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by 10/10/2000 2:02 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Rite Aid (RAD – 3-3/16) is the third-largest pharmaceutical retailer in the United States. The security has endured a tumultuous two years, collapsing nearly 94 percent since January 1999. Needless to say, the stock is perched below all of its moving averages.

Shortly before the open this morning, RAD officials announced a second-quarter loss of $1.87 per share, down significantly from 1999's second quarter, when the firm lost 60 cents per share. This number was also significantly below the Street's expectations, as analysts' estimates ranged from a loss of 17 cents per share to a loss of 50 cents per share. Also wounding the shares was news that the company plans to relocate or open 75 stores in 2001, down from the 90 originally planned.

On the upside, the company announced that same-store sales for the quarter rose 9.9 percent over last year. This nugget of information was not enough to stave off a drubbing, however. In mid-afternoon activity, RAD shares are trading over 20 percent lower. <

by 10/10/2000 12:32 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Altera (ALTR – 29-1/8) has turned significantly lower today in response to news that Lehman Brothers Holdings, Salomon Smith Barney, and Prudential all cut their ratings on this semiconductor issue. The security gapped 9-9/16 points in the red at the open and is presently in negative territory by nearly 12 points, or just under 29 percent. The shares have collapsed to levels not seen since mid-January, and they are beneath all of their key moving averages.

On the options front today for ALTR, 1,868 and 1,792 contracts have traded on the out-of-the-money October 35 and 40 calls, respectively. The October 35 call has no open interest, while open interest on the October 40 call now stands at 276 contracts. What's more, the January 42-1/2 call has seen volume of 1,000 contracts on open interest of 171 contracts. By comparison, no put has had volume of more than 150 contracts today.


by 10/10/2000 12:23 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Apache (APA – 63-3/8) has agreed to buy Fletcher Challenge Energy (FEG – 37-5/16) jointly with a unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RD – 62-13/16) for $1.63 billion. RD's Overseas Holdings Group agreed to buy 1.64 million restricted APA shares for $100 million.

In reaction to this development, APA has received numerous upgrades from various brokerage firms. The equity is in the black by almost eight points, or just over 14 percent, in early afternoon trading. This upswing has helped the shares reclaim both their 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which they haven't closed a session above in more than three weeks. APA is also back above its intermediate-term trendlines.

Pessimism toward this natural-gas name has decreased of late. From last Thursday through this morning, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on APA has dropped from 1.05 to 0.89 for options expiring within the next three months. Please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment for additional information about SOIR.


by 10/10/2000 11:18 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
One of the leading lagging indices in late-morning activity is the PHLX KBW Banking Index (BKX – 836.95). The index has subtracted just over 20 points, or more than two percent, to reach its worst intraday mark since August 3. The BKX is now trading below its 20-week moving average, an intermediate-term trendline it hasn't finished a week below since late June.

Top BKX underperformers so far today have been Summit Bancorp (SUB – 35-13/16), down 4.3 percent; FleetBoston Financial (FBF – 36-1/4), down 3.9 percent; Bank One (ONE – 34-7/16), down 3.8 percent; Washington Mutual (WM – 38-13/16), down 3.1 percent; and Citigroup (C – 51), down three percent.


by 10/10/2000 10:58 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Silicon Graphics (SGI – 3-9/16) said late yesterday that it expects to post a loss for its first quarter of 28 to 30 cents per share, while the Street was predicting a loss of only 14 cents per share. The company cited material shortages from suppliers as one of the reasons for the shortfall. SGI is expected to release its earnings figures on October 23.

The stock continues to be mired in a long-term trading range between 2-1/2 and 5. More recently, the equity has dropped over 30 percent since a near-term high from August 22 near the top of its range.

Despite the shares' poor technical and fundamental performance, optimism from the options crowd is at its highest level so far this year. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on SGI stands at an annual low of 0.19. Currently, call open interest is more than five times put open interest on options expiring within the next three months. The majority of this heavy call open interest rests at the October 5 strike, home of over 16,700 contracts. <

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