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by 2/13/2001 2:00 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Dow Jones Industrial component Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (MMM 114.96) is in the news today after boosting its quarterly dividend to 60 cents per share, up from 58 cents. This is atypical in today's day and age, where companies have been reducing their dividend payouts or discontinuing them altogether.

The equity has risen nearly 2-1/2 points today, boosting it back above its 10-week moving average. MMM has not closed a week above this trendline since January 12.

Speculative players are showing pronounced pessimism on the options front. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for MMM currently weighs in at 1.86. This means that for every 100 open calls in the front three-month series, there are 186 open puts. This ranks in the upper three percent of all SOIR readings for the past year. This is a heavy level of bearishness, especially considering the stock is less than 10 points away from overtaking its former all-time high. <
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by 2/13/2001 12:12 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Dow Jones Industrials Index (INDU 10,982.8) is testing the 11,000 round-number Level, again today. This is the third time that the Industrials have tested this level in February. Today, this index is being led by the cyclical names. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (MMM 114.69), United Technologies (UTX 76.75), and Boeing (BA 60.66) are spear heading the move higher.
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by 2/13/2001 11:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Plantronics (PLT 29.65) designs and manufactures lightweight communications headsets and related accessories. Apparently, the slowing economy has taken its toll on PLT. Last night, the company announced that bookings and revenue for the quarter are below expectations. PLT also reduced expectations for its quarterly earnings report by revising the estimate down to .34 cents per share, from .41 cents. Merrill Lynch proceeded to downgrade the stock this morning, to "near term neutral." As a result of these two announcements, the stock is currently trading down 32.56 percent. <
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by 2/13/2001 11:10 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Williams-Sonoma (WSM 27.85) is a retailer of fine cookware and home furnishings. The company is the parent of Pottery Barn and Hold Everything, as well as its flagship Williams-Sonoma brand. Last night, the firm announced the resignation of its chairman and CEO and the subsequent appointment of others to fill these roles. This morning, the company was upgraded by Bank of America, which boosted its rating on the shares to a "strong buy" from a "market perform."

The equity is subsequently trading more than 11 percent in the black. This has carried the stock above the 27 level for the first time since early October. Still looming overhead, however, is the security's 10-month moving average, perched around the 28 mark. WSM has not managed a monthly close above this long-term trendline since September. <
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by 2/13/2001 10:46 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
First Republic Bank (FRC 33.70) operates branches in California, Nevada, and New York. Since the beginning of 2001, the shares have been consolidating sideways in a range between the 33 and 35.50 levels. This has taken the equity headlong into its ascending 10-week moving average. This trendline has supported all but three weekly closes in FRC shares since early June last year.

This morning, FRC announced a three-for-two stock split that will be paid on or around March 22 to shareholders of record by February 28. The stock is trading marginally higher on the news. FRC is not an optionable equity.
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