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by 1/23/2001 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF – 26-3/4) sells upscale casual apparel for men, women, and children through a network of 290 stores as well as catalog and online operations. ANF shares struggled between June 1999 and May 2000, depreciating 84 percent during that time frame and sinking into single-digit territory. Since then, however, the equity has been staging a slow recovery. The equity is poised to close January above both its 10-month and 20-month moving averages, a feat it has not achieved since July 1999.

Today, the shares got some help from Wall Street, as two brokerage houses initiated separate coverage on the shares with a "strong buy" and a "buy" rating. Additionally, Merrill Lynch upped its near-term rating on the stock from an "accumulate" to a "buy." The stock is trading more than six percent higher in late-morning trading.

On the options front, 700 contracts have traded on the ANF May 17-1/2 put. Open interest at this out-of-the-money strike stood at only 26 contracts prior to today's trading, suggesting that the bulk of today's volume should translate into new open interest.
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by 1/23/2001 11:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
It seems that drug stocks are now being subjected to high investor expectations that had once been the hallmark of the technology earnings season. Merck (MRK – 73-3/4) announced today that earnings met estimates of 75 cents per shares, however, the stock is currently trading down 3.11 percent.

On a technical basis, MRK has faced resistance in the form of its overhead 10-day and 20-week moving averages. The equity's 10-day trendline has been consistently rebuffing the stock's upward momentum for the past several sessions. <
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by 1/23/2001 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Eagle Global Logistics (EAGL – 27-1/16) is still flying high after warning that they would most likely miss Street estimates for fourth-quarter earnings. The global transportation and information services company expects earnings to glide in around 35 to 37 cents per share, short of analysts' estimates of 41 cents per share.

EAGL blames a softening economy and start-up costs related to leasing aircraft servicing for the earnings shortfall. The company slashed 300 jobs and reduced its number of short-term aircraft while they were renegotiating contracts entered by Circle International, who was recently merged with EAGL.

While the stock contentedly trades above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, it is currently combating levels where it bearishly gapped on December 15.
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by 1/23/2001 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Rising fuel prices have taken some of the steam out of Burlington Northern Santa Fe's (BNI – 28-9/16) earnings for the fourth quarter. The second-largest railroad in the United States, BNI posted earnings of 65 cents per share, chugging past estimates by a penny. Unfortunately, the company fell short of last year's fourth-quarter earnings of 69 cents per share. Reduced traffic brought on by a slowing economy and higher fuel prices helped to derail BNI's hopes of matching last year's earnings.

The shares began their second day of trading below their 10-day and 20-day moving averages for the first time since mid-December. The stock will find itself facing substantial resistance at the 30 level, where heavy call volume has been building.


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by 1/23/2001 10:46 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
DuPont Photomasks (DPMI - 68-3/4) is a company 55-percent owned by DuPont (DD - 43) that produces photomasks that are high-purity glass plates containing images of integrated circuits used in the production of semiconductors. As such, their business cycle runs several months behind semiconductor production.

The DPMI chart has been looking healthy the past several weeks, as the stock just climbed back to a price above its late-August high.

Today, DPMI released earnings of 64 cents per share, beating analysts' estimates by two cents per share. The 64-cent-per-share profit compared to 27 cents for the same quarter last year, while revenue climbed 45 percent.

So far today the stock has pulled back to the site of its 10-day moving average, although investors may be waiting for the company's conference call to be broadcast later this morning. Options are available for DPMI but are only lightly traded.
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