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The Dark Bark


Lullabye, baby!


I'd rather be in some dark hollow
Where the sun don't ever shine
Than to be home alone and knowin' that you're gone
Would cause me to lose my mind

(Grateful Dead)

It's a murky day in the big city as the Minx grinds through the Hump and the tale of two tapes continues. On the one hoof, the semis, software and networkers hold their bid and that's given the Nazz a rather snazzy tone. Meanwhile, across town, the broke and brokers have found supply on every try and that, coupled with the big board halitosis, is cause for paws. It's the very definition of saucy, Béarnaise, and a recipe for high anxiety!

While the wires have quieted the last few hours, it's likely a prelude to some end-of-day volatility. The bulls will (correctly) point to the underlying bid, quarter-end anxiety and constructive tenor (given the pullback in the financials). The bears, or what's left of them, note that the financials and breadth, when pointing the same way, have typically worked as a big board tell. They DO act well, considering, and I'm watching the series of lower highs and higher lows (that's developed on the daily charts) for uber-near term direction.

Looking at our trading radar, Jabil Circuit (JBL:NYSE), Micron Technology (MU:NYSE) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY:Nasdaq) report after the bell while Lehman Brothers (LEH:NYSE) releases its earnings before tomorrow's opening. Senor Beeks will also swing by in the ayem with the initial jobless claims (expected at 425,000), continuing claims (expected at 3.78 million), leading indicators (expected at .6%) and, after a brief rest, the Philly cheese steak report at 2 p.m. (expected at 5.0). That'll be the last of the (expected catalysts) before Friday's expiry.

Today's initial dip and subsequent blip whipped a lotta traders and served as a subtle reminder that overtrading can sometimes be hazardous to your health. I've been a nimble Minyan today and conscious of the upside agenda while respecting the downside potential. It's not the most exciting of existences but Underoo Fokker and I are simply wading through the muck.

I'm gonna flip lids and watch the bids as we edge through the contra hour so lemme hop. Don't let the quiet riot lull you into a false sense of security. There's plenty of two-sided risk left in today's tape and if you're not on your toes, the Minx will creep up and bite you in the can. Man, it's been a long time since we discussed the cans -- he hates those cans!

Good luck into the close.

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