Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Thursday, 06/03/1999

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The Option Investor Newsletter         Thursday  6-3-99
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)
        6-3-99          High     Low     Volume   Advances Decline
DOW    10663.69 + 85.80 10667.18 10577.26  720,290k  1,595   1,309
Nasdaq  2403.32 - 29.09  2444.04  2402.29  819,074k  1,895   1,913 
S&P-100  657.66 +  1.97   661.62   654.15   Totals   3,490   3,222
S&P-500 1299.54 +  4.73  1304.12  1294.23            52.0%   48.0%
$RUT     435.98 -   .76   438.82   435.62
$TRAN   3420.96 -  6.64  3427.32  3397.44
VIX       27.52 +  1.29    28.28    26.44
Put/Call Ratio      .55    

The jobs are coming, the jobs are coming!

This market wrap could be summed up in two words, "jobs report."
The monthly non-farm payrolls report is due out tomorrow before
the market open and you would think the fate of the entire world
rested on the outcome. Traders are worried that the jobs report
tomorrow morning will be a blowout and the Fed will pull the 
trigger on a rate increase. Some even feel they won't wait for
the next FOMC meeting on Jun-29th. The estimate for new jobs is
225,000. Any number close to that should bring on a relief rally
and because of the severe anguish going into the report it may
take a huge number to cause a sell off. I have seen blowouts
in the past generate no reaction but with the Fed changing their
bias to increase rates it could be the spark needed.

In the things can't get worse dept, Alice Rivlin, the vice chair
of the Fed committee, announced she was resigning after the close
today and would not take part in the Jun FOMC rate meeting. Alice
is seen as a dove on the committee and favored pro-growth policies
instead of tighter rates. With Alice out of the picture it leaves
10 of the 12 governors to vote on the rates. The 12th position is
currently unfilled. While the stated reason for the resignation
was "to spend more time with her family", there are some who said
they saw it coming. Other Fed heads had been seen as distancing
themselves from her recently and feel there could have been some
disagreements among the group as to direction. In reality the 
decision comes down to Mr. Greenspan and whether or not he wants
to fight the market at this time. The Fed group has been dishing
out Fed speak in volumes the last two weeks and some feel that
any rate increase at the June meeting would be the most advertised
increase in history. The market has easily already factored in
a +.25% increase but the way it is delivered and the tone of the
bias will determine market direction after an announcement.

Another signpost on the Fed highway is the recently scheduled
testimony by Greenspan to the joint economic committee in Congress.
He basically has an open invitation to speak whenever he deems it
necessary. Rumor has it that Mr. G. just called up and requested
June-17th as a meeting date. This date is relative since it is the
day after the next CPI report. If the Fed policy was going to change
it would be an ideal opportunity for the Fed chief to explain his
reasons to Congress and the world. For the ever present conspiracy
theorists this now represents "I" day. Even if he did not announce
the actual increase, his speech would provide the justifications.
If you disagree with the conspiracy theory, I have only one warning.
Alan Greenspan NEVER does anything unplanned. Trust me.

The good news today was the market. In the face of what market
economists are calling a sure jobs blowout, the DOW held 10,600
and even bounced strongly off this magic number at the close to
post a great +86 point gain. Three days this week we broke under
10,500 yet today we held over 10,600 with a potential disaster
only hours away. This is a victory in my book. The advance/decline
line was technically positive today with 268 more advancers then
decliners. As you can see from the chart the technical halt of
the A/D slide of the last two weeks is a small victory but one
sorely needed. 


The Nasdaq also won a victory of sorts today by holding off
a late day flurry of sellers and holding the critical 2400
level. The average was in trouble from the start this morning
and only traded in positive territory twice before going
negative on the backs of the sinking Internet stocks. The
Nasdaq held to single digit losses until the last hour of 
trading when sellers fled from Internets in droves. 


The Internet sector is regarded as the most likely to suffer
if the interest rates are raised. Personally I think this is 
crazy at these levels but of course I don't have a corner on 
irrational thought in these matters. What I think we are 
seeing here is pull back to the support levels from the
drops on each of the last two Wednesdays. If you look at
the Ebay chart here you can see what I mean. Most of the
charts on Internet stocks look exactly like this. It is not
a stock fundamental thing but a sector pull back. If we
do get a mild jobs report I feel the Internet sector will
be the first and the strongest to react from it's heavily
oversold position. 

Another sector I think is primed and ready to rock is the
broker sector. After the Merrill Lynch announcement last
Tuesday the carnage has been severe and some of these 
stocks are way oversold. Even Merrill finished flat today
at -.75.

I was more convinced earlier in the day but EGRP gave 
back some of it's gains at the close. Still EGRP at -.88, 
NDB +.38, MWD -.25 and SCH -0- would lead me to believe 
the selling is over. EGRP would be my preference because 
of their size, market position, stock price and new 
Telebank relationship. Their new E*Offering site for 
IPO's is now up and running and is sure to help their 
exposure. They have a dual purpose investor draw as a 
broker and an Internet play. The way to play it is through
Telebank (TBFC). With Etrade paying 2.1 shares of EGRP
for every TBFC share that means a $1 rise in EGRP will
cause a $2.10 rise in TBFC. Leverage is what it is all

You can return the NoDoz to the store because the NYSE
decided to day to delay the extended hours until the second
quarter of 2000. They are going to wait until after Y2K and
make the transition at the same time they go to decimals
for prices. 

A side note on a past play. Dell computer has traded as low
as $31.38 this week. A far cry from their recent high of
$55. Since their fall from grace Dell has lost $55 billion
in market cap. $55 BILLION !! Their PE is still a 57 and 
they are still regarded as the best player in their field.
When they were positive earlier today I thought they might
have found a bottom but the sellers are still lurking in
force. Wait for the next earnings cycle and I would bet
on $45 again. On the down side some analysts are projecting
a $28-29 price soon. I do not see it. If you are a long
term stock holder this may be the best shot you get for
a long time.

Today was a tough one for emotional trading. Several traders
here in the office, including me, wanted desperately to be
in the market today. Of course, we also view that as suicidal
in light of the pending jobs report but we still fought the
battle. It does not matter what the number is, IF you are 
out of the market. If you are in the market it matters a
lot. As professional traders we need to only trade when we
the majority of factors line up in our favor. Holding over
an important economic event is like holding over earnings,
sudden death. Why gamble with your capital when you do not
have to? Patience is very hard but also very rewarding.

The S&P futures are down -2.00 from the close on the 
Rivlin resignation but the die has already been cast for 
tomorrow. The numbers are etched in stone. We just have to 
wait for the jobs report to be made public to see our fate.

Have a great weekend!

Jim Brown

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Market Posture
As of Market Close - Thursday, June 3, 1999 

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

DOW Industrials   10,500  11,000  10,664    Neutral   5.28
SPX S&P 500        1,325   1,360   1,300    BEARISH   5.25
OEX S&P 100          660     690     658    BEARISH   5.25
RUT Russell 2000     435     450     436    Neutral   5.28

NDX NASD 100       2,100   2,250   2,030    BEARISH   5.25
MSH High Tech      1,000   1,100   1,006    Neutral   5.28

XCI Hardware         900     920     850    BEARISH   5.20
CWX Software         600     675     666    Neutral   6.03 *
SOX Semiconductor    390     420     387    BEARISH   5.25
NWX Networking       450     490     530    BULLISH   4.22
INX Internet         550     650     451    BEARISH   5.20

BIX Banking          700     720     662    BEARISH   5.18
XBD Brokerage        450     475     395    BEARISH   5.21
IUX Insurance        645     660     647    Neutral   6.03 *

RLX Retail           900     970     883    BEARISH   4.29
DRG Drug             390     425     359    BEARISH   4.29
HCX Healthcare       780     850     730    BEARISH   4.29
XAL Airline          180     210     167    BEARISH   5.21
OIX Oil & Gas        285     310     294    Neutral   5.13

Posture Alert

Employment Data due out Friday led to a light trading day on 
Thursday. We have turned Neutral on Software as the index broke 
below key levels. We have also turned Neutral on Insurance as 
that index broke above resistance.

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


Market Sentiment
Pinnacle Capital Advisors
Thursday, June 03, 1999 


With key Employment figures due out tomorrow, the markets have been
trading very cautiously the last couple of days. You have witnessed 
much bloodshed in internet and various other high-tech sectors. 
There hasn't been much change of Pinnacle's opinion on the markets, 
however, one aspect of trading that Pinnacle Capital keeps a close 
eye on is Market Sentiment. A statistic that jumps out at us today, 
was the amount of Put Buying for the June contract, that is WAY OUT 
of the money. With the OEX trading at 657, we saw increased activity 
down around the 600 level. These speculators will need to see a pretty 
nice correction in the next two weeks just to be break-even. Considering
that these speculators are usually wrong-way, and with such bearish 
sentiment between 600-645, we are not too concerned with a major drop 
(unless Robbie Rubin resigned so he can buy front-end month, 
out-of-the-money puts). On the other side of this equation is the 
increase in out-of-the-money call buying? We saw a nice pick-up in 
call speculation between 680-750. What this tells us is that the 
bullish wrong-way traders are trying to get into the act as well. 
When you combine these two groups of wrong-ways, what you get is a 
market trading between key benchmarks. Until the Fed takes action, 
or corporate earning start piling in, or some other ground-breaking 
news, these two groups described above, will have to put in some 
OVERTIME at work to make up for their Option Losses.... 




Bullish Signs:

Mixed Signs:

Market Volatility (VIX):  
Trading at its 50-day moving average (26.35).   Next move above or 
below key benchmark will likely determine market direction over the

Advance/Decline Line:
After flattening and rolling over last week, the A/D line is beginning 
to check up and could prove Bullish if advancers can out pace decliners
in the week ahead. 

Russell 2000: 
Climbed back above the key 435 benchmark. The small cap
stocks are beginning to show strength just above its 50/100 day moving


Investor Intelligence:  
As a contrarian indicator, the percent of Bullish investors spiked 
from a week ago suggesting Bullish sentiment is picking up steam 
and investors are ignoring the selloff. 

Interest Rates:
Trading ABOVE 200dma and 5.50 Benchmark (5.936%).

Pinnacle Index:  
Overhead resistance (OEX 680-750) clocking in at 6.7 
suggesting that option speculators are expecting the market to 
advance higher.

Peak Open Interest:  
The contraian put-call ratio clocking in at .86 suggesting bullish
sentiment picking up steam.

OTM Call Analysis

As we move through June's expiration cycle, Pinnacle is tracking 
the level of call buying (OTM) between 680-750 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 680-750)

Date                 Open Interest      Change %    Alert

Friday, April 16            30,697          -
Friday, April 23            53,887       +75.5%      
Friday, April 30            65,936      +114.8%       
Friday, May 7               89,736      +192.3%     
Friday, May 14              97,861      +218.8%     
Friday, May 21             115,336      +275.0%     

June Expiration Cycle
OEX OTM Call Analysis (Open Interest June 680-750)
Date                 Open Interest     Change %    Alert

Friday, May 28           53,502        -
Tuesday, June 1          53,293        -.4%
Thursday, June 03        58,515        +9.7%  *

Market Sentiment at a Glance    Friday     Tues      Thurs  
Indicator                       (5/28)     (6/1)     (6/3)Alert

Pinnacle Index (OEX):          

                    (680-750)      6.8       6.7      9.47 *
Overhead Resistance (680-700)      3.7       3.5      5.21 *
Underlying Support  (645-660)      1.3       1.2       .85 *
                    (510-660)      3.8       3.7       .26 *

Put/Call Ratios:

CBOE Total P/C Ratio              .6          .5         .6 *
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio             .5          .4         .4 *
OEX P/C Ratio                     .8         1.2        1.1 *

Peak Open Interest (OEX):

Puts                              650        650        600 *
Calls                             670        670        670 *
P/C Ratio                         .82        .86        .93 *

Market Volatility Index (VIX):	

CBOE VIX                        26.38      27.92      27.08 *

Investors Intelligence:

Bullish                         60.90%     60.90%     61.60% *
Bearish                         28.70%     28.70%     27.70% *

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                        (5/28)     (6/1)     (6/3)

                    (680-750)      6.8       6.7      9.47 *     
Overhead Resistance (680-700)      3.7       3.5      5.21 *

OEX Close                       658.66    654.21    657.66
Underlying Support  (645-660)      1.3       1.2       .85 *
                    (510-660)      3.8       3.7       .26 *

Average ratings: 
Resistance levels 2.0 / Support Levels .5

What the Pinnacle Index is telling us:
Overhead sentiment resistance is building 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                 (5/28)     (6/1)     (6/3)

CBOE Total P/C Ratio               .63      .54        .58
CBOE Equity P/C Ratio              .50      .41        .42
OEX P/C Ratio                      .83     1.24       1.09

Peak Open Interest   Friday           Tues            Thurs
Strike/Contracts     (5/28)           (6/1)           (6/3)

Puts                 650 / 10,950    650  /  10,967   600/ 11,475
Calls                670 / 12,700    670  /  12,750   670/ 12,308
Put/Call Ratio       .82             .86              .93



Market Volatility   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   

May 21, 1999                            25.36 
May 28, 1999                            26.38
June 1, 1999                            27.92
June 3, 1999                            27.08


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 07, 1999                        56.4        31.6     
April 14, 1999                        55.9        30.5     
April 21, 1999                        56.4        30.8     
April 28, 1999                        56.1        30.7     

May 05, 1999                          58.1        27.6     
May 12, 1999                          56.9        31.0     
May 19, 1999                          60.9        28.7      
May 26, 1999                          61.6        27.7 *

Please view this in COURIER 10 font for alignment

Index     Last    Tue    Wed   Thur   Week
Dow    10663.69  36.52 -18.37  85.80 103.95
Nasdaq  2403.32 -58.49  20.38 -29.09 -67.20
$OEX     657.66  -4.45   1.48   1.97  -1.00
$SPX    1299.54  -7.58   0.55   4.73  -2.30
$RUT     435.98  -1.22  -0.72  -0.76  -2.70
$TRAN   3420.96  50.90 -39.00  -6.64   5.26
$VIX      27.52   1.54  -1.69  -0.40  -0.55

Stock             Tue    Wed   Thur   Week

MEDI      67.25  -0.75   1.75   2.63   3.63  Off and running!
ORCL      27.50   0.69   0.69   1.31   2.69  New, earnings run?
SCI       43.50  -0.81   1.12   1.69   2.00  New, recovering 
ADPT      31.31   1.06  -0.63   0.00   0.43  Bullish breakout?
BVSN      51.88  -0.13   0.50  -0.50  -0.13  Technicals positive
SONE      38.13   2.00  -0.50  -1.75  -0.25  Bullish signs
SLR       54.31  -0.69  -0.69   0.94  -0.44  Flat!
FNM       67.19  -0.63  -0.25   0.13  -0.75  Not much action
LGTO      53.81  -1.50  -0.38   0.94  -0.94  Slightly down
HWP       91.44  -4.19  -0.38   1.69  -2.88  Analyst meeting
BGEN     106.13  -1.06  -2.50   0.56  -3.00  $146 price target
ABOV      30.06  -1.13  -0.44  -1.63  -3.20  Dropped
BMCS      45.88   0.06   1.06  -4.69  -3.57  Support at $44.50
LXK      132.13  -1.44  -1.81  -0.75  -4.00  Splits June 10th
EGRP      37.38  -5.19  -1.06  -0.88  -7.13  Undervalued
CUST      51.13  -3.75  -1.63  -3.50  -8.88  Dropped
PVN       82.31  -2.38  -3.75  -7.44 -13.57  Dropped
EBAY     161.31 -10.69   2.00  -7.50 -16.19  Dropped


CVC       74.69  -2.88  -1.88   0.56  -4.20  Dow rally?
INTC      50.50  -3.38   1.25  -1.44  -3.57  Mixed sentiments
EK        67.38  -0.50  -0.31   0.56  -0.25  Ceiling at 10 dma?
UNM       54.38   0.06   0.56  -0.06   0.56  Range bound
TBH       84.63  -0.50   1.25   0.38   1.13  Lock in profits!
MEA       39.50   1.94   0.38  -0.19   2.13  Sitting still
IR        66.06   2.19  -0.63   0.81   2.37  Use stops!
IP        52.44   2.75   1.06  -1.38   2.43  Back to selling
ABF       28.56  -0.50  -0.69   3.88   2.69  Dropped
CLX      104.06   2.94  -0.44   0.63   3.13  Volume dwindling
DOW      126.00   4.94   1.75  -2.19   4.50  Nice haircut!

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.


CUST $51.13 -3.50 (-8.87)  We continued to carry CUST this 
week with cautions. A big turnaround in the Internets with 
volume returning to the sector could still send it higher, as 
could the website previewing of its new product. However, the 
preview could be as late as the very end of June, and who knows 
how soon big buying volume will return to the Internets? The 
stock has been slipping lower each day. We have to drop CUST, 
but we will be watching it for another opportunity. 

PVN  $82.31 -7.44 (-13.57)  In the three trading sessions so 
far this week, PVN has given back more than the $12.50 it 
added last Thursday and Friday after all the upgrades. Negative 
articles quoting customers and employees continue to paint the 
company in a bad light. Stockholders are afraid to remain in 
the stock and new investors are afraid to buy. Even bargain 
hunters who agree with all the analysts that this is a buying 
opportunity stayed away ahead of tomorrow's employment report. 
PVN is a rate-sensitive stock, and inflation fears are thwarting 
any rally. A non-inflationary report tomorrow could result in 
buying, but a negative report could just as easily send this 
stock further south. We have to drop PVN.

EBAY $161.31 -7.50 (-16.19) Did we add EBAY to the calls list
this week?  Wasn't a good move.  EBAY has been unable to show
strength and it seems the Barron's article on AMZN has placed
an anchor around EBAY's neck.  Though we feel the Internet is
poised to run soon, we just don't feel confident in keeping
EBAY on the call list.  When EBAY and AMZN, among others, 
decide to make their move, we will look at adding them again.

ABOV $30.06 -1.63 (-3.20)  ABOV creeped lower again in trading 
on Thursday.  Even though it has received upgrades from some 
analysts, its upward movement has been hampered by the overall 
market conditions.  The Internet sector is still being picked 
on as investors shy away in light of a possible interest rate 
hike.  The job reports to be released on Friday morning could 
further impact the markets and thus affect ABOV.  We have to 
drop ABOV as a call.  We gave it ample time to make a move.  
Right now, there are better plays out there and we are tired 
of waiting for investor confidence to return to the 
Internet sector.


ABF $28.56 +3.88 (+2.68) Today we got the inevitable bounce 
in ABF's stock.  The downward spiral that begun more than two
weeks ago finally came to an end.  There was an article that
hit the news around 11:00am EST about the U.S. Postal Service 
teaming up with ABF to deliver packages.  It sounds like a good 
deal for ABF and it sparked a convincing rally.  It also triggered
a sell off for ABF's competitors like Federal Express.  Although
the news article was interesting and positive, the real story 
is in the stock's decline.  It had pierced its 200-dma with 
ease and just kept going.  When a stock is sinking that quickly
its nice go along for the ride.  But it also provides a good 
example of the importance of stop losses.  If you had them set, 
you should have been successfully taken out of the play.  So 
we are going to drop ABF from the put list fearing the bounce
may be as violent as the drop.

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

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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 
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editor and staff of The Option Investor Newsletter may own, 
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information provided has been obtained from sources deemed 
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The newsletter staff makes every effort to provide timely 
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delivery times due to factors beyond our control.

The Option Investor Newsletter          Thursday  6-3-99  
Copyright 1999, All rights reserved. 
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


MEDI $67.25 +2.63 (+4.37)  MEDI was up 5 days in a row last 
week and due for a pause. After a slight decline on Tuesday 
and a gap down at the open yesterday, MEDI was off and running 
again. Today it set a new closing high and also set a new 
intra-day high of $68.63. Volume was a little better than 
average. MEDI is one of the biotech companies presenting at a 
forum this weekend, which may call more investor attention to 
this stock. In addition, in drug stocks are seeing renewed 
interest, and biotechnology stocks as a subset of the drug 
sector may benefit.  MEDI is on a good run, and should continue 
moving higher, if the market can avoid an interest rate meltdown. 

BGEN $106.13 +.56 (-1.93)  BGEN has experienced a few days of 
consolidation, but finally started up again today. Volume, 
however remains light, as it has been all week. Potential 
buyers are waiting for the jobs report tomorrow. Volume should 
increase if the news is good, and that could send the stock 
price toward the new $146/share price target given by ABN-AMRO 
on Tuesday. Wait for more volume to return to BGEN before 
initiating new plays.   

LGTO $53.81 +0.94 (-0.94) Down slightly yesterday, up again 
today, the whole market is going nowhere fast.  Even so, 
the technical chart is still nicely positive.  Volume is 
still only 50%-60% of normal, thus it will be tough to get 
much of a gain until conviction (read that volume) comes 
back into the stock.  The only news coming out is that LGTO 
now offers immediate web-based access to its licensing 
solutions, which won't shake the walls to its foundations.  
Again, we need to see volume and a rising market to enter 
the play.  Set your stops to get out if the market opens 
lower tomorrow from an unfavorable non-farm employment 
tomorrow.  Confirm market direction before playing.

SLR $54.31 +0.94 (-0.44) Just like watching paint dry.  
Still, nobody wants to sell, which indicates support at 
this level.  Then again, nobody seems itching to buy 
either, given the overall low market volumes lately.  
Did we mention too that the technical chart is flatter than 
a pancake?  Earnings are June 14 (company confirmed).  
Market willing, we could get an earnings run.  The only 
news is a new product release from a wholly owned 
subsidiary.  Considering the size of SLR, the news is 
really inconsequential to the stock.  Tomorrow morning, we 
get the non-farm employment release.  If it looks bad, SLR 
will get hurt.  Obviously, don't start a play until this 
hurdle is cleared, volume is increasing and positive market 
direction has been established. 

HWP $91.44 +1.69 (-2.88) Volume is still on the light side.  
Nonetheless, HWP got a little boost today, stemming from an 
analyst meeting, wherein HWP stated they would have 
"double-digit" revenue gains in the second half of 1999, 
despite that their margins would drop slightly and the cost 
to split the company will be great.  Keep an eye on the 
chart - it's looking just a little tired, though still 
positive.  Not to worry, BT Alex Brown upgraded HWP to a 
buy rating today.  Though the week has been flat, HWP has 
shown some strength through most of yesterday and today.  A 
good payroll report and more volume would be nice to see 
before entering the play.  Of course, confirm market 
direction before playing and use stops.  

EGRP $37.38 -0.88 (-7.13) Recall that we put EGRP on the 
"probation list" Tuesday night for being the injured player 
too good to throw off the team. . .it's still true.  
Technically speaking, EGRP's chart makes it look like a 
put.  However, we think that EGRP is a leader in its sector 
and is "undervalued" as far as Internet plays go.  Thus we 
expect that the rebound will be big when it finally comes.  
"You are using that as a basis for the play?" you ask.  
Sort of; here's the real play.  We are really suggesting 
that you look at Telebanc Financial Corp (TBFC, $71.63) as 
a LEVERAGE PLAY.  Since EGRP just announced they would 
acquire TBFC, exchanging 1 EGRP share for 2.1 TBFC shares, 
that means for every $1 move in EGRP, TBFC moves $2.10!  Of 
course, that leverage can work against us on the way down 
too, making this a HIGH-RISK play.  We've listed some TBFC 
strikes below which we think look good, market willing.  
Don't blindly jump in; confirm market direction first and 
remember your stops.  Strong stomachs only!

BUY CALL JUN-70 TFU-FN OI=210 at $7.00 SL=5.25
BUY CALL JUN-75 TFU-FO OI=256 at $4.75 SL=3.00
BUY CALL JUL-75 TFU-GO OI= 65 at $9.75 SL=7.25

BMCS $45.88 -4.69 (-3.57) BMCS took a beating today as the stock
dropped just under 10%.  The only news we could find to account
for such a drop was a downgrade by Hoak Breedlove Wesneski to 
a "hold".  Today was the first drop in five trading days for
BMCS, but it was a big one.  Support for the stock is at $44.50,
the site of BMCS's 200-dma.  Make sure to confirm market and
stock direction before buying back in.  Volume was on the light
side today, so we feel this drop was overdone.

FNM $67.19 +0.13 (-0.75) FNM didn't have much action today as
the stock traded in a range from $66.63 to $67.44.  We feel 
traders are waiting to see the results of tomorrows employment
results.  If the report shows a definite concern with inflation,
FNM might test or break its lower channel of $66.  If the numbers
show little inflation, FNM should start to trend toward its upper
channel of $73.  The stock has consistently tested $66, but has
yet to break and hold below this level.

LXK $132.13 -0.75 (-4.00) LXK has struggled a bit this week,
but we are keeping it as a play.  LXK has a stock split coming
up on June 10th and we feel the stock will run into this date.
Unfortunately, LXK has not shown much strength over the last 
four days.  LXK has support at the site of its 30-dma at $128.
If the stock breaks this support, things won't look too rosy. 
We do not expect the stock to break support and hopefully see a
nice split run.  LXK reached a 52 week high last Friday when
it reach an intra-day high of $145.  The last three day's 
drops have been on below average volume.  A lot of LXK's
drop can be considered just plain old profit taking.

SONE $38.13 -1.75 (-0.25) SONE dropped today on very light
volume.  The stock did close $1.13 off of its daily lows,
showing a bit of strength.  There isn't any news on the stock,
but we feel as more attention gets focused on Internet finance,
that SONE will benefit.  SONE has a very high put/call ratio,
which contrarians would interpret as a bullish sign.  When
too many people feel the stock is headed down, it often helps
hold the stock up.  Put buyers have already placed their bet
and it will take more people to be bearish to continue the

BVSN $51.88 -0.50 (-0.13) BVSN traded down slightly today, but
still has a positive chart pattern.  Technicals show positive
for the stock and the price is still above its 10-dma.  BVSN
again performed better than its industry, as the sector traded
down close to 2%.  BVSN was rated "buy" in new coverage by 
analyst Peter Ausnit at Volpe, Brown Whelan & Co., on June 2nd.   
BVSN also announced yesterday that their software has been chosen 
to power Xerox's corporate site.  Be cautious trading BVSN.

ADPT $31.31 +0.00 (+0.44) ADPT closed even on the close after 
trading in positive territory for most of the trading day.  
We still like the looks of ADPT going forward.  The chart shows
that the stock has had five consecutive days of higher highs
and higher lows on an intra-day basis.  This is a positive sign 
for a bullish breakout.  ADPT did trade as high as $32.63 today,
which is a new 52 week high.  We still like the fact that ADPT 
trades with a PE ratio well below the industry average.  Wait 
for stock and market direction before buying new calls.  


INTC $50.50 -1.44 (-3.57)  Sentiment was mixed among analysts 
regarding Intel's acquisition of Dialogic.  MSDW's Mark 
Edelstone reiterated his "strong buy" rating on INTC and 
suggested that the deal with Dialogic was "expected to offer 
minimal dilution".  Other analysts also came forward to 
reiterate their "hold" ratings on the stock.  Yet some whispered 
Intel may be in danger of trying to put too much together too 
fast.  First thing Wednesday morning, INTC was on the move 
heading for the other side of $50.  Then after the analysts' 
remarks hit the press, the stock had a late day rally.  Today 
this tech stock fell lower in sympathy with the tech sector 
and closed near its lows for the day - a good characteristic 
for a put play.  INTC had opened at $52.50, but steadily 
dropped below its old support ($52-53) and settled in at 
around $51 for the afternoon.  Then on a surge of volume, 
the stock plunged and the closing bell saved it from further 
losses.  The delayed purchase of Level One may also have had 
some influence on the stock's behavior.  On Wednesday, Intel
announced that the merger expected to close in the 2Q would 
be delayed until the 3Q due to delays with regulatory filings. 
However, the details of the stock swap are the same as was 
originally agreed upon in March.  Intel will pay .86 of a 
share for every whole share of Level One.

CVC $74.69 +0.56 (-1.32)  CVC free-fell almost 5 points 
Wednesday morning to hit a daily low of $71.25 before 
attempting a recovery in the afternoon.  However, the stock 
still closed down -1.88 at $74.13 keeping it well below its 
50 dma of $78-79.  Today CVC traded mostly in the $72-73 range, 
but rallied with the DOW late afternoon and captured a 
fractional lead.  Two days don't confirm a new support level, 
but one may be forming around $72-74.  A conservative player 
will look for downward confirmation on strong volume before
beginning a new play.

EK $67.38 +.56 (-.25)  We have been expecting an up day or 
two for Kodak and we got it today on strong volume, although 
it closed near its low of the day. Kodak had been down the 
previous 8 days in a row, and the cycle was due for a pause. 
If it moves up again tomorrow, it will hit its 10 dma, which 
may provide a ceiling. All technical indicators are still 
negative. At a conference sponsored by Prudential Securities, 
Kodak said that it is targeting "brand-loyal" consumers, which 
the company claims make up 70% of its market share. EK claims 
that it has not lost market share year over year, and that the 
industry study showing otherwise reflects switching by consumers 
in the most price-sensitive group--which buys less often and is 
less likely to buy premium products. Longer term, the strategy 
is probably a good one, but in the short term, the low-end, 
low-margin summer film buying makes up a significant chunk of 
EK's current market share that is getting squeezed. EK is still 
in a downtrend, but eventually longer-term investors will go 
bargain hunting (its PE is only 16) or it will meet support 
in the $61-$62 range.

IP $52.44 -1.38 (+2.44) Its back to the selling in IP today
after a Georgia Pacific upgrade on Tuesday had been supporting
the sector.  Volatility in the NASDAQ and DOW had also given
IP some support from investors looking to park their money 
in cyclical stocks to weather the storm.  But with an interest
rate hike now considered certain, the broader markets are 
calming.  This may help our play as money should flow back
out of this group, market willing.  The $50 price is the short 
term low set last week and will be the new support target for 
buyers.  After that we are looking at $46 to be possible support.       

IR $66.06 +0.81 (+2.38) IR is trying to make a stand at $65.  
The stock had received support at this point after bouncing 
off the 50-dma at $62.50 on Tuesday.  But signs of a strong 
rally are lacking.  For instance, you may have noticed the 
volume the past two days.  It has been very light. Also there 
hasn't been any positive news to curb the slide.  Not to mention 
a lack of fundamentals due to low paper and pulp prices.  So 
we are skeptical of a move upward from here.  But if the market 
jitters continue, this will be perceived as a safe investment.  
So have your stops placed accordingly.  As we mentioned above, 
support from the 50-dma is at $62.50 but after that it could 
be free fall mode down to about $53.00.    

UNM $54.38 -0.06 (+0.56) Trading in UNM has been range bound
this week.  The stock traded above average volume but was unable
to escape the $54 area.  We see this as a consolidation phase
as the stock continues to proceed down to the 50-dma.  The
Insurance industry remains weak as most major players took
losses on the day.  The market in general is still searching
for direction as interest rate concerns linger.  We are 
expecting the market to confirm direction on our play but keep 
your stops set in case of a reversal.       

TBH $84.62 +0.38 (+1.12) TBH was able to rebound today after 
bouncing off the 200-dma at $79 on Wednesday.  That is the 
level we are watching for potential support.  The stock went 
through the 50-dma with such ease that we want to see evidence
of firm support from the 200-dma.  Events in Brazil have calmed 
down lately though.  We want to encourage to have your stops
placed to lock in profits.  Also the Chilean market failed to 
react positively following their rate cut on Wednesday.  Volume 
was surprisingly low in their market for that kind of announcement 
which is just further proof that all eyes are really on the Fed.
Look for weakness in the U.S. markets to continue to weigh on
ADRs and let the market confirm direction before opening new 
MEA $39.50 -0.19 (+2.12) The Paper producers are just sitting
still now after a rally on Tuesday.  The Georgia Pacific upgrade 
got the group off on the right foot this week.  It curbed the 
drops that had been occurring and left the stocks all right 
near potential support at the 50-dma.  But MEA is at a pivotal 
point.  It had the sudden drop last week and stopped on a dime
thanks to the upgrade of GP and support from the 50-dma.  It
takes a vivid imagination to believe that the stock will hold
at this point and sustain any kind of meaningful rally but 
crazier things have happened.  But if the market settles down, 
investors will ditch these safe plays and we should get a new
downward move from MEA.  Like always, let the stock confirm 
its direction before playing.
DOW $126.00 -2.19 (+4.94) That's more like it!  The Dow 
Jones Industrial average shows a nice gain for the day and 
DOW (the stock) gets a haircut in the process, as interest 
rates rise too.  Near term support is $120 in the current 
market, which leaves DOW some room to fall and for us to 
capture a profit.  The technical chart is also still in 
negative territory.  Looking at tomorrow, if inflation 
proves to be in check, money will rotate right out of 
cyclicals (DOW included) as investors move money back to 
technology (exactly what we want).  While not impossible, 
it will be hard for DOW to participate in a general market 
rally.  However, if tomorrow's employment numbers are 
stronger than anticipated, leading investors to believe a 
rate hike is imminent, cyclicals (DOW included) could rise.  
That of course is a bad time to be in a put play.  
Therefore, it's important to keep your stops in place if 
the cyclicals take off.  As always, confirm market, sector 
and stock direction before playing.

CLX $104.06 +0.63 (+3.13)  Since making a comeback back on 
Tuesday, CLX seems to be hovering at or near $104.  Its trade 
volume of approximately 760,000 earlier in the week was above 
average and might have helped push CLX to this foothold.  
However, CLX's trade volume was extremely light on Thursday.  
Only 313,000 shares traded hands as it added a mere +$0.63.  
Since its volume has steeply declined, we feel the upward 
momentum could fade and CLX could resume its downward trek.  
Wait to confirm both the market and stock direction before 
heading into any new put positions.


SCI - SCI Systems, Inc. $43.50 +1.69 (+2.00 this wk)(+2.06)

SCI Systems is ranked #2 in the world as the manufacturer of 
electronic components.  (Solectron holds the pole position.)  
The company designs, manufactures, markets, distributes, and 
services products that are used in several industries.  SCI 
is often contracted by the government and companies in the 
computer, aerospace, defense, telecomm, medical, and 
entertainment businesses.  Hewlett-Packard and Apple 
are just two examples of their customers.  

Way back in early February, SCI announced that its revenue 
and earnings for the third and fourth quarters would be below 
analyst expectations.  The company's future weakness was 
blamed on the possibility of a decrease in its sales to 
personal computer makers.  Within four days of trading, SCI 
fell over -$20.00 on the news.  But that was then, this is 
now.  SCI seems to be recovering nicely.  SCI looked 
particularly good in trading on Thursday.  The company broke 
to a +$1.69 gain and finally surpassed its two month high.  
We feel that SCI can continue to climb higher if the markets 
can provide some backbone.

No new news. 

BUY CALL JUN-40 SCI-FH OI=108 at $4.63 SL=2.75
BUY CALL JUN-45 SCI-FI OI=241 at $1.50 SL=1.00
BUY CALL JUL-40 SCI-GH OI=253 at $5.88 SL=4.25
BUY CALL JUL-45*SCI-GI OI=702 at $2.69 SL=1.25

Picked on June 3rd at  $43.50    PE = 21
Change since picked   +$ 0.00    52 week high=$59.38
Analysts Ratings   10-8-1-0-0    52 week low =$20.75
Last earnings 04/99  est 0.50    actual 0.48 
Next earnings 08-03  est 0.57    versus 0.54
Average Daily Volume = 749 K
Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=SCI&d=3m


ORCL - Oracle Corporation $27.50 +1.31 (+2.69 this wk)(-0.94)

Oracle is the leading independent designer, developer, and 
marketer of database management systems software.  Their 
software products allow multiple users to use the same data 
at the same time on everything from notebook computers 
to mainframes.     

We are adding ORCL as a call play based mainly on its recent 
performance coupled with strong news.  First of all, ORCL has 
clawed its way higher in recent trading even though the 
markets have been shaky.  It has posted gains for 5 trading 
days in a row even though the markets have been all over the 
place.  Second, ORCL recently announced that it plans to cut 
its expenses by $1 billion with in the next 18 months.  That 
is much more savings than originally predicted.  The former 
figures were much lower at only $300-$500 million.  Oracle 
will use its own software and technology to help it become a 
full-fledged e-business in order to produce the savings.  And 
last but not least, we feel ORCL could pick up steam as we 
draw closer to earnings.  The company will report its numbers 
on June 15th (date confirmed from the company).  Look for ORCL 
to work its way higher but keep in mind that it could have 
some resistance at the $29 level.

No new news.

BUY CALL JUN-25*ORQ-FE OI=15112 at $3.13 SL=1.50
BUY CALL JUN-30 ORQ-FF OI=20767 at $0.63 SL=0.00
BUY CALL JUL-25 ORQ-GE OI= 1578 at $3.88 SL=2.50
BUY CALL JUL-30 ORQ-GF OI= 2482 at $1.38 SL=0.00
Picked on June 3rd at  $27.50    PE = 32
Change since picked   +$ 0.00    52 week high=$41.17
Analysts Ratings  7-13-10-0-0    52 week low =$12.13
Last earnings 03/99  est 0.15    actual 0.20 
Next earnings 06-15  est 0.32    versus 0.27
Average Daily Volume = 19.6 mln
Chart = http://quote.yahoo.com/q?s=ORCL&d=3m


None today

Upcoming Economic Report Dominates The Market

Wednesday, June 2

Blue-chip stocks ended lower Wednesday as interest-rate worries
continue to plague Wall Street and the market prepares itself
for a 6% yield on the long bond. On the bright side, the Nasdaq
index of technology stocks rose 20 points to 2,432 as bargain
hunters searched for survivors of the recent selloff. In the
broader market, declining issues led advances 1,612 to 1,334 on
active volume of 726 million shares on the NYSE.

Tuesday's new plays (positions/prices):

AHG  SEP20C/JUN22C $2.75 debit (lower in the AM, then recovered)
APCO OCT10C/JUN12C $2.31 debit (fell back after Tuesday's rally)
CPU  AUG7C/JUN10C  $1.38 debit (a great covered-call play too)

Portfolio plays:

AAPL was the big mover today, rallying right through our STOP on
Tuesday's news of an upgrade from Salomon Smith Barney. The BUY
recommendation was very aggressive with a target of $55 based on
the success of Apple's IMAC and the new products expected to be
unveiled at MacWorld Expo in July. The closing price on the short
option; MAY45C, was $2.50. The remaining option was sold later in
the day for $2.00. 

This exit strategy is a basic roll-out technique that we use for
credit spreads. A buy-to-close STOP is placed on the short option
to protect the overall spread position. When the STOP is executed,
a GTC sell order is placed on the long option at a price that will
close the entire play at (or near) break-even. The technique is
based on the probability that once the stocks reverses through a
recent price trend or resistance with a sustained movement, the
stock should continue to move in that direction. If the underlying
issue loses momentum after the short position is repurchased, it
may be necessary to sell the long option at the current price and
just move on to the next play. It is a very difficult technique to
perform if emotion enters the formula but it works well once you
become experienced at it. The key to success is using the method
at current resistance or support levels, otherwise you are just
speculating about the stocks next move.

In this case, AAPL made a big move, climbing $3 at midday to a
recent high near $48. The steady manner in which the stock moved
higher allowed the STOP to be executed at a fair price and the
long position was easily sold into the rally; although it wasn't
at the high of the day.

Remember, the nice thing about spreads is; once you understand
them, you can turn many losing plays into winning ones with the
effective use of STOPS and by rolling out-of/into new positions
when the stock turns against you. When you do lose, atleast you
have reduced your losses by leveraging against another position.
The successful trader will utilize the strategies that work best
for each particular situation and construct his plays based on
the appropriate risk/reward attitude of his financial position.

The other highlight of today's trading was the AMZN rebound. For
those of you in the debit spread, it may have offered an early
exit. The spread credit was still a small loss compared to the
initial cost basis but some of you may have chosen to sell off
the long side and wait for another dip to close the entire play.
I would like to tell you that I expect the internet stocks to
rally back to their previous levels but at this point, the best
we can hope for is a consolidation at the current levels.

Thursday, June 3

U.S. stocks continued without direction on Thursday as investors
await Friday's jobs report. It is one of the main indicators of
the economy and is expected to influence the Fed's decision on
whether to boost interest rates. The Dow rebounded 85 points to
10,663 while the Nasdaq fell 29 points to 2,403 on weakness in
the Internet sector. In the broader market, advancing issues led
declines 1,595  to 1,309 on active volume of 716 million shares
on the NYSE.

Portfolio plays:

Some of our volatility plays on recent takeover candidates are
now profitable as the premiums of the front-month options fall
with the receding stock prices. Spreads on COMS, UCL and UK have
favorable profits and today's upward move by SKYT boosted that
position to a $0.75 credit. The big question continues to be MER;
will it rebound by next month? Our ATM spread (JUL85C/JUN85C) is
still profitable but investors have demonstrated their opinion of
the recent company decision to go online and the stock has shown
little interest in any type of recovery. CD managed a small rally
today and the bullish debit spread is almost back to break-even.
ORCL made a nice move, climbing $1.31 during a session in which
many of the small nasdaq stocks suffered. Oils and retail issues
were also some of the better performers in our portfolio.

Good Luck!

With a pivotal employment report due tomorrow, we decided to try
a couple of short-term, speculation plays on small-cap issues.

ARTT - Advanced Radio Telecom  $15.00     *** Big Mover! ***

Advanced Radio Telecom is a facilities-based, broadband Internet
Service Provider that offers a direct connection between the
customer premises and the Internet. ARTT operates metropolitan
area networks in Seattle, Portland and Phoenix using wireless and
fiber optic technologies. ARTT owns or manages licenses in more
than 210 markets in the United states including 49 of the top 50
markets. ART also owns spectrum licenses in several European
countries. With Lucent as its network systems integrator, ARTT
offers a full range of Internet services including dedicated
Internet access at speeds up to 10Mbps, e-mail, web hosting and
web design, domain name server registration, IP Fax and more.

This week, a group led by Qwest Communications agreed to invest
$251 million in ARTT, allowing the wireless ISP to continue the
construction of its local networks. Qwest and the other partners
will receive preferred stock that is convertible into ARTT common
stock but they are limited to owning a 45% voting stake in the

The new investment prompted Standard & Poor's to affirm its 'CCC'
senior unsecured and 'CCC+'corporate credit ratings for ARTT and
remove the company from a credit watch status where they had been
placed last June; due to concerns about the company's liquidity.

The company will use the money to build local networks and the new
market penetration will give it access to a greater number of U.S. 
businesses. These wireless networks will be connected to Qwest's
long-distance, fiber-optic network, expanding Qwest's reach and
providing a long distance backbone for ARTT's local networks.

It's a great opportunity for the company and there is definitely
a change of character in the technical outlook for this stock. We
expect the bullish trend to continue and this position offers a
favorable method to enter a short-term speculation play.

PLAY (aggressive/debit spread):

BUY  CALL JUN-12.50 AOQ-FV OI=247 A=$2.63
SELL CALL JUN-15.00 AOQ-FC OI=331 B=$0.87
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$1.50 ROI(max)=66% B/E=$14.00

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


PRTL - Primus Telecom Group  $20.93   *** Double Upgrade ***

PRIMUS Telecommunications is a global telecom company providing
domestic and international long-distance voice, data, Internet,
private network and value-added services. The company provides
services through an extensive global network of owned and leased
transmission facilities, including undersea fiber optic cables
and international gateway switches; a satellite earth station and
a variety of other operations that allow them to deliver traffic

During the last week, PRIMUS has made several announcements; the
formation of an internet site, iPRIMUS.com, a new alliance with
Global Crossing to enhance its high bandwidth worldwide fiber and
satellite network, the acquisition of a leading German Internet
Service Provider and the purchase of Telegroup. In addition, they
also entered into a deal with AT&T Canada to buy the residential
side of their long-distance operation. The deal will give PRIMUS
an additional 650,000 voice customers and 50,000 Internet/data
customers in Ontario and eastern Canada.

The stock has excellent momentum and the trading volume indicates
this may be a sustainable rally. The recent analyst upgrades will
bring institutional buyers into the rally and that may be just
enough to keep the stock price above $20 for two weeks.

PLAY (aggressive/debit spread):

BUY  CALL JUN-17.50 PQW-FW OI=505 A=$3.75
SELL CALL JUN-20.00 PQW-FD OI=189 B=$1.75
INITIAL NET DEBIT TARGET=$1.75 ROI(max)=42% B/E=$19.25

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

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