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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Market Wrap (Aug. 24, 2006)

DJIA 11,304.46; Up 6.56 (0.06%)
NASDAQ 2,137.11; Up 2.45 (0.11%)
S&P500 1,296.06; Up 3.07 (0.24%)
10YR-Bond 4.803%

Stock Tickers: BAC, FNM, RAD, VG, CHS, CWTR, ZUMZ, GES, F, COGN, AAPL, RMBS, EBAY, WYN, BP, TTC, CREAF, XRTX

Here is how you would define today: Gap up, sell off, recover a tad, and barely manage to slide into the green ahead of the close. You can say it was jobs numbers, weak new home sales (like that wasn't known), oil inventories, or whatever you want. It is late-August and it doesn't take much to move things up or down right now.

Bank of America (BAC) closed up 0.1% at $52.54 despite the fact that CNBC's Charlie Gasparino said the company will likely make a transformational deal by acquiring a non-banking financial company in the US or by acquiring another depository institution outside of the US.

Fannie Mae (FNM) and its long-term holders were rewarded with shares up 4.8% at $51.57 after the government said the company would not be criminally charged in its past accounting fraud.

Rite-Aid (RAD) closed down 7% at $4.35 after it confirmed yesterday's rumors that it would acquire about 1,800 stores from Eckerd and Brooke.

Vonage (VG) rose a mystery 4.5% to $7.11 on what was really no news from the company and on thin volume.

We had a tale of two competing clothiers in womens' apparel: Chico's (CHS) fell 25% to $17.95 on what was horrible guidance; and Coldwater Creek (CWTR) rose 7.4% to $27.00 after beating earnings expectations.

Two other momentum retailers also fell as Zumiez (ZUMZ) fell 8% to $22.37 and Guess? (GES) fell 8% to $45.08.

Ford (F) closed up 0.7% at $7.82 after the USA Today and others said it may go private, although our Doug McIntyre doesn't think that will easily be in the cards.

Cognos (COGN) rose 3.6% to $29.74 after RedHerring.com said IBM may acquire it.

Despite Apple's (AAPL) recall of 1.8 million laptops, its shares closed up 0.8% at $67.90. Sony's (SNE) ADR's traded down 2.7% at $43.21 as it is the maker of that battery.

Rambus (RMBS) rose another 5% to $13.91 after it had more issues in its ongoing court saga(s) go in its favor.

eBay (EBAY) fell 4.5% to $25.77 after piper Jaffray downgraded the stock to an underperform rating.

Wyndham (WYN) rose 5.8% to $27.93 after it was announced that it would receive proceeds from teh sale of Cendant's (CD) Travelport business and on word of a share buyback plan.

British Petroleum (BP) fell another 0.3% to $68.92 after it lost another 90,000 barrels per day in production due to Prudhoe Bay pipeline equipment failure.

Toro (TTC) fell 5.8% to $38.50 after its profits rose but on weak guidance.

Creative Tech (CREAF) rose 14% to $6.90 the day after announcing Apple would settle patent claims by paying Creative $100 million; that is under the +28% initially on the news in after-hours activity last night.

Xyratex (XRTX) fell 8.5% to $19.15 after Citigroup lowered its rating from a Buy down to a Hold.

Jon C. Ogg
August 24, 2006
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