Thursday, December 09, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,189.24 +.54%
NASDAQ 2,129.01 +.14%

Leading Sectors
Homebuilders +4.80%
Oil Service +1.88%
HMOs +1.70%

Lagging Sectors
Airlines -.84%
Drive -1.01%
Semis -1.49%

Crude Oil 42.54 +.02%
Natural Gas 6.95 +.94%
Gold 438.90 +.39%
Base Metals 113.57 -.46%
U.S. Dollar 82.05 +.18%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.17% +1.31%.
VIX 12.88 -2.35%
Put/Call .77 -13.48%
NYSE Arms .80 -34.43%

After-hours Movers
AMTD -4.8% said it's in talks with U.S. regulators about whether it had sufficient capital.
SHFL -4.3% after beating 4Q estimates and lowering 1Q outlook.

Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BAX, PG, TYC, NSM and FON. Goldman reiterated Underperform CR and SAY. Usana Health Sciences(USNA), the maker of nutritional supplements and weight-care products, will likely see its sales grow as new items are introduced, Business Week reported. Sipex Corp.(SIPX), whose President and CEO Maghribi quit this week, may be poised to be sold or taken over, Business Week reported. Ingersoll-Rand(IR), the world's biggest maker of refrigeration equipment for trucks, will benefits from increased demand for its products as the U.S. economy grows, Business Week reported.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks finished modestly higher today on optimism over the U.S. housing market, merger news and a rebound in technology shares from morning lows. After the close, deep tremors along the San Andreas fault in California might be a sign a large earthquake is coming, according to a study by scientists at the Univ. of California. Shares of Sprint and Nextel rose after reports that the U.S. mobile-phone companies are in merger talks, Bloomberg reported. Acer Inc. may sell its personal computers in the U.S. through Wal-Mart Stores to try and gain market share, the Commercial Times reported. DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group was asked by the U.S. government to recall about 600,000 vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio finished slightly higher today and I added a few new longs from various sectors in the afternoon, leaving the Portfolio 75% net long. One of my new longs is PHM and I am using a $56.25 stop-loss on this position. The tone of the market improved throughout the afternoon with the major indices finishing near their highs for the day. As well, the advance/decline line, while negative, improved substantially from morning lows. The homebuilding index broke out of its recent trading range and closed at an ALL-TIME high, confounding the skeptics once again. It was also very positive to see semis rebound from morning lows on bad news and finish with minor losses. Finally, the weekly AAII % Bulls fell 9.5%, which is also a positive.

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