The Ticker Sense Blogger Sentiment Poll shows a big drop in bears and an uptick in bulls and has a holiday reading list for investors.

James Picerno at the Capital Spectator on reduced macroeconomic volatility and its effect on risk premia.

Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed on the meaning of an uptrending market.

Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture on the confusing nature of inflation statistics.

Eleanor Laise and Ianthe Jeanne Dugan in the Wall Street Journal with a primer on ways for individual investors to access alternative investments.

Speaking of really alternative investments, Kevin Hassett at on (fine) wine as an “investment.”

Roger Ehrenberg at Information Arbitrage on compensation and the bifurcated nature of today’s investment banks.

Home Depot (HD) is attracting (unwanted) attention from activist shareholders. (via DealBook)

Abnormal Returns, hey that’s us!, on earnings expectations and “managerial myopia.”

FT Alphaville on a study that demonstrates better deal-making on the part of acquirers.

DealBook on the increasingly “hostile” nature of deal-making of late.

Eric Dash at the New York Times on a study that extends the search for backdated options to outside board members.

Barry Barnitz at Financial page points to the paper on outside directors and backdated options.

Greg Newton at NakedShorts has some insights into the goings on at the (usually) buttoned-up Renaissance Technologies.

Adam Warner at the Daily Options Report on the meaning of being “long gamma.”

John Hussman at Hussman Funds has fans in Greg Newton and Roger Nusbaum.

Mathew Lynn at on the deteriorating investment climate in the R of BRIC.

Brett Arends at on the use of ETFs as “placeholders” in taking tax-losses.

Chuck Jaffe at has more “lumps of coal” for the money management industry.

On a more pleasant note, a funny mash-up for fans of Scrubs and a Charlie Brown Christmas. (via YouTube)

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