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by 10/13/2000 9:17 AM
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This morning, the Labor Department released the September Producer Price Index (PPI) results. Overall, the September PPI rose 0.9 percent, which exceeded analysts' estimates of a 0.5-percent advance. The rise can mainly be attributed to a continuing increase in energy prices.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sector, the core index went up 0.3 percent. This figure surprised many analysts, as they anticipated a more modest 0.1-percent increase in core prices.

In response to the news, the December S&P 500 Index Futures contract (SP/ZO - 1343.50) is down one point, which indicates a relatively flat open.

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by 10/12/2000 3:49 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
An equity not taking part in today's broad downswing is oil-service name Global Marine (GLM – 31-11/16), which has accrued nearly five percent. With this upturn, the security is ready to close at its highest level in nearly four weeks. What's more, its 10-day and 20-day moving averages are poised to cross bullishly, an indication of near-term strength. Additionally, GLM has reclaimed its 10-week moving average.

On the options front this afternoon, 11,578 contracts have crossed the tape on the October 30 put. This out-of-the-money option has open interest of only 1,740 contracts, which means that most of today's volume should translate to new positions. This is currently among the most-active puts on the International Securities Exchange.


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by 10/12/2000 3:35 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Insurance Index (IUX – 731.43) has ebbed by over 26 points, or greater than three percent, in late-afternoon activity. The IUX has encountered stingy overhead resistance today from its 20-day moving average. Furthermore, the index is resting just below its 10-week moving average, a trendline that has offered flawless support on a weekly closing basis since the end of June.

IUX components experiencing the most weakness today are Progressive (PGR – 70-15/16), down 10.2 percent; Lincoln National (LNC – 42-1/2), down 8.3 percent; Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG – 65-1/4), down 8.1 percent; Conseco (CNC – 5-15/16), down 6.8 percent; and Jefferson-Pilot (JP – 60-11/16), down 5.5 percent.


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by 10/12/2000 2:36 PM
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Hasbro (HAS – 9-3/4) is the number-two manufacturer of toys and games in the country. HAS controls many popular brands such as Nerf, Tonka, Play-Doh, and G.I. Joe. The company also offers Pokemon trading cards and a number of board games under the Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers brands.

Things aren't all fun and games for HAS today, as the equity has plunged over 16 percent to make a nine-year low in single-digit territory. This morning, HAS said its third-quarter earnings would come in between six and 10 cents per share, a significant drop-off from 1999, when the company earned 43 cents per share for the same time period. Analysts were expecting HAS would earn 32 cents per share. Furthermore, the company said it plans to lay off five percent of its workforce and close a number of plants. HAS is scheduled to announce earnings later this month.
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by 10/12/2000 2:08 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Synplicity (SYNP – 11-1/8) manufactures software that helps companies design integrated circuits for the telecommunications and electronics fields. Some of the firm's clients include Nokia, Cisco Systems, and Lucent Technologies.

Today, the stock was initiated into its "public" life, as it began trading this morning on the Nasdaq Exchange in an initial public offering underwritten by Robertson Stephens. The offering, which released 4.3 million shares to the public, set the initial price at $8 per share. In mid-afternoon activity, SYNP has moved over 37 percent higher off this initial price. However, analysts had prior estimates that the shares would be originally priced at $10 to $12. Company officials had hoped to raise $51.6 million, but the IPO has only harvested $34.4 million.
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