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by 1/30/2001 2:13 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Applied Materials (AMAT - 53-3/8) is trading over six-percent higher today, as it moves from its uptrending 20-day moving average.

I went back and checked the open interest configuration now compared to when the shares experienced a short-term peak at 98 in June of 2000. It appears option speculators are far less optimistic about the shares' short-term prospects now versus then, despite the fact that the stock is now trading above its 50-day moving average, while it was breaking below this trendline in late-June 2000.

For example, call open interest at the front-month July 110 strike in June of last year was 11,000 contracts. This strike was 12% out of the money, suggesting speculative activity. Now, with the shares trading at 53 and change, there are 11,000 calls at the front-month February strike, but note how these options are in-the-money and thus less speculative in nature.

What does this mean? From an intermediate-term perspective, the stock is in better technical condition with respect to its 50-day moving average, however expectations are a lot more tame than in mid-2000.
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by 1/30/2001 1:02 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Intel (INTC – 37-3/4) unveiled two new ultra-low power mobile processors. The semiconductor chip maker is attempting to fulfill the consumer's desire for less power consumption in small mobile PCs. INTC is up approximately two percent on the positive news.

On the technical side, the stock continues to climb since it crossed above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages on January 19. After breaking above their 10-week moving average, the shares are now trading at their 20-week moving average, which has proved to be a level of resistance for INTC since September.
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by 1/30/2001 11:54 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Before the open today, United Parcel Service (UPS – 61.39) announced fourth-quarter earnings of 63 cents per share, surpassing analysts' estimates by two pennies. This was also a 12.5-percent increase over last year's figures. The stock is responding with little fanfare, rising less than one percent in late-morning trading.

The stock has enjoyed a decent 2001 so far, rising nearly 15 percent since its December 21 low. The shares are now trading back above their 10-day and 20-day moving averages.

On the options front, the most-active position in today's activity is the January 2003 50 put LEAP, which has seen 500 contracts change hands. <
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by 1/30/2001 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Expedia (EXPE – 18-1/8) reported a second-quarter earnings loss of six cents per share. This narrower-than-expected loss beat analysts' expectations by nine cents per share. The online travel firm has already risen more than nine percent on the positive news and continues to climb. EXPE has received an added boost from a bullish cross of its 10-day and 20-day moving average during the middle of this month. Pulling away from its steeply rising 10-day moving average, the stock is trading in a range that it has not seen since last July.
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by 1/30/2001 11:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Results of the consumer confidence index were released this morning, and it wasn't a pretty picture. For the month of January, the index had fallen to 114.4, more than the gently sloping 124.7 most analysts had been predicting. This is the lowest level the index has seen in more than four years. Yet, with this steep fall, the likelihood of the Fed cutting interest rates by 50 basis points on Wednesday rises even further. <
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