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Daily Newsletter, Tuesday, 03/16/2004

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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                  Tuesday 03-16-2004
                                                    section 1 of 2
Copyright (c) 2004, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment
=================================================================

In section one:

Market Wrap:      Jobs Lagged
Watch List:       SEBL, PMCS, PLCM, SYMC
Market Sentiment: Turning Defensive

=================================================================
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
=================================================================
      03-16-2004           High     Low     Volume   Adv/Dcl
DJIA    10184.67 + 81.80 10221.11 10103.41 1.87 bln 1882/1334
NASDAQ   1943.10 +  3.90  1961.99  1927.69 1.96 bln 1438/1694
S&P 100   545.56 +  3.30   547.14   541.20   Totals 3320/3028
S&P 500  1110.70 +  6.21  1113.82  1102.61
W5000   10844.34 + 45.70 10891.48 10771.38
SOX       477.04 +  5.30   480.45   470.01
RUS 2000  566.64 -  0.31   573.85   562.67
DJ TRANS 2788.35 -  2.10  2815.66  2771.04
VIX        20.34 -  0.79    20.94    19.86
VXO (VIX-O)20.71 -  0.67    21.34    20.20
VXN        27.34 +  0.21    27.66    26.66
Total Volume 4,175M
Total UpVol  2,605M
Total DnVol  1.473M
Total Adv  3742
Total Dcl  3465
52wk Highs  159
52wk Lows    55
TRIN       1.08
NAZTRIN    0.63
PUT/CALL   1.06
=================================================================

===========
Market Wrap
===========

Jobs Lagged

The Fed met and caught up on all the pertinent family news,
enjoyed a leisurely lunch, talked a little economics then
threw the markets into a turmoil with a carefully worded
announcement. How do you get a job like that?

Dow Chart - Daily


Nasdaq Chart - Daily



The morning started off a little rocky with the second drop
in a row for New Housing Starts. The drop surprised everyone
when a gain was expected. The headline number at 1,855M was
the lowest level since last August. January was revised up
slightly but not enough to offset the -4% drop in February.
The decline was broad based and across all product types.
Permits also slowed which suggests there will be even fewer
starts in March. Analysts are still claiming that winter
storms have been particularly numerous although not very
severe. If this is running the construction teams behind it
could mean we are going to see prices soar in the spring due
to lack of inventory. The continued low interest rates now
dropping even lower should offset any weakness from the
lack of new jobs. I feel we are just passing time until the
spring weather and buying season arrives and the explosion
will begin.

The Manpower Survey for Q2 was also announced and the results
were very strong. According to the survey 28% of employers
plan to hire in the 2Q compared to 20% in the first quarter.
Only 6% plan on cutting jobs in Q2 compared to 13% in Q1. If
these projections hold true it means there is a significant
jump in hiring in our near future. To put this in perspective
the net number, percentage planning increases minus the
percentage planning cuts was 22% for the 2Q. This was up
from only 7% in Q1 and an average of 11% all the way back
to 2003-Q1. This is double the quarterly number for the
last five quarters and triple the Q1-2004 number. This is
very bullish in my opinion. We still have to see these
projections turn into real job growth but the fuse has been
lit. Historically a net number over 20 has coincided with
net job growth of 200,000+ per month.

The big news of the day was of course the Fed meeting and
the resulting market impact. The Fed left rates unchanged
as everyone expected and they left the announcement ALMOST
unchanged from January. The keyword there is almost. The
jobs statement changed from "Although new hiring remains
subdued, other indicators suggest an improvement in the
labor market" to "Although job losses have slowed, new
hiring has lagged." The change from "improvement" to "new
hiring has lagged" sent the bond market through the roof.
The acknowledgment by the Fed that jobs are slipping should
mean the Fed is on hold for a considerable period instead
of raising rates any time this year as some have feared.
The ten-year yield fell to the lows for the month and
closed at 3.68%.

They also changed the economic growth statement from "the
evidence confirms that output is expanding briskly" to
"indicates that output is continuing to expand at a solid
pace". Note the subtle difference with "confirm" and "briskly"
to "indicates" and "solid pace". This suggests that the
confirmation has failed and the Fed has briskly moved away
from any affirmation of strengthening growth. Solid pace
sounds like a mall walker with a cane where briskly is a
vision of an outdoor power walker being towed by a dog on
a leash.

The Fed also refused to discount deflation as a threat and
would only say that the risks of inflation/deflation were
"almost equal" with deflation still getting the nod. Also
failing to stimulate any positive market response was the
risks to upside/downside sustainable growth remain "roughly
equal." Roughly equal? Sounds like the odds of sustainable
growth or returning recession are a coin toss. What was
expected to be a lackluster repeat of the prior position
could be interpreted as a caution that things are not as
positive as they seem. The bond market definitely took it
that way and so did some equity traders.

The Dow made three trips between 10100-10200. The opening
spike bled points until the Fed announcement and then dove
to the 10100 level on the weak interpretation. Buyers who
felt the Fed statement meant they were on the sideline for
the rest of the year bought the dip and the Dow rebounded
to hit 10200 before the close. The Dow finished up +81
points but the Nasdaq only managed +3. Tech stocks remain
under pressure despite the morning bounce and they barely
returned to positive territory before time expired.

The challenge appears to be the small caps with the Russell
closing negative for the day. Even the SOX closed in positive
territory. The Russell broke support today and failed to
recover despite an end of day bounce. The afternoon drop
took it within one point of the 100dma but the rebound was
lacking. This could be a prime example of a shift in the
market sentiment. We know techs are being sold despite the
guarantee of low rates because business is not booming.
It also suggests there is rotation underway from small caps
into blue chips. This is the most troubling symptom for me.
It could mean institutions are expecting trouble ahead and
they want to be in the highly liquid issues where they can
still be in the market but exit quickly if they must. The
Russell weakness really began last Wednesday when the first
Al Qaeda link to the bombings in Spain was reported.

The best analogy I can draw would be in ice fishing. The
best fishing is sometimes far from shore in the deeper
water and somewhat thinner ice. In the spring the more
aggressive fishermen may ignore the potential for thinning
ice in hopes of a bigger return. One day while they are
fishing they start to hear the ice groaning and creaking.
After discussing it they decide they are probably safe until
the April temperatures really start to thaw the ice quickly.
Suddenly there is a loud crack and the ice shakes. They
realize the threat was closer and more dangerous than they
thought. No longer are they concerned about catching the
last of the big fish for the season but in getting off the
ice before it breaks under them. Apply this analogy to
mutual funds, tech stocks, April earnings, bombings in
Spain and the realization that Al Qaeda may have found
a way to shatter the ice faster with terror events before
key world elections. Get me the heck out of here and back
to the safety of liquidity, quick. Fortunately we are not
seeing any race to the exits and this is just an analogy
but the March winds may not be bringing just April showers.

Schwab reported today that trading volume in February fell
-21% from January levels. They also said March was on track
to post the same meager levels as February. That analysis
bears out if we look at the volume over the last couple
weeks. The only heavy volume we have had was on down days.
The few bounces have been on relativity light volume showing
a lack of interest by buyers. Mutual funds reported negative
cash flows for last week. That was the first time since last
July that funds failed to see gains. With the rising levels
of uncertainty the "sell in May and go away" crowd may not
be waiting until May.

I know this potential analysis may seem very negative and
I definitely do not want to give that opinion. Markets tend
to do exactly the opposite of what they are indicating on
the surface and especially when they can embarrass the most
people. I would love to see the rebound we saw today blossom
into a raging bull again but we need to see some proof before
we can claim it.

There were several critical levels hit today that could be
seen as support for a new rally. I have been pointing you to
the SPX uptrend support and 100dma at 1100. We came within
two points of hitting that level today and saw a strong
rebound. This is the closest and strongest support the bulls
can claim as their bottom. The Wilshire is fighting to hold
the 10800 level which is also the uptrend support. The SOX
has held above strong support at 475 for the last five days
despite the major market drops. This is very bullish if it
can continue to hold this level. The NDX has spent three of
the last four days fighting to hold 1400 and median support
from the fourth quarter. This is a key level for the NDX
with the 200dma at 1375. This is a very strong support range
for all of these indexes.

SPX Chart - Daily


Wilshire-5000 Chart - Daily


SOX Chart - Daily


NDX Chart - Daily




The Dow ventured as low as 10103 today and while that is
not a real support level it has held for the last two days.
The next support level is Dow 10000 and while it is more of
a large psychological target than a support level I expect
the market makers and funds to try and hold it. A drop back
below 10000 would send such a negative message to the market
that funds would hemorrhage cash. When they have cash
outflows they have to sell stock and it produces a self
perpetuating cycle. They should try to hold that level at
all costs. This also equates to Nasdaq 1900 although it is
less visible. The 1900 level is strong support on the Nasdaq
and a level that could be tested at any time. We are only
one down day away from 10000/1900.

One potentially bullish sentiment indicator is the number
of oversold stocks on the Nasdaq. In March of 2003 and at
the lows for the year there were only 22 Nasdaq stocks
over their 100dma. As of today there were only 31. We are
very close to what many would call bargain hunting levels
that were worth the risk.

The rest of the week could be incredibly exciting or very
boring. This is a quadruple expiration week and there could
be some heavy position adjusting over the next three days.
If however we saw that adjusting over the last week as
evidenced by the last four days of 100 point swings in the
Dow then we could just expire in the current range. Index
option volume is running nearly twice the normal average
and it suggests traders are either betting on a change or
protecting existing positions.

The points where the most index options will expire
worthless is generally slightly higher than our present
level and suggests we could see a slightly higher bias
as the market makers try to steer the prices to those
levels. These are the levels most favorable to the
market makers.

SPX 1125 NDX 1450 DJX 104 OEX 550 RUT 580 SOX 500 QQQ 36

I am not going to try and suggest what will happen for
the rest of this week because the number of internal
and external factors are enormous. There is no way to
quantify them all into some sort of comprehensive view.
Quite a few analysts think this is a terrific buying
opportunity, others are suggesting selling the rallies.
Earnings are still growing as evidenced by the MMM news
yesterday and a couple of the home builders today. We
are far from down and out but the market discounting
mechanism is in full swing and compressing PE ratios
left and right. Volume today as in Friday's rally was
light. New 52-week highs at 160 were at their low for
the year and at levels not seen since August-7th. The
VXO has traded in the 21 range for the last three days
and at levels not seen since October. Make no mistake
there is risk in the market for both the bulls and the
bears. Play in the traffic if you must but be sure to
look both ways before stepping off the curb.

Enter Passively, Exit Aggressively.

Jim Brown
Editor


==================================================================
WATCH LIST
==================================================================

The PremierInvestor.net watch list is not designed to be read
as full fledged stock picks.  Rather we would prefer to offer
it as an extra tool in today's investor toolbox.  Think of it
as a radar screen with your own radar operator pointing out
interesting developments, technical patterns or potential plays
that you may or may not have seen on your own.  Due to time
constraints we do glance at the news but rarely do we have
time to fully read pertinent news stories, due background
research and other necessary screens that investors should do
before making a decision.  A common exercise is to read the
entry, glance at the sector and other stocks in that industry
and then compare what's happening in the stock to what's
happening in the broader market indices.  We hope you enjoy
the Watch List and that it proves to be a useful tool for your
own trading success.

STOCKS WORTH WATCHING
---------------------------------

Siebel Systems, Inc. - SEBL - close: 10.91 change: -0.39

WHAT TO WATCH: Last week's break of the 200-dma looked like a
significant breakdown for shares of SEBL and with that breakdown
continuing today, that view is confirmed.  SEBL lost near 3.5% to
close at its worst level since early October and selling volume
is on the rise.  Entries look favorable on a break below today's
low or on a failed bounce below $11.30.  Look for a continued
drop to the $9.50 area for a test of support at broken
resistance.




---

PMC-Sierra Inc. - PMCS - close: 17.51 change: -0.01

WHAT TO WATCH: Last week was not pretty for PMCS investors, as
the stock cratered under key support near $17.50.  With a bit of
a rebound from last Thursday's lows, the bulls have gotten a bit
of a reprieve, but it looks like nothing more than consolidation
before the next leg down.  Use a trigger under the 200-dma
($16.64) and look for a drop to next strong support near $14.




---

Polycom Inc. - PLCM - close: 19.10 change: +0.42

WHAT TO WATCH: Fulfilling our downside expectations, PLCM
actually broke below $19 and tapped the 200-dma on Monday before
a slight rebound today, resulting in the stock painting an inside
day.  With the selling pressure still on, the stock appears
vulnerable to a break below the 200-dma, which should extend all
the way down to strong support near $16.50-17.00.  Use a trigger
under $18.40.




---

Symantec Corp. - SYMC - close: 43.01 change: -0.58

WHAT TO WATCH: Holding up far better than the rest of the market,
shares of SYMC appear to be consolidating in preparation for
another attempt at a breakout over the $45 level.  Once over that
level, look for a resumption of the rally that began in December
to propel the stock towards the $50 level.  Use a trigger over
$45.





===================
On the RADAR Screen
===================

INTC $27.16 - Last week's breakdown under the 200-dma was a major
blow to the Chip bulls and since then the stock has been trying
to build support near $27.  The stock is overdue for a near-term
rebound, but it will then find formidable resistance at the 200-
dma.  Use a failed rebound in the $28.50-29.00 area to establish
bearish positions, looking for a decline down to support at $25.

TRMS $16.04 - It seems nothing can stop the persistent weakness
in shares of TRMS and the breakdown in the BTK index certainly
isn't helping.  The stock broke below the bottom of its 10-week
trading range today on strong volume and it looks like the next
stopping point will be the 1999 lows in the $11-12 area.  Entries
look favorable either on a failed bounce below $17 or on a break
below today's $15.68 intraday low.

OTEX $27.79 - Monday's drop in shares of OTEX looked bad for the
bulls, and the picture didn't get any better on Tuesday with the
stock falling to test the 50-dma.  If that average fails to hold
as support, OTEX looks vulnerable down to the $24 support level,
near the top of the early January gap.  Use a trigger under
today's $27.30 low.


===============================
Market Sentiment
===============================

Turning Defensive
- J. Brown

Alas another FOMC meeting has come and gone and interest rates
have remained unchanged as expected.  Any day the FOMC is due to
announce a decision tends to produce volatility and this one
seemed even more prone to swings given the quadruple-witching
options and futures expiration this Friday.  Overall the tone of
the session seemed defensive.  Yes, the markets bounced but they
didn't bounce very high and they failed to close or even trade
above yesterday's highs.

The good news has been the string of upside preannouncements.
Dow component MMM guided higher last night following GE's on
Monday morning.  These are just two off the top of my head.
There were more last week.  If this trend continues it might
inspire some courage ahead of the April earnings season.  If not
well we're doomed to more sideways to down trading as the second
half of March tends to be more bearish than the first - at least
according to the Stock Traders Almanac.

Keep an eye on the SOX.  The Semiconductor index pulled back to
support at the 470 level earlier today and bounced.  While this
is encouraging I don't think the trend has changed yet for the
chips and the SOX is likely to hit its 200-dma a few points lower
before really turning higher again.  Also keep an eye on the
homebuilders.  I know we're constantly being bombarded with are
they or aren't they overbought questions.  It's hard to argue
that the group hasn't performed very well over the last several
days.  KB Homes (KBH) announced earnings after the close tonight
and beat by 16 cents with profits jumping 40%.  This could
reignite the group again tomorrow.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Market Averages

DJIA ($INDU)

52-week High: 10753
52-week Low :  7779
Current     : 10184

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 10371
 50-dma: 10536
200-dma:  9774


S&P 500 ($SPX)

52-week High: 1163
52-week Low :  827
Current     : 1110

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1131
 50-dma: 1137
200-dma: 1051


Nasdaq-100 ($NDX)

52-week High: 1559
52-week Low : 1014
Current     : 1407

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1435
 50-dma: 1490
200-dma: 1374


-----------------------------------------------------------------

It was a volatile day but in the end the volatility indices only
churned sideways.  Given their current position we can surmise
that the selling may not be over yet.

CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) = 20.34 -0.79
CBOE Mkt Volatility old VIX  (VXO) = 20.71 -0.67
Nasdaq Volatility Index (VXN)      = 27.34 +0.21

-----------------------------------------------------------------

          Put/Call Ratio  Call Volume   Put Volume

Total          1.06        784,976       830,306
Equity Only    0.93        543,232       504,419
OEX            1.07         47,943        51,150
QQQ            1.90         33,392        63,494


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Bullish Percent Data

           Current   Change   Status
NYSE          72.1    - 1     Bull Confirmed
NASDAQ-100    43.0    + 0     Bear Confirmed
Dow Indust.   80.0    + 0     Bull Correction
S&P 500       76.8    - 3     Bull Correction
S&P 100       84.0    + 0     Bull Confirmed


Bullish percent measures the number of stocks in an index
currently trading on a buy signal on their point and figure
chart.  Readings above 70 are considered overbought, and readings
below 30 are considered oversold.

Bull Confirmed  - Aggressively long
Bull Alert      - Cautiously long
Bull Correction - Pause or pullback in upward trend
Bear Alert      - Take defensive action if long
Bear Confirmed  - High risk if long, good conditions for shorting
Bear Correction - Pause or rebound in downtrend


-----------------------------------------------------------------

 5-dma: 1.75
10-dma: 1.64
21-dma: 1.35
55-dma: 1.12


Extreme readings above 1.5 are bullish, and readings below .85
are bearish.  These signals don't occur often and tend be early,
but when they do, they can signal significant market turning
points.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Market Internals

            -NYSE-   -NASDAQ-
Advancers    1654      1440
Decliners    1158      1575

New Highs      63        40
New Lows       13        19

Up Volume   1178M     1144M
Down Vol.    618M      771M

Total Vol.  1833M     1960M
M = millions


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Commitments Of Traders Report: 03/09/04

Weekly COT report discloses positions held by small specs
and commercial traders of index futures contracts at the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. COT data
can be found at www.cftc.gov.

Small specs are the general trading public with commercials being
financial institutions. Commercials are historically on the
correct side of future trend changes while small specs tend
to be wrong.

S&P 500

Commercial traders are committing new money to both long
and short positions but they are turning more and more
bearish in the large S&P contracts.  Small traders are
holding relatively steady.


Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % Of OI
02/17/04      416,148   415,278       870     0.0%
02/24/04      417,490   416,502       988     0.0%
03/02/04      411,932   418,936    (7,004)   (0.1%)
03/09/04      418,394   433,237   (14,843)   (1.7%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (111,956) -  3/06/02
Most bullish reading of the year:   23,977  - 12/09/03

Small Traders Long      Short      Net     % of OI
02/17/04      141,533    84,227    57,306    25.3%
02/24/04      141,559    85,171    56,388    24.9%
03/02/04      148,383    84,135    64,248    27.6%
03/09/04      155,947    88,317    67,630    27.7%

Most bearish reading of the year:  (1,657)- 5/27/03
Most bullish reading of the year: 114,510 - 3/26/02


E-MINI S&P 500

Wow!  We really saw some money come into the e-mini's
this week.  Commercial traders added nearly 90K new long
contracts and more than 90K new short contracts.  They
remain net bearish on the S&P.  Small traders also added
more to their positions but remain net bullish.


Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % Of OI
02/17/04      296,313   371,703    (75,390)  (11.3%)
02/24/04      320,425   387,255    (66,830)  ( 9.4%)
03/02/04      344,805   395,112    (50,307)  ( 6.8%)
03/09/04      431,623   485,268    (53,645)  ( 5.9%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (354,835)  - 06/17/03
Most bullish reading of the year:  133,299   - 09/02/03

Small Traders Long      Short      Net     % of OI
02/17/04     144,014     64,391    79,623    38.2%
02/24/04     129,894     63,524    66,370    34.3%
03/02/04     119,382     67,453    51,929    27.8%
03/09/04     135,233     76,558    58,675    27.7%

Most bearish reading of the year: (77,385)  - 09/02/03
Most bullish reading of the year: 449,310   - 06/10/03


NASDAQ-100

Commercial traders have slowly been turning more and more
bullish on the NASDAQ 100 over the last few weeks.  As of
March 9th, they hit new extremes surpassing they're last
bullish peak dating back to June 11th, 2002.  Unfortunately,
this reading is before the steep Wednesday-Thursday sell-off
this week and before the Thursday morning terror attack in
Spain.  We'll have to wait until next week to see how
commercial traders, or "smart money", reacts to the last
few sessions.  Small traders have also turned more bullish
but they're not hitting extreme readings.


Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % of OI
02/17/04       46,104     40,385     5,719    6.6%
02/24/04       47,266     40,452     6,814    7.8%
03/02/04       49,959     41,059     8,900    9.8%
03/09/04       57,368     46,082    11,286   10.9%

Most bearish reading of the year: (21,858)  - 08/26/03
Most bullish reading of the year:  11,286   - 03/12/04

Small Traders  Long     Short      Net     % of OI
02/17/04        9,630    12,338    (2,708)  (12.3%)
02/24/04       12,388     7,310     5,078    25.8%
03/02/04       11,605     7,128     4,477    23.9%
03/09/04       15,533     8,070     7,463    31.6%

Most bearish reading of the year: (10,769) - 06/11/02
Most bullish reading of the year:  19,088  - 01/21/02

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL

Commercial traders or institutions have been slowly growing
more and more bullish on the Dow over the last few weeks.
Again, this latest data is before the Wednesday-Thursday
sell-off and the Thursday terror event but it is encouraging.
In contrast small traders have turned more bearish and actually
hit a new extreme in their bearishness, surpassing last
December's readings.  This is a contrarian bullish indicator
since small traders tend to be wrong.  Yet I would hesitate
to draw too many conclusions until we see next week's data
and investor reaction to the terrorist attacks.


Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % of OI
02/17/04       24,451    12,907   11,544      30.9%
02/24/04       27,176    13,918   13,258      32.3%
03/02/04       27,594    14,166   13,428      32.2%
03/09/04       26,867    12,845   14,022      35.3%

Most bearish reading of the year: (8,322) -  1/16/01
Most bullish reading of the year: 15,135  - 10/16/01

Small Traders  Long      Short     Net     % of OI
02/17/04        6,768    15,623   (8,855)   (39.5%)
02/24/04        6,509    14,919   (8,410)   (39.2%)
03/02/04        6,898    15,874   (8,976)   (39.4%)
03/09/04        7,053    19,159  (12,106)   (46.2%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (12,106) -  3/09/04
Most bullish reading of the year:   8,523  -  8/26/03

-----------------------------------------------------------------


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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                  Tuesday 03-16-2004
                                                    section 2 of 2
Copyright (c) 2004, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment
=================================================================

Stop Adjustments: VRTS
Stock Splits:     AVD, CFC, MSFG

Trading Ideas
  Value Plays With Bullish Signals
  Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20)
  Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20)
  Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20)
  Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20)


=================================================================
Stop Loss Adjustments
=================================================================

VRTS - short
Adjust from $32.50 down to $30.05


=================================================================
Stock Splits
=================================================================

Announcements
-------------

AVD declares a 3-for-2 stock split

Tuesday afternoon American Vanguard Corp. (AMEX:AVD) announced
that its Board of Directors had approved a 3-for-2 stock split and
a 12 cent cash dividend.

The cash dividend and the stock split is payable (distributed) on
April 16th, 2004 to shareholders on record as of March 26th.  The
cash dividend will be paid on a pre-split basis.  Fractional
shares from the 3:2 split will be paid in cash.


About the company:
American Vanguard Corporation is a diversified specialty and
agricultural products company that develops and markets products
for crop protection and management, turf and ornamentals
management and public and animal health. The Company's basic
strategy is to acquire brand name, niche product lines from larger
companies that divest mature products to focus on newly discovered
molecules. During 2003, American Vanguard was recognized as one of
BusinessWeek's Hot Growth Companies (#94), Fortune Small Business'
America's 100 Fastest Growing Small Companies (#35) and Forbes'
Hot Shots: 200 Up and Coming Companies (#23). (source: company
press release)

---

CFC announces a 3-for-2 stock split

This morning before the opening bell Countrywide Financial Corp
(NYSE: CFC) announced that its Board of Directors had approved a
3-for-2 stock split in the form of a stock dividend.

The dividend is payable on April 12th, 2004 to shareholders on
record as of March 26th.  According to CFC's press release this is
their second split announcement in six months.    Post-split CFC
will have close to 279 million shares outstanding.

About the company:
Founded in 1969, Countrywide Financial Corporation is a member of
the S&P 500, Forbes 500 and Fortune 500. Through its family of
companies, Countrywide provides mortgage banking and diversified
financial services in domestic and international markets. Mortgage
banking businesses include loan production and servicing
principally through Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., which
originates, purchases, securitizes, sells, and services primarily
prime-quality loans. Also included in Countrywide's mortgage
banking segment is the LandSafe group of companies which provide
loan closing services. Diversified financial services encompass
capital markets, banking, insurance, and global, largely through
the activities of Countrywide Capital Markets, a mortgage-related
investment banker; Countrywide Bank, a division of Treasury Bank,
N.A., a bank offering customers CDs, money market accounts, and
home loan products; Balboa Life and Casualty Group, whose
companies are national providers of property, liability, and life
insurance; Balboa Reinsurance, a captive mortgage reinsurance
company; and Global Home Loans, a UK mortgage banking joint
venture in which Countrywide holds a majority interest.
(source: company press release)

---

MSFG declares a 3-for-2 stock split

Tuesday afternoon MainSource Financial Group (NASDAQ:MSFG)
announced that its Board of Directors had approved a 3-for-2 stock
split of its common shares.

The split will be payable (distributed) on April 16th, 2004 to
shareholders on record as of March 31st.  According to MSFG's
press release this is in addition to its 5% stock dividend that
was paid on January 9th, 2004.

Post-split MSFG will have 10.6 million shares outstanding and
fractional shares resulting from the 3:2 split will be paid in
cash.

About the company:
MainSource Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in Greensburg,
Indiana, is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (trading symbol:
MSFG). MainSource Financial Group is a community-focused, multi-
bank, financial services oriented holding company with assets of
approximately $1.4 billion. Through its four banking subsidiaries,
First Community Bank and Trust, Bargersville, Indiana; MainSource
Bank, Greensburg, Indiana; Regional Bank, New Albany, Indiana; and
Capstone Bank, Watseka, Illinois, it operates 51 offices in 21
Indiana counties and seven offices in three Illinois counties.
Through its insurance subsidiary, MainSource Insurance, it
operates five offices in Indiana as well as one in Owensboro,
Kentucky. (source: company press release)


==================
  Trading Ideas
==================

This section contains stocks that meet criteria which may make
them of interest to long and short side traders.  These are not
recommendations, nor have they been reviewed by PremierInvestor
editors for investment potential.  However, each of them has
technical and fundamental characteristics that make them worthy
of further review by traders and investors looking for fresh ideas.
New stocks will appear daily following the market close.

Value Plays With Bullish Signals
---------------------------------
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change

BAC     Bank of America            80.16     +0.77
C       Citigroup                  49.96     +0.84
WM      Washington Mutual          43.71     +0.57
CD      Cendant Corp               23.30     +0.54
GCI     Gannett Co Inc             86.07     +0.77
OXY     Occidental Petro           45.62     +0.67

---------------------------------------
Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20)
---------------------------------------

MGM     Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc    18.18     +1.98
PLMO    Palmone Inc                14.70     +1.63
JLG     JLG Industries Inc         13.65     +1.55
JILL    J.Jill Group Inc           18.67     +2.31

---------------------------------------
Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20)
---------------------------------------

TK      Teekay Shipping            67.46     +2.98
TTWO    Take-Two Interactive       34.14     +2.14
AGI     Alliance Gaming Corp       31.02     +1.65
ISLE    Isle of Capris Casinos     26.37     +3.19
LWAY    Lifeway Foods Inc          20.37     +1.72

-------------------------------------------
Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20)
-------------------------------------------

GDT     Guidant Corp               64.39     -2.33
VRTS    Veritas Software           27.29     -1.85
RCL     Royal Caribbean            39.02     -1.44
USM     U.S.Cellular Corp          39.60     -1.15
EXBD    Corporate Exec Board       45.10     -1.65
PFCB    P.F.Chang's China Bistro   48.11     -2.42
NDC     NDCHealth Corp             26.74     -1.16
MSTR    MicroStrategy              52.73     -4.94
ANSI    Advanced Neuromo Sys       38.73     -1.81

-----------------------------------------
Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20)
-------------------------------------------

CME     Chicago Mercantile Exchange 91.45     -2.05
URS     URS Corp                    28.65     -1.79
WCI     WCI Communities             23.29     -0.60


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