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by 1/18/2001 3:21 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
While most major indices are enjoying a strong session, the Russell 2000 (RUT - 492.46) has not joined in the festivities. After being rejected by the key 500 level yesterday (the RUT hasn't closed a day above 500 since November 8), the index gapped lower today and has traded within a narrow range a point or two below breakeven. RUT decliners are leading advancers, 939 to 818, with 135 unchanged.

Leading the laggards is Interwoven (IWOV - 28-3/16), which is off 15 percent on heavy volume even though it was reiterated a "strong buy" today. Elsewhere, Metris Companies (MXT - 24-9/16) and Manugistics (MANU - 42-1/2) are down 14.6 and 6.7 percent, respectively.
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by 1/18/2001 2:48 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Albertson's (ABS – 26-1/8) is the second-largest grocery name in the country and the 24th name in the Fortune 500, according to Hoover's Online. Yesterday after the close, ABS officials announced plans to divide its regionally based operations into 19 separate divisions. Daily operations, marketing, and merchandising will all be focused on separately at each division level. The plan will begin going into effect immediately.

In late August, ABS suffered a pronounced 27-percent plunge over the course of two trading days following a series of brokerage downgrades. The stock has failed to completely recover as it has not traded above the 30 region since before its gap lower. In the last five months, the shares have been trending in a sideways range between the 20 and 26 levels. ABS is an optionable stock, but its options are fairly thinly traded.
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by 1/18/2001 2:41 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Charles Schwab (SCH – 27-1/2), one of the nation's leading discount brokers, announced today that they missed fourth-quarter earnings estimates. Commissions, the heart of SCH's revenue, had fallen by 10 percent. The stock is down by 2-1/2 percent in trading as it sinks below its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.

Currently, 12 of 20 analysts rate SCH a "buy" or better, which is down from three months ago where 16 of 20 rated it the same. Short interest on the security continues to grow, already reaching its highest levels since July.
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by 1/18/2001 2:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
More bad news emerged today for priceline.com (PCLN – 2-29/32). A tragic autumn that saw the company announce the resignation of board members, the dissolution of its grocery and gasoline operations, and impending earnings shortcomings, left the shares trading in the cellar. After trading as high as 104 in March, the stock has now been perched beneath the 10 level since the beginning of October.

Today, it was announced that the PHLX and Internet financial publisher TheStreet.com had removed it from their combined Internet Index, the PHLX The Street.com Internet Index (DOT – 379.80). Officials said that PCLN was no longer considered a "bellwether" to gauge the Internet and e-commerce sectors. Software and consulting firm marchFIRST (MRCH – 2) met the same fate today. Replacing the two pariahs will be Commerce One (CMRC – 21) and Akamai Technologies (AKAM – 31-5/8). <
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by 1/18/2001 1:02 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Phototronics (PLAB – 33-7/16) is a leading manufacturer of photomasks used in the production of semiconductors. During 2000, the company merged with Align-Rite and restructured their organization. PLAB released earnings on December 6 for their fiscal year. Results showed an increase in sales of 19 percent and a net income increase of 73 percent.

PLAB shares have been on a tear this month, gaining 63 percent from the low of 21-11/16 on January 2 to yesterday's high of 35-3/8. In doing so, they soared above their short-term moving averages and took out an area of resistance around 30 that had held them back during several rally attempts dating back to fall 1998.

Options are available for PLAB. The most open interest is clustered around the February 25, 30, and 35 calls, where a combined total of almost 2,000 open contracts reside. Today, 107 March 35 calls changed hands. 100 were part of a block trade that crossed the tape between the bid and the ask price.
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