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by 8/21/2000 12:32 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
After finding intraday resistance at the 1500 level in both last Thursday's and last Friday's trading, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1500.72) has been able to move above this key level. After moving as high as 1502.80 earlier this morning, the SPX pulled back to successfully test the 1500 level from above. It will be important to see where the SPX closes today in relation to this psychologically important level. A close significantly above this level argues for a move to the next "half-century" level, 1550, which was resistance for the index in late March.<
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by 8/21/2000 12:06 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - 53-1/16) has risen over three percent today after receiving positive mention in this weekend's Barron's. The weekly publication cited a fund manager with Invesco, who said that the stock has the potential of reaching 60 in the next few months, as investors recognize the equity's "inherent value." A move to 60 would mark a nearly 17-percent increase from Friday's closing price.

BMY is seeing notable option activity today, with nearly everything concentrated on the put side. The September 60 and 65 put strikes have seen 2,500 and 2,200 contracts trade today, respectively. A number of large blocks were traded as spreads between these two front-month positions during the first half-hour of trading. Additionally, 4,740 contracts have changed hands on the January 2002 60 LEAPS put. Prior to today, this strike was home to 2,804 contracts, suggesting that at least half of today's volume consists of new positions. Two mammoth blocks of 2,230 and 2,500 contracts were executed around 10:00 a.m. This is currently the most-active put option trading on the CBOE today.
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by 8/21/2000 11:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
VeriSign (VRSN - 166-3/4) gapped up 5-7/8 points at the open this morning in response to an upgrade from a major brokerage firm. The shares are currently holding on to a seven-point, or 4.5-percent, gain. From its low on August 11, the stock has advanced by over 21 percent. This has taken the equity back above its 10-month moving average, a trendline that has contained all monthly closes since it formed in October 1998. Today's move also has the security poised to close above its 20-day moving average for the first time since July 25.

The expiration of the August option series on Friday resulted in a noteworthy decline in Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for VRSN. Friday's SOIR reading stood at 0.64, while the ratio came in at 0.49 today. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment. <
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by 8/21/2000 11:18 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning's top underperforming index is the S&P Retail Index (RLX - 815.2), which has declined by just over 18 points, or more than two percent. This retreat has the index poised to log its lowest close since March 14. Since registering a near-term intraday high on July 11, the RLX has stepped back by almost 15 percent and is now sitting beneath all of its significant moving averages. Index components contributing to today's woes include RadioShack (RSH - 61), down 3.9 percent; Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - 48-5/8), down 3.7 percent; Best Buy (BBY - 71), down 3.7 percent; Costco Wholesale (COST - 32-1/2), down 2.9 percent; May Department Stores (MAY - 23-1/2), down 2.8 percent; and Sears, Roebuck and Co. (S - 30-3/4), down 2.7 percent.
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by 8/21/2000 11:17 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Honeywell International (HON - 36-5/8) has gained more than one point, or over three percent, this morning to overtake its 10-week moving average. The stock has not closed a week higher than this intermediate-term trendline since early June.

In HON's options pit so far today, 1,005 contracts have crossed the tape on the out-of-the-money October 37-1/2 call. This option has no open interest, so all of today's volume should translate to new positions. On the put side, 1,703 and 1,000 contracts, respectively, have traded at the September 32-1/2 and October 37-1/2 strikes. The September 32-1/2 put has open interest of 3,061 contracts, while there is no open interest on the October 37-1/2 put. The October 37-1/2 call and put are now two of the most-active options on the PHLX.<
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