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by 2/21/2001 10:47 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
An article in today's Washington Post presented conflicting sentiment on online retailer Amazon.com (AMZN – 11-11/16). One electronics distributor said it has ceased delivery to AMZN until the retailer pays its outstanding bill with the vendor. Other vendors expressed concern over the future of the firm, even though AMZN remains up-to-date with current payments. Defending his creation, AMZN chief executive (and Time's 1999 man of the year) Jeff Bezos asserted that the company had an "excellent" payment record and claimed that AMZN has never been in better shape.

Investors seem to be siding with the vendors, as the stock has dropped more than five percent today to register a new annual low at 11-5/16. The equity is sitting nearly 90 percent below its all-time high achieved in December 1999.

On the options front, AMZN might face some challenges overhead, as the site of heaviest open interest in the front-month series resides at the March 15 call strike. More than 6,300 contracts currently dwell at this out-of-the-money strike. By contrast, the most-active put in the March series is the March 10 option, home to 3,882 open puts. <
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by 2/21/2001 10:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Finisar (FNSR – 13-9/16) manufactures networking and communications devices for the computer industry. Newbridge Networks and EMC Corp. account for the bulk of the firm's sales.

FNSR shares are seeing above-average volume this morning and are subsequently one of the most-active names trading on the Nasdaq Exchange. Last night, the firm announced third-quarter earnings of five cents per share, matching the consensus estimate on Wall Street. Also last night, company officials announced plans to purchase the Texan firm Marlow Industries for $300 million in stock and cash. The firm anticipates that this deal will close by the second quarter.

This news has not been viewed kindly this morning, as the shares have dropped nearly 25 percent (explaining today's heavy volume). This move has taken the shares to a new low; FNSR has not traded at its present levels since its inception in late 1999. FNSR is an optionable stock but is lightly traded. <
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by 2/21/2001 10:09 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
AnnTaylor Stores (ANN – 26.85) did not enjoy a Sweet November, as the stock plunged 47 percent during the four trading sessions between November 27 and November 30. This decline was spurred by brokerage downgrades and lagging same-store sales numbers. The equity has since overtaken one of its bear gaps from three months ago but has yet to surmount its November 28 drop-off level, around the 32 mark. Since the end of 2000, ANN shares have been sandwiched between the 25 and 30 levels. The stock also remains below staunch resistance at its 20-week moving average. This intermediate-term trendline is perched just overhead near the 28 mark.

This morning, the upscale women's clothier joined American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS – 56-5/8) and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF – 29.50) in new coverage at Lehman Brothers Holdings. The brokerage firm started ANN with a "buy" rating, saying it feels the retailer has overcome past merchandise problems. Despite this vote of confidence, the shares are trading nearly three percent in the minus column. <
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by 2/21/2001 9:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In a dramatic move to solve its financial problems, troubled Lucent Technologies (LU – 12.42) may sell the one unit that has seen increasing sales. Its fiber-optic unit is second only to Corning (GLW – 30.50) in quantity of fiber-optic cable produced, and saw a 60-percent increase in sales during 2000. GLW or France's Alcatel (ALA – 42.80) could be possible purchasers. LU is trading very close to its 52-week low. <
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by 2/21/2001 9:47 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO – 23.76) posted earnings of 12 cents per share, sweeping past Street estimates of 10 cents per share. This is a healthy leap from the five cents per share the company reported for the same period last year. Run by trend queen Martha Stewart, the publishing company saw a 20.5 percent rise in sales from last year's fourth quarter.

The stock gapped higher today, finally breaking through resistance created by its descending 10-day moving average. Since slipping below the trendline at the beginning of the month, the security has closely followed it. MSO rose the past two trading day to test the line of resistance, only to be firmly rebuffed until breaking through today. <
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