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Mission Impossible

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Fare ye well into the bell!

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Some folks would be happy
Just to have one dream come true
But everything you gather
Is just more that you can lose.

(Grateful Dead)


Well alrightee then! What started out as a drifty sift has ushered in an ursine gift. We've been monitoring the rotation all session--out of financials and semis and into energy and pharma. Now, as we edge towards the ledge, the daily theme has picked up steam. Lots to digest, I know, so let's forget the prose and follow our nose.

The piggies have to be the story--and THE tell--for the past few sessions as the porcelain banks get slapped and spanked. With the 200-day moving average looming at 94.20 (a level not seen since April 2003), traders are already chatting it up. I opined--yesterday?--that a melt straight to that level would increase the chances of a sharp Snapper. I still think that's quite possible--for a trade--but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

The semiconductors are also vying for investor attention as they get clipped for 3.5%. We know that the chip shtick was good and thick heading into Intel (INTC:NASD) and the quarter was mediocre at best. With the SOX breaking down (through 500) and the stochastics hangin' off a tree, this sector feels like it has a date with its 200-day as well (SOX 473). That level correlates to NDX 1400 and, if tested, will be the second such time we tickled it.

Hoofy has spent most of his day on, er, in drugs and energy and there's a clear migration in motion. If you sort your screens by sector, it's fairly obvious what is going where. The question now becomes one of degree and whether the tape will be crippled or free. I'm a bit torn as one side of me thinks the broader market acts well (considering the carnage in the financials) while the other side of me knows that the banks lead the tape. Ye faithful knows where I ultimately think they're going but, in the interest of being forthright, I don't have a clear vibe on the right here, right now.

IBM (IBM:NYSE) will make waves overnight but the Minx is a much bigger beast. Unless there is a major outlier (either way), we'll likely edge into expiration with traders doing the square dance. I know you're tired--we all are--but fatigue isn't a viable excuse (or much solace) if your cupboards are bare. Splash some water on your face or do a jumping jack--whatever it takes--just suck it up as we're almost there.

Finally, before I go, I wanna share a quick little ditty. Last night, while sitting Shiva (paying respects), I was talking to a couple of old friends. After listening to some war stories--and offering a few myself--I said to them what I often say to you. The purpose of the journey is the journey itself. We all set goals and, once reached, establish new milestones. It's a virtuous circle (particularly for those who are driven) and before we know it, years, friends and family slip away. Live for the day, Minyans, as tomorrow is promised to nobody.

Good luck into the closing bell

R.P.
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