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It doesn't get any easier. After another up-and-down, albeit thankfully short, week, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Free Report sent us into the weekend with a dourish earnings report. Could more trouble be in store come the opening bell on Monday? If our television program is any guide, the pessimism in the market is climbing. Though the Elian Gonzalez case pre-empted the show in many areas, the heart of the program was a bunch of dark thinking. The mood underscored the nervousness that has taken hold of the investment populace. And that mood shows little indication of lessening.

Of course, there's a contrarian view that such overwhelming pessimism can mark a bottom. The theory goes that when everyone's negative, the selling's been done. During the program, guests remarked on the strong negative consensus, wondering if we might be at such turning point. Are we? The coming days will provide some clues, but it will still be some time before this market sorts itself out. The bears have scored some powerful blows in the past few weeks, and the bulls will need to regain strength over a number of sessions, not all at once.

As you prepare for the week ahead, let me point you to a couple of special features. One is our new Streetside chat, this week featuring guest

Peter Canelo, a strategist with

Morgan Stanley

. He offers a cogent bullish case on the market, which makes for some good reading. Also,

check out our Special Report: The Wild Ride -- Where Stocks Stand. Both of these specials are essential reading for those seeking more wisdom in this market. And this Thursday,

James J. Cramer

will participate in a chat on


at 5 p.m. EDT. His thoughts are especially crucial at times like these, and for non-AOL members we'll have a transcript up promptly after the chat's conclusion.

As ever, we'll be on the case all week, prowling for any hints of recovery, shining a light on areas that are weathering the storm and warning you about the pitfalls that still might be ahead.

If you've got concerns or questions, don't hesitate to email me at or our very able customer support staff at We'll make sure your issues get handled.

Now get ready for another intense week on

. We're digging in hard to help you figure out this confounding market.

L'Etoile du Nord

Dave Kansas


Dave Kansas is editor-in-chief of In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at