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by 10/9/2000 10:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Analog Devices (ADI 76-1/16) is off over nine percent in late-morning trading on no news. This continues a near-term descent that has seen the stock surrender almost 24 percent of its value since early September. Although the equity is trading below its key short-term and intermediate-term moving averages, its 10-week moving average remains just below near the 76 area.

On Friday, the deep-in-the-money October 50 and 55 calls captured most of the attention in ADI's options pit. Both options saw their open interest increase from zero to 5,450 and 5,000 contracts, respectively. It appears that a 5,000-contract spread was initiated late in the day using both options. These were among the most-active contracts on the Pacific Exchange on Friday. <
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by 10/9/2000 10:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In Friday's trading, Chase Manhattan (CMB 42-5/8) fell below the 44 area, which had served as the bottom of a long-term trading range since late December 1998. With this breakdown, the stock is now trending at levels not seen since the week of December 18, 1998. On a shorter-term basis, the shares have eroded by over 25 percent since mid-September.

This move lower sparked an increase in pessimistic sentiment from options players. On Friday, open interest on the October 40, October 45, and November 40 puts increased by 3,312, 3,555, and 2,564 contracts, respectively. On a longer-term basis, some traders were looking for an end to CMB's weakness. Open interest on the January 2002 50 call increased from 3,622 contracts to 10,360 contracts. This was one of the busiest calls on the CBOE on Friday.
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by 10/9/2000 10:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Intuit (INTU 53-5/8) is a financial software company responsible for the popular Quicken and QuickBooks brands. Since August 23, INTU has been trading sideways in a range between the 52 and 60 levels. This sideways consolidation has brought INTU within striking distance of potential support at its 10-week moving average, which is located just above the 53-1/2 level.

INTU options pits were unusually active on Friday, with the bulk of the activity being seen on the January 60 call. More than 5,300 contracts traded on this out-of-the-money position on Friday, generally trading in large blocks around the ask price. This volume boosted open interest at this call strike from 453 to 6,480 contracts.

INTU options activity is minimal today and the shares are trading moderately lower.
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by 10/9/2000 10:14 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Sonus Networks (SONS 107-5/8) provides voice infrastructure products. The security is trading over 14 points, or more than 11 percent, lower this morning ahead of the company's three-for-one stock split. This split will occur after today's close.

With this retreat, the shares have dipped to their worst intraday mark since June 19. Since notching an all-time intraday high on August 8, SONS has stepped back by greater than 61 percent under the pressure of its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.

Despite the equity's recent woes, short interest on this laggard retreated by over 15 percent to just 860,292 shares. From our contrarian stance, we view this decreased skepticism as a potential bearish omen given the security's underperformance.

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by 10/9/2000 9:48 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Williams-Sonoma (WSM 26-7/8) is an upscale retailer of products for the home. The company's network of 300-plus stores includes Pottery Barn and Hold Everything. In mid-September, WSM shares reached a six-month peak at 45-3/8. Since then, the equity has been declining rapidly and has relinquished 40 percent of its value through Friday's close.

The security is poised to take a turn for the worse today, as it is currently halted with an indicated bid price of 19 and an indicated ask price of 22. This impending plunge lower was catalyzed by the company's announcement that it will likely earn four to six cents per share for the third quarter. Analysts had expected the retailer to earn 18 cents per share. WSM cited disappointing catalog sales as the primary reason for this shortcoming. So far today, WSM had already been downgraded by two brokerage firms. <
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