Data: DVD Entertainment Group Happy to see some upside this spring in the stock market? So were corporate insiders. Many took the rally as a magnificent opportunity to cash out of shares they happened to own. In May, insiders' sales of stock leaped ahead of April's sales by $2 billion, to $3.3 billion, the highest level in two years, according to Thomson Financial. Insider selling ran especially heavy in the energy and health-care sectors. For example, Burlington Resources (BR
) Coventry Health Care (CVH
) Express Scripts, and Genentech all had insiders selling as the prices of their companies' shares rose strongly.
Naturally, not everyone was selling. Shares bought by insiders rose 60% in May from April's level. Insiders at ChevronTexaco (CVX
), Cox Communications (COX
), Lowe's, and UNUMProvident made notable purchases. Just the same, at $119 million, insiders' total purchases in May wound up both far below the five-year average of $180 million a month and way below aggregate sales. The ratio of monthly buys to sales has not been so low since May, 2001. If history is any guide, to Thomson this is a clearly bearish signal for the overall market. A will is usually the first estate-planning tool that people think about. Less obvious is the need to write a detailed letter telling the survivors how you want your affairs to be handled. You can find what must be included in this letter, among other helpful hints, in a free pamphlet from the Financial Planning Assn. entitled "Thinking the Unthinkable: What Everyone Needs to Know About Estate Planning" (800 647-6340; fpanet.org). Caffeine-starved parents with babes in arms will love Hamilton Beach (NC
) BrewStation with its push-to-serve dispenser. And because the coffee brews directly into a heated, internal well, you'll never have to buy another replacement glass carafe again. You'll find the Brew-Station at retailers at $50 for a basic model, or $70 for one that has a water filter, digital clock, and timer.