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by 11/6/2000 5:13 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Computer storage maker EMC Corp. (EMC - 94-13/16) is off over three percent today as it continues to struggle in its attempts to overcome the century mark. From its late-May low of just above 50, EMC more than doubled to reach an all-time high at 104-15/16 on September 25. In early October, EMC fell back below the key 100 level and has made three unsuccessful attempts to overtake this important resistance.

Interestingly, today's price action has brought out a large options player speculating that EMC will continue to have trouble with 100. At some point this morning, a large position was opened using the January 105 call and the January 95 put. Total volume on each option was more than 14,000 contracts. Though it is difficult to tell as the trades came across the tape late, it appears that the institution sold the January 105 call for an average of 7-1/4 per contract. With the premium collected, the trader purchased an equal number of January 95 put contracts with an average price of approximately 9 per contract. The resulting premium required would be 1-3/4 per contract, or about $2,450,000. This option position would be profitable if EMC is at 93-1/4 or less at January's expiration.
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by 11/6/2000 4:29 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Voicestream Wireless (VSTR - 117-3/8) released third-quarter earnings after the close of trading today. The results, however, were nothing to write home about. VSTR reported a loss of $3.02 per share versus the consensus estimate of a $1.99-per-share loss. In after-hours activity, the shares of VSTR are still halted. <
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by 11/6/2000 4:06 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The percentage-gain leader on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU - 10977.2) in late trading is General Motors (GM - 60-15/16). GM is up nearly seven percent on the day after bouncing off support at 57. This level acted as support in both June and July as GM free fell from its all-time high of 94-5/8 in late April. Though 57 failed to hold during GM's recent drop to 54-1/2, it was the intraday low on Friday as well as its Friday closing price. Though GM has moved steadily higher today to once again regain its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, it remains below its 10-week and 20-week moving averages, trendlines that rejected GM's rally attempt last week at 63-3/4.

Option activity continues to be weighted heavily toward the call side, as option speculators maintain their misguided optimism. The most active option is the at-the-money November 60 call with over 2,000 contracts traded. On the put side, the most active option is the November 55 put with just over 700 contracts traded. <
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by 11/6/2000 10:38 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Nasdaq-100 Trust (QQQ - 83-1/16) mounted the comeback trail last week, pushing above its formerly overhead 10-day and 20-day moving averages. From a longer-term technical perspective, bulls can gain solace that the QQQ found support from its 20-month moving average despite the recent weakness in tech stocks. The 20-month moving average currently resides at approximately 79-1/2.

It is interesting to note that the two most-active November QQQ options on Friday were both puts. The out-of-the-money November 77 and November 80 puts traded over 20,500 and 13,600 contracts, respectively. The volume was mostly the work of speculators entering new positions, as open interest rose by 15,900 contracts on the November 77 put and by 9,000 contracts on the November 80 put.
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by 11/6/2000 10:37 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Abbott Laboratories (ABT - 52-3/4) has spent the last two months trending higher along its 20-day moving average. ABT has risen nearly 25 percent since its September 6 close, using this short-term trendline as support.

In Friday's trading, the November 50 put was active on ABT. This out-of-the-money option saw over 7,300 contracts change hands on Friday, with roughly 6,300 contracts of the volume translating into new open interest. The remaining front-month options saw only light volume.
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