Stocks quoted in this article:
As January comes to a close without any major global hitches related to the much maligned Y2K rollover, investors are probably not entirely happy with the January hangover that has lingered with equities. With the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1365.98) down 4.05 percent and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3880.7) down 3.12 percent in the past month, the sector indices have seen mixed activity with 10 of 27 indices in positive territory over that time. The following are the top four performing indices over the last 30 days excluding today: the AMEX Biotechnology Index (BTK - 425.07), up 13.48 percent; the PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX - 748.6), up 11.39 percent; the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Providers Index (RXH - 179.29), up 9.35 percent; and the AMEX Natural Gas Index (XNG - 134.03), up 6.67 percent.
The four indices showing the most weakness in the last 30 days excluding today are: the AMEX Airline Index (XAL - 129.92), down 14.91 percent; the PHLX Forest and Paper Products Index (FPP - 330.65), down 12.09 percent; the Morgan Stanley Commodity Related Equities Index (CRX - 181.07), down 6.13 percent; and the AMEX Oil and Gas Index (XOI - 462.11), down 5.83 percent.
The airline sector has been is noteworthy for the very optimistic configuration of the group’s open interest. The Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio put/call open interest ratio for the airline group is lower than 96 percent of such readings over the past year with about two calls for every put (taken from Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment).<