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by 10/6/2000 1:57 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Taco Cabana (TACO – 7-29/32) operates around 120 Mexican eateries in Texas and four other states. The chain is on the market's radar today, as its shares have rocketed 90 percent to a 52-week high. Volume is unprecedented, as 2.35 million TACO shares have changed hands. The three-month average daily volume for the stock is 98,500 shares.

Moving the stock today is news that Carrols is purchasing the chain for $105 million, valuing TACO at $9.04 per share. Carrols will also absorb $42 million of TACO debt.

Prior to today, TACO shares had been languishing in a tight range between the 4-1/8 and 4-7/8 levels. The equity had been perched in this range since late July.

by 10/6/2000 1:27 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Clear Channel Communications (CCU – 50-13/16) is the top operator of radio stations in the United States, running over 900 stations throughout the country. The firm also owns 19 television stations. Today, amid a declining broader market, CCU has managed an 11.5-percent gain, paring some of its losses from yesterday. During Thursday's session, CCU shares dropped over 16 percent to record an annual low.

Today's strength is in part attributed to the news that CCU is planning to repurchase as much as $1 billion worth of its outstanding shares. The company presently has 380.2 shares outstanding.

Since August 21, CCU shares have been in a downward spiral below resistance from their 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The security has given back nearly 40 percent of its value in the past six weeks. The stock is also sitting below its intermediate-term and long-term moving averages.

CCU options pits are active today, with five strikes seeing more than 1,000 contracts change hands. These active strikes are: the November 60 call, the January 2002 110 call, the November 45 put, the January 65 put, and the April 60 put. <

by 10/6/2000 1:04 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Limited (LTD – 23-3/4) has retreated by more than two percent in early afternoon trading to dip back below its 20-day moving average. With this weakness, the security is ready to snap its four-session winning streak. The shares, though, are still trending higher than all of their key intermediate-term and long-term trendlines.

In LTD's options pit today, 3,150 put contracts have crossed the tape at the November 22-1/2 strike. This out-of-the-money option has open interest of only 225 contracts, indicating that almost all of this afternoon's volume will likely translate to new positions. Presently, this is the most-active put contract on the CBOE.


by 10/6/2000 1:03 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As a follow-up to a September 25 Market Observation on PerkinElmer (PKI – 94-1/4), the shares are down almost four percent this afternoon. This marks the equity's fourth consecutive losing session and has sent the security beneath its 20-day moving average. PKI last finished a trading day below this short-term trendline on August 4.

Options activity has been muted today on PKI. The out-of-the-money October 100 call is leading the way on volume of just 22 contracts.


by 10/6/2000 12:26 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Internet telephone service provider Net2Phone (NTOP – 22-13/16) has lost almost 10 percent today, despite the fact that the company reported earnings that were a penny better than estimates last night after the close. NTOP posted a loss of 29 cents per share, while analysts had expected a loss of 30 cents per share. The company also announced a plan to buy back up to nine percent of its outstanding shares.

NTOP has been a long-term underperformer. It has steadily declined since its post IPO high in September 1999, relinquishing 75 percent of its value.

Despite the equity's poor price action, short interest has plunged 75 percent from its January high to it's current level of just 748,827 shares. As contrarians, we view this lack of pessimism on a laggard like NTOP bearishly. <

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