Friday, February 13, 2004

Friday Mid-day Update

S&P 500 1,143.82-.70%
NASDAQ 2,052.14-1.04%

Leading Sectors

Lagging Sectors
Disk Drives-3.67%

Crude Oil 34.3+.79%
Natural Gas 5.55+2.0%
Gold 409.7-1.06%

Market Movers
Dell+3.2% on earnings report and Raymond James upgrade to "Strong Buy".
PEET+10.2% on 4th Q earnings and announced stock buy-back.
PD-3.0% on downgrade to "Market Perform" at BMO Nesbitt and profit-taking.

Mid-day News
Morgan Stanley is upgrading the Electronic Manufacturing Services from "In-Line" to "Attractive". Goldman Sachs is positive on Voice-over-internet-protocol(VOIP) after FCC signaled its intent to minimize regulation of the nascent industry. The CEO of Analog Devices, an electronic device and mobile chipmaker, told CNBC that the broad recovery amongst its industrial customers is in its early stages, as customers are just beginning to add capacity to respond to what they see as much stronger demand. The CEO of Sabre Holdings, whose company owns, told CNBC travel demand is rapidly improving. The U.S. trade deficit widened to $42.5B in December, above expectations of $40B. U.S. consumer sentiment fell this month to 93.1, below expectations of 103. Bank of America trimmed its sales and earnings estimates for Intel's 1st Q. Dell was raised to "Buy" at Raymond James. The AP said a suspicious powder was found at a post office branch in Jersey City, NJ. The Chicago Sun Times and the Philadelphia Daily News are reporting on the potential John Kerry scandal, however none of the major networks have mentioned it.

BOTTOM LINE: The weakness today is a result of the weaker consumer confidence numbers and multiple terror scares. The drop in cosumer confidence is disappointing, but not surprising after last months sharp spike up. My short-term trading models have now given sell signals, thus I am in the process of cutting my market exposure by selling longs and adding shorts. I will concentrate on the tech sector for potential short candidates. The Portfolio is down today and is currently 60% net long. I would like to take market exposure down to 20% by the end of the day.

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