While the second quarter started badly, stock prices have improved nicely since May and market interest has “broadened” materially. Small and mid cap stocks have outperformed larger stocks and value stocks have done better than growth stocks. We believe the Federal Reserve is nearly done tightening. Second quarter earnings are coming through with more positive surprises than negative thus we expect a positive second half of 2000. Investors are becoming more democratic in their investing, focusing on individual company prospects unlike last year when all the money chased technology stocks.
We would like to welcome back Susan Akers. She returns to us as a research analyst and portfolio manager after spending two years at National City Bank focused on investment research. Susan had worked with us for three years prior to that.