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Hold yer guns there, pardner. Don't be a-goin' into dem chips, ya hear?

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst John Pitzer made some notes about the semiconductor equipment industry, telling investors that now is not the time to snap up those battered semiconductors. In a note to investors this morning, the analyst wrote, in all capital letters, no less: "We continue to believe that a better buying opportunity will present itself in

the first quarter of 2001."

Pitzer said that although changes in the Fed bias and rate picture seem imminent, this sector won't really be affected. Put simply, semiconductors will gain no solace if the Fed makes changes. This industry is still bound by the fundamental laws of supply and demand. And right now, demand seems to be abating as capital spending in the semiconductor industry declines.

"We have been cautioning that the semiconductor industry was in the midst of a inventory correction, the depth and breadth of which was perhaps more severe than most realized," he wrote. "The impact of this inventory correction would be a dramatic reduction in capital budgets for capacity addition in 2001, especially

the first half of 2001."

In plain English, don't look for the picture to change until mid-2001, since inventory levels are still quite high.


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Group Moves

Lehman Brothers

initiated coverage on a handful of paper companies, starting them all at buy. In its recommendation to investors, it wrote: "Shares of paper companies have endured the worst bear markets vs. the

S&P 500 since the Great Depression." It recommended an overweight position in the following companies: