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by 8/14/2000 11:10 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Veritas Software (VRTS - 98-13/16) has stepped back by just over four points, or four percent, this morning, as the stock continues to trade beneath all of its significant short-term and intermediate-term moving averages. The shares are also presently sitting below their 10-month moving average, which they haven't finished a month lower than since April 1997. Since the security's near-term intraday high on July 17, it has lost more than 29 percent of its value. On the options front today for VRTS, the September 110 put has been active on volume of 3,551 contracts. This in-the-money strike has open interest of just 231 contracts, indicating that most of this morning's volume should become new positions. Currently, this is one of the most-active put contracts on the AMEX.<
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by 8/14/2000 9:11 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
It is widely expected that the U.S. government will announce today its approval of the acquisition of Internet service provider Verio (VRIO - 58-3/4) by NTT Communications. In May, NTT made a tender offer of $60 per share for VRIO. Since the announcement, VRIO shares have traded in a range between 51 and 59-9/16 after gapping higher by about 23 points on the news. In last Friday's option activity on VRIO, it appears that traders were exiting aggressive put positions. These players may have initially been betting that the proposed acquisition would not receive approval from the U.S. government and thus the shares would return to the 30 to 35 level. The August 45 and September 45 puts each saw roughly 4,000 contracts cross the tape on Friday. Open interest on the two options declined by approximately 500 contracts and 2,400 contracts, respectively.
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by 8/14/2000 9:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payors Index (HMO - 344.79) finished Friday's trading up 15.62 points, or 4.7 percent, en route to logging an all-time closing high. The HMO used support from its 20-day moving average as a springboard for its run higher. Helping the group was the naming of Oxford Health Plans (OXHP - 29-13/16) as a "trading buy" by a major brokerage house. The positive comments were good for a nearly 13-percent rise in the shares, as they logged a new 52-week high. The HMO has been one of the leading sectors on Wall Street since breaking out of a multi-year trading range in June.<
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by 8/14/2000 9:06 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
HCA - The Healthcare Company (HCA - 35-3/8) saw its share price benefit from a strong day for HMO stocks on Friday. The security finished the day 7/8 higher, good for a 2.5-percent rally. The upswing carried the shares to levels not seen since July 1997. The September 35 put on HCA saw some large block activity last Friday. The at-the-money option saw a 3,000-contract block cross the tape at 1-3/4, near the current bid price. All of the volume translated into new open interest, indicating that the activity was the result of a new position being initiated. The trade was more than likely initiated as a put write by an institutional player. If the shares remain above 35 at September expiration, the trader will be able to collect the entire premium $525,000 (3,000 X 100 X 1-3/4).
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by 8/11/2000 3:50 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Federal Reserve President of Kansas City Thomas Hoenig was interviewed by the Nightly Business Report television program last evening. In his remarks, Hoenig indicated that he was comfortable with the economy's ability to maintain non-inflationary growth, even with the unemployment rate near four percent. He added that higher productivity may allow the unemployment rate to drop even lower without spurring inflation. Some economists believe that with unemployment so low, companies will need to pay higher wages to attract employees, causing demand for goods and services to be higher as a result of more money chasing the same amount of goods and services. Employer-productivity increases have made retail-price hikes by companies unnecessary. Thus, even though wages have risen and spending remains strong, this so-called wage inflation has so far not appeared. Though Hoenig will be an attendant at the upcoming August 22 Federal Open Market Committee meeting and participates in monetary-policy discussions, he will not be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee until 2001. <
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