Thursday, March 11, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,106.78 -1.52%
NASDAQ 1,943.89 -1.03%

Leading Sectors
Broadcasting +.47%
Transports +.02%
Homebuilders -.15%

Lagging Sectors
Wireless -2.4%
Fashion -2.98%
Airlines -3.42%

Crude Oil 37.05 +.73%
Natural Gas 5.63 -.14%
Gold 403.30 +.57%
Base Metals 109.62 +2.07%
U.S. Dollar 88.32 +.02%
10-Yr. Long-Bond Yield 3.69% -.80%
VIX 20.67 +10.71%
Put/Call 1.10 +29.41%
NYSE Arms 2.17 -10.33%

After-hours Movers
IDXX +4.12% after raising guidance for 1Q and 04.
FLML +7.7% after reporting strong license and rev. growth during 4Q.
PETC -6.43% after missing 4Q estimates and lowering 1Q guidance.
VRTY -12.2% after meeting 3Q estimates and lowering 4Q guidance.
CAMD -15.5% after lowering 4Q forecast.

Goldman Sachs reiterating its very positive view on non-life insurance stocks. Favorites are ALL, AIG, ENH and RE.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks, already under pressure, fell precipitously after rumors surfaced that al-Qaeda had taken credit for the rush-hour train bombings in Spain, which killed at least 192 and injured another 1,400. After the close, U.S. regulators said they are demanding that 23 companies stop selling products containing androstenedione, the diet supplement known as andro, Bloomberg reported. Oracle(ORCL) reported 3Q results that met expectations as database sales and favorable exchange rates boosted license sales 13% year-over-year.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio had a good day, finishing down slightly. I sold a few of my relatively strong longs and rotated into some beaten-up stocks that look ready for an oversold bounce. I also added an overbought retail short, bringing the Portfolio's market exposure back to 0% or market neutral. Signs of fear are emerging, with high put/call, vix and arms readings. Thus, I suspect we are very close to a short-term bottom. I will look to slowly add market exposure into further weakness.

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