importantly, it's for the kids. All the schnitzel, drinks, banter and kuon is icing on the cake.

As always, I hope this finds you well.
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