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by 1/5/2001 9:35 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In a market fraught with tech earnings disappointments, BMC Software (BMCS - 22-5/16) bucked the trend Wednesday by announcing that they expect to earn between 20 and 22 cents for their third quarter. The Street had been expecting the company to post profits of sixteen cents for the quarter. BMCS shares reacted positively to the news. The stock skyrocketed over 42-percent in yesterday's trading.

In BMCS options, the January 25 call was active. This out-of-the-money option saw over 12,000 contracts change hands yesterday. Open interest on the option rose by nearly 11,000 contracts.
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by 1/5/2001 9:10 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
There was no big surprise in the jobs information released this morning. Most of the figures were consistent with a slightly softening economy. The week's most important economic report showed that December unemployment remained at four percent, the same as November. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 105,000.

These figures are very close to the expected unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and payroll figure of 110,000. The manufacturing sector lost 62,000 jobs, while service industries added 183,000.

Weekly unemployment claims rose a seasonally adjusted 16,000 to 385,000 last week. The previous week's estimated figures were also revised from the original figure of 333,000 to 359,000. Most job losses were in cyclical sectors of manufacturing in the "heartland" of the country.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, while expectations were in the 0.3 percent area. This figure is watched closely for signs of inflation.
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by 1/4/2001 3:41 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, Kohls (KSS – 69-9/16) reported huge sales numbers. The company announced same store sales were up 14.8 percent, which led to an overall 37 percent increase in total sales. Wall Street clearly approves of this incredible performance, particularly in light of the terrible overall outlook for holiday retail sales. The stock is up 9.50 percent in today's trading, hitting a new all-time high.<
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by 1/4/2001 3:17 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In the case of high-end retailer Tiffany & Co. (TIF - 30-3/8) it is as if yesterday did not exist. After rocketing nearly 23 percent higher in yesterday's action, the equity is now trading back around Tuesday's closing price of 30-3/16. Today's dramatic sell-off can be attributed to an earnings warning and resulting ratings downgrades from three brokerage firms. TIF announced that fourth-quarter earnings should come in at 56 cents per share, which is eight-cents less than Wall Street estimates. <
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by 1/4/2001 1:09 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Retail Index (RLX - 905.3) is trading 1.1percent lower today. In contrast, after yesterday's surprise Fed rate cut, the index busted above its 20-unit monthly moving average for the first time in five months, rallying over seven percent on the day. In July 2000, the RLX moved below this trendline, proving to be in bear mode since the summer. It will be important for the RLX to close above this trendline for January's close to officially be considered back in bull status.

Interestingly enough, the retailing group reacted positively to reports in the last week of December about disappointing Christmas sales. Why this occurred is being attributed to yesterday's rate cut, as it appears the Street was beginning to factor this move into the sector.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - 57-1/2), a bellwether in the group, surged past potential call resistance at the 55 and 57-1/2 strike prices. However, it must now contend with the 60 strike, home of over 19,000 calls in the January series. Those that sold these calls to open positions would love to see WMT finish below 60 at January expiration so that they can pocket the premium.
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