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by 10/24/2000 2:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Mylan Laboratories (MYL – 27-3/8) has ebbed by over two points, or more than seven percent, this afternoon to dip back below its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. This retreat comes just two sessions after the shares recorded a 5-1/2-month closing best. However, the stock continues to receive support from its 10-week moving average, a trendline that the security hasn't ended a week lower than since late July.

In MYL's options pit today, 1,192 contracts have crossed the tape on the out-of-the-money November 30 call, which has open interest of 687 contracts. In addition, 4,850 contracts have transpired on the in-the-money November 30 put. Open interest on this option stands at just 80 contracts, indicating that almost all of today's volume should become new positions. This is presently among the most-active puts on the AMEX.

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by 10/24/2000 12:31 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Insurance Index (IUX – 785.25) has stepped up by nearly 20 points, or more than two percent, in early afternoon trading. Today's climb has the index poised to challenge its all-time closing best of 787.5 from October 2. The IUX has been technically sound over the intermediate term, using its supportive 10-week moving average to vault ahead by almost 81 percent since its mid-March bottom.

Top IUX performers so far today include Conseco (CNC – 7), up 10.8 percent; Lincoln National (LNC – 46-7/8), up 5.9 percent; Allstate (ALL – 35-15/16), up 5.7 percent; Progressive (PGR – 92), up 5.6 percent; and Torchmark (TMK – 29-15/16), up 5.2 percent. LNC posted third-quarter earnings of 98 cents per share, topping Street estimates by nine cents per share, while TMK met third-quarter earnings expectations of 72 cents per share.

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by 10/24/2000 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Electronic Arts (ERTS – 51-1/4) is the top publisher of video games in the United States, according to Hoover's Online. The company's popular titles include Madden NFL, SimCity, and RoadRash. The firm manufactures games for the Sony PlayStation console as well as for PCs. ERTS has not partaken in the tech sector's volatility over the last several months, instead maintaining a steady upward trend. Since late May, the equity has climbed just shy of 110 percent.

In today's session, however, the security has retreated over seven percent. This decline was spurred by a brokerage downgrade issued just after the open. Bear Stearns reduced its rating on the shares from a "buy" to an "attractive." This pullback has taken ERTS to potential support at its ascending 10-week moving average. This intermediate-term trendline has supported all but one weekly close since June 2.
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by 10/24/2000 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Operating around 550 branches, Countrywide Credit (CCR – 35-3/4) is the largest independent residential mortgage lender in the United States. The company's shares have declined nearly 15 percent in the last five weeks, breaching their 10-week and 20-week moving averages in the process.

Yesterday, CCR saw unusual option activity, as its November 40 call was among the most-active options on the PHLX. Over 3,700 contracts traded on this out-of-the-money option. The bulk of this volume translated into new positions, as open interest at this strike rose from 6,884 to 9,953 contracts. Most of this activity was executed in the form of large block trades that crossed the tape before 10:00 a.m. These went off near the ask price. <
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by 10/24/2000 10:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Beleaguered Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT – 16.48) suffered more bad news today when the company reported a loss of three cents per share in the third quarter. Analysts had expected GT to lose just two cents per share. The shares are off three percent in early trading in reaction to this news and are within spitting distance of a nine-year low.

Amazingly, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on GT reveals that optimism is on the rise. The SOIR has fallen from a reading near 1.4 in mid-August to today's ratio of 0.72, which is lower than 92 percent of all readings taken over the past year.

It appears that a trader is rolling out a position from the November 15 put to the December 15 put. Both options saw a 1,000-contract block transact this morning on open interest of 1,020 and 1,000 contracts, respectively.
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