Friday, March 12, 2004

Mid-day Update

S&P 500 1,115.45 +.78%
NASDAQ 1970.57 +1.37%

Leading Sectors
Airlines +2.84%
Networking +2.33%
Computer Boxmakers +2.26%

Lagging Sectors
Foods -.10%
Telecom -.11%
Fashion -.24%

Crude Oil 35.43 -3.67%
Natural Gas 5.54 -1.83%
Gold 396.10 -1.22%
Base Metals 108.97 -.59%
U.S. Dollar 89.32 +.92%
10-Yr. Long-Bond Yield 3.71% +.35%
VIX 18.43 -10.84%
Put/Call 1.31 +19.09%
NYSE Arms .59 -72.81%

Market Movers
DELL +3.3% on multiple upgrades.
IDXX +9.7% after raising 1Q and 04 guidance.
CAMD -11.7% on lowering 04 estimates.
VRTY -14.2% after meeting 3Q estimates and lowering 4Q guidance.

Economic Data
Business Inventories came in +.1% in Jan. vs. estimates of +.3%.
Preliminary Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence came in at 94.1 in March vs. a forecast of 94.5.

DELL raised to Overweight at J.P. Morgan. DELL raised to Overweight at Morgan Stanley. HAL upgraded to Outperform at Bear Stearns. AL raised to Buy at Merrill. ESPD raised to Outperform at Thomas Weisel. JBL raised to Buy at Bank of America. BRCM, INTC, FCS, MU raised to Buy at Oppenheimer. Goldman Sachs reiterating Outperform on ACN, saying it will benefit from RFID rollouts. GS reiterates Outperform on PETC. Goldman reiterated Outperform on AET and raised estimates. Citi Smith Barney reiterates Buy on AFCI, says that revenue recognition from Verizon FTTP contract is tracking 1-2 quarters ahead of schedule. Citi reiterates Outperform on HAL and $36 target. Citi reiterates Buy on GE. Citi says recent survey of 125 companies in the electronics supply chain showed that inventories as a percent of sales have declined to the leanest levels in 13-years. Citi says high-end IP telephony equipment market is 3 horse race between CSCO, NT and AV. says to look at CPHD, PWER and PKG as potential shorts. Cramer, of, says he thinks U.S. equity markets bottomed yesterday.

Mid-day News
U.S. stocks are rallying mid-day on a host of technology upgrades and falling oil prices. New York Mayor Bloomberg said security in the city's subway system was increased yesterday after the terrorist bombings in Madrid, the NY Times reported. Chinese steelmakers paid on avg. $45 a ton for imported iron ore in Dec., a 74% increase from a year earlier, the Tex Report said. Electronic Arts is developing a video game based on "The Godfather", the NY Post reported. CNBC reported that Venezuelan President Chavez won't cut U.S. oil shipments, despite his threats. China's State Reserves Bureau plans to sell 30,000-40,000 metric tons of copper from its stockpile to ease the country's shortage of the metal, Reuters reported. New York crude-oil futures fell after the U.S. Senate voted to sell oil rather than deposit it in the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would make more crude available to refiners.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is up slightly on the day as my tech positions are solidly higher. I added a few longs in the technology and base metal sectors, bringing the Portfolio's market exposure to 25% net long. If the indices have reached a short-term bottom, stocks should rally into the close as shorts cover before the weekend. A late-afternoon sell-off would likely indicate that we have further downside early next week. Two of my long purchases were AV and AA. I am using stops of $16.00 and $34.50 respectively.

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