“Stanley Jacobs Image”
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think ”’big.”'” -Donald Trump
U.S. stocks edged higher with gains concentrated at mid-week. Optimism over
positive testimony on the economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan
and more merger activity were the primary catalysts last week.
Greenspans semi-annual testimony to Congress Wednesday appeared to
reassure investors after a change in phraseology at the last FOMC meeting.
Along with Comcasts hostile, $66 billion all-stock bid for Walt Disney
announced before the opening bell, the testimony brought buyers out in
droves that day. Investors took profits Thursday and Friday amid mostly
weaker-than-expected readings on the economy. Disney shares advanced 16 percent
for the week while Comcast shares fell 10 percent.
Among sectors, energy outpaced
the market as oil prices firmed on news OPEC elected to trim production
quotas. Securities brokers reacted positively to the weeks merger news,
which also included Juniper Networks $3.6 billion deal to acquire
NetScreen Technologies. Technology struggled for a fourth straight week
despite better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Dell Computer.
Finally, shares of Imclone Systems surged 32 percent after the FDA issued
approval for colon cancer drug Erbitux. Looking ahead, while earnings
season is winding down, the coming week features some notable quarterly
reports, Wal-Mart and Hewlett-Packard included. Meanwhile, fund flows
continue to favor equities in a field of weaker competitors for investment
”Weekly Index Performance:”
*DJIA: 10627.85 (+34.82, +0.3%)
*S&P 500: 1145.81 (+3.05, +0.3%)
*S&P MidCap: 602.32 (+7.91, +1.3%)
*S&P SmallCap: 281.33 (+0.66, +0.2%)
*Nasdaq Comp: 2053.56 (-10.45, -0.5%)
*Russell 2000: 585.14 (+1.07, +0.2%)
”’Stanley Jacobs is a financial professional at 201 Merchant St., Suite 2200, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He can be reached by phone at (808)537-4591 ext 227. Jacobs is a registered representative of and offers securities through MML Investors Services, Inc. The supervisory office is in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its phone number is (413)737-8400.”’