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by 11/20/2000 1:35 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
HMO concern Wellpoint Health Networks (WLP – 107-3/4) was among the few and the humble equities that was downgraded by Prudential this morning. Just ahead of the open, the brokerage firm slashed its rating on WLP from a "strong buy" to a "hold."

The stock has dropped nearly seven percent, breaking its long-standing upward trend. The security is now poised to end the session below its 20-day moving average for the first time since September 12. The shares are also experiencing above-average volume on the day. Average daily volume for WLP over the past three months stands at 643,600 shares. With more than two hours left in today's session, 842,700 shares have already changed hands.

On the positive side, WLP remains above its ascending 10-week moving average, which dwells in the 104-105 area. This trendline has supported all weekly closes in the shares since June 23.
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by 11/20/2000 1:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
After being one of the leading sector indices over the past month, the AMEX Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payors Index (HMO – 419.01) is receiving its comeuppance today. The HMO is trading over six percent lower in early-afternoon activity after a major brokerage house downgraded the shares of four of the group's members.

Humana (HUM – 12-13/16) is off over twelve percent and is tentatively trying to hold support at its 20-day moving average. The HMO, for its part, has moved below its 10-day moving average. Potential support in the form of the index's 20-day moving average resides at approximately 406.
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by 11/20/2000 1:26 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Redback Networks (RBAK – 72-1/8) shares are trading over 10 percent lower in today's trading. This morning, RBAK was downgraded to an "outperform" from a "strong buy" rating at a major brokerage house.

The trend lower in the shares over the past month has been guided by the equity's overhead 10-day and 20-day moving averages. On Friday, the stock finished nearly six points higher but was still thwarted by resistance from its overhead 10-day moving average on a closing basis.

Today a pair of December puts are active on RBAK. Both the December 90 and the December 80 options have seen just over 3,500 contracts cross the tape. The volume may be the work of an institutional player taking profits on the December 90 put (which is home to open interest of 3,508 contracts) to enter new positions on the December 80 put, which began the day with only negligible open interest.
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by 11/20/2000 1:23 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Telefonos de Mexico (TMX - 49-7/8) shares are currently probing for support in the form of their 20-month moving average. The stock has pulled back to the round-number 50 level, which is also significant because it is the site of peak call and peak put open interest in the December series.

Today a pair of TMX puts are active in what is likely the rollout of a large put position by an institutional player. The January 50 put has seen over 10,500 contracts cross the tape. Open interest on the option is nearly 15,000 contracts, so today's volume may be the work of traders liquidating positions. A similar number of options have changed hands on the May 55 put. Open interest on the option is a mere 593 contracts, indicating that the bulk of today's volume is the result of new positions being entered. <
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by 11/20/2000 12:57 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Green in a sea of red! One of the few issues trading up most of the morning was restaurant chain, Brinker International (EAT – 38). After hitting a new high on November 8, the shares have pulled back, but seem to have strong support from their 20-day moving average. This morning EAT traded above Friday's high in a weak market, so it will be worth watching to see if the stock resumes its uptrend.
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