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by 1/18/2001 9:33 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
IBM (IBM 96-11/16) reported fourth-quarter earnings yesterday after the closing bell. Big Blue offered a pleasant surprise to Wall Street by posting profits of $1.48 per share. This edged past the Street consensus, which called for earnings of $1.46 per share. The company also announced they were comfortable with existing revenue and earnings expectations for the year 2001.

Subsequent to the Fed-inspired rally on January 3, the stock had been consolidating sideways into the site of its 10-day moving average. In after-hours trading yesterday, IBM was trading around 103. It appears likely that the stock will test the 105 area today, an area that acted as resistance on three separate occasions in November and early December.<
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by 1/18/2001 9:32 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
The North American Telecommunications Index (.XTC 1211.85) has been a major beneficiary of the Federal Reserve's decision to cut short-term interest rates on January 3. Thus far this year, the .XTC has gained over 18 percent. In the process, the index has overtaken its 50-day moving average, which had provided staunch resistance for the group in the fourth quarter. From a longer-term technical perspective, the now horizontal 20-month moving average looms above as potential resistance at approximately 1375.<
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by 1/18/2001 9:31 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Housing starts in December were stronger than expected. Economists were expecting a decline of 3.6%, but the number actually rose 0.3% to a seasonally-adjusted 1.575 million annual rate. The November number was revised upward from +2.2% to +2.7%.

Despite the strong number, March Fed Funds futures (FF/H - 94.56) are ahead by five ticks in the early trading hours, suggesting slightly increased confidence that the Fed will still lower rates by 50-basis points by March.
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by 1/18/2001 9:28 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
Like a phoenix, eToys (ETYS 11/16) has risen from the ashes on heavy volume during the last two trading days. Finishing the year 2000 at a mere 3/16, the stock traveled as high as 1 in yesterday's trading, before pairing its gains. The Internet sector has been strengthening so far in 2001. In fact, the CBOE Internet Index (.INX 245.31) has added over 26 percent already this year.

In yesterday's trading, speculators took an interest in the ETYS May 5 call. Over 8,000 contracts changed hands on the option, resulting in an increase to open interest of over 15,600 contracts, up from 7,900 contracts at Tuesday's close. <
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by 1/18/2001 9:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:
UAL Corp. (UAL - 37-7/8), holding company of United Airlines, reported an operating loss of $2.41/share, which was much better than the $3.84 loss the Street was expecting. The company also said that it expects another loss in the first quarter due to labor costs and higher fuel prices.

It is interesting that on Tuesday of this week, the February 40 put on UAL was very active. Heading into Tuesday, open interest at this strike was only 757 contracts, but volume was over 5,000 contracts on this day. Open interest increased from 757 contracts at this strike to 5,679 contracts heading into this morning's earnings report. <
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