Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,114.58 -.02%
NASDAQ 1,896.84 +.15%

Leading Sectors
Iron/Steel +2.52%
Commodity +1.45%
Papers +1.40%

Lagging Sectors
Retail -.31%
Airlines -1.54%
Drugs -2.56%

Crude Oil 49.46 -.36%
Natural Gas 6.64 -2.34%
Gold 420.00 -.10%
Base Metals 121.28 +3.41%
U.S. Dollar 87.38 -.82%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.12 +.80%
VIX 13.34 +.98%
Put/Call .82 -2.38%
NYSE Arms .94 +18.99%

After-hours Movers
NFLX +4.41% after saying it will work with Tivo(TIVO) to develop a service to offer videos to download from the Internet.
OXM +4.4% after beating 1Q estimates and reiterating outlook.
TIVO +5.14% on NFLX news.
RIMM -4.2% on profit-taking after beating 2Q estimates, reiterating 3Q guidance and raising 4Q outlook.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on MET and LMT.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks finished mixed today on better economic data and a plunge in the shares of Merck. After the close, News Corp.'s own polling suggests it will win support for a move to the U.S., the Australian Financial Review reported. Japanese auto companies such as Toyota Motor and shipbuilders will agree to let steelmakers boost prices, Nikkei English News said. Merck's recall of its Vioxx painkiller surprised pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada, leaving them unprepared to handle questions from concerned patients and doctors looking for alternatives and trying to get information about possible reimbursement, Bloomberg reported. Scientific studies of Merck's Vioxx arthritis medicine, withdrawn from the market today, showed as early as four years ago that the painkiller was linked to elevated risk of heart disease, Bloomberg said. U.K. Prime Minister Blair is to go to the hospital for routine heart surgery Friday, Bloomberg reported. U.S. military forces have begun a "major offensive" to seize Samarra, Iraq, in an attempt to rid the area of insurgents, CNN reported.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio finished higher today on strength in my security, Chinese ADR and steel longs. I did not trade in the afternoon and the Portfolio remains 125% net long. Considering the drops in shares of MRK and FNM, today's action was pretty good. The Bloomberg US Iron/Steel Index hit a 5-year high today and is poised to move higher as global economic growth accelerates. As well, long-term interest rates are heading higher on signs of stronger economic growth. I continue to expect U.S. economic growth to reach 4.5-5% during the fourth quarter and that the stock market will begin to anticipate this in the later part of October, embarking on a very strong year-end rally.

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