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by 8/16/2000 8:48 AM
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This morning, the Labor Department released the July Consumer Price Index results. Overall, consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent, down from the 0.6 percent advance in June. The results were slightly higher than expectations, which called for a 0.1-percent rise in consumer prices. The core index, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, came in at estimates with a 0.2 percent advance. Today's numbers should help to reassure investors that inflationary pressures in the economy remain rather light. In addition, many economists increasingly believe that the recent inflation friendly economic indicators will allow the Federal Reserve to hold off potentially raising interest rates at its late-August policy setting meeting. The initial reaction to the news has been moderately negative, with the September S&P 500 Index Futures contract (SP/U0 - 1495.40) declining from a high of 1498.50 to a low of 1493.80 upon the release of the numbers. Currently, S&P futures are up 0.60 points at 1495.40, indicating a flat open.
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by 8/15/2000 6:21 PM
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Red Hat (RHAT - 24) sells a commercial version of Linux, which is an operating system designed to compete with Microsoft Windows. Today, the technology stock rose over 10 percent and was one of the most-active equities trading on the Nasdaq Composite. The firm signed an agreement today with IBM (IBM - 122), wherein RHAT will bundle IBM's Linux-compatible software. The companies will then jointly market and distribute their wares. After the close, it was announced that RHAT is also in a joint pact with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - 63-1/2). The stock is up slightly in after-hours trading.
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by 8/15/2000 5:48 PM
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Intimate Brands (IBI - 16-7/16) is the offspring of apparel retailer Limited (LTD - 20-1/16). During Tuesday's session, IBI declined nearly seven percent in anticipation of its second-quarter earnings report. The shares are now trading below all significant moving-average trendlines. The firm's earnings figures were released after tonight's close. The company met analysts' estimates of 20 cents per share, an 11-percent increase over 1999's results. Same-store sales at lingerie boutique Victoria's Secret climbed 12 percent, while toiletries and home accessories emporium Bath & Body Works saw its sales climb three percent compared to last year. LTD traded off over three percent on the day.
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by 8/15/2000 3:39 PM
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This morning, a major financial newswire reported that Motorola (MOT - 35-7/8) will supply a majority of AT&T Broadband's digital set-top boxes through 2003. In response to this news, the security is in the black by just over three percent this afternoon. On the options front, the near-the-money September 37-1/2 put and the out-of-the-money August 35 put on volume of 3,030 and 2,833 contracts, respectively. These are currently among the most-active puts on the AMEX. On a technical note, MOT is trading at the site of its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.<
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by 8/15/2000 3:36 PM
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Options players are extremely active on the put side today on contract electronics-manufacturing services provider Flextronics International (FLEX - 79-13/16). Overall, 2,700 out-of-the-money October 65 put contracts crossed the tape, with the majority executing in large block trades near the ask. The activity is rather unusual, as the total open interest on the October 65 put strike coming into today was 557 contracts, indicating that most of today's volume should become new positions. This is presently one of the most-active puts on the PHLX. The stock is trading above its 10-day and 20-day moving averages this afternoon and is up roughly three percent.<
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