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by 1/24/2001 9:03 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Amerada Hess (AHC – 68-5/16) is a major integrated oil company with operations worldwide. Since logging an all-time high late last year, the shares have subsequently receded by over 10 percent. Yesterday, a pair of AHC options saw heavy activity. The February 75 call saw volume of 10,000 contracts with virtually all of the activity resulting in new open interest. The February 60 put was also active. A total of 10,000 contracts also crossed the tape on this option with the large majority of the volume translating into new open interest.

Most likely, these option positions were written by a single player betting that AHC will finish February expiration between 60 and 75, allowing the options to expire worthless.
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by 1/24/2001 8:59 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Siebel Systems (SEBL – 78-1/2), a leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software, has reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that each more than doubled figures for the same period last year. Handily exceeding estimates of 15 cents per share, the pro forma net income totaled 20 cents. This is the sixth consecutive quarter of at least 100-percent revenue growth for SEBL.

What's even better is that they have an upbeat outlook going forward. The firm is not seeing a slowdown in purchases of their sales and call center software. This news has sent the shares flying, over eight dollars higher in pre-market trading. SEBL should be a mover in today's market action.

Options are actively traded on SEBL. Most of the interest lies on the call side. The shares have bypassed peak open interest at the February 70 call, where over 15,000 contracts reside.
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by 1/23/2001 2:35 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The CBOE market volatility index (VIX - 23.92) is cratering today. The VIX has dropped 7.79 percent in response to a 1.16-percent rally on the S&P 100 Index (OEX - 711.46). This is completely subjective, but I personally would like to see a more substantial rally from the market on a day when the VIX drops by nearly two full points.
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by 1/23/2001 2:03 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Dollar General (DG – 17-1/16) owns and operates around 4,700 discount retail stores throughout the south and Midwest. Today, DG shares are trading 11 percent lower on above-average volume. Earlier today, DG officials announced that its 2000 earnings would total 62 cents per share, missing analysts' estimates by four cents. Also, same-store sales are only forecast to increase one percent. The company cited these lackluster results to the costs involved with re-vamping a number of its stores. In a nugget of good news, DG said that sales so far in January are above earlier estimates.

The equity's decline has taken the shares back below their 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The security is also sitting below its 10-month and 20-month trendlines.
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by 1/23/2001 11:30 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF – 26-3/4) sells upscale casual apparel for men, women, and children through a network of 290 stores as well as catalog and online operations. ANF shares struggled between June 1999 and May 2000, depreciating 84 percent during that time frame and sinking into single-digit territory. Since then, however, the equity has been staging a slow recovery. The equity is poised to close January above both its 10-month and 20-month moving averages, a feat it has not achieved since July 1999.

Today, the shares got some help from Wall Street, as two brokerage houses initiated separate coverage on the shares with a "strong buy" and a "buy" rating. Additionally, Merrill Lynch upped its near-term rating on the stock from an "accumulate" to a "buy." The stock is trading more than six percent higher in late-morning trading.

On the options front, 700 contracts have traded on the ANF May 17-1/2 put. Open interest at this out-of-the-money strike stood at only 26 contracts prior to today's trading, suggesting that the bulk of today's volume should translate into new open interest.
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