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by 8/9/2000 10:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, Phone.com (PHCM - 93-1/16) and Software.com (SWCM - 145) announced that they agreed to merge in a stock-swap deal valued at approximately $6.4 billion. PHCM is up 20 percent on the news, while SWCM has logged gains of over 34 percent. Options are active on both stocks. In PHCM's pit, the September 100 call has registered volume of 522 contracts compared to open interest of 226 contracts. For SWCM, the August 130 put has seen almost 1,200 contracts cross the tape. Since this option has open interest of only 50 contracts, this activity likely represents new positions. <
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by 8/9/2000 10:00 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - 53-5/8) reported second-quarter earnings that met analysts' estimates of 36 cents per share. This apparently wasn't enough to please investors, as the stock is down over six percent in early trading. WMT accounts for nearly half of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (INDU - 10,931.84) 45-point loss so far today. The stock has been mired in a trading range between 50 and 65 since March. Pessimism has been growing toward the stock recently. Since hitting an annual low of 0.32 on July 27, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on WMT has risen to 0.51, which is higher than almost 79 percent of all readings taken over the past 12 months.
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by 8/9/2000 9:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, Federated Department Stores (FD - 25-3/8) posted second-quarter earnings of 30 cents per share, surpassing analysts' forecasts by four cents per share. According to I/B/E/S International, this marked the company's sixth straight positive earnings surprise. On Monday, the stock managed to close above its 20-day moving average for the first time since June 5. In Tuesday's trading, though, the shares stepped back by two percent heading into this earnings report, as FD finished back below its 20-day trendline. The security has trended in a pattern of lower highs and lower lows since notching an annual high of 53-7/8 on January 11, losing nearly 53 percent of its value over the past seven months. This retail name remains beneath all of its significant moving averages. Surprisingly, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on FD now stands at 0.47, which is lower than 72.7 percent of all such readings taken over the previous 52 weeks. As contrarians, we believe that this optimistic sentiment in the face of the stock's technical weakness could serve as a bearish omen for the shares' near-term prospects. For additional information about SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment.
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by 8/8/2000 4:48 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released their region's business index today. The report showed continuing strong economic activity, though it also revealed some slowing in the manufacturing sector and some slight easing of prices. The manufacturing-shipments index increased by one point in July, well below its three-month average of six, suggesting a slowdown in the region's manufacturing sector. The new-orders index fell five points to nine, below its three-month average of 13, indicating potential slowing in the future. The services index showed the most weakness, dropping 10 points to minus three, due in large part to a decrease in the non-retail services index. Wages slowed in the retail sector, falling four points to 25, although they rose nine points to 29 in the non-retail sector. Price changes moderated to an increase of 2.46 percent from an increase of 2.64 percent in June. <
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by 8/8/2000 4:01 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Consumer-credit figures for June showed an increase above analysts' expectations. The Federal Reserve said that consumer credit rose by $12.0 billion in June, which translates to a 9.9-percent annual rate. The increase was fueled by a 12.1-percent gain in non-revolving debt, characterized primarily by fixed-term auto and educational loans. June's increase follows an upwardly revised $14.1-billion increase in May. The strong spending fueled by purchases on credit may worry Fed watchers. Still, although the figures were higher than analysts expected, the increase in June was at a slower pace than in previous months, suggesting a possible slowing in retail spending that has fueled the strong economy. The Federal Open Market Committee is slated to meet on August 22 to determine the future of short-term interest rates. <
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