The imaginary portfolios of every one of the 98 teams are in positive territory since the contest began Feb. 5, and the top two teams, BGHS4 and BosBros, are each up more than 40 percent in that short time frame.
"It's unbelievable. It makes me want to quit my job," joked 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. "The market is providing virtually unlimited upside for any individual stock."
At the end of last week, the BGHS4 team of 18 students in Ron Niekey's Money Skills class at Bowling Green High School, had an imaginary portfolio valued at $56,536.
The team, which has now led the contest for five straight weeks, was $414 ahead of BosBros, a team of boys in Bo Evarts' honors algebra class at Rossford Junior High, who sat at $56,122.
The contest also is co-sponsored by The Blade's Newspaper in Education program. A total of 98 teams from 33 schools across northwest Ohio are competing, and each team chose a portfolio of four stocks trading for at least $3 a share. A hypothetical $40,000 at the outset 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.
Several teams' portfolios had big runs last week, including an 18 percent jump in the value of BosBros' holdings that was good enough to vault the team from 12th back into second place, a position the team held just two weeks ago.
BosBros' holdings are in Callon Petroleum Co., a Gulf Coast energy company, transportation manufacturer Wabash National Corp., Harley-Davidson Inc., and Telestone Technologies Corp. Mr. Evarts said his students specifically filled their portfolio with volatile stocks in hopes of emerging victorious.
The BGHS4 team picked up more than 9 percent in the week on the strength of its holdings: computer server maker Juniper Networks, Internet search engine Baidu Inc., resort firm Las Vegas Sands, and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson.
Two other big movers - the Victory team from Lial Catholic School in Whitehouse, which went into third place at $53,659, and the Pirates team from Toledo Maritime Academy, which shot up to 9th at $49,736 from 62nd place - both benefitted from the strength of retailer Hot Topic Inc. The teen-segment chain shot up more than 24 percent last week after announcing a special one-time cash dividend would be paid this week. Both teams were up more than 10 percent last week.
Contact Larry P. Vellequette at: