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Flag Staff


Who's your daddy?


Some folks are born to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord.

(Creedence Clearwater Revival)

I've gotta tell you that during the earlier spike, the emotions emanating from my eight screens was about as charged as I've ever seen it. I'm not gonna tell you that I'm immune to it--I'm not--but if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's to take a step back when I feel myself getting sucked in. It's not a market call, per se, it's an observation on mechanics. Emotional decisions almost always come back to haunt you and it's important to know thyself.

With that said, I just splashed some water on my face, grabbed my favorite Bernie Williams baseball bat and readied myself for the home stretch. The Minx has settled down somewhat but, if we've learned anything, it's to expect the unexpected. We've got a little more than an hour left in this nutty week, friends--stay alert.

A few things stand out in today's action. The relative outperformance of the S&P (vs. the NDX) is the most obvious theme as fund managers rotate with hopes of capturing the disparity. That fact is reflected by the internals as the big board breadth is 2:1 positive while their four letter cousins are struggling on the inside. There are also signs of crackage in tech--Cisco, Microsoft, KLAC, storage and software have all had problems getting their groove on today.

On the macro front, crude continues to crash and I'm of the humble opinion that it's overdone. I don't trade the commodity but I'm getting the same tingles (the other way) that I did when was tickling $380. The dollar, meanwhile, continues to flex it's muscle and Euro/Dollar is quickly approaching the 1.05 level we discussed. Keep a close eye on these variables next week when we power up to find our way.

The tick by tick and day by day remains very difficult to game but I remain of the opinion that there will be lower levels in the not to distant future. Whether this IS the beginning of a brand new world remains to be seen (I don't think it is) but regardless of your posture, please understand that there remains risk (both ways). Factor that into your profile as we manicure our weekend sheets.

As you, I'm watching our leaders address the nation and our bombs relentlessly fall on Baghdad. While I have mixed emotions regarding this situation, there's one thing I'm absolutely certain of--I want all of our troops to come home safely to their families. Prayers to the men and women of the armed forces and to the innocent civilians who are caught in the crossfire.

May peace be with you.
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