Fool Portfolio Report
Thursday, April 11, 1996

by Keith "Do you think I'm Spooky?" Pelczarski (MF Czar)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Apr. 11 -- Do not adjust your monitor, there is nothing wrong. You're traveling through another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop....

....The Fool Portfolio Zone....

David and Tom have been abducted by aliens, so I, your trusty general editor, and moonlighting paranormal investigator, will be filling in with this report from the files of unexplained. Let's start with the facts, then move on to the mysteries.

The Fool Portfolio was up 0.66% today, while the S&P 500 sagged 0.32% and the Nasdaq fell 0.76%. Nothing too unusual there -- the Fool Portfolio has been outperforming, nay, whalloping, the market for twenty months, so today isn't much of an anomaly. But there's more to this story than the broad portfolio performance, and the truth is out there. Let's examine today's movers, shakers, and stocks that go bump in the night.

The biggest story out there today is the March retail sales figures. Sears posted good growth across the board, reporting that March sales were 9.7% higher than last March, with same store sales climbing 6.8%. Time to come see the more profitable side of Sears, which was up $ 2 5/8 to $49.

Not to be outdone, Gap Stores announced a gain of 32% in total sales, with a 13% increase in same store sales. Looking at the dossier on The Gap, I see that a strange phenomenon occurred today, one which cut the stock price in half and doubled the number of shares outstanding. Is this a nefarious government plot, or is the international conspiracy of retail clerks masterminding this bizarre activity? Is that stale cigarette smoke hanging in the air, or is the evil Cancer Man still lurking in the shadows?

After some in-depth investigation, our trusty F-File agents have determined that this odd occurrence can be attributed to a rather mundane mechanism known as a "two-for-one stock split." The F-File agents got the lead that broke this investigation from an enigmatic informant named Huibs pht, who seemed agitated by our questioning. Our agents also uncovered a document on the subject in the FAQ file, which can be accessed by the public either through the Fool Index, or the question mark button in the lower-left-hand corner of the main Fool screen. Gap shares were up $11/16 today to close at $27.

America Online shares fell $1 3/8 today to $51 7/8. No apparent cause could be found for the drop, but we suspect it's part of a government plot. The price was most likely manipulated by some unknown financiers at the behest of a powerful group, the MJ12 Committee. This suspicion is furthered by AOL's recent opening of "Parascope", an area devoted to conspiracies and the paranormal. It's clear that MJ12 has something to hide, and will stop at nothing to close AOL down.

The F-File also shows that there are some who question the valuation of semiconductor equipment manufacturers, including Applied Materials and KLA Instruments. It is a diametrically charged issue, with experts on either side of the fence. The naysayers won today, driving AMAT down $1 1/4 to $35 5/8, and KLAC down $1/2 to $24 7/8. Consider this bit of evidence, discovered on the Dow Jones newswire:

"Current equipment stock prices indicate negative growth in 1997, [Elliott] Rogers said. 'But if they're wrong and earnings estimates are even in the ballpark, then (these issues are) screaming buys.' "

This evidence caused even The Lone FoolMen, the most paranoid Fools in Fooldom, to emerge from hiding to comment that the truth is out there and they will uncover it.

In this day rife with mystery, perhaps the most enigmatic stock move of all was Iomega's $1 1/2 gain to $31 7/8. F-File agents have so far turned up nothing, but we have calls in to the Flat Earth Society and Dorfberg/Greenman Institute for Unfounded Pessimism for possible explanations.

Medicis, the company that brings you the remarkable wonder-compound acne vanishing cream was down $1/2 to $26 1/4. There was no news that we could see, but we suspect that they spilled some Triaz on the business section today, and it magically made fifty cents of every share disappear -- spooky.

General Electric was down $1 to $75 5/8 today. We haven't confirmed this, but it's our suspicion that the ghost of Thomas A. Edison has been making the rounds at GE, disrupting production. We've contracted the Ghostbusters to investigate on behalf of Fools everywhere.

Chevron was unchanged today at $55 3/4. Apparently the word hasn't hit the street that they've struck a deal with an Alpha Centauri concern to construct the first inter-galactic pipeline. Hey, stranger things have happened, like all the fuss over the producer price index today.

Deny everything, and trust no one.

Transmitted: 4/11/96

Today's Numbers

AMER -1 3/8 ...AMAT -1 1/4 ...CHV ---...GE -1...GPS + 11/16 ...IOMG +1 1/2 ...KLAC - 1/2 ...MDRX - 1/2 ...S +2 5/8 ... Day Month Year History FOOL +0.66% 3.31% 31.30% 145.17% S&P 500 -0.32% -2.22% 2.48% 37.69% NASDAQ -0.74% -0.38% 4.28% 52.34% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 51.88 613.27% 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5.04 31.88 532.70% 8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 49.00 69.40% 4/20/95 310 The Gap 16.28 27.00 65.90% 8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 75.63 30.58% 8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 55.75 13.78% 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 27.86 26.25 -5.78% 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 57.52 35.63 -38.07% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 24.88 -44.37% Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 35275.00 $30329.44 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 5752.49 3562.50 -$2189.99 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5063.13 32034.38 $26971.25 4/20/95 310 The Gap 5045.25 8370.00 $3324.75 8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 8085.00 $3312.35 8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 7184.38 $1682.51 8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 6132.50 $742.51 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 6964.99 6562.50 -$402.49 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3233.75 -$2578.74 CASH $12147.13 TOTAL $122587.13