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by 12/5/2000 2:34 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
ADC Telecommunication (ADCT – 24-7/16) is benefiting from today's snapback rally in the technology sector. ADCT is up approximately 11 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2805.7) has added over seven percent. From a longer-term technical perspective, ADCT has been able to remount its 20-month moving average with its rally this week.

A pair of ADCT options are active in today's trading. The February 25 call has seen over 15,000 contracts change hands, while over 15,800 contracts have traded on the February 22-1/2 put. The activity on the two options is likely related.

by 12/5/2000 1:11 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
After the market closed yesterday, it was announced that the following companies would be added to the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1364) after the close of trading this Friday:

  • Allegheny Energy (AYE 43-1/2)

  • Ambac Financial Group (ABK - 80-3/8) )

  • Symbol Technologies (SBL - 42-1/4) )

  • Intuit (INTU - 50-7/8) )

  • The previously listed companies will replace the following group being removed due to "lack of representation:"

  • Bethlehem Steel (BS - 1-3/4) )

  • Crown Cork & Seal (CCK - 4) )

  • W.R. Grace (GRA - 1-11/16) )

  • Owens-Illinois (OI - 3-5/16) )

  • Following the news, AYE surged to a new all-time high today of 43-7/8, appreciating by over 56 percent from its July lows. No options trade on the shares.

    ABK shares gapped up by 1-5/8 points after a delayed open. The stock has been outperforming the SPX for most of the year. Options trade lightly on the shares and so far today have not attracted any activity.

    SBL shares gapped up by over 12 percent on the open today, but have given back much of this advance. Since peaking in March, the stock has followed the broad market lower. Its recent attempts to rally have been thwarted near the 45 level. News of its inclusion in the SPX has attracted options investors to the December 40 and 50 call options, showing current volumes of 254 and 450, respectively.

    INTU shares gapped up by almost six points on the open and still maintain a greater-than-10- percent gain on the day. The stock encountered resistance around 53 before retreating. INTU experienced one close below its 20-month moving average in July, but has since established support around 45. <

    by 12/5/2000 9:57 AM
    Stocks quoted in this article:
    Qualcomm (QCOM – 93) got a shot in the arm yesterday when it was announced that China plans to use QCOM's CDMA technology to deploy their huge wireless network. This has been an "on-again-off-again" proposition for months. The difference is that China has actually signed a memorandum of intent, although there is still no formal contract.

    After outpacing every other stock in the Nasdaq last year, QCOM faced a tough market in 2000, falling from a high of 200 in January to the low 50s in July. The stock quickly picked up steam in early November when it announced solid earnings and a favorable settlement in its patent dispute with Nokia (NOK – 47-11/16). QCOM shares moved from 67-3/4 to 90 in just one week, then settled into a trading range and were not able to overcome the 91-3/8 mark.

    Last night in after-hours trading, the stock shot past 93 and appears to be holding onto these gains in early trading today. Adding more fuel to the fire, early today the company revealed another new product development and a licensing program for start-up companies.

    Options activity heated up in QCOM's December call series yesterday, with 2,577 December 80 calls, 3,822 December 90s, and 5,465 December 100s changing hands. This boosted open interest on these options to 6,918, 9,270, and 10,738 contracts, respectively. <

    by 12/4/2000 11:01 AM
    Stocks quoted in this article:
    At this point in time, it is difficult to determine if Cleveland paint manufacturer, Sherwin-Williams (SHW - 22-1/4), will be singing "A Whiter Shade of Pale" or "Black is Black." This morning, SHW reduced its earnings outlook for fiscal year 2001. The company said its sales increase for the year will drop to the low end of its previously projected 4% to 6% range. SHW expects earnings to come in at $1.90 per diluted share for the year, below the $1.96 to $2 per share previously projected in October. The current Street estimate is $1.97 a share.

    In a press release today, the company said poor sales of exterior coatings in paint-store and consumer segments ate into operating profit margins. Also cited were softer than anticipated retail markets, causing major retailers in the U.S. and U.K. markets to make inventory corrections. The shares first dipped in response to the news, but have since rebounded.

    Options traders have shown little interest in the stock. Total open interest is just 1,908 contracts, represented by 646 open put positions and 1,262 open call positions.

    Short interest over the most recent reporting period increased by almost 34 percent, as short sellers have little incentive to cover their positions. The shares have not closed above their 20-month moving average since May, 1999.

    by 12/4/2000 9:53 AM
    Stocks quoted in this article:
    Walgreen Co. (WAG - 43-1/4) shares were downgraded to "neutral" from "outperform" this morning by a major brokerage house. A rich price-to-earnings ratio of over 50 was cited as the reason for the downgrade. Over the last five months, WAG shares have trended higher relying on the combined support of their 10-week and 20-week moving averages. Option activity on WAG last Friday was minimal.

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