Thursday, March 04, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,154.88 +.33%
NASDAQ 2,055.11 +1.07%

Leading Sectors
Homebuilders +2.03%
Internet +1.9%
Semis +1.63%

Lagging Sectors
Oil Service -.37%
Energy -.43%
Defense -.62%

Crude Oil 36.8 +.44%
Natural Gas 5.45 -.13%
Gold 393.50 +.08%
Base Metals 109.35 -1.09%
U.S. Dollar 89.12 -.02%
10-Yr. Long-Bond Yield 4.01% unch.
VIX 14.40 -1.03%
Put/Call .68 -5.56%
NYSE Arms .90 -8.16%

After-hours Movers
VTIV +30.24% on strong 4Q earnings.
TACT +8.33% on better-than-expected 4Q earnings, raised 1Q/04 guidance and 3-for-2 split.
TIVO +6.02% on strong 4Q subscriber growth and forecasting sustainable profitability by end of 06.
BSX +5.05% after FDA approval of Taxus stent and saying it will begin shipments immediately.
HLTH +3.47% after reporting 4Q and announcing $100M investment by PCG/Calpers.
SBL -9.73% after missing 4Q estimates, lowering guidance and saying government accounting probes are continuing.

Goldman Sachs says hot-rolled steel prices are being set at time of delivery, exceeding $500/ton for April, resulting in a high-probability of upside surprises for mills in 2Q. GS also saying that steel mill capacity utilization crossed over 90% last week. Goldman says FLEX had very positive mid-quarter call, but didn't raise guidance. SGA is expected to benefit from a recovery in ad spending, Business Week reported.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks finished the day mostly higher, led by homebuilders, biotech and technology on low volume ahead of Intel's mid-quarter update and tomorrow's jobs report. After the close, Intel said the midpoint of its guidance declined slightly because customers in Asia had seen a small inventory build. However, CFO Andy Bryant said the inventory overhang had been "worked through" by now. OPEC has begun a rhetorical campaign to talk down prices. A "senior OPEC official" told the Wall Street Journal that the cartel would take "certain action" if crude prices don't "moderate" in the next 2 weeks, reported Disney CEO Eisner said he won't leave the company after giving up the chairman's job to George Mitchell, President Iger told CNBC. Concerns are arising that unrest in Venezuela will affect oil output.

BOTTOM LINE: I believe Intel's call this evening was about what investors anticipated. The stock was down slightly after-hours. I expect Intel and the rest of the semis to rise tomorrow barring a broad market sell-off on the jobs report. The Portfolio had a very good day and is now 75% net long. The last couple of days have seen a rotation from commodity-related stocks into tech and biotech. I think this trend will continue in the short-term.

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