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George Soros sells biotech, buys technology and retail stocks

Billionaire investor George Soros made dramatic changes to his portfolios during the third quarter. He cut his holdings in biotech and pharmaseutical companies by more than 50%, from about 42% of the total portfolio at the end of the second quarter to 19% at the end of the third quarter. His second largest industry holding is now in consumer services, as Soros loads up retail stocks. Technology stocks represent the third largest positions in Soros's portfolio, which also show a large increase in weightings during the third quarter.

Among the retail stocks George Soros has bought, JC Penny Co. (JCP), Kohn's Corp (KSS), Target Corp (TGT) and Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) each represents more than 1% of the total portfolio. He also initiated holdings in a number of other retailers including Federated Stores, Inc (FD), AutoZone Inc. (AZO), American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEOS) etc.

Soros increased his positions in Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) by almost 900%, totaled at more than 1.2 million shares. He also bought into Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Corning Inc. (GLW), Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and Intel Corp (INTC) etc.

As oil prices went down from the highest levels during the last quarters, Soros doubled his holdings in oil producers. The industrial weight of oil producers in his holdings increased from 3.2% to more than 6.7%. Oil companies Occidental Petrolum Corp. (OXY) and Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) are among his largest purchases during the third quarter. Oil produces once weighed more than 19% of his total portfolio during the second quarter of 2005. He reduced that to about 6% during the third quarter of the last year.

As one of the largest hedge fund managers in the world, Soros ranked as the 71th richest man on earth. Known for his excellent investment record and macroscopic insight in economic trends, what prompted Soros's recent move? Did he see something that others have not seen?


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