Option Investor
Newsletter

Daily Newsletter, Tuesday, 03/30/1999

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The Option Investor Newsletter         Tuesday  3-30-99
Copyright 1999, 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)
************************************************************
        3-30-99          High     Low     Volume   Advances Decline
DOW     9913.26 - 93.52 10003.84  9874.41  731,295k  1,245   1,718
Nasdaq  2480.29 - 12.55  2506.79  2477.62  897,122k  1,692   2,239 
S&P-100  655.98 -  3.49   660.22   651.43   Totals   2,937   3,957
S&P-500 1300.75 -  9.42  1310.80  1295.53            42.6%   57.4%
$RUT     398.78 -   .98   400.55   397.92
$TRAN   3367.80 + 73.43  3380.26  3290.21
VIX       23.74 -   .62    26.24    23.38
Put/Call Ratio      .59    
*************************************************************
 
The market choked on Coke and took a pause to refresh.


An earnings warning from Coke this morning put fear of reality
back into traders. Coke said that it was suffering a decline in
world wide sales that would impact their future earnings. Things
are not well in the global economy.

Gillette suffered lowered earnings estimates by at least one
analyst today as a direct result of lowered global sales estimates.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Marlboro man was bucked off 
and landed in world of trouble. Phillip Morris was hit with an
$81 million judgement in a case brought by the family of a man
who died from cancer after smoking Marlboros for years. This
followed another +$100 million verdict in recent weeks. MO fell
-$3.44 in heavy trading. This accounted for -15 Dow points.

The Nasdaq tried vainly all day to surpass the previous high 
of 2510. It came close with an intraday high today of 2506. The 
Internet stocks led by Amazon helped hold it up in spite of 
the Dow's problems until the last few minutes before closing. 

The Federal Reserve decided at the FOMC meeting today to leave
interest rates unchanged for the time being. More important their
bias toward interest rates has remained neutral since November.
A change in bias to a raising stance would precede an actual rate
hike in most circumstances. Their next chance to cause trouble
will come at the May meeting. The fall in the Dow today could 
also be a classic "buy the rumor, sell the fact". Since nobody 
expected a rate increase today there was not a possibility of
good news, only bad. 

AOL was the recipient of an upgrade today as Paine Weber praised
them and raised his price target to a whopping $215. Citing their
aggressive marketing practices overseas and soaring market share
in new markets he feels they are undervalued at present. AOL 
gained +12.13 to $144.50, only a stock split announcement and 
split run away from $215.

Is the pullback today just profit taking or a new direction
change? Here is the obligatory reference to the advance/decline 
line, negative again today by 4:6. After closing above
10,000 yesterday the "cash in profits now" crowd was out in 
force. I stated on Monday that the key was to hold above 10K 
which of course we did not do. I think there were many pockets of
strength in spite of the Dow drop. IBM, GE, DD, MRK and UTX all
finished positive. WMT and Citigroup were unchanged and several
other Dow stocks were only down fractionally. In the Nasdaq the
big four held the line. Dell +.44, MSFT +.63, CSCO -.06, INTC 
was unchanged. No sell off here! 

We could go down further but the trend is with us. Tomorrow is
the last day of the quarter which is normally up. The two days
before Good Friday are normally up. The last two days of the
month and first four of the next month are normally up. Sounds
like a combination of trends to work in our favor. Today could
have just been profit taking and Fed worry which brings up another
trend I should mention. The day after a Fed meeting is normally
down. All of these are just trends and this does not mean you
can count on them. Murphy's law says that the more money you
have invested is directly related to the chances of a trend 
being broken. With the Nasdaq only 30 points away from a new
high I view any morning drop as a possible buying opportunity 
for another quick trade before my exit point on Thursday. I do 
not plan to hold over the holiday. The next major obstacle is
the Non-farm payroll report on Friday. If the employment report
comes in too strong the market could react negatively on Monday
morning. Also a three day weekend allows for possible negative
developments in the war. I would rather be safe than sorry. I
will enjoy the weekend better knowing I am in cash. 

Speaking of holidays, with the market closed Friday there will
be no newsletter on Thursday night. We will publish the normal
weekend edition on Saturday. 


Good Luck, Sell too soon.

Jim Brown
Editor





*******************************************************
Market Posture
*******************************************************
As of Market Close - Tuesday, March 30, 1999 

                   Key Benchmarks
Broad Market       Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************

DOW Industrials    9,500  10,000   9,913    Neutral   3.19
SPX S&P 500        1,250   1,325   1,301    Neutral   3.19
OEX S&P 100          630     660     656    Neutral   3.19
RUT Russell 2000     400     435     399    BEARISH   3.12

NDX NASD 100       2,000   2,100   2,126    BULLISH   3.29 *
MSH High Tech        900   1,000   1,021    BULLISH   3.29 *

                   Key Benchmarks
Technology         Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
XCI Hardware         800     900     899    Neutral   3.5
CWX Software         600     650     655    BULLISH   3.29 *
SOX Semiconductor    350     420     370    Neutral   3.5
NWX Networking       420     450     446    Neutral   3.4
INX Internet         500     580     588    BULLISH   3.29 *

                   Key Benchmarks
Financial          Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
BIX Banking          650     710     674    Neutral   3.19
XBD Brokerage        350     415     402    Neutral   3.19
IUX Insurance        600     655     635    Neutral   3.19

                   Key Benchmarks
Other              Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
RLX Retail           875     940     914    Neutral   3.19
DRG Drug             390     420     410    Neutral   3.25
HCX Healthcare       775     835     815    Neutral   3.25
XAL Airline          170     185     174    Neutral   3.30 *
OIX Oil & Gas        250     260     266    BULLISH   3.30 *



Posture Alert

The equity market powered into record territory despite the 
short trading week and concerns surrounding Kosovo and
earnings prospects. We have turned Bullish across select 
industry sectors after these indices took out their prior
highs.

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

www.OptionInvestor.com/marketposture 


******************************************************
Market Sentiment - By Pinnacle Capital Advisors
******************************************************

Eclipsing But Not Holding

If you were looking for confirmation for a break out, investors 
did not get it from the Dow Jones Industrials after selling off 
93+ points the day after closing above D10K.   Nevertheless,
there were several Bullish developments including the VIX action
and the increase in deep out-of-the-money Put options.

As highlighted by our Pinnacle Index, overhead sentiment 
evaporated some while underlying support increased appreciably at
the OEX 625-630 level.  What this action tells us is that it is
unlikely that the S&P 100 will sell off below the 625-630 level
if the broad market breaks down over the near term.    



BEARISH Signs:

Top Reversal              Several industry sectors revealed 
                          Tweezer top candlestick formation on 
                          Friday (3/19) and Tuesday (3/30).

Interest Rates            Bouncing off 200dma and holding above
                          important 5.50% level (5.582%)

Russell 2000              Trading below key 400 level.  Generals  
                          leading but troops are not following.

Advance/Decline Line      Enormous gap between INDU and A/D line. 



BULLISH Signs:


Higher Highs              Several industry sectors revealed 
                          Advanced higher and took out prior
                          highs including Nasdaq 100, Morgan 
                          Stanley Technology, internet, Software,
                          and Oil & Gas.    

Peak Open Interest        April's peak open interest (1.36)
                          climbed higher indicating that Put open
                          is building.

Market Volatility (VIX)   Trading BELOW 50-day moving average
                          (23.74)


 




 

OTM Call Analysis

Shown below is an analysis of the open interest at OTM call 
option (650-700). As documented all last week, out-of-the-money
(OTM) call buying reached extreme levels and contributed,
in part, to the precipitous sell-off on Friday (3/19) and Tuesday (3/23).  

As we move through April's expiration cycle, Pinnacle is tracking 
the level of call buying (OTM) between 650-700 among option
speculators.  Notice the jump in the OTM call open interest
during the last sell-off.


OEX OTM Call Analysis (Open Interest MAR 650-700)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Date                 Open Interest     Change %    Alert
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Friday, March 5             58,085         -
Thursday, March 11          65,569      +12.9%
Friday, March 12            68,675      +18.2%
Tuesday, March 16           79,480      +37.8%      
Thursday, March 18          85,124      +47.6%     *    
   


OEX OTM Call Analysis (Open Interest Apr 650-700)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Date                 Open Interest     Change %    Alert
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Friday, March 19            35,626         -
Tuesday, March 23           48,953      +37.4%    
Thursday, March 25          59,266      +66.4%    
Friday, March 26            60,266      +69.2%     
Tuesday, March 30           65,609      +84.2%     *
 



Market Sentiment at a Glance
********************************************************************   
                                Friday     Tues      Thurs  
Indicator                       (3/26)     (3/30)    (4/1) Alert
********************************************************************

Pinnacle Index (OEX):          
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead Resistance (650-665)     1.9        1.5
Underlying Support  (625-640)     1.6        2.5             *


Put/Call Ratios:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .5         .5
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .4         .4             *   
OEX P/C Ratio                     1.0        1.1             *                


Peak Open Interest (OEX):
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Puts                              630        520
Calls                             700        700
P/C Ratio                         .87       1.36             *


Market Volatility Index (VIX):	
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE VIX                        25.83      23.74             *



Investors Intelligence:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bullish                         55.9%      55.9%             *  
Bearish                         29.7%      29.7%             *
		



The Power of Sentiment 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                       (3/26)       (3/30)     (4/1)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
               
                    (660-665)      4.8         3.3
                    (650-655)      1.1         1.0
Overhead Resistance (650-665)      1.9         1.5

OEX Close                       643.68      655.98

Underlying Support  (625-640)      1.6         2.5
                    (635-640)      1.4         1.8
                    (625-630)      1.7         4.0
 
Average ratings: 
Resistance levels 2.0 / Support .5

What the Pinnacle Index is telling us:
Overhead sentiment resistance is slowly evaporating at the OEX 
650/665 level while the underlying support is building at the
OEX 625/640 level.


Put/Call Ratio 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                Friday      Tues       Thurs
Strike/Contracts                 (3/26)     (3/30)      (4/1)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .52        .52
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .39        .37
OEX P/C Ratio                     1.00       1.12


Peak Open Interest (OEX)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                     Friday         Tues           Thurs
Strike/Contracts     (3/26)         (3/30)         (4/1)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Puts                 630 /  9,182   520 / 14,818
Calls                700 / 10,557   700 / 10,883
Put/Call Ratio       .87            1.36

 
 



Market 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
March 4, 1999       Bottom              28.15   

March 26, 1999                          25.83          
March 30, 1999                          23.74          

 



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   6, 1999                     58.3        30.0   
January  13, 1999                     60.0        30.0   
January  20, 1999                     61.7        25.9   
January  27, 1999                     60.7        28.2   

February  3, 1999                     60.0        26.7   
February 10, 1999                     61.7        25.9   
February 17, 1999                     55.7        28.7   
February 24, 1999                     54.1        31.5   

March 3, 1999                         50.9        32.1   
March 10, 1999                        49.1        32.5   
March 17, 1999                        52.6        17.6     
March 24, 1999                        55.9        29.7  *   




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

Index    Last    Mon     Tue   Week
Dow    9913.26 184.54  -93.52  91.02
Nasdaq 2480.29  73.67  -12.55  61.12
$OEX    655.98  15.79   -3.49  12.30
$SPX   1300.75  27.37   -9.42  17.95
$RUT    398.78   5.84   -0.98   4.86
$TRAN  3367.80  34.26   73.43 107.69
$VIX     23.74  -1.47   -0.62  -2.09

Stock          Mon   Tue   Week

AOL    144.50  5.81 12.13 17.94 Non stop Internet play to the moon
RFMD    93.25  5.38  4.13  9.51 Dropped. Splits 3/31 after bell
SUNW   125.94  8.00  1.44  9.44 No weakness here.  Splits April 8th
EMC    129.75  6.75  0.13  6.88 Showing strength again.
GE     113.31  4.19  1.31  5.50 Price target of $140…looking strong
QCOM   117.00  3.38  2.06  5.44 Upward earnings revisions
RNWK   124.00  7.00 -3.00  4.00 Profit taking from yesterday
MSFT    93.00  3.31  0.63  3.94 Waiting for news on settlement
PVN    111.56  2.50  1.38  3.88 No move by FED is good news
BVSN    63.44  6.56 -2.88  3.68 Profit taking from Monday
WMT     95.00  3.44  0.00  3.44 New king of toy sales
INSS    67.75  1.59  1.59  3.18 Finally moving into its Split!
DCLK   185.13  8.88 -6.00  2.88 Very rocky road into its split
MER     91.63  1.94  0.94  2.88 Very strong in face of down Dow
WCOM    92.13  2.63 -0.38  2.25 Showing strength
OMC     79.38  0.94  0.94  1.88 Setting new highs
CMGI   184.00  4.19 -2.56  1.63 Yup! More profit taking
SCH     94.25  2.88 -1.63  1.25 Split candidate with earnings
YHOO   172.31  2.75 -3.69  0.94 New call, earnings run play
LOW     64.00  0.88 -0.69  0.19 Profit taking from $5 move
ALD     50.19  0.38 -0.56 -0.18 Confirm upward movement
TLAB    97.00  2.88 -3.06 -0.18 More profit taking from good run
FSR     91.81  0.69 -1.50 -0.81 Still waiting for pre-split run
AHP     65.81 -0.94  0.06 -0.88 Held its ground despite downgrade
MWD    101.75  2.75 -3.63 -0.88 Split candidate for April 9th.
WHR     51.75  0.38 -1.69 -1.31 Profit taking, look for bounce
G       60.25  0.13 -3.38 -3.25 Dropped, sales growth guided down

Puts

EBAY   137.13 -6.71 -10.66 -17.3 New put, new competition is big
LHSG    31.00 -2.00  -2.88 -4.88 Still out of favor with investors
MU      45.31  0.43  -2.00 -1.57 New put, earnings revised downwards
EMR     52.88  0.50  -2.00 -1.50 Falling farther, confirm direction
CMB     81.94  1.75  -0.31  1.44 Wait for drop through 50 dma
GIS     76.38  2.25  -0.19  2.06 Dropped, found bottom?
LLY     87.94  2.19   1.31  3.50 Dropped, reannounced sales expectations
WPI     43.25  1.75   1.88  3.63 Dropped, FDA approval fires up reversal
ELN     70.31  1.81   1.94  3.75 Reaction to conference call.




*****************************************************
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:
******

G $60.13 -3.38 (-3.43) G set a new high last week and almost 
tied that high yesterday. Today, however, it was down after 
a downward sales growth revision from Goldman Sachs. 5% to 
7% sales growth was previously expected; now they are looking 
for 2 to 4%. Earnings estimates were not changed because G is 
not expected to suffer from currency problems. G and Coke 
sell their products in many of the same overseas markets and 
Coke's sales overseas (well over 50% of total sales) are now 
expected to drop 1 to 2%. This changes the outlook for G and 
we must drop it as a call.

RFMD $93.25 +4.13 (+9.50) Finally we got a split run from 
RFMD! Too bad it waited until the last 2 days before the split 
occurs, but at least it is up $9.50 on the week so far. The 
payable date for the 2:1 split is Wednesday, 3-31, but the 
ex-date is Thursday, 4-1, so RFMD still might run a little 
higher. Because we recommended this play only due to the 
split, we are dropping it. As always, we caution you against 
holding over the split since 7 out of 10 stocks suffer post-
split depression.


PUTS:
******

LLY $87.94 (+3.50) This stock didn't move through its 
support at $84, but instead had a reversal.  LLY made 
advances on both days, even shunning the market sentiment 
today.  Plus, the company announced expected strong sales 
growth for 1999 which doesn't lead us to believe the stock 
will have significant declines in the short-term.  Therefore, 
we're dropping LLY as a play.

GIS $76.38 -.19 (+2.07) We are dropping GIS.  GIS seems to 
have found a bottom.  Even with the weakness in the market 
today, GIS just wouldn't fade any further.  Puts are a strange 
breed.  Everyone wants the company to rise in prices.  We 
will move to a better play.

WPI $43.25 +1.88 (+3.63) Big volume.  Big gains.  Bye bye.  
We're dropping this short-lived play this evening.  2.5 
times normal volume accompanied today's gains, while 
yesterday's gains had marginally higher volume.  We should 
have bounced south of the 10 DMA, not punch through it.  
News is scarce; however, WPI was FDA approved to begin 
production of generic arthritis drug, Oruvail, which will 
be marketed by a division of American Home Products.  
Unfortunately, a simple press release can be the death 
knell of a technical play.



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

INSS $67.75 +1.59 (+3.19)  INSS has finally cranked its racing 
engine.  The company has revved up +$3.19 in gains so far this 
week and is just off of its all time high of $71.13 set back 
in January.  INSS could really pick up some speed since it will 
split 3:2 on Monday, April 5th.  Keep in mind that we never 
recommend holding over the actual split and since the markets 
are closed on Good Friday, you might want to consider closing 
your open positions in INSS before then.  (7 out of 10 splitters 
typically suffer from post split depression.) 

DCLK $185.13 -6.00 (+2.88)  When we added DCLK as a play this 
past weekend, we stated the possible double sided nature of 
the play.  Before it splits on Friday April 2nd, you could 
catch some of the upward momentum by opening call positions.  
Tuesday's dip could be your entry point.  However, it would be 
a very short play since we never recommend holding over the 
actual split.  7 out of 10 companies suffer from post split 
depression.   That's why we will play DCLK as a put immediately 
after the split.  You could open up some put positions on 
Thursday to capture the possible down draft after the split.  
Decide based on your own risk profile.  Don't play the put
side if it drops too soon too much.

AHP $65.81 +0.06 (-0.88)  Although AHP managed to finish last 
week's trading with a gain of $0.89, it has since dropped off 
from its all time high of $68.19 set back on 3/16.  Some news 
released this week may have temporarily stunted AHP's growth.  
Global Pharmaceutical Corp. received FDA approval to make 
Minocycline, a generic version of AHP's antibiotic called 
Minocin.  Andrx Corp. and Watson Pharmaceuticals received FDA 
approval to develop a generic version of AHP's arthritis drug 
Oruvail. Sands Bros. followed the news with a downgrade on AHP 
to neutral from a buy.  We are suggesting using caution with 
AHP for now.  Even though it finished in the green on Tuesday,
we would like to see a stronger finish before suggesting it for 
new positions.

LOW $64.00 -0.69 (+0.19)  Last week, Wednesday through Friday's 
actions combined for a +$4.45 gain in LOW.  On Monday, the 
stock jumped another +$0.88.  With over $5.00 worth of profits,
investors decided to take some money off the table.  The stock 
dipped -0.69 on Tuesday.  This could prove to be an entry point 
as LOW positions itself to attack its all time high of $66.44.  
But, wait for the green signal in case the profit taking continues.  
(On Friday, LOW will complete its acquisition of Eagle Hardware & 
Garden Inc.)

OMC $79.38 +0.94 (+1.88)  OMC remains one of the best of the 
best.  The stock set another all time high of $80.94 in 
intraday trading on Tuesday as it extended its exploration 
into new territory.  No news in particular could be pinned 
for a explanation.  But why ask why when the move is in your 
favor.  The best thing to do now is make sure your stop losses 
are in place.  It is better to be stopped out for a gain then 
to be unprotected.   

QCOM $117.00 +2.06 (+5.44)  Who is hotter lately- UCONN or QCOM?  
It is a toss up!!  QCOM has been on fire since announcing its 
agreements with Ericsson and even set a new all time high of 
$121.19.  The company has burned up the markets by adding over 
+$34 in the past 5 days of trading.  On Monday, Credit Suisse 
First Boston raised the company to a buy rating and increased 
QCOM's year 2000 EPS estimate to $3.50 from $3.35. They feel 
QCOM "has several strong businesses that are likely to do better 
as the company focuses on them for its core growth." (-Reuters)
Although we see no signs of a slowdown, simple profit taking 
could come into play.  Make sure to update those trailing stop 
losses!  (Remember also that QCOM is one of our split candidates.)

WCOM $92.13 -0.38 (+2.25)  WCOM started the week off on the 
right foot by adding +$2.63 on Monday.  WCOM announced that 
it had invested $200-$400 million in several wireless cable 
companies.  The move gives WCOM "more access to wireless 
technology and could allow WCOM to bypass local phone company 
networks and directly connect its national communications 
network to its customers." (-Reuters)  In other news, WCOM has 
also extended its on-net global frame relay services into South 
America.  However, AT&T could soon provide more competition for 
WCOM as a result of its joint venture with British 
Telecommunications.   Although the deal still needs regulatory 
approval in the US, the partnership could compete against WCOM 
in the international services market.

WHR  $51.75 -1.69 (-1.31)  Whirlpool had been on a tear.  But 
finally the profit takers were able to catch up.  WHR was set 
back -$1.69 on Tuesday as some investors cashed out their 
gains.  We fully expect WHR to turn it around.  But before you 
open any new positions, make sure WHR finishes in the green.  
As always, never try to pick the bottom.  You will guess wrong 
more often than not.  


 
***** 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 
reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness.
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         Tuesday  3-30-99  
Copyright 1999, All rights reserved. 
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

*******************************************************
PICK NEWS - CALLS (continued)
*******************************************************

MER $91.63 +.94 (+2.88) MER was up nearly $2.00 in yesterday's 
strong market. That we would expect. But it was also up $.94 
today, when profit taking was rampant. Even some of the other 
brokers experienced profit taking. Although volume was a bit 
light, we see the fact that MER continued to move up in a 
down market as a sign of strength.

SCH $94.25 -1.63 (+1.25) Yesterday SCH set a new high of 
$97.38 and closed for the first time over $95.00. Although 
it reached $96.38 today, profit taking sent the stock down 
for a loss of $1.63. SCH is definitely in split territory. 
If it keeps up this climb, we would not be surprised to hear 
a split announced with earnings, due in about 2 weeks.

WMT $95.00 +0.00 (+3.04) WMT rested today after running up 
$3.04 yesterday. With so much profit taking in the market 
today, it was a sign of strength that WMT held steady. In 
the news, WMT surpassed Toys R Us as the largest toy seller 
last year. Its toy market share increased to 17.4% from 16.3%. 
The King of Retailers is also now the King of Toy Retailers.

PVN $111.56 +1.38 (+3.87) Greenspan left the interest rate 
unchanged, paving the way for PVN to add another $1.38 today
--on top of yesterday's $1.50 gain. Support for this stock 
is around $99.00, so it could have fallen sharply if the Fed 
had given investors cause for concern. Resistance is all the 
way up at $118.44, its previous high. This stock is ripe for 
a split. It is higher than it was when it last split 3:2 on 
Dec. 16th, 1998. If the price keeps climbing, it might split 
2:1 this time. Earnings are due in about 3 weeks.

GE $113.31 +1.31 (+5.50) GE really took off in yesterday's 
rally, adding $4.19. Today, even as many other Dow components 
saw profit taking (or dropped on growth worries), GE tacked 
on yet another $1.31. It traded as high as $113.81. Gene 
Peroni, a trust fund manager and a guest on CNBC this morning, 
said that he thinks GE will "move higher--a lot higher". His 
12 month price target: $140.00 or more. Looking strong.

FSR $91.81 -1.50 (-1.13)  FSR has been a conservative mover 
lately, but that gives target shooters a stable play to 
make small gains. It did hit $93.75 on Monday testing its 
resistance.  No new information to report on the company. 
FSR seems to be governed somewhat by market direction.  
We're keeping FSR on our list because they are having a 
powerful 3:1 stock split on April 15th and we expect a 
pre-split breakout.  Keep your eye on this stock and wait 
for the bounce before starting a new play.

ALD $50.19 -0.56 (-0.19)  ALD had established a new high on 
Friday and just one day later, it secured another new 52 
week high when it traded at $50.94 on Monday.   Today it 
barely lost any ground during today's market correction - 
a bullish performance.  ALD is situated above the 10 dma 
technical and its chart has an overall uptrend.  This stock 
could climb higher.  Today, the company announced it will use 
Concur's Employee Desktop software to reduce its operating 
costs and to increase its business process efficiency - good 
news for company profits.  Remember this is a short trading 
week, so be sure of direction and put those stops in place for
security.  

MWD $101.75 -3.63 (-.88) MWD gave back its Monday gains 
today, plus some.  MWD continues to look impressive because
of its continued work with IPO's and its move to be more
involved with the Internet boom.  MWD did announce the 
availability to trade muni bonds real time on the Internet.
MWD is in definite stock split territory, and most likely
will be announce at the shareholder meeting on the 9th of
April.  The $100 level could supply some support.  Watch
for a bounce off this level.

RNWK $124.00 -3.00 (+4.00)  RNWK has shown more strength
this week with a $7.00 gain on Monday.  Tuesday saw RNWK
get as high as $129 before fading with the market.  The
drop on Tuesday was on very low volume, which tells us there
isn't much selling enthusiasm.  RNWK announced today that
they will support Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 so that 
its users can receive up to 1700 live radio and TV shows
through RealNetworks' RealGuide Explorer Bar.  Great stock
to target shoot.

TLAB $97.00 -3.06 (-.19)  TLAB gave back its gains from
Monday today.  Over the last four trading days before today,
TLAB had gain of almost $13.  A little profit taking is not
unusual.  TLAB has earnings toward the end of April and 
also has its annual shareholder meeting.  We feel that a 
stock split is likely to be announced at one of these 
events.  We did break above the $100 level briefly, but
could not hold it.  We feel a break through this level
on strong volume will help TLAB to nice gains before its
earnings announcement.

CMGI $184.00 -2.56 (+1.62) CMGI reached an intra-day high
of $191.38 today before fading with the market.  CMGI is
still holding above both its 10 and 20-dma.  The 20-dma of
$175 seems to be a bit of support.  CMGI is still $40 from
its 52-week high.  CMGI is considered one of the blue chip
Internet stocks.  We like the short-term look for CMGI and
feel with a decent week in the market, CMGI could reach
new highs.  Another good target shooting stock.

BVSN $63.44 -2.88 (+3.69) BVSN struggled a bit on Tuesday, 
but has had a good week so far.  BVSN rose over $6 on Monday.
BVSN is currently sitting just above its 10-dma.  With a 
continuation in the market, we feel BVSN is in a good 
position to reach new highs.  Current 52-week high is at
$72.38.  Volume was very light today, showing a lack of 
sellers.

SUNW $125.94 +1.44 (+9.44) SUNW has been a great play so
far this week.  We saw a gain of $8 on Monday.  SUNW stock
split is on the 8th of April.  The market is excited about
the AOL/SUNW alliance.  The first product developed from
this alliance will be out the 2nd half of the year.  SUNW
set a new 52-week high today and seems poised to continue
into its split.  Watch for intra-day pullbacks for new 
call purchases.

MSFT $93.00 +0.63 (+3.94 s/a)  There is lots of news 
surrounding MSFT since we wrote on Sunday.  For starters, 
MSFT is entering settlement negotiations With the DOJ as 
this goes to press.  Privately, many experts express doubt 
that any settlement will happen immediately since the DOJ 
insists and MSFT's refuses to give up its right to add new 
features to its products.  Same issue, different day.  In 
the meantime, MSFT intends to call Steven Case, AOL's 
chairman and CEO, for depositions to show that there is 
formidable competition and alternatives to Explorer, 
especially with AOL/Netscape alliance with Sun to develop a 
new browser to replace IE (ergo, "we are not a monopoly").  
Furthermore, MSFT's President, Steve Ballmer, outlines 
plans to split MSFT into 5 divisions, a decision that seems 
to depend on finding a new permanent head of MSN.  In 
short, expectations that MSFT will come out OK are keeping 
this NASDAQ stalwart from suffering a severe split 
depression.  Technically, MSFT is still a hot stock, but 
the overall market, not to mention the post split blues 
could flatten progress for a couple of days.  Confirm 
market direction and keep the stops tight.

AOL $144.50 +12.13 (+18.81) Honestly, some days, it just 
pays to be lucky.  Don't get us wrong.  The news is 
generally good, like e-Bay's $75 mln. contract, a Paine 
Webber "buy" recommendation with a $215 target, and 
placement on S&P credit watch with POSITIVE implications.  
As much fun as we've had climbing this AOL tree, it can't 
grow indefinitely to the sky.  But it can grow to split 
territory ($120) again!  Earnings are April 27.  Without a 
shareholder vote to increase the outstanding shares, 3:2 is 
the best we'll get.  Enjoy this while it lasts.  Confirm 
upward movement before playing and remember to use stops to 
protect your profits.

EMC $129.75 +0.13 (+6.87) Beware of high altitude 
nosebleed; get your Kleenex ready!  Technically, EMC is 
looking really strong.  Volume today was the highest since 
March 9.  The dark cloud is EMC's -$5.25 fall from its 
intraday high on that strong volume.  If the market trend 
turns down, EMC is giving us the sign that it may go south 
with it.  Last time EMC exceeded its 30 DMA by this much, 
it suffered 6 down days in a row, losing 11% of its value.  
While EMC is a great company with a tremendous future, it 
can still go down along the journey to greatness.  Momentum 
is currently driving the price.  There is no news.  Don't 
let your profits slip away.  Use stops.  As always, confirm 
market direction before starting a new play.



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

ELN $70.31 +1.94 (+3.75)  After hours on Friday, Elan had a 
conference call with analysts hinting to an upbeat financial 
forecast for 1999.  Investors responded to the positive news 
and ELN made some gains over the past two days.  ELN is 
still positioned right near its 200 dma at about $69 - a 
bearish indicator. Recall, last week Vector Securities 
downgrade the stock citing concerns over the stock's price 
and anxiety about the company's new drugs.  This worry was 
also addressed in the conference call and Elan admitted 
Ziconotide, a pain killer, will not go before the FDA on its 
original date as the studies are still in the works.  Whether 
you are conservative or a little aggressive, it is very 
important that you confirm ELN's direction before initiating 
a new play.

LHSG $31.00 -2.88 (-4.88) Oppenheimer issued a hold rating 
as it initiated coverage today.  Yesterday, LHSG announced 
a restructuring by splitting the company into 2 different 
divisions: research and development, and customer delivery.  
The market bestowed the "so what" award by selling off the 
issue.  For a company in the doldrums, a revamping should 
be substantial.  We've used this metaphor before, but this 
restructuring is like rearranging the deck chairs on the 
Titanic.  They could still be losing a major customer in 
2000.  Look for the downward trend to continue, especially 
since today's trading was on 2 times average volume.  Keep 
the stops tight in case of good news or Dow 10.5 K (wishful 
thinking only).

EMR $52.88 -2.00 (-1.58) Technically, EMR is still falling 
off a cliff.  We termed EMR a "cockroach" play (thanks, 
Roger) with the expectation that where there is one roach, 
we'll find others.  EMR's press releases, while 
informative, read like something out of an engineering 
textbook or scientific presentation.  Investor's eyes 
easily glaze over.  In today's market, company image in the 
press release department can add lots of value, real or 
perceived.  See Internet sector for examples.  One wouldn't 
normally draw the conclusion that they have lost touch with 
their investors, but we will.  Could they have lost touch 
with their customers too?  We see another cockroach here.  
Look for more bugs as earnings approach on May 4.  Negative 
direction looks pretty obvious, but confirm it anyway 
before starting a new play.


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

YHOO - Yahoo! $172.31 -3.69 (+0.94 this wk)(P2W -4.62)

Yahoo! is the undisputed leader of Internet media 
applications.  Second only to AOL in advertising revenue, 
YHOO offers up 95 million page views per day making it #1 
on the net according to Hoover's.  They have recently 
agreed to acquire GeoCities.  Japan's media technology 
aggregator, Softbank owns 28%.

Normally, a technical basing over the last 3 weeks in the 
$170 range like YHOO has exhibited wouldn't catch our eye 
as a play.  However, YHOO reports earnings April 7 (First 
Call).  Historically, they have a 14-36% earnings run into 
the announcement.  Though YHOO was down in today's trading 
(we expect it tomorrow morning, and maybe all day tomorrow 
too), we get a better shot at the entry point -- kind of 
like target shooting where half the work is already done 
for us.  Their alliance with AT&T for distribution doesn't 
hurt either.  Now's the time to scale into a position.  
Confirm market direction before starting the play.

This is an earnings run play.  No news is driving 
the play other than a continued enthusiasm for Internet 
stocks.

BUY CALL APR-170 YHV-DN OI=3600 at $14.38 SL=11.50
BUY CALL APR-175 YHV-DO OI=2059 at $12.13 SL= 9.50
BUY CALL APR-180*YHV-DP OI=3749 at $10.00 SL= 7.50
BUY CALL MAY-180 YHV-EP OI= 321 at $20.25 SL=15.75
BUY CALL MAY-190 YHV-ER OI= 103 at $15.88 SL=12.50

Picked on March 30 at $172.31         PE =1600 (really!)
Change since picked     +0.00         52 week high=222.50
Analysts Ratings   6-13-5-0-0         52 week low = 22.69
Last Earnings 01/99  est  .08 actual .10 surprise = 25%
Next Earnings 04-07  est  .08 versus .02
Average daily volume = 9.8 mln. 
Chart = http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=YHOO&d=3m




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

EBAY - eBAY Inc. $137.13 -10.66 (-17.37 this wk)(-5.25)

If you like auctions, you'll like eBAY!  eBAY is the world's 
largest personal online trading community.  eBay created a new 
market: efficient one-to-one trading in an auction format on 
the Web.  Individuals- not big businesses- use eBay to buy and 
sell items in more than 1,000 categories.

As of March 30th, eBAY has a new competitor- a very large 
competitor indeed.  Amazon.com decided to get into the online 
auction business by launching its own version on Tuesday.  
eBAy's shares plummeted -$10.66 and fell below its price 
support of $140.  With its weak technical indicators and 
strong competition, we feel eBAY is a prime "put" candidate.    

No new news.  

BUY PUT APR-140*QXB-PH OI= 930 at $14.00 SL=11.25
BUY PUT APR-135 QXB-PG OI= 357 at $11.00 SL= 8.75
BUY PUT APR-130 QXB-PF OI=1105 at $ 8.88 SL= 6.75
 
Average Daily Volume = 4.08 mln  

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

*****

MU - Micron Technology Inc $45.31 -2.00 (-1.57 this wk)(-3.37)

Micron is the world's #2 maker of semi-conductor memory 
components, only behind Samsung.  They design, develop,
manufacture, and market complex circuit boards, memory 
modules, system level assemblies, and PCs.  However, the 
dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) components and other 
chips account for almost half of the company's revenues.  
Texas Instruments and Intel both have interests Micron.

There was no help for this stock last week.  They did report
better than expected earnings, but the worry about declining 
chip prices shot MU down. And behind the scene, whispers 
amongst the analysts suggest they had higher expectations for 
MU and so all in all, Micron actually they fell short in the 
earnings arena.  On Thursday, NationsBanc Montgomery Securities,
put in its two cents and drastically slashed its fiscal 
estimates for Micron.  The estimates for 1999 were cut from 
.22 to .05 and for the year 2000 it was cut practically in 
half from 2.35 to 1.30.  They did maintain a "hold" rating 
on MU.  In response, the stock plummeted 6+ points from its 
intraday high and volume was astronomical at almost 14 mln. 
The apprehension about the declining chip prices is looming 
over the whole sector and today MU couldn't sustain any 
strength and forfeited another $2 to close right near its 
200 dma.  If you are a conservative player, wait for the 
close through its 200 dma.

BUY PUT APR-40.00 MU-PH OI=3821 at $1.19 SL=0.50
BUY PUT APR-45.00*MU-PI OI=4133 at $2.88 SL=1.50

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



*****************************************************
COMBINATION PLAYS   
*****************************************************

A New Plateau?

Monday, March 29

The Dow ended above the 10,000 mark for the first time on Monday
as Wall Street ignored the war in Yugoslavia and focused on market
related issues in the U.S. The index of blue-chip stocks finished
up 184 points at a record 10,006. On four different occasions,
the Dow has climbed over the 10,000 mark but failed to hold the
benchmark at the final bell. The technology-laced Nasdaq index
also soared 72 points to 2,491. In the broader market, advancing
issues beat declines 18 to 11 on active volume of 748 million
shares on the NYSE.

Sunday's new plays (positions/prices):

UNPH  APR95P/APR90P  $0.75 Credit  (played near the open)
PBI   APR70C/APR65C  $0.75 Credit  (fairly steady all day)
PROX  APR25C/APR30C  $2.25 Debit   (fell at the close)
RX    MAY37P/MAY35P  $1.50 Debit   (April spread was unavailable)
TXN   APR110C/APR80P $2.12 Credit  (big mover, place your STOPS!)

Portfolio plays:

Oil stocks really moved today and two of our debit positions can
be closed early for nice profits. We exited BPA (APR90C/APR95C)
at $4.62 credit and BR (APR37C/APR40C) at $2.00 credit. The ICST
play (APR15P/APR17C debit strangle) is very docile, we may need
to start planning an exit. The best we could do on the remaining
LSI position (APR30C) was $1.00. The HWP neutral (a butterfly)
spread has eroded to the point where it could be closed for a
small profit. This one is less likely to break-out than PG or UK
so we will try to hold-on a bit longer.

Tuesday, March 30

U.S. stocks retreated Tuesday as earnings worries increased and
investors took profits, a day after the Dow made history with its
first close above the 10,000 milestone. The DJIA ended with a
loss of 93 points at 9913. The Nasdaq index of technology stocks
fell slightly, down 12 points at 2480. In the broader market,
declining issues beat advances 17 to 12 on active volume of 730
million shares on the NYSE. Most experts said the market was just
consolidating and the move was not cause for alarm.

Portfolio plays:

The EMC calendar spread has been the source of many recent Emails.
Some very bullish investors think this stock is going to the moon!
We decided to roll-up (and forward to maintain a credit), closing
the APR125C and opening the MAY135C. The new cost basis for the
position (OCT130C/MAY135C) is $9.00 and collateral is no longer
required. (Of course, with Murphy's law, the stock will probably
drop $10...I just hope the readers are right and I am wrong!) UAL
is also continuing to show strength with the airline stocks and we
may have to "roll-up" the short option to keep the play profitable.
Other positions to watch include PBI (APR70C/APR65C call-credit)
now that Morgan Stanley has upgraded the stock with a $75 target
and the speculation play on PROX (APR25C/APR30C call-debit). Don't
let either of those get away.

Editors Note: At the end of the day, EMC was almost back to where
it began...what a strange stock!

Good Luck!
******************************************************************
				- NEW PLAYS -

I continue to receive requests for "conservative" spreads and with
the recent DOW close above 10,000, I decided to look for some ITM
and ATM (call-debit) positions on larger companies in various
industry groups. Here are the ones I favor...
******************************************************************
WMT - WalMart  $95.00     *** Split Play ***

WalMart is a giant among retailers that has yet to meet any worthy
foe. Much bigger than Sears, Kmart, and J. C. Penney combined, the
company is the world's #1 retailer. It is also one of the nation's
top five grocers. Most of its stores are in the US but they also
have operations in Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

There seems to be no stopping the world's #1 discount retailer.
WalMart has announced strong performances again for 1998. For the
year ended 1/31/98, WalMart's sales increased by 17% and its net
income jumped 26% to $4.4 billion. The company attributes much of
its success to its "supercenters", the large shopping emporiums
with several dozen general merchandise departments including the
traditional grocery store.

WalMart set a new standard when it recently passed Toys "R" Us
as the nation's largest toy retailer. Toys "R" Us saw its share
of the market drop to 16.8%, second in the industry, according
to a market research company.

WalMart's Board of Directors announced that the 2-1 stock split,
in the form of a stock dividend, will be issued on April 19 to
shareholders of record as of March 19. That means you will have
twice-as-many contracts as initially opened at a cost basis of
$45.00/$47.50.

PLAY (conservative/debit spread):

BUY  CALL MAY-90 WMT-ER OI=834 A=$8.75
SELL CALL MAY-95 WMT-ES OI=584 B=$5.38
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$3.12 ROI(max)=59%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=WMT&d=3m
******************************************************************
UTX - United Technologies  $135.62   *** Manufacturing Giant! ***

United Technologies Corporation makes a variety of products, from
elevators to air conditioners. Their subsidiaries are numerous.
Carrier is the world's largest maker of heating/air-conditioning
systems and they service heating, ventilating, and refrigeration
equipment. Otis is the world's #1 elevator manufacturer and they
also make and service escalators, moving sidewalks, and shuttle
systems. Hamilton Standard produces engine controls, environmental
systems, propellers, and other flight systems. Pratt & Whitney
makes engines for both commercial and military aircraft. Sikorsky
makes helicopters.

There are other new developments in this conglomerates picture:

Automotive supplier Lear Corp. recently announced it will acquire
UTX's UT Automotive subsidiary, a maker of electronic products and
aviation electrical/mechanical and power systems maker Sundstrand
recently agreed to be acquired for $4.3 billion in cash and stock
by UTX. Sundstrand will be folded into UTX's Hamilton Standard
aviation components unit; renamed Hamilton Sundstrand. Hamilton's
digital engine controls, fuel meters, and flight control systems
will combine with Sundstrand's electric power generation and fluid
pumping systems.

We think this company will continue to dominate the industry and
the current technical outlook suggests that most investors agree!
The six month chart reflects the awesome strength and stability
of this issue.

PLAY (conservative/debit spread):

BUY  CALL MAY-125 UTX-EE OI=1145 A=$13.12
SELL CALL MAY-130 UTX-EF OI=177  B=$9.25
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$3.62 ROI(max)=38%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=UTX&d=3m
******************************************************************
TWX - Time Warner Inc.  $70.68     *** Media Giant! ***

Time Warner is the world's largest entertainment and media company.
Their movie, publishing, music, and cable TV portfolio contains
Time, the US's #1 magazine publisher; Warner Bros, a producer and
distributor of movies, TV programs, and videos; Warner Music Group;
Home Box Office, the #1 pay-TV service; Time Warner Cable, the #1
US cable system; Warner Books, a leading book publisher, and the
Book-of-the-Month Club, a top US book club company. TWX also owns
cable TV networks CNN, TBS, TNT, the WB TV network, and companies
ranging from Mad magazine to the Atlanta Braves.

The biggest news right now for TWX is that they are considering
spinning-off some of their Internet holdings such as CNNfn.com
and its stake in Road Runner, a high-speed Internet service. A
Merrill Lynch analyst also expects TWX to contribute its music
retailing assets, which include the Columbia House record club,
to a new online music retailer. Another research analyst, who
tracks cyberspace forays by big media companies, said it's good
for traditional players to separate Internet operations. We just
think this is an excellent company with a solid long-term outlook.

PLAY (conservative/debit spread):

BUY  CALL JUN-70 TWX-FN OI=2166 A=$5.12
SELL CALL JUN-75 TWX-FO OI=2133 B=$2.75
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$2.12 ROI(max)=135%

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



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