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by 1/11/2001 12:07 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The biotechnology sector is continuing its recent struggles. After suffering severe breakdown last week, the AMEX Biotechnology Index (BTK – 550.9) has rallied up toward its downtrending overhead 10-day moving average. This short-term trendline appears to be providing some resistance, as the sector has since reversed and is currently trading off its highs of the day. This will be an interesting sector to watch going forward as it attempts to overcome this resistance. The BTK's downward spiral began much later than the rest of the market's, as the index just recently starting breaking down after peaking in November.
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by 1/11/2001 11:02 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
It is interesting that Cisco Systems (CSCO - 35-1/8) down 1-1/8 today, has experienced only one close below the 35 strike since gapping lower near 35 on December 20th. The January 35 put is home to over 44,000 contracts. Over the past few days, CSCO has traded below 35, but has managed to close back above this level.

Watch this level closely as January expiration approaches. Those that sold the puts at 35 would love to see CSCO close above this level on Friday, January 19th. However, if the shares show signs of breaking down before this date, a quick, short-lived plunge could occur as those that sold the puts hedge their positions by selling CSCO stock. <
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by 1/11/2001 10:28 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Playtex Products (PYX - 8-5/8) shares have come under pressure this morning after the company reduced its fourth-quarter and year-2000 guidance. The company now sees its fourth-quarter earnings coming in between two and four cents per share, with a 57-to-59-cent-per-share fiscal year 2000 net. The Street had been expecting 15 cents and 70 cents, respectively.

One would have to view a monthly chart of PYX to see a perfect double top in the shares at 17-1/8 in July 1998 and January 1999. PYX has managed just one close above its downtrending 20-month moving average since August 1999.

In a stock that trades just over 111,000 shares per day, option activity and shorting activity is somewhat limited, due to liquidity issues. Short interest moved upward by about two percent over the most recent period. Peak options open interest lies in the April 10 and 12-1/2 call series with 221 and 424 open positions, respectively. <
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by 1/11/2001 9:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
As mentioned in this morning's "Before the Bell", Philadelphia Fed president Santomero has offered up his views on the state of the economy in a speech this morning presented to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

He noted that after growing at very rapid rates in 1998 and 1999, the U.S. economy appears to now be in a "growth slowdown." Santomero also mentioned that over the past decade the U.S. economy has "had a tremendous run," with consistently strong growth and low inflation. He added that the economy has slowed from the very high rates of the late 1990's that might be described as unsustainable.

Santomero also stated that while inflation has been very well behaved recently, inflation numbers have been moving up. But with the tightness of the job market apparently slackening, these pressures seem to be abating. Addressing the recent rate cut, Santomero, simply said that, "it was the right thing to do at the right time."
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by 1/11/2001 9:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
For the week ending January 6, U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly declined by 36,000 to 345,000. This number was significantly lower than analyst estimates, which called for claims to remain unchanged. The four-week moving average of jobless claims, however, rose to 363,000, its highest level since July 1998. <
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