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by 12/15/2000 9:14 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, the Labor Department released the November Consumer Price Index (CPI) results. Consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent, which matched the 0.2-percent advance in October. The results were also in line with Wall Street expectations. The core index, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, came in 0.1 percent above estimates with an advance of 0.3 percent. This morning's news did not help the broader markets, which already looked to open lower, due in part to last night's earnings and revenue shortfall pre-announcement from technology bellwether Microsoft (MSFT - 55-1/2). Currently, the March S&P 500 Index futures contract (SP/H1 - 1354.80) is lower by 3.80 points. <
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by 12/15/2000 9:12 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
SCI Systems (SCI - 27-1/2) is a provider of manufacturing and supply chain solutions. The shares have been guided lower by their overhead 10-day and 20-day moving averages over the last month. Yesterday, the SCI January 30 put saw heavy trading. Over 7,800 contracts changed hands on this option, resulting in an increase to open interest of about 3,900 contracts. A pair of 3,800-contract block trades that each changed hands at 5-1/2 accounted for the majority of this activity.
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by 12/14/2000 3:48 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Following yesterday's hard reversal of a four-day advance in the shares, Texas Instruments (TXN – 50-5/15) appears determined to capture the upside of its 20-week moving average. The shares have not traded above this level since June and had an August rally capped at this trendline.

With the shares up almost five percent today, the January 47-1/2 put is receiving a lot of attention from speculators. Over 5,000 contracts have traded at this out-of-the-money strike compared to just 2,637 currently open.<
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by 12/14/2000 2:36 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Federal Trade Commission has finally approved the merger between America Online (AOL - 49.58) and Time Warner (TWX - 74.10). AOL shares have rallied about 25 percent since its November 30 bottom. In the last week, options speculators have added about 5,000 calls at the December 50 strike, bringing total call open interest to 18,000. With these calls expiring tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the stock can overcome this options-related barrier now that the news is out. Or will there be a "buy on the rumor, sell on the news" situation? Further potential resistance lies above at the 51 mark, which provided support in June through August of this year. <
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by 12/14/2000 2:03 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Retailer Costco Wholesale (COST – 33-15/16) said early this morning that its first-quarter earnings totaled 28 cents per share, equaling analysts' estimates. Same-store sales for the three-month period showed a five-percent rise. COST officials sounded a slightly cautious tone, however, saying that sales for December would be flat compared to 1999 or up only slightly. Investors are taking COST's warning with a grain of salt, however, pushing the stock over four percent higher in mid-afternoon action.

COST has been one of the most perpetually range-bound shares in this equity market. Since mid-May, the shares have had a penchant for the horizontal, trending sideways between the 30 and 38 levels. The equity is presently hovering toward the middle of this range. This directionless movement has made moving-average trendlines virtually meaningless for the shares.
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