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by 10/17/2000 1:58 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The AMEX Securities Broker/Dealer Index (XBD 575.90) has lost over 25 points, or more than four percent, in mid-afternoon activity. The XBD was turned lower today by stingy overhead resistance from its descending 10-day moving average. Since its September 12 all-time intraday high, the index has relinquished nearly 19 percent, falling beneath its 20-week moving average. The XBD hasn't closed a week below this intermediate-term trendline since late May.

Leading index underperformers today include Charles Schwab (SCH 29-1/8), down 7.5 percent; Raymond James Financial (RJF 30-5/16), down seven percent; A.G. Edwards (AGE 45-3/16), down 6.7 percent; Goldman Sachs Group (GS 97), down 6.3 percent; and Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH 115-1/8), down six percent. SCH posted third-quarter earnings that met Street expectations of 12 cents per share.

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by 10/17/2000 11:59 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Honeywell International (HON 35-7/16) announced third-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts' estimates of 76 cents per share. The equity has had a rather lackluster response to this news and is trading down fractionally at midday.

Options players piled on the calls yesterday in advance of the company's earnings report. The October 35 call saw its open interest increase by over 2,300 contracts, an aggressive bet considering that October options expire on Friday. In addition, open interest on the November 37-1/2 call increased by over 2,000 contracts yesterday. Because of this activity, call open interest is now equal to put open interest on HON for options expiring within the next three months.
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by 10/17/2000 11:58 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Parametric Technology (PMTC 10-3/8) reported earnings this morning of three cents per share, a penny ahead of Street expectations. The equity had rallied for the past three sessions in anticipation of this news, but today, the shares are down over four percent.

The three-day rally took the stock right up to its 20-day moving average, which it hasn't been able to close above since September 14.

Considering that the shares are trading 70 percent below their near-term high from March 10, it's understandable that PMTC's options configuration reflects pessimism. Puts currently outnumber calls by six percent for options in the front three-month series. However yesterday, PMTC witnessed call adds in advance of its earnings report. Open interest on the November 7-1/2 call increased by over 5,000 contracts, while approximately 1,000 contracts were added to the October 12-1/2 call. <
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by 10/17/2000 11:31 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Micron Technology (MU 29-5/16) has collapsed by just over four points, or greater than 13 percent, this morning after the chipmaker was downgraded to "attractive" from "buy" by an analyst. He expects the shares to reach 50 in a year, which is less than his previous estimate of 110. The equity was also cut from "strong buy" to "outperform" by a major brokerage firm.

With today's weakness, the security has plunged to its lowest intraday mark since mid-August 1999. MU is also trading well beneath its 20-month moving average, a long-term trendline that it hasn't finished a month below since September 1998. We view the 20-month moving average as the line of demarcation between a bull and bear market.

In MU's options pit this morning, the near-the-money October 30 call is leading the way on volume of 1,122 contracts. This option has open interest of 204 contracts, meaning that most of this activity should become new positions.

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by 10/17/2000 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The CBOE Internet Index (INX 326.87) has crumbled by more than 24 points, or nearly seven percent, in late-morning trading. This decline has the index poised to close at its worst level since mid-December 1998. The INX has retreated under the pressure of its downsloping five-day moving average by almost 46 percent since notching a near-term intraday high on September 5.

Leading INX laggards so far today are Amazon.com (AMZN 21-1/4), down 12.6 percent; America Online (AOL 46.05), down 12.4 percent; CMGI Inc. (CMGI 15-5/8), down 10.4 percent; Exodus Communications (EXDS 34-7/16), down 9.8 percent; RealNetworks (RNWK 22-9/16), down 9.3 percent; Yahoo! (YHOO 50-7/16), down 8.8 percent; and eBay (EBAY 54-9/16), down 8.1 percent.

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