Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,109.19 +1.64%
NASDAQ 1,967.17 +3.02%

Leading Sectors
Airlines +5.11%
Networking +4.46%
Internet +4.14%

Lagging Sectors
Tobacco +.41%
Drugs +.32%
Energy -.26%

Crude Oil 35.52 +.03%
Natural Gas 5.33 -.02%
Gold 416.40 -.12%
Base Metals 110.43 -1.23%
U.S. Dollar 88.95 +.06%
10-Yr. Long-Bond Yield 3.73% unch.
VIX 17.88 -9.74%
Put/Call .69 -22.47%
NYSE Arms .44 -64.52%

After-hours Movers
ET +4.72% after announcing it will replace FleetBoston is S&P 500 Index.
OMNI +5.06% after reporting strong 4Q earnings.
ASKJ +5.57% on no news.
UTEK -4.93% after lowering 1Q forecast and maintaining 04 estimates.
MYOG -30.05% after saying its Enoximone heart-failure drug fails to meet study goal.

Goldman Sachs just released its annual survey of slot floor managers, reinforcing their positive view on the slot manufacturers. It indicates that: 1)there is more room to go in cashless 2)mid-size casinos are providing a second leg to the accelerated replacement cycle 3)significant demand for low and multi-denominational exists and 4)IGT still sets the industry's pace. GS said World pulp data for Feb. reflects a tightening pulp market, prices moving higher, positive for WY, IP, TBC.CA, BOW and ARA. Cramer, of, likes GS at current levels.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks finished substantially higher on Thursday as falling energy prices, strong economic data and better-than-expected earnings reports propelled the S&P 500 to its largest gain in six months. After the close, the Financial Times reported at least 40 U.S. congressman and senators have criticized the European Union's decision to levy a $609M fine on Microsoft. Executives pay packages will probably fall in coming years as compensation committees respond to accounting changes and upset investors, Business Week reported. U.S. House Leader Delay has been talking with colleagues about the possibility he will have to temporarily leave his post if he's indicted for alleged campaign finance abuses, Roll Call reported. Progressive Corp. tops Business Week's eighth annual rankings of best performing members on the S&P 500 because it never stops trying to find ways to do things cheaper and faster for its customers, Business Week reported. AOL could be worth $10.6B in a sale, Business Week reported. Jamie Olis, a former v.p. of finance at Dynegy, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in a $300M accounting fraud at the company. Hewlett-Packard sued Gateway alleging infringement of six patents.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio had a good day today as my shorts were unchanged and my longs rose substantially. I added a few other beaten-up special situation longs in the afternoon, bringing the Portfolio's market exposure to 125% net long. Terror threats and Micron's disappointing earnings report didn't even slow down the rally today. Thus, with falling oil prices and quarter-end positioning in the near-term, I expect further gains for U.S. equities over the next few days.

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