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Scribes and Vibes

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Play hard but trade smart!

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Stepping off on an honest foot...

Does anyone get the sense that Elmer is distancing himself from the dual deficit snafu? This is a real-time example of Politics 101 and posturing in the face of a lame duck administration. We saw a similar stance from our fabled Fed chief when the schvitz starting hitting the Fannie Mae (FNM) fan and we all know what happened next. Regardless, his vernacular served to explain the ditch rather than provide a road map with feasible shovels. We've spoken about this daunting dilemma for years and the manifestation remains a function of acceptance, time horizon and an inevitable reality.

Speaking of horizons...

There's no time like the present and the Minxy meander is at yet another critical juncture. While the jury is still out on what triggered yesterday's downside reversal, the timing of the turnaround curiously coincided with the latest anthrax scare. We power up today's pup sitting at a slew of serious levels-S&P 1195-1200 (uptrend from October), SOX 417-420 (multiple support), DXY 82 and XAU par (100), Crude $55 (double top)-and ready to digest a cacophony of catalysts. March Madness Hump Day sadness? Stay on your toes, Minyans, as the games are set to start.


Did somebody say games?

The clock is ticking as we count down to the single best sporting event in the world. You don't have to be a serious college hoops fan to participate -- pw: 'minyans' (are you listening Macke?) as athletic acumen and pristine performance have a historically low correlation. The grand champion will have their choice of prizes-a day in Minyanville, a signed critter poster, a seat at a Succofest or John Matuszak's furry loins (don't ask). Those that miss the mark will have the right-but not the obligation-to make a donation of their choice to The Ruby Peck Foundation for Children's Education. Worst case scenario? A bunch of smiling kids...


Turning upside down frowns around...

Balancing the thrill of victory with the agony of defeat, it's worth touching on the finger pointing that will inevitably and inversely correlate with the mainstay averages. That's not to say Bernie Ebbers is a saint (If the money passed through him, the buck should stop there as well), it's more a function of the subjective intolerance and invisible boundaries. Who draws the line between Hank Greenberg and sell-side squawk boxes? When does soft-dollar become a hard line stance? What weeds out the overcapacity other than prices, frustration and regulation? Debbie Downers one and all but as the environment is changing, the onus is on us to adapt.

Ch-ch-ch-changes....

The nose bleed that is the CRB continues to rock and roil. The index (+14% since mid-February and +75% since '01) has been on a tear that is showing now signs of abatement. It "feels" as if this action is a textbook (parabolic) "blow-off" after a long-standing uptrend. The questions on the lips of the critters is A) what inning of the blow-off is this? B) When will the "pass through" vs. "margin contraction" conversation take place and C) will the eventual pullback be a good thing (releasing steam) or a bad thing (a lower tide for all asset classes)?

Tides, Rides and Taking Sides...

There's a lot going on this morning as we edge our way into the fragile fray. The OPEC decision to raise output is on alotta radars as the crude mood will spark a feud. $55 is the level to watch from a sentiment standpoint as traders eye a double top that would make Pamela Anderson proud. More importantly, General Motors (GM) blew a gasket this morning and cut their forecast. With the stock down 10% in pre-market trading, all eyes turn to the credit markets to see if this rattles the long-standing confidence. I would also watch the financials alongside the cyclicals as GM is nary more than a bearded bank that happens to sell cars.

Good luck today


R.P.

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