Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Mid-day Update

S&P 500 1,135.15 -.23%
NASDAQ 2,035.04 +.01%

Leading Sectors
Nanotechnology +1.34%
Oil Service +1.33%
Hospitals +1.23%

Lagging Sectors
I-Banks -.62%
Restaurants -1.11%
Disk Drives -1.86%

Crude Oil 36.25 +1.65%
Natural Gas 6.13 +.20%
Gold 395.80 +.76%
Base Metals 109.32 +1.34%
U.S. Dollar 89.02 -.44%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.62% -1.40%
VIX 15.56 +.58%
Put/Call .89 -3.26%
NYSE Arms 1.23 +46.43%

Market Movers
TASR +8.3% after receiving a $1.8 million contract to supply more of its stun guns to U.S. troops, the largest award in company history.
RIMM +15.2% after beating 1Q estimates and raising 2Q/3Q guidance.
CBH -8.3% after saying 2 officers of its Philly bank subsidiary have been suspended as a result of their indictment and multiple downgrades.
THOR -22.4% after lowering 2Q and 04 forecast.
ESIO +16.6% after beating 4Q estimates substantially and raising 1Q guidance significantly.
KMRT +5.9% after saying it will sell as many as 54 stores to Sears for about $621 million.
SMG +6.8% after raising 3Q and 04 forecasts.
GTK -10.5% after cutting 2Q and 05 guidance and multiple downgrades.
AZO -7.4% after reporting disappointing same-store-sales.

Economic Data
Chicago Purchasing Manager for June came in at 56.4 versus expectations of 65.0 and a reading of 68.0 in May.

ALK rated Underweight at JP Morgan. ARG rated Buy at Deutsche Bank, target $28. BRCM rated Outperform at CSFB, target $54. MRVL rated Outperform at CSFB, target $30. PUMP rated Outperform at Thomas Weisel, target $24. PDG raised to Overweight at Prudential, target $20. SSCC cut to Underweight at Prudential, target $15. Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on ROH, CIT, AMLN, BSX, KRB, WAG and MERQ. Citi SmithBarney said to swap out of CCI and into AMT or SSI. Citi said to Buy PFG ahead of quarter, target $42. Citi reiterated Buy on NFLX, target $42. Citi reiterated Buy on FLEX, target $26. Citi reiterated Buy on CYH, target $33. Citi reiterated Buy on HCA, target $48. Citi reiterated Buy on THC, target $17.50. Citi reiterated Buy on TGT, target $50. Citi reiterated Buy on AZO, target $98.

Mid-day News
U.S. stocks are slightly lower mid-day as investor apprehension rises ahead of the Fed's announcement later today. Procter & Gamble will run three two-minute advertisements that tell a story during a single program, as traditional 30-second commercials have lost some appeal, the Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. Coast Guard will deploy 600 personnel to provide armed escorts for VIP and tour boats, board freighters entering the Boston Harbor and randomly search ships during the Democratic National Convention, the Boston Globe reported. French President Chirac vetoed a U.S.-backed plan for the new NATO response force to provide extra security in Afghanistan during elections, the Washington Times reported. The first Fed rate increase in four years is unlikely to cause investors to rapidly exit so-called carry trades, or positions that borrow at short-maturity interest rates to invest at longer-term rates, CBS MarketWatch reported. New York's Nassau County is mailing free prescription-drug discount cards to 500,000 homes in the largest locally sponsored effort in the U.S. to curb drug costs, the NY Times reported. Proposed legislation designed to revamp California's electricity grid received preliminary approval from a state Senate panel yesterday, the LA Times reported. A Minnesota man the FBI identified as a terror suspect before Sept. 11, received a license to haul hazardous waster and to drive a school bus, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Ousted Iraqi President Hussein and 11 of his officials were handed over today by the U.S. into Iraqi legal custody, Bloomberg reported. The UNs' shipping agency said 53% of the world's ships and ports have adopted anti-terrorism security measures before tomorrow's deadline, reducing the threat of trade disruptions, Bloomberg said. An index of growth for Chicago-area manufacturers and other businesses fell more than forecast this month after reaching a 16-year high, Bloomberg reported.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is unchanged today as my longs are mixed. I have not traded and the Portfolio is still 150% net long. I expect U.S. stocks to rise into the afternoon as rates fall further after a 25 basis point increase in the Fed Funds rate and the retention of the word "measured" in the Fed's policy statement, with respect to the future pace of rate hikes. Volume and volatility will likely accelerate in the afternoon as well. The decline in the Chicago Purchasing Manager Index should have been expected after reaching a 16-year high last month. I do not currently believe the U.S. economy is in the midst of a significant slowdown, rather a pause that refreshes. 3-4% economic growth with lower inflation is more positive for stocks than 4+% growth with higher inflation.

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