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Published: Tuesday, 2/20/2007

Robinson Jr. High team holds onto 1st place

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Robinson Junior High School's Wildbots#2 team was again in first place in The Blade's School Stock Contest, but a Maumee team narrowed the gap after the game's fourth week.

ECOSMAT from Gateway Middle School got a 7 percent boost from the four stocks in its imaginary portfolio, helping it shoot into the second slot last week from No. 16 the week before.

One of the stocks ECOSMAT picked, Hurco Cos. Inc., rose nearly 22 percent last week after the industrial technology company announced stellar earnings, said Matthew Faltys, vice president and director of portfolio management for Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), a contest co-sponsor.

"They're the No. 1 mover," he said of ECOSMAT.

More than 1,350 students from 37 schools are entered in the 16-week contest, which also is sponsored by The Blade's Newspaper in Education program. All teams started with a $40,000 imaginary portfolio, divided evenly at the outset among the four stocks. The portfolio that gains the most by May 11 wins.

The top prize is $250 for the team and $250 for its school, second place earns $150 for the school, and third prize place gets $100 for the school. Teams had to select stocks trading at $5 or more by Jan. 19.

A quarter of the way through the contest last week, 70 of the 95 participating teams are in the black.

During its second week in first place, the contest leader had continued growth in its portfolio. It ended last week at $43,933. The portfolio has Whole Foods Market Inc., Visteon Corp., Unisys Corp., and Dynegy Inc.

Four of 10 seventh graders on the Toledo school's team - Aaron Haskins, Dequze Stephens, Thamar Sleet, and Devonte Heard - are particularly interested in keeping track of their portfolio throughout the day, said teacher Luke McKinley.

The students have learned a lot about trading, and they watch not only stock prices but also what the companies are doing, he said. "They know when the stock market closes, and to kids in the inner city, I don't think they had any idea what they were getting into when they started it," Mr. McKinley said.

The team that led after the first week, @(^.^)@ from Rossford Junior High School, was in 21st place last week. JBAD Inc. of Bowling Green High School, the second-week leader, was No. 4 last week.

Teams with DaimlerChrysler AG, Burger King Holdings, and Deere & Co. were among those that did especially well last week, Fifth Third's Mr. Faltys said. Nine teams increased their portfolios at least 4 percent, he said.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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