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Published: Tuesday, 4/21/2009

Team hangs on to lead for 2nd week with 2 weeks to go in Blade's School Stock Contest

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Just two weeks are left in The Blade's School Stock Contest, but to the "CoD" team at St. Joan of Arc School in Toledo, the time probably will seem like an eternity.

"CoD," which stands for Call of Duty, a popular video game that members of the team enjoy playing, held first place for a second straight week with an imaginary portfolio of $55,696, up 1 percent. Their total kept them $2,298 ahead of the second-place "$Maker$" team from Fassett Middle School in Oregon, whose portfolio also rose 1 percent, to $53,398.

"They'll take any lead they can get," said Jeremy Lewton, the teacher in charge of the "CoD" team's nine eighth-grade math students.

"I think they're just crossing their fingers now and hoping they can hold on," he added.

In third place was the "Wlfpal$" team from Luckey Elementary School at $52,695, up 6 percent for the week.

Matt Faltys, vice president and portfolio management director at Fifth Third Bank, which is co-

sponsoring the contest and tabulating results, said last week was not a particularly exciting one, with the Dow Jones industrials average up only 1.5 percent and few teams making strong gains.

Steel stocks had a double-digit gain, giving a few teams a lift, but overall the top 10 teams mostly stayed pat, Mr. Faltys said.

Two of the "CoD" team's picks, Gamestop Inc. and Kohl's Corp., lost 11 and 1 percent respectively, but their other two picks, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. and Netflix Inc., gained 9 and 4 percent respectively.

Mr. Faltys said this week could get interesting because firms are beginning to announce quarterly earnings, which can drastically affect stock prices.

"If they can avoid a blowup from earnings season over the next two weeks, I just can't imagine that someone's going to overtake any of the top two teams," he added.

The Blade's Newspaper in Education program is the other co-sponsor of the contest, which this year involves 1,150 students from 26 schools.

Teams evenly divide a hypothetical $40,000 among four stocks trading for at least $5 a share.

The winner is the team whose portfolio makes the biggest gains by May 1. First place wins $250 for the school and $250 for the team. Second place receives $250 for the school and third $100 for the school.

Contact Jon Chavez at:

jchavez@theblade.com

or 419-724-6128.




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