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by 10/25/2000 2:18 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As a follow-up to a Market Observation on Veeco Instruments (VECO – 67-5/16), the stock is down nearly 13 points, or just under 16 percent, in mid-afternoon trading on no significant news. This decline has the shares poised to notch their worst closing mark since June 20.

Since plunging dramatically lower on October 6 after announcing a profit warning, VECO had rallied almost 53 percent through Monday's intraday high. The security stepped back by more than five percent yesterday. With today's retreat, the equity is now sitting back below its 10-day moving average. This laggard is also perched beneath its 20-day, 10-week, 20-week, and 10-month trendlines.

Surprisingly, investors are showing more optimism toward VECO. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on this underperformer has tumbled from 1.46 on October 6 to its current 0.42 mark. For more information about SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment.

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by 10/25/2000 1:50 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Oxford Health Plans (OXHP – 29-7/8) is a managed health care firm that operates in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. For the past two weeks, OXHP shares have been consolidating sideways in a tight range between the 26-1/2 and 28-1/2 levels. Today, OXHP has broken above this range, climbing 11 percent on above-average volume. This rally was spurred when Salomon Smith Barney upped its coverage on the equity from a "neutral" to an "outperform" rating. The boost has additionally carried OXHP above its declining 10-day moving average, although the security remains below its 20-day trendline. <
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by 10/25/2000 1:39 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
PE Corp. - PE Biosystems Group (PEB – 96-1/4) is a biotechnology research firm. Today, the stock is trading seven percent lower on no news. This move lower has taken the shares back below their 20-day moving average.

PEB is extraordinarily active on the options front today, boasting one of the most-active calls on the Pacific Exchange. In early afternoon trading, 3,225 contracts had already changed hands on the December 100 call. This now-out-of-the-money option was home to only 122 contracts before today. This suggests that the bulk of today's volume will likely translate into new open interest. Contributing in large part to PEB's options volume today was a block of 1,000 contracts that traded between the bid and the ask price shortly before 11:00 a.m. Additionally, a number of other block trades ranging in size from 200 to 500 contracts were executed in the morning. These primarily traded between the bid and the ask prices. <
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by 10/25/2000 12:33 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The PHLX KBW Banking Index (BKX – 833.29) has avoided today's broad-market weakness and is currently ahead by nearly 14 points. The BKX is now sitting just below its descending 20-day moving average, a trendline that the index hasn't finished a session higher than since October 5. The index is also perched barely beneath its 20-week moving average, which it has closed the past week below. From a long-term perspective, the BKX, which is up more than 13 percent since its October 18 intraday low, has shown its recent strength by overtaking both its 10-month and 20-month trendlines.

Equities leading the BKX higher today are Mellon Financial (MEL – 44), up 4.4 percent; First Union (FTU – 29-5/16), up 3.3 percent; SunTrust Banks (STI – 46-3/8), up 2.4 percent; Wells Fargo (WFC – 44-5/16), up 2.3 percent; FleetBoston Financial (FBF – 35-5/8), up 2.1 percent; BB&T Corp. (BBT – 30-1/16), up 2.1 percent; and Comerica (CMA – 56-7/8), up two percent.


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by 10/25/2000 10:27 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Ma Bell is giving birth to more offspring again today, as AT&T (T – 24-1/4) announced this morning that it will break its enterprise into four new units: AT&T Wireless, AT&T Broadband (a cable firm), AT&T Business, and AT&T Consumer. The re-structuring plan is scheduled for completion in 2002. The Wireless and Broadband units will be offered publicly as common stocks, while the Consumer operations will be regulated by a tracking stock. The Business unit will represent the core of T.

In other news, T announced third-quarter earnings last night of 38 cents per share, exceeding analysts' estimates by two cents per share. Revenue for the quarter climbed about four percent compared to 1999. The telecommunications firm's revenue from consumer services declined. T officials cited increased competition in the long-distance field and the growing use of wireless service. Wall Street was eager to submit its two cents this morning, as two brokerage firms downgraded the shares, while one firm boosted its rating on T as well as on AT&T Wireless (AWE – 21-1/2).

In mid-morning trading, T has declined nearly 10 percent on the various news. The most-active T option trading is the April 30 put, where 3,500 contracts have traded. The April 30 call is a close second, having seen 2,952 contracts cross the tape. These are currently two of the most-active options on the CBOE
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