Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, December 30, 1997
by Mark Weaver, MD (MWEAV@aol.com)


St. Louis, MO (Dec. 30, 1997) - The stock market is doing its best to help us forget how miserable the first part of this month was by staging a spectacular year-end rally. Having been through this a few times in the past, it never ceases to amaze me how predictable a rally in the week between Christmas and the New Year has become. The "January Effect" seems to start a bit early each year.

The S&P surged 1.83% while the Nasdaq tacked on 1.79%. On this day every single Borefolio stock rose and the folio gained 2.96%. It was a long overdue market-beating day for the Bore.

The week between the holidays is also notable for a dearth of news. Today was no exception as there was no company specific news on any of our stocks.

Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) rose on a spate of good news for retailers. First of all the LJR Redbook reported that sales rose a strong 7.1% in the week before Christmas. Then, the BTM/Schroders Retail Chain Store Sales Index rose 1.5%. On a year-over-year basis sales momentum was up 2.0% in the past week versus 1.5% the week before. To top it off, VISA reported a 17% increase in credit and debit card transactions versus 1996 in the month before the holiday.

All of this positive news helped retail stocks and our representative retailer, Borders was up $13/16.

Tidewater (NYSE: TDW) continued its rally up $9/16. In the Lunchtime News we are reminded that "Texas tea" is not the only commodity that can correlate to the fortunes of the drillers. Natural gas is also the target of these offshore rigs and, as it happens, natural gas futures have been on the rise. The outlook for oil drillers and the oil services sector still looks promising to these eyes.

Speaking of continued rallies, Green Tree Financial (NYSE: GNT) moved ahead smartly today, up $1 7/16. We await the quarterly earnings report to get a better feeling for an update on Green Tree's progress. As Greg Markus has pointed out, the significant insider buying in the stock has got to give some solace to weary investors.

There was no news today but Felcor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH) was up $1. I did note that perma-bull Ralph Acampora picked the REIT sector as one to watch in 1998. We are happy with our REIT pick. A near 6% dividend, a strong REIT sector, and a demographic move to increased leisure time gives us reason to believe that we should best the S&P with this stock in the year ahead.

Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO) was up $1 7/16 today. Most air cargo companies were up smartly today on news that UPS plans to increase rates. How about that Dow Jones Transportation Index? -- up 3.2% today.

Finally, Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL) rose $2 1/2 today. No news...

As I've said before, no news is good news for the Bore.


TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid
CGO   +1 7/16  23.50
BGP   +  13/16 31.00
CSL   +2 1/2   42.81
CSCO  +  7/16  56.31
FCH   +1       36.50
GNT   +1 7/16  26.50
PMSI  +  3/8   13.38
TDW   +  9/16  52.56
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +2.96%  -3.69%   8.74%  25.14%
        S&P:     +1.83%   1.62%  31.06%  56.18%
        NASDAQ:  +1.79%  -2.22%  21.22%  50.34%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     31.00   175.40%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     42.81    62.63%
  6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     56.31    56.71%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     13.38    32.84%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     52.56    12.98%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     23.50     1.92%
  11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     36.50    -2.90%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     26.50   -12.79%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  12400.00  $7897.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8562.50  $3297.51
  6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99   8446.88  $3056.89
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   5350.00  $1322.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   5256.25   $603.76
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3525.00    $66.26
  11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   7300.00  -$218.00
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   5300.00  -$777.49

                             CASH   $6427.47
                            TOTAL  $62568.10