Monday, June 28, 2004

Mid-day Update

S&P 500 1,141.52 +.64%
NASDAQ 2,037.69 +.61%

Leading Sectors
Airlines +3.05%
Broadcasting +1.92%
Internet +1.47%

Lagging Sectors
Homebuilders -1.34%
Disk Drives -1.44%
Oil Service -1.85%

Crude Oil 36.18 -3.65%
Natural Gas 6.20 -2.41%
Gold 400.30 -.74%
Base Metals 109.41 -.07%
U.S. Dollar 88.83 -.05%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.71% +1.45%
VIX 15.21 +.13%
Put/Call .53 -19.70%
NYSE Arms .80 -37.50%

Market Movers
TASR +12.2% after saying the Dayton, Ohio Police placed a $436,000 order for the company's stun gun.
WPI -15.3% after cutting second-quarter sales and profit estimates after prices fell and a new birth-control pill was delayed and multiple downgrades.
MO +5.3% after a federal judge cleared the way for major U.S. cigarette makers to file a pre-trial appeal aimed at blocking a $280 billion fraud claim by the U.S. Department of Justice.
CCI -9.7% after saying National Grid Transco, Britain's power grid manager, agreed to buy the U.K. transmission towers of CCI for $2.04 billion.
TZOO +23.2% on short-covering and strength in Internet shares.
ATI +11.9% after saying it will have its first profit in more than two years, helped by a drop in retiree benefit costs and higher demand for flat-rolled stainless steel.

Economic Data
Personal Income rose .6% in May versus estimates of a .5% rise and a .6% increase in April.
Personal Spending rose 1.0% in May versus estimates of a .8% rise and a .2% increase in April.
PCE Deflator (YOY) for May rose 2.5% versus estimates of a 2.2% rise and a 2.0% increase in April.

ELP cut to Underweight at Morgan Stanley. WFMI rated Outperform at Prudential, target $105. TQNT cut to Underweight at Lehman, target $4. GENZ raised to Overweight at Lehman, target $54. FOX raised to Buy at Oppenheimer, target $32. WPI cut to Underweight at JP Morgan. Citi SmithBarney says to Buy JCP today, target $50. Citi also said to Buy IR, target $83. Citi reiterated Buy on CEY, target $44. Citi reiterated Sell on GDT, target $53. Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on BIIB, MUR, PXD, AMT and PPL.

Mid-day News
U.S. stocks are higher mid-day as falling oil prices and developments in Iraq boost investor spirits. The U.S.-led coalition formally ended its occupation of Iraq today by handing sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government ahead of schedule, Bloomberg reported. U.S. personal spending rose 1.0% in May, the biggest increase since 2001, as purchases of automobiles and other durable goods accelerated. A measure of prices tied to spending increased the most since 1990, reflecting higher fuel costs, Bloomberg reported. U.S. college students at public universities are spending almost a third less on tuition than they did in 1998, as new federal tax breaks and an increase in state and federal grants help ease education costs, USA Today reported. OAO Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil producer, plans to start crude-oil production in Iraq in 2005, Interfax news service reported. U.S. cable companies are developing new systems that ultimately may enable national television broadcasts to include different commercials aimed at varying audience groups, the NY Times reported. Sun Microsystems will unveil partnerships today meant to bolster the company's position in the mobile Internet business, the NY Times said. AOL won a patent for software that allows people to send instant messages or enter chat rooms while watching TV, the NY Times reported. Governor Schwarzenegger struck a deal with the California State Employees Association that would let the sate borrow almost $1 billion to balance the state's budget, the LA Times reported. Crude oil futures plunged to a two-month low after the U.S.-led coalition handed sovereignty to Iraq ahead of schedule, tempering concern that terrorists would disrupt the country's petroleum operations, Bloomberg reported. Wal-Mart said June sales will increase 2-4%, less than its original forecast, Bloomberg said. United Airlines was turned down for a federal loan guarantee and told it can't reapply, Bloomberg said. Cattle futures plunged the maximum allowed by the CME after the U.S. said a mad-cow screening test was positive, Bloomberg reported.

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is having a very good day today as my security, internet and biotech longs are rising substantially and my oil service shorts are falling. I took profits in a few stocks from various sectors this morning, leaving the Portfolio with 125% net long market exposure. I expect U.S. equities to trade neutral to higher before a more substantial upwards move begins later in the week. Oil should continue to fall throughout the week and interest rates will likely rise modestly on more strong economic reports.

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