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by 8/2/2000 1:55 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
With the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 3723.9) up 1.04 percent and the S&P 500 Index (.SPX - 1447.66) ahead by 0.66 percent today, 29 of the 38 sector indices are in positive territory. The following are the top four performing indices today: the AMEX Biotechnology Index (BTK - 644.1), up 3.2 percent; the PHLX Oil Service Sector Index (OSX - 121.07), up 2.3 percent; the CBOE Internet Index (INX - 492.2), up 2.2 percent; and the AMEX Oil and Gas Index (XOI - 490.89), up 2.2 percent. The four indices showing the most weakness include: the S&P Insurance Index (IUX - 685.77), down two percent; the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payors Index (HMO - 331.19), down 1.9 percent; the AMEX Disk Drive Index (DDX - 79.33), down 1.1 percent; and the AMEX Airline Index (XAL - 167.4), down 0.9 percent.
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by 8/2/2000 12:54 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
A brokerage firm upgraded Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH - 117-1/2) from an "attractive" rating to a "buy" this morning. The news has given the stock a four-percent boost so far today, and the equity is now within striking distance of its all-time high of 121-3/4, which was achieved on July 25. LEH's options pit has seen moderate activity, led by the October 125 put with volume of 790 contracts. In addition, the August 110 and 115 calls have both registered volume in excess of 300 contracts.
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by 8/2/2000 12:18 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Target (TGT - 30-7/8) is an upscale discount retailer, owning and operating around 1,250 stores in the United States. Today, TGT shares are trading nearly 6.5 percent higher after announcing a joint web project with Interwoven, a content management company. TGT is now trading back above its significant short-term and intermediate-term moving averages, although it remains less than 10 percent below resistance at its 10-month and 20-month moving averages. TGT has seen significant activity on the options front today, as 2,100 contracts have traded hands on the October 27-1/2 put. This option was previously the site of only 545 contracts in put open interest, suggesting that the majority of today's volume will translate into new open interest tomorrow. A block of 2,000 contracts traded between the bid and the ask price shortly before 11:00 a.m. This is currently the most-active put trading on the Pacific Exchange. <
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by 8/2/2000 11:48 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Sprint FON Group (FON - 36-1/2) has been on an accelerated decline since its painful breakup with WorldCom (WCOM - 39-1/4) in mid-July, when the companies called off their attempted merger. FON is seeing impressive option activity on the September 45 call with 3,476 contracts trading today versus open interest of 1,863 contracts. These trades were executed in a series of blocks that were at or near the bid price, implying that these were likely new positions, possibly sold by an institution. The stock is down 0.68 percent on volume of 2.8 million shares today versus its 30-day average volume of five million shares. FON is currently about 52 percent off its record high, which is located at 75-15/16. It seems evident that the Street had some ideas that there were problems in FON's relationship with WCOM, given that FON has a three-month decline of approximately 41 percent.
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by 8/2/2000 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Insurance Index (IUX - 689.11) is moving down in today's action, posting a 1.5 percent, or 10.5-point, loss thus far. The index has dramatically outperformed the S&P 500 Index (.SPX - 1449.36) during the past month, posting returns of 11.599 versus a negative 2.386-percent return for the SPX. However, today's earnings report from Cigna (CI - 97-5/8) is weighing on the index, despite some seemingly positive comments from the company's chief financial officer. The security is currently lower by more than three percent. CI earned $279 million, or $1.71 per share, a 40-percent increase from the $251 million, or $1.22 per share, in the year-ago period. This was solidly ahead of First Call earnings estimates of $1.56 per share. Of the IUX components, only one is higher on the day. Along with from CI, the stocks contributing to today's move are Safeco (SAFC - 22-1/2), down 2.45 percent; Allstate (ALL - 26-15/16), down 2.05 percent; Loews (LTR - 62), down 1.78 percent; and American International Group (AIG - 86-7/16), down 1.78 percent.
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