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Lyrical Madness

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ARGH! This makes two weeks in a row and now I'm steaming mad!!!

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Breakdown, go ahead give it to me
Breakdown, honey take me through the night
Breakdown, I'm standing here, can you see?
Breakdown, it's all right


(Tom Petty)

I suppose it's only appropriate that, on the eve of monsieur Petty's rockin' garden performance, the minx has decided to dance on the downside. The internals never confirmed, the techs traded heavy all day and Dubya is on television telling the nation "I'm getting a small pox shot-but you don't have to." Gee...I feel better already!

Barring a miraculous recovery, the Minx will have logged her second straight losing week and the "melt up" theorists have been be schvitzing a little. Trust me, I'm not beating my chest on my (humble) thesis but, as it stands, the burn is on. The aforementioned stochastic signals are still a ways away from any kind of definitive "buy" signal but, truth be told, I'm more concerned about the dandruff that's falling like snowflakes in Minyanville. In other words, if the tape doesn't get some pep in her step soon, Boo could fatten up nicely in time for the holidays!

I would have thought these past few sessions would have been "livelier" and I'm not referring to the price action. It's decidedly quiet in the trading circles and I get the sense that players are in "watch" mode. As someone who prides himself on fingering the pulse of market psychology, I'm conscious that this could be the calm before the storm. Is this lull an indication of indifference (bearish) or is the tape basing and sucking in Boo's crew before a spirited sprint? One thing for certain, the buyers are higher and the sellers are lower so when the Minx makes up her mind, it's gonna be freaky!

Next week brings us a parade of earning's reports as we'll hear from BBY, CC, MU, BSC, FDX, ORCL, GS, LEH, MWD, NKE, SLR and JBL. Between all of those fundamental inputs and a handful of economic releases, we should have further clarity our near term direction. It's also expiration week and we know from experience that, if nothing else, this can exacerbate volatility. With two short weeks left in the year, any trader that's still in the market has an ax to grind. As such, understand that agendas will take center stage as we tiptoe towards the Cristal.

It's gonna be cold this weekend so I'll likely keep both legs in my bear costume (50% conviction on the short side) and reassess the situation on Monday. In the meantime, I've got my brother walking in the door and a concert waiting in the wings so I'm gonna power down and search for that elusive balance. I'll be the first to admit I've been somewhat of a hypocrite as I've been putting in 20 hour days for as long as I can remember. When you do that, it doesn't leave much time for health and happiness and, as I peek around the corner at '03, I plan to make those a priority. Use our requisite two day respite to relax-you've certainly earned it-but also spend some time thinking about ways to smile more. When it's all said and done, cookie, you only have to answer to yourself.

Have a peaceful weekend.

R.P

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