As we grind toward May 16 and the anticipated Federal Reserve interest-rate increase, the markets are likely to become even more fidgety. Many economists now expect a 50-basis-point move, and practitioners of the Dismal Science are divided on how much more tightening is in store.

As our economist,

James Padinha

, has consistently

pointed out, growth remains very strong. Inflationary pressure is not lessening and concerns about imbalances in the economy are only growing. And the Fed doesn't like that.

On the bull side of the equation, some believe that the lagged impact of the Fed's work will start having an effect sooner rather than later -- supporting those who believe the Fed is about done with its work. Whatever the case, as

Justin Lahart

points out in

The Coming Week, the Fed will be the focus.

Sometimes they're surreal. But they're always instructive and entertaining. I am, of course, talking about

Buzz Gould

, a fictional portfolio manager at a go-go mutual fund, and his pal and head trader,


. These characters, creations of

James J. Cramer

, provide an interesting view of the market and the daily dynamics of trading. If you haven't yet read about

what they're up to, I encourage you to do so. Buzz, in particular, is quite a character.

Net stocks have provided both thrills and nightmares in the past several months. Right now, the going is decidedly tough.

Steve Harmon

, who is about to launch a fund focused on the Net sector, is our

Streetside Chat guest this week. I encourage you to read his comments about the sector.

On the go? We're there for you. Check out our wireless page at, where you can use AvantGo to download stories into your wireless device so you can read them on the train or bus or in your living room. But try not to read and drive at the same time.

As a reminder, I encourage you to check out Personal Finance Focus, published each Saturday. This past Saturday

Jim Seymour

wrote about his

"straddle-buy" technique,

Tracy Byrnes


tax tips and

David Edwards

wrote about

protecting the value of your stock options. Always a lot of good, useful stuff on Saturdays.

Finally, if you've got any concerns or comments, you can email me at or our customer support staff at Thanks for your support, and we'll keep hustling!

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