Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 06/21/2000

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The Option Investor Newsletter                Wednesday  6-21-2000
Copyright 2000, All rights reserved.                        1 of 1
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Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
       6-21-2000           High     Low     Volume Advance Decline
DOW    10497.70 +  62.50 10521.10 10410.10 1,000,012k 1,258  1,599
Nasdaq  4064.01 +  50.65  4073.16  3961.30 1,538,168k 1,974  1,992
S&P-100  800.00 +   2.44   802.03   792.48    Totals  3,232  3,591
S&P-500 1479.13 +   3.18  1482.19  1468.00            47.4%  52.6%
$RUT     527.61 +   1.92   528.44   522.17
$TRAN   2649.41 -  13.31  2669.60  2646.26
VIX       23.57 -   0.08    24.31    23.25
Put/Call Ratio       .47

MSFT Leads Both DJIA and NASDAQ Higher

After the first close above 4000 on the NASDAQ since April 11th,
a slow day like this was very welcomed.  Although slow, it was
steady.  We saw some encouraging signs in the NASDAQ's trading
pattern as the sellers made the bulls work for it early.  Yet,
the real highlight today that drove both the DJIA and the NASDAQ
was MSFT.  We have been waiting for this day for what feels like
an eternity.  The software giant is back on the block and investor
were just throwing money at it.  It's beginning to feel like the
old days again.

It certainly feels good when your number one player, who has been
out indefinitely with an injury, finally starts to get some good
news from the doctors.  Well, it's been a long time coming but MSFT
finally is back on the field.  Right now, the markets are at a
pivotal point, preparing to make a run at that summer rally.
After that, the late summer slowdown occurs as investors take a
break until September.  With MSFT back in the green, this just
could be the catalyst that the NASDAQ has been waiting for.  The
DJIA is a different story.

Hitting its highest levels since April, MSFT surged $5.75 to
close at $80.69.  An almost 8% move!  Last time MSFT did that
was on the downside.  Sparking the move was news last night that
U.S. District Court Judge Jackson initiated a stay order that
would delay a series of broad conduct restrictions on MSFT's
business practices.  These were scheduled to begin September 5th
but now will be on hold until the appeals process is complete.
Considering this being the largest antitrust case ever and its
economic significance, the outcome will be profound.  Today's
move in MSFT propped up the ailing DJIA as it tacked on 62 points
to finish just shy of 10500 at 10497.  The NASDAQ finished up
50.65 at 4064.

The NASDAQ's close today above 4050 is quite relieving.  Even
though we are not getting those triple digit gains of the first
quarter, today's steady climb from sub-4000 levels spoke volumes.
Gapping open to the downside at 3961, there was a bit of
nervousness as to whether yesterday's close above 4000 was just
an aberration.  We constantly hear about follow-through for
confirmation.  That's exactly what we got.  Within a half hour,
the NASDAQ traded over 4000 and didn't look back.  What was so
encouraging was the three minor retests of that level.  Notice
on the chart that each time we got a bounce, and the third sent
the NASDAQ off on a 63 point run.  So from start to finish, the
buyers lifted the NASDAQ 100 points on decent volume of 1.5 bln

It looks like the NASDAQ is ready to test resistance at the
100-dma, currently 4113.  Yet, it's not as easy as it sounds.
Any upside move will meet resistance at 4100 as this level
roughly coincides with 4000 on the NASDAQ 100(NDX.X).  That is
a level that many analysts and technicians will be watching.
Today's rally was more broad based than yesterday.  The likes
of AKAM(+21.38), FIBR(+18.81), and DNA(+13.00) produced sizeable
gains for the Internet, Broadband, and Biotech sectors.  A
renewed leadership role for MSFT, and we just might have the
chemistry to test these resistance levels.  We don't rule out
the possibility of a retest of 4000 support.  A strong bounce
from there and I'll be rushing to buy more calls.

MSFT also was a tremendous performer for the DJIA, which is
looking pretty unhealthy right now.  You can see from the DJIA's
narrowing descending wedge that it may be reaching a breaking
point very soon.  Today's gain looks miniscule in comparison to
the April levels.  The downtrend cannot be mistaken.  A breakdown
would take the DJIA to 10300 and perhaps even further.  It just
can't seem post higher highs since April 11th, the same day the
NASDAQ last saw 4000.  Volume today at the NYSE was good at 1 bln
shares, but the decliners still beat out advancers 1600 to 1258.
Lending a hand to MSFT today was MMM(+4.06) and HWP(+3.00).  GE
was down $1.56 to close under the key $50 level at $46.44.  If not
for MSFT, the DJIA would not have been in the green today.

In a much anticipated meeting today in Vienna, OPEC announced that
they would increase oil production by 3%, or 700,000 bpd.  NYSE
and oil traders were watching this outcome closely yet the news
didn't really have the desired effect.  August sweet crude futures
added 72 cents, bring a barrel to $31.37.  OPEC nations are
already exceeding their quotas by 500,000 bpd so today's
announcement in effect only will result in an increase of
approximately 200,000 bpd.  Non-OPEC nation Mexico decided to
increase its production by 70,000 bpd to defend its market share.
Exorbitant gas prices have been plaguing the U.S. but don't expect
relief anytime soon.  Analysts think today's decision will cap the
highs for oil and gas prices, but an easing in gas prices
probably won't happen until September, when these excess barrels
from the Middle East finally reach U.S. ports.  Not what I wanted
to hear considering I just paid $28 to fill the tank.  Currently,
the national average for gas is $1.681 per gallon.  A rough rule
of thumb is a $1 drop per barrel in oil prices equals 2.5 cents in
a gallon of gas.

Showing a sign of health today was the IPO market as both the
NASDAQ and the NYSE showcased their new members.  In what has
been a beaten down market, New York debuted China Unicom(CHU)'s
huge $4.9 bln IPO.  CHU is a wireless telecom provider.  At
the NASDAQ, Handspring(HAND) found some happy buyers who took
the stock $6.94 higher to close its first day at $26.94.  We
would like to see an increasing amount of successful IPOs as
a sign that money, both institutional and retail, is expanding
its reach once again.

On the earnings front, Bed Bath & Beyond(BBBY) beat Street
estimates by 1 cent, coming in at $0.16 per share, a 31% increase
over last year.  The company opened 10 new superstores last
quarter and plan to open at least 50 more.  BBBY closed up $0.75
to $35.81.  E-business infrastructure software provider
Tibco(TIBX) posted $0.04 earnings per share, beating expectations
of a penny a share.  This was a get improvement from a 5 cent loss
a year ago previous.  The gain was attributed to strong revenue
growth of 157%, recording $54 mln from $21 mln last year.  Shares
of TIBX finished down $2.50 to $83.06.  After hours trading shows
continued selling pressure.  Verity(VRTY) blew away estimates by
17 cents with earnings of $0.32 per share, more than double.  VRTY
added $2.31 to $44.31 in trading.

Yet, all is not rosy for earnings.  As Ryan mentioned in
yesterday's wrap, it is earnings warning season.  Tyson Foods(TSN)
saw its shares tumble 5% after the company warned that its
quarterly earnings would fall shy of consensus estimates of
26 cents.  They predict a more realistic number would be $0.18 to
$0.20.  TSN cited weaker domestic demand for its chickens.
TSN closed at $9.06, down $0.50.  How much lower can they go?

Looking forward, it feels like the NASDAQ is ready to make that
run at 4113 in the next couple of days.  Tomorrow after the bell,
MU reports earnings which definitely will set the tone for
Friday's trading.  Talk around here has a bullish feeling ahead
of next week's FOMC meeting.  We think a rally into it wouldn't
be surprising with slight profit-taking on the interest rate
news.  A move through NASDAQ 4100 and I am going to be hunting
for more calls, but watch the overhead resistance carefully.

Matt Russ
Research Analyst


Lessons from Tiger
By Eric Utley

There's much to be learned from the next - Michael Jordan?  In
case you missed it, Eldrick "Tiger" Woods conquered the US Open
last Sunday by shooting a record-breaking 12 under par. A feat
deemed next to impossible!  Tiger's unanimous success is not a
fluke.  Woods' dominance can be linked directly to his desire,
focus, and hard work.  Not by coincidence, the aforementioned
attributes are common among the world's top traders.  What
separates the winners from the losers (In all walks of life) is
their drive to succeed.  Like Tiger, most successful traders have
a vision or a goal.  And every trade they place is centered
around their long-term goal.  Super-traders display focus and
discipline, and stick to their thoughtful strategies.  Above all,
successful traders work hard!  So whether you combing the annals
of Investor's Business Daily, or pouring over stock charts, the
amount of hard work you put into your trading is directly
correlated with your results.  Whether your game is golf or
options, if you practice, and learn, and do the right things
consistently, you win!  And when you win the game of trading,
you make money!

I filled this week's column with several tech stocks and an old
energy concern.  No matter if their New or Old Economy, keep
sending your requests to Contact Support.
Please put the symbol in the subject line of the e-mail.


El Paso Energy - EPG

What do you think about El Paso Energy?  Pending merger with
Coastal (Oil & Gas) as well as intro into fiber optics? - RCH

EPG has every corner of the natural gas business covered.  And
the pending merger with Coastal (CGP) will only strengthen its
operations.  The combination will create the world's largest and
fastest growing integrated energy concern.  The synergies created
by the merger are expected to save the two companies $200 million
in costs, a significant boost to the bottom-line.  EPG said
Tuesday that the merger is expected to be completed in the fourth
quarter of this year.  As for their entry into fiber optics, EPG
plans to trade bandwidth through its merchant energy group.  EPG
has the largest pipeline in the country and they plan to lay
fiber optic cable along their natural gas pipelines.  I don't
see the bandwidth trading having a significant impact on the
stock just yet, the real driver will be the direction of natural
gas prices.

For obvious reasons, EPG's profits are tied to the price of
natural gas.  Gas futures are trading at healthy levels, and
inventories are low going into the third and fourth quarters.
The cause for the high price of natural gas is due to the short
supply of electricity.  It takes a lot of gas to turn the
turbines that make the juice.  July's natural gas futures are
trading at $4.39, which in a roundabout way equates to roughly
$45 for a barrel of oil.  Oil is currently selling for $31.25,
which shows you just how high gas prices are.  So, EPG is trading
at a discount relative to current gas futures, which reflects
investors' expectations for lower prices.  I see that pessimism
reflected on EPG's chart.  Although EPG continues to trace higher
lows, you can see the rounding top which loosely resembles a
bearish head-and-shoulders.  Investors may be expecting the trend
of warmer winters to continue this year which may explain EPG's
unwillingness to move higher.  If you're long EPG, hope for a bad
winter, because colder weather equates to bigger profits.


RF Micro Devices - RFMD

Looks like entry at bottom of channel?  Please review.  Thanks.
- Bill

Please give me your opinion and analysis on (RFMD).  Today
06/14/00 it went lower on twice the normal volume.  Thank you.
- Ron

I will address both of your points Bill and Ron, but first, let
me review a few fundamental factors that may lift RFMD higher.
Month over month chip sales continue to increase according to the
most recent figures from the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Additionally, Motorola and Texas Instruments recently told
analysts to expect strong growth for the rest of the year and to
raise estimates, respectively.  So, the Semi sector looks strong
as a whole.  As for RFMD specifically, the company makes RF
(radio frequency) processors which send and receive digital
signals in cellular phones.  RFMD is a leading supplier to
handset manufacturers and should continue to see strong demand as
the wireless business grows leaps and bounds.  The risks with
stocks like RFMD are high volatility and higher valuations.  But,
the high multiple may be warranted considering RFMD's forecasted
earnings growth of 45%, or possibly higher.

Now for the technical take.  Ron, there wasn't any news last week
to prompt the sharp sell-off.  I think it was a classic case of
capitulation selling, where the weak hands were shaken out by
market makers.  The stock was upgraded by Prudential after the
sell-off which helped RFMD trace a lower low within its range
like Bill pointed out.  High growth stocks usually fall 1.5 to 2
times more than the broader market during a correction, so I'm
not too concerned about RFMD's steep sell-off last spring.  The
stock is in a strong technical position, and if the NASDAQ
extends its rally, RFMD will most likely move higher.  Notice how
the trading range widens over time.  If RFMD continues along its
path of higher highs, the stock could reach $160.


Digital Island - ISLD

Could you please look at Digital Island and tell me if it is on
the road to recovery as some analysts have said.  Thanks. - Greg

Less than a week ago, ISLD was #177 on the infamous Barron's list
of Net stocks on the road to burnout.  After the announcement
Tuesday, I think the writers at Barron's have some editing to do.
ISLD announced Tuesday that it planned to form a broadband
streaming media network with three of the biggest names in the
Tech sector.  Intel, Compaq, and Microsoft will invest a combined
$45 mln to build the necessary infrastructure.  Compaq will
provide an additional $50 mln in equipment to ISLD and $50 mln
for its customers.  The network will exclusively stream
Microsoft's Windows Media format.  Growing consumer demand for
streaming content prompted the deal.  Analysts predict the market
for streaming content will grow to $2.5 bln by 2004, up from $78
mln this year.  To answer your question Greg, I think ISLD is on
the road to recovery.  But, the bottom-line is earnings, and ISLD
is a long ways from profitability.  If the new venture speeds up
the profit process, ISLD will move higher.

$145 mln later, ISLD rallied over 30% on nearly 9 times its ADV
Tuesday.  These high volume, surging price - type of events
usually point to higher prices in the near-term.  Was the rally
Tuesday too much, too fast?  Maybe.  But, the long-term outlook
for ISLD turned a whole lot brighter with the announcement
Tuesday.  There's little resistance on the chart preventing ISLD
from moving higher.  That's the only positive thing coming from
the stock's steep sell-off last spring.


LSI Logic - LSI

I bought LSI two years ago, and it has been doing well.  After
declining from the 52 Week high of around $88, the stock is
range bound.  What is your short and long term view of this
stock?  Thanks. - Phil

First off Phil, congratulations on picking such a great stock two
years ago and riding the profits higher.  The ability to ride
your winners higher definitely gives you an edge.  LSI is another
one of those fabulous chip companies benefiting from the boom in
the Internet and wireless communications.  The Communications
sector is the primary driver for LSI's revenue and profit growth.
Analysts expect LSI's communications business to grow 60% this
year.  With that said, I think the company's long-term outlook is
great.  LSI is consistently growing earnings and with few signs
of demand slowing for chips, business should remain robust.  The
stock is actually cheap at these levels on a relative earnings
growth basis compared to the rest of the Semiconductor sector.
The risk I see with LSI, and all leading chip stocks for that
matter, is that business is great right now, but can it get
better?  The first signs of slowing demand will drive the chip
stocks lower.  Until that happens, LSI looks good.

In the short-term, LSI's earnings report on July 25th could be
the catalyst that carries the stock higher.  Wall Street is
expecting great numbers from the Semis this quarter, and the
anticipation might lift LSI.  And, of course, if the tech rally
continues, LSI should move in unison.  LSI has made great strides
in the past four weeks in an attempt to get back to its all-time
high.  It has rallied nearly 75% after hitting bottom in late
May!  It looks like the $70 level is the next hurdle for LSI.


Lexmark International Group - LXK

Could I please have your opinion on Lexmark International?  11
analysts rate LXK at either a strong buy or a buy, yet the stock
continues to drop, closing today at a new 52 week low at $57
15/16.  With relatively strong fundamentals and consistent year
over year and quarter over quarter growth, I can't see why the
stock has been hit so hard.  Thanks. - Jim

Back in May several brokerage houses cut their growth estimates
on LXK.  The reason analysts lowered their estimates was due to
rising interest rates and a slowing economy, which are two
particularly harmful factors to LXK.  A slowing economy usually
slows the demand in the corporate market for products such as
laser printers.  Analysts were worried that LXK's growth would
slow and its profit margins could contract.  Ever since the
downgrades last month, investors have been expecting poor numbers
from LXK when the company reports second quarter earnings on July
17th.  However, the same analysts that downgraded the stock in
May expect LXK to rebound sharply in the second half of the year
as corporate purchases should increase.  Additionally, demand in
international markets for printers remains robust which should
help ease the pain LXK has suffered in the domestic markets.

It's been a tough year for LXK, but the worst may be behind the
stock.  After the company reports earnings in three weeks, maybe
investors will put the bad news behind and start looking to the
third and fourth quarters.  The stock needs to break out from its
string of lower highs before moving substantially higher.  In
retrospect, everything is obvious.  But, I'd like to point out
that when LXK failed to find support at $100 for the third time
in early May it spelled trouble.  $100 is a psychologically
important and was a technically important level for LXK.


This column 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 Ask the Analyst 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 its accuracy.


The Fear of the Day
By David Popper

If anyone thinks that the stock market is the road to easy
money, they have not traded for long.  Despite the hype
presented by a myriad of promoters who hawk "top secret"
methods to achieve easy wealth, traders know that no "system"
is fool proof and every position must be monitored.
Psychologically, trading can be difficult.  Each and every
day traders are presented with a new "fear of the day".  The
economy and the market are too complex to be perfectly good
or perfectly bad.  There is always a catch.  There is always
a reason not to trade, not to put your money at risk.  I am
convinced that the risk/reward principle (the greater the
risk, the greater the reward) is the real answer as to why
trading can be lucrative.

Last year, my trading partner, Tim, began keeping meticulous
trading records.  Besides recording his trades, he also recorded
the "fear of the day".  On a monthly basis, he would review
charts, and observe what happened because of, or in spite of,
the daily fear.  This exercise has made us realize that there
is often little correlation between the fear of the day and
the market action.  Over several weeks, most fears resolve
themselves and any short term impact they have on a stock is
nothing more than a short term divergence.  As the Nasdaq rose
over 80% last year, there was a reason not to trade a Nasdaq
stock each and every day if you were to listen to CNBC.  This
is not to say that a trader should not pay attention to news.
What it does mean is that there is difference between news and
fearful speculation.  Listening to analysts can paralyze a
trader.  It is better to listen to the markets themselves.
The very best way to gauge the market is to observe the major
averages and the leading stocks.  If the major averages and
leading stocks are setting up, it is time to trade - in spite
of the fear of the day.  Most bull markets are born in the
midst of despair.  If the major averages and leading stocks
are breaking down, it is time to get out - in spite of the
hope of the day.  Most bear markets begin when euphoria and
complacence abound.

Again, hype, whether it be positive or negative simply has no
place in a trader's analysis.  A better use of a trader's time
is to spend it selecting stocks that have superior earnings,
superior growth prospects and are participants in leading
sectors of the economy.  Those stocks should be purchased when
it is technically correct to do so.  It also helps if there
is a motivating event upcoming such as a split, earning season
or analyst meeting.  A trader's time is better spent loading
the deck in his favor than it is listening to the opinions of

What do I mean by loading the deck?  By loading the deck I
mean it is necessary to put every factor possible, whether it
be fundamental, technical or sentiment, in your favor when
executing a trade.  For example, this week I have been looking
at TQNT.  TQNT fundamentally sports a 97 EPS rating according
to Investors Business Daily.  Technically, TQNT sports a 98
relative strength rating according to Investors Business Daily.
Additionally, TQNT has formed a cup with a handle pattern and
has just recently broken out.  It is not very far away from its
pivot point.  Further, I expect market sentiment to operate
in TQNT's favor.  A recent analyst's meeting disclosed the
fact that TQNT has been taking market share from PWAV.
Additionally, TQNT belongs to the powerful semiconductor sector.
News in this sector has been fabulous lately.  Analysts have
not been able to find enough good things to say about this
sector in general, and TQNT in particular.  Finally, TQNT is
scheduled to split its stock 2:1 on July 12th.

Now all of the above do not guarantee a successful play.  As
we all know, the market can turn on a dime.  Market risk is
always present.  Further, there is always the unforeseen
disaster.  Setting aside these possibilities for the moment,
a case can be made that there are fundamental, technical and
sentiment reasons to purchase TQNT.  This is a play that is
loaded for success at this moment.  Does that mean I put all
of  my money in TQNT?  Of course not.  Does it mean that there
are not plays that may be equally as good or better?  Of course
not.  It just simply means that the market conditions for this
issue seem to be favorable at this point.

Once a play has been identified, then you have to choose how
aggressively you wish to play the issue.  The most aggressive
way to play the issue is simply to purchase short term calls.
This, of course, provides the greatest possible return and
the greatest possible risk.  The second most aggressive way
to play the issue is simply to buy the stock and hold it
until the split.  Third, you could buy the issue and write a
covered call and achieve a reasonable probability of obtaining
a 10% return by option expirations in July.  Fourth, you could
choose to write in the money puts or even choose to take an
ultra conservative approach and write an out of the money puts.
The return is less, but the risk is less.  Fifth, you could
trade the issue using spreads and hedge your downside risks.

The primary point I am trying to make is that the markets
themselves and the leading stocks will tell you when to trade.
It is best to put all odds in your favor when executing a
trade.  Your risk tolerance will influence how you choose to
trade a particular issue.  Analysts, speculation, fear, hope
and greed should not play a role in your decision making process.


BRCD - Brocade Communications $163.50 +4.19 (+18.56 this week)

Brocade Communications is a provider of Fibre Channel switching
solutions for Storage Area Networks (SANs), which apply the
benefits of a networked approach to the connection of computer
storage systems and servers.  The company's family of SilkWorm
switches enables companies to cost-effectively manage growth in
their storage capacity requirements and improve the performance
between their servers and storage systems.  This provides the
ability of increasing the size and scope of a company's SAN,
while allowing them to operate data-intensive applications,
such as data backup and restore, and disaster recovery on the

Most Recent Write-Up

Everybody loves a breakout, and that is exactly what BRCD gave
us this week.  As the NASDAQ moved through the long-awaited 3900
level on Monday, investors finally put their money to work in
BRCD, driving the volume 30% above the ADV with a surge into
the close.  Shattering the $145 resistance level was like
touching a lit match to gasoline as the buyers piled on, driving
the price above $160, and closing the session very near that
level.  The enthusiasm extended into trading this morning, but
$164.56 was as far as it could go before the inevitable profit
taking.  After pulling back to find support near $152 (another
entry point), buying interest returned and the stock then spent
the rest of the day consolidating above $155.  Today EMC gave its
interoperability stamp of approval to BRCD's SilkWorm family of
Fibre Channel switches for use in Storage Area Networks (SANs).
Positive news like this and continuing health in the Networking
sector should continue to drive shares of BRCD higher as July
earnings approach.  Aggressive investors can use intraday dips
to support between $152-155 as opportunities to enter the play.
If you'd rather have confirmation first, wait for the momentum
to return, driving the share price back above $160, before


BRCD is all about breakouts this week and did it again as the
stock moved over $160.  This happened midday on Wednesday
and it quickly moved up near $170.  Fortunately, the Nasdaq
had a subtle retreat late in the day and BRCD is now showing
a good entry point in the lower $160 range.  The volume is
also confirming the move.

BUY CALL JUL-150 UBZ-GJ OI=4471 at $25.63 SL=19.25
BUY CALL JUL-155 UBZ-GK OI=2313 at $22.63 SL=17.00
BUY CALL JUL-160*GUF-GL OI=1468 at $18.75 SL=14.00
BUY CALL AUG-165 GUF-HM OI=   1 at $22.88 SL=17.00 low OI
BUY CALL OCT-180 GUF-JP OI=1043 at $28.13 SL=21.50

SELL PUT JUL-160 GUF-SL OI=  88 at $13.00 SL=18.00
(See risks of selling puts in play legend)

Picked on June 6th at   $138.88     P/E = 656
Change since picked      +24.63     52-week high=$185.00
Analysts Ratings      8-4-2-0-0     52-week low =$ 13.88
Last earnings 05/00   est= 0.08     actual= 0.11
Next earnings 08-14   est= 0.12     versus= 0.01
Average Daily Volume = 3.21 mln


You call that a rally? Well, yes, maybe...

The market enjoyed modest gains today amid strength in blue-chip
issues and a rally in Microsoft shares.  The outlook for the
software giant was helped by news that implementations of all
sanctions imposed on the company's conduct have been delayed
pending appeal.  Analysts followed the news with bullish ratings
and new price targets.  The recovery in leading technology stocks
also generated additional buying interest as investors shopped for
companies that will dominate the infrastructure of the Internet
and global communications.  Fund managers added to the bullish
activity, injecting new cash into the market for end-of-quarter
acquisitions.  Most experts believe the technology rally will
continue as fear of the Fed recedes and the new Nasdaq trading
range is defined.  In the broader market, drug, biotech, and oil
industry shares rallied while retail, bank and brokerage stocks
retreated.  Investor enthusiasm in finance issues has been held
in check by disappointing profit forecasts for the quarter and
concerns that future revenues will deteriorate as the economy's
growth rate declines.  The question is, can the momentum in the
Nasdaq overcome the recent slump in industrial issues and bring
investors back into the stock market amid worries that a slowing
economy will diminish future earnings.

Summary of Previous Picks: (JUNE prices as of Friday's Expiration)

Covered Calls: (Margin would double the listed Monthly Return)

Stock  Strike Strike Cost   Current Profit  Monthly
Symbol Month  Price  Basis  Price   (Loss)  Return

NVDA    JUN   100    96.13  149.75   $3.87   7.7% Splits 6/27
BRL     JUN    50    48.38   58.44   $1.62   6.4%
ARBA    JUN    55    51.63   74.06   $3.37   5.4%
NVDA    JUN    90    85.50  149.75   $4.50   5.3% Splits 6/27
NEWP    JUN  36.6    34.81   83.00   $1.78   5.2% Adj 3-1 Split
RFMD    JUN    90    87.62  100.38   $2.38   5.2%
LLTC    JUN    55    53.56   69.44   $1.44   5.1%
RFMD    JUN    95    90.50  100.38   $4.50   5.0%

ELON    JUL    60    54.69   66.00   $5.31   6.7%
ENZ     JUL    50    46.25   69.03   $3.75   6.7%
ABSC    JUL    55    50.75   70.25   $4.25   5.8%
SDLI    JUL   210   193.81  293.19  $16.19   5.8%
NEWP    JUL    65    60.87   92.50   $4.13   5.6%
HGSI    JUL    90    83.38  151.84   $6.62   5.5%

Naked Puts:

Stock  Strike Strike Cost   Current Profit  Monthly
Symbol Month  Price  Basis  Price   (Loss)  Return

BRL     JUN    50    48.44   58.44   $1.56  15.4%
RFMD    JUN    85    83.25  100.38   $1.75  14.0%
LLTC    JUN    55    53.50   69.44   $1.50  13.5%
ARBA    JUN    50    48.00   74.06   $2.00  10.6%
NEWP    JUN  31.6    30.66   83.00   $1.00   9.5% Adj 3-1 Split
PLCM    JUN    65    64.12   90.88   $0.88   9.5%
NVDA    JUN    85    83.81  149.75   $1.19   9.4% Splits 6/27
NVDA    JUN    80    77.87  149.75   $2.13   8.9% Splits 6/27
RFMD    JUN    85    82.94  100.38   $2.06   8.3%
SDLI    JUN   140   136.75  299.88   $3.25   7.3%
SDLI    JUN   195   193.94  299.88   $1.06   6.8%
YHOO    JUN   115   112.75  140.94   $2.25   6.6%
SDLI    JUN   165   163.44  299.88   $1.56   6.3%
AFFX    JUN   105   102.94  174.56   $2.06   6.1%
CHKP    JUN   150   148.87  213.75   $1.13   5.5%

ENZ     JUL    45    42.50   69.03   $2.50  14.0%
ELON    JUL    50    47.75   66.00   $2.25   9.1%
NEWP    JUL    55    53.31   92.50   $1.69   7.7%
PDLI    JUL   105   102.12  184.00   $2.88   6.9%
ABSC    JUL    45    43.44   70.25   $1.56   6.9%
BRCD    JUL   105   101.75  163.50   $3.25   6.8%
HGSI    JUL    75    72.62  151.84   $2.38   6.4%
RBAK    JUL    78    75.12  135.63   $2.38   6.4%
SDLI    JUL   170   164.87  293.19   $5.13   6.3%
MLNM    JUL    80    77.81  144.19   $2.19   6.0%
GLW     JUL   200   195.87  244.25   $4.13   5.5%
CHKP    JUL   145   142.00  228.00   $3.00   5.3%

Naked Calls:

Stock  Strike Strike Cost   Current Profit  Monthly
Symbol Month  Price  Basis  Price   (Loss)  Return

JNPR    JUN   135   136.06  113.00   $1.06   6.0% Adj 2-1 Split

AMCC    JUL   140   142.50  106.88   $2.50   9.7%
BRCM    JUL   220   222.00  171.38   $2.00   5.2% SP500 addition!

New Candidates:

This following group of plays is simply a list of candidates to
supplement your search for profitable trading positions.  As
with any investment, you must decide if the selections meet your
criteria for potential plays.  Only you can know what strategies
are suitable for your skill level, risk-reward tolerance and
portfolio outlook.  In addition, we recommend that you avoid any
strategy or technique in which you are not completely comfortable
with the potential loss, the necessary adjustments and the common
entry-exit strategies.


BULLISH PLAYS - Covered Calls & Naked Puts


AETH - Aether Systems  $210.38  *** The Wireless World! ***

Aether Systems provide wireless data services, systems and other
software enabling people to use handheld devices for mobile data
communications and real-time transactions.  Aether's strategy
initially focused on developing services for the financial
services sector.  Their current services include TradeRunner, a
real-time wireless trading and financial information service
offered to the online customers of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Online, and the Reuters MarketClip service for financial market
price quotes, alerts and information.  Aether is also developing
wireless trading and financial services for other major financial
institutions, including Charles Schwab.  With recent acquisitions,
the company has expanded its services into the healthcare, sales
force automation and transportation logistics industries.

Aether has been on the move since early June and last week, the
stock began a new up-trend after Merrill Lynch reiterated its
short-term "buy" rating with an 18-month price target of $350.
The move was based on potential revenues from a collaboration
between Aether and Critical Path, a leading provider of Internet
business-to-business messaging.  The companies said their aim is
to provide businesses with access to messaging information at
any time, anywhere.  Aether plans to provide wireless users with
access to Critical Path's Internet messaging services and will
assist Critical Path in becoming a reseller of the Blackberry
wireless, e-mail services of pager-maker Research In Motion.

In addition, Aether recently announced that OmniSky Corporation
has filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed
initial public offering of common stock.  OmniSky, a company
formed by Aether and 3Com, is pursuing opportunities in wireless
e-mail, Internet access and other electronic transactions.  The
service features an easy-to-use, wireless Internet portal for
handheld mobile devices, that organizes information into various
categories, including entertainment, finance, news, shopping,
sports, travel and local information.  Aether owns 28% of OmniSky.

Our position is conservatively optimistic with little downside
and a favorable risk/reward ratio.

AETH - Aether Systems  $210.38

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Call JUL 180  HEX GP  145      39.50   170.88     5.4% ***
Sell Call JUL 185  HEX GQ  19       36.25   174.13     6.3%

Sell Put  JUL 150  HEX SJ  14        2.75   147.25     6.2% ***
Sell Put  JUL 155  HEX SK  41        3.50   151.50     7.8%
Sell Put  JUL 160  HEX SL  36        4.38   155.62     9.6%
Sell Put  JUL 165  HEX SM  47        5.38   159.62    11.5%

Chart =


AFFX - Affymetrix  $194.50  *** On The Move! ***

Affymetrix has developed and intends to establish its GeneChip
system as the platform of choice for acquiring, analyzing and
managing complex genetic information in order to improve the
diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease.  The GeneChip
system consists of disposable DNA probe arrays containing gene
sequences on a chip, certain reagents for use with the probe
arrays, a scanner and other instruments to process the probe
arrays, and software to analyze genetic information from the
probe arrays.  Affymetrix commenced commercial sales of the
GeneChip system for research use in April 1996 and currently
sells its products to pharmaceutical and biotech companies,
academic research centers and clinical reference laboratories
primarily in the United States and Europe.

Stocks in the genomics sector rallied at the beginning of the
year amid excitement about the potential to use genetics to
develop new and improved treatments for a host of diseases,
ranging from diabetes to cancer.  The Spring quarter was tough
on Biotech's as investors became concerned about a lack of
profits.  Affymetrix suffered with the rest of the industry,
losing 2/3 of its value in March.  Now the recovery is well
established and the most promising companies are climbing to
previous valuations.  Unfortunately, many biotech's are not
profitable and they hold share values based upon anticipated
growth rather than current earnings.  AFFX is one of the few
stand-outs with cutting-edge technology and profitability
expected in the near future.  Based on the bullish technicals,
investors agree that AFFX is one of the leading issues in the
speculative arena of genetic development and this company would
certainly be a candidate for any long-term portfolio.

AFFX - Affymetrix  $194.50

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Put  JUL 135  FIQ SG  7         2.06   132.94     5.1%
Sell Put  JUL 140  FIQ SH  76        2.88   137.12     7.0% ***
Sell Put  JUL 145  FIQ SI  10        3.63   141.37     8.7%
Sell Put  JUL 150  FIQ SZ  124       4.75   145.25    11.0%
Sell Put  JUL 155  FUE SK  12        5.13   149.87    11.8%

Chart =


IWOV - Interwoven  $89.38 *** Split Rally? ***

Interwoven is a provider of enterprise-class Internet content
management software.  The company's flagship product, TeamSite,
controls the development, management and deployment of business
critical Web sites.  Interwoven solutions are based on a unique,
inclusive content architecture that empowers all contributors
and leverages diverse Web assets including XML, Java, rich html,
multimedia and database content.  TeamSite is available for both
the Sun Solaris operating system and Microsoft Windows platform.

In early June, Interwoven announced that its Board of Directors
approved a two-for-one stock split, to be effected in the form
of a stock dividend to shareholders of record on June 22, 2000.
The stock split will occur on-or-about July 14 and it appears
that traders are anticipating an upcoming rally.  Analysts may
have supplemented the recovery as the shares of Interwoven were
upgraded in early June by Dain Rauscher Wessels.  The brokerage
upped the issue to "strong buy-speculative" with a new 12-month
target price of $140 a share.  Yesterday's move above a recent
trading-range top near $80 suggests the issue is poised for a
continued rally into the low 100's.  Our position offers a
conservative entry point on a fundamentally sound company with
a bullish technical outlook.

IWOV - Interwoven  $89.38

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Call JUL 70   IUW GN  60       23.00    66.38     5.5% ***
Sell Call JUL 75   IUW GO  30       19.38    70.00     7.2%

Sell Put  JUL 60   IUW SL  27        1.19    58.81     6.3% ***
Sell Put  JUL 65   IUW SM  20        2.13    62.87    10.8%
Sell Put  JUL 70   IUW SN  37        3.25    66.75    15.6%
Sell Put  JUL 75   IUW SO  31        4.75    70.25    18.4%

Chart =


NVDA - Nvidia  $172.94  *** Split Rally Continues! ***

NVIDIA designs, develops and markets 3D graphics processors,
graphics processing units and related software that set the
standard for performance, quality and features for every type of
desktop personal computer user, from high-end machines to low
cost PCs.  Their 3D graphics processors are used in a wide
variety of applications including games, the Internet and
industrial design.  The NVIDIA TNT2, TNT2 M64 and Vanta graphics
processors deliver high performance 3D and 2D graphics at a
reasonable cost, making them the graphics hardware of choice for
a wide range of applications for consumer and commercial use.

Nvidia continues to increase market share in the fast growing
industry of computer graphics and their earnings are reflecting
that growth.  In early May, Nvidia announced record revenues and
earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2001.  Nvidia's revenues
increased 109% to $148.5 million, and earnings were $0.47 per
share, well above the same quarter results last year of $0.18 per
share.  At the same time, Nvidia approved a 2-for-1 stock split,
expected to take place on June 27, and was promptly upgraded by
several analysts.

The world's leading supplier of performance 3D graphics processors
also recently announced that the GeForce family of GPUs dominated
two of the industry's most recognized benchmark reviews, Mercury
Research's quarterly report and PC World's Top 10 Graphics Boards
for Gamers.  Most recently, NVDA earned the highest ranking for
semiconductor companies in Business Week's "Information Technology
Annual Report - The Info Tech 100."  In addition to the #1 ranking
for semiconductor companies, Nvidia earned the fourth spot overall
in the yearly wrap-up of the world's top technology companies.  In
short, this is one great company!

NVDA - Nvidia  $172.94

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Put  JUL 110  UVA SB  169       1.94   108.06     5.4% ***
Sell Put  JUL 115  RVU SC  89        2.56   112.44     7.0%
Sell Put  JUL 120  RVU SD  123       3.50   116.50     9.3%

Chart =


PDLI - Protein Design Labs  $184.00

Protein Design Labs is a leader in the development of humanized
monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of
disease.  They have licensed rights to its first humanized
antibody product, Zenapax (daclizumab) to Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
and its affiliates, which markets it in the U.S., Europe and
other countries for the prevention of kidney transplant
rejection.  They have several other humanized antibodies in
clinical development for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions,
transplantation and cancer.

Bio-techs are on the move and the recent news that gene-researcher
PE Corp Celera Genomics (CRA) has reached another milestone in the
race to map the human gene gave a boost to a number of companies
involved in gene research.  Investors anticipate that CRA will
announce this month that it completed an outline of the chemical
order of the human genome; the genes that make and regulate the
human body.  With a complete sequencing of the human genome, the
top drug makers aim to identify genes linked to major diseases and
develop medicines to stop them.  Now the race to explore the new
discovery is underway and the leading companies in this technology
will dominate the industry.

Protein Design Labs is one of the top companies in the Biotech
Group and among institutional investors, it is also one of the
core holdings.  The current technical outlook is favorable and
our position offers an excellent reward potential at the risk of
owning this industry-leading issue at a favorable cost basis.

PDLI - Protein Design Labs  $184.00

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Put  JUL 120  PQI SU  20        1.81   118.19     4.8%
Sell Put  JUL 125  PQI SV  56        2.63   122.37     6.8% ***
Sell Put  JUL 130  PQI SW  5         3.25   126.75     8.2%
Sell Put  JUL 135  PQI SY  22        4.38   130.62    10.8%

Chart =


TECH - Techne  $121.75  *** Technicals Only! ***

Techne is the holding company of Research and Diagnostic Systems,
(R&D Systems) and R&D Systems Europe (R&D Europe).  R&D Systems
is a specialty manufacturer of biological products.  The company
provides hematology controls, which are used in hospital and
clinical laboratories to check the accuracy of blood analysis
instruments; biotechnology products including purified proteins
and antibodies sold exclusively to the research market; and assay
kits, which are sold to the research and clinical diagnostic
markets.  R&D Europe distributes biotechnology products in Europe
and has a German sales subsidiary, R&D Systems GmbH.  The company
also has a foreign sales corporation, Techne Export.

There is not much news on this company but it appears from the
recent bullish activity that investors are confident about its
future.  Techne is one of a select few issues in the market that
have enjoyed a surge in forecasted earnings and a Merrill Lynch
analyst offered the latest positive outlook with an "accumulate"
rating and a new price target of $87.50.  Techne was also ranked
#21 in the recent list of the 200 "Best Tech Stocks" put out by
Investors Business Daily.  We simply favor the bullish technical
indications and our conservative position offers a method to
participate in the future movement of the issue with relatively
low risk.

TECH - Techne  $121.75

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Put  JUL 90   TGQ SR  25        1.31    88.69     5.2%
Sell Put  JUL 95   TGQ SS  23        2.06    92.94     7.9% ***
Sell Put  JUL 100  TGQ ST  57        2.88    97.12     9.8%

Chart =




RFMD - RF Micro Devices  $105.00  *** Failed Rally? ***

RF Micro Devices designs, develops, manufactures and markets
proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits, or RFICs, for
wireless communications applications such as cellular and
personal communication services, cordless telephony, wireless
local area networks, wireless local loop, industrial radios,
wireless security and remote meter reading.  They offer a broad
array of products, including amplifiers, mixers, single chip
transmitters, receivers and transceivers, which represent a
substantial majority of the RFICs required in wireless subscriber

RF Micro Devices is poised for growth but recently, the stock
has come under selling pressure even as the issue was upgraded
by PaineWebber analyst David Wong.  His report suggested that
prospects for growth in the near-term quarters make for good
investment opportunities in communications chip companies.  He
raised his recommendation on RFMD to "buy" but at the same time,
left the target price at $160.  Obviously, the company is
fundamentally sound but for now the technical picture is less
than outstanding.  We will use the current consolidation period
to benefit from overpriced option premiums with these relatively
conservative, bearish positions.  The probability of the share
value reaching our sold strikes appears rather low but there is
always the possibility of a recovery rally so monitor the issue
daily for changes in technical character.

RFMD - RF Micro Devices  $105.00

Action    Month &  Option  Open     Closing  Cost     Monthly
Req'd     Strike   Symbol  Interest Price    Basis    Return

Sell Call JUL 140  RQZ GH  965       2.75   142.75    11.7%
Sell Call JUL 145  RQZ GI  188       2.13   147.13     9.3%
Sell Call JUL 150  RQZ GJ  232       1.75   151.75     7.8% ***

Chart =



Microsoft Catches A Break
By Matt Paolucci

Shares of computer colossus Microsoft surged Wednesday after a
surprising move by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
late Tuesday.

Jackson, by taking advantage of a little-known rule called the
Expediting Act, has effectively "fast-tracked" the landmark
antitrust case straight to the "Highest Court in the Land",
bypassing the U.S. Courts of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

"This decision affirms the department's position that a quick
and effective remedy is necessary to resolve this significant
case," the U.S. Justice Department said in a written

However, Judge Jackson's order delayed the business
restrictions on Microsoft until the appeals process was
exhausted, thus allowing the software giant to basically
proceed unbound with a new Windows Services strategy, expected
to be announced later this week. Microsoft had previously
claimed that its new strategy would be significantly hampered
under limits imposed by the court.

The appellate court already said on Monday that it would step
aside and suspend any action on the case in the event Jackson
chose to send the matter to the Supreme Court under a rarely
used fast-track process.

"This is bad for the rest of the industry," said George Cary,
an antitrust lawyer with Cleary, Gottleib and a former Federal
Trade Commission official. "It means there is no protection
from Microsoft's anti-competitive conduct while the appeal is

Yesterday, Microsoft announced it was investing, along with
Compaq and Intel, a total of $45 million in Digital Island to
help fund that company's streaming media infrastructure. Some
folks may see this as a straightforward funding and technology
deal. But it could also be seen as a display of Microsoft's
financial muscle at work, using dollars and partnerships to
lock in support for its technology. Digital Island's proposed
streaming media network would run on Microsoft's Windows
operating system. Does this sound like a standards-focused
company? Maybe, maybe not. It's already in a legal battle with
Apple and RealNetworks regarding streaming media.

Although conduct restrictions no longer loom in the company's
immediate future, Microsoft said it still would prefer the
case go through the regular appellate process.

Back on June 7, Judge Jackson ordered Microsoft to be split
into two companies, one based on its dominant Office software,
and the other based on its so-called "monopolistic" Windows
operating-system software. It was this part of Jackson's order
that was delayed for a year until the appeals process had been

A former member of the Justice Department trial team, Mark
Popofsky, expressed surprise at the judge's move, but said it
could speed the Supreme Court's decision on whether or not to
take the case.

"Now all they will have before them is the clean issue of
whether to take it, and not whether to grant a stay, and they
are still in town for another 12 days," he said. The Supreme
Court's session ends in less than two weeks, and will not
resume until October.

The Justice Department issued a statement welcoming the direct
appeal to the Supreme Court because of the case's "importance
to the American economy and to all consumers." But the
government's statement added that the decision by the judge to
stay his order pending appeal makes a final resolution of the
case even more urgent.

If the Supreme does decide to hear the case, Microsoft would
most likely file an appeal sometime in mid-August, 60 days
after it originally filed its appeal with Judge Jackson. The
Department of Justice would then have 30 days to respond.

Separately, this afternoon, the White House announced that it
is endorsing a major Internet industry initiative involving
Microsoft, Netscape and America Online.

The move is aimed at boosting online privacy by redesigning
the way browser software handles personal data. The three
companies have pledged to rebuild their Web browsers to
support the new architecture.

The architecture, called P3P (Platform for Privacy
Preferences), is designed to provide an automated way to
compare consumers preferences with the privacy practices of
the Web sites they visit.

The combination of today's ruling by Judge Jackson, along with
Microsoft's initiative with AOL and Netscape sent shares of
the Redmond, Washington software giant up more than $7 to $82
in late-afternoon trading.

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