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Orange Crush!


This is madness!


"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen."

-Preacher Purl, Hoosiers

Good morning and welcome back to the first round smack. It was a short run for team Syracuse although it is tough to make an excuse. With errors unforced and skilled Catamounts, they couldn't step up when stepping up counts. "I know how they feel," said Hoofy bummed out himself in the midst of a rather long drought, "If I could just find a suitable route, my sizable skills will leave little doubt!" Can the bovine step up and lay claim to this pup or will Boo and his crew soon be saying "Wassup?" Lace up those sneaks and get stretched--here we go!--as we ready anew for a March Madness show!

To review, this month has been full of upsets for the trading faithful. We started the tourney with the obvious acne favored to make a run. The crowd had momentum and the cheering faithful could smell blood as the confused bears back-peddled. After the technical foul (false breakout) was called, the bulls slipped (on crude) and stumbled (through General Motors (GM)) before luckily finding their way to last week's closing buzzer.

In their most recent run, the Ursine Uglies balanced their attack among a number of key players. Energy prices were a constant threat from the outside, rates were rebounding and credit concerns had the opposition on defense. This team knows that the psychology of the game could shift in a heartbeat and they've got a deep bear bench that's rested and looking for revenge. "All we need is a platform to showcase our talent," said a role player recently at practice, "the performance will speak for itself."

After two days to collect their thoughts and ponder their fate, a gritty Bovine squad awaits the challenge. They'll find support from the lopsided home town fans and in the form of the NDX 200-day average. They'll also note the crossover dribble in a slew of stochastics and the potential that Friday's full court press may need to be covered. They've lost the support of a number of key contributors (breadth, levels) and will need mature leadership to step up and lead by example.

There is little doubt that the macro gorillas are mapping strategies into quarter-end as well. Whereas the Run 'n Gun offense was the style of choice for many years, today's trading has become more of a half-court set. As a function of the teams on (and in) the bubble, parity (compression) has emerged and we must respect the looming long shots. That includes a sizable sentiment shift (Fed credibility?), credit conundrums or a dilemma as a function of the dollar squalor. Good coaches prepare for all scenarios and we'll need to do the same as we get set to take our best shot.

We ready for this next run with one eye on Elmer (tomorrow) and the other on Beeks (CPI/PPI). The dynamic duo will play an "inside out" game and set the tone for the tape. With Europe slightly ahead, the dollar higher (overseas jawboning) and the metals being trapped (Gold $428 and Silver $7 are support), the pressure is mounting for everyone involved. Play smart, maintain your composure and leave it all on the court. When time is expired and the score is tallied, there will be little room for random regrets.

Good luck today.

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