Monday, December 13, 2004

Mid-day Report

S&P 500 1,196.20 +.69%
NASDAQ 2,140.63 +.58%

Leading Sectors
Software +2.93%
Iron/Steel +2.51%
HMOs +1.91%

Lagging Sectors
Airlines -.63%
Networking -.73%
Hospitals -.75%

Crude Oil 40.85 +.42%
Natural Gas 7.11 +3.90%
Gold 440.30 unch.
Base Metals 115.66 +1.28%
U.S. Dollar 82.19 -.58%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.14% -.28%
VIX 12.20 -4.39%
Put/Call .63 +1.61%
NYSE Arms .71 -48.55%

Market Movers

Economic Data
Advance Retail Sales for November rose .1% versus estimates of a .1% decline and an upwardly revised .8% increase in October.
Retail Sales Less Autos for November rose .5% versus estimates of a .3% increase and an upwardly revised 1.1% gain in October.
Business Inventories for October rose .2% versus estimates of a .5% increase and no change in September.

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Mid-day News

Bottom Line: The Portfolio is slightly higher mid-day on gains in my internet, semi and semi-equipment longs. I added a few new technology longs this morning, bringing the Portfolio's market exposure to 125% net long. One of my new longs is ARBA and I am using a $15.50 stop-loss on this new position. It is very positive to see the large revision in retail sales for Oct. and a better-than-expected Nov. Moreover, internet retail is booming this holiday season. OSTK remains my favorite internet retailer in the intermediate-term. It should also be a longer-term winner in this space. The overall tone of the market is pretty good today and improving, notwithstanding the bounce in energy prices and dollar pullback. I expect U.S. stocks to rise modestly into the close on optimism over economic growth, short-covering, merger activity and bargain-hunting.

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