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by 8/23/2000 1:11 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Chip giant Motorola (MOT - 36-1/2) is fractionally higher in today's trading. The stock is now back above its 20-month moving average, which currently resides at approximately 35, after closing the past three months below this trendline.

In today's option activity, it appears that an institutional player initiated some type of position on the shares using a pair of January 2003 LEAPS. The January 2003 50 call and the January 2003 25 put have each seen over 8,000 contracts cross the tape. In each case, the volume went off in a series of large block trades.

by 8/23/2000 11:49 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX - 1138.36) is one of the top-performing indices so far today, pushing ahead by more than 14 points, or over one percent. The index is obtaining support from its 10-week moving average, which it closed above in last week's trading for the first time in a month.

A component issue leading the SOX higher this morning is KLA-Tencor (KLAC - 58), which has gained 4.1 percent to tally its top intraday level since July 19. Additional SOX equities doing well today include Teradyne (TER - 66-1/16), up 3.9 percent; Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC - 67-1/4), up 3.6 percent; and Novellus Systems (NVLS - 58-13/16), up 2.9 percent.<

by 8/23/2000 11:37 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
To follow-up a recent Market Observation on Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - 146-1/4), the company will undergo a two-for-one stock split before Thursday's opening bell.

Investors have sent the stock into all-time high territory this morning ahead of tomorrow's split, as the security is presently in the black by over seven points, or greater than five percent. VRTX has rallied 63 percent from a short-term intraday bottom on August 3 to today's all-time intraday high, using reliable support from its uptrending 10-day moving average.

Despite this dramatic upturn, the options crowd has shied away from this outperformer, as call activity has been relatively light recently. For example, the October 140 call is the leader in VRTX's pit today on volume of a mere 200 contracts. As contrarians, we view this complacency as a bullish omen for the equity's near-term outlook.


by 8/23/2000 11:36 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Seagram Co. (VO - 55-1/4) has retreated by more than one percent in late-morning trading, dipping back below both its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The stock is also encountering overhead resistance from its descending 10-week trendline. Since notching a near-term intraday high on June 19, the shares have stepped back by 15 percent.

In VO's options pit today, 2,500 contracts have changed hands on the in-the-money November 50 call. Most of this volume came on a 1,868-contract block that transacted above the ask price. The option has open interest of only 110 contracts, so most of this morning's activity should become new positions. Currently, this is the most-active call contract on the Pacific Exchange.


by 8/23/2000 11:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
CMGI (CMGI - 39-1/2) is a firm that invests in high-quality Internet names. The company's portfolio consists of 70 equities, including such names as Lycos (LCOS - 61),, and iCAST. Additionally, the company owns an 83-percent stake in the search engine Alta Vista.

This morning, CMGI announced its latest method of propaganda for its name; it is buying the naming rights to the New England Patriots' stadium. CMGI will pay $7.6 million each year for a 10-year period.

The technology company could use a boost of late, given its recent price action. Since hitting double-top resistance in early March, CMGI has declined over 70 percent. Today's news has given the equity a nearly five-percent boost, taking it above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. CMGI may want to take heed of "The Stadium Jinx," a phenomenon which Bernie Schaeffer discussed in early July.

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