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Let the Games Begin!

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"I don't know if I taught him a lot, but I sure hope he learned a lot."

--Ruby Peck



The afternoon theme is picking up steam as Boo tries to salvage some self-esteem. The snoozerooni of a session got "all of a sudden" interesting at 1:00 pm when new intraday lows were registered. The combination of fugly internals (all day), lopsided sentiment (who's short?) and an inability to rally (with crude -3%) ushered in an air pocket that caught folks leaning the long way. Now, with former chieftains (Intel (INTC:NASD) leading the retreat, the ticks are flicking quicker as the bovine start to bicker.

The mere fact that so many traders are freaking (on a marginal pullback) is a testament to the prevalent psychology. I know my fair share of bears and there aren't a whole lotta downside bets in place. In fact, the question of whether we go up or down has been replaced with queries of degree and capital preservation. And just to add a dose of salt to the wound, today's slippage happened to occur while the dollar is relatively stable and crude is equity friendly. Go figure.

S&P 1180ish (November uptrend) is the first area of support and the last tangible level until the mid-1160's. My sense is that the tape will remain capped through the rest of today's fray (breadth 2:1 negative) and counter-trend Tuesday will once again self-fulfill. Once the hump arrives (what Hump?), the focus will likely shift towards the mid-quarter updates (Altera (ALTR:NASD), Xilinx (XLNX:NASD)) and the impending visit from Mr. Beeks (PPI on Friday).

Shifting our attention for a moment--and in honor of my grandfather's big day--I would like to announce the start of our annual auction for the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education. The winner of this auction will win two seats at the December 22nd Minyanville holiday fete (transportation not included) and join myself, Greg Collins, Scott Reamer, John Succo, Jeff Macke, Rich Gula, Snoop Tone, Phil "my pockets" Erlanger, Michael Santoli, Greg Weldon, Bernie Schaeffer and--of course--Fokker (among others) for a night of fantastic fun and feverish festivities.

The bidding will conclude on Tuesday December 21st at 4pm sharp. Have fun, Minyans, and just remember--it's for the kids!

R.P.

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