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Witchy Woman


Expiration action typically bookends the bells.


Raven hair and Ruby lips
Sparks fly from her finger tips
Echoed voices in the night
She's a restless spirit on an endless flight

(The Eagles)

Good morning and welcome back to the minxy shack. Four witches arrive to get their quick fix and ready the 'Ville for our hop to '06. It's been a frustrating year for alotta folks, mired in mediocrity and starved for the performance paychecks of periods past. Sure, there were relative winners--2005 will be remembered for the energy mojo, the year-end gold sparkle and, by many, as the year of the Google. But for the mainstay averages, and for those determined to duke it out in crowded sectors, their sniffer spent alotta time near the grindstone.

Heading into yesterday's mess, it sure felt as if we were ready to rumble. Altria, the third largest weighting in the DJIA at 5.6%, was deliberating a binary outcome, the S&P was perched atop an important inflection point, large cap brokers and a few of their homies reported earnings, the metals were all over the place, performance anxiety was palpable and, of course, we had the invisible undercurrents of December expiration and today's index rebalancing. When the dust finally settled, Hoofy and Boo were out of breath and Sammy was sitting pretty with a wide eyed grin from the two-sided spin.

So here we are, the last expiration of 2005 and a scant ten sessions left in the year. I wore a black suit to the office today to pay homage to my December options that will be put to rest on the opening. While my energy and metal positions have served me in good stead, I've admittedly worn this outfit too many times this year. I've long maintained that the onus is on us to adapt and that applying the right trading methodology is half the battle when going to war. These last few years have been a grind and, while I firmly believe that 2006 will feature some outsized movement, alotta players are already feeling the squeeze as we walk down the long hard road.

As far as the end-of-year tape, I humbly and honestly offered on yesterday's Buzz that it's a bit of a coin toss. I've got a spate of bets on but they're small (for me), tight and unemotional. With so much angst floating around and 8000 hedge funds standing in a circle taking aim, I don't wanna get caught up in the last gasp shoot-out. Taking that step back and loosening my grip on the handlebars typically leads to a more acute focus and an identification of advantageous risk/reward. In other words, when I'm not on all fours scrambling to find performance, some good ideas and worthy set-ups usually show themselves.

So that's about it from where I sit as I ready to flip lids and jump to the Buzz. As I'm sure you're aware, the all-star guitar is heading into the home stretch with the Fender currently $55,100 bid. I'm gonna miss this puppy when she's gone but she was given to me by a few good Minyans for this very purpose. A special thanks to Jordan, Jed, Dougie, DHL, Queen V, Keleigh and the Sunshine clan, everyone who signed and everyone bidding. This is a collective effort and we should all be proud that we can do our part this holiday season to give something back to the kids.

Good luck today.

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