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Sage Host: Please welcome Mark Urban, Executive Vice President of Equity Research with

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Mark Urban: Happy to be aboard. We've had an extremely volatile last two months. I think the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its rate hikes, and we're gearing up for a more than active summer than we normally see. 

The Chat 

Question: Do you think that last week's move on the Nasdaq Composite Index [$COMPX] was a sucker's rally or the start of a summer rally?

 Mark Urban: I do not think it was a sucker's rally. I think there was a lot of professional money on the side waiting to come in. I think that is clear for the lack of a selloff today. We had a fairly substantial gain last week and there were a lot of value companies, especially on the Nasdaq, that were cheap. I think we will have a fairly active summer rally.

Question: Technically speaking, once a stock breaks into new high territory, when are the sell signals given? 

Mark Urban: We would like to find continued buying above normal levels, which is what we'll see initially to get into that breakout. We'd like to see that continue and we continue to check the book size, meaning the bid and offer, each day on that stock. Finding an actual sell price is very much on an individual basis for each stock. 

Question: What are your comments on Dell Computer Corporation [DELL] for the next six to 12 months?

Mark Urban:  I bought at $55. Dell is certainly a quality company, a leader in its group. I think Michael Dell, the CEO, has some more things on the horizon which will make stockholders happy. If you own at $55, I wouldn't be overly concerned about it. You're off about 10 points right now. Your six to 12 month outlook is good. I'd lean towards a target somewhere north of $75. 

Question: Are financial stocks a good buy at this time and, if so, which are your favorites? 

Mark Urban: I do think the financials are good. Obviously, some of them have taken a substantial run up over the last 30 to 60 days. My favorites among that group are Citigroup Inc. [C] and The Chase Manhattan Corporation [CMB], and I do like them for the long-term. 

Question: With rising interest rates (higher borrowing costs and lower earnings, in many cases) crude oil is back to close to $30 a barrel and many stocks, including many "old economy" issues with very high price-to-earnings ratio's, why invest now?

Mark Urban:  Any time of year you could find a reason to invest and a reason not to invest. I think you have to look at each sector, find out what sector is really working and within that sector what stock is really working. Interest rates, high oil prices and the related higher costs to some corporations again have to be taken on a company by company basis. Some companies will profit from this. Oil services companies, Schlumberger Limited [SLB] for example, have done well over the last couple of months. Banking stocks/financials, which typically don't do well in a rising interest rate market, have done very well. They often pass their extra costs, unfortunately, on to the consumers. But, there are some companies you want to steer clear from during these times of rising oil prices and rising interest rates. 

Question: What do you think of high fliers like JDS Uniphase Corporation [JDSU] and QUALCOMM Incorporated [QCOM]?

Mark Urban:  I don't think I would categorize them as high flyers, although we've seen with much of the rest of the market some tremendous spikes in March, and then stock prices come down to reasonable levels. JDS Uniphase, I think, is fairly valued and a very good company that will continue to do well. Over both the short- and long-term. QUALCOMM is also a leader in its industry, and I think the general investing population pushed many, many high tech companies into the very upper stratosphere of their trading range, if not making new highs altogether. Some of them have come back in line and some of them haven't, but QUALCOMM is one that's fairly valued and should be trading at somewhat higher multiples than most technology companies. There were a number of companies within the technology sector that were trading way above their fair value.

Closing Remarks 

Sage Host: Thank you for joining us today, Mark! Any parting shots? 

Mark Urban: I just want to thank you for having me on. I wish you all the best of luck. I think we look to have an active summer. If you have further need for advice, you can certainly contact Thank you. 

* * * Thanks to SageLion for hosting this chat. 

First Editor: Sagecola 
Final Editor: SageSMP 

Transcript has been modified by Sage Online. Neither Sage Online nor its editors guarantee the accuracy of content or necessarily support the opinions expressed therein.***

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