Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Thursday, May 2, 1996

by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, MI, May 2, 1996 -- Yesterday I made some mildly complaining noises about how tough it's been lately to come up with a zippy lead for each nightly report as the NASDAQ and the Boring Portfolio grind relentlessly upwards, day after day after day.

I can stop complaining now. Stocks sold off big-time today, with the Dow stepping within a point of a triple-digit loss before recovering a bit in the closing minutes, and the NASDAQ ended its string of consecutive record-smashing sessions at ten.

Earlier today the U.S. Commerce Department released a batch of economic stats that portrayed the domestic economy as spinning along merrily: GDP up this past quarter at an annualized rate of 2.8%. Most folks (which is to say, I) would look at that number and say, "Great! Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right."

Most folks are not bond traders, however. To the latter, today's seemingly happy news roused fears of inflation (somewhere, but where?), which caused the bond market to sell off and yields on the long bond to rise past the symbolic seven-percent mark, which in turn (still with me?) moved money out of stocks, presumably to find better risk-adjusted returns in ... well, there aren't any places to find better risk-adjusted returns over the long haul, but never mind that.

If today's "good" news weren't enough, the dreaded monthly employment and wage numbers are due to be reported tomorrow morning, and the bond guys are positively peeing their pants at the prospect that Larry Lunchbox and Claudia Clerical might actually not only have jobs but even a nickel or so extra in their pay envelopes.

Long-term, all of this stuff signifies little if anything; but short-term, it could get a bit bumpy. So we've illuminated the seat-belt sign and ask that you return to your seats at this time and buckle up, just as a precautionary measure.

As for the Borefolio, well, it managed to patch together yet one more winning day, to extend its streak to 19. If you look at the stats for today, they show the Borefolio up 1.24%, or $669.37. Actually, $319.37 of that total consists of dividends and interest that have accumulated since the Borefolio was launched on January 29. Huzzah! The balance of $350 (or +0.65%) represents today's net gain from Borefolio stocks.

Thanks go today to new-found friend, Zytec. As they're probably saying out in Eden Prairie, Minnesota this evening, Zytec did "not too bad" today, bolting another $4 1/4 on volume of 676,000 shares (25% of the "float"!) to close at a bid of $38.50.

Our other big winner today was Lam Research. Boosted by a confident presentation by CEO Roger Emerick at the Hambrecht and Quist gab-fest and Rick Whittington's upgrades of selected chip-related stocks, Lam hopped up $2 7/8 today, paring our LRCX losses to a fraction over 10%. By the way, you simply must read the interview that Randy Befumo (MF Templar) conducted with Whittington earlier today. The transcript of that interview, along with related useful info, is posted in the Stock Research section here in Fooldom.

Given today's jitters over interest rates, some of our interest-rate sensitive stocks suffered some losses. In particular, Green Tree Financial wilted $1 7/8. Not to worry. Almost certainly the day will come when some of our current Borefolio leaders will flag, and our current snoozers will rise up and carry the Borefolio banner forward. At least that's the plan.

Speaking of the Borefolio snoozers, I promised last night that I would provide an update tonight on some of those issues. Suffice it to say that today's news obliged me to postpone that until tomorrow. So do come back then, okay?

Transmitted: 5/2/96 7:45 PM

Today's Numbers

BGP + 3/4 ...GNT + 1/8 ...LRCX - 1/4 ...LCSI + 3/4
...PMSI - 1/4 ...SHAW --- ...TXI - 3/4 ...ZTEC +3  3/4 ...
*Scroll down or expand screen for full portfolio accounting
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +1.65%   1.65%   7.60%   7.60%
        S&P 500  +0.06%   0.06%   5.30%   5.30%
        NASDAQ   +0.77%   0.77%  15.24%  15.24%
    Rec'd  #   Security     In At       Now    Change
   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic    10.07     15.38    52.68%
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro    22.51     32.75    45.49%
  4/29/96 200 Zytec          26.89     34.25    27.37%
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus    54.52     63.25    16.00%
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree     30.39     33.88    11.48%
  4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr    18.84     19.38     2.84%
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr    26.14     26.25     0.42%
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc    48.02     40.00   -16.70%
    Rec'd  #   Security      Cost     Value    Change
   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic  4027.49   6150.00  $2122.51
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro  4502.49   6550.00  $2047.51
  4/29/96 200 Zytec        5377.49   6850.00  $1472.51
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus  5449.99   6325.00   $875.01
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree   6077.49   6775.00   $697.51
  4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr  5652.49   5812.50   $160.01
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr  5227.49   5250.00    $22.51
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc  4802.49   4000.00  -$802.49
                             CASH   $6087.62
                            TOTAL  $53800.12