Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thursday Close

S&P 500 1,203.21 -.21%
NASDAQ 2,146.15 -.76%

Leading Sectors
Drugs +2.35%
Consumer +.57%
Tobacco +.28%

Lagging Sectors
Semis -1.60%
Broadcasting -1.94%
Software -2.02%

Crude Oil 44.29 +.25%
Natural Gas 7.04 +.51%
Gold 438.70 +.11%
Base Metals 118.22 +.54%
U.S. Dollar 82.45 +1.0%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.18% +2.65%.
VIX 12.27 -.65%
Put/Call .67 +9.84%
NYSE Arms .69 -33.01%

After-hours Movers
IFIN +4.3% after raising 04 guidance.
NKE +4.4% after beating 2Q estimates and giving strong 3Q/4Q guidance.
TEK -6.0% after beating 2Q estimates and lowering 3Q outlook.
LF -16.0% after cutting 04 outlook substantially.
EFII -11.6% after cutting 4Q forecast substantially.
PLMO -14.4% after meeting 2Q estimates, but failing to give 3Q guidance.
TTWO -9.4% after missing 4Q estimates and lowering outlook.

None of note.

After-hours News
U.S. stocks finished modestly lower today on rising interest rates and worries over growth in the tech sector. After the close, Fidelity Investments, the world's largest mutual fund company, dismissed two employees and disciplined 14 others amid an investigation into whether workers accepted gifts from brokers seeking to win trading business, Bloomberg reported. Adobe Systems, the world's largest maker of graphic-design software, said fourth-quarter net income jumped 36% as sales surged for its Creative Suite publishing and design programs, Bloomberg said. A unit of Spain's Grupo Ferrovial SA won a contract to invest $7.2 billion in Texas to develop the first leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor Project with a toll road, rail line and other infrastructure form Oklahoma to Mexico, Bloomberg said. Nike said second-quarter earnings surges to $261.9 million after the Shox line spurred demand in Asia and the US, Bloomberg reported. European Union leaders agreed to begin membership talks with Turkey next Oct. 3, vowing to promote Turkish economic growth and build a bridge to the wider Muslim world, Bloomberg said.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio finished lower today on losses in my technology longs. I exited a number of long positions in the afternoon, thus leaving the Portfolio 75% net long. Considering the positive news today, the major indices' action was disheartening for the bulls. Merger news, a rebounding US dollar, lower energy prices, strong earnings reports, lower jobless claims and a strong Philly Fed report failed to boost shares. Volume increased and the advance/decline line was poor. The FASB decision to force companies to expense employee stock options by mid-05 likely pressured tech shares. Large-cap value stocks outperformed today.

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