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by 8/2/2000 3:25 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
After reporting disappointing same-store sales for June, Dollar General (DG - 18-7/16) shares have been losing ground. From its near-term high on July 10, the stock has relinquished almost 16 percent of its value. This price action has resulted in a bearish cross of DG's 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which can be a sign of near-term weakness. A large player appears to believe that DG will manage to reverse its recent downtrend, as it appears that a large position was rolled out from the August 18 call to the September 15 call. The August 18 call saw 5,200 contracts cross the tape in large blocks near the bid. This could be a liquidation of most of the 5,241 contracts open at this strike. At the same time, the September 15 call saw two large blocks totaling 6,250 contracts trade near the ask. These are likely new positions since this option had no open interest coming into today's trading. These are two of the busiest call contracts on the Pacific Exchange.
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by 8/2/2000 3:07 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Yesterday, Medtronic (MDT - 54-3/4) got a boost on news that its Mosaic porcine bioprosthetic heart valve had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The stock gained over seven percent on Tuesday. Since late June, MDT has stepped up by almost 19 percent with the combined assistance of its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The shares are now only roughly six percent away from their all-time high of 57-7/8. On the options front, the August 35 and February 45 calls have seen heavy volume in what could be a roll out. A 4,325-contract block traded between the bid and the ask on the August 35 call, which has open interest of 4,430 contracts. Blocks of 2,942 and 2,943 contracts traded at the ask on the February 45 call, which has volume of only two contracts. These are two of the most-active calls on the CBOE today. MDT is up fractionally in late-afternoon trading.<
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by 8/2/2000 2:31 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, the string of interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve over the past year have slowed the home mortgage business somewhat even though rates over the past week dropped slightly. The purchase index fell 2.1 percent in the week ended July 28 to a seasonally adjusted 306.6 from the previous week's revised 313.1 figure. The refinance index dropped 3.8 percent from the previous week's seasonally adjusted 359.6 to a 346.0 total. The purchase index is lower than the four-weeks-ago figure of 318.1, but it is higher than the year-ago reading of 293.4. The refinance index is about the same as the four-weeks-ago figure of 338.5, but it is significantly lower than the year-ago reading of 458.1.<
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by 8/2/2000 2:28 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
New-home-sales figures released by the Commerce Department surprised economists by falling for the third month in a row. The decrease came despite lower interest rates and continued high consumer confidence. June new home sales were down 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted 829,000 annual rate, the lowest rate since December 1997. Analysts had expected a fall of only 0.3 percent. June's decline followed May's downwardly revised annualized rate of 861,000. The string of declines has increased the supply of single-family homes to 4.9 month's worth, its highest level in 3-1/2 years. The housing sector was expected to be one of the first industries to feel the effects of the six rate increases by the Federal Reserve since last June. These increases appear to have initiated the desired slowdown. The Federal Open Market Committee meets August 22 to discuss whether to continue raising short-term rates or to stand pat.
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by 8/2/2000 2:12 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Today the Conference Board released its June leading indicators figures. The index of leading indicators was unchanged in June to remain at 106.0. This follows a 0.1-percent decline in May and no change in April. Except for a 0.1-percent increase in March, the leading indicators index has been flat to declining since February, indicating a moderation in the momentum of economic activity in the U.S. From December to June, the leading indicators index decreased 0.1 percent. The slowing trend in the leading indicators indicates that the U.S. economy should grow at a slower pace over the next six months. The coincident indicator, a gauge of current conditions, rose 0.2 percent to 115.5, and the lagging indicator went up 0.8 percent to 105.4.<
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