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by 1/29/2001 11:27 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Portal Software (PRSF 13-3/4) has won a major contract to provide AOL Time Warner (AOL 56.23) with billing and business management software. This multimillion-dollar, multi-year contract is the biggest win yet for PRSF, who overcame stiff competition from rivals. Analysts have made positive comments about the implications of this deal for PRSF's quarter and long-term business.

PRSF shares have taken a nasty tumble from their 86 high of last February all the way down to 4-3/4 last month. With end-of-year tax selling out of the way, this month has brought back some positive momentum. PRSF ran up from 5-1/4 to 12 within two weeks this month, a whopping 128-percent gain. Today, the shares experienced a bullish gap when they opened at 13-1/2, after closing at 10-5/8 Friday. But, they have fallen a point from their 14-3/4 high this morning.

Before this announcement, there was already an accumulation of PRSF calls at the February 10 strike, where 3,748 contracts reside. Today, 420 contracts of that option have changed hands. Additionally, 520 contracts of the February 12-1/2 strike call have traded and another 385 of the March 17-1/2 call. Also, one investor opened a spread position of 1,000 contracts of the April 20 strike put and call. <
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by 1/29/2001 11:26 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Retailer J.C. Penney (JCP - 13.38) received a boost this morning as a major brokerage firm made positive comments and upgraded the stock from a "neutral" to an "accumulate" rating. In response to the bullish news, the equity gapped higher on the open and is currently trading up nearly five percent on the day. Technically speaking, JCP is now trading back at levels not seen since late-September 2000. <
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by 1/29/2001 11:26 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, H.J. Heinz (HNZ - 44.11) confirmed that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Vlassic and Open Pit brand businesses from Vlassic Foods Intl. (VL - 0.62) for $195 million. The move follows news that VL filed has Chapter 11. According to VL, the two business units had a combined fiscal year 2000 sales of roughly $300 million. On a technical note, HNZ is currently trading back above its 20-day moving average and is up 1.15 percent on the day.
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by 1/29/2001 10:45 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
B2B firm, Ariba (ARBA 36-11/16), will purchase Agile Software (AGIL 48-3/16), whose products enable companies to collaborate over the Internet. One example of how AGIL products are used is the exchange of information regarding manufacture and supply of components between Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their Electronic Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers (outsourcing contractors). ARBA sees an advantage of merging with AGIL in their ability to offer a unified platform for Internet-based commerce and collaboration. AGIL shareholders will receive 1.35 shares of ARBA. That is a 26-percent premium based on Friday's closing price of AGIL.

In response to the news, ARBA shares have lost more than three points so far in today's trading, while AGIL shares have picked up over five points. AGIL options are trading lightly, but ARBA options are moving. The ARBA February 40 call has been the most active, with 1,191 contracts changing hands. The ARBA February 35 put has traded 829 contracts. Puts and calls in the 35-45-strike range for ARBA are all seeing action. <
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by 1/29/2001 9:10 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Last Friday, the S&P Retail Index (RLX - 880.4) was able to manage its highest weekly close since late July. On Wednesday, the RLX will seek to make its first monthly close above its 20-month moving average since May. In the short term, potential resistance looms overhead in the form of the round-number 900 level. This area has acted as resistance for the index on numerous occasions over the past year and a half. <
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