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The Cat's Meow


With all this settlement chatter, the financials should tell the tail, er, tale!


And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home Dad? I don't know when
But we'll get together then, you know we'll have a good time then

(Harry Chapin)

A lunchtime lull leaks into our Monday madness and, true to form, the critters just blasted into my office for the feeding frenzy. Over some schnitzel and cup of soup, we talked tape, family and finance. The conversation went a little something like this:

Daisy: So Toddo, tell us about your pop's visit from Maui? You've never mentioned him in your column before.

Toddo: I'll tell you all about it after the close sugarpants, but suffice to say that we have a long history and, after many years, we've reconnected. At the end of the day, there's nothing more important than family and I'm quite pleased with our time together.

Boo: Well maybe he'll shake up the mojo, Toddo, it's been M.I.A!

Toddo: Perhaps, Boo, but keep the faith, this too shall pass. If I were you, I'd keep an eye on two sectors right now: the Internets and the brokers. The former has acted lethargic all day and the latter is trading curiously. Lehman Brothers (LEH:NYSE) turned lower and, while it's difficult to draw too many conclusions (particularly with the settlement lingering), it bears watching.

Hoofy: OK, so you have two sectors -- which have been on fire, by the way -- taking a breather. That's not troublesome, Toddo, it's healthy. A stair-step rally is entirely more sustainable than a parabolic moon shot. Three steps forward, one step back. Boo's so focused on the one step, he's missing the hot trot.

Sammy: Well Hoofs, he IS a bear! I concur that the action, including last week's late pullback, is constructive but it's not fail safe. There remains decent resistance in the S&P 920-930 area (NDX 1125), the VIX is jordanesqe, we've got a host of economic data due and, quite frankly, the tape is pricing in a very optimistic second half.

Boo: Nobody seems to care, though, and that's the frustrating part. Over the last few years, it's been "different" a handful of times and, without fail, they failed. So forgive me if I don't share in Hoofy's unbridled enthusiasm.

Snapper: You don't have to be a share, bear, but you should respect it. The internals are fabu, the financials are firm and the tape is ignoring bad news. Regardless of your posture, you must acknowledge that.

Toddo: He does, Snaps, trust me. He and I have had a few heart-to-hearts lately. Let me hop and chop, please, as the action is starting to pick up. Watch Wal-Mart (WMT:NYSE) (and the retailers), Goldman Sachs (GS:NYSE) (and the brokers), Intel (INTC:Nasdaq) (and the semis) and Bennie and the Jets. And watch your back, baby, this day is far from over.

With that, the Menagerie packed up their belongings and trudged their way out the door and towards the trading room. There were three hours left in the session and they knew that they'd need to be tip top, schnitz hot and second to none (sir). With a little luck and a lot of discipline, they just might find some jingle in their jeans when the closing bell tolls.

Good luck.

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