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by 10/25/2000 1:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
PE Corp. - PE Biosystems Group (PEB – 96-1/4) is a biotechnology research firm. Today, the stock is trading seven percent lower on no news. This move lower has taken the shares back below their 20-day moving average.

PEB is extraordinarily active on the options front today, boasting one of the most-active calls on the Pacific Exchange. In early afternoon trading, 3,225 contracts had already changed hands on the December 100 call. This now-out-of-the-money option was home to only 122 contracts before today. This suggests that the bulk of today's volume will likely translate into new open interest. Contributing in large part to PEB's options volume today was a block of 1,000 contracts that traded between the bid and the ask price shortly before 11:00 a.m. Additionally, a number of other block trades ranging in size from 200 to 500 contracts were executed in the morning. These primarily traded between the bid and the ask prices. <
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by 10/25/2000 12:33 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The PHLX KBW Banking Index (BKX – 833.29) has avoided today's broad-market weakness and is currently ahead by nearly 14 points. The BKX is now sitting just below its descending 20-day moving average, a trendline that the index hasn't finished a session higher than since October 5. The index is also perched barely beneath its 20-week moving average, which it has closed the past week below. From a long-term perspective, the BKX, which is up more than 13 percent since its October 18 intraday low, has shown its recent strength by overtaking both its 10-month and 20-month trendlines.

Equities leading the BKX higher today are Mellon Financial (MEL – 44), up 4.4 percent; First Union (FTU – 29-5/16), up 3.3 percent; SunTrust Banks (STI – 46-3/8), up 2.4 percent; Wells Fargo (WFC – 44-5/16), up 2.3 percent; FleetBoston Financial (FBF – 35-5/8), up 2.1 percent; BB&T Corp. (BBT – 30-1/16), up 2.1 percent; and Comerica (CMA – 56-7/8), up two percent.


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by 10/25/2000 10:27 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Ma Bell is giving birth to more offspring again today, as AT&T (T – 24-1/4) announced this morning that it will break its enterprise into four new units: AT&T Wireless, AT&T Broadband (a cable firm), AT&T Business, and AT&T Consumer. The re-structuring plan is scheduled for completion in 2002. The Wireless and Broadband units will be offered publicly as common stocks, while the Consumer operations will be regulated by a tracking stock. The Business unit will represent the core of T.

In other news, T announced third-quarter earnings last night of 38 cents per share, exceeding analysts' estimates by two cents per share. Revenue for the quarter climbed about four percent compared to 1999. The telecommunications firm's revenue from consumer services declined. T officials cited increased competition in the long-distance field and the growing use of wireless service. Wall Street was eager to submit its two cents this morning, as two brokerage firms downgraded the shares, while one firm boosted its rating on T as well as on AT&T Wireless (AWE – 21-1/2).

In mid-morning trading, T has declined nearly 10 percent on the various news. The most-active T option trading is the April 30 put, where 3,500 contracts have traded. The April 30 call is a close second, having seen 2,952 contracts cross the tape. These are currently two of the most-active options on the CBOE
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by 10/25/2000 10:11 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Excite@Home (ATHM – 10-1/2), which is controlled by AT&T (T – 25-3/16), offers Internet service to over two million residential subscribers. Ma Bell holds a 25-percent economic interest and a 74-percent voting interest in the firm. Since early December, ATHM has been declining beneath unyielding resistance at its 10-week and 20-week moving averages. Furthermore, the equity resides beneath its long-term moving averages.

After last night's close, ATHM reported a third-quarter loss of 10 cents per share, matching the consensus estimate on Wall Street. However, ATHM officials forecasted that its fourth-quarter loss should be in the neighborhood of eight-to-10 cents per share, as opposed to the six-cent loss expected by analysts. Lower-than-expected revenue growth throughout the third quarter has been cited for this impending shortcoming. Shortly before the close, ATHM's rating at a brokerage house was cut from an "outperform" to a "hold."

Surprisingly, the equity has risen over three percent today, despite its earnings forecast and broader-market weakness. <
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by 10/25/2000 10:11 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Ask Jeeves (ASKJ – 10-57/64) operates an Internet search engine that allows its users to frame their searches in the form of a question. Additionally, the company designs specialized search engines for corporate Internet sites. Similar to the majority of Internet names, ASKJ has been slipping lower throughout 2000, sitting almost 95 percent off its annual high of 190-1/2 reached last November.

Today, ASKJ has already sloughed off 1-1/4 points, or over 10 percent, in early trading. Last night, the company reported a third-quarter loss of 36 cents per share. This was an upside surprise, as Wall Street had expected the firm to post a wider loss of 42 cents per share. Company officials also noted that ASKJ should enjoy "sustained profitability" by the fourth quarter of 2001. However, this strong fundamental news was clouded by the announcement of the company's chief financial officer resignation. This morning before the open, the stock was downgraded at a brokerage house from a "strong buy" to a "buy."
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