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The Verdell Smell

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Professor Reynolds has been all over the refi numbers. Why wasn't Wamu?

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"Have you ever let a romantic moment make you do something that you knew was stupid?"

--Carol the waitress, As Good as it Gets


What is it about Halloween, New Years, birthdays...and Dow 10,000...that's gives people a silly license? I know it's been a long round trip but cheering is emotional and, as we know, emotion is the enemy when trading. Ignore the silly hats, quell that performance anxiety and remain lucid. There's lots going on today and we'll need to be tip top, schnitz hot and second to none (sir).

First things first, the Minx kissed Dow 10k and then pulled back to think about it. Coincidently (or not), S&P 1075ish was also floating above and that's been a level of contention in the past. This area is so crowded and charged with kinetic energy so if you're gonna venture into the fray, ground yourself accordingly. The last thing you want on Elmerfest 2003 is a shocker (Fokker!).

Washington Mutual (WM:NYSE) pooped the bed and that's sending shockwaves through the financials. Senor Succo quickly touched on the reverberations and, thus far, the piggies are feelin' the heat. For better or for worse, the financial foundation is an intricate and intertwined institutional network. If there's smoke in one of the sub-sectors (mortgage lending), the other (refi-enhanced) arenas should keep some cough syrup nearby.

In techland, it's worth noting that Texas Instruments (TXN:NYSE) is marginally higher after boosting guidance last night. That, along with the collective reaction (to news) of Taiwan Semi (TSM:NYSE) and United Micro (UMC:NYSE), warrants a mention. Dorsey Wright highlighted some seismic shifts in the semiconductor space this morning and, as a leading tech tell, we need to watch for a chip double dipping.

There's a lot of posturing out there (in front of Elmer) and while I may dabble in the ETF's (around important technical levels), I wanna focus my risk on name specific situations and themes. The "market stuff" is crowded and often tough. If you can find an industry edge or interesting story, your odds of succeeding would likely improve. Anyway, that's just what I've found over the years--to each his own.

Big Ben has taken an early auction lead with a bid of $3000. He's trying to secure the last two remaining spots at the Minyanville holiday dinner next Wednesday, December 17th. In addition to a fun-filled fracas with the Minyan professors, Mike Santoli, a room full of critters and yours truly, the proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education (a registered 5013C charitable organization). It's for the kids, Minyans--it's for the kids!

As always, I hope this finds you well.

To bid on this item, click here.

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