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by 1/8/2001 11:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, the Commerce Department released the November housing completions data. U.S. privately owned housing units rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.9 percent from the October levels. Although the November completion rate was the highest since August, the figures still came in, roughly, 4.7 percent below last year's results.
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by 1/8/2001 11:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
With Alcoa (AA - 35-1/4) apparently being rewarded by the Street with a positive earnings report, one has to wonder if this could be a positive in the earnings arena. Unlike previous quarters, shares of companies were severely beaten-up on what seemed to be good quarterly reports (forget about those that did not measure up!). AA exceeded Street expectations by three cents per share for the fourth quarter. The company attributed gains from acquisitions and cost-cutting strategies adding to the bottom line. On the other hand, higher energy costs and weakness in the construction and transportation markets detracted from the bottom line.

The shares have forced their way above the 35 level that had capped the brief rally attempt in August, on their way to early gains of over seven percent on the day. A 2-3/8-point gain for AA shares translates to a 15.45 point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU - 10661).

Short interest on AA exploded by 65 percent over the last reporting period to 13.9 million shares. Based on its 30-day average trading volume, that translates to a short interest ratio of 4.12. Not too hefty, but sufficient to help spark today's rally.

Of the analysts covering the shares, 17 rate them a "buy" or better, four have AA as a "hold", while one lists the company as an outright "sell." <
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by 1/8/2001 10:45 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The day before the fed rate cut, S&P 500 March futures (SP/H1 - 1301.00) closed at 1299.80. Today, we just traded at the round-number 1300 level, which effectively means that the market has given up its entire rate-cut rally. Bull markets rally on good news. In bear markets, short and furious rallies on good news are followed by longer and more pronounced sell-offs. The bulls have to be asking themselves if the market can't rally on fed rate cuts, what can it rally on?
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by 1/8/2001 9:40 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Rhythms Netconnections (RTHM - 1-1/4) shares have pretty much gone straight down since their April 1999 initial public offering. After topping out at 111-1/2 in April 1999 the stock has proceeded lower eventually traveling as low as 5/8 late last year. In last Friday's trading, the June 5 call on RTHM saw some unusual volume. Nearly 8,100 contracts traded on the out-of-the-money call. The majority of the volume was the result of a 2,000-contract block and 5,000-contract block that changed both hands at 1/4. Open interest on the option rose by over 7,500 contracts indicating that much of the volume was the work of traders entering new positions.<
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by 1/8/2001 9:39 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The AMEX Biotechnology Index (BTK - 533.5) shed 8.5 percent in Friday's trading. The group has now moved lower out of a period of consolidation that gripped that confined the index for the past seven months. Potential support levels below include 490, which is the site of the BTK's 20-month moving average, and 400, which acted as support on the index's pullback last Spring.<
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