Going Shopping in Media and Biotech; Seeing the Sites (Sometimes Quickly)

Task offers some picks from Bleichroeder's Roque, and some reminiscences of JFK Jr.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Tech stocks got spooked from the dizzying heights of recent weeks, leading all major averages lower. Meanwhile, transports rose from the dead. (For more, see today's

Market Roundup.)

News Flash Update

Caught up with John Roque, stock market strategist at

Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder

, today to ask about his infatuation with the rotting-pulp-press stocks, as reported

Friday.

Roque said the call was based more on the chart pattern of various media stocks, rather than an old vs. new media comparison. "Let somebody else conceptualize," he said. "The media group is a good group. It's hard to find a media stock that isn't attractive, including newspaper, radio, broadcast and cable. Maybe it's a whole-media type of thing

but these guys are doing better than the newer media, like you guys."

The strategist's top pick in the group,

Gannett

(GCI) - Get Report

, rose 1.2% today while the publisher of this Web site,

TheStreet.com Inc.

(TSCM)

, slid 4.4%.

Gulp.

Roque also favors biotech stocks, listing a host of favorites:

Genzyme

(GENZ)

;

Centocor

(CNTO)

;

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

;

Liposome

(LIPO)

;

Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

;

Enzon

(ENZN)

; and

Immucor

(BLUD)

, which he noted has a "great symbol."

The group had a tough session today, however; the

American Stock Exchange Biotech Index

fell 2.7% and the

Nasdaq Biotech Index

lost 3.1%. The sector's performance was no doubt influenced by

Total Renal Care Holdings

(TRL)

, which fell 33% after the company warned of lower-than-expected earnings and two top executives resigned.

Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder has done no underwriting for any of the aforementioned.

Done Already?

Late last week,

Nielsen Media Research's

(NMR) - Get Report

Nielsen/NetRatings

unit released its ranking of Internet sites. In the "Web sites by property" category there were no surprises at the top:

America Online

(AOL)

,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

MSN

were the top three in terms of audience. Interestingly, though, AOL was last in average time per person among the top three, at 12 minutes and 37 seconds vs. 28:57 at Yahoo! and 19:35 at MSN (hate to be the guy who had to tell

Steve Case

the news).

Glancing at the lower end of the roster, my colleague

David Shabelman

noticed that the last name on the top-25 list is

Porncity

and the average time per visit there is 5:58.

Either folks have got some quick trigger fingers or that must be one helluva site.

TSC Special

Staff Reporter

Mavis Scanlon

gets the nod today for

Unocal Scrambles to Turn Dry Holes Into Discoveries. Coincidentally or not,

Unocal

(UCL)

fell 2.6%, outperforming its industry group to the downside, after Scanlon detailed problems with its high-speed drilling technology.

For What It's Worth

Maybe I don't run in the right circles but none of my contemporaries really feel a loss of our generation's leader with the passing of

John F. Kennedy Jr

. I believe those sentiments reflect our parents' projections of what JFK Jr.'s father and uncle represented to them. Although -- of course -- now we'll never know.

A few years ago, I won fantastic seats for the second

Bowe

-

Golota

fight in Atlantic City. John F. Kennedy Jr. was sitting right next to us and, prefight, we watched how he politely (but firmly) declined the endless stream of autograph and photo requests, with nary an "entourage" in sight.

By the middle rounds, my buddy Scott (a sports junkie) was explaining the intricacies of the fight to him. JFK Jr. made fun of our tuxes (hey, we were staying in the "High Rollers" suite). I made fun of his forest-green velvet suit (I swear).

JFK Jr. seemed as much a "regular guy" as one could be given the fanfare, the history and the wealth, making what happened that much greater a shame. It also makes me secretly wish he, his wife and her sister have pulled one of the greatest scams in history and are now on some island in the Pacific. But, alas, reality says otherwise.

I also openly wish the media would let the victims rest in peace and their families mourn in private. But, alas, reality says otherwise, reminding us why journalists as a group are held in such low regard.