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Stayin' Alive In This Tape


The Bee Gees tell us how it is.


Hello from New York where I've got Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees in my head. Seriously. I heard a one-off reference to it more than an hour ago and it's stuck hopelessly between my ears ever since. I've downloaded it on i-Tunes in hopes that direct attention would end the pain. No soap. It's stuck and now I'm Stayin' Alive; not without some irony as an hour straight of Bee Gees tends to sap one's actual desire to live. Here's what I'm doing by way of distraction:

  • John Melloy at CNBC tells me that Wal-Mart (WMT) is the best performer in the DJIA for the year to date. As they used to say in the jungle, you can do whatever you want around a sleeping elephant but, once that elephant wakes up, it's going to kill everything in its path. No doubt the axiom refers to WMT shorts, getting pachydermally and curiously stomped by the world's biggest retailer at the very start of a recession.

  • Financials, obviously, are another sector killing the well-reasoned shorts, at least over the last five days. The week started with Lehman (LEH) issuing "odd" paper and UBS (UBS) doing a passing imitation of a blow-up. Both stocks are much higher for the week, leading the XLF to an 8% gain.

  • The lesson for shorts, and really for anyone, be they mother or brother, is one of staying alive, regardless of your book. It's a matter of discipline and, of course, funk. Microsoft (MSFT), Altria (MO), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Freeport McMoRan (FCX) make up this year's Final Four for the Fast Money's March Madness. I could tell who I intend to vote and make a case for tonight but that would be wrong, given the various competitions in play. What's more, my own team ("Blue Horseshoe") is in 6,654th place at the CNBC site so, honestly, inside information is worth nothing to you at this point.

  • Fired up for dinner with Todd-O tonight. I don't know where we're going but, if Studio 54 is still open that's my vote. Seriously, the disco thing I've got going on this morning shows absolutely no signs of abating. In fact, it's expanded to include most of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack at this point. It's just like the old saying, you can ignore the disco groove of the Bee Gees for years but, once that groove wakes up, it's going to stampede you with it's rhythmic force.

  • Dell (DELL) reports that it intends to rotate out of the customization model to become more like Hewlett Packard (HPQ). It may work for Dell in the long run but, wow, trying to play your #1 competitor's game seems like an odd strategy. Need evidence? How about the Microsoft Zune? Or Dell's "DJ Ditty", for that matter. Suffice it to say I'm not downloading the Bee Gees onto either of those devices right now.

  • With that I'm off to lobotomize myself with an unspooled wire hanger, a hand mirror and some rubbing alcohol. If there are any brain surgeons reading this, and they happen to know the proper strategy for fishing a hanger through your nose to carve the Bee Gees out of your own frontal lobe, I'd appreciate a quick email. You know, while I still have the ability to read and, of course, disco.
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