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August 24, 2000|Bloomberg News; Reuters

Optimism about U.S. stocks among newsletter editors dropped last week to its lowest point in almost 10 months, according to a poll by Investors Intelligence newsletter. The percentage of editors who considered themselves bullish, or optimistic, dropped to 43.5%, from 47.1% a week earlier. Technical analysts, who try to predict market moves based on price patterns and other statistical measures, track investor sentiment as a "contrary" indicator. When bullishness reaches a low and bearishness a high, it's considered a sign a rally could be near because investors who view the market less favorably may be saving cash to invest later.

Richard Strong will quit Aug. 31 as manager of Strong Capital Management Inc.'s Strong Discovery Fund, passing control to co-manager Charles Paquelet in order to focus on running the $45-billion money management company. The $183-million Discovery Fund has lagged its peers recently. The fund averaged an 8.3% return the last five years, ranking it above just 7% of other funds that focus on mid-sized growth companies, according to Bloomberg data. But it has risen 13% this year.

Standard & Poor's said Wednesday that Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) will replace grocery chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. in the S&P 500-stock index after the close of trading Tuesday.

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