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by 9/29/2000 12:21 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
CapRock Communications (CPRK – 5-1/8) maintains a fiber-optic network that will ultimately reach from Phoenix, Arizona to New Orleans, Louisiana. The network provides long-distance and local telephone service, as well as Internet access, to small and mid-sized businesses in the region. This year has been quite rocky for the security, as it has surrendered over 90 percent of its value since mid-February. This week, CPRK has struggled with technical resistance in the form of its overhead 10-week moving average.

Today, CPRK is seeing very unusual activity in its options pits, as 2,105 options have changed hands on the December 5 call. Only 173 contracts resided at this at-the-money strike before today, suggesting that nearly all of today's volume should translate into new open interest on Monday. A number of large and mid-sized blocks have traded throughout the session so far today, making this the most-active call on the PHLX. <
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by 9/29/2000 12:21 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Research In Motion Limited (RIMM – 98-9/16) makes paging devices, the most popular of which is marketed under the Dell Computer (DELL – 31-1/4) brand.

Last night after the close, the company reported a second-quarter loss of two cents per share, topping analysts' expectations by a penny. This morning, the firm was greeted with two brokerage upgrades. On the combined news, RIMM has sprinted ahead 18 percent and is flirting with the century mark. RIMM shares have not traded above the 100 region since early April.

Implied volatility readings have subsequently surged on the equity. Last week's composite implied reading for RIMM options of 88.49 percent has expanded to 101.55 percent this morning.
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by 9/28/2000 5:11 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Conference Board released its August help wanted index today, and the results suggest that the tight labor markets may be softening a bit. The August help wanted index fell to 78 from July's 82. The reading was lower than the 86 reading from August 1999. In a sign that a peak in hiring may be at hand, the Conference Board said that in the last three months, help wanted advertising has fallen in nearly all regions of the U.S.<
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by 9/28/2000 4:52 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Labor Department reported today that U.S. jobless claims decreased by 24,000 in the week ending September 23. Initial unemployment claims for the week totaled 287,000, the lowest level since July 29. The number was well below the expected 4,000 increase. In theory, tight labor markets cause demand to outpace supply, contributing to inflationary pressures. This unexpectedly high number suggests that the recent weakness in the job markets may be temporary. Recent higher unemployment rolls may not be seen as a negative if it eases tightness in the labor markets.
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by 9/28/2000 4:40 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As a follow-up to yesterday's Market Observation on Procter & Gamble (PG – 66-15/16), this beleaguered consumer issue today surged ahead by just over five points, or more than eight percent, after the company said that it sees sales growth of two to three percent for full-year 2001. In addition, PG anticipates full-year 2001 earnings-per-share growth of seven to 10 percent.

With this price action, the shares reached their highest intraday level in more than five months. They also broke out of a short-term trading range that had capped the security between the 60 and 64-1/2 levels since August 15.

As discussed in the Market Observation, investors expectations were low on PG, as evidenced by heavy put activity yesterday. The out-of-the-money November 55 put saw its open interest increase by 3,000 contracts on Wednesday, while open interest on the January 55 put rose by 5,000 contracts. Our research shows that this rise in pessimism, along with the company's earnings report today, could have bullish implications for the equity.

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