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The Thunderin' Herd

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May peace be with you!

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Well the music's thunderin', restless and hot
You keep firin' me glances across the room
And I can't stop wonderin' just what you got
Get the feeling I'm going to find out real soon


(Grateful Dead)



The whips and change from the exchange has left the critters feelin' strange. While the bears started the session with a pile of red chips (and some nosty breadth), the bovine made a heckuva comeback after walking their alligators through the casino. Now, with both Hoofy and Boo stretching their necks, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the month long S&P range. Time to chill? Doubtful....something tells me that the real action is right around the corner!

Collins and I have been bantering about the near-term prospects and we're in agreement that the, "can't get 'em down" crowd has a leg to stand on. Still, and while there are clearly pockets of optimism (nets/biotech/brokers), the sluggish semis and bunk breadth are cause for pause. That may be fleeting (see Nat'l Semi (NSM:NYSE) but the goal in trading is to align as many ducks as possible before committing capital. As it stands, Daffy and Donald have chosen to abstain from this train.

Clarence Beeks arrives tomorrow and while I can't get excited about anything by the BLS, the PPI may have an impact. With the 'flation stage all the rage, the macro monsters will be looking for clues nestled in the muck. The asset class dance has been crowded of late as the gorillas get in shape for '05. Should the economic numbers surprise either way, it will leave an impression on an otherwise sleepy session.

I'm gonna hop over to the Buzz and ride this puppy into the close. As I scribe this final vibe, I'm seeing a slew of (buy) programs hit the tape. Are traders caught short? Maybe in the uber-uber-near-term...but, taking a step back, the long side remains crowded and higher prices are widely expected. The month long slither has surely alleviated some of the overbought dynamic but sentiment is still skewed. Just something to keep in mind as we find our way and define our risk.

Nary a bid on the holiday auction but that doesn't come as a complete shocker. With two weeks left until the final prize, I know a coupla of Minyans are mulling about. I'm not sure what the final tally arrives at but some lucky Minyan will be spending December 22 with a room full of professors and a menagerie of metaphorical critters. And as a result, The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education will toss a few shekels in the till and some kids will have a happy holiday. For that, it's well worth the time and effort!

Fare ye well into the bell and I'll see you at Starkers!

R.P.
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