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by 8/18/2000 11:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
MarchFirst (MRCH - 23-1/8) has retreated by more than two points, or nearly 10 percent, in this morning's trading. This setback has the shares poised to snap their four-session winning streak. Before these losses, though, the security was able to notch its highest intraday level since June 7. What's more, the equity is set to close this week's activity above its 20-week moving average for the first time since early March.

In MRCH's options pit today, the out-of-the-money September 30 call has been active on volume of 3,024 contracts and open interest of a mere 59 contracts. This is now among the most-active calls on the Pacific Exchange. Also, 1,000 put contracts have traded at the out-of-the-money November 17-1/2 strike, which has open interest of 193 contracts.<
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by 8/18/2000 11:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Brick-and-mortar bookseller Borders Group (BGP - 13-1/16) is more than two percent in the red in late-morning trading after reporting second-quarter earnings last night after the close. The company reported a loss of two cents per share, beating analysts' estimates by a penny but falling short of 1999 earnings levels for the same time period, when the retailer earned three cents per share. BGP officials did note that same-store sales climbed 3.6 percent for the quarter.

Today's decline in BGP has taken it below its ascending 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The shares had been climbing higher above these short-term trendlines since the beginning of August. From a longer-term technical perspective, the equity continues to trade beneath its significant weekly and monthly moving averages.<
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by 8/18/2000 11:55 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
One of today's primary lagging indices today is the S&P Healthcare Index (HCX - 801.3), which is presently lower by 17 points, or just over two percent. This index is encountering overhead resistance from its 10-day and 10-week moving averages. The top HCX underperformer this morning is American Home Products (AHP - 54-1/2), which has shed 3.2 percent to slip beneath its 20-day moving average for the first time in over two weeks. Other weak index components include Medtronic (MDT - 50-15/16), down 2.9 percent; Pfizer (PFE - 42-11/16), down 2.9 percent; Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - 51-3/16), down 2.7 percent; and Merck (MRK - 72), down 2.6 percent.<
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by 8/18/2000 11:52 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
It looks as if a major investor is expecting a significant move, one way or the other, in Tyco International (TYC - 54-7/16) shares. Blocks of over 5,000 contracts each were traded on the October 55 call and the October 55 put earlier today. This option strategy is known as a staddle. The investor is not sure which direction the stock will pursue, but is expecting a strong move one way or the other. The equity has been in a sideways consolidation between 50 and 57 since the middle of July. These are now two of the most-active options on the AMEX. <
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by 8/18/2000 11:04 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, American International Group (AIG - 86-7/8) announced that it would acquire specialty insurer HSB Group (HSB - 39-15/16) in a stock deal valued at $1.2 billion. AIG is off only fractionally this morning and appears to have found support at its 20-day moving average. Since achieving an all-time high on August 8, the shares have been consolidating toward this key trendline.

The September 80 put has seen over 1,900 contracts cross the tape this morning. This activity went across in two large blocks that transacted near the bid. Open interest on this option amounts to only 31 contracts. This is one of the most-active puts on the CBOE.<
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