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Meandering ways

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There's been little change in the major market averages this triple-witching Friday as the major market averages hover near unchanged levels.

On an intraday basis, breadth as turned slightly negative, but not noticeably so with decliners outnumbering advancers by at 16 to 15 margin at both the NYSE and NASDAQ.

Volume is impressive at 1.4 billion shares traded, considering little movement in the major averages.

Semiconductors (SOX.X) -1.58%, Insurance (IUX.X) -1.78%, Oil Service (OSX.X) -2.1% and Utilities (UTY.X) -2% are the only sectors showing any type of diverging losses, while telecom stocks as depicted by the Combined Telecom Index (IXTCX) +2.29%, Forest/Paper Products (FPP.X) +2.09% and Wireless Telecom (YLS.X) +1.77% are today's sector gainers.

Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) $27.70 +7.76% continue to find intra-day resistance at their converging 21-day and 50-day SMAs near $28.00.

Shares of software maker Veritas Software (NASDAQ:VRTS) $14.08 -7.12% spiked to a 52-week low on heavy volume of 20 million after a trading desk rumor surfaced that the company may warn on earnings next week. Prudential securities has come out in defense of the stock and says the company is more likely to affirm guidance than warn.

Shares of internet retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) $15.75 -8.4% are trading lower on volume of 10 million shares after Pacific Crest said that AMZN's planned increase in associate commission rates may in fact drive revenues, but it will also likely lower margins. Pacific Crest says that the company stated it had no more room for reducing market expenses, so the higher commission rate as well as free shipping could make the firm's forecast of rising operating margins next quarter difficult to achieve.

Biopharmaceutical Transkaryotic Therapies (NASDAQ:TKTX) $30.30 -8% was hit lower on more than 4-times average daily volume following a mid-day announcement from the FDA that its Endocrinologic and Metablolic Drugs Advisory Committee will not meet as scheduled on September 26-27 to consider TKTX's Replagal therapy for Fabry Disease and Genzyme's (NASDAQ:GENZ) $21.43 -1.5% drug Fabrazyme. The FDA postponed the meetings due to administrative reasons until later this year.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor


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