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by 5/31/2000 10:59 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Last Friday, paper product issue Georgia-Pacific Group (GP - 32-5/8) fell to its worst intraday mark since early January 1999. The equity bounced back in Tuesday’s trading to vault ahead by more than four percent. This morning, the security has continued its upward trajectory, stepping up by another one percent. GP, though, remains well below all of its significant moving averages. In GP’s options pit today, the October 35 put has been active on volume of 3,000 contracts. Because open interest on this in-the-money option stands at 1,721 contracts, some of today’s activity should translate into new positions. Currently, this is one of the most-active put contracts on the CBOE.
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by 5/31/2000 10:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
A unit of health insurance company Aetna (AET - 63-5/8) was accused on Tuesday in a civil lawsuit of breaching contracts with 24 New York-area hospitals. In response, the shares dropped by more than two percent in yesterday’s trading. So far today, the stock has rebounded from Tuesday's retreat and is now ahead by greater than one percent. On the options front this morning, 2,000 call contracts have crossed the tape at the in-the-money June 50 strike. Most of today’s volume has transpired at the bid price. This option has open interest of 2,750 contracts. This is presently among the most-active calls on the AMEX.
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by 5/31/2000 10:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
With 97 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1429.95) having logged their first-quarter earnings reports, the results were certainly impressive. The average positive earnings surprise was 38 percent, which compares very favorably versus past quarters. The negative earnings surprises were on par with past quarters at six percent. It will be telling if the expectations of an equally solid second quarter emerge. However, the market's discounting function may already be at work. In the same way that stock prices soared in the first quarter, particularly for technology stocks, the current decline may be a function of investors casting their dollar votes in favor of more modest earnings for the quarter ending in June. The quarter ended in December saw 34 percent of SPX companies post positive earnings surprises and six percent record negative earnings surprises.<
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by 5/31/2000 10:23 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Ask Jeeves (ASKJ - 21-1/8) is an Internet search engine. Before the open today, the company reluctantly announced that its operating chief was stepping down to join the team at a privately-held Internet service firm. News of this management shake-up was not initially greeted warmly on the Street, as the stock gapped six percent lower at the open en route to sloughing off 12 percent. The shares have quickly recovered, however, and are presently posting a less than five-percent loss around 10:15 a.m. ASKJ has endured a tumultuous 2000 nonetheless, recoiling by nearly 90 percent since its mid-November peak of 190-1/2. Since early March, the equity has been struggling with overhead resistance in the form of its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.
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by 5/31/2000 10:23 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Intimate Brands (IBI - 23-3/16) is the parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. The majority of the company is owned by clothing retailer The Limited (LTD - 24-3/16). This morning, on the last day of May, IBI released its sales numbers for the fifth month of the year. The firm's same-store sales climbed by 11 percent compared to 1999 results, while total sales jumped around 14 percent. Both IBI and LTD are trading fractionally higher in early-morning activity. For the past couple of weeks, IBI has been consolidating within striking distance of its annual peak. Since May 11, the shares have been vacillating between the 21-3/4 and 23-3/4 levels. Since late February, IBI shares have demonstrated an upward bias, climbing 65 percent over the past three months. Options players are showing pronounced signs of optimism on the stock, as IBI's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 0.41. This weighs in lower than 92 percent of all annual SOIR readings on the retailing stock. This means that speculators are window shopping more calls (bullish bets) than puts (bearish bets) than almost any time relative to the past year. So far today, option activity has been nonexistent on both IBI and LTD.
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