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by 11/22/2000 11:20 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Yesterday, Merck (MRK –90-9/16) received a six-month extension of exclusivity for its antacid drug, Pepcid. Since hitting a new high of 92-3/4 on November 10, the stock has been bouncing in a range between 88 and 92-1/2. Yesterday, it closed at its converging 10-day and 20-day moving averages, again edging closer to the recent high. Summoning the strength to overcome the 92-3/4 mark would bode well for future gains. In MRK's options pit, the December 90 put is the most active, with 1,200 contracts crossing the tape so far this morning.
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by 11/22/2000 11:17 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Trigon Healthcare (TGH – 74) hit a new high of 81-1/2 last Thursday. Then on Monday, Prudential downgraded the entire industry. This caused TGH to open lower and slide into the low 70s. Yesterday, however, TGH bounced up to close above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The shares have been on a solid run for the past two months, having gained 55 percent since mid-September. Today, the stock opened lower but appears to have found some support from its 20-day moving average. Options do not trade on TGH.
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by 11/22/2000 10:51 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Women's apparel retailer Liz Claiborne (LIZ – 38-15/16) has tumbled over four percent today following news of a management shake-up within the company. Last night just after the market close, the firm's Chief Executive Officer announced that LIZ's president, who had served in the post since 1996, had resigned. The CEO also asserted that a number of other management changes were in the works.

LIZ shares, which have declined 16 percent since the beginning of the month, are now trading below their 10-week and 20-week moving averages. They are also a chip shot away from breaching their 20-month trendline. Options are thinly traded on the equity, as only three strikes house more than 100 open contracts. <
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by 11/22/2000 9:12 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Semiconductor firm Novell (NOVL - 7-7/16) was downgraded this morning by a major brokerage firm from a "market outperform" to a "market perform" rating. Last night after the close, NOVL reported fourth-quarter earnings of breakeven, which was in line with analysts' estimates. In a statement following the earnings release, however, the firm noted that 2001 incremental expenses would be higher than expected.
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by 11/22/2000 8:47 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
For the week ending November 18, U.S. jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 336,000. This number was significantly higher than analyst estimates, which called for a 6,000 decrease in the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits. Today's numbers suggest that the tight U.S. labor market appears to be softening as the economy slows. <
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