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Market Preview: A Sad Day in Silicon Valley

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Halfway through writing this preview the news that Steve Jobs had passed away at the age of 56 broke.

Despite knowing about the seriousness of his health situation, it's still a shocker. Jobs' irrepressible imagination revolutionized the way so many of us experience technology, and while I may lament the digital playlist making a dinosaur of the cassette mix tape, there's no denying he enriched the world in a way that few individuals are ever able to do. This quote shows just how clearly he understood what life is really all about.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose," he said in a commencement speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005. "You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

The time to consider the implications of this news for Apple (AAPL) the company will come, but it's not tonight. Jobs had already stepped away from the day-to-day a while ago, and since he picked the people now in charge, you have to believe Apple is in pretty good hands.

As for Thursday's trading session, Jobs' passing will cast a long shadow. The tributes will be pouring in through the night, and all day tomorrow, and rightly so, but as always on Wall Street, the trading will go on.

Turning to the broad market, two rallies in two days, and it seems we've gone from bankruptcy rumors to takeover chatter.

Swapping out fears that Eastman Kodak (EK) or AMR Corp. (AMR) and American Airlines are going down the tubes for rumblings that Microsoft (MSFT) is readying another run at Yahoo (YHOO), and Research In Motion (RIMM) is in play seems like a pretty good trade for the bulls, who on Wednesday took some mildly positive economic data and more hints that Europe may find its footing and ran with it.

Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at Standard & Poor's, isn't convinced though that the buyers will hang around for long.

"History shows (but does not guarantee) that an oversized price decline in one quarter is typically followed by a sharp advance in the next," he said in commentary after Wednesday's close. "Also, expectations surrounding Friday's payroll report and Q3 earnings are now quite low, in our opinion, possibly offering this rally the catalyst for near-term propulsion. Yet we believe this rally will be short-lived as prices encounter chart resistance, just as the leveraging of the EFSF [European Financial Stability Fund] is expected to face German resistance."

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