With an interest rate cut January 31, 2001, and history saying this is a good time to be in stocks at least in the short term, what has happened a little further out? Spring/summer? What has happened in the past when first quarter earnings come out below reduced estimates? (January 31, 2001)

  The rate cuts start the ball rolling as the thought is that rate cuts will increase the money supply and allow companies to borrow money, invest in new capacity, etc. That starts the markets moving higher. As we have said in previous reports, after that it is up to the economy and how those cuts actually work. The talk is that there are more and worse earnings to come from the first quarter, and that is probably right; if Greenspan is right and we are at zero growth, that will be less than the previous quarter when earnings were falling. The key will be if the other economic indicators are starting to look better, i.e., the numbers are bottoming out and maybe starting to rise. Also, if there are other good things going on such as a tax cut that some are saying can be passed by July 4. If Congress is on board, that will give investors and thus the market confidence moving forward and help keep things rolling. One step at a time. For now we are getting what we need, and we watch the market to show us what it is planning on doing.

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