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by 2/8/2001 3:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The lack of reaction from the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 24.06) continues to be troubling. With the S&P 100 Index (OEX – 696.05) trading off 0.66 percent, the VIX has failed to budge higher, currently trading down 1.75 percent. This continued complacency from options traders despite a poor market environment is less than encouraging.
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by 2/8/2001 12:46 PM
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Silicon Valley isn't the best place to be looking for jobs right now. At risk of sounding like a broken record, (yet) another dotcom announced a series of layoffs today. This time, it was barnesandnoble.com (BNBN – 1-27/32) sounding "Taps," saying 350 jobs, or 16 percent of the work force, will be eliminated. Last night, the online book and music retailer announced that fourth-quarter earnings were in line with previously reduced Street estimates. The company also said it expects to reach profitability by the fourth quarter of 2002, but it presently sees impending slower sales for 2001. BNBN has dropped more than 14 percent today. <
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by 2/8/2001 12:40 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Gap (GPS - 26.97) same store sales were released today and fell well short of analysts' expectations. The company reported that same-store sales fell 12 percent. Analysts had projected same-store sales would fall 6.2 percent. GPS also steered analysts' earnings expectations lower for the fourth quarter. This is just another in a string of earnings warnings for the Gap, in the past year. The stock is currently trading off 9.13 percent, on the news.

Apparently, some options traders had expected better news from the company. Front-month call open interest at the 30 and 35 strikes exceeds 10,000 contracts, relative to total put open interest of approximately 2,500 contracts.<
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by 2/8/2001 12:22 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Internet search engine firm Ask Jeeves (ASKJ – 2-17/32) said last night that it lost 53 cents per share in the fourth quarter, a penny behind the consensus estimate on Wall Street. The firm's revenue climbed $12.1 million over last year to $23 million, but also failed to equal analysts' expectations. Officials with the firm said that year-over-year revenue for the first half of 2001 will likely be flat with 2000 numbers. The company cited decreased advertising revenue as a chief reason behind this shortcoming.

The stock is trading more than seven percent in the red today. Since November 1999, the shares have tumbled more than 98 percent from their all-time peak.
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by 2/8/2001 11:18 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Microsoft (MSFT - 63-15/16) received some harsh words from an analyst at a major brokerage firm this morning. In downgrading MSFT from a "long-term buy" to a "long-term accumulate" rating, the analyst noted that "we don't find MSFT's potential upside particularily compelling." In addition, he stated that earnings growth greater than ten percent will be difficult to attain for the tech giant. MSFT has had a rather muted response to the news, as the shares are holding support at the site of their 10-day moving average, down 1.55 percent on the day. <
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