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Published: Friday, 11/3/2006

Leader retains top spot 2nd consecutive month

BY HOMER BRICKEY
BLADE SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER

A Perrysburg woman continues to lead The Blade's Stock Market Game, thanks to a very good October on Wall Street.

Sara Garcia's hypothetical portfolio stood at $74,824, up 87 percent for the year from the starting point of $40,000, and she leads 1,200 contestants vying for prizes.

Ms. Garcia, the seventh leader in the year-long contest, jumped into first place from fifth a month earlier. She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Winners of the contest will get prizes, based on how much their portfolios grow by year's end. First place receives $100 cash and airline tickets for two to anywhere in the continental United States, a trip provided by Central Travel of Toledo, a contest co-sponsor.

Second place receives $300 in cash and third place gets $200.

After 10 months, nearly two-thirds of the entrants have portfolios valued above the initial $40,000, said David Himich, second vice president of investments for the Toledo office of Smith Barney, a contest co-sponsor and tabulator of results.

During October, the Dow Jones indus-trial average hit new all-time highs, and Mr. Himich noted that the markets had a good month. "It was a very broad-based rally," he said. All of the top 20 portfolios rose in value during the month, mostly about 10 percent.

Ms. Garcia's four stock selections are all big gainers for the year. Her New York Stock Exchange choices were General Motors Corp., up 80 percent, and telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc., up 23 percent. On Nasdaq she chose Sears Holdings Corp., up 51 percent, and Internet communications firm Cbeyond Inc., up 195 percent.

GM's bump in stock price helped a lot of contest entrants, Mr. Himich said.

The contest has four challenge portfolios , which are not eligible for prizes, and the best of those is Dorothy Sutter, of Sylvania, a former contest winner. Her portfolio, up 24 percent, has Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd., Glamis Gold Ltd., Palomar Medical Technologies Inc., and Syneron Medical Ltd.

The Blade's dartboard picks are up 17 percent, in 283rd place.

Other top contestants and their portfolio amounts: Nelson Polack, Ravenna, Ohio, $70,419; Sally Lee, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, $70,010; Sean Hughes, St. Louis, $65,363; Anneke Frank, Toledo, $64,538; Donald MacDonald, Toledo, $63,270; Dianne Jacobson, Findlay, $62,434; Mark Pawlaczyk, Toledo, $61,896; Sally Red-

rup, Maumee, $61,412; and Camilla Sue Roth, Sylvania, $60,940.

Contact Homer Brickey at:

homerbrickey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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