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WorldCom's CEO Ebbers steps aside

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Worldcom's (NASDAQ:WCOM) $2.57 CEO Bearnard Ebbers announced his resignation this morning amid pressure from WorldCom's outside directors angered by WorldCom's (WCOM) stock losses, concerns over Ebber's $366 million personal loan from the company and a SEC investigation regarding the company's numerous acquisitions. Vice Chair John Sidgmore will replace Ebbers as CEO. Sidgmore was named vice chairman in 1996 and also served as president and CEO of WorldCom's Internet access provider UUNET Technologies. Shares of WorldCom (WCOM) are the most actively traded in pre- market action at $2.56.

Stock futures mixed

Stock futures point toward a mixed open this morning as S&P futures (sp02m) trade higher by 1.6 points at 1,066.50. NASDAQ futures are edging lower by 8.5 points at 1,243 and Dow futures are up 19 points at 9,835.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.90. That price will not change during the day. HL Camp and Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.62 and set for program selling at $-0.68. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $4.00.

ICOS trades lower after FDA information request

Shares of biotech stock ICOS Corp. (NASDAQ:ICOS) $39.00 are being hammered in pre-market action at $25.89 on news that Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) / ICOS (ICOS) now expects a U.S. launch of Cialis in 2003 and FDA request for additional clinical pharmacology studies, labeling discussions and manufacturing inspections. Shares of ICOS are a component of the Biotech HOLDRS (AMEX:BBH) $98.05.

Correction to yesterday's 03:00 OptionInvestor.com update

In yesterday's 03:00 EST Update, I mistakenly wrote that NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA) $35.43 CEO had taken a leave of absence. In the 09:00 update, I accurately reported that CFO Christine Hoberg was taking a leave of absence and that Mary Dotz, NVIDIA's Corporate Controller was named interim CFO.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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