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Deere & Co. (DE – 33-15/16) is down fractionally in mid-afternoon activity, as it continues to hover above its 10-day moving average. However, the stock is beneath its 20-day moving average as well as all of its significant intermediate-term and long-term trendlines. The shares have been mired in a tight trading range since the company's August 15 warning that weakness in the farm equipment sector will likely continue next year, with retail sales in U.S. and Canada forecasted to be flat to five percent lower.
In DE's options pit today, 4,000 and 2,000 contracts have crossed the tape on the January 2003 25 and 30 calls, respectively. A 4,000-contract block transpired at the bid price on the January 2003 25 call, indicating a potential put sell. This is presently the most-active put contract on the AMEX. In addition, a 2,000-contract block went off at the ask price on the January 2003 30 call, which should translate to new positions since the option has open interest of just 13 contracts.