Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stocks Finish Mixed as Gains in Energy and Homebuilders Offset Losses in Tech

S&P 500 1,305.33 +.18%
DJIA 11,253.24 +.39%
NASDAQ 2,299.56 -.53%
Russell 2000 743.79 +.11%
Wilshire 5000 13,131.50 +.15%
S&P Barra Growth 615.19 +.10%
S&P Barra Value 686.85 +.25%
Morgan Stanley Consumer 613.50 +.03%
Morgan Stanley Cyclical 810.43 +.35%
Morgan Stanley Technology 535.70 -1.15%
Transports 4,553.10 -.84%
Utilities 410.07 +.71%
Put/Call .29 -58.57%
NYSE Arms 1.30 +48.85%
Volatility(VIX) 11.98 +5.55%
ISE Sentiment 120.00 -9.09%
US Dollar 89.07 -.70%
CRB 327.55 +.59%

Futures Spot Prices
Crude Oil 63.58 unch.
Unleaded Gasoline 186.10 -.71%
Natural Gas 7.27 +.04%
Heating Oil 181.25 unch.
Gold 556.30 +.16%
Base Metals 168.61 +.25%
Copper 226.40 -.07%
10-year US Treasury Yield 4.64% -1.82%

Leading Sectors
Homebuilders +1.57%
Energy +1.50%
Oil Service +1.41%

Lagging Sectors
Computer Hardware -.88%
Disk Drives -1.56%
Semis -3.23%

Evening Review
Detailed Market Summary
Market Gauges
Daily ETF Performance
Style Performance
Market Wrap CNBC Video(bottom right)
S&P 500 Gallery View
Economic Calendar
Timely Economic Charts
PM Market Call
After-hours Movers
Real-time/After-hours Stock Quote
In Play

Afternoon Recommendations
- Upgraded (VZ) to Outperform.

Merrill Lynch:
- Cut (MATK) to Sell.

Afternoon/Evening Headlines
- The US dollar declined for a fourth day against the euro and yen after a report showing slower-than-expected inflation eased speculation the Fed will raise interest rates more than twice this year.
- Yahoo!(YHOO) said it granted CEO Terry Semel the option to buy 1.3 million shares in lieu of a cash bonus for 2005.
- A proposed condominium and hotel tower that would be the tallest building in North America won approval from the Chicago City Council’s planning Commission today, putting it a step closer to the start of construction later this year.
- US Treasuries rallied, pushing 10-year notes to their biggest gain since December, as a report showing consumer prices rose less than forecast bolstered optimism that the Fed has inflation under control.
BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio finished lower today on losses in my Networking longs, Semi longs and Energy-related shorts. I added to my (IWM) and (QQQQ) shorts in the final hour, thus leaving the Portfolio 50% net long. The tone of the market was slightly negative today as the advance/decline line modestly lower, sector performance was mixed and volume was heavy. Measures of investor anxiety were mostly higher into the close. Overall, today's market performance was mildly bearish. The rise in oil and fall in the U.S.-dollar weighed on the averages today. As well, the action in technology stocks remains a concern. I suspect the next bear argument will be that the economy is slowing too much and that companies will lose pricing power. These fears will likely generate the last good long entry point in stocks for the year.

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