Option Investor
Newsletter

Daily Newsletter, Thursday, 04/29/1999

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The Option Investor Newsletter         Thursday  4-29-99  
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)
************************************************************
        4-29-99           High     Low    Volume  Advances Decline
DOW    10878.38 + 32.93 10928.21 10834.86  967,905k  1,649   1,304
Nasdaq  2528.44 - 21.93  2553.10  2500.75 1053,200k  1,944   2,072 
S&P-100  679.54 -  4.30   686.77   675.20   Totals   3,593   3,376
S&P-500 1342.83 -  8.08  1356.86  1336.71            51.6%   48.4%
$RUT     432.85 -  0.68   434.36   430.66
$TRAN   3642.75 + 11.03  3672.72  3629.90
VIX       25.95 +   .11    27.32    24.97
Put/Call Ratio      .53
*************************************************************

Is it safe to go out and play yet?

Tuesday night we pondered if a simple -46 points would get us
out of the Nasdaq profit taking slump. Obviously not! Today
after dropping -49.63 intraday to 2500.75 the sellers may have
finally run out of stock. As you can see from the charts below
the recent five day rise from 2329 to 2677 (348 points) has
now been met with a three day -123 point decline (-35%). The 
critical bottom today was 2500. The Nasdaq came within 10 points 
of 2500 four times only to firm and bounce back. Is it over? 
Tomorrow will tell but many of the Nasdaq leaders were showing 
strong gains at the end of the day. Check these intraday charts 
and you will see the end of day tails. MSFT, AMTD, EGRP, NITE, 
CSCO, INTC. This could have been just a relief rally from the
heavy selling and more could follow. I believe however that the
rotation we have been seeing away from techs and into cyclicals
may be over and investors will be taking profits from quarterly
sized cyclical gains that occurred in the last week. 

When a stock that gains $1 on a good week suddenly gains $15 to
$20 in one weeks time, I think a lot of people who have been 
holding these stocks will be saying prayers of thanks and 
rushing to sell as soon as the rapid rise stops. Tech stocks
still represent the best investment for the short term. The
announcement by John Deere after hours today that profits will
be down strongly, may wake up these dreamers with new found
dollar signs in their eyes and shock them back to reality.
Smokestack stocks do not appreciate as fast as techs and no
amount of market hype will make it so.


 
 

To say the markets were mixed today was an understatement.
GE for instance, one of the largest and most diverse blue
chips on the Dow, was down over -$5 during the day. There
was no reason. GE could be called a tech, a cyclical, almost
any definition fits. It was just a perfect example of sector
rotation where yesterdays favorites are today's lepers. 

Imagine that you are back in grade school and the class
decides to play a game. The dreaded words "choose up sides"
are heard and the "favorite people" advance to the front to
be chosen first. The social followers drop to the back, their
only wish is "don't pick me last." This week the tables were
turned and the cyclical market fairy transformed the followers
and gave them Cinderella status. Don't look now but midnight
may be fast approaching. Their fleeting week of fame could be
almost over and they will be moved again to the back of the
class.   

The DOW continues to power forward setting the third new record
high this week, thirteenth for the month and twenty first for the
year. I am not going to go into it again but this sprinter has
got to stop for breath soon, just like the Nasdaq did. The 
chances for DOW 11,000 on Friday are very good but picture a
marathon runner after crossing the tape. Some collapse, others
just walk around in a daze gasping for air. The Dow may be
about to slow but I see strong possibilities of the baton
being passed to the Nasdaq for the next leg of the race.

The Employment Cost Index this morning gave investors something
to cheer about. The rise in costs of only +.4% was the lowest
since the indicator has been in existence, 1982. The estimate
was for +.7% but we did not even come close. This incredible
lack of inflation pressure almost completely negates the
impact of the rapid rise in oil prices. The FED watches this
indicator very closely and after today analysts think the FED
could actually move farther away from the tightening bias that
investors had been fearing. The second important number was
the increase in new home sales of +2.1%. The first rise after
three months of declines. Low interest rates and high consumer
confidence is continuing to put aside fears of economic
problems. With the FED on cruise control and earnings surging
at very robust levels there is nothing holding back the market.

Abbey Cohen spoke again today and again said the market was
"fairly valued" but not "fully valued." Some analysts had
thought she had imparted some bearish tones last week when
she gave the same message so she restated her continued
bullish outlook again today. Laslow Bryini was on CNBC again
today reaffirming his DOW 12,000 for this year and he is one
of the premier market timers. Except for the coming profit
taking warnings, I think the long term bullishness is starting
to pervade the entire market. Advancers continue to beat
decliners on the NYSE and only barely beaten out today on
the Nasdaq by a 128 margin. The only negative I can find
is the negative S&Ps and they could be a symptom of the coming 
profit taking. The 500 lost -8.08 and has been down two days 
in a row. The S&P-100 and the RUT were also down but not 
substantially.

The long bond rallied on the ECI numbers today and almost
succeeded in dropping the yield below 5.5% (5.52% today).
This is also a bullish factor for stocks. 

The Friday forecast in my mind is a rebound for the Nasdaq,
if for no other reason than a technical bounce from the -123 
point three day decline. The Dow could hit 11,000 early if
the Deere profit warning and the poor EDS earnings do not
burst the Dow bubble. Oil stocks are starting to draw 
downgrades like flies at a picnic due to the big gains and 
high oil prices. Analysts fear that the current $18 oil will 
only encourage OPEC nations to cheat on cutbacks and flood the
market again. They view $18 oil has a high for the year with
pullbacks to come soon. While drops in oil stocks would hurt 
the Dow, Chevron and Exxon are Dow stocks, the shift back into 
other sectors like drugs and consumables would help. (MRK, PG, 
KO, WMT, MCD, JNJ). A tech rally on Friday could also help boost
IBM and HWP again. Whichever way it goes, it should be an
exciting Friday.

Wait for an entry point, sell too soon.

Jim Brown
editor





*******************************************************
Market Posture
*******************************************************
As of Market Close - Thursday, April 29, 1999 

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

DOW Industrials    9,750  10,000  10,878    BULLISH   4.7                 
SPX S&P 500        1,300   1,350   1,343    Neutral   4.29 *        
OEX S&P 100          660     680     680    Neutral   4.29 *          
RUT Russell 2000     390     435     433    Neutral   4.29 *   

NDX NASD 100       2,075   2,250   2,119    Neutral   4.22         
MSH High Tech      1,000   1,100   1,018    Neutral   4.22                

                   Key Benchmarks
Technology         Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
XCI Hardware         875     920     875    BEARISH   4.29 *                   
CWX Software         600     650     633    Neutral   4.22                   
SOX Semiconductor    375     420     372    BEARISH   4.29 *            
NWX Networking       450     490     497    BULLISH   4.22                 
INX Internet         550     700     572    Neutral   4.22           

                   Key Benchmarks
Financial          Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
BIX Banking          675     720     726    BULLISH   4.22                         
XBD Brokerage        425     540     462    Neutral   4.14             
IUX Insurance        630     655     643    Neutral   4.29 *                 

                   Key Benchmarks
Other              Bearish/Bullish  Last    Posture/Since  Alert
****************************************************************
RLX Retail           900     970     884    BEARISH   4.29 *             
DRG Drug             390     425     374    BEARISH   4.29 *            
HCX Healthcare       780     850     760    BEARISH   4.29 *                     
XAL Airline          170     185     179    Neutral   3.30      
OIX Oil & Gas        250     260     304    BULLISH   3.30                        



Posture Alert

After a nice run up, we have turned Neutral across select market 
indices and Bearish across several industry sectors including 
drug, Healthcare, Retail. Over the near-term, We are also bearish
on a couple of Technology sectors, Hardware and semiconductors, 
after violating short-term moving averages.




******************************************************
Market Sentiment - By Pinnacle Capital Advisors
******************************************************
Thursday, April 29, 1999


If one Rolls Over, Others Are Likely to Follow 

In a bull market, if one industry sector rolls over and breaks 
its short-term moving average (50dma), others may soon.  Take a 
look at what happened to semiconductors, Retail, Drug and Health
care.  These sectors could not hold above its short term moving
average.  This leads us Pinnacle to believe that other sectors
are likely to follow notwithstanding our other technical and 
sentiment indicators.

With respect to the broad market indices - INDU, SPX, and OEX -
they have enjoyed a nice run up but could come under pressure
over the near term just to retrace back to its moving average.

          Close      50dma
*******************************
INDU     10,878     10,000
SPX       1,343      1,300
OEX         680        660

Separately, Pinnacle is concerned about the action of the Market
Volatility Index (VIX).  This key short-term indicator is
challenging its moving average once again and will be bearish if
the index close ABOVE this average and breaks the current trend.




BULLISH Signs:

Advance/Decline Line      Recovering appears to be holding.

Pinnacle Index            Excessive OTM call buying in check as
                          evidence by our low Pinnacle Index


BEARISH Signs:

Market Volatility (VIX)   After consolidating below its 50-day
                          moving average (25.95), the VIX closed
                          up sharply and could close soon over
                          its 50-day moving breaking the current
                          bullish trend.

Russell 2000              Closed below key 435 level.  If small
                          cap sells off from here, the technical
                          move will be viewed by many as negative
                          since the Russell 2000 could not take 
                          out its prior high resulting in a 
                          "failed rally"

Interest Rates            Trading ABOVE 200dma and 5.50%
                          Benchmark. (5.516%)

                        

 
 

 


OTM Call Analysis

As we move through May's expiration cycle, Pinnacle is tracking 
the level of call buying (OTM) between 680-740 among option
speculators. As we have been documenting, excessive out-of-the-
money (OTM) call may serve as overhead resistance.


April Expiration Cycle
OEX OTM Call Analysis (Open Interest Apr 650-700)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Date                 Open Interest     Change %    Alert
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Friday, March 19            35,626         -
Friday, March 26            60,266      +69.2%     
Friday, April 2             70,952      +99.2%     
Friday, April 9             74,028     +107.8%     

May Expiration Cycle
OEX OTM Call Analysis (Open Interest May 680-740)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Date                 Open Interest       Change %    Alert
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Friday, April 16            30,697          -
Friday, April 23            53,887        +75.5%      
Tuesday, April 27           57,139        +86.1%      
Thursday, April 29          62,966       +105.1%       *




Market Sentiment at a Glance
********************************************************************   
                                Friday     Tues      Thurs  
Indicator                       (4/23)     (4/27)    (4/29) Alert
********************************************************************

Pinnacle Index (OEX):          
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead Resistance (680-695)     1.9        1.5        1.1
Underlying Support  (645-660)     1.9        2.1        2.2

Put/Call Ratios:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .5         .4         .5 
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .3         .3         .4
OEX P/C Ratio                     2.0        2.1        1.6


Peak Open Interest (OEX):
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Puts                              660        650        650
Calls                             720        720        620
P/C Ratio                        1.18       1.17       1.22


Market Volatility Index (VIX):	
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE VIX                        23.96      24.42      26.49 *          



Investors Intelligence:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bullish                         56.4%      56.4%       56.1% *
Bearish                         30.8%      30.8%       30.7% *	



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                       (4/13)      (4/27)    (4/29)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
               
                    (690-695)      4.5        3.7        2.0 
                    (680-685)      1.3        1.1         .8
Overhead Resistance (680-695)      1.9        1.5        1.1 

OEX Close                       687.41     689.36     679.54

Underlying Support  (645-660)      1.9        2.1        2.2
(655-660)	1.7        2.3        2.1
                    (645-650)      2.2        1.8        2.3
 
Average ratings: 
Resistance levels 2.0 / Support Levels .5

What the Pinnacle Index is telling us:
Overhead sentiment resistance is eroding at the OEX 680/695 level 
while the underlying support is holding at the
OEX 645/660 level.


Put/Call Ratio 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                                Friday      Tues       Thurs
Strike/Contracts                 (4/13)     (4/27)     (4/29)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .50        .43        .53
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .34        .34        .38
OEX P/C Ratio                     2.07       2.07       1.57


Peak Open Interest (OEX)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                     Friday         Tues          Thurs
Strike/Contracts     (4/23)         (4/27)        (4/29)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Puts                 660 / 10,261   650 / 10,888   650 / 11,560
Calls                720 /  8,704   720 /  9,274   720 / 9,494
Put/Call Ratio       1.18           1.17           1.22

 
 


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   

April 23, 1999                          23.96 
April 27, 1999                          24.42 
April 29, 1999                          26.49 

 
 

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
March 4, 1999       Bottom            49.1        32.5

-----------------------------------------------------------------


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     
March 31, 1999                        55.6        31.6     

April 7, 1999                         56.4        31.6     
April 14, 1999                        55.9        30.5     
April 21, 1999                        56.4        30.8  *   




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

Index     Last   Mon    Tue    Wed  Thur    Week
Dow    10878.38 28.92 113.12  13.74 32.93 188.71
Nasdaq  2528.44 61.36 -49.64 -52.04-21.93 -62.25
$OEX     679.54  2.57  -0.62  -5.52 -4.30  -7.87
$SPX    1342.83  3.19   2.76 -11.89 -8.08 -14.02
$RUT     432.85  3.24   0.19  -1.63 -0.68   1.12
$TRAN   3642.75 20.89 -13.11  34.26 11.03  53.07
$VIX      25.95 -0.05   0.28   1.65  0.11   1.99

Stock         Mon    Tue    Wed   Thur    Week

RNWK   215.00 14.81 -13.69   2.88 31.00  35.00 What sell-off?
NITE   145.41 15.19  -5.25   7.13 11.41  28.48 Awesome Split run
EGRP   116.00 15.94  -0.56 -13.25  9.81  11.94 It's Alive!
QCOM   198.25 12.63  -6.44  -6.63  7.81   7.37 Split 2:1 May 11th
CTXS    42.81  2.75   2.75  -0.75 -0.63   4.12 Holding strong
LXK    120.88  4.31   4.75  -3.13 -4.00   1.93 Dropped, no action
MFNX    80.50  5.88  -0.44  -3.50 -0.44   1.50 Entry point?
HWP     78.38  2.38   0.63  -0.81 -0.94   1.26 Temporary dip?
ADBE    63.25  0.50   1.00  -0.25 -1.50  -0.25 Still ahead
NXLK    70.88  4.50   2.38  -4.50 -2.63  -0.25 Dropped, earnings
DELL    41.06  1.81  -1.63  -1.56 -0.56  -1.94 Tech Casuality
CMVT    62.88  0.94  -1.63  -1.50 -0.13  -2.32 Profit taking
EMC    107.13  4.75   0.63  -6.13 -3.13  -3.87 New Call
ANF     91.88  1.44  -2.56   3.25 -6.13  -4.00 Profit taking
WMT     46.88  0.00  -0.19  -1.56 -2.31  -4.06 Downgrade reaction
FDX    110.25 -0.44  -0.56  -6.63  2.81  -4.82 Downgraded
SUNW    57.81  2.13  -1.81  -2.19 -3.63  -5.50 Tech Casuality
CSCO   109.19  0.25  -2.56  -3.31 -2.56  -8.18 Tech Casuality
YHOO   175.00  4.56  -7.75 -11.00  1.50 -12.69 Time to bounce?

Puts

SCH    110.13 -1.50  -0.56  -7.13 -1.38 -10.57 Dropped, successful
ELN     51.69 -3.13   0.69  -2.31 -3.31  -8.06 Unloved drugs
LOW     52.25 -2.37  -1.13  -0.06 -3.75  -4.31 New Put
DLJ     72.25  0.38   1.00  -5.69  0.19  -4.12 Dropped, successful
NSOL    77.50  6.75  -3.44  -4.06 -1.75  -2.50 Bleak future
MU      37.38 -1.75  -0.38   2.63 -1.00  -0.50 Momentum strong
FNM     72.50 -1.25  -0.75   0.89  1.56   0.45 Still in the channel
PG      93.50  4.31  -1.25  -1.19  1.13   3.00 Confirm direction
APD     46.88 -0.75  -0.56   2.56  2.94   4.19 Dropped, reversal




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:
******

LXK $120.88 -4.00 (+1.94)  Bingo! Lexmark announced a 2-for-1 
stock split today! At the shareholder's meeting this morning, 
the increase of common shares from 160 mln to 450 mln was 
obviously approved as well as the repurchase of up to $200 mln 
in stock authorized. This is the company's first stock split 
since its IPO at $20 in November 1995.  In less than 4 years, 
LXK has appreciated over 500%!  The split date is set for June 
10th.  And yesterday, the company unveiled an $89 inkjet 
printer, the Z11, to replace the Lexmark 1100 which they claim 
will deliver sharper and faster copies. As we speculated on 
Tuesday, stockholders did come in to reap profits at LXK's 
record high price.  But considering the 2:1 split announcement 
early this afternoon didn't generate a reversal we're dropping 
LXK for now.  We'll keep a watch on the stock and perhaps pick 
it back up closer to the split date.

NXLK $70.88 -2.63 (-0.25)  This earnings run was short and 
sweet.  NXLK offered a solid entry point on Monday and profits 
for the next two days.  We recommended all positions to be 
closed before the earnings report today.  As expected, the stock 
went as high as $76 today, but began to drop by late morning 
in anticipation of Nextlink's  earnings' announcement.  After 
the bell, they reported record growth in revenues and over 
224,000 of access lines installed.  The forecast looks stable, 
but odds are that most stocks will have some depression 
immediately after earnings.  Therefore, we aren't keeping NXLK 
on our call list.



PUTS:
******

DLJ $72.25 +0.19 (-4.13)  After losing -$5.69 in trading on 
Wednesday, the slight bounce back on Thursday of +$0.19 is 
definitely tolerable.  DLJ smashed through its support of $75 
and is now hanging just below its 30 dma.  Even though DLJ 
could venture lower, we are dropping it as a play.  Since 
adding it on April 18th at the price of $79.38, DLJ gave up 
-$7.13.  This put has performed well for us and we are ready 
to move on to the next play. 

SCH $110.13 -1.38 (-10.56)   We told ya so!  Since Monday, SCH 
has lost -$10.56.  It is now resting at its 30 dma.   This is 
a pivotal point for our online brokerage.  SCH could bounce 
off this major dma which could serve as support.  However, if 
SCH manages to fall through it, the next nearest support lies 
at the $100 level.  With a future that could realistically go 
either way, we are dropping SCH as a put.  This has been a 
successful play and even we have to call it quits sometimes.  
If you are holding any open positions, make sure to set those 
stop losses tight!

APD $46.88 +2.94 (+4.18) Sometimes perception is greater than 
the reality and that's what we've found in APD.  The stock has 
again been pushed higher as investors flee Internet and Technology 
issues in search of Cyclicals.  The mystery is why Chemicals?  
Other groups have positive fundamentals to justify a rally but 
APD just warned about the outlook for 1999 last week with their 
earnings report due to weak chemical prices.  Nevertheless, 
the market is not known for being rational. So with APD now 
back above its 10-dma we are dropping it from our put list.    



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

QCOM $198.25 +7.81 (+7.38)  If you waited for an entry point 
like we had suggested in Tuesday's write-up, you would have 
looked at the -$6.63 drop on Wednesday and smiled.  Cheaper 
QCOM options!  The recovery made on Thursday could be the 
green signal we were waiting for.  QCOM will split 2:1 on May 
11th.  Get ready for the split momentum to pick up from here.  
If the trend holds on Friday, it may be time to jump in with 
some discipline.  In other news, Motorola and QCOM have been 
talking about increasing their Web scope with their wireless 
product offerings.  QCOM is also forging ahead with its efforts 
in conjunction with ORBCOMM Global.  The two companies are 
working on "an agreement in principle to form a satellite-based 
trailer tracking system."(-Business Wire)

WMT $46.88 -2.31 (-4.06)  On Thursday, Wal-Mart was downgraded 
along with several other retail stocks by Prudential Securities.  
WMT was dropped from an accumulate to a hold and fell -$2.31 on 
the news.  The profit taking throughout this week could be your 
chance to buy into the company as it makes a final surge towards 
its earnings announcements.  The numbers will be released on May 
11th.  We are not convinced that the downgrade will stop any
earnings run from happening, but confirm stock direction before
playing. In other news, WMT dissolved speculation that it will be
acquiring targets overseas for the time being.  Jay Fitzsimmons, 
WMT's senior v.p., said the margins in the UK were too high to 
make an acquisition profitable for shareholders.  For the short 
term, they aren't interested.  The long term outlook could prove 
to be a different story.  (WMT could have some strong support at 
the $45 level.)




***** 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         Thursday  4-29-99  
Copyright 1999, All rights reserved. 
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


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

CSCO $109.19 -2.56 (-8.19)  The selling pressure on the Nasdaq 
and general worries amidst the computer sector this week have 
hampered CSCO's run.  However, when the Nasdaq regains upward 
momentum this stock should be among the first to recover.  
Consider this a possible entry point to start a new play, 
but confirm market and stock direction anyway before buying.
Cisco confirmed they will report earnings on May 11th after 
the bell; and there is also the potential for a split 
announcement.  On Wednesday, Cisco announced they will 
acquire Amteva Technologies in a $170 mln deal.  This is 
their latest in strategic moves to improve sending data over 
a single Internet-based network.  Also in the news, General 
Instruments and Cisco will collaborate on a dual-return cable 
modem solution which allows for Radio Frequency and Telephone 
return paths to exist over a single line.  It appears Cisco is 
keeping itself on the leading edge of technology.  

CTXS $42.81 -0.63 (+4.12)  CTXS held its ground amid the havoc 
on the Nasdaq.  There was some fractional consolidation that 
occurred yesterday and today, but in all regards this is more 
than acceptable.  Prior to this, the stock made advances for 6
consecutive days topping $13. With CTXS 4-5 points above the 
bullish 10 dma indicator and other technicals also positive, 
a strong bounce may be in the near future. After this breather, 
its only barrier is the 52-week high at $53.75. But please, 
confirm market sentiment and the stock's direction before you 
begin a new play.  And just as a reminder, use stops to protect 
your profits. 

NITE $145.41 +11.41 (+28.47) Knight has been showing off its 
popularity the last two days even as the online group takes 
a breather.  The stock bounced off of support around $125 on 
the open Wednesday and started a new move higher.  Today's close 
puts the stock at a new closing high, which we all know is 
another bullish sign.  The fuel came from the company's CEO
who was quoted as saying "Transaction numbers are running 
well ahead of last quarter".  Not too shabby since last quarter
was considered incredible.  With splits on the horizon from
EGRP and SCH, as well as NITE, we see more positive trading
days ahead.  Tighten up the stops as you go to secure your
profits.

MFNX $80.50 -0.44 (+1.50) We cautioned Tuesday that a 
pullback or consolidation may be near.  Sure enough the 
price fell back around $4 yesterday, and reached down 
another $4 today to touch $76.50 intraday.  The good news 
is that volume stepped up late in the afternoon to raise 
the price back over $80 by the end of today's trading.  
Using the 3,5,7 day trading model, we may have found the 
bottom, NASDAQ market willing. There is no news on the 
wires that would move the price, except Motley Fool 
suggesting that it might make a good Mother's Day gift.  
Maybe so.  With a 2:1 split coming on May 18 (maybe 
earnings then too) we anticipate more gains over the next 
few days until the real split run begins.  Now's the time 
to scale into a position.  Your Mom will thank you.  
Remember to confirm market direction before playing and use 
stops to protect your profits.

DELL $41.06 -0.56 (-1.94) As one of the 5 generals making 
up the NASDAQ, Dell suffered as a result of "flavor of the 
week" rotation back into cyclicals.  Dell has been down 
with the NASDAQ over the last 3 trading days.  If you 
believe that following 5 straight days of NASDAQ rises, 
there will be 3 days of consolidation, we may have a buying 
opportunity here, market willing.  Conversely, Dell has had 
a habit lately of swinging well below its 30 DMA ($41) 
before it recovers, so there may be more to fall.  Earnings 
aren't until May 18 and support is at $36.  Wait for a 
clear bounce off $40 or target shoot based on your own 
research.  From the H&Q conference via Dow Jones news, 
"(CFO, Tom) Meredith said Dell's (DELL) consumer PC sales, 
which make up 5% of the company's total revenue, have been 
growing at six to nine times the average rate of growth for 
the industry over the past three years."  Confirm market 
direction before playing.

SUNW $57.81 -3.63 (-4.94) From Tuesday, ". . . airplane 
losing power after take-off. . .perhaps signaling a stall."  
Yep!  But after 3 days of healthy selling in the technology 
sector, we think NASDAQ and SUNW are due for a bounce 
north, especially since Sun never remains very long below 
its 30 DMA.  That said, in the news from the Hambrecht and 
Quist conference, Sun VP and Controller George Reyes spoke 
glowingly of Sun's plans to ".com the world" and added "Sun 
Microsystems is well positioned to capitalize on industry 
changes, and if we continue to execute, there is a 
significant upside to the company."  We agree.  Confirm 
market direction before starting a play.

YHOO $175.00 +1.50 (-12.69) After 2 days of lower closes 
following AOL and AMZN earnings, and with the market's 
philosophy to "sell on fact", YHOO eked out a small gain 
today closing within $0.50 of its intraday high.  In our 
book, this is good.  In short, it seems that techs and 
Internets are due for a rebound following rotation into 
cyclicals this week, not to mention that YHOO doesn't 
remain below its 30 DMA very long.  Market sentiment and 
momentum, not the news, are driving the price of these 
stocks.  Bellwethers AOL and AMZN both met the upper end of 
the earnings whisper range showing there is nothing wrong 
with the Internets, just profit taking.  Market willing, 
YHOO is poised to move up again.  Confirm market direction 
first.  Remember, Internet = high risk!

EGRP $116.00 +9.81 (+11.94) Though EGRP traded down sharply 
yesterday, today's rise was encouraging as it came with 
about 50% greater than average volume.  The volume increase 
was really notable at the end of the day, as EGRP's price 
rose along with it.  Now with over 1,000,000 accounts and 
record-breaking trading revenue, EGRP has turned its sights 
on advertising spending ($60 million this quarter) to 
strengthen its brand image among the general population in 
efforts to attract new business.  From reports at the 
Hambrecht and Quist conference, EGRP will offer up its next 
generation trading screens in 3 weeks and is in tests to 
offer service in Japan and Sweden following its recent 
entry into Australia and Canada.  Earlier this week, they 
set a 2:1 split to be effective on May 21.  Careful, 
despite a "financial" appearance, EGRP behaves like an 
Internet and carries a HIGH DEGREE OF RISK.  Confirm market 
direction first

FDX $110.25 +2.81 (-4.81)  Yesterday FedEx was down over 5% 
after Schroder reduced its rating to "perform in line" from 
"outperform significantly", even as Salomon Smith Barney 
initiated coverage with "outperform". Other reasons for the 
loss include a weakness in the Internets, higher oil prices, 
and an unconfirmed report of acquisition talks between FDX and 
MSAS Global Logistics. It was encouraging to see FDX add $2.81 
today and we expect FDX to take off again as it heads toward its 
split one week from today. In the news, FedEx is investigating 
how a package of radioactive iridium sent from Boston to Mexico 
wound up in a FedEx cargo shed in London 10 days later.

ADBE $63.25 -1.50 (+.25)  Adobe set another 52-week high 
yesterday of $66.50 before succumbing to pressure in the tech 
sector. Today it lost $1.50, but we are not giving up on this 
play. After moving up 5 straight days in a row, it was due for 
a breather. The stock remains above its 10 dma and MACD is 
positive, as are other technical indicators. Adobe has momentum 
to keep going--this dip looks buyable. No news.

HWP $78.38 -.94 (+1.25) PC makers lost ground over the last 2 
days as investors rotated out of techs and into cyclicals. Many 
analysts think that this is the beginning of a shift away from 
the leaders into stocks with lower PE ratios. Others think that 
Techs will move higher after a breather--last week's rotation 
was sure short-lived! If you believe the techs will head up again, 
the dip in HWP presents a buying opportunity for an option player. 
The sharp sell-off late in the day today was arrested almost 
immediately with buying. HWP had already started an earnings run
following IBM's strong numbers. In the news: HWP is making 
several deals that will allow it to benefit more from e-commerce 
and feed into its e-services plan. For instance, a $35 million 
stake in Broadvision and partnerships with Ariba and BEA will 
help HWP compete with rival Netscape, which is now teamed up 
with Sun. Analysts are very positive on these deals, which 
they call very forward-looking and representative of a new 
agility in the normally conservative company.

CMVT $62.88 -.13 (-2.31) CMVT had a negative day on Wednesday
and then started out a bit lower and Thursday.  Toward the
end of the day, CMVT made a comeback to close virtually
flat.  With the beating the Nasdaq has taken, we feel CMVT
has held reasonable well.  With a bounce in Tech stocks, we
feel CMVT will profit.  We could see a bounce off the $60
level.

ANF $91.88 -6.13 (-4.00) We saw ANF stay strong this week
until today.  ANF dropped over $6 with no news to account
for it.  The reason we are keeping ANF is that the stock
bounced off its support level and closed over $2 higher 
than its low of the day.  Watch for market direction,
especially in the Retailers, before jumping in.  A bounce
off the $90 level could provide a good risk reward 
situation.  An earnings run may ensue shortly.

RNWK $215 +31.00 (+35.00) RNWK has been a great play this
week.  Even with the Nasdaq decline and a drop in many
Internet plays, RNWK has continued up.  RNWK continues to
announce more and more companies and websites that are
using their product.  There is always the likelihood of
profit taking, but we feel RNWK is poised to trade higher,
especially if we see a bounce in the Nasdaq.  Remember,
Internet = Risk!


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

ELN $51.69 -3.31 (-8.06)  Exceptionally strong volume is the 
key to ELN's descent.  The stock dived over 5 points in the 
past two days.  As of today, it's new 52-week low is $49.25 
positioning the stock almost 20 points below the 200 dma.  
Remember, last Friday Elan posted excellent 1Q earnings but
investors have been punishing the drug sector almost relent-
lessly.  Keep "caution" in mind on this put play.  Bargain 
hunters may be right around the corner. (tighten those stops)

NSOL $77.50 -1.75 (-2.50) Another day, another drop for NSOL 
as selling in the Internet sector continues thanks to EBAY, 
AOL and AMZN.  Not that these companies didn't report good 
earnings but we are seeing a normal post-earnings sell-off that 
has triggered selling in the entire industry (except eBay).  
NSOL dropped down to $72 on a low today and is now at a 50% 
discount to its all time high reached last month.  Still no 
change in momentum as investors continue to search for issues 
with a clearer financial outlook.  In the news on Wednesday, 
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
announced that Domain Direct and Virtual Internet will be the 
next two companies allowed to register domain names and 
addresses on the web.  Yet another piece of NSOL's pie given 
away by the government.  

PG $93.50 +1.13 (+3.00) PG traded down near $92 both Wednesday 
and Thursday before recovering to end higher today.  The chart 
held true with resistance at the 50-dma at $95.  The stock is
searching for a bottom as it has fallen from the $100 price
just a week ago.  We think it is likely to retest support at 
the $89 range before sustaining any meaningful rally.  No news
has kept trading quiet.  Look for the decline to continue but 
watch for any breakout above $95 as time to close out your play.

MU $37.38 -1.00 (-.50)  After adding $2.63 on Wednesday, MU 
moved lower again today with a $1.00 loss. Be aware that while 
MU is still weak and heading down, this put now has 2 strikes 
against it. First came the lukewarm Needham and Co. upgrade 
(avoid to hold) we reported in Tuesday's letter. Then on 
Wednesday, Joseph Osha at Merrill Lynch reinstated coverage 
with a "near-term accumulate" and set a price target of $55. 
MU got a pop from this news, but it just wasn't enough to 
reverse its downward momentum. MU is now down 25% on the year. 
With memory chip prices so low, MU has further to drop, but 
a third upgrade with a little more guts behind it could spell 
doom for this put.

FNM $72.50 +.69 (+.19) FNM did as anticipated the beginning 
of this week, but decided to move back up to the high end of 
the channel on Thursday.  Though it did move back up, FNM 
has stayed within the channel and this presents another 
buying opportunity.  Financials have been in favor, yet FNM
has failed to break through its resistance.  Confirm direction
before starting a new play.



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

EMC - EMC Corp. $107.13 -3.13 (-3.87)

EMC can emcee your memory.  EMC is the #1 maker (ahead of IBM) 
of mainframe computer disk memory hardware and software.  The 
company makes RAID (redundant array of independent disks) 
memory storage and retrieval systems for larger mainframe 
computers as well as desktop PCs.  EMC markets its memory 
products under the name Symmetrix.  Other products let users 
manage remote data and share information across networks of 
different computers.  EMC continues to broaden its product 
portfolio, strengthen alliances, and expand its global presence  
to create more platform-independent systems. (from Hoovers)

EMC has had a very rough couple of weeks.  However, at 
$105 it is looking attractive.  While chart technicians
can see that there is an absolute bottom at $95, we feel 
that $100 is our short term bottom (and we may not even
fall that low).  Definitely practice entry point management
and target shooting is allowed.  Take your time playing 
this one, the split run may not start for a few days.  The
ex-date for the split is June 1st.

EMC continues to add companies to its client list, the latest
being Morgan Stanley.  EMC has had some strong profit taking
and now looks poised to trend upward.  We also feel we could
see a technical bounce after the strong sell off in the techs
this week. 

BUY CALL MAY-105 EMB-EA OI=1172 at $ 7.63 SL=5.75
BUY CALL JUN-105 EMB-FA OI= 372 at $11.00 SL=8.75
BUY CALL JUN-110*EMB-FB OI= 935 at $ 8.63 SL=6.75
BUY CALL JUN-115 EMB-FC OI= 461 at $ 6.50 SL=4.75

Picked on Apr.29th at $107.13  PE = 54
Change since picked   +$ 0.00  52 week low =$ 40.19
Analysts Ratings    9-6-2-0-0  52 week high=$134.94
Last earnings  04/99 est 0.40  actual 0.41 
Next earnings  07-22 est 0.48  versus 0.36
Average daily volume = 4.54 mln
Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=EMC&d=3m




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

LOW $52.25 -3.50 (-4.31 this wk)

Lowe's Companies provides home decor, home construction and home
improvement supplies for projects around your home.  This is 
one of the nation's largest retailers.  The company owns more
than 484 stores nationwide which cater to do-it-yourself and 
commercial customers.  Its secret to success is the way in 
distributes products quickly to its customers through advanced 
distribution centers which help to reduce costs. Their products
include lighting products, home building supplies, home decor, 
lumber, paint, carpet, tools, cabinets, heating and cooling 
systems and many other odd and ends.  They recently acquired 
Eagle Hardware to compliment its current stores. 

LOW was the victim of the dreaded downgrade today by Prudential
Securities.  Analyst Wayne Hood lowered his rating on many of
the retailers but was especially hard on LOW.  He lowered to a
hold from a strong buy.  Talk about one extreme to the other.  
The stock reacted by closing near the day-low and establishing
a new short-term low.  The entire industry was plagued by profit
taking today due to these downgrades but LOW has looked weak 
for the past few sessions since breaking through its 50-dma.  
Watch for a technical bounce tomorrow as a chance to open a new
play.  The next support we see is at the 200-dma around $46.

BUY PUT MAY-55*LOW-QK OI=517 at $4.38 SL=2.50
BUY PUT JUN-50 LOW-RJ OI= 37 at $2.56 SL=1.25

Average Daily Volume = 1.56 mln

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



*****************************************************
COMBINATION PLAYS   
*****************************************************
Stocks were definitely mixed!

Wednesday, April 28

U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday, as cyclical components that
benefit from economic strength pushed the Dow average to another
record high, while technology stocks plunged under the weight of
falling Internet stocks. The most-watched index closed 13 points
higher at 10,845 after a late afternoon rally. The Nasdaq index
plunged 52 to 2,550 as internet stocks like AMZN and AOL led the
group downward. In the broader market, advancing issues continued
to lead declines (17 to 13) on active volume of 947 mil. shares
on the NYSE.

Tuesday's new plays (positions/prices):

QNTM JUN20C/MAY20C $0.62 debit  (down almost $2 at the open)
QNTM AUG20C/MAY20C $1.81 debit  (and both less than our target!)
AEOS MAY65P/MAY70P $1.00 credit (slightly better than expected)
WCOM MAY75P/MAY80P $0.62 credit (the best price was $0.68)
BRCM JUN70C/JUN80C $4.75 debit  (down $5 at the close...Ouch!)

Portfolio plays:

Almost all of our 'new plays' opened down on Wednesday and some
of the entry prices were better than expected. The problem is,
that won't help much if the trend continues. QNTM was probably
the quickest of the group, down almost $2 at 9:40 but there was
just enough speculation to allow us to enter favorably before
the volatility completely faded. AEOS, WCOM and BRCM were also
priced at the open but none of them appear completely safe at
the moment. XCIT has been trading near a $12 credit for the
last few days and with the uncertainty in the internet issues,
we suggest you take your profits now (about $3.00) rather than
risk a loss in the sector-wide retreat. AMAT was a worrisome
play (from Sunday's comments) and we decided to pull-the-plug
with the chip sector falling from its highs last week. The
MAY55C was sold for $5.25 to maintain a credit in the play and
and we will close the short position as the stock price starts
to firm.

Thursday, April 29

The Dow climbed to its third straight record close Thursday on
news that American workers' wages rose at a slow pace, further
proof that interest rates will remain unchanged. The blue-chip
index gained 32 points to 10,878, within striking distance of
the 11,000 milestone. The Nasdaq Composite index continued its
fall as Internet stocks slumped further, finishing 21 points
lower at 2,529. In the broader market, advancers led declines
16 to 12 on active volume of 964 million shares on the NYSE.

Portfolio plays:

WCOM posted a better-than-expected, threefold increase in first
quarter profits, but the stock fell on concerns about a possible
future purchase. In a conference call, the CEO all but admitted
that MCI WorldCom would make an acquisition that would hurt its
near-term profits. A buy-out of money-losing Nextel would dampen
their near-term profits by as much as 25%. Luckily, the stock
bounced technically off of a recent low near $82.50. We will
watch this one closely tomorrow to determine whether a roll-out
(at that support level) or complete exit is in order.

With the technology and Internet markets softening, you may want
to close the profitable plays in those groups for smaller returns
rather than risk a future loss. We will have a weekly summary of
our activities in Sunday's edition.

Good Luck!
******************************************************************
				- NEW PLAYS -
******************************************************************
NSM - National Semiconductor  $12.56     *** Volatility Play ***

National Semiconductor makes analog, digital, and mixed-signal
integrated circuits used in computers, communications and other
networking equipment. They are developing the next generation of
microchips, called 'system-on-a-chip'; a microprocessor and all
associated circuitry on a single unit. These products will be
used in electronics products such as set-top boxes and network
PCs. The company's customers include Compaq, General Motors,
Samsung, and Siemens and subsidiary Cyrix makes Intel-compatible
microprocessors.

Shares of National Semiconductor moved higher today even as much
of the chip industry fell on news that investors are worried the
capital-equipment companies will fall prey to weak chip prices.
NSM  moved-up after a BT Alex Brown analyst hiked the stock's
rating to "buy" from "market outperform," on a positive revenue
outlook from progress in the company's business trends.

NSM recently announced a broad line of logic, interface and other
analog devices in high-reliability military and aerospace systems.
The devices include voltage-level translators, transceivers, a
CMOS quad differential line driver/receiver pair, new frequency
synthesizers, regulators, operational amplifiers and phase-locked
loop devices. These products allow designers the performance,
flexibility and reliability they need for applications in harsh
environments such as avionics and spacecraft/missile applications.

We favor the positive outlook for the chip industry and most
analysts agree that the group is recovering. The high implied
volatility (overpriced) in the May options will allow us to take
a favorable long-term position in this issue (at a discount) or
profit from the erosion of the short-term premiums.

PLAY (conservative/calendar spread):

BUY  CALL NOV-15 NSM-KC OI=176  A=$2.12
SELL CALL MAY-15 NSM-EC OI=3985 B=$0.43
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$1.50 TARGET ROI=100%

PLAY (speculative/calendar spread):

BUY  CALL JUN-15 NSM-FC OI=1207 A=$0.87
SELL CALL MAY-15 NSM-EC OI=3985 B=$0.43
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$0.38 TARGET ROI=100%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=NSM&d=3m
******************************************************************
TXN - Texas Instruments  $105.63   *** Sector Consolidation ***

Texas Instruments (TI) leads the digital signal processor market.
DSPs convert signals such as sound and light into digital signals.
They are used in programmable products such as VCRs/camcorders,
automobiles, computer peripherals and in more than 85 million
cellular phones. TI continues to pioneer new technologies such as
its digital light processor technology that uses tiny mirrors to
create an ultrasharp display for TVs and home computers. TI sold
its defense electronics/memory chip units to focus on its core
DSP business.

Earlier in the week, a report stated that most hardware companies
are back on track, barring any major earnings disappointments. It
also said that these companies are still providing some of the
best earnings growth on the Street. After that news came out, the
sector rebounded strongly. Today the semiconductor/chip equipment
makers fell broadly after a Wall Street analyst cautioned traders
about their high price levels. He said chip prices are declining
again, and the lower prices may make it harder for the big memory
chip makers to buy new equipment yet he continues to rate Applied
Materials and Teradyne a "strong" buy. Hmmmm...

I think most of us were happier with the report from earlier in
the week and I believe that we are just seeing some necessary
consolidation in the group. TXN will probably continue lower
tomorrow but it has great support near $95.

Try to use the downward movement in tomorrow's trading to improve
the overall spread credit.

PLAY (conservative/credit spread):

BUY  PUT MAY-85 TXN-QQ OI=6548 A=$0.50
SELL PUT MAY-90 TXN-QR OI=3985 B=$1.00
INITIAL NET CREDIT TARGET=$0.62 ROI=14%

Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=TXN&d=3m
******************************************************************
GET - Gaylord Entertainment  $31.06     *** Technicals Only ***

Gaylord Entertainment is a entertainment & communication company
operating in three industries: entertainment, cable networks, and
broadcasting. Gaylord's businesses includes its flagship; Grand
Ole Opry music show and the Opryland Hotel. The company's cable
network operations consist of CMT Latin America, CMT Asia and Z
Music Television. Its broadcasting operations include a Dallas
TV station and three radio stations in Nashville and its Opryland
theme park is changing into a entertainment-oriented shopping mall.

The company just announced favorable quarterly earnings and the
revenues for the first quarter of 1999 were $113.1 million, a 4%
increase over the first quarter of 1998. The increase was due to
the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, which had solid results in the
initial 1999 reporting period.

The company also announced an agreement for CBS to acquire the
entire interest in the entities that own KTVT (Dallas TV station)
in exchange for $485 million of CBS common stock.

They have three solid core franchises for future growth and the
recent Charter and KTVT transactions will provide them with the
sources of capital to strengthen the company and make strategic
acquisitions. The performance of the Opryland Hotel is expected
to continue in the second quarter of this year, partially offset
by the start up expenses at Bass Pro Shops. The result of these
issues is an expected overall decline in operating cash flow of
10-15% in the second quarter of 1999, with a strengthening of
results in the last half of the year.

We think the volatile technical trend (and the cyclical nature
of the companies' revenues) combined with the undervalued option
prices make this an excellent candidate for a debit straddle.

PLAY (conservative/debit straddle):

BUY CALL SEP-30 GET-IF OI=113 A=$2.81
BUY PUT  SEP-30 GET-UF OI=20  A=$1.50
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$4.12 TARGET ROI=75%

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



*****************************************************
Please send your questions on spreads and combination 
plays to:

ray@OptionInvestor.com
*****************************************************






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