S&P 500 1,132.01 +.60%
NASDAQ 1,995.60 +1.30%
Oil Service +2.84%
Crude Oil 37.64 +.59%
Natural Gas 6.33 +.41%
Gold 389.10 +.10%
Base Metals 104.94 +1.16%
U.S. Dollar 89.09 -.95%
10-Yr. T-note Yield 4.67% -3.98%
VIX 15.05 -6.35%
Put/Call .75 -47.55%
NYSE Arms .93 -25.0%
SNTS +32.57% after saying the FDA approved its Rapinex heartburn drug for sale in the U.S.
SAFM +4.96% after saying it was added to the S&P 600 Index.
ELY -20.35% after lowering 2Q and 04 guidance.
HLR -5.71% after saying it overstated the circulation at the Chicago Sun-Times for several years.
Goldman Sachs reiterated Outperform on SYMC.
U.S. stocks finished higher today as interest rates plunged, consumer confidence rose and Greenspan made positive comments with respect to inflation. After the close, Google agreed to buy a stake in Chinese search engine Baidu.com, the Financial Times said. A person claiming to be the military leader of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia threatened to kill a kidnapped American if all of the members of the terrorist organization being held as prisoners aren't released, Fox News reported. Inflation is "not likely to be a serious concern" and the Fed can stick to its plan for measured increases in the benchmark interest rate unless that changes, Fed Chairman Greenspan said. Dow Chemical is raising prices for polyethylene in the U.S. as demand for the world's most widely used plastic surges, Bloomberg said. Oracle said fourth-quarter profit met expectations of $990 million on increased demand for its database software, Bloomberg reported. U.S. 10-year Treasury notes rose by the most since January 01 after a measure of consumer prices increased less than some traders expected, Bloomberg said.
BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio was lower today as my tech shorts rose more than my basic material and industrial longs. I added a few more tech longs in the afternoon, bringing the Portfolio's market exposure to 75% net long. One of my new longs is VRTSE and I am using a $27 stop-loss on this position. Today's advance was a little disappointing, considering the magnitude of the drop in interest rates. However, I believe that investors' relatively muted reaction was due to anxiety over coming events in the next few weeks. Any market weakness due to a likely above-expectations PPI reading, Fed rate hike, violence during the handover of power to Iraq or end of the quarter repositioning should be used by long-term investors to add to favorite long positions. A recent survey showed that 57% of Americans believe that the U.S. economy has lost jobs over the last 6 months, when in reality it has gained 1.2 million jobs. This is further evidence that the media's extreme focus on negativity is masking many very positive developments and affecting consumer attitudes.