LAST CALL: Great news - NYSE has bottomed out

It's been a bit of a fad among the IR crew to schedule a client to

ring the opening or closing bells at the New York Stock Exchange.

Everyone from the president of Spain to Michael Jordan has done it and

the NYSE is booked nearly solid through May 2002. But it turns out that

upon a closer look, this ding-a-ling of a craze may be ringing in a new

form of market indicator.

When SpongeBob Square Pants - yes, the cartoon character of Nickelodeon

fame - rang the bell on November 23, the day closed 6.26 points up from

the previous close. But a few days earlier, when Victoria's Secret

supermodel Tyra Banks rang to end the session, the market closed up a

scant .31 points.

This leads PRWeek to hypothesize that the famed Greenspan indicator, in

which market performance was predicted by the bulge in the Fed

chairman's briefcase, will be replaced by: the bottom indicator. The

bigger the bottom - as in SpongeBob's deliciously square derriere - the

larger the market rise. But the tinier the tush - sorry, Tyra - the

closer the market will go, well, south.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "the market hit bottom," doesn't


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