No. of Recommendations: 15
Bouyed by Kerry's debating skills, the markets rose by their greatest amount in a long time on Friday with 325 stocks hitting new 52-week lows on Friday alone out of 3487 issues traded. For the week there were 463 new 52-week highs out of 3,561 issues traded or better than 13% of the issues traded. This was the 5th week in a row with more than 300 new 52-week highs. Unfortunately there were also 113 new 52-weel lows, and I like to see that number below 100, at least. The cumulative daily breadth continued its incredible rise this year and finished for the first time ever above 120,000, let's say 122,000. The Federal Reserve Dollar Index continued its recent decline and ended at about 87, just about its July low, but was below 86 earlier in the year.

I suppose that the big news of the week was Merck stock getting murdered for withdrawing Vioxx. These sorts of things of course draw law suits which may end up more costly than loss of revenue from the drug, although one analyst felt that there weren't all that many people who had taken the drug longer than about 5 mo. MRK has reiterated that it will keep its dividend in place, but I suppose any increase will be small. We own some MRK but have been selling off 100 shares a year for some years now because of MRK patents expiring. Would have been selling more except for trying to avoid the dreaded AMT tax. And Merck wasn't the only drug company hitting new 52-week lows as Astra Zeneca hit one on Friday. And of course, Fannie Mae (even their preferreds) and Colgate Palmolive were among other blue chips hitting 52-week lows.

But it was hardly all bad news. Oil companies did very well ths last week including ExxonMobile (which we own) rising to new all-time highs and Chevron Texico hitting a 52-week high (which we don't own). One of our favoirtes - BRE (an apartment REIT) - ended the week at an all-time high and another apartment REIT - ArchstoneSmith - was hitting new highs as well. But there was lots to choose from.

The NASDAQ had 211 new 52-week highs which is not bad, but it also had 148 new 52-week lows which ain't so good out of 3440 issues traded. And the cumulative weekly breadth more than made up for the week before and ended at -83,451, still below the beginning of the year at -79,777.

This board has really died, but I get some recs so somebody must be still lurking.


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