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September 21, 2005

Bears Smell Blood

Newsflash: Champagne-maker Cristal receives order for 12 cases of its finest from salivating bears.

It's definitely too early for the bears to start popping corks, but it might be prudent to go ahead and get the stuff chilled. The Nasdaq has slipped a cool 70 points (a little over 3%) in just 6 trading days, and has broken below its 50-day SMA, as well as its August low. Over that same time the S&P500 has slipped 30 points (about 2.5%) and has also broken its 50-day SMA, though not below its August low.

Housing stocks also set new lows today, and, as we all know, the housing industry has been the key to our latest economic inflationÂ… I hesitate to call it an "expansion" since the GDP growth (in the 3-4% range) has been well below what appears to be the true rate of inflation (5-7%). It will be interesting to see how traders react to this technical weakness over the next few days.

Will the bulls have enough strength to muster a bounce or do we dissolve from here?

Hard to say, but there are believers out there. Joseph Osha of Merrill Lynch upgraded Intel today (and simultaneously downgraded AMD) on "valuation." It takes a lot of guts to recommend a stock whose lunch is being eaten by its biggest competitor. His morning release managed to put a few bids under INTC in the early going. It popped up a little over 1%, but eventually settled down to even. Whatever you think of Mr. Osha, he does have followers, and to see the effect of his words fall flat in INTC is yet another sign of weakness in both INTC and the market.

Disclosure: Short INTC, Long INTC Puts


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