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by 9/22/2000 1:20 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Oil issue Cooper Cameron (CAM 73-1/16) has retreated by over two percent this afternoon, sinking to its worst intraday level since August 11. The shares have declined by more than 12 percent since tallying an all-time closing high on September 12. Recently, the stock's 10-day and 20-day moving averages completed a bearish crossover, which could be a further confirmation of this weakness. Also, CAM appears set to finish this week's trading beneath its 10-week trendline for the first time since late July.

On the options front today, 1,850 contracts have crossed the tape on the November 80 call. For the most part, these are likely new positions, as this out-of-the-money strike has open interest of 605 contracts. If this turns out to be the case, it could have bearish implications given the security's technical struggles.


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by 9/22/2000 12:30 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Amid today's broad-market retreat, one of the best-performing indices is the S&P Insurance Index (IUX 745.2). The IUX has stepped up by more than 17 points, or over two percent, to climb back above its 10-day moving average. The index had finished three of the past four sessions beneath this short-term trendline.

The leading IUX component in early afternoon action is Cigna (CI 92-7/8), which has advanced by 4.6 percent to overtake its 10-day moving average, a trendline it has only closed one trading day above in the last four-and-a-half weeks. Other top index performers today include Safeco (SFC 26-15/32), up 3.9 percent; Progressive (PGR 76-7/8), up 3.8 percent; AFLAC (AFL 63-5/16), up 3.3 percent; Chubb (CB 77-9/16), up 3.2 percent; MBIA (MBI 68-1/16), up 3.1 percent; and St. Paul Companies (SPC 49-13/16), up 3.1 percent.

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by 9/22/2000 10:23 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF 40-1/4) announced on Thursday that it may repurchase up to $100 million of its stock over the next three years, extending the buyback plan under which it bought $49.9 million of its shares since November 1997. The equity is down more than one percent in reaction to this development.

The stock vaulted ahead by more than five percent yesterday, as it approaches its overhead 10-day and 20-day moving averages. These two short-term trendlines recently crossed bearishly, which can be a sign of near-term weakness. The security is also sitting just above its ascending 10-week moving average, a trendline that has offered perfect support on a weekly closing basis since mid-June.

Given that TIF remains in the midst of an intermediate-term uptrend, options players have been showing increased optimism toward the equity since August expiration. On August 18, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on TIF stood at 1.01, which is significantly higher than its current SOIR reading of 0.16. Please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment to learn more about SOIR.


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by 9/22/2000 9:55 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
After plunging to a 5-1/2 year low in late April, Parametric Technology (PMTC 11-7/16) has managed to work its way higher. Since its April lows, the stock has appreciated over 50 percent.

Options players are apparently looking for the equity's recovery to end. Yesterday, 7,500 contracts were added to the October 10 put, making it the site of peak open interest on the shares at 10,761 contracts. This was one of the most-active puts on the PHLX on Thursday.
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by 9/22/2000 9:27 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Beleaguered office supply retailer Staples (SPLS 14-7/16) has seen its value recede by 50 percent since mid-February. The stock is firmly in bear-market territory, closing 12 of the last 13 months below its 20-month moving average.

Call players liquidated positions on SPLS yesterday. The December 20 call saw its open interest decline by 13,780 contracts. This activity resulted in a significant spike in SPLS's already high Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR). The ratio went from a reading of 1.83 yesterday to today's reading of 3.62. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment. <
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