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The Palace Guard


May peace be with you!


Goin to leave this Broke-down Palace
On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
Make myself a bed by the waterside
In my time - in my time - I will roll roll roll

(Grateful Dead)

The afternoon jive has started to thrive as the bears pack a punch and the bulls take a dive. This has been one of the fuglier sessions in recent memory and has once again served notice that anticipatory acne can be hazardous to your health. The inverse dandruff patterns certainly aren't dead but if we slip a bit further, it'll be the bears who will sport no more tears.

Beeks will drop by with the payroll data tomorrow and consensus estimates call for a 5.6% unemployment rate, a 3% increase in average hourly earnings, a 250k change in non-critter payrolls, a 30k change in manufacturing payrolls, average weekly hours of 33.8 (in my dreams) and a -7% drop in factory orders. Alotta folks will be watching these numbers--particularly on the heels of some soft input lately--and if that trend continues, the word "stagflation" will start creeping into the mainstream mindset.

As I discussed in this morning's opener, we must balance the prevalent perception vs. the creepy, er, creeping reality. It may not be time for the stagflationary rhyme but the fact that so many folks are sanguine is reason alone to pay heed. There is, of course, a possibility that Elmer's spigots will douse these sparks of concern (the credit markets are yawning) but with each fundamental downtick, inflationary uptick or rise in unemployment, we're one step closer to the textbook definition.

I will be out tomorrow as I selfishly take a day for myself and sneak to Jamaica for a much needed refresher. There's a part of me that feels like a slacker but deep down, I know that I need this if I'm gonna hit 'em straight on the back nine. We've got a kick-ass seminar approaching (please take a hard look at this) and we're gonna raise the roof this autumn at the Critter's Choice Awards. It's all good, Minyans, and we couldn't do it without you.

Fare ye well and have a peaceful and safe holiday!

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