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by 6/1/2000 11:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Finnish cell-phone maker Nokia (NOK - 55-7/16) is seeing some heavy option activity in late-morning trading. A 3,000-contract spread was initiated between the out-of-the-money July 48-3/4 put and the out-of-the-money October 50 put. These are two of the most-active put contracts on the CBOE. From a technical perspective, NOK surged above its 20-day moving average for the first time in two weeks and is currently up over six percent on the day. Sentiment on the stock is still showing an extreme in pessimism, as Schaeffer's Open Interest Ratio (SOIR) for NOK is in the 96th percentile of all readings over the past year.
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by 6/1/2000 11:49 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
A consumer confidence poll released yesterday suggests that although consumers continue to be confident about their financial situations, they are less so than in April. The poll's sponsor, a major monthly financial publication, said that consumer confidence fell to 27 in May from April's reading of 28. According to the survey, positive sentiment toward buying dropped to 49 percent from 50 percent in April. Confidence in personal finances rose to 67 percent from 66 percent. Sentiment toward the economy held steady at 76 percent.<
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by 6/1/2000 11:29 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, the Commerce Department released April construction spending figures. Construction spending dropped 0.6 percent and was in line with expectations. The decline was the first in seven months, an indication that higher interest rates may have begun to slow the housing sector. The drop to a $757.3 billion annual rate was the steepest since May 1999. Last month's number was revised downward to a 0.8-percent increase.<
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by 6/1/2000 11:15 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning before the open, pharmaceutical concern Pfizer (PFE - 45-7/8) reported that its popular anti-impotence drug Viagra was not linked to heightened cardiovascular problems in users with heart disease. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that brokerage titan Merrill Lynch (MER - 102-7/8) had named PFE its “focus one” selection, keeping it listed as a near-term and long-term “buy.” Around 11:15 a.m., the shares were trading three percent higher. PFE has enjoyed an impressive rally higher since the beginning of March, tacking on more than 50 percent during the past three months of trading. This uptrend has been guided higher by the equity’s ascending 10-day and 20-day moving averages. Options speculators are taking notice of this strength, as evidenced by PFE’s current options configuration. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) on PFE presently weighs in at 0.32, which is effectively lower than 98.5 percent of all other SOIR readings on PFE over the past 12 months. What is encouraging from an options perspective is that PFE has been able to surge above the 40 and 45 strikes, which are the two sites of heaviest call open interest in the front-month series. Together, the two call strikes boast nearly 40,000 open contracts. <
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by 6/1/2000 11:14 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Best Buy (BBY - 68-1/8) is the nation’s largest electronics retailer. This morning, the company announced that same-store sales for the first quarter rose nine percent, while total sales for the three-month period climbed 24 percent. Piggy-backing on this sales news, BBY issued a strong earnings forecast for the first quarter. The company expects to earn 34 cents per share for the quarter, six cents above Wall Street’s 28-cent expectation. The company also plans to open 55 new locations during fiscal year 2001. BBY will likely announce its earnings numbers during the last week of June. BBY shot more than 3-1/2 points higher at the opening bell and is currently trading more than six percent in positive territory. On the sentiment front, BBY options players are displaying a massive amount of optimism on the stock. This morning, BBY’s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stood at 0.35. This figure ranks in the lower two percent of all annual SOIR readings on the equity. Taking into account that BBY shares lost 20 percent of their value in May and are continuing to trade below their 10-day and 20-day moving averages, this bullishness seems somewhat unjustified. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer’s Daily Sentiment.
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