Option Investor
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Daily Newsletter, Thursday, 01/14/1999

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The Option Investor Newsletter         Thursday  1-14-98  
Copyright 1998, All rights reserved. 
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com

Also provided as a service to The Online Investor Advantage

Published three times weekly, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings.
************************************************************
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
************************************************************
        1-14-98         High     Low     Volume   Advances Decline
DOW     9120.93 -228.63 9359.08  9087.72  797,953k    880   2,145
Nasdaq  2276.82 - 39.99 2338.29  2276.36 1015,400k  1,898   2,175 
S&P-100  600.85 - 11.98  614.39   599.06   Totals   2,778   4,320
S&P-500 1212.19 - 22.21 1236.81  1209.48            39.1%   60.9%
$RUT     420.10 -  4.76  426.99   420.10
$TRAN   3080.28 - 89.14 3180.96  3077.42
VIX       34.74 +  3.48   36.79    31.33
Put/Call Ratio      .70
*************************************************************


Japan, Asia, Russia, Brazil. Who is next??


Another day, another excuse for profit taking. The market sold off 
again with the Brazilian flu along with a dose of impeachment blues.

The market started down early and showed little interest in turning
around. The rumors from Brazil were all negative. Coupled with the
resignation of yet another government official the rumor that the
Central Bank was set to let the Real float knocked the Brazil market
for another -10% loss. Floating the Real, the Brazilian currency, 
would be a drastic devaluation since the currency would then be free
to find its own level. 

Floating could start the domino theory fall of all the surrounding
Latin American countries that depend on Brazil for trade. Chile and
Argentina would be the first to go. If South America were to devalue
as a group then the countries who export to South America would be
put on a diet. The U.S., depending on who you talk to and what area
they reference, exports to South America account for between 17-25%
of our total. Companies like Colgate derive 40% of their revenue from
Latin countries. 

If the feared event happened then the results would be drastic. The
companies who derive a large percentage of their business from there
would suffer huge earnings shortfalls. Layoffs could occur, plant
closings, etc. That would be the extreme but it is possible. Possible
but not probable. There are many things that can and will happen 
before we get to that point. Rest assured that every Fed head in the
world is concerned about the Brazil problem. The IMF will be very
interested in preventing this scenario. Cardosa is very interested.
Power and pressure are being brought to bear. The Brazil Central
Bank issued a strongly worded press release stating they would use
every means at their disposal to prevent floating the Real. They
said they would use their $50 bln in reserves to protect the Real.
This was only minimally comforting to the market this afternoon.
Memories of many other countries last minute claims to the same
intent, and then immediate devaluation, are fresh. Russia was the
latest. While analysts feel there could be serious impacts from a
possible worst case, they also feel that the market has now discounted
the most likely scenario which is months of protracted, painful,
negotiations ending in an agreement of some sort to yet another bail
out. No harm, no foul. Just uncertainty.

Meanwhile the market has now "corrected" five percent off its record
high of just last week. My how short our memory can be. 9643, only
five trading days ago. Champagne was already being ordered for the
Dow 10,000 celebration. Should we cancel the order? Not hardly.

As I have said many times the market cycles. Remember last week when
I kept warning you about an impending bout of profit taking. Its'
here and I don't think it is over. Fear of darkness is only beaten
out by one other thing. Fear of a long holiday weekend. Yep, closed
Monday for MLK day. I have already had one of my brokers call me to
ask if I want some currency positions left open over the long weekend.
Seems the currency market closes at 1:PM on Friday. Now if you were
a country that needed to manipulate some currency to benefit your
country, a U.S. holiday would be the perfect time. Don't laugh.
Japan does it all the time. The same thing on a smaller scale can
happen to stock profits held over a holiday. Events happen, mass
exodus at Tuesday's open. Remember Wednesday morning?

You may think I have put on a fur coat. Far be it from the truth.
I am long several hundred contracts of tech stocks and I am looking
for a recovery soon. Again, being long does not make me right, just
very interested in the outcome. 

I have not elaborated on the market impact from the impeachment trial
and won't because I don't think there is any impact. As I have said
before, the chances of a guilty vote are about zero and the market
knows this.

If you watched any market TV today then you know the Internet stocks
are finally starting to weave. They are getting beat from all sides.
Brokers are cutting the ratings on the high flyers left and right.
Funny how the smell of blood brings out the crowd. Nobody would cut
them last week when they were adding $20 a day. It is dogpile time
now. To add insult to injury the online brokers are now starting 
to prevent customers from actually buying the stocks. I am not
kidding. Some have taken them off the margin list. If you want to
buy you have to pay cash, 100%. Others will not let you buy them
online. You have to call a broker and wait on the line while they
verify your eligibility to purchase high risk investments! Others
refuse to execute the trades at all. You might hurt yourself. Does
it strike you strange that Internet brokers will not let you buy
Internet stocks??? What ever happened to the concept of "it is 
your money not theirs." In the face of this conspiracy to protect
you from yourself the Internets are losing ground quickly. Except
AOL. AOL has somehow avoided the label of "overpriced" and actually
garnered several honorable mentions from analysts downgrading other
Internet stocks. Guess where Internet money will go now?

For you technicians out there the pendulum has swung from 
overbought to oversold in a very short period of time. The Dow 
is now down -522 points in the last five days. Both the Dow and
the Nasdaq have corrected about 5%. Just as the sharp run up last
week was begging for a dip, this sharp dip is now begging for a 
rally. The big drop today was on the lightest Dow volume in over
a week. Not as much conviction today just a lack of buyers. This 
was also the third triple digit loss in a row. As I mentioned 
earlier I think the odds for a down day Friday are still pretty 
good. The wild card again is the options expiration which normally
provides an upward bias. I can't build a case for a strong move 
upward because of Brazil and the holiday but I can see a strong 
Tuesday coming as long as Brazil does not meltdown over the weekend.
Earnings will be on us in earnest next week with MSFT, LU, SUNW
announcing along with dozens of others. I think the focus on 
Brazil will have dimmed and the anticipation of upside surprises
will take center stage. 

Good Luck

Jim Brown


 


*******************************************************
Market Posture
*******************************************************
As of Market Close - Thursday, January 14, 1999 

                   Major Support
Broad Market         /Resistance    Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************

DOW Industrials    9,400   9,730   9,121    BEARISH   1.14 *           
SPX S&P 500        1,200   1,280   1,212    Neutral   1.12    
OEX S&P 100          580     635     601    Neutral   1.12   
RUT Russell 2000     400     435     420    Neutral   1.12  

NDX NASD 100       1,900   2,010   1,906    Neutral   1.08   
MSH High Tech        870     980     931    Neutral   1.08   

                   Major Support
Technology           /Resistance    Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
XCI Hardware         800     875     836    Neutral   1.08    
CWX Software         600     665     619    Neutral   1.08         
SOX Semiconductor    360     400     392    Neutral   1.08        
NWX Networking       400     450     427    Neutral   1.08         
INX Internet         425     570     474    Neutral   1.08    

                   Major Support
Financial            /Resistance    Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
BIX Banking          660     710     647    BEARISH   1.14 *             
XBD Brokerage        545     725     638    Neutral   1.14 *  
IUX Insurance        600     620     588    BEARISH   1.14 *       

                   Major Support
Other                /Resistance    Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
RLX Retail           800     860     814    Neutral   1.08  
DRG Drug             720     795     740    Neutral   1.08    
HCX Healthcare       710     780     726    Neutral   1.08            
XAL Airline          310     350     312    Neutral   1.12              
OIX Oil & Gas        245     260     240    BEARISH   1.14 *              



Posture Alert

After tumbling more than 350 points over the past two days, we
have turned BEARISH across the Dow Jones 30 and select
industry sectors including Banking, Insurance and Oil & Gas. 

A detailed description of our Market Posture and its
applications can be found at:

www.OptionInvestor.com/marketposture


******************************************************************
Market Sentiment - By Pinnacle Capital Advisors
******************************************************************  
 
Stay Focused on the Pinnacle Index

After selling off precipitously over the past couple of days, it
is very important to keep in eye on the Pinnacle Index and other
put/call ratios for clues as to whether the sell-off is a major
reversal or profit taking.

Based upon the early returns, it appears that most option
speculators are viewing the sell-off as profit taking and this
could be prove BEARISH over the near-term.  Despite the negative
economic news from Brazil, the Pinnacle Index actually climbed
and other put/call ratios indicate increased call buying.

Add this to the latest Bullish figures from Investors
Intelligence (60% Bullish 1/14) you get the impression that
investors are ignoring economic and corporate earnings pressures.

Pinnacle's short-term indicators are still flashing bearish
overtones over the near-term so we advise subscribers to
tightly protect their long positions.  Any questions
regarding market sentiment can be directed at:
pinnacle@OptionInvestor.com


Market Sentiment at a Glance
********************************************************************   
                                Friday    Tues    Thurs  
Indicator                       (1/8)    (1/12)   (1/14)   Alert
********************************************************************

Pinnacle Index (OEX):          
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead Resistance (620-635)             1.3      2.3              
Underlying Support  (595-610)             2.4      2.4



Put/Call Ratios:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .5      .5       .5
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .4      .4       .4     *                      
OEX P/C Ratio                     1.2     1.2      1.2


Peak Open Interest (OEX):
-----------------------------------------------------------------
 
Puts                              575     575      575
Calls                             620     630      630
P/C Ratio                         1.3     1.0      1.0


Market Volatility Index (VIX):	
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE VIX                         24.8    26.4      34.0     *


Investors Intelligence:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bullish                          58.3%   58.3%     60.0%    *  
Bearish                          30.0%   30.0%     30.0%
		



The Power of Expectation Analysis

It has often been said that the crowd is right during the
market trends but wrong at both ends.  Measuring and
evaluating the sentiment of the crowd, therefore, can give
savvy option traders a decided edge.

 
Pinnacle Index
-----------------------------------------------------------------
OEX                             Friday    Tues     Thurs
Benchmark                       (1/8)     (1/12)   (1/14)
-----------------------------------------------------------------

               
                    (630-635)               1.9      3.8
                    (620-625)                .8      1.5
Overhead Resistance (620-635)               1.3      2.3   

OEX Close                        636.0    616.5    600.9

Underlying Support  (595-610)               2.4      2.4
                    (605-610)               1.5      1.7
                    (595-600)               4.1      4.1

Average ratings: 
Resistance levels 2.0 / Support .5

What the Pinnacle Index is telling us:
Overhead sentiment resistance is Moderate at the OEX 620/635
level while the underlying support is moderately firm.



Put/Call Ratio 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                Friday    Tues     Thurs
Strike/Contracts                (1/8)     (1/12)   (1/14) 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio              .50       .49       .52
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio             .38       .36       .38
OEX P/C Ratio                    1.16      1.19      1.23



Peak Open Interest (OEX)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                     Friday          Tuesday          Thurs
Strike/Contracts     (1/8)           (1/12)           (1/14)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Puts                 575 / 12,419    575 / 13,004     575 / 13,896
Calls                630 / 10,341    630 / 12,009     630 / 14,349
Put/Call Ratio       1.20            1.03             .97



 




Volatility Index (VIX)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                    Major
Date                Turning Point       VIX
-----------------------------------------------------------------
October 97          Bottom              54.60      
July 20, 1998       Top                 16.88         
October 8, 1998     Bottom              60.63
January 11, 1998    Top                 26.38

January 14, 1999                        34.01



 



Investors Intelligence Survey
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                    Major             Percent     Percent
Date                Turning Point     Bullish     Bearish
-----------------------------------------------------------------
October 97          Bottom            22.0        48.3       
July 20, 1998       Top               52.0        24.0         
October 8, 1998     Bottom            38.5        42.7
January 11, 1999    Top               58.3        30.0
January 14, 1999                      60.0        30.0   *






Please view this in COURIER 10 font for alignment
*****************************************************
RESULTS THIS WEEK

Index	Last	Mon	Tue	wed	Thu	Week		
Dow	9121	-23	-145	-125	-229	-522.39 Going for five in a row.	
Nasdq	2277	40	-64	-4	-40	-67.59		
$OEX	601	-7	-13	-4	-12	-35.17		
$SPX	1212	-11	-24	-5	-22	-62.9		
$RUT	420	2	-6	-3	-5	-11.13		
$TRAN	3080	-74	-80	-37	-89	-280		
$VIX	34.74	2.5	3.3	4.9	3.5			
								
Stock	Price	Mon	Tue	wed	Thu	Week		
						 		
CMGI	105.00	71.75	-5.25	-17.31	-8.44	40.75	Dropped	
ASND	82.13	5.25	-1.75	5.38	1.81	10.69	Dropped..bought by LU.	
TLAB	80.69	5.19	-2.00	3.63	-0.44	6.38	New pick, Showing strength	
SUNW	94.50	3.13	-0.63	3.44	-2.31	3.63	IBM and SUNW-in your dreams	
DIS	36.06	2.69	2.75	-1.87	-0.06	3.50	New pick	
EMC	93.88	1.31	-4.38	1.81	1.56	0.30	Momentum still strong	
COF	127.18	-0.81	2.19	-0.31	-1.19	-0.12	New pick, Split Candidate	
ATI	78.81	1.00	-0.50	-2.25	1.56	-0.19	Got to decide: Bell or VOD	
DELL	77.63	4.19	-1.56	-1.13	-1.69	-0.19	Showing strength for the week	
XIRC	38.13	1.25	-1.88	0.75	-0.50	-0.38	Earnings are next week.	
MYG	63.25	0.25	-0.25	-0.06	-0.69	-0.75	This may break its winning streak	
FTL	17.06	0.44	-1.31	-0.50	-0.06	-1.43	Still waiting for that bid	
AOL	144.50	18.63	-11.50	-7.88	-1.25	-2.00	One tough Internet	
T	82.13	0.31	-1.13	0.50	-2.63	-2.95	No real sellers	
LOW	51.38	-1.44	-0.06	-1.47	-0.31	-3.28	Show of strength today	
GDT	103.63	10.94	-5.81	-5.13	-3.38	-3.38	Dropped	
JBL	71.31	0.56	-2.69	-0.75	-0.69	-3.57	Holding up under pressure	
LXK	97.00	1.75	-1.94	-0.13	-3.25	-3.57	Earnings next Tuesday	
WCOM	71.00	0.00	-2.50	1.44	-2.94	-4.00	Consolidating	
SLR	83.56	-1.06	-0.06	-3.44	-1.50	-6.06	Announced 2:1 and did nothing	
UTX	108.56	-2.50	-0.94	-1.31	-2.31	-7.06	Dow sensitive	
MSFT	141.75	-2.38	-5.31	1.63	-2.06	-8.12	Still a split candidate	
LU	105.94	-2.31	-5.06	-3.63	1.69	-9.31	Looking strong, watch out CSCO	
JPM	102.00	0.00	-2.63	-5.25	-4.56	-12.44	Dropped..Brazilian exposure	
AMZN	138.00	24.38	-21.25	-15.38	-10.00	-22.25	Dropped	
								
Puts								
								
XCIT	65.13	*	*	-5.75	-4.25	-10.00	Internet sell-off	
MRK	144.75	-3.13	-2.75	-0.56	-2.63	-9.07	Dow dropper	
BAC	62.50	*	*	-1.50	-2.94	-4.44	S. American worries?	
WLA	71.13	-3.25	-1.88	-0.06	1.44	-3.75		
ERTS	44.00	-0.69	-1.00	-0.69	-0.88	-3.26		
DD	54.88	*	*	-0.81	-2.13	-2.94		
BMCS	37.75	0.69	-0.94	-0.38	-1.88	-2.51	Picking up speed?	
BDX	39.25	-0.50	-0.44	-0.63	-0.75	-2.32		
CBE	43.25	*	*	-0.50	-0.50	-1.00	Consistent	
AVT	45.69	0.56	-2.25	3.06	-2.13	-0.76		
HSY	59.81	*	*	-0.81	0.38	-0.43	 	
PKN	93.50	*	*	-0.06	-0.31	-0.37		
CPB	45.94	*	*	0.69	0.38	1.07		
LLY	81.50	-2.69	0.31	4.19	0.81	2.62		


PICKS WE DROPPED
****************
When we drop a pick it doesn't mean we are recommending a sell
on that play. Many dropped picks go on to be very profitable.
We drop a pick because something happened to change its
profile. News, price, direction, etc. We drop it because we
don't want anyone else starting a new play at that time. 
We have hundreds of new readers with each issue who are
unfamiliar with the previous history for that pick and we
want them to look at any current pick as a valid play.


CALLS:
******

CMGI $105.00 -8.44 (+40.75) After being derailed by the 
Brazilian devaluation bomb midweek, the market when into 
a tailspin and the Internets were no exception.  After 
Monday's earth shaking surge of $71.75, CMGI has dwindled
away 31 points in the last 3 days ($62 pre-split).  With 
a host of downgrades raining down on several of the big
hitters in the Internet sector, we figure it is time to 
dodge the bullet before some valuation happy analyst sets
their sights on CMGI.  We are cutting CMGI loose and 
hopefully it's consolidation will be quick.

AMZN $138.00 -10.00 (-22.25)  Brazilian devaluation.  
Analysts' downgrades due to valuation.  Bearish short-term 
remarks.  Impeachment proceedings.  Option expirations.  What 
else can we add to the mixture in this pot of volatility??  
Amazon had been doing just fine when it popped up over +$75.00 
last week.  Not this week!  On Thursday in a sign of weakness, 
Amazon finished only two and a half points off its low for the 
day to close at $138.00.  Even earnings reports from companies 
such as Yahoo that beat estimates weren't enough to carry 
sympathy plays like Amazon into positive territory.  We are 
dropping Amazon as a pick.  This is not to say that Amazon 
won't turn around- and soon.  But in light of current 
circumstances, we feel there are safer plays to be in.

ASND $82.13 +1.81 (+10.69) We finally got the price that LU is
paying for ASND, and it is .825 shares of LU for each share of
ASND.  The reason we are dropping ASND is because it has
effectively turned into a LU play since the purchase price has
been announced.  There is a little more room for ASND to move
given the share ratio, but typically the acquiree does not
close the gap completely because of the uncertainty of the deal
being closed.  There is no hint of competing bids, but ASND
would be a current play again if a bidding war started for it.

SLR $83.56 -1.50(-6.07) We are dropping SLR with the idea
we might pick it back up closer to the earnings report and
stock split date. As predicted, SLR announced a 2-1 stock
split this week. They announced after close on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, with the market volatility, SLR went down on
the day. We did see an opening that sent SLR up a few dollars,
but this faded into a loss by days end. SLR could definitely
see a split and earnings run, but we feel it's better to wait
for confirmation. 

JPM  $102.00 –4.56 (-12.44) The comeback in financial stocks 
was derailed this week.  Hammered by the problems in Brazil,
JPMorgan lost another $4.56 today.  When we initiated this 
play, JPM had momentum and its chart looked good.  However, 
it's exposure to Brazil is too great, and given the seriousness 
of the political and economic troubles in that country, we 
have to drop JPM as a play.

GDT  $103.63  –3.38 (-3.37) Guidant has lost ground since 
setting an intra-day high of $119.75 on Monday. With just 
13 days to go before it splits, GDT should be cruising into
a split run. It tried on Monday, but weakness in the overall 
market has held it back. If the market turns positive again, 
so will Guidant.  However, with the questionable market 
footing we are going to cut Guidant loose until things firm up



PUTS:
******

NONE



PICK NEWS - CALLS
*******************************************************

FTL  $17.06 -.06 (-1.44)  FTL was added as a possible take
over play this week.  Something is going on but what?  We
are constantly pouring over news and rumor mongers only to
discover on Wednesday morning wires, trading was halted for
a block of shares (73,100) to trade at $16.06 down $-1.56.
Then we read about 100,000 shares being crossed by
Goldman Sachs.  Plus another 100,000 was traded at $17 today
by Salomon Smith Barney.  Unlike the techs' FTL did not suffer in
todays' trading, opening $17.69, taking a little off the table
to $16.69 then closing at $17.06.  Not providing a great
warm a fuzzy feeling, but enough of a feeling to keep this 
as a play.  Remember, rumors are predicting a buyout at $23
or more.

MYG $63.25 -0.69 (-0.75)  Between Tuesday and Wednesday, MYG 
seemed to be holding its own and only lost thirty-one cents 
as the market dropped a combined -270.33 points.  But 
Brazilian woes continued and the market plummeted another 
-228.63 on Thursday.  Maytag fought and fought but finally, 
the market scored a point with a knock-down.  Maytag was 
stunned and conceded -$0.69.  MYG is normally a strong play 
and is still one of our split candidates.  But, the market 
is extremely volatile and we suggest waiting for things to 
turn around before starting any new plays.

SUNW $94.50 -2.31 (+3.62)  Sun is one of the brightest stocks 
on Wall Street even though the Brazilian storm continues to 
darken the market.  Sun is up +$3.62 on the week from positive 
press releases and rumors of a possible take-over by IBM.  On 
Wednesday, CNBC presented the rumor which ended up being 
dismissed as smoke but option trade volume increased none the 
less.  We will keep you posted of any changes in the scenario.  
In other news, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter raised its 12-month 
price target for SUNW to $132, up from the previous price of 
$104.  Not only does Sun have the only end to end computing 
platform used in telecommunications services, it is also 
working on incorporating its Java technology into the digital 
TV industry.  Even though SUNW got ruffled by the market and 
dropped -$2.31 on Thursday, SUNW is still a strong play.  
Earnings for the company are scheduled for Jan 21st (not the
15th as we had previously reported), a prime time to announce 
a possible split.  Look at the additional dip as a buying 
opportunity but wait for some signs of a turn around before 
entering.  Trying to catch a falling knife tends to damage
fingers and trading capital.

EMC $93.88 +1.56 (+.31) EMC is a pretty amazing momentum stock. 
The NASDAQ is down 1.7% today, and EMC goes up.  On Wednesday,
EMC's gap down went as low as $84, but it was such a fast
market it probably was not a price you could have gotten
easily.  During the first 15 minutes of trading on Wednesday
1 million shares were traded.  This was almost half of
Wednesday's volume, and one-third of EMC's average daily
volume. There hasn't been any news on EMC, but then again, it
doesn't look like we need any.  FYI – In our Sunday write-up we
had EMC's earnings release date as 1/28, but we have since
learned that the release date is either 1/25 or 1/26.  

JBL $71.31 -.69 (-3.56) JBL held up pretty well today
considering the action in the market.  I am sure that the
coverage initiated on JBL by Everen Securities helped.  The
press release did note, however, that in the near-term they
believe that JBL is close to fair value, but in the long term
it should be an outperformer.  The other bit of news that
probably helped JBL was that Solectron announced a two for one
stock split.  As we have said on more than one occasion, this
industry tends to move together, but JBL appears to be the 
upper crust of a volatile group.

UTX $108.56 –2.31 (-6.13) UTX is very Dow sensitive.  Let's
illustrate it.  The Dow is down 2.3% today and UTX was down
2.1%.  It has been that way all week.  The only thing at this
point that would probably change UTX's price movement is a pre-
earnings announcement one way or the other.  UTX announces
earnings next week.  On the news side, we are amazed at the
number of varied businesses of UTX.  For example, today UTX
announced that its Hamilton Standard unit signed a letter of
intent to joint venture with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to focus
on the maintenance of pneumatic aircraft components.  In the
press release it indicated that it's Hamilton unit also makes
space suits for the NASA shuttle program.  Only play UTX if the
Dow is moving up.

MSFT  $141.75 -$2.06 (-8.13)  Like we said, don't try to 
catch a falling knife.  Though, we shrugged off an ugly 
beginning to finish over 1 point positive yesterday, today 
we gave it back, and then some.  We're still positive on 
MSFT given their trial has begun to produce positive news, 
like their appeal of the Judge's decision to force MSFT to 
use Sun's version of Java in its Windows operating system, 
and a new stream of MSFT-friendly witnesses on the stand.  
Furthermore, Prudential Securities said analyst Doug Crooke 
initiated coverage of Microsoft Corp. with a rating of 
accumulate and a price target of $175 a share.  MSFT is 
still a split candidate at over $140 and will announce 
earnings January 19 after the close.  We realize that 
trading options is inherently risky and caution to wait for 
a reversal in the stock and the overall market before 
starting another play.  If it falls another day, let it 
fall.  The point is to catch a good entry on the way up, 
not on the way down. 


***** Play updates continued in section two *****



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*************************************************************
                      DISCLAIMER
*************************************************************
This newsletter is a publication dedicated to the education 
of options traders. The newsletter is an information service 
only. The information provided herein is not to be construed 
as an offer to buy or sell securities of any kind. The 
newsletter picks are not to be considered a recommendation 
of any stock or option but an information resource to aid the
investor in making an informed decision regarding trading in 
options. It is possible at this or some subsequent date, the 
editor and staff of The Option Investor Newsletter may own, 
buy or sell securities presented. All investors should consult 
a qualified professional before trading in any security. The 
information provided has been obtained from sources deemed 
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The newsletter staff makes every effort to provide timely 
information to its subscribers but cannot guarantee specific 
delivery times due to factors beyond our control.




The Option Investor Newsletter         Thursday  1-14-98  
Copyright 1998, All rights reserved. 
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


PICK NEWS - CALLS (continued)
*******************************************************
AOL  $144.50 -$1.25 (-2.00)  Hmmmmm...AOL flat for the week?  
NOT!!  We deliberated whether to keep or drop AOL today, 
but decided to keep it.  Read on.  AOL spiked up to close 
at $165 earlier this week and has shed $20 in the last 3 
trading days since.  Especially noted was the drop of $9 
yesterday on 25 million shares (10 million more than 
average-not a good sign).  Today though, AOL held up well 
in the face of strong down-market forces on lower than 
average volume.  It is, after all, the most stable of the 
Internet stocks and is not going away.  While AOL feels 
comfortable like a family pet, remember it's a trade that's 
gone against us, and normally we would get out.  But with 
the shaky Brazilian market perhaps drastically affecting 
the rest of Latin America, we think the bad news and fear 
is already in this stock.  We think of it more like a 
rubber band stretched in reverse where the farther it's 
stretched back, the harder it will snap forward.  It's 
nerve-racking waiting for the bounce, but AOL is a split 
candidate over $120 and should give us a great performance 
once it snaps.  With a record breaking Christmas and 22,000 
new users every day, AOL's earnings should be great.  Look 
for the split announcement any day, or at the latest, with 
earnings due Feb. 9 per Zack's. (There has been some 
confusion on the actual date; Motley Fool board says as 
early as Jan. 27.  We'll keep you posted.)  Still an 
Internet...guts required.  Play with caution.

WCOM  $71.00 –$2.94 (-4.00)  In this type of trading 
environment where the "big picture" whollops the average 
company press release, it pays to sit on the sidelines.  We 
warned in Tuesday's letter that WCOM may need to 
consolidate a bit before moving up, and urged discipline 
before entering another trade.  We hope you waited.  WCOM 
is still a great play, but we still need to wait for the 
recovery before playing this pick.  They are now at their 
30 day moving average and should bounce off it, market 
permitting.  $70 is their support price.  Wait for the 
bounce.  If it breaks below $70 and holds, we'll re-
evaluate and likely drop it.  WCOM is in high-bandwidth 
content delivery tests with AOL, which should be successful 
and more fully implemented through Bell Atlantic and SBC's 
DSL services.  Remember too, they just won the FTS2000 
contract (worth $5 billion)to provide the U.S. Government 
with voice and data services for the next 8 years

T  $82.13 -$2.63(-$2.93)  AT&T is holding up quite well 
given the market retrenchment this week.  The need to move 
voice and information throughout the world will not 
diminish, even in a down market.  AT&T could actually 
become a low cost producer who benefits from cost-conscious 
users exercising corporate belt-tightening.  It behaves 
like a safe haven in a down market and a tech stock in an 
up market.  Volume has been heavy over the last 2 days.  If 
investors wanted to dump this stock, we'd have seen more 
damage to the price.  Support is at $82 with better support 
at $80.  AT&T's prospects are still great with the 
integration of TCI helping to complete the "last mile" of 
service availability to your home.  AT&T continues to melt 
the copper in favor of fiber replacement at every turn. 
Wait for the bounce and confirm market direction before 
playing.

DELL  $77.63 -$1.69 (-$0.18)  Dell is holding up nicely 
this week given the weak market performance.  Dell's volume 
has also been weak.  We spoke with investor relations and 
are now able to determine that volatility has greatly 
diminished, and since their split in September, volume too.  
Dell used to trade 50 million shares per day on average.  
As the daily average is figured, the high numbers drop off 
and new, lower numbers replace them.  This will naturally 
reduce the average until it more closely resembles the 
actual daily trades currently taking place.  It should not 
be long until these 2 more closely resemble each other.  In 
other words, the low volume is no longer cause for alarm 
and supports our original assessment that huge daily price 
swings are a thing of the past.  Dell's story is still the 
same-big sales increases, more markets served, higher 
margins.  When Dell's news season picks up (Feb.-March 
according to investor relations), Dell will again be on 
investors' radar screens.  Nothing's changed; they're just 
a little quieter.  Still on our favorites list, consider 
the slight retrenchment as a buying opportunity when the 
market gets over its jitters.  Now's a good time to scale 
into the trade, but confirm market direction first.

LXK $97.00 –3.25 (-3.56) LXK fell with the rest of the market
on Thursday. We still like LXK with earnings coming up on
the 19th of January and the strong possibility of a stock
split. The Open Buying on the Internet(OBI) standard has taken 
another leap forward with the adoption of Lexmark Interna-
tional's new OBI-compliant Internet purchasing system.  The 
Kentucky-based printing solutions company has adopted a new 
system that eliminates many of the manual processes Lexmark 
previously used to purchase indirect materials.  Lexmark 
has partnered with SupplyWorks, a Web-based purchasing
services company.  For the first time, buyers are not required
to purchase software to manage supplier connections.

LOW $51.38 -.31 (-3.31) LOW showed some nice strength today
with a loss of .6%. The DOW went down over 2%. LOW was 
listed as one of the stocks picked in the dartboard contest.
Whether the professionals picking LOW is good or not is
a decision you'll have to make (just kidding). Look to last
Sunday for why LOW is a pick.  LOW's has earnings in mid-
February.  No new news.

ATI $78.81 +1.56 (-.19) ATI bucked the trend on Thursday, and
went up. Rumors continue to circulate about ATI being merged
with either BellAtlantic or Vodaphone. It's rumored that VOD
is offering in the range of $90 a share. The question now is
whether Bell is willing to raise its bid to match VOD. Thursday's	
price increase was mainly due to this speculation. Bell did
just get notice from the SEC that its bid would classify as
a pooling of interests.  ATI is still $11 away from the rumored
bid by Vodaphone.

LU $105.93 +1.69 (-9.32) LU is a great company, with stock 
split possibilities, and earnings coming up: so why are we 
dropping it? We aren't. We have re-added LU to the pick list.
Last Tuesday we dropped LU because of the buyout situation
with Ascend. On Wednesday, the deal went through and it seems
LU has finished dropping. LU opened on Wednesday at $98.50,
yet closed at $104.50. LU is scheduled to report earnings on
January 21st. This date is in debate. We will try to get the
official date from LU directly. Though they are just short 
of shares necessary to do a 2-1 stock split, they could 
announce a split with earnings, contingent to the vote on 
increasing shares in February.  

BUY CALL FEB-105 LU-BA OI=1395 at $ 9.25 SL=6.75 
BUY CALL FEB-110 LU-BB OI=4290 at $ 6.75 SL=5.00
BUY CALL APR-110 LU-DB OI=2978 at $11.25 SL=8.50
BUY CALL APR-115 LU-DC OI=3300 at $ 9.00 SL=6.50


XIRC $38.13 –.50 (-.37) XIRC has held up pretty well through
this market debacle.  Earnings are on January 21st and XIRC
has announced earnings with surprises of no less than 10% over 
the last four quarters.  This normally will help XIRC to have
an earnings run into the announcement. XIRC's 10-dma is at
$37.00. Watch for upward movement before initiating new plays. 



PICK NEWS - PUTS
*******************************************************

PUT PICK NEWS WAS NOT AVAILABLE BY PRESS TIME DUE TO
TECHNICAL PROBLEMS AT PINNACLE.



******************
NEW CALL PLAYS 
******************

COF – Capital One Financial $127.18 –1.18 (-.12 for this week) 

Capital One Financial, a financial services holding company, 
is the parent for Capital One Bank, one of the US's top 10 
credit card companies. Using the information on consumers in 
its massive databases, the company solicits Visa and 
MasterCard customers by mail. The company's 3,000 variations 
of annual percentage rates, credit limits, finance charges, 
and fees range from platinum and gold cards for preferred
customers to secured and unsecured cards for customers with 
limited credit histories. Other subsidiaries include a 
federally chartered savings bank that offers credit cards,
consumer lending, and deposit services and a company that 
provides internal support services.

COF is near its 52-week high and when this stock breaks out,
it tends to really go. We feel with earnings coming up on the
19th of January and the possibility of a stock split, this
could end up being a great play. COF is sitting right on its
20-dma and held up pretty well compared to the market. Watch
for upward movement and then jump on for the ride. 

Preliminary numbers for credit card numbers are looking very
positive for the holiday season. An analyst at JP Morgan feels
that COF outperformed its peers. An analyst at Goldman Sachs
stated; "The combination of strong fees driven by account
growth improvement in core credit is likely to produce very
strong earnings visibility at both Capital One and Providian."
Earnings are expected to come in strong. 

BUY CALL FEB-125 COF-BE OI=118 at $9.38 SL=6.75 ITM $2.18 
BUY CALL FEB-130 COF-BF OI=188 at $6.75 SL=5.00
BUY CALL MAR-130*COF-CF OI=916 at $9.75 SL=7.50
BUY CALL MAR-135 COF-CG OI=  0 at $7.88 SL=6.00 (NEW STRIKE)

Picked on Jan 14th at $127.18   PE=30
Change since picked     +0.00   52 week low =$ 50.56
Analysts Ratings    9-4-3-0-0   52 week high=$132.50
Last earnings  10-98 est=1.00   actual=1.00
Next earnings  01-19 est=1.04   versus= .86

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=COF&d=3m
************************************************************
TLAB - Tellabs $80.69 -$0.44(+$6.38 this week)(P3W $10.18)

Tellabs is quickly becoming a powerhouse in the Telecom
equipment industry. With their TITAN and CABLESPAN systems,
and its DXX multiplexers, TLAB is raking in the money from
customers among the telephone companies, cable operators, 
and government agencies.  Though they faded from news of 
their failed merger of Ciena, Tellabs is still a major player.

TLAB spiked up $13 last Tuesday to $78 on 11 million shares, 
$8 higher than resistance previously set at $70.  We thought 
it would quickly fall back; we were wrong.  TLAB drifted back 
to $74, then spiked $5 to $79, on average volume of 3.5 million.  
Over the previous 3 trading days, it gained in market weakness 
while giving back only $.44 in heavy trading in a downright 
bearish market-a terrific sign of strength.  Technical 
indicators are positive, so is the chart indicating a small 
correction already taking place.  3.5 million shares traded 
daily; 147 million shares in float; $3.14 per share in cash; 
34% return on equity...strong fundamentals.   TLAB will be a 
winner when the market turns.  We expect them to announce more 
contracts in the coming weeks.  Recent news is capturing 
investors' eyeballs, making for a good story.

Here goes.  Monday, Warburg, Dillion Read raised ther rating 
to a "buy" citing raised earnings per share estimates to $2.35 
and $2.93 from $2.30 and $2.85 for 1999 and 2000, respectively.  
They further stat, "fundamentals for the telecom equipment 
group has improved over the past few months which improves 
visibility for Tellabs" and "Our checks with Tellabs will 
report fourth quarter 1998 results slightly better than our 
$0.58 earnings per share estimate, as well as having a positive 
outlook for 1999" (Reuters).  Also, rumors surfaced last week 
that TLAB was a targeted buyout/merger candidate, but were 
quickly squashed.  Not soon enough though to draw investor 
attention to the price move.

BUY CALL FEB-75 TEQ-BO OI= 776 at $9.63 SL=6.75,ITM 
BUY CALL FEB-80 TEQ-BP OI=1267 at $7.00 SL=5.25,ATM 
BUY CALL FEB-85 TEQ-BQ OI= 885 at $4.63 SL=2.75,OTM 
BUY CALL MAR-80 TEQ-CP OI= 603 at $8.75 SL=6.50,ATM-more time
BUY CALL MAR-85 TEQ-CQ OI= 851 at $6.63 SL=4.75,OTM-more time

Picked on Jan. 14th   $80.69            PE= 38
Change since picked   $00.00            52 week low =$33.38  
Analysts Ratings 15-11-3-0-0            52 week high=$93.12 
Last earnings on 09-98 est=.46  actual=.49  
Next earnings on 01-26 est=.59  versus=.42  

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=TLAB&d=3m
************************************************************
DIS - Disney $36.06 -.06 (+3.50)

Striving to be the premier entertainment company, Disney has 
revenues of $10,055.1 million. It is involved in movies, 
television, theme parks and resorts, home video, travel, 
books, music, theater, and creative design. Recently, It has 
added an internet portal in a joint venture with Infoseek, in 
which it has a 43% stake.  

The past year has been tough for Disney, due to high 
programming costs at its ABC division, and to weak demand for 
its products in Asia.  Last week Merrill Lynch's Jessica
Reif Cohen lowered earnings estimates for the current fiscal 
quarter from .27 to .23, and for the fiscal year ending Sept. 
1999 from .91 to .86. She cited softness in consumer products 
and broadcasting operations, and continued weakness in Asia.
However, three other analysts believe the stock is oversold 
and that DIS is experiencing a recovery.  On Jan.12th, Goldman 
Sachs raised their rating from Neutral to Outperform, and 
Salomon Smith Barney raised theirs from Neutral to Buy. On Jan. 
11th, ING Baring Furman Selz upgraded DIS to Buy from Hold. 
On Jan. 12th, Disney and Infoseek launched their new
Internet portal site, Go Network (www.go.com).  Numbers show 
that it will be one of the top 5 sites on the Internet. 
Following the upgrades and the new portal launch, Disney
stock has performed well. Its chart looks good and it has 
pushed through the major moving averages. Although it was 
down today along with a lot of other stocks, it is still 
up $3.50 for the week, showing strength.

Disney is still ironing out final details for production 
and technical workers to return to work following a one 
day strike on Nov. 3rd. Their contract had expired 3/97. The
company has named Thomas Schumaker a new president and put 
him in charge of its animated movie and theater business. Also, 
DIS may acquire Goldenbooks and is interested in Livent Inc., 
a theater co. When the market resumes its upward movement,
look for Disney to move back up.  Earnings are due out by
next Thursday (1/21) according to First Call.

BUY CALL FEB-35 DIS-BG OI=2699 at $3.13  SL=$1.50
BUY CALL FEB-40 DIS-BH OI=1061 at $1.00  SL=$0.00
BUY CALL APR-35 DIS-DG OI=7780 at $4.13 SL=$2.50
BUY CALL APR-40 DIS-DH OI=6098 at $2.00 SL=$1.00

Picked on Jan 14th at  $36.06           P/E=33
Change since picked:  +  0.00           52 week low =$22.50
Analysts' ratings 2-10-11-0-0           52 week high=$42.78
Last earnings on  9/98 est=.15 act=.16  surprise=7%
Next earnings    01-21 est=.26 versus .36

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=dis&d=3m

******************
NEW PUT PLAYS 
******************

Adobe Systems, Inc. (ADBE) - $47.69
Software

Adobe Systems, Inc. (ADBE) is a leading provider of publishing 
and imaging software technologies, and the second largest
desktop software company in the world with annual revenues
approaching $1 billion. Adobe develops, markets and supports
computer software products that enable users to create,
display, print and communicate all forms of electronic
documents. Computer application products accounted for 78%
of fiscal 1997 revenues and licensing, 22%. 

The Company continues to be cautious about licensing revenue
in the short term due to weak Japanese market conditions and
uncertain timing of OEM customer introductions of products
incorporating Adobe's latest technologies. The Company is
coming out of a recent restructuring and trying to focus its
resources on high growth revenue opportunities in digital
color, color inkjet, short-run on-demand digital printing,
and digital copiers... although licensing revenue is likely
to be flat in the short-term. Other risks include product
shipment delays, market acceptance of new products and
upgrades, declines in printer licensing business. 

Stock likely to fail at key resistance point of $48. 
Declining relative strength and aggressive earnings 
projections may disappoint. Many analysts have a hold on the
stock. Slight distribution taking place among top
institutional shareholders. Likely to test 52 week lows.

Play: Failed Rally

BUY PUT FEB-50 AEQ-NJ OI=123 @ $4.63 SL=3.00
BUY PUT FEB-45 AEQ-NI OI=6 @ $2.06 SL=1.00

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=ADBE&d=3m


******************************************************************
COMBINATION PLAYS   Bang! Booommm! Craaash!...What was that???
******************************************************************
January 13, 1999 update

U.S. stocks crumbled at the opening on Wednesday morning on news
that Brazil's central bank president had resigned, sparking an
across-the-board flight to quality that rocked world stock markets.
The Dow was off 136, the Nasdaq down 113 and many issues had not
yet begun to trade. By mid-morning, stocks were on the rebound,
lifted by a recovery in Brazil and massive bargain hunting. By
noon, the panic was gone and many traders were selling partial
positions to lock-in gains. At the close, the Dow fell 125 points
to 9349.56 and recouped more than half its early losses. Even so,
the decline was viewed as a reminder of market vulnerability after
a series of record highs.

Our portfolio was very active. We will begin with the new plays:
LU was the focus of our attention and it dropped hard with the
rest of the high visibility techs. The stock traded as low as $96
but the first option prices available for the FEB105C/110C left
us with a debit of $1.75. Morgan Stanley raised its rating of LU
to a "strong buy" late in the morning and that helped the stock
move higher through the day. LUV was the next offering and it was
also significantly lower at the open. The first few trades on the
FEB22C/25C went through at about $1.25 debit. LEVL was far less
affected by the morning activity and the best we could do on the
FEB30C/35C was $3.25 debit. DIS was our personal play-of-the-day
and we managed to trade along with everyone else (fighting the
overwhelmed internet brokerages) with a $4.00 opening cost-basis
for the JAN00-40C/FEB40C LEAPS/Calendar spread.

In other portfolio plays; It was a great opportunity to double-up
(reducing the cost-basis) on some of the more favorable debit
positions. AOL and OXHP were our candidates and these stocks were
down at the open. The prices were: AOL, FEB155C/160C at $1.50 and
OXHP, FEB17C/20C at $1.00. We will reflect these separate trades
in the monthly summary. Of course, some of the calendar spreads
were in need of a correction and we used the opportunity to pare
losses from the recent run-up. Short positions were closed on:
ATI; JAN70C at $7.00, GM; JAN70C at $11.00, and PCS; JAN22C at
$2.38.

T was quite a mover! In the morning melee, we purchased the JAN80C
at $2.50 (with the stock price near $82) and subsequently closed
the FEB80C during the midday rebound for $8.50.

One other opportunity arose on the NXTL straddle. The MAY35P could
have been closed for $5.25, leaving the long (call) option; MAY30C
at cost of $2.87.

January 14, 1999 update

U.S. stocks tumbled Thursday afternoon as the impeachment trial
against the President added pressure to an already shaken market.
Political instability is a catalyst for investor uncertainty and
that was evident as the DJIA fell 228 points to 9120, erasing all
the big gains for 1999. The Nasdaq Composite Index was also lower,
down 40 points at 2276. Stocks have been poised for a downturn
following the recent run-up in prices but some thought the strong
U.S. economy would protect the stock market from the impeachment
drama. However, the trial opened in an investment climate that had
already been shaken by the devaluation of Brazil's currency and
jittery investors flocked to the exits.

On Thursday, we used the morning bounce to fill some of our open
calendar positions: On ATI, we rolled up to the FEB75C at a bid
price of $7.25; GM was also moved to a diagonal spread with the
sale of the FEB75C for $8.50 and PCS was moved to the next higher
strike with a FEB25C at $2.87. These spreads are no longer neutral
and are now more aggressive with the new strike positions but we
expect all of these stocks to remain at-or-above current prices.

For Friday, we still have a number of suspect issues. CPQ and CD
are near the sold strikes and we may need to close those positions
before the day is over. FTU is fading as the merger speculation
dwindles and LU is still "one to watch" as the ASND deal unfolds
and the company earnings report aproaches. Good Luck!
******************************************************************
				- NEW PLAYS -
******************************************************************
CIEN - Ciena Corp.  $18.68     Merger Speculation

CIENA Corporation designs, manufactures and sells architecture,
dense wavelength division multiplexing systems for fiberoptic
communications networks. In September, Ciena and Tellabs cancelled
their merger agreement and shares in the rival equipment makers
fell sharply after Ciena's financial outlook soured, primarily
because an expected contract from AT&T fell through. In early
January, coverage was initiated by Prudential as the telecom
sector started to soar. Then the share price spiked on speculation
the telecommunications equipment-maker might find a merger partner
after the announced purchase of Ascend by Lucent. Some say there
is a market rumor that Cisco Systems is preparing a bid of $25-$28
per share for Ciena. Technically, the stock price is back in a
recent trading range around $17 (November-early December) and we
will use this previous support and the excellent OTM premiums to
create a favorable play.

PLAY (very conservative):

BUY  CALL FEB-12.50 EUQ-BV OI=351  A=$6.75
SELL CALL FEB-17.50 EUQ-BW OI=4098 B=$3.25
NET DEBIT TARGET=$3.38 ROI(max)=47%

PLAY (conservative):

BUY  CALL FEB-12.50 EUQ-BV OI=351 A=$6.75
SELL CALL FEB-20.00 EUQ-BD OI=281 B=$2.12
NET DEBIT TARGET=$4.38 ROI(max)=71%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=CIEN&d=3m
******************************************************************
SDTI - Security Dynamics  $25.50     Put-Credit Spread

SDTI provides enterprise network and data security solutions to
help companies conduct business securely, protect corporate assets
and facilitate electronic commerce. Most of the recent lawsuits
have been forgotten and the analyst upgrades have had a positive
effect. The company started a market trial program designed to
simplify implementation of higher levels of security for customers
like IBM and also introduced SecurWorld, a new flexible program
for delivering two-factor authentication on the web. Just a good
technical play with Internet bias. The stock price is trading
above all recent resistance and the current trend remains bullish.

PLAY (aggressive):

BUY  PUT FEB-17.50 QSD-NW OI=25 A=$0.87
SELL PUT FEB-20.00 QSD-ND OI=12 B=$1.38
NET CREDIT TARGET=$0.62 ROI=33%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=SDTI&d=3m
******************************************************************
SRCM - Source Media  $20.87     Put-Credit Spread

SRCM is a provider of on-demand information and programming
through cable television and telephone lines, using the company's
proprietary digital operating systems to mass market consumers.
Source Media delivers more than 15,000 advertiser-driven audio
programs. Customers can subscribe to Source Media audio content
and have it featured on their web site as a type of Internet radio
show. The company has launched new audio programming with online
broadcaster, Broadcast.com which includes weather, sports and
stock news. SRCM says the roll-out of Internet audio shows means
it now has content and advertising on personal computers, digital
cable TV and telephones. A rumored deal with American Online may
also be causing some of the buying pressure and the stock has good
technical suppport around $17.
 
PLAY (aggressive):

BUY  PUT FEB-15.00 SQ-NC OI=2   A=$1.38
SELL PUT FEB-17.50 SQ-NW OI=280 B=$2.00
NET CREDIT TARGET=$0.75 ROI=$42%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=SRCM&d=3m
******************************************************************
AAPL - Apple Computers  $41.38     Put-Credit Spread

AAPL designs and manufactures and markets personal computers and
related personal computing and communicating solutions for sale
to business, education, home and government customers. A few weeks
ago, shares of Apple jumped after its iMac consumer PC was named
the top-selling personal computer at the retail level during the
month of November. Not only was the iMac the leading product, it
has been the number one selling PC since its introduction back in
August. The iMac has captured 5.9% of retail unit sales and it was
the only PC to break into the top five best-sellers group in four
months.

Now the bad news; one day after reporting excellent earnings, APPL
dropped $5.12 when an analyst voiced concerns about the pricing of
its iMac. This surprise downgrade comes even as the computer maker
reported revenues that easily surpassed Wall Street expectations.
The APPL chart looks negative from a short-term perspective but
there is still a long history of support around $37. Play this one
on downward momentum by opening the long position first. Then sell
the short position when the stock price firms, to create the credit
spread.

PLAY (aggressive):

BUY  PUT FEB-$35.00 AAQ-NG OI=400 A=$1.18
SELL PUT FEB-$37.50 AAQ-NU OI=400 B=$1.75
NET CREDIT TARGET=$0.75 ROI=42%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL&d=3m
******************************************************************
REFER TO THE MID-WEEK PLAY OF THE DAY...SUNW...
******************************************************************
SUNW - Sun Microsystems  $94.50     Calendar Spread/LEAPS

SUNW supplies enterprise network computing products including
desktop systems, servers, storage subsystems, network switches,
software, microprocessors and a full range of services.

Personally, I just like this company from long-term perspective
and the "Covered-calls on LEAPS" strategy is a favorable way to
take advantage of the extreme near-term option premiums.

Please refer to the January 12, newsletter article concerning
SUNW for more information:

http://www.OptionInvestor.com/playoftheday/index.asp

PLAY (conservative/long-term):

BUY  CALL JAN00-100 LSU-AT OI=1580 A=$19.63
SELL CALL FEB-100   SUQ-BT OI=3181 B=$5.87
NET DEBIT TARGET=$13.50 ROI TARGET=100%

Note: In the long-term calendar spread, we are reducing the net
cost of the LEAP by the amount of credit from the sale of the
nearer term call. If the near-term call expires worthless, we will
sell the MAR call to further reduce our debit. If your short-term
position is ITM on the last day of the strike, you need to buy it
back so that you DON'T have to exercise the long-term position. In
that case, your LEAP is going up in value also and on the last day
of the strike period, the short call will shrink down to intrinsic
value so you will be ahead in the play even after you buy it back.

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=SUNW&d=3m
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