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Email Version, Section 1, Thursday 03/29/01
The SplitTrader.com Newsletter           Thursday 03/29/2001 1 of 1
Copyright 2001, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

 - Your World Leader for Trading Stock Splits on the Internet -

Posted online for members at: http://www.SplitTrader.com

To view this email newsletter in HTML format with imbedded
charts and graphs, click here:

http://www.splittrader.com/htmlemail/032901_1.asp
==================================================================

In This Newsletter:
===================

Market Commentary - Window Dressing
Definition of the Day
Thursday's Split Announcements - None
Friday's Expirations
Stock Plays - New - Updates - Drops
Friday's Play-of-the-Day - MKC

==================================================================


Market Commentary
=================

Window Dressing

As the first quarter of 2001 mercifully winds down, many mutual
fund managers will be scurrying to add some winners to a list of
holdings that almost certainly is littered with bow-wows.
Managers want to make sure that after their shareholders see the
quarterly performance figures and pick their jaws off the floor,
that they will at least see some recognizable strong stocks in
the fund's composition.

Fund managers have probably been scaling into stronger sectors
over the past few weeks.  However, as Friday nears, they need to
pick up their buying if they want to show that they indeed have
believable positions in these better names.  Moreover, as quickly
as they have been buying winners, the losers have been going out
the backdoor as fast as you can say, "dump tech."  Who wants to
show that their single largest holding over the past quarter was
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)?

This may explain why retailers have held up well, homebuilders
keep rocking and why energy/utility stocks continue to power
higher.  But, like everything else in this market, what goes up
for a few days must come down.  I have a sneaky feeling that
these strong groups will see some selling pressure as soon as the
first quarter is in the books.

In other big picture observations, many non-tech companies have
now joined the earnings warning parade.  Up until now, if a
company warned, you could almost assume it was a tech company.

Investors have been shunning the tech sector for this exact
reason, to avoid being caught in an earnings induced sell off.
We will have to see if the market flushes non-tech companies when
they warn just like it does tech companies.  This will be a key
factor as to the health of the overall market.  If investors
cannot avoid the risks of a blow up anywhere, they will run back
to bonds.

Today's admittance by International Paper (NYSE:IP) that it would
miss first-quarter earnings is a perfect example of how the
economy is weighing on all types of companies.  IP said it would
likely come in with earnings of $0.05/share as opposed to
estimates of $0.15/share.  The stock was halted this morning and
traded down to $34.05 before rebounding to close lower by only
$0.07 at $36.15 (a good sign).  The company blamed higher energy
costs, the weak economy and a strong U.S. dollar for its current
woes.

Today's Markets

Here we go again.  Today marked yet another new closing low for
our former friend the NASDAQ.  As expected, it was the big cap
techs that created the downdraft.  Stocks like Sun Microsystems
(NASDAQ:SUNW), EMC Corp (NYSE:EMC) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) all
hit new 52-week lows.

The NASDAQ (COMPX) ended today's session at 1820.57 after sliding
33.56, or 1.81%.  Volume came in at 2 billion and declining
issues overcame advancers 2142 to 1470.

The DOW (INDU) had a slightly better day, even after this
morning's IP warning.  The old-economy average managed to close
up by 13.17 to 9799.06.  Stocks like McDonalds (NYSE:MCD),
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX)
helped to lift the DOW above breakeven.  The stocks closed up
$2.10, $1.21 and $1.35 respectively.

Treasurys ended the day slightly lower as bond traders pondered
the latest release of economic news.  Traders obviously choose to
believe that the net effect of a fall in jobless claims by 20,000
and the downward revision in the GDP from 1.1% to 1.0% was a
decreased likelihood of further aggressive rate cuts.  The
benchmark 10-year bond fell by 2/32 to yield 4.985% and the 30-
year note lost 10/32 to yield 5.49%.

Stocks and Sectors on the Move

Carrying on with the whole window dressing theme, some
beneficiaries of incoming money flow today included the utility
stocks, as measured by the PHLX Utility Index (UTY.X). One of the
sectors strongest performers on the day was Calpine (NYSE:CPN).
The company confirmed the sector's health today by announcing
that it was upping its quarterly earnings estimates from
$0.13/share to $0.20-$0.25/share and full year 2001 earnings
estimates from $1.52/share to $1.80/share.  It also expects to be
operating 13 new plants by year-end.

We were talking earlier about earnings warning risk.  Going
forward, I wouldn't be surprised if this sector as a whole traded
at a slight premium to the rest of the market, simply because of
the decreased risk involved with these issues.

Chart of Calpine:



On the downside today were the storage stocks.  Once though to be
immune from the downturn in the economy, all of them have rolled
over and showed the world they do indeed have soft underbellies
after all.

The exodus out of storage was in part due to a call out of
Merrill Lynch telling clients that Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD) was
facing a tough business environment and that the odds of a pre-
announcement were mounting.  Right on cue, Brocade's competitors
EMC, Corp. (NYSE:EMC) and Network Appliance (NASDAQ:NTAP)
tumbled.  BRCD closed down $2.88 to $19.34, EMC fell $3.58 to
$29.00 and NTAP plummeted $2.25 to $16.31.

In after-hours action, Micron Technologies (NYSE:MU) actually
beat earnings estimates of a negative $0.03/share by coming in
with earnings for its second quarter of minus $0.01/share.  Yes,
I said a tech stock BEAT earnings.  While this does seem amazing,
especially out of a chip company, we will wait to see how the
Street reacts to reports of lower sales and revenues out of the
DRAM chip maker.

Looking Forward, Always Forward

With the NASDAQ making a new low, many tech charts losing final
support levels and with tomorrow being Friday there are not too
many reasons to justify going long in tech.  Although we might
see a short covering bounce in the afternoon session I would not
confuse it with honest buying.

Chart of Sun Microsystems:



A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't
resist.  This old saying is especially true in today's market.
Don't get trapped at looking at these tech charts and using the
old March 2000 highs as a reference point as to how cheap tech is
right now.

Keep Stops In Place and Play By Your Rules

Craig Sealer
Assistant Editor
www.SplitTrader.com


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Definition of the Day
=====================

Bear Market

A Bear Market is a prolonged period of time, which sees a decline
in the market value of many stocks.

For the complete definition, please go to:
http://www.splittrader.com/glossary/viewglossary.asp?glossaryid=26


===================
Split Announcements
===================

None


====================================
Friday's Expirations by Payable Date
====================================

None


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=====================
SplitTrader.com Plays
=====================

The PLAY LEGEND:

SplitTrader.com Play Recommendations.

Play-of-the-Day is our number one play recommendation for the
following trading day.
Updates are just that - updates on continuing plays.
New plays are brand new for the newsletter.
Drops are closing plays that we feel have lost the advantage.

You will see:
Stock Symbol, Company Name, Closing Price, (change for the week)
Picked at date and Change since picked

Terms:
BoD = Board of Directors meeting
ADV = Average Daily Volume
dma = daily moving average

On the SplitTrader.com website we have very detailed profiles
for the stocks we play.  Please take the time to visit the site
and look up a stock's profile if you are interested in more
information.
================================================================


=========
NEW PLAYS
=========


NEW SPLIT RUN PLAYS 03/29/01
============================

SBUX - Starbucks $41.94 +0.75 (+1.06)

This ubiquitous coffee shop leader is starting to recover nicely
after Mother Nature attacked its Seattle headquarters with an
earthquake.  The shares had been steadily dropping from the 52-
week high of $51.31 for the past seven weeks.  SBUX appears to
have found nice double bottom support at $38.50 and could start
trending higher.  Now that a bottom has apparently been found,
SBUX can now start its split run in earnest.  The company
announced a 2:1 split on March 20th and intends to make the split
payable on April 27th.  Another technical sign that a bottom has
been reached is the fact that SBUX managed to trade back above its
200-DMA of $42.25.  However, SBUX did drop back below this
important moving average by the close.  Still, the MACD appears to
be on the verge of moving higher and may eventually trigger a buy
signal.  We also like the way the RSI is moving higher after
signaling an oversold condition earlier this week. Therefore, new
positions are suggested only if SBUX moves back above $42.25
tomorrow.

Picked on March 29th @ $41.94
Change since picked +0.00
Stop Loss $38.50

 


NEW SPLIT CANDIDATE PLAYS 03/29/01
==================================

MKC - McCormick & Company $41.43 +0.57 (+1.75)

McCormick & Company, Inc. provides a wide variety of spices,
herbs, seasonings, and other specialty food products to the food
industry. The company also manufactures plastic bottles and tubes
for the food and personal care industries. MCK broke out of its
three-year $26-$36 trading range in late November. The stock then
spent two months consolidating in the $34-$38 range. On February
12th, shares of MKC broke out on heavy volume and continued to
move higher into the earnings release on March 19th. The stock
sold off on profit taking just prior to, and just after, the
earnings release. We believe that MKC has shaken off its post-
earnings depression and could be ready to break out to new highs.
We are also looking for a possible split with its next BoD meeting
or with the June earnings release. The company has enough shares
for a split with 160 million shares authorized and 60.4 million
shares issued. MCK announced its last three splits when the stock
was trading in the $35-$45 range, so it is currently trading
within historic split range. Going forward, support is the 5-dma
at $40.80 with stronger support at $40.35, the 20-dma. Resistance
is the all-time high of $41.58 and then possibly $43. Traders may
consider entry points on a bounce off of $40.80 or a breakout
above $41.58 on volume of greater than 65,000 shares by noon. We
plan to set stops at $38.75 to limit potential losses.

Picked on March 29th @ $41.43
Change since picked +0.00
Stop Loss @ $38.75

 


NEW MOMENTUM PLAYS 03/29/01
============================

None


=======
UPDATES
=======


SPLIT RUN PLAY UPDATES 03/29/01
===============================

None


SPLIT CANDIDATE PLAY UPDATES 03/29/01
=====================================

EQT - Equitable Resources, Inc. $67.20 -1.64 (+2.14)

Equitable Resources, Inc. gapped up on Wednesday morning following
news that the stock will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 Index
after Friday's close. Shares of EQT traded to an all-time high of
$70.50 before pulling back to a close of $68.84 on heavy volume of
1.4 million shares. On Thursday, the stock fell to an intra-day
low of $65.11 after J.P. Morgan (JPM) cut its rating on EQT from
"buy" to "long-term buy" based on valuation. The stock has been
very active over the past two days due to the S&P changes, so the
strong volume may continue into next week. However, the S&P 400 is
not considered to be a major index, so EQT should be able to
survive the short-term volatility and regain its long-term upward
trend. For now, support is the 5-dma at $66.83 with additional
support at $65.64, the 10-dma. Resistance has moved up to
Thursday's intra-day high of $68 and then the all-time high of
$70.50. Look for a bounce off of $66.83 or a breakout above $68 on
midday volume of at least 100,000 shares before starting new
plays.  We are keeping our stops at $63.40 as downside protection.

Picked on March 27th @ $67.20
Change since picked +0.00
Stop Loss @ $63.40

 

===

NVR - NVR Incorporated $170.00 +4.40 (+10.05)

Thanks to cuts interest rates and the Fed being biased for further
reductions, we continue to look for NVR shares to remain in a
strong position. We're also anticipating an influx of buying to
arise as a result of a possible stock split. With these two events
in mind, it's no surprise that the stock is gaining upward
momentum. What's more, NVR has only 8.37 million shares
outstanding. Talk about a supply crunch! Turning to the chart, NVR
shares rallied sharply higher on Thursday, adding $4.40, or 2.65%,
by the closing bell. The stock did flirt with higher levels on an
intraday basis, but found a stiff barrier at $173.14. Checking out
the technical indicators, the MACD and stochastic both point to
higher levels. On Balance Volume continues to make higher highs
and indicates that there is solid buying of the stock during
positive days. Traders looking for additional entry points should
wait for a  break through $173.14 or a bounce off the 5-dma of
$165.55. We'll recommend raising stops to $164, which will help to
minimize downside risk.

Picked on March 27th @ $166.20
Change since picked +10.80
Stop Loss @ $164.00

 

===

PFGC - Performance Food Group $50.00 -1.97 (+0.50)

PFGC continues to trade in a predictable and repetitious pattern.
Our last write-up suggested that quick rallies in the past have
resulted in quick retracements.  Sure enough, Tuesday's spike to
just below the $54.50 resistance resulted in a quick pullback
today.  So where does the stock go from here?  We would not be
surprised if PFGC once again tests its 50-DMA, which closed today
at $48.31.  We see another good opportunity to enter new positions
if PFGC tests $48.31 and bounces. Some of our favorite technical
indicators are solid, despite the quick retracement.  The MACD is
now positive and Money Flow is still excellent.  Even though PFGC
is pretty volatile, these technical indicators tell us that PFGC
should be able to work its way higher.  Finally, a move above the
double top resistance of $54.50 could really get this stock
trending strongly higher.

Picked on March 25th @ $49.50
Change since picked +0.50
Stop Loss @ $46.00

 

===

RDN - Radian Group Incorporated $66.00 +2.15 (+4.10)

RDN shares delivered another nice rally on Thursday, gaining 3.37%
 to close at $66.00. Today's breakout also came with good volume
of 598,600 shares, which topped the three-month average. This is
further indication that the stock is attracting more traders with
each leg higher. Even more significant, the stock was able to
break above stiff resistance at the intermediate high of $64.80
and hold ground above the 100-dma of $64.31. This certainly
confirms a breakout and could result in a rally to $65 or $70. The
short-term technical picture also looks promising, with bullish
crossovers in both the MACD and stochastic. Traders should
consider entries when the stock breaks through resistance or
bounces from support at the 100-dma on good volume of 250,000
shares traded by midday. We'll suggest moving stops to $62.50 to
help limit our downside risk.

Picked on March 18th @ $61.00
Change since picked +5.00

 

===

UHS - Universal Health Services $86.99 +4.24 (+4.14)

Health care stocks were generally strong today, presumably due to
a renewed interest in buying stocks with relatively stable growth
and more reasonable valuations.  Consequently, UHS made a strong
move today in a bid to catch up with the strong rally we saw
earlier this week in the overall market.  Perhaps some of the
rally can be attributed to the fact that UHS is probably overdue
for a split.  UHS last split its stock in May of 1996.  The split
was made payable when the stock was at $56.38, well below today's
closing price.  Turning to the charts, UHS popped back above the
50-DMA of $84.72 today.  Traders may be interested in adding to
positions if UHS can stay above the 50-DMA.  In addition, momentum
traders may be interested in buying UHS if the stock can move
above $87.34, which would establish a new high for the week.

Picked on March 15th @ $83.50
Change since picked +3.49
Stop Loss @ $80.00

 


MOMENTUM PLAY UPDATES 03/29/01
===============================

SFD - Smithfield Foods, Inc. $37.85 +0.84 (+3.08)

Smithfield Foods has posted gains in four of the past five
sessions following an article in BusinessWeek about the economic
effects of the European livestock crisis. On Thursday, shares of
SFD hit an all-time high of $38.10 before pulling back to a close
of $37.85 on volume of 1.08 million shares. SFD has made five
consecutive higher lows on above-average volume, so the stock
could maintain its upward trend as long as the volume remains
heavy. In the meantime, support is Thursday's intra-day low of
$37.10 with stronger support at $36.67, Wednesday's intra-day low.
Resistance has shown up at Thursday's intra-day high of $38.10 and
then the $40 mark. Traders may consider entry points on a bounce
off of $37.10 or a breakout above $38.10 on volume of at least
180,000 shares by noon. We are leaving our stops at $35.25 to
protect gains.

Picked on March 22nd @ $32.25
Change since picked +5.60
Stop Loss @ $35.25

 

===

THQI - THQ Incorporated $37.44 +0.91 (+2.94)

THQ did some consolidating work after trading to an all-time high
of $39.94 during Tuesday's session. A weak market and some profit
taking sent shares of THQI to an intra-day low of $35.19 on
Thursday. Fortunately, the stock bounced back to a close of $37.44
on volume of 496,000 shares. Momentum has cooled along with the
daily volume, so THQI may need to consolidate before it moves to
new highs. However, a volume surge in excess of 800,000 shares
could easily push THQI into record territory. From a technical
standpoint, support has fallen to the 5-dma at $36.85 with
additional support at $35.19, Thursday's intra-day low. Resistance
is Wednesday's intra-day high of $38.81 and then Tuesday's intra-
day high of $39.94. A bounce off of $36.85 or a breakout above
$38.81 on midday volume of at least 250,000 shares may be possible
entry points. Our stops remain at $35.

Picked on March 25th @ $34.50
Change since picked +2.94
Stop Loss @ $35.00

 


=====
DROPS
=====


SPLIT RUN PLAY DROPS 03/29/01
=============================

TMIC - Trend Micro Inc. $4.25 -0.75 (+0.03)

We were a little bit surprised that TMIC had decided to split just
less than a month before the previously announced payable date of
May 18th.  The split caused a quick spike in the share price right
to the resistance of $5.50.  Congrats to those of you who sold the
stock as soon as it started dropping from that level.  Due to its
relatively low stock price and the unlikelihood that TMIC will be
announcing any more splits for the foreseeable future, you
probably will not see TMIC on our Current Play list again for a
long time.

Picked on March 22nd @ $4.19
Profit/Loss +0.06 ( 1%) (Stopped Thursday @ $4.25)
Best Profit +1.31 (31%)

 


SPLIT CANDIDATE PLAY DROPS 03/29/01
===================================

RCII - Rent-A-Center Incorporated $43.38 +2.19 (0.25)

It looks like RCII may have hit a near-term top with its recent
rally to the $47.44 mark. Starting with a slow pullback from this
level, shares gathered selling momentum on Tuesday and stopped us
out at $42.13 with Wednesday's gap lower at the open. A triple
digit loss in the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMPX) was likely the
biggest contributor to Wednesday's fall. We will continue to watch
RCII for better opportunities in the future.

Picked on March 25th @ $45.13
Profit/Loss = -3.00 (-7%) (Stopped Wednesday @ $42.13)
Best Profit = +2.00 (+4%)

 


MOMENTUM PLAY DROPS 03/29/01
=============================

None


========================
Friday's Play-of-the-Day
========================

Thursday, March 29, 2001
=============================

MKC - McCormick & Company $41.43 +0.57 (+1.75)

Thursday's Update:

Time to add some spice to your trading with McCormick & Company, a
leading provider of spices, herbs, seasonings and other specialty
food products. MCK broke out of its three-year $26-$36 trading
range in late November. The stock then spent two months
consolidating in the $34-$38 range. On February 12th, shares of
MKC broke out on heavy volume and continued to move higher into
its earnings release on March 19th. Unfortunately, the stock sold
off on profit taking just prior to, and just after, the earnings
release. Nevertheless, we believe that MKC has shaken off its
post-earnings slump and could be ready to break out to new highs.
We are also looking for a possible split with its next BoD meeting
or with the June earnings release. The company has enough shares
for a split with 160 million authorized and 60.4 million issued.
MCK announced its last three splits when the stock was trading in
the $35-$45 range, so it is currently trading within historic
split range. Going forward, support is the 5-dma at $40.80 with
stronger support at $40.35, the 20-dma. Resistance is the all-time
high of $41.58 and then possibly $43. Traders may consider entry
points on a bounce off of $40.80 or a breakout above $41.58 on
volume greater than 65,000 shares by noon. We plan to set stops at
$38.75 to limit potential losses.

Picked on March 29th @ $41.43
Change since picked +0.00
Stop Loss @ $38.75

 


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