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by 10/11/2000 10:37 AM
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This morning, General Electric (GE 56-1/2) reported third-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts' estimates of 32 cents per share. This was not enough to save the stock from today's broad downdraft, as GE is down over two percent in early trading.

The stock has been stuck in a short-term trading range capped at the 60 strike, which is home to over 22,000 October call contracts.

In advance of GE's earnings report, options players were adding puts yesterday. Open interest on the November 55 put increased from 7,551 contracts to 11,274 contracts. This heavy put open interest may work with the 28,024 contracts on the October 55 put to provide options-related support for the shares.

by 10/11/2000 10:28 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Elegant department-store name Nordstrom (JWN 14-15/16) has not had a banner year, despite its upscale image. Since its mid-April peak and annual high of 34-1/2, the stock has eroded nearly 60 percent, sinking below all of its significant moving averages in the process. The stock is now perched at levels not seen since the summer of 1993.

Today, JWN has relinquished almost five percent on a third-quarter earnings warning. Before the open, the retailer said that lower-than-expected sales performance will result in earnings of between 19 and 20 cents per share. The consensus estimate on Wall Street was for the company to earn 24 cents per share. Although contributing to this shortfall, according to JWN officials, will be $43 million in various charges and increased expenses. JWN is expected to report earnings in mid-November.

by 10/11/2000 10:12 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Talbots (TLB 72-3/4) is an upscale purveyor of dressy and casual clothes for women. The firm operates almost 700 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Last Thursday, TLB shares rallied almost 11 percent after announcing that same-store sales for September had climbed 24.8 percent. Since then, the stock has remained above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, trendlines that are nearing a bullish crossover.

Today, TLB shares are rallying more than two percent after announcing a two-for-one stock split. The split will occur on November 7 for those shareholders of record on October 25.

TLB is continually ignored by the speculative crowd, as its site of heaviest open interest, the out-of-the-money November 20 put, is home to only 200 contracts.

by 10/11/2000 9:26 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
On Tuesday, Trigon Healthcare (TGH 59-1/2) announced that its third-quarter profit from operations was 89 to 93 cents per share. The managed-care company was expected to earn 79 cents per share, according to First Call estimates. The firm was maintained a "buy" by PaineWebber Group, which also raised its 2000 and 2001 earnings-per-share estimates on TGH.

The stock revved up by more than three percent in yesterday's trading. The shares have elevated by over 25 percent since logging a near-term intraday low on September 18, using enduring support from their ascending 10-day moving average. From an intermediate-term perspective, the security has advanced by nearly 177 percent since its early October 1999 bottom.


by 10/10/2000 3:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MWD 74-7/8) has led brokerage stocks lower today on rumors that a brokerage firm has suffered significant losses from junk bond positions. In late trading, MWD was down almost 12 percent. This move has taken the stock well below its 10-month moving average, but it remains above its 20-month trendline, which resides near the 66 area.

MWD's options pit is active today, particularly on the put side. The October 80 put is leading the way with almost 4,300 contracts in volume on open interest of 6,120 contracts. This is followed by volume of 2,080 and 3,222 contracts, respectively, on the October 75 and January 80 puts, which have open interest of 1,384 and 3,222, respectively.

On the call side, the October 75 call has seen 1,600 contracts cross the tape. Since this option has open interest of just 128 contracts, this activity likely represents new positions. In addition, the October 85, 90, and 100 calls have also registered volume of over 1,000 contracts each. <

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