With four weeks left in The Blade's 12-week school stock contest, the leader from Bowling Green High School remains first for the fourth straight week.
But the gap between the BGHS4 team and second place has narrowed, and the leaders appear to be feeling the pressure.
"They were concerned about people that had Apple [stock] because the Apple iPad came out and everyone seemed to love that. Apple stock … has really gone up," said teacher Ron Nickey, who supervises the 18-member BGHS4 team made up of students from his Money Skills class.
BGHS4's portfolio of four stocks - computer server maker Juniper Networks, Internet search engine Baidu Inc., resort firm Las Vegas Sands, and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson - is at $51,681, up 29 percent overall.
The portfolio of the new second-place team, SJJA7 from St. John's Jesuit Academy in Toledo, rose 7.5 percent last week, lifting it from 29th place. The portfolio, up
24 percent overall at $49,571, contains weight-loss clinics Medifast Inc., solar firms Canadian Solar and JA Solar, and Internet retailer Amazon.com.
"The team wanted to go with two solar companies. They liked Canadian Solar because they thought it had potential for immediate movement," said St. John's Academy teacher Nick Butler, who supervises the SJJA7 team of five seventh graders.
Last week's second-place team, BosBros from Rossford Junior High, tumbled to 13th.
Apple Inc. has risen 6 percent over two weeks in the run-up to the introduction of its iPad computer. That helped last week's fourth-place team, YoYoDog from Montpelier Junior High in Montpelier, Ohio, take third at $49,277, up 23 percent overall. Its portfolio contains Apple, clothing retailers Gap Inc. and Aeropostale Inc., and restaurant operator Sonic Inc.
Matt Faltys, a vice president at Fifth Third Bank, which tabulates the results and is co-sponsoring the contest with The Blade's Newspaper in Education program, said Apple helped several teams.
All 98 teams from 33 northwest Ohio schools finished in the black in the most recent standings. At the start of the contest each team chose four stocks trading for at least $3 a share. A hypothetical $40,000 was divided evenly among the stocks.
The winner is the portfolio with the biggest gains at the contest's end on April 30. The winner receives $250 for the school and $250 for the team. The school of the second-place team gets $250; the third place school, $100.
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