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Chatter Box


The dollar is starting out stronger, crude is starting off weaker and the futes have shrugged off some negative research. Wasabi!


It's a very busy morning in Minyanville and while the critters scurry about their business, I want to cut to the chase and talk tape. There's a lot of research, a ton of opinion in the marketplace and active news on the global front. So, without further ado, it's time to put down that fork and get this party started right.

First things first, the U.K retail sales data was weak and that, coupled with expectations of an awful German unemployment number, has spurred talk that the ECB will lower rates this week. That chatter has somehow made its way stateside and all eyes will be on today's economic data at 10 a.m. EST. If construction spending (expected at -.8%) and ISM manufacturing (expected at 49) are weaker than expected, there will be Elmer snippage whispers (rate cut). I DON'T agree with (or endorse) this talk, but it's around and I wanted to make sure you heard it.

In analyst land, Solly punted Yahoo! (YHOO:Nasdaq), CS First Boston booted Amazon (AMZN:Nasdaq) and Jones Apparel Group (JNY:NYSE) while upping it's price target for EBay (EBAY:Nasdaq); Lehman was cautious on Intel (INTC:Nasdaq) (next quarter) and the semicaps; Goldman and JP Morgan upgraded AMR (AMR:NYSE); UBS Warburg downgraded International Game Technology (IGT:NYSE) and Tom Weisel dumped Broadcom (BRCM:Nasdaq), RF Micro Devices (RFMD:Nasdaq) (and YHOO). Also, for all you shoppers, Best Buy (BBY:NYSE guided lower during their earning's report this morning.

On the macro front, Iraq continues to dominate the trading wires as fresh whispers of a Saddam exile greeted me when I walked into work. I suppose we just gotta get used to these daily stories as they'll likely continue for the foreseeable future. I also want you to put this SARS virus squarely on your radar. It's already affected business in Asia but, more importantly, the potential health (and psychological) implications are huge. Canadian officials reported 31 new cases of this deadly virus (129 overall) and IF it continues to spread in North America, it's going to become much more of a focus.

I walked into work today naked (sans bull/bear costume) and while I continue to believe new lows are unavoidable, I'm currently in stick and move mode. In other words, I want to be opportunistic and disciplined during these uncertain times and grind out some performance. That simply means my risk parameters will be a bit tighter as I search for a tradable edge. I'll miss moves at times--this I know--but it's not necessary to play every move. It's only necessary to win the one's we choose to play.

As we continue to find our way together, please understand that my goal isn't to "call" the market. I'll always offer my humble (and honest) opinion but Minyanville was created as an educational community (not an advice site). I've seen a lot of financial horror stories in my time and our goal is to better your process, not create it. I'm not "hedging"--this has always been the case--but as we continue to grow and add citizens, I want to make sure this is communicated.

I'm gonna hop such that I can get this out to you before the opening bell. Good luck today, Minyans, and remember that profitability begins within.

I'll be back.

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