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by 11/1/2000 9:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, insurance giant Aetna (AET – 57-13/16) released better-than-expected third-quarter earnings of $1.10 per share, which exceeded Wall Street estimates by 20 cents per share. In addition, the firm stated that it remains committed to its plan to exit about half of its Medicare HMO markets on January 1, 2001, a move the company expects will result in substantial improvement in the results of the remaining Medicare HMO business.

AET shares have been trading virtually sideways since mid-July. This consolidation has significantly reduced the effectiveness of the equity's moving-average trendlines.
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by 11/1/2000 9:04 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Contract manufacturing firm Solectron (SLR – 44) announced early this morning that it will acquire Singapore's NatSteel Electronics for $2.42 billion. According to SLR, the acquisition will enable it to add more high volume, low-cost production in Asia and to increase the number of factories that can serve the Asian consumer markets. With the addition of NatSteel Electronics' 11 factories, SLR will now have a total of 70 plants worldwide.

Technically speaking, SLR closed yesterday just below support at the site of its 20-week moving average. The equity dropped over eight percent Tuesday on heavy volume.
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by 11/1/2000 9:03 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Since disappointing earnings news rocked the shares of Novell (NOVL - 9) in May, the stock has been dead money. NOVL has spent the next six months mired in a trading range between 7-1/2 and 12-3/4. A renewed interest in tech stocks attracted some investors to NOVL in yesterday's session. The stock moved 7/16 higher to close at 9, logging a second consecutive close above its 20-day moving average. Options traders showed interest in the December 10 call yesterday. Over 3,000 contracts changed hands on the option, with approximately 2,400 contracts translating into new open interest. Activity on the remaining options in the November and December series was light by comparison.<
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by 11/1/2000 8:59 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The shares of Ford Motor (F - 26-1/8) have been dragged modestly higher this week by the rally in the broader market. It appears that option speculators believe the stock could motor even higher. Among the November and December option series on F, the November 27-1/2 call saw the brunt of the volume. Over 3,800 contracts changed hands on this out-of-the-money option yesterday, with about 3,100 contracts translating into new open interest. From a technical perspective, F remains in a trading range that has seen the security oscillate between 23 and 28 for the past two months.
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by 11/1/2000 8:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Nasdaq-100 Trust (QQQ - 81-45/64) began trading in March 1999. This is significant because today's turn of the calendar page to November means the QQQ begins trading today in its 21st month. As a result, the monthly closes in the QQQ can now be totaled to arrive at a 20-month moving average. We commonly use the 20-month trendline as a line of demarcation between a bull and bear market. The 20-month will reside at approximately 78, meaning the QQQ has been able to muscle back above this level after violating it on numerous occasions in October. It is also interesting to note that during October, the QQQ never failed to make a weekly close above 78.
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