Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Wednesday Close

S&P 500 1,151.03 +.17%
NASDAQ 2,033.36 -.31%

Leading Sectors
Insurance +.96%
Computer Service +.86%
Restaurants +.75%

Lagging Sectors
Telecom -.79%
Iron/Steel -.91%
Semis -1.90%

Crude Oil 35.72 -.22%
Natural Gas 5.375 unch.
Gold 394.20 +.38%
Base Metals 110.55 -3.32%
U.S. Dollar 89.05 +.17%
10-Yr. Long-Bond Yield 4.05% +.33%
VIX 14.54 -2.09%
Put/Call .72 +2.86%
NYSE Arms .98 -27.94%

After-hours Movers
AFCI +4.21% after CNBC guest recommendation.
EVOL +15.25% more, after a 35% rise today on volume, no news.
SCOX +6.13% after suing Linux users AZ and DCS.
IMCL +3.81% on report that Carl Icahn boosted stake to 6.9%.

Cramer, of, says he sees massive put buying on the semis and QQQs that should result in a tech bounce by Fri. is also recommending covering shorts in N and AAII. is also saying that ChevronTexaco's recent announcement that it is hiring another 5 rigs for development drilling in the waters off the shore of Angola is positive for GSF, ESV, NE, RDC, HAL, SLB, BHI and TDW. Goldman Sachs is reiterating its Outperform rating and $52 target on BSX. GS says DIS is seeing accelerating momentum at their Theme Parks. GS sees consumer credit outlook as benign and says bankruptcies are down 5.4% from 03 in January. Finally, Goldman reiterated its Outperform rating on BAX and $38 target.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks rebounded in the afternoon as interest rate and currency fears subsided, leaving the major averages mixed on the day. After the close, Smith Travel is reporting that business travel trends are accelerating. Former Disney director Stanley Gold told CNBC that its weak performance makes it vulnerable to the Comcast takeover. He stated that "The best thing to head off a Comcast offer is a new management and a high stock price." Some of Delphi Corp.'s suppliers have said they will break their contracts with the auto-parts maker if they don't get compensated for higher steel costs which could lead to temporary plant shutdowns, Dow Jones reported. Roger Noriega, the U.S. diplomat overseeing Haiti policy, rejected accusations of an American coup in the Caribbean country as he told Congress that former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had undermined democracy and squandered economic aid.

BOTTOM LINE: The main weakness today was in tech and base metal stocks. Semis are selling off in anticipation of a bad call from INTC. The put buying in the SOX and the call itself should spark a rally in this sector. Base metal stocks are correcting from overbought levels and will likely continue to fall in the short-term. The Biotech index is very close to a technical breakout and my short-term indicators are all giving buy signals, thus I will look to add exposure in this sector on the technical breakout. The Portfolio is currently 50% net long, as I did not add any new positions in the afternoon.

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