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by 9/8/2000 1:18 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Palm Inc. (PALM 45-1/2) is up fractionally in early-afternoon trading, continuing a near-term rally that has seen the shares gain 40 percent since mid-August. During this short-term run, the stock has received steady report from its 10-day moving average.

PALM is seeing some notable option activity today. The September 30 call has logged volume of 2,500 contracts compared to its open interest of 2,739 contracts. In addition, the October 40 call has seen 3,566 contracts cross the tape, which are likely new position since the option has open interest of just 925 contracts. This option is one of the most-active calls on the AMEX.

by 9/8/2000 1:16 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Honeywell International (HON 36-1/4) is the leading Dow laggard with today's six-percent dip. A short-lived recovery attempt fizzled this week with the stock relinquishing over 11 percent since Wednesday's close. Although the stock has fallen below its key short-term moving averages, it has found support at its 10-week trendline.

The put side is quite active on HON today. A 5,000-contract block crossed the tape on the October 35 put at the ask, which suggests that this activity could add to the 1,167 contracts already open at this strike. This is one of the most-active puts on the AMEX. In addition, the October 40 put has registered volume of 2,364 contracts on open interest of 1,151 contracts. Several mid-sized blocks crossed the tape near the bid.<

by 9/8/2000 12:06 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Amid today's broad-market weakness, the PHLX KBW Banking Index (BKX 902.63) has pushed ahead by nearly 13 points, or more than one percent. This advance has lifted the index to its top intraday level since mid-November. Since notching a near-term intraday low on June 30, the BKX has elevated by almost 24 percent, using near-perfect support from its upsloping 20-day moving average.

KeyCorp (KEY 23-1/16) has been helping the index higher this morning, as the equity has risen by 4.5 percent to its highest intraday mark in about nine months.

Other leading BKX components include Bank One (ONE 36-9/16), up 2.4 percent; BB&T Corp. (BBT 28-3/8), up 2.2 percent; and Bank of America (BAC 55-9/16), up two percent.<

by 9/8/2000 12:04 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Broadbase Software (BBSW 21-1/4) has retreated by just over two percent this morning, as the stock remains mired in a tight trading range between the 19 and 25 levels. The shares have been caught in this trading range since late July. The security is encountering stingy overhead resistance today from both its 10-day and 20-week moving averages.

In BBSW's options pit so far today, investors are apparently showing their belief that the equity has more downside potential. The out-of-the-money October 17-1/2 put has seen 4,000 contracts cross the tape on no open interest. A 3,800-contract block went off at the ask, implying a purchase. This is currently the most-active put contract on the CBOE.


by 9/8/2000 12:00 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, National Discount Brokers (NDB 26-3/4) said that it will report a loss of between six and nine cents per share for its fiscal first quarter, surprising analysts who had expected the company to earn nine cents per share. NDB cited higher costs due to a 35-percent increase in staff.

The stock gapped over six points lower at the open and is currently off over 25 percent. This takes the shares well below the bottom of a short-term trading range near the 34 area. In addition, NDB is now below all its key moving averages.

Despite this news, option activity on NDB is relatively modest. The busiest option is the October 35 call with 282 contracts in volume, which could represent the liquidation of some of the 485 contracts open at this strike. <

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