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TECHNOLOGY: AAPL:  MOTHS TO THE FLAME…

By Rebecca Runkle and Team

“Thus hath the candle singd the moath”  William Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice) 

A sell-side shop upgraded Apple this morning.

Upgrading Apple after it’s doubled in 6 months and is over-bought reminds me of watching moths flutter around a night-time light as a young girl growing up in Colorado.  No one knows for sure why moths do what they do, but there are theories.  My favorite:  these creatures are irresistibly attracted to the bright light (Apple) due to an evolutionary short circuit of sorts (easier to upgrade at $180 than $90).   

Don’t get me wrong, Apple’s a great fundamental story and we are short it not because the franchise is going to hell in a hand-basket tomorrow.  We are short it in the virtual portfolio because it is over-bought, because Keith got his price and because if we did manage money we’d be selling some of our long position up here – not buying more.  Risk management, plain and simple.

Other names we like are MOT and YHOO, but price matters.

See Rebecca Runkle’s portal for more details 

HEALTHCARE: A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON FLU SEASON INVESTING 

By Tom Tobin and Team

H1N1 has boosted the performance of stocks we included in our Influenza screen.  In the last 2 weeks the trajectory of visits to physician offices has broken out to the upside.  When I went to compare the report for the same week last year, the report is not there because there is not typically a flu season in August to comment on.  Flu spreads when the weather gets cool and humidity drops because those conditions boost its survival out of the body and the chance to spread.  There is a raging flu season already in the US, even before the weather turns cool.  Starting from such a high concentration of flu cases means there are more chances for the virus to spread person to person; think exponential. 

What may be another way to look at flu is absenteeism in the workplace.  If flu gets out of hand, temp staffing will be catching a bid and suffering the same absenteeism which could spell pricing and volume.   While there is not complete overlap with nurse staffing (CCRN AHS and ASGN)  there may be some work to be done there on the long side.  Keith likes the quantitative set up telling me at least two of these stocks “look fantastic.”

AMGN, QGEN and UNH are our favorite names in Healthcare.

See Tom Tobin’s portal for more details 

RETAIL – RETAIL FIRST LOOK: SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

By Brian McGough and Team

A conversation with Dick’s Sporting Goods management suggested that Under Armour’s launch of running shoes in their stores was inline with plans and overall DKS was pleased with the product. This is particularly noteworthy because the general perception across the marketplace and the Street is that the launch did not live up to expectations. Clearly there were some disappointments. However, with DKS being one of UA’s largest partners we think the vote of confidence bodes well for future product proliferation.

See Brian McGough portal for the call outs of the day …  

UA continues to be our favorite long-term names…