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Petty Differences

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Fare ye well into the bell!

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Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
The town lit up the world got still


(Tom Petty)



The afternoon curve is starting to swerve as the bulls dig deep and find their nerve. We were hummin' along rather nicely until 2:30 when the folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics delayed the PPI citing "calculation problems." I'm no economist but there's nothing wrong with those calculations--input prices are high, it's squeezing margins and it's leading to stagflation. No problem!

With the minxy migration back to the May uptrend line (S&P and NDX), we're looking at one of two scenarios. This is either the healthy pause that Brian alluded to this morning or the latest lift was a saucy siren. I'm respectful of the former but leery of the latter as A) we remain in an '04 downtrend B) intermediate sell signals remain in place and C) volatility indices infer massive complacency (during a dicey month). I will simply ask ye faithful to respect both sides of the equation when digesting the two-sided risk.

Beeks will still swing by with the jobless claims (exp. 335k, continuing claims 2972k) and--blimey!--the Bank of England will have a rate announcement but for the most part, the trading radar has been cleared. That'll leave us to our own devices as we weigh the uncertainties of the three day weekend, the thin (and choppy) environment and the constructive fixed income elements. I continue to believe that a disconnect exists between perception (all clear) and reality (fraught with risk) but that's what makes markets, and timing remains the elusive element.

I'm gonna jump to 'cross town but I wanted to chime into News & Views for folks who don't Buzz. The information dissemination is much faster over there (a by-product of technology rather than a function of favoritism). If you're an active Minyan and you're watching the flickering ticks, that's the place for you to hang (my opinion). We do our best to balance the content but these little fingers can only type so fast.

Good luck into the close and may peace be with you.

R.P.
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