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by 12/14/2000 9:11 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In an environment where negative earnings pre-announcements have been commonplace, it is encouraging to see a company affirm that it expects to meet its earnings goals. United Parcel Service (UPS – 62-5/8) announced this morning that although they see "unusual" slowing in holiday shipments, they still expect to achieve their earnings target for 2001.

Amid weakness in the broad market, UPS shares have been edging quietly higher using their 10-week moving average as support. Yesterday, the January 60 put was active on UPS. Over 10,000 contracts changed hands on the option with virtually all of the volume translating into new open interest.
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by 12/14/2000 9:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, the Labor Department released November Producer Price Index (PPI) results. Overall, the November PPI rose by 0.1 percent, after rising by 0.4 percent in October. Today's figures were in line with analysts' estimates, which also called for a 0.1-percent advance.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sector, the core index came in flat. This figure surprised many analysts, as they anticipated a 0.1-percent increase in core prices. Today's numbers illustrate that inflationary pressures in the economy remain light. In response to the news, the March S&P 500 futures contract (SP/H1 – 1413.40) is down 4.90 points, which indicates a lower open.<
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by 12/13/2000 5:10 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
For observers of the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 2822) who are interested in trendlines, note the COMP's peak this past Monday is the site of a descending trendline that can be drawn from the September 1 high of 4259.8 through the November 6 peak at 3480.0, and finally through the December 11 peak. If December 11 turns out to be a short-term top, it will have occurred at 3028.8, which was mentioned in this section yesterday as the site of previous lows in May and October.
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by 12/13/2000 1:36 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, two major brokerage firms simultaneously downgraded several semiconductor capital equipment manufacturers. Sales into 2001 may be as low as half of original projections, partially due to lower orders from Asia. Merrill Lynch and Salomon Smith Barney are generally tagging the sector with a "neutral" rating. Specific companies downgraded include Applied Materials (AMAT – 43), KLA-Tencor (KLAC – 30-13/16), and Novellus (NVLS – 30-3/4). The PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX – 608) and the companies affected are generally trading down about four to five percent so far today. <
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by 12/13/2000 12:31 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
If you track activity on the Nasdaq-100 Trust (QQQ – 70-9/16) as we do, yesterday may have been a major disappointment in terms of excitement, due to the lack of volume.

The QQQ approximates 1/40th of the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX – 2833). The advantage to the QQQ is that it trades exactly like a stock but can be shorted on a downtick. As such, increased trading volume can be indicative of investor fear. Yesterday, the NDX lost over one percent while the QQQ volume came in at a paltry 31.05 million shares.

Already today, with the NDX off just over two percent, volume on the QQQ has already exceeded yesterday's levels. As of 12:30 (just over one-half of the trading day), volume stands at over 34 million shares. <
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