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by 3/7/2001 3:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Fed Beige Book is a subjective survey of economic conditions across the 12 U.S. Federal Reserve Districts. The February edition reported sluggish to modest economic growth. A majority of FRDs reported sluggish to modest economic growth, while others generally reported mixed conditions. Employers reported some easing in wage pressures, but labor markets remain tight.

As for the districts, St. Louis reported noticeably slower economic activity, while economic conditions were mixed in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and Minneapolis. Boston, New York, Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City and Dallas Seven reported recent growth.

Inflation appeared to be in check in most areas, except for a nationwide surge in energy costs. Information contained within the report was inline with recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan that downside risks predominate over inflationary concerns about the economy.

Manufacturing activity decreased in most areas during the first two months of 2001. Several districts reported a falling output by automakers, but vehicle inventories remained high across the country. However, auto sales have improved since December, even though sales were weaker than those of early 2000.

The housing sector remained strong, as construction increased in areas that escaped the worst of the winter weather. Also, residential mortgage refinancing held strong in the face of lackluster demand for other types of lending.

The report did little to excite the markets, but offered some support in the treasuries market. <

by 3/7/2001 3:05 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Retail Index (RLX – 873.1) is attempting to conquer overhead resistance at its descending 20-day moving average today. This trendline held the index in check during two recent breakout attempts. The index's intraday high today peaked just above this trendline but it has since descended back below.

Significant movers within the RLX include Toys ‘R' Us (TOY – 25.40), which is rallying more than five percent on successful earnings news, and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY – 26-11/16), which has pressed over six percent higher without any news to account for the move. Retail stocks are also moving in anticipation of February same-store sales numbers, which are set to be released tomorrow.

by 3/7/2001 2:49 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Land's End (LE – 27.25) beat Street earnings estimates by a penny today, posting earnings of $1.07 per share. This is a healthy gain over earnings of 92 cents per share for the same period a year ago. The clothing retailer continues to target growth of at least 20 percent in fiscal 2002.

Up over 17 percent in trading, the stock has gapped above its 10-day moving average and continued to climb until it had crossed above its declining 20-day moving average. From a longer-term perspective, the security crossed both its 10-week and 20-week moving averages, but has come back down to perch on its 10-week trendline. LE may manage to hold onto its gains by using its 10-week moving average as support. <

by 3/7/2001 1:08 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Newport (NEWP – 43-5/8) makes electronic equipment for use in the aerospace, communications, and semiconductor industries. Today, the stock is trading up more than 10 percent on relatively heavy volume. This boost occurred after NEWP officials said 2001 earnings contributions from newly acquired Kensington Laboratories would total 17-20 cents per share, as opposed to the 15 cents per share originally figured. In total, the firm's earnings for the year should increase 230 to 240 percent compared to the previous annum. The company also revised its 2000 net income numbers 15 cents higher to $1.01 per share.

Having tumbled nearly 80 percent since late September, NEWP still remains solidly below all of its significant moving averages.

by 3/7/2001 12:19 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Financial publisher, Dow Jones & Company (DJ – 57.80), announced today that they expect to miss first-quarter estimates. DJ is now anticipating earnings of 16 to 20 cents per share, significantly lowered that Street estimates of 56 cents per share. A shortfall in ad revenues is being blamed for the trimmed earnings. In February, the publisher saw a 32.1 percent drop in ad lineage on a per issue basis. The company is currently reviewing costs and is expected to cut some jobs.

The security has not only fallen through its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, but has also plunged through support at the 60 level. This is also the site of its 10-week moving average, which had been supporting the shares since the beginning of January.

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