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by 10/17/2000 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The CBOE Internet Index (INX 326.87) has crumbled by more than 24 points, or nearly seven percent, in late-morning trading. This decline has the index poised to close at its worst level since mid-December 1998. The INX has retreated under the pressure of its downsloping five-day moving average by almost 46 percent since notching a near-term intraday high on September 5.

Leading INX laggards so far today are Amazon.com (AMZN 21-1/4), down 12.6 percent; America Online (AOL 46.05), down 12.4 percent; CMGI Inc. (CMGI 15-5/8), down 10.4 percent; Exodus Communications (EXDS 34-7/16), down 9.8 percent; RealNetworks (RNWK 22-9/16), down 9.3 percent; Yahoo! (YHOO 50-7/16), down 8.8 percent; and eBay (EBAY 54-9/16), down 8.1 percent.

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by 10/17/2000 10:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 97) joined the cavalcade of earnings reports, revealing third-quarter net income of 89 cents per share. Although this topped Street estimates by a penny per share, the stock is taking little strength from this news and is essentially flat on the day.

JNJ has been sandwiched between the 90 and 99 levels since mid-July, as the shares consolidate along their converging 10-week and 20-week moving averages. The equity's options configuration is likely contributing to this sideways trading action. Over 9,200 contracts on the October 100 call are likely serving as resistance, while the shares are receiving options-related support from the 9,999 contracts on the October 90 put. With these options expiring on Friday and only moderate open interest in the November series, it will be interesting to watch JNJ's price action next week.

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by 10/17/2000 10:37 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) is among the largest brokerage firms in the world. Its size is poised to increase dramatically in the near future, as it is acquiring Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.

This morning well ahead of the open, the brokerage firm initiated coverage on a number of retailers. Electronics retailers Circuit City Stores (CC 19-13/16) and Best Buy (BBY 43-1/8) were initiated with a "buy" and "strong buy" rating, respectively. Office-supply names Office Depot (ODP 6-7/16) and OfficeMax (OMX 3) each debuted with "hold" ratings, while competitor Staples (SPLS 11-1/4) was named a "buy." Toys "R" Us (TOY 15-7/16) was also named a "hold" in new coverage at CSFB. Home-improvement retailers Home Depot (HD 35-15/16) and Lowe's (LOW 38-1/4) were each listed as "buys," and AutoZone (AZO 24-11/16) was named a new "buy" as well. Finally, CSFB started booksellers Barnes & Noble (BKS 17-5/8) and Borders Group (BGP 13-3/8) with a "buy" and a "hold" rating, respectively.

The return on all of these retailing names today is primarily slanted to the negative. All of the aforementioned equities are lower on the day, except for SPLS, which is modestly higher and BGP, which is flat. BBY and HD are the steepest laggards today, pulling back 6.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.<
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by 10/17/2000 10:15 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Beverly Enterprises (BEV 4-3/4) is the leading operator of nursing homes in the United States. The company owns and operates around 560 facilities in 30 states across the country. Last night, BEV officials said the firm will absorb a $50 million charge in the third quarter. The charge concerns increased patient liability costs for some of BEV's operations in Florida. BEV is scheduled to report third-quarter results during the first week of November. The Street expects the company to earn 10 cents per share.

Although the firm said this charge shouldn't affect its earnings, the stock has retreated nearly 10 percent in early-morning trading. This decline has taken the equity below its 10-week moving average for the first time since late July. <
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by 10/17/2000 10:15 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Altera (ALTR 33-3/8) manufactures specialized equipment for the semiconductor industry. Last night following the close, the company reported third-quarter earnings of 43 cents per share, equaling analysts' estimates. The firm also noted that quarterly sales climbed 16 percent compared to the second quarter of 2000.

Later on yesterday evening, ALTR announced plans to double the number of shares it will repurchase under its stock buyback program. The company now has its sights set on repurchasing 48 million shares, up from the previously announced 24 million shares.

On the options front today, the October 35 call leads the way, with 573 contracts trading. These could be liquidations, as this call, which is currently home to 3,051 open positions, expires on Friday.

ALTR has risen over one percent today but is still trading near a 10-month low beneath all of its significant moving averages.
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