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by 10/19/2000 2:32 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Symantec (SYMC – 33-15/16) manufactures security and efficiency software such as Norton AntiVirus. Last night, the company reported second-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' estimates by three cents per share. Not faring as well, however, was the company's takeover target, Axent Technologies (AXNT – 16-5/8). AXNT announced third-quarter numbers that missed the Street's consensus estimate by three cents per share. SYMC plans to close its merger with AXNT within the next two months.

This morning, SYMC woke to two brokerage downgrades, as Prudential reduced its rating on the shares from a "strong buy" to an "accumulate." Another brokerage name cut its coverage on the security from a "buy" to a "strong buy" rating.

In mid-afternoon activity, SYMC is trading over 14 percent lower and has reached a new annual low at 31-7/16. AXNT is currently in the red by nearly 16 percent. <

by 10/19/2000 2:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Insurance Index (IUX – 767.53) has bolted more than 23 points, or over three percent, ahead this afternoon to surge back above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The index hasn't finished a session higher than these two short-term trendlines in two weeks. The IUX also has been given stellar support this week from its ascending 10-week moving average, which has offered perfect support on a weekly closing basis since late June.

Components leading the IUX higher today have been Conseco (CNC – 7), up 21.7 percent; Progressive (PGR – 85-1/16), up 19.8 percent; Allstate (ALL – 34-5/8), up 5.9 percent; Cincinnati Financial (CINF – 35-13/16), up 5.7 percent; and Chubb (CB – 76-15/16), up 5.5 percent. PGR reported third-quarter operating net income of 51 cents per share, throttling Street estimates of 17 cents per share.


by 10/19/2000 1:17 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
GM Hughes Electronics (GMH – 29.38) is up just over three percent this afternoon, as it continues to struggle to overcome its descending 10-day moving average. The stock is also trading beneath all of its key intermediate-term moving averages as well as its 10-month trendline. However, the shares have obtained support this month from their 20-month moving average, a trendline it hasn't finished a month lower than since September 1998.

In GMH's options pit today, 10,570 contracts have crossed the tape on the in-the-money November 40 put. This option has open interest of only 55 contracts, which indicates that almost all of today's volume should become new positions. This is now among the most-active puts on the CBOE.


by 10/19/2000 1:05 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The indices are rallying back to important technical levels. For example, the S&P 100 Index (OEX – 728.26) is testing the 730 area once again. This level is important because it acted as support in March, April, and May. The move below 730.00 on October 11 led to violent follow-through selling.

In addition, the December S&P 500 Index Futures contract (SP/Z0 – 1392.00) is bellying up near the round 1,400 level, which provided support in February, April, and May.

Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 3372.50) is trading just below the 3,400 century mark, the site of its 20-month moving average, the demarcation point between bull and bear market.<

by 10/19/2000 11:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Fast-food chain McDonald's (MCD – 28-1/16) announced third-quarter earnings this morning of 41 cents per share, matching Wall Street estimates. Sales for the quarter climbed eight percent, while revenue was up 13 percent compared to 1999. In late-morning trading, the stock was unchanged.

MCD has been traipsing lower for nearly a year and is now sitting over 40 percent below its all-time high reached in mid-November. However, the shares are perched at potential support at the 28 level. This area acted as resistance on the equity in February 1996 and July 1997. Additionally, the 28 mark provided support for MCD in September 1998.

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