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Jam Master Play


May peace be with you!


You should have gone to school, you could've learned a trade
But you laid in the bed where the bums have laid
Now all the time you're crying that you're underpaid
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is

(Run DMC)

Let's see...we've got potential accounting fraud at the world's largest hedge fund (FNM:NYSE), an earnings retraction from the world's (formerly) largest pharma company (MRK:NYSE), foreign central banks dumping U.S. debt (not confirmed), the basis of investment melting anew (USD), crude at $50 (not in any models), geopolitical jitters, decade low complacency (vols) and pre-announcement season is in its wheel house. What a Minx to do?

Nothing, naturally!

While traders point to programs (window dressing) and conspiracy theorists yell "hand stand!" I've been carefully eyeing the internals all session. They never blinked in the thick of the shtick and that was my cue not to press (and cover up a bit). I'm uber-conscious of what's going on in the competing asset classes--the bond, dollar and metal action reeks of allocation--and have revisited Mr. Succo's Pin Prick for educational sake. Now it's time to see what the litany of catalysts brings in the coming days.

Tonight's debate should only "matter" if Kerry steps up or Dubya stubs his tongue. With 94% of equity fund managers already on the Bush bandwagon (according to ISI), the "risk" is that the pendulum swings to the left. I personally don't think that the election doesn't matter (with regard to the long hard road) but as the journey is more important than the destination, we'll have to take it step by step. After all, the last thing the Minx wants to see is further uncertainty in an already uncertain world.

Other potential movers include the G7 summit and (cough) portfolio adjustment into the new quarter. I would think that the collective grip on the handlebars will relax after today's closing bell but the chasey race will soon focus on Santa's sleigh. It's been a tough year for alotta folks and most are huggin' the flat line. Consistent with our previous discussions about "compression" and given the sometimes toxic combination of performance anxiety and OPM (other people's money), you can bet that the final semester will be rather trippy.

Lest we forget, Mr. Beeks will arrive in the morning with the Wolverine confidence number (exp. 96), the I to the ISM (exp. 58.5, prices paid 79.6), construction spending (exp. .3) and total vehicle sales (don't worry--it's zero percent financing!). That'll be it for the catalyst calendar before the technical and psychological metric vie for your attention. That is dependent, of course, on no further blow-ups tonight and from where I sit, that's certainly not a given.

Before I go, I would like to officially welcome Bernie Schaeffer to the Minyanville family. Bernie is Chairman and CEO of Schaeffer's Investment Research, Inc. and an extremely well respected market scribe. He joins our effort of providing top notch financial literacy to Minyans around the world and we welcome him with open arms. Please join me at making him feel at home and let's show him what our village is all about!

Fare ye well into the bell and have a fantastic night.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

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