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by 10/27/2000 11:47 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The S&P Healthcare Index (HCX – 874.06) is down over 11 points today, one session after the index recorded an all-time intraday high. However, the HCX has obtained sturdy support from its uptrending 10-day moving average and remains above all of its significant intermediate-term and long-term trendlines.

Leading HCX underperformers today include Amgen (AMGN – 60-7/16), down 11.8 percent; Pfizer (PFE – 44-1/8), down 2.7 percent; American Home Products (AHP – 62-1/16), down 2.2 percent; and Pharmacia (PHA – 54-5/8), down 2.1 percent. AMGN lowered forecasts for the year due to softening demand for two of its drugs.


by 10/27/2000 11:35 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
SBC Communications (SBC – 56-3/16) hit a 14-month high this morning. The stock has been on a near-term run, rallying almost 47 percent from its mid-August low along the near-flawless support of its 20-day moving average.

Options players responded to this technical strength by adding calls yesterday. Open interest on the far-in-the-money November 30 call increased from zero to 2,000 contracts yesterday.

Despite this option activity, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for SBC remains near an annual high at 0.89. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment.

by 10/27/2000 10:25 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Last night after the close, Electronic Data Systems (EDS – 46-1/4) revealed third-quarter earnings of 59 cents per share, a penny ahead of Street forecasts. The stock is trading up over three percent in response to this news.

The stock continues to trade below its 10-month and 20-month moving averages, trendlines that appear to be on the verge of a bearish cross.

Options players expressed their skepticism ahead of earnings yesterday by focusing on puts. Specifically, open interest on the November 42-1/2 put rose from just 283 contracts to 2,140 contracts. This activity took the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) to 1.0, which is near an annual high and indicates that put open interest and call open interest are equal for options expiring over the next three months. For more information on SOIR, please visit Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment.

by 10/27/2000 10:01 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
To follow-up yesterday's Market Observation on VeriSign (VRSN – 143-7/8), the stock managed to pare its losses, closing in the red by more than five points but ahead of the key 140 mark. The shares could now use this technically significant level to support a near-term upswing.

This morning, VRSN gapped 2-3/4 points higher and climbed as high as 149-1/2. The equity is now just over one percent in positive territory, as it continues to hover below all of its significant short-term and intermediate-term trendlines as well as its 10-month moving average.

On Thursday, information from Schaeffer's Daily Sentiment indicates that investors are showing more optimism toward the security. For options expiring within the next three months, call open interest increased by 4,125 contracts yesterday, while put open interest expanded by just 959 contracts.


by 10/27/2000 8:54 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
This morning, the Commerce Department released the third-quarter Gross Domestic Product report. For the three-month period ending in September, the once red-hot economy cooled to a 2.7-percent growth rate, which was significantly lower than Wall Street expectations of a 3.5-percent advance. In pre-market activity, the December S&P 500 Index Futures contract (SP/Z0 – 1379.00) is up eight points, indicating a positive open.

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