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by 12/12/2000 9:33 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Your father's Oldsmobile may soon become a collector's item if the rumors are true about General Motors' (GM - 51-9/16) plans to phase out this product line. Over the past several years, GM has invested over three billion dollars in product development for the 103-year old marquee. But the stock's decline from a high of 94-5/8 in April to recent levels not seen since October 1998 have put in motion a plan for realignment. Recent remarks about the firm's upcoming restructuring plans have included verbiage stating that no division is sacred. It is assumed those words refer to the Oldsmobile line. An announcement regarding this brand's future could come during GM's conference call scheduled for this morning. Such a move would follow Daimler-Chrysler's (DCX - 43.59) elimination of the Plymouth line of vehicles.

Short interest on GM decreased by over 24 percent over the last reporting period as the bears locked in their profits. The short interest ratio currently stands at just 1.08, indicating that these remaining positions could be liquidated in just over one trading day at the current average daily volume.

In the January options series, peak open interest resides on the in-the-money January 60 put, with 18,632 contracts. The near-the-money January 50 put has 11,257 open positions. The peak January call option is the January 60 strike, with 7,379 open positions.
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by 12/12/2000 9:31 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board gave its approval to the merger of banking giants J.P. Morgan (JPM – 156-3/4) and Chase Manhattan Bank (CMB – 42-1/2). Shares of the two companies each added over six percent in yesterday's trading.

On the options front, a pair of calls was active on CMB. The January 45 call traded over 13,700 contracts yesterday with open interest on the option increasing by approximately 8,700 contracts. Over 6,400 contracts changed hands on the March 45 call, leading to an increase in open interest of about 3,800 contracts.<
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by 12/12/2000 9:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Concord Communication (CCRD – 7-13/16) saw some large put additions at the January 7-1/2 strike in yesterday's trading. 7,300 contracts in all transacted on the option on Monday, highlighted by a 5,000-contract block that crossed the tape at the offer price of 1-1/8.

On October 6, CCRD gapped lower to finish the day nearly 58 percent in the red following an earnings warning. The shares have spent the subsequent two months consolidating in a range between 6-1/4 and 11-11/16.
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by 12/12/2000 9:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The PHLX KBW Bank Index (BKX – 873.76) has been quietly edging higher amid the growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will abandon its tightening bias during next Tuesday's FOMC meeting. The BKX has added nearly 13 percent since its recent closing low on November 22.

Nearly all of the index's price action during December has been contained by its newly ascending 10-day moving average. Last Thursday, this short-term trendline made a bullish cross above the index's 20-day moving average.
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by 12/11/2000 4:24 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX - 44) retails, roasts, and provides its own brand of specialty coffee through retail locations in North America and the Pacific Rim. Currently SBUX is traversing through some rough seas in the Far East. According to a Beijing story, the opening of a Starbucks outlet in Beijing's 600-year-old Forbidden City is creating quite an uproar in China. The media there is alleging that 70 percent of people would rather not sip the American coffee chain's frappuccinos in the footsteps of the Son of Heaven. The opening is looked at as a slap in the face of the Chinese people who are still smarting from the 1999 U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

The new SBUX outlet joins the vacant remains of Tricon Global's (YUM – 35-1/8) Kentucky Fried Chicken and a McDonald's (MCD – 29-13/16) restaurant adjacent to Tiananmen Square whose leases were revoked or expired. The growing tension towards America and its businesses could cause further closings and rejected lease offers by other American corporations hoping to tap into the Asian market.
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