Sunday, February 22, 2004

Weekly Outlook

Investors will focus on another round of economic data and earnings reports from many retailers next week. In addition to these reports, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan will be speaking on Mon. and Fri. The Sunday Express is reporting that Bin Laden is cornered in a mountainous area in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border. Quoting a U.S. intelligence source, it said Bin Laden and 50 fanatical henchmen were inside an area 16 kilometers wide and deep. is showing the chances of catching Bin Laden this year are now 55.0%. This would likely result in a mildly positive response from the markets. As well, is showing President Bush's chances of re-election increased to 65.0% after Ralph Nader announced his candidacy over the weekend.

BOTTOM LINE: Major U.S. indices will likely fall or remain in a trading range through next week. Most of the short-term indicators I follow are giving negative readings. The Portfolio is now market neutral. I will most likely sell into any substantial rallies next week. I will closely watch the market's reaction to what should be very positive news from the economic front and the retailing sector. I am still very bullish for the year, but I am not going to fight the tape. Right now we are in a correction/consolidation phase and the Portfolio is positioned accordingly.

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