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by 9/22/2000 3:12 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Zomax (ZOMX 8-1/16) is a maker of CD-ROMs for multimedia publishers. This morning, the company reported that it expects third-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share, which would fall short of analysts' predictions of 28 cents per share. Not surprisingly, investors have punished the stock in reaction to this warning, sending it onto the Nasdaq new lows list. The shares have plunged over nine points, or greater than 53 percent, to drop to levels not seen since late June 1999.

The options crowd, though, apparently has taken today's news as a chance to add call positions. The out-of-the-money October and January 10 calls have been active on volume of 503 and 519 contracts, respectively. This trading should amount to some new positions, as the October 10 call has open interest of only 26 contracts, while open interest on the January 10 call stands at 69 contracts.


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by 9/22/2000 2:44 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The AMEX Computer Hardware Index (HWI 399.89) is preparing to end this week's action on a sour note, as it has stepped back by nearly 18 points, or more than four percent. The index continues to hover close to the round-number 400 mark en route to dipping to its lowest intraday mark since August 3. The HWI has subtracted over 16 percent of its value since recording an all-time intraday high on September 1 under the pressure of its downsloping 10-day moving average.

Top HWI laggards this afternoon include Apple Computer (AAPL 51-13/16), down 8.5 percent; Dell Computer (DELL 35-9/16), down 6.4 percent; Silicon Graphics (SGI 3-11/16), down 6.3 percent; Micron Electronics (MUEI 11-11/16), down six percent; and Compaq Computer (CPQ 29-1/8), down 5.6 percent.


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by 9/22/2000 1:20 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Oil issue Cooper Cameron (CAM 73-1/16) has retreated by over two percent this afternoon, sinking to its worst intraday level since August 11. The shares have declined by more than 12 percent since tallying an all-time closing high on September 12. Recently, the stock's 10-day and 20-day moving averages completed a bearish crossover, which could be a further confirmation of this weakness. Also, CAM appears set to finish this week's trading beneath its 10-week trendline for the first time since late July.

On the options front today, 1,850 contracts have crossed the tape on the November 80 call. For the most part, these are likely new positions, as this out-of-the-money strike has open interest of 605 contracts. If this turns out to be the case, it could have bearish implications given the security's technical struggles.


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by 9/22/2000 12:30 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Amid today's broad-market retreat, one of the best-performing indices is the S&P Insurance Index (IUX 745.2). The IUX has stepped up by more than 17 points, or over two percent, to climb back above its 10-day moving average. The index had finished three of the past four sessions beneath this short-term trendline.

The leading IUX component in early afternoon action is Cigna (CI 92-7/8), which has advanced by 4.6 percent to overtake its 10-day moving average, a trendline it has only closed one trading day above in the last four-and-a-half weeks. Other top index performers today include Safeco (SFC 26-15/32), up 3.9 percent; Progressive (PGR 76-7/8), up 3.8 percent; AFLAC (AFL 63-5/16), up 3.3 percent; Chubb (CB 77-9/16), up 3.2 percent; MBIA (MBI 68-1/16), up 3.1 percent; and St. Paul Companies (SPC 49-13/16), up 3.1 percent.

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by 9/22/2000 10:23 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF 40-1/4) announced on Thursday that it may repurchase up to $100 million of its stock over the next three years, extending the buyback plan under which it bought $49.9 million of its shares since November 1997. The equity is down more than one percent in reaction to this development.

The stock vaulted ahead by more than five percent yesterday, as it approaches its overhead 10-day and 20-day moving averages. These two short-term trendlines recently crossed bearishly, which can be a sign of near-term weakness. The security is also sitting just above its ascending 10-week moving average, a trendline that has offered perfect support on a weekly closing basis since mid-June.

Given that TIF remains in the midst of an intermediate-term uptrend, options players have been showing increased optimism toward the equity since August expiration. On August 18, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on TIF stood at 1.01, which is significantly higher than its current SOIR reading of 0.16. Please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment to learn more about SOIR.


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