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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois • Page 23
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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois • Page 23

The Dispatchi
Moline, Illinois
Issue Date:
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lbs iinisf Editor: David Heitz, 786-6441 The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus Thursday, April 3, 2003 wl bat fr Mutual Funds 8: 3 Dian y) Vuj0Vlch RYSEX NEW YORK (AP) Wall Street shot higher as U.S.-led forces closed in on Baghdad Wednesday, boosting investor optimism that the two-week-old war with Iraq might soon end. The Dow Jones industrials soared 215 points to their best performance in nearly two weeks. Tech shares surged, led in part by a positive outlook from Bio-gen, while airline stocks gained on approval from House and Senate appropriations committees of about $3 billion in federal aid. "The march to Baghdad is really driving the markets higher," said Chris Wolfe, equity market strategist for J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

"This (market) move emphasizes that we have a lot of cash on the sidelines ready to be put to work." "As we hear more rumors of Saddam being dead, that will come to permeate into investors' thinking, bringing them closer to the thought that this is a war that is shorter in nature," Wolfe added. The Dow closed up 215.20, or 2.7 percent, at 8,285.06, having gained 77 points Tuesday to snap a four-day losing streak. It was the largest advance since March 21, when blue-chip stocks closed 235 points higher. The broader markets, meanwhile, posted their sharpest gains since March 17. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 48.40, or 3.6 percent, to 1,396.70.

The Standard Poor's 500 index rose 22.42, or 2.6 percent, to 880.90. On Wednesday, U.S. ground forces charged into the "Red Zone," the Iraqi resistance surrounding Baghdad. A U.S. general said one of the key divisions defending the city of Kut-had been destroyed.

That came after Iraqi satellite television broadcast statements attributed to Saddam. The leader did not appear in person, fueling speculation as to whether he might be wounded or dead, although state television later showed silent footage of Saddam meeting with Cabinet ministers. U.S. troops also rescued Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch from Iraqi forces after she and her unit were ambushed March 23, helping to lift the spirits of investors concerned about allied casualties.

Stocks declined in recent days on investor worries that a prolonged war could threaten the nation's fragile economic recovery. But analysts have said Wall Street could quickly see gains should there be any signs of an Battery store going up immediate resolution. "We were already a little bit oversold," said Todd Leone, trader at SG Cowen Securities. "Meanwhile, we were able to rescue the girl and people's perception of what's going on over there is much better, so investors are getting optimistic again." Wolfe agreed, saying the market's recent declines represented a moderate pullback after the Dow notched a weekly gain of 8.4 percent two weeks ago, its best showing in two decades. He believes stocks should trade flat to higher in the coming days until the government's employment report is released Friday.

Home care workers I want raise By Stephen Elliott -J Staff writer Home health-care workers statewide make between $5.75 and $7 an hour. Unhappy with that wage, many of those workers from the Quad-Cities will travel to Springfield today to lobby for higher wages. I About 1,100 home health-care workers in the Illinois QuadCities fall into that wage category, according to Cory Muldoon, spokesman for the Service Employees International Union Local 880, Chicago, i There are two types of home health workers. The union represents personal assistants, which are funded through the Department of Human Services. Those workers care for people with disabilities or severe illnesses under the age of 60.

t' The union also represents homemakers. Those workers care for people over the age of 60. They are funded through the state Department of Aging. That money goes to private companies who, in turn, hire the workers. Collectively, both personal assistants and homemakers provide services to more than 68,000 people in Illinois.

Cathy Adams, a personal assistant from Viola, has been in the field for eight years and heavily favors a $1 per hour wage increase for workers. She also wants health insurance and collective bargaining rights. About 400 seniors, people with disabilities and others are expected to join hundreds of workers like Ms. Adams today. The noon meeting is scheduled to take place at the State Capitol Rotunda.

According to Mr. Muldoon, the low wages and lack of benefits for the workers have led to high turnover and compromised care of consumers. i In March, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich granted collective bargaining rights to personal assistants, according to Mr. Muldoon.

The state has recognized SEIU Local 880 as the sole bargaining representative of the 20,000 employees funded by the Department of Human Services. According to the union, providing a $1 per hour increase to the 17,000 homemakers funded by fhe Department of Aging would cost the state $14 millioa Providing a $1 per hour increase to the 20,000 personal assistants under the Department of Human Services would cost the state another $20.5 millioa Abby Ottenhoff, spokesperson for Gov. Blagojevich, said the executive order will give personal assistants a chance to collectively bargain with the state. j5 Both personal assistants and homemakers, though, work for fairly low wages and do incredibly important work, she said. Illinois Sen.

Denny Jacobs, East Moline, is aware of the rally and said he supports higher wages. He also said it would be difficult to grant a wage increase due to the state's fiscal situation. Construction is progressing on a new retail battery store and wholesale distributorship, which will include a gymnastics tumbling center, at 4700 44th Rock Island, near Rock Valley Plaza. Steve Gibson of Interstate Battery is building the structure. Nuclear plant renewal to focuses on small-caps, value funds i Check the record books and il you'll find that small-cap and value funds tend to be long-term x-top performers.

Charles Dreifus loves that combo. And he knows his funds: xxJte's been investing in stocks -ai since he was 13. "I must confess to being a iKgtock junkie," says Dreifus, port-11 folio manager of Royce Special Equity Fund (RYSEX) since its 3fijL998 inception. 9n He was the first person in his im-g-itnediate family to buy a stock. "My godad, who was a banker, didn't own yjStocks.

I started investing 45 years jj ago with my bar mitzvah money." 'ini, the fund's performance ig( js underwater this year total through March 27 were off KiS.8 percent, while the average qall-cap value fund was down tn.about 5.3 percent, according to its history is hard to top: At year-end 2002, RYSEX's total return was up 15.32 percent, rplacing it upper No. 1 per formance slot for small-cap value funds that year; at year-end 2001, uit was up 30.75 percent; in 2000, ihe fund ended the year up 16.3 "percent; and 1999, it ended the year down by 9.63 percent. pjbout how he manages the fund: Question: What kinds of com- Answer. In graduate school, one of my teachers was Abraham iBriloff, an accounting professor and accounting critic. Through him, I learned about various accounting treatments, and how to pread through a company's docu ments and sort out those compa nies that are more conservative iin their accounting practices Ifyom the ones that are more ag- Lgressive.

What I try to do is to Lbuy the more conservative ones. i -w 1 1 i i aiso use some oi vaiue in- Nestor Ben Graham's teachings 9nd trv to huv thmes verv inex- pensively, and (I use) Warren Buffet's twist, which is to buy franchises companies who enjoy some kind of niche status and have pricing flexibility. -1 Will the companies you m- yest in be names that the public 13 laminar I I invest primarily in compa zines with a market cap of under 1 billion. The average market dap now is in the $500 million to $600 million range. So some of the company names you may be familiar with others you may Tiot, because they are a part of the smaller micro-cap arena.

Names you might know are Bob Evans Farm it's a family-dining kind of place And Russ Berrie, which makes plush toys. Tell me more about how your investment process works, What I look for are anomalies and inefficiencies. I like to put the odds in my favor and reduce risk. I also hate losing money. I've been in this business long enough to see what can happen to people (when they do lose money).

I was managing accounts in 1974 and saw the ravages. The mathematics of being down 50 percent is that you've got to be up 100 percent to break even. That's a horrendous position to be in. So my aim is to do well, but if it's a choice between hitting home runs and striking out, I'd rather avoid striking out than hit home runs, so I'm going to be more cautious. Please see Mutuals, C8 Missing the Gary Krambeck staff be discussed fects that would be associated with the license-renewal process.

The commission staff is gathering information specific to the Quad-Cities station. The commission's report will contain a recommendation regarding the environmental acceptability of the license renewal. The commission staff will prepare a summary report with conclusions and significant issues in the scoping process. The staff then will prepare a draft environmental impact statement and hold a public meeting for comments. After consideration of comments received on the draft, the commission staff will prepare a final environmental impact statement supplement The public has until May 12 to submit written comments on the scope of the environmental impact on the Quad-Cities station.

Written comments may be mailed to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Mail Stop T-6-D-59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or by e-mail to CAN I TRADE HER IN? WOULD YOU LIKE A LIAR. A rAORON, OR A WHISTLER? By Rita Pearson Staff writer The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will seek public comment on environmental issues its staff should consider in its review of a proposed license renewal for the Quad Cities Nuclear Power Plant near Cordova. The two public meetings will be at 1:30 p.m.

and 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Mark of the Quad Cities, 1201 River Drive, Moline. One hour prior to each meeting, commission staff will answer questions and provide additional information in informal discussions. Those who wish to present oral comments at the meeting may register by contacting Duke Wheeler of the commission at (800)-368-5642, ext. 1444, or by e-mail at

Interested persons also may register to speak before the beginning of each meeting. Each session will include an overview and a commission staff presentation on the environmental process the license renewal entails. The public will be given Dilbert time to present comments after the formal presentations. The commission originally issued operating licenses for a nuclear power plant for up to 40 years. The license may be renewed for up to an additional 20 years if commission requirements are met The current operating license for the two Quad-Cities units will expire Dec.

14, 2012. Exelon applied for license renewal Jan. 3. Exelon's application is available for public review at the Cordova District Library, 402 Main Cordova; the River Valley Library, 214 S. Main Port Byron, and the Davenport Public Library, 321 Main St, Davenport It also is available at the commission headquarters, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD, (800) 397-4209, and on the Internet at A commission document "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants," assesses the scope and impact of environmental ef SHE'S PARANOID ABOUT NOT BEING INVITED TO MEETINGS CAN YOU FIX HER? Free lax-prep wogramused )y 2 million WASHINGTON (AP) More than 2 million people have used free tax-preparation services offered through the Internal Revenue Service this tax season, surpassing the agency's goal for the program's first year.

The program encourages electronic filing by giving taxpayers access to the computer tools they need to send their returns. The IRS expects about 53 million of the more than 130 million returns that will be filed this year to come in electronically, eclipsing last year's record 47 million. But despite the ease of filing electronic returns, one in five of all taxpayers will probably wait until the last minute to file. Most of the procrastinators owe the IRS. Last year, 61 percent of the tax dollars owed arrived after the deadline.

The agency is how encouraging those people to file early electronically, and then authorize electronic payment of their bill on the April 15 deadline. To choose that option, taxpayers must file electronically through a tax preparer or a special software program and then authorize payment by an electronic bank withdrawal or by credit card. For taxpayers who would normally compute their own taxes the old fashioned pen-and-paper way, the IRS free filing program may make the job a little easier. The service makes free tax-prep software provided by private companies available through the IRS Web site to qualified users. pitch VS.

drop A i i RtpAiR i i I DtftCTNE 3Bi NOPE. MB Business briefs 13 Statistics on television advertising for the U.S. Hispanic community: Percent of advertising dollars targeted to Hispanics Big vehicles ordered to get better fuel mileage WASHINGTON (AP) Sport utility vehicles, vans and pickup trucks will have to get better gas mileage over the next three years under new government stan- dards. The new rule was announced Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It requires manufacturers to attain a fleet average for vehicles in the "light truck" category of 22.2 miles per gallon beginning with the 2007 models, an increase of 1.5 mpg over current require-' ments.

Automakers said the new rule will be difficult to achieve erwise lackluster activity. African-American professionals invited to seminar today Young African-American professionals are invited to "A Touch of Class from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today at Wells Fargo Bank Building, 203 W. 3rd St, Davenport Redmond Jones, Affirmative Action Officer for Davenport will be featured speaker. Darryl Harmon, senior vice president of the Wells Fargo Bank, will be guest speaker.

Christine Hester, representing the Jim Hester College Fund, which will receive a portion of the admission fee, will be special guest Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. The dress is business casuaL factory orders 1.5 percent in February WASHINGTON (AP) Orders to U.S. factories dropped by 1.5 percent in February, the biggest decline in five months, as prewar jitters and higher energy prices sapped the buying appetite of businesses and consumers. The Commerce Department's report released Wednesday offered more evidence that the nation's battered manufacturing sector, which has been shedding hundreds of thousands of workers and operating below capacity, is bearing the brunt of the economy's problems. The over-the-month decline in February came after factory orders went up by a solid 1.7 percent in January, a brief bright spot in oth The event, sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, is a professional development and social occasion to provide networking for young professionals in the community.

Emerging Black Professionals of the Quad Cities, a group of young professionals seeking to become more involved with the community, will host the event Their mission is to establish a network of professional African-Americans willing to make a positive impact on their community and workplace. A community expo of minority-owned businesses, nonprofits organizations and churches will be represented. Free parking is available in the Wells Fargo parking ramp. For more information, contact Mark Holloway at (563) 333-6077 or by email at n7 3 Percent of Hispanics in U.S.

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