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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Friday, May 10, 2002

Stock-Picking Contest Update

NEW YORK - Each autumn, we ask 17 Wall Streeters to try to beat the market over the coming year with one stock they love--or hate. We have 12 contestants who go long, while five finger a stock for a short sale. Successful participants are invited back for another year.

At the current contest's halfway mark, the bears are in trouble. Since the first of November, the S&P 500 has sagged 1%. No such luck for the short picks, which are up an average 33% since that time.

The bulls don't exactly have the right to gloat. As a group, their picks show a 5% decline. Were it not for one pick, however, the bulls would be ahead 4%. First-time contestant Michael Mauboussin, chief investment strategist at Crédit Suisse First Boston, bet last fall that Enron would either stage a recovery or see a takeover premium from a proposed merger with Dynegy. At the time, Enron shares traded at $12.

Full story at Forbes.com