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by 9/13/2000 1:10 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Continental Airlines (CAL 49-3/8) this morning announced plans to buy back $80 million of its outstanding shares, boosting an earlier announced stock repurchase plan to $1.38 billion. From this $80 million, CAL officials will likely be able to repurchase about 1.7 million shares, or under three percent of what remains outstanding. In early afternoon trading, CAL had posted a nearly five-percent gain.

CAL has been settling slowly lower since July, in coordination with rising oil prices. Airline issues tend to suffer as crude prices surge, as fuel is the airline industry's number-two expenditure. However, this pullback has not been too detrimental, as CAL is sitting only 10 percent off its annual highs. <
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by 9/13/2000 1:06 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Utility Index (UTIL 397.58) is trading nearly two percent higher today and has logged an all-time high for the ninth consecutive day. Although off its best levels of the session, the UTIL was able to briefly move above the 400 level earlier. Helping the index higher are Southern Company (SO 34-3/8), Duke Energy (DUK 84-5/16), AES Corp. (AES 64-7/8), and El Paso Energy (EPG 65-9/16), which have all made 52-week highs today.
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by 9/13/2000 1:05 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The news of additional consolidation in the financial-services industry has sent some speculators scurrying to calls on Charles Schwab (SCH 36-1/2). The October 37-1/2 call on SCH has witnessed some large block activity in today's trading. Altogether, over 13,800 contracts have changed hands on this option so far today. Most of the volume came in a series of large block trades just prior to 11:00 a.m. SCH shares have spent most of the summer locked in a tight range between 35 and 40.<
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by 9/13/2000 1:03 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Shares of Nasdaq market maker Knight Trading Group (NITE - 35) are exploding to the upside today, as the Street speculates that they will be the next acquisition candidate in the broker/dealer sector. At its intraday high earlier in the day, NITE reached 38-1/2, good for a 31-percent increase from yesterday's close.

Option activity on NITE has picked up considerably in today's trading. Total call volume and put volume on NITE is 31,295 and 19,067 contracts, respectively. By comparison, total call and put volume yesterday was only about 2,600 and 1,500 contracts, respectively.
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by 9/13/2000 12:19 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Among the handful of indices in positive territory this afternoon is the AMEX Airline Index (XAL 153.46), which has flown nearly three points, or almost two percent, higher. This climb has the index poised to end its five-session losing skid. The XAL has been performing poorly of late, descending more than 15 percent from its near-term intraday high from July 18. The index is still beneath its 20-month moving average, which it has finished above for the previous four months, as well as all of its significant near-term and intermediate-term trendlines.

Equities leading the XAL into the black today include Continental Airlines (CAL 49-3/16), up 4.5 percent; AMR Corp. (AMR 33-5/8), up 3.4 percent; Northwest Airlines (NWAC 27-9/16), up 2.3 percent; and American West Holdings (AWA 13-1/2), up 2.3 percent.

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