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by 10/24/2000 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Electronic Arts (ERTS – 51-1/4) is the top publisher of video games in the United States, according to Hoover's Online. The company's popular titles include Madden NFL, SimCity, and RoadRash. The firm manufactures games for the Sony PlayStation console as well as for PCs. ERTS has not partaken in the tech sector's volatility over the last several months, instead maintaining a steady upward trend. Since late May, the equity has climbed just shy of 110 percent.

In today's session, however, the security has retreated over seven percent. This decline was spurred by a brokerage downgrade issued just after the open. Bear Stearns reduced its rating on the shares from a "buy" to an "attractive." This pullback has taken ERTS to potential support at its ascending 10-week moving average. This intermediate-term trendline has supported all but one weekly close since June 2.
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by 10/24/2000 11:22 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Operating around 550 branches, Countrywide Credit (CCR – 35-3/4) is the largest independent residential mortgage lender in the United States. The company's shares have declined nearly 15 percent in the last five weeks, breaching their 10-week and 20-week moving averages in the process.

Yesterday, CCR saw unusual option activity, as its November 40 call was among the most-active options on the PHLX. Over 3,700 contracts traded on this out-of-the-money option. The bulk of this volume translated into new positions, as open interest at this strike rose from 6,884 to 9,953 contracts. Most of this activity was executed in the form of large block trades that crossed the tape before 10:00 a.m. These went off near the ask price. <
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by 10/24/2000 10:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Beleaguered Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT – 16.48) suffered more bad news today when the company reported a loss of three cents per share in the third quarter. Analysts had expected GT to lose just two cents per share. The shares are off three percent in early trading in reaction to this news and are within spitting distance of a nine-year low.

Amazingly, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on GT reveals that optimism is on the rise. The SOIR has fallen from a reading near 1.4 in mid-August to today's ratio of 0.72, which is lower than 92 percent of all readings taken over the past year.

It appears that a trader is rolling out a position from the November 15 put to the December 15 put. Both options saw a 1,000-contract block transact this morning on open interest of 1,020 and 1,000 contracts, respectively.
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by 10/24/2000 10:18 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Last week, oil-service name Tidewater (TDW – 47-3/4) revealed second-quarter earnings that were five cents better than Street projections. Today, the company was rewarded with a brokerage upgrade when an analyst increased his rating on TDW from "buy" to "strong buy."

The stock has been on a near-term run that has seen the shares appreciate by almost 60 percent from their late-July lows. The equity is presently trading just a chip shot away from a 2-1/2-year high.

Given TDW's attractive technical and fundamental record, options players are understandably enamored with the security. Its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands near an annual low at 0.09. This reading indicates that call open interest outnumbers put open interest by a hefty margin of over 11 to one. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment. <
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by 10/24/2000 9:06 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
In a market where seconds count, traders got an additional 30 seconds tacked onto yesterday's session. The newly appointed Miss America, Angela Perez Baraquio of Hawaii, was afforded the opportunity to ring the opening bell yesterday. In her zealousness to start her reign, she pre-maturely got the traders off and running before the coffee had a chance to cool. Like words once spoken, it could not be retracted and the trading day had started.
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