Three Sectors Bucking The Trend

The
markets are in negative territory midday
, after a higher open on the
heels of better-than-expected employment data turned into a selling fest.
Despite the strongest job growth since November of 2000, continued uncertainty
of what now appears to be inevitable war dominates the news. President Bush has
raised the Terror Threat Level to “high” from “elevated.” Showing relative 
strength against a weak market, healthcare, biotech, and retail are positive.

The Dow Jones Industrial
Average

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$INDU.X |
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is 0.59% at 7,882.47. The S&P 500
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$SPX.X |
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is -0.65% at 832.74. The Nasdaq
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$COMPQ |
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is -0.86% at 1,290.56.

Sectors in the green are
healthcare
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$HMO.X |
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, +1.69%,

biotechnology

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$BTK.X |
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, +1.40%, and retail
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$RLX.X |
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,
+0.12%.

Downside leaders are
Internet

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$INX.X |
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, , -2.42%, computer hardware
(
$GHA.X |
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,
-2.18%, airlines
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$XAL.X |
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, -2.16%, and utilities 
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$UTIL.X |
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, -1.52%.

In economic news, nofarm payrolls came in
at 143K vs. expectations of 69K, the unemployment rate was 5.7%
vs. an expected 6.0%, hourly earnings were at 0.0% vs. an expected 0.3%,
the average workweek came in at an expected 34.2, wholesale
inventories
rose 0.8% vs. an expected 0.2%. 

The 10-year U.S. Note
is -0.25 at 114 085.

The Dollar is +0.21 at
99.90.

Gold is +0.70 at 370.80.

Crude Oil  +0.48 at
39.00.

Volume is at 622,160,000
on the NYSE, and at 657,012,000 on the Nasdaq.

Market breadth is negative,
with NYSE declining issues over advancing issues by a ratio of 1.73, and down
volume over up volume by a 2.21 ratio. Nasdaq declining issues over advancing
issues are at 1.55, and down volume is over up volume by a 2.27 ratio.

Biggest Dow losers are:

AT&T
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T |
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, -3.20% at 17.25, Hewlett Packard
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HPQ |
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, -3.11% at 16.50, Walt Disney
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DIS |
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, -2.12% t 16.64,
Merck

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MRK |
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, -2.26% at 53.18, JP Morgan
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, -1.48% at
21.98, Procter & Gamble
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PG |
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, -1.40% at 83.66, and General Electric

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GE |
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, -1.40% at 22.57.

Stocks In The News:

Healthcare facilities company HealthSouth
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HRC |
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, -3.85% at 3.50, announced it has received a subpoena from the U.S.
Attorney’s office for an investigation into the company’s stock.

Computer services company First Data
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,
-0.95% at 33.44, is the focus of negative comments in a Wall Street Journal
article that brings to question the stock’s ability to rise.

Insurance company Cigna
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CI |
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, +11.17%
at 43.60, has beaten its fourth-quarter earnings estimates by $0.07 with profits
of $1.27 per share. The company has also raised its earnings guidance.

Cruise line company Carnival Corp.
(
CCL |
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,
-0.13% at 23.15, has had its 2003-04 estimates cut by Bank of America
with a new price target of $23.

The Wall Street Journal
is reporting that drug maker Johnson & Johnson
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, -1.19% t 51.50,
is in talks to buy biopharmaceutical company Scios
(
SCIO |
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, +17.70%
at 40.83, for $2 billion, or $45 per share.

Digital animation company
Pixar

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PIXR |
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, -6.79% at 50.73, is down in the pre-market after
announcing uncertainty in its deal with Walt Disney
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DIS |
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, -2.12% at
16.64, and that first-quarter earnings are likely to be $0.07-$0.10 per share
vs. a consensus of $0.18.

Computer services company
Overture Services

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OVER |
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, -6.17% at 20.99, posted fourth-quarter
earnings $0.01 ahead of estimates with profits of $0.24 per share, though has
guided down for the first-quarter.

Computer services company
Electronic Data Systems

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EDS |
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, +4.01% at 16.34, has lowered its 2003
earnings guidance to $1.80-$2.00 per share vs. previous expectations of $2.03
per share. CSFB has also reduced its estimates on the company.

Biotech firm Applied
Biosystems

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ABI |
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, +1.78% at 16.60, has been upgraded by UBS Warburg to
“buy” from “neutral.”

danielb@tradingmarkets.com