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Hug a Critter!

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What do I have to do to earn some respect around here?!?!

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She said it grieves me so
To see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do
To make you smile again


(Paul Simon)

Another session see-saws towards the close and, as it stands, neither side of the barn will go home happy. Speaking of happiness, I want you to circle back to the random thoughts and reread the blurb on fun vs. happiness. I think a lot of people confuse the two (myself included at times) and, as we edge towards year-end, this is something you may want to peg as a resolution. Fun things are great but achieving true happiness is a more difficult-and entirely more rewarding-task.

The bears will say that this action is a simple alleviation of the oversold condition while the bulls will argue that the tape has now paused to refresh. I've been flipping through the trading tea leaves looking for clues but, truth be told, I haven't got any fresh and insightful observations for you. Often times, when writing a column like this, there's pressure to come up with fresh content every day. I'm not going to say I don't feel it at times but I believe we've developed a writer/reader trust and I'm not going to try to pass off filler.

Outside of the pharma dichotomy (drugs vs. biotechs), the gold spikage (XAU up 6 ½ %), the dollar slippage (Euro bad guy!) and crude's continued creepage, there's not much going on. Yes, I'm smiling as I say that as these are pretty important inputs but, thus far, the Minx is shruggin' it off.

I'm half impressed and half concerned by the price action as I get the sense that Sammy's gonna be chased out of town soon. I'm walking home with both leg's in my metaphorical bear costume (50% conviction on the short side) but I'm also quite conscious that I likely have six trading days left in '02 (if I do, in fact, play slacker and take the last week off).

Alas, we'll figure it out tomorrow as the critters are having breakfast with Beeks. He'll drop off the Producer Price Index and the Wolverine Confidence Number (exp. 85) at 8:30am and that should set the tone for the trading day. For my part, I have a big shot breakfast meeting of my own so please work with me regarding the early posts. I'm gonna try and bang out the morning piece tonight, but I'm taking my desk out for dinner and they deserve my full attention. I've been in this business for twelve years and I can tell ya-Bucky, Junior and J.J are as good as it gets.

Have a peaceful night.

R.P

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