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Daily Newsletter, Thursday, 06/22/2000

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The Option Investor Newsletter                  Thursday 6-22-2000
Copyright 2000, All rights reserved.                        1 of 2
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Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com
******************************************************************
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
******************************************************************
       6-22-2000           High     Low     Volume Advance Decline
DOW    10376.10 - 121.60 10496.00 10335.50 1,014,598k   996  1,861
Nasdaq  3936.94 - 127.07  4073.73  3936.92 1,628,759k 1,531  2,427
S&P-100  785.09 -  14.91   799.12   783.05    Totals  2,527  4,288
S&P-500 1452.18 -  26.95  1478.19  1448.03            37.1%  62.9%
$RUT     515.02 -  12.59   530.41   515.02
$TRAN   2612.76 -  36.65  2659.05  2612.76
VIX       25.66 +   2.09    25.80    24.29
Put/Call Ratio       .51
******************************************************************

On the sixth day the Nasdaq rested!

After a five day winning streak, four over 3900, the Nasdaq finally
gave up some ground. Many analysts think it is simply profit taking
after the +33% gains of the last four weeks. After rebounding from
3050 on May-24th to the high today of 4073 the +1000 point gain
was due for a rest. The Dow however is still firmly mired in a
pattern of lower highs and appears determined to retest 10300 and
that could happen as early as Friday.







The market internals were very bad with declines beating advances
2:1 AND on heavy volume. The NYSE traded almost 1 bln shares and
over 1.6 bln traded on the Nasdaq. This is not a good sign. Volume
is seen as a sign of conviction and traders have been hoping for
strong volume on the upside but it never appeared. The selling
was heavy across the board with almost all sectors losing ground.
The main reason I feel the market was week is still the Fed meeting
scheduled for next Tue/Wed. Even with most analysts expecting no
rate increase there is still Fed dread ahead. Traders feel now that
should the Fed raise rates one last time, even a slight +.25%, that
it will be the straw that broke the back of the rally. With all
signs showing the economy slowing they fear is the Fed has already
gone too far. The result of too much tightening can be a recession.
Even lawmakers got into the act today with sixteen sending Alan
Greenspan a letter asking for no more hikes. Citing the rising
unemployment and slowing inflation they feel the economy will fall
even farther as the last several hikes filter down through the
system. Not that I am complaining but did I mention this is an
election year? The markets lost ground early in the day with a
rumor that Alan Greenspan was involved in a traffic accident this
morning but recovered midday after the Fed denied the report.
That would be a really bad deal. As much heat as Alan gets, he
is still credited with structuring the current bull market by
keeping the economy on track and pushing the speed limit for
many years.

With the Dow closing at the low for the month, 10382, about -500
points off the high, we are still locked into a down trend that
started back in April. The prospects that a slowing economy will
impact earnings for old economy stocks has prompted flight back
to the sidelines. Stocks like HON, GM, IP all set new 52-wk
intraday lows today. GE, which is seen as a proxy for the Dow, is
at the low point of a down trend that started in April and only a
couple points from a breakout to the down side. There has been no
bargain hunting on the NYSE and the advance decline line has taken
a decided move downward.

Summer rally, summer rally! This term keeps coming up in the
analyst press. Don't hold your breath. We are one week from the
start of the July earnings cycle and mid July the last two years
has produced significant drops, not rallies. Summer rallies
recently have been as hard to see as the Loch Ness monster or
gas under $1. Profits are going to be squeezed as we get farther
into the year and the optimistic +18% growth for the S&P has
already started shrinking. Profits lead price and shrinking
profits only have one result.

Microsoft announced their long awaited MSFT.net program today
and promptly tripped up their recent rally. The "bundling"
of the browser and the operating system into web devices as
the Internet generation goes forward was not what investors
wanted to hear. While the concept is good and they are really
behind the curve on this, the hue and cry from their competitors
was immediate. "They just don't get it" one analyst said. The
government is not going to let them shift out of the current
operating system structure into one even more restrictive to
other competition. It makes no difference if they had announced
hammers, chisels and stone tablets, someone would complain.
The end result is a range bound stock for years to come as the
"expedited" supreme court effort gets under way.

Texas Instruments announced an acquisition of Burr Brown last
night and BBRC soared +27 today. The individual gain for BBRC
was not material, unless of course you owned it. What was
material is the continued broadening of the chip market into
other than PC chips. TXN is already a leader in the DSP area
and the BBRC acquisition will only help their lead. After the
close today Rambus announced a settlement with Hitachi on a
patent suit. The settlement includes a cash payment as well
as future royalty payments on their technology. The Rambus
technology is spreading into chips in many different devices
other than computers. RMBS was up +$40 in after hours trading
on this news. The chip sector was active today with Micron
announcing blowout earnings after the close. Announcing $.47
vs estimates of $.34 on a +30% increase in sales on megabits
of memory chips. This and the Rambus announcement could power
the sector again tomorrow.  Intel also announced today their
dot.appliance which will use the Linux operating system instead
of windows. OOPS! Is this a sign of things to come? Intel
dropped over -$4 on the news. Not all news was good after
the bell with TDFX pre-warning that earnings would not meet
estimates due to a shortage of components. They make 3D
graphics chips.

The news was not as good for biotechs. The sector was up +60%
during the recent rally but news that there would be a shuffle
in the Russell-1000/2000 sent portfolio managers scrambling
to adjust their holdings. Many lost double digits with AFFX
-$21, CRA -16, ABGX -13, INCY -18, IDPH -14, MLNM -19. This
type of drop is a prime example for stop losses. Once strong
profits can turn into strong losses in just one trading day
on no warning.

Transports continued to slide with oil still over $31 a bbl.
The transports have dropped to numbers not seen since March
and continued high oil will keep the Dow theory traders
negative on the market. Politicians galore are calling for
new incentives to promote new drilling and conservation in
the U.S.  Gosh, I can't wait to drive 55 again.

Financials are still leading the market, down. The hit today
came on lowered estimates of trading volume and reduced
brokerage fees. The bull market is turning into hamburger
as far as brokerage profits are concerned. MER dropped -5,
MWD -2.44, LEH -2.56, GS -2.38. Until the interest rate
picture is clear the financial stocks will not be able to
mount a rally and the broader market will suffer.

As I write this tonight the futures are up slightly on the
semiconductor news but with the Fed decision not until
Wednesday of next week the market is not likely to make
any major moves. Using the 3900 bench mark from last week
you should have been long for the last three days. If the
Nasdaq drops under 3900 or the Dow under 10300 I would
consider closing open long positions. If the Dow bounces
off 10300 again then we could see another range trade back
to 10600 and lead to a pre-Fed rally. The two days before
the last several Fed meetings have been positive even
in the face of impending rate hikes. I would be careful
in this market. I did not like the high volume and 2:1
declines today. Buyer beware!

We had several hundred people attend our informational
seminar with DTN-IQ and Preferred Trade this week in Los
Angeles. We feel from the feedback it was a huge success
and we will be doing them in other parts of the country
soon. Watch for a schedule next week. The Technical Analysis,
Stock and Option, 3 day seminar in LA in full swing
tomorrow and Saturday with a sell out crowd. If you want
to learn how to beat the market instead of the market beating
you then you should check out the seminar schedule below and
register for the one near you. 100% satisfaction guaranteed
or your money back.

Good luck and sell too soon.

Jim Brown
Editor


Current long positions include:

NOK, VOD, MSFT



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****************
MARKET SENTIMENT
****************

Thursday, June 22, 2000

It Was an Entertaining Day!

The market ended in a sea of red today, as some investors took
profits while others sold due to worries about the Fed meeting
next week. Regardless, the Dow and NASDAQ both closed down triple
digits on good volume, which is not a good indicator for the
short term. Leading sectors on the recent run-up  (Biotech,
Semiconductors) were also the big losers today, as these two
sectors closed down -7.69% and -4.65%.

It was quite an entertaining day as well, as rumors of a
Greenspan car accident was blamed for the selloff mid-day, which
was followed by rumors of a Qualcomm buyout by Nokia. Add the
insider trading/stock manipulation of Steve Madden (SHOO), throw
in the organized crime busts from last week and we have a good
recipe for Hollywood. Nothing like good gossip when the trading
monitor is a bunch of flashing red symbols.

Our sentiment here at Pinnacle Capital remains the same, that is,
we believe the easier money to be made in the near term is on the
short side. Granted, there have been some phenomenal movers to
the upside recently (Rambus, Corning, SDLI), but in a perfect
stock pickers market like we have had recently, and with the
large amount of negative releases, we view this as the tip of the
iceberg in terms of negative news. Now we view today's put/call
ratio on the NASDAQ 100 (.11) to be quite bearish. We have
discussed numerous times about how the put/call ratio on the NDX
was always high during the big run-ups in the past. What this
told us was that put speculators were trying to call a top on the
NDX, which only gave support for the index over the longer haul
and propelled it higher. Recently, the put/call ratio has been
dropping, and today's put/call of .11 is one of the lowest we
have seen in a long time, which is indicating that call
speculators were expecting a breakout even in the face of a
decline. This does not bode well for the NASDAQ in the short
term, however; should Micron's earnings and the Rambus news
propel the NASDAQ back over 4,000 tomorrow, all bets are off. If
not, we are only getting confirmation of a failed rally.


BULLISH Signs:

Interest Rates (5.896):
With the long bond breaking below the crucial 6% benchmark, fears
of higher rates may finally be subsiding.

NASDAQ Short Interest:
As of May 15, the level of short sales not yet closed out, known as
short interest, climbed 4.80% to 2,780,161,105 shares. Many
individual equities will continue to show major (and quick) gains
as stocks get squeezed.


Mixed Signs:

Volatility Index (23.65):
The VIX has proved that the low 30's are an excellent buying
opportunity, and the low 20's continue to be a great selling
opportunity. Based solely on the VIX, we are getting close to a
selling opportunity.

BEARISH Signs:

Slowing Economy:
If the economy is truly slowing down, we will start feeling the
effects once corporate earnings report over the next couple of
quarters. This has just occurred as Circuit City, Electronics for
Imaging, Proctor & Gamble, Lands End, H&R Block, McDonalds,
Electronic Data Systems, Mylan Labs, Harmonic Lightwave, NBC
Internet, Wachovia Bank, Perot Systems, Xerox, Gadzoox Networks,
Honeywell, Computer Sciences Corp., Carnival Cruise Lines, and
Qualcomm have all warned of poorer times ahead or have had
earnings cut by analysts.

Liquidity Crunch:
With the fear of inflation, and the most likely scenario of
several more rate hikes, liquidity in the marketplace will become
a more significant issue and put more pressure on equities.

IPO Dilution:
$58.6 billion of stock was freed up for trading in March, $67.3
billion April, and $118.3 billion in May. This is too much
stock for the system to handle.

Energy Prices:
With the rapid rise in crude oil, everything from manufacturing
to transportation will be affected by higher costs. These higher
costs will be felt 1-2 quarters out, and could put pressure on
profit margins.


*****************************************************************

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                        (6/16)      (6/20)       (6/22)
*****************************************************************
Overhead Resistance (805-825)    10.47       11.29        12.20
Overhead Resistance (775-800)     1.38        1.07         1.01

OEX Close                       788.74      797.56       785.09

Underlying Support  (745-770)     1.32        1.44         1.48
Underlying Support  (715-740)     4.53        5.56         7.40


What the Pinnacle Index is telling us:
Overhead is still strong (805-825), indicating that the potential
for a major rally in the short term is low. Support is light, so
if any bad news comes into the market, we could easily retrace.


Put/Call Ratio
*****************************************************************
                                Friday      Tues       Thurs
Strike/Contracts               (6/16)      (6/20)      (6/22)
*****************************************************************


CBOE Total P/C Ratio            .53         .51         .51
Equity P/C Ratio                .47         .48         .46
OEX Put/Call Ratio             1.23         .92        1.27


Peak Open Interest (OEX)
*****************************************************************
                     Friday          Tues            Thurs
Strike/Contracts     (6/16)         (6/20)           (6/22)
*****************************************************************

Puts                680 / 4,419   700 / 4,934     790 / 5,526
Calls               800 / 2,669   790 / 4,849     880 / 6,055
Put/Call Ratio        1.66           1.02             0.91



Market Volatility Index (VIX)
*****************************************************************
                    Major
Date                Turning Point       VIX
*****************************************************************
October 97          Bottom              54.60
July 20, 1998       Top                 16.88
October 8, 1998     Bottom              60.63
January 11, 1998    Top                 26.38
March 4, 1999       Bottom              28.15
May 14, 1999        Top                 25.01
July 16, 1999       Top                 18.13
August  5, 1999     Bottom              32.12
October 15, 1999    Bottom              32.06
January 28, 2000    Bottom              29.09
April 14, 2000      Bottom?             39.33

June 22, 2000                           25.66



**************
MARKET POSTURE
**************

As of Market Close - Thursday, June 22, 2000

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

DOW Industrials   10,200  11,400  10,376    Neutral   5.05
SPX S&P 500        1,350   1,500   1,452    Neutral   5.30
OEX S&P 100          725     800     785    Neutral   5.30
RUT Russell 2000     450     550     515    Neutral   5.05
NDX NASD 100       3,000   4,000   3,804    Neutral   5.30
MSH High Tech        800   1,050   1,015    Neutral   6.06

XCI Hardware       1,250   1,600   1,541    Neutral   5.30
CWX Software       1,050   1,300   1,252    Neutral   6.06
SOX Semiconductor    850   1,200   1,210    BULLISH   6.20
NWX Networking       900   1,100   1,187    BULLISH   6.02
INX Internet         500     800     583    Neutral   5.30

BIX Banking          520     640     534    Neutral   6.09
XBD Brokerage        450     515     493    Neutral   6.22  **
IUX Insurance        600     650     610    Neutral   6.20

RLX Retail           900   1,000     816    BEARISH   6.09
DRG Drug             355     400     394    Neutral   4.28
HCX Healthcare       710     800     805    BULLISH   6.15
XAL Airline          140     155     159    BULLISH   5.25
OIX Oil & Gas        265     300     308    BULLISH   5.11

Posture Alert
Like we stated Tuesday, many sectors were reaching key moments,
and based on today's action, it looks as if a failed rally is
under way. Sectors leading today's beating include Semiconductors
(-4.65%), Internet (-4.49%), and the NASDAQ 100 (-4.18%). With
today's action, we have lowered Brokerage to Neutral from Bullish.



*************
READERS WRITE
*************

Concerning Credit Spreads

Hello OIN:

I have been interested in putting on bull put credit spreads.
Can you share some strategies when the stock price move against
you?  Won't the option spread widen as the stock price approaches
the option you sold?

Thanks,

BB

------

Regarding: Spread (exit) strategies...

In the case of credit spreads, a favorable outcome is for the
stock price to finish outside (OTM) of both positions.  In this
case, both options expire worthless and you are left with the
original credit as the profit.

"Bull-put" credit spreads are one of my favorite strategies and
there are a few ways to limit potential losses or even capitalize
on a reversal (or transition) to a new downward trend.  There are
three common methods to exit/cover a losing credit spread and the
alternatives range from "legging-out" or rolling into a long-term
spread to "shorting" the underlying issue.  First, you can simply
close the position at a debit and register the loss.  There is also
Jim's popular technique; covering the short position as the stock
moves through the sold strike.  This is a great method for "bailing
out" on an issue that has reversed course but you must also be
prepared to buy it back in the event of a recovery.  Another option
is to "roll-out" of the spread for profit (or at a least break-even
basis).  To roll-out of a credit spread, place an order to close the
short option anytime the stock trades (and preferably closes) below
technical support or a well-established trend line (moving average).
Of course, a move on heavier than normal volume would be favorable
and obviously, there are other more precise signals that can be used
but the technique is based on the probability that the stock should
continue to move in the new direction.  After the sold position is
repurchased, wait for the stock to lose momentum and sell the long
position to close the entire play.  It is a difficult technique to
perform when emotion enters the formula but it works well once you
become experienced at it.  The key to success is using the method
at known support levels or after obvious reversal signals, otherwise
you are simply speculating about the stock's next move.

The great thing about spreads; 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
moves against you.  Even when a play fails, at least you have
reduced your losses by leveraging against another position.

Note:  In all cases where an attempt to recover a losing position
is made, you must have thorough knowledge of the strategy and be
prepared for further draw-downs.  As with any technique, it must
also be evaluated for portfolio suitability and reviewed with
regard to your experience level and trading style.

Good Luck!



*************
SECTOR TRADER
*************

The Market is Like a Box of Chocolates.  You Never Know What You
Are Going to Get.
By Buzz Lynn
Contact Support


Index            Last    Mon    Tue    Wed    Thu    Fri    Week

QQQ Nasdaq-100   94.94   3.81  -0.25   1.25  -3.94          0.88
HHH Internet    117.00   1.13   5.63  -2.50  -6.13         -1.88
BBH Biotech     175.00   9.75   3.44   7.50  -9.44         11.25
PPH Pharm        97.75   0.31  -1.94   1.88  -1.69         -1.44
TTH Telecom      77.44   1.56  -0.50  -0.50  -0.31          0.25
IAH I-net Arch   92.38   4.25  -1.00  -0.13  -2.25          0.88
IIH I-net Infr   59.88   3.00   2.88   0.19  -2.19          3.88
BHH B2B          39.50   0.87   1.13   1.81  -2.44          1.38
BDH Broadband    89.56   2.81  -0.63   1.44  -2.56          1.06
SMH Semicon      99.25   6.50   1.50   0.44  -5.19          3.25


**************
Updates
**************

QQQ - NASDAQ 100 $94.94 -3.94 (+0.88) Optionable.  QQQ continues
to trade in the new range above its $95 breakout from Monday -
that is between $95 and $100.  While there was mild support
$97.50, that gave way to test $95 into today's close.  In fact, it
closed slightly below $95, which would normally cause us to
question QQQ's strength on a technical basis, and we do cast a
cautious eye toward the technical violation.  However, we can more
easily dismiss it since it occurred on relatively light selling
volume in the final two minutes, and the whole NASDAQ market
remained above 3900.  Looking at the daily QQQ chart, based on the
fact that it bounced from, and closed over its 10-dma of $94.84,
and similarly, held above its prior resistance at 95, this level
could make an excellent entry.  Still, don't back up the truck.
With the FOMC meeting getting bigger in traders' windshields,
there could be further decline from here.  We need to wait and see
what tomorrow morning brings us.  If it bounces from here (after
amateur hour) back above $95, it might make a good entry to go
long or buy calls.  Then look for resistance at $99 to $100.  If
it continues to fall and can't find its wings after amateur hour,
look for an entry to go short or buy puts under $94.  Just make
sure the market favors your direction of travel at the time of
your entry.

At Support:
BUY CALL JUL- 90 QVQ-GL OI= 2662 at $ 8.63 SL=6.00
BUY CALL JUL- 95 QVQ-GQ OI= 5156 at $ 5.50 SL=3.50
BUY CALL JUL- 97 QVQ-GS OI=  584 at $ 4.50 SL=2.75

SELL PUT JUL- 90 QVQ-SL OI=14588 at $ 3.00 SL=5.00, Huge OI

At Resistance:
BUY PUT  JUL-100 QVO-SV OI= 1230 at $ 7.88 SL=5.50
BUY PUT  JUL- 96 QVQ-SR OI= 4131 at $ 5.75 SL=3.75
BUY PUT  JUL- 94 QVQ-SP OI= 3179 at $ 4.75 SL=2.75

Average Daily Volume = 27.74 mln
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=QQQ

-----

TTH - Telecom $77.44 -0.31 (+0.25) Not optionable.  As we
suspected might be the case, the 50-dma is providing a major
barrier to a breakout and TTH appears to be rolling over.  There
have been a series of lower highs since Monday's big move up.
While it looks bad (which is good for going short), TTH still
finds support at its 5, 10-dma of about $77.50.  Keep in mind that
the 50-dma is only $0.30 higher at $77.80.  SBC, T, BEL, BLS and
GTE, though few in number, are also the largest percentage of the
index, which is keeping this whole index afloat despite the others
mostly showing red ink.  When these five give up the ghost (and we
think they are getting tired), the index will likely fall with
them.  The stochastic, MACD and RSI have already rolled over, the
price is now under $78, and thus this looks like an entry for a
short position to us.  TTH is now off probation.  Just make sure
you see the market and this index headed down following amateur
hour tomorrow if you intend to take a position.

Average Daily Volume = 83 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=TTH

------

BBH - Biotech $176.94 +3.44 (+13.19) Optionable.  Call it a nice
round of profit taking.  It was bound to happen after the big
upside move to almost $187 per share, which exceeded our
anticipated resistance level of $185.  This normally would have
made a great application for a trailing stop.  However, this
morning's gap down to $183 wouldn't have got you out since it
skipped significantly under $185.  Five of BBH's components
suffered double digit losses.  Even so, this has been a great run,
and we think this pullback is only temporary, and mostly healthy.
Here's why.  Though BBH closed at its low of the day, the 5-dma
($174.75) technical support held up today (a positive sign) and
the 10-dma isn't far back at $165.  The good news is that BBH also
closed above yesterday's opening price, thus demonstrating its
relative strength.  RSI bares that out. There is historical
support too in the $170 area.  That said, if you see $165 in the
windshield, then see it become a splattered bug, you may want to
step aside as that would be a big clue to sentimental and
technical weakness.  For now, support is at $175.  If that fails
following tomorrow's amateur hour, consider a bounce at $170, then
$165 for an opportunity to take a position.  The fact is BBH may
need to blow off more steam, especially if the overall market
stays weak in front of the FOMC meeting.

One housekeeping note - in the put part of this play, we
inadvertently published August strikes instead of July's on
Tuesday night.  Please note the correction.

At support:
BUY CALL JUL-170 BBH-GN OI=1254 at $15.63 SL=11.25
BUY CALL JUL-175 BBH-GO OI= 128 at $13.00 SL= 9.75
BUY CALL JUL-180 BBH-GP OI= 387 at $10.88 SL= 8.00

At resistance:
BUY PUT  JUL-180 BBH-SP OI=  28 at $14.50 SL=13.75
BUY PUT  JUL-175 BBH-SO OI= 100 at $11.63 SL= 8.75

Average Daily Volume = 633 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=BBH

------

IIH - Internet Infrastructure $59.88 -2.19 (+3.88) Not optionable.
We noted Tuesday not to back up the truck, as we needed to see a
retest of the breakout at $60, or maybe down at $57.50.  Lots of
red ink here today in the top five weighted components, EXDS,
VRSN, AKAM, INSP, and BVSN.  We are now just $0.13 below $60
support (close enough), and resting on the 5-dma of $59.76 (again,
close enough).  Is it going to bounce or continue down?  We won't
know until after tomorrow's amateur hour.  So, it's the same story
as Tuesday.  Look for the bounce here at $60 or a retest of $57.50
followed by a bounce as a possible long entry.  Also, while not
likely to occur tomorrow, the more conservative may want to
consider an entry if the price breaks back over $63.  Otherwise a
move under $57.50 would be a cue to consider a short position for
a retest of $54 on the downside.

Average Daily Volume = 266 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=IIH

------

IAH - Internet Architecture $92.38 -2.25 (+0.88) Not optionable.
Sadly, we got our wish, and then some.  We noted Tuesday that IAH
looked a bit overextended based on the stochastic.  Accordingly,
IAH backed up to what we thought would be good support at $94, but
didn't hold and continued its descent down to the 10-dma of $91.81
where, lucky for us, it bounced.  That was a good sign in our
book.  Unfortunately, the stochastic, RSI, and MACD are all now
pointed south - that's bad unless you intend to go short (not
suggested).  That said, look for a bounce here at $92 if you're
contemplating a long position, or target shoot $89, the next level
of resistance for a possibly better entry.  We want to point out
though that thanks to strong earnings and forward outlook reported
by MU tonight, that could rub off nicely on the whole
semiconductor sector tomorrow (but that doesn't mean we're ready
to play the SMH again).  With SUNW, IBM, CPQ, HWP, CSCO, EMC and
DELL making up the bulk of IAH, and also being the bulk of
semiconductor purchasers, it must mean demand is strong from these
OEM manufacturers too, right?  Watch IAH components to confirm a
possible sympathy move in this index.

Average Daily Volume = 71 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=IAH

------

BDH - Broadband $89.56 -2.56 (+1.06) Not optionable.  AS suspected
$92 provided the resistance over the last two days making a long
position entry darn near impossible.  The optical guys continue to
blow off steam - JDSU, NT, GLW, and SCMR were down a few dollars
each.  But the worst was SDLI, down almost $26 on the day.  Good
thing it isn't a huge part of the index, but with a move like
that, it doesn't need to be to have a strong effect.  That said,
$88.50 should make a strong support level, as it was previous
resistance in the prior two weeks of consolidation.  Not only
that, but the saving grace here (despite today's loss) is that
BDH's 10-dma at $88.71 hasn't been violated.  A bounce from there
could make an excellent target at which to shoot, as could a move
back over the 5-dma of $90.50.  A move under $88.50 though might
signal enough weakness to even go short.  However, with such a
strong sentimental sector, that would present much more risk and
likely be short lived.  Keep a careful eye on support and
resistance to determine your entry, and maintain a stop loss too
no matter which direction you trade.  We're more inclined to wait
for the bounce and another opportunity to play this one long
though.

Average Daily Volume = 194 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=BDH


**************
No Play
**************

BHH
HHH
PPH
SMH



*************
DAILY RESULTS
*************

Index      Last     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu    Week
Dow    10376.12  108.54 -122.68   62.58 -121.62  -73.18
Nasdaq  3936.84  129.27   23.53   50.65 -127.17   76.28
$OEX     785.09   14.17   -5.35    2.44  -14.91   -3.65
$SPX    1452.18   21.54  -10.05    3.18  -26.95  -12.28
$RUT     515.01    9.05    2.90    1.92  -12.60    1.27
$TRAN   2612.76    7.48  -17.95  -13.31  -36.65  -60.43
$VIX      25.66   -0.75    0.85   -0.08    2.09    2.11

Calls

AETH     202.00   11.06    8.19    5.19   -8.38   16.06  Promise
RBAK     132.25   17.31    1.25   -1.94   -3.38   13.25  Digesting
BRCD     158.19   14.50   -0.13    4.19   -5.31   13.25  Entry
LNUX      45.19   -1.37    3.87    3.00    6.94   12.44  New
CIEN     157.19   10.75   -2.13    4.13   -0.81   11.94  Held strong
ABGX     122.25    8.50   14.00   -1.00  -13.75    7.75  Watch it
MSFT      79.88    1.13    1.25    5.75   -0.81    7.31  Internet
AGIL      63.63   -0.31    0.37    4.56    1.81    6.44  New
PMCS     190.31    8.94    6.13    4.25  -13.06    6.25  Profits
JDSU     125.00    7.13   -2.44    4.06   -3.94    4.81  Give back
PDLI     168.69   18.00   -9.00   11.00  -15.31    4.69  Sector sell
MRVC      58.06    5.25    2.50    0.31   -5.38    2.69  Trend good
HGSI     133.00   13.41   -2.91    7.84  -18.84   -0.50  Changing?
NT        64.13    0.94    0.75   -1.69   -3.06   -3.06  Once more
ADCT      77.63   -0.81    3.38   -2.81   -3.00   -3.25  Dropped
VRSN     161.00    8.94    2.13   -7.75   -6.88   -3.56  At support
LLTC      65.31    2.44   -1.13    1.56   -7.00   -4.13  Short leash
SEBL     151.69   11.13   -3.16   -4.78   -8.56   -5.38  In the news
GLW      240.00    7.25   -9.94   -1.38   -4.25   -8.31  Ouch
NXTL      58.81    0.81   -4.38   -0.75   -4.50   -8.81  Dropped
YHOO     131.69   -1.88    8.94   -5.19  -11.13   -9.25  Analysts
SDLI     267.38   15.06  -19.38   -2.38  -25.81  -32.50  Dropped

Puts

HON       35.00   -8.00   -4.53    0.31   -2.00  -14.22  Dropped
AMZN      42.00   -0.69    0.82   -0.07   -4.06   -4.00  New
UTX       56.50   -1.50   -1.75    1.25   -0.38   -2.38  Trying
NKE       35.19   -0.69   -0.88   -0.13   -0.38   -2.06  Hacked
DCLK      40.63   -1.44    4.06    2.88   -3.38    2.13  Entry


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


CALLS:
*****

SDLI $267.38 -25.81 (-32.50) Apparently investors took Tuesday's
downgrade from analysts at Wit SoundView to heart.  If you'll
remember, they downgraded SDLI and others from a Strong Buy to
a Buy.  They were quick to point out the downgrade was based on
a price valuation, and nothing more.  They simply thought the
price was too high, saying SDLI and others in the sector were
overextended and "will come back to earth" in coming months.
If you had your stops in place, you should have been stopped out
by now.  So far this week traders have shaved about 15% off the
price of SDLI stock since its high on Monday at $315.13.  As we
said Tuesday, bounces off support at $280 or $290 could be
considered for new plays, but to be prepared to protect profits.
Now you know why.  Until the last two hours of today's session,
it appeared as though the $284 area may hold up.  By 4:00 pm ET,
SDLI had lost another $16.00 closing near its low of the day.
While SDLI is now oversold on an intraday basis, technical
indicators on daily charts have the fiber company finally
coming off the ceiling.  Could SDL turn around from here?
Possibly, but for now its time to stand back and take these gains
from what was a great play.

NXTL $58.81 -4.50 (-9.63) Swoosh!  That's NXTL getting flushed.
The $60 and $62 support that defined NXTL's strength this week
was lost in today's late afternoon sell-off.  The broad selling
pressure, bad company press, and a mixed technology market was
obviously too much of a strain.  Yesterday ING Barings began new
coverage on the stock with a Buy rating, but even this positive
acknowledgement didn't have the necessary impact to jump start
the momentum again.  Plus NXTL got nabbed for a 10-dma ($62.22)
violation today.  So we're hauling NXTL off to the slammer
tonight and throwing away the key.

ADCT $77.63 (-3.25)  As the song says, "you've got know when
to hold em, know when to fold em."  We've got to fold and walk
away from this pick.  While we love a steady uphill climb on a
chart, we can never fall in love with a stock.  ADCT has stumbled.
We charted the stock's entry point and support as falling on the
10-dma but today, it fell below that support and did so on higher
volume than what contributed to yesterday's decline.  There's been
no news released by or about the company recently so it would
appear that cautious investors are simply cashing in on the nice
gains the stock has made in the past month.  Our drop is from a
technical standpoint and we may likewise return when conditions
become more favorable again.


PUTS:
*****

HON $35.00 -2.00 (-4.50) HON squeezed out a bit more of a loss
in the seller's market today.  HON led the Dow Industrials into
the gutter and takes the blue ribbon for top percentage
decliner.  The share price even hunkered down enough to set
another 52-week low at $34.50.  This marks the third time it's
set a new low in just four sessions.  Another analyst downgraded
HON this week too.  Quinten Nufer at UBS Warburg cut the stock
from a Strong Buy to Hold as well as adjusted down the 2000 and
2001 profits estimates.  Now all that is fine and dandy, but
let's take a hard look at what could potentially unfold in the
short-term. The huge losses HON experienced this week are very
likely to attract bargain hunters.  And honestly, we've really
cleaned up on this put play.  It's performed much better than
expected.  So open your pockets, stuff the profits safely
inside, smile, and move on to other lucrative plays.



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DISCLAIMER
**********
This newsletter is a publication dedicated to the education
of options traders. The newsletter is an information service
only. The information provided herein is not to be construed
as an offer to buy or sell securities of any kind. The
newsletter picks are not to be considered a recommendation
of any stock or option but an information resource to aid the
investor in making an informed decision regarding trading in
options. It is possible at this or some subsequent date, the
editor and staff of The Option Investor Newsletter may own,
buy or sell securities presented. All investors should consult
a qualified professional before trading in any security. The
information provided has been obtained from sources deemed
reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness.
The newsletter staff makes every effort to provide timely
information to its subscribers but cannot guarantee specific
delivery times due to factors beyond our control.
The Option Investor Newsletter                  Thursday 6-22-2000
Copyright 2000, All rights reserved.                        2 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


********************
PLAY UPDATES - CALLS
********************

RBAK $132.25 -3.38 (+13.25) On Sunday, we mentioned $120 as a
difficult obstacle.  So much for obstacles.  Monday saw RBAK
breaking up and out, gaining almost 15% or $17.32 on heavy
volume.  Since then the stock has been digesting its big
one-day gain.  Tuesday saw news of a strategic alliance with
Internet infrastructure provider AsiaInfo in a broadband
initiative in China.  On Wednesday, analyst Bob Hirschfeld of
Bear Stearns made positive comments about Internet
infrastructure stocks, giving a thumbs up to RBAK, calling
it the leader in DSL/cable aggregation.  Considering the
general market sell-off today, RBAK held up well, closing
just above its 5-dma.  During the drop, RBAK stopped dead at
$129.25 and bounced.  Bounces from the $130 level along with
a strong NASDAQ could be a good entry.  Look for support at this
level as well as the 10-dma, currently at $124. This also happens
to be the area from which RBAK broke out after consolidating all
of last week.  On the upside, $145 is formidable resistance
considering the recent run-up.

BRCD $158.19 -5.31 (+13.25) Nothing moves in a straight line,
and profit taking hit BRCD along with the rest of the technology
market today.  Yesterday's strong move to $169 was looking like
it would continue today.  After some early morning weakness, the
stock ran back up to yesterday's high before the NASDAQ
weakness dragged BRCD lower, proving that the law of gravity has
not been repealed.  Adding strength to the move yesterday was
AG Edwards.  The firm initiated coverage of the stock with a
Buy rating.  Volume today was light, but the selling volume
increased into the close with the stock ending right on its low
of the day.  Although support is sitting at $157 (also the site
of the 5-dma), continuing market weakness could force a retest
of support between $150-152, which is backed up by the 10-dma
at $149.38.  Consider new entries as BRCD bounces from support,
and confirm the strength of the bounce with volume.  This is a
momentum-driven move and we need strong buying volume and a
supportive market to sustain the momentum.

LLTC $65.31 -7.00 (+4.13) Danger, Will Robinson!  Market
weakness and weakness in the Semiconductors today knocked LLTC
off its pedestal, wiping out all of the stock's gains over the
past week and a half.  Volume was slightly below the daily
average, but the selling accelerated throughout the afternoon
and the stock closed just above the low of the day.  Today's
decline sliced right through the 10-dma ($68.44), which has
provided support since last May.  A bounce tomorrow from
current levels looks buyable, but unless the NASDAQ and the
Semiconductors head higher, LLTC could be in for further
declines before returning to its winning ways.  Mild support
exists near $63, with strong support down at $60.  After the
large drop today, LLTC is on probation, and needs to prove
itself by putting in a bounce tomorrow, or it will be headed
for the drop list.  Aggressive traders can consider buying a
bounce from support, although we would feel more comfortable
waiting for renewed buying interest to push the price back
above resistance at $69 before initiating new positions.

NT $64.13 -3.06 (+3.25) Is that an entry point I see?  After
moving to new highs early in the week, NT has succumbed to
profit taking over the past 2 days.  The first indication that
a near-term top was approaching was the reduction in buying
volume that accompanied the move up last week.  The recent
decline has come on volume just above the ADV, and it was a
bit disconcerting to see the volume increase right up to the
closing bell.  Today's drop pushed the share price below the
10-dma ($65.25) for the first time since late May.  Closing at
the low of the day is not a good sign, but NT is rapidly
approaching support at $63-64.  Look for the selling to abate,
and buying to resume before initiating new positions.  If
confirmed by strong volume, a bounce from support is buyable,
but conservative investors will want to wait for strong buying
volume to push the share price above the $65 resistance level
before playing.

VRSN $161.00 -6.88 (-3.56) The trading range is still alive...
but just barely.  After moving up to the top of its $160-180
range, VRSN fell victim to the NASDAQ weakness, and then fell
back to the bottom of the range.  If you are playing this
trading range, then congratulations on the profits you have
garnered over the past 2 weeks.  For those of us waiting for
a breakout, the past couple weeks have been a bit frustrating.
JP Morgan initiated coverage of VRSN with a Buy rating
yesterday, and that was enough to provide support near $168.
Volume continues to bounce around the daily average, but
intraday volume is a good indicator of the strength of VRSN's
moves.  Today, as the stock declined over the last 2 hours of
the trading session, volume steadily increased right up to the
close.  Look for VRSN to find support between $158-160.  A
bounce from support is buyable, but use caution.  This play is
only a step away from the drop list if it violates support
tomorrow, but a healthy bounce and we have an entry.  The market
direction is tenuous right now, so don't try to catch a falling
knife.  If the support fails to hold, you will want to stand aside
and wait for a better play.  Conservative players will wait for
buying volume to push the price through resistance at $168-170
before initiating new positions.

SEBL $151.69 -8.56 (-5.38) IBM announced Wednesday that it had
formed an alliance with SEBL and two other tech concerns to
provide companies with e-business services.  SEBL will provide
the infrastructure and CRM software to create the new alliance.
The announcement didn't help SEBL's stock much as traders
digested their earlier gains.  IBM announced a second alliance
Thursday, stating that it would use SEBL's customer service
software in a new Internet voice venture.  The announcement by
IBM Thursday gave SEBL a lift in early trading, but the stock
found resistance at $165, then fell into a trading range.  Our
play weakened towards the end of trading Thursday, following the
Tech sector south.  Despite the sell-off Thursday, SEBL's
pattern of higher lows remains intact.  If the profit taking
persists Friday, watch for SEBL to find support at $150, and
look for a bounce off that level for a possible entry.  For
readers looking for a more conservative entry point, wait for
SEBL's momentum to return, and target shoot as the stock clears
resistance at $160 or at $165.

ABGX $122.25 -13.75 (+7.75) After its incredible five day rally,
ABGX gave back much of its gains Thursday.  There was no specific
news to drag ABGX down.  Instead, a broad bout of profit taking
swept through the Biotech sector Thursday, taking ABGX down along
the way.  The AMEX Biotech Index ($BTK) was hammered by traders
Thursday, losing nearly 8%.  The heavy selling drove ABGX right
past its major support level at $130 without any hesitation.  And
the sellers kept pouring it on into the close as ABGX finished
the day near its lows.  In light of the dramatic decline
Thursday, we'll want to proceed with caution Friday.  ABGX's
next major support level is at $120.  If the selling subsides
Friday morning, watch for ABGX to stabilize, and consider a
bounce off $120.  For our more conservative readers, wait for
momentum to return, and confirm direction in the sector before
entering the play.  We don't want to be too negative, because the
Biotech sector can bounce back just as quick.  But, if you have a
gain in the play, don't forget to set your stops!

JDSU $125.00 -3.94 (+4.56) JDSU rallied ahead of the company's
analyst meeting Wednesday, clearing resistance at $128 along the
way.  The stock battled with resistance at $130 for much of the
day Thursday, only to succumb to the falling Tech sector towards
the end of trading.  JDSU told analysts at its meeting Thursday
that the company expects its merger with ETEK to close by the end
of this month.  Once the merger is completed, the arbitrageurs
will step away, which may provide a lift to the stock.  There
have even been rumors circulating that after the ETEK acquisition
is completed JDSU will be added to the S&P 500.  While only
rumors, the talk may provide a boost to our play.  Despite
Thursday's tech wreck, JDSU remains in its ascending channel.  An
aggressive trader might watch for the stock to bounce from support
at $125 Friday morning for a possible entry point.  A more
conservative entry might be found if JDSU can clear resistance at
$130.

CIEN $157.19 -0.81 (+11.94) After the downgrade last Tuesday,
CIEN smartly bounced from support at $150 Wednesday morning, and
rallied throughout the course of the day.  The stock extended its
rally Thursday by cruising past resistance at $160, nearly
eclipsing $165.  CIEN struggled mightily to hold onto its gains
during the second half of trading Thursday, but couldn't combat
the weakness in the Telecom sector.  CIEN held up relatively well
Thursday despite the triple digit loss for the NASDAQ, which
bodes well for our play.  In light of CIEN's impressive relative
strength Thursday, consider an entry at current levels if the
stock rallies Friday morning.  But, make sure to confirm
direction in the Telecom sector before doing so.  However, if the
profit taking in the Tech sector continues Friday, watch for CIEN
to find support at $155, and consider entry if the stock bounces.
For our more conservative traders, wait for CIEN to move back
above resistance at $160 before considering entry into the play.

GLW $240.00 -4.25 (-6.00) The fallout from last Tuesday's
downgrade of fiber optic stocks has plagued our GLW play.  GLW
managed to tack on a small gain Wednesday, as the Tech sector
edged higher.  But, the stock continued its slide lower Thursday
following the rest of the Tech sector lower.  GLW has settled
into a trading range between $240 - $248 over the past three
sessions.  Now with Thursday's sell-off, GLW is hovering just
above the lower end of that range.  Going forward, we'll want to
watch closely Friday morning to see if support at $240 holds.
After $240, GLW doesn't have major support until $230.  If the
Tech sector decides to resume its climb higher Friday, you might
look for GLW to break away from its range bound trading.  Look
for an entry point if GLW clears resistance at $248, or wait for
the stock to penetrate its gap at $250 for a more conservative
entry.  Since the stock is hovering above crucial technical
levels, be cautious, and remember, it's okay to sell too soon!

YHOO $131.69 -11.13 (-9.25) Well, it seems when a broker initiates
coverage of company with a Neutral rating, it sure can let the
air out of a perfectly good play.  On Wednesday, Holly Becker of
Lehman Brothers did just that.  This morning Henry Blodget, came
out again saying he expects a "strong but slightly less robust"
second quarter profit compared with the first quarter.  We'll
know for sure about the second quarter July 11th after the close.
For the past two days, traders have lightened their load of shares
in Yahoo!.  Support near the $135 area held-up well until the
last hour of trading, when the Internet company fell to $131.63
The volume the past two days has been less than average, but the
$18 decline since Tuesday's high has been painful for anyone
without stop losses or those trying to buy bounces off support.
How do we approach this one?  Support is still seen near $130
and the 50-dma at $128.41.  We would look at buying bounces off
support, but would really want to see strong volume to help
help filter out the possibility of a head-fake.  Conservative
traders may prefer to see a move back through $140 accompanied
by solid volume prior to entering new plays.

HGSI $133.00 -18.84 (-0.50) Is the trend changing?  Even though
our play is only down $0.50 for the week, if you bought near
yesterday's high at $157.25, you're probably feeling like you've
been hit by a truck.  Several TV commentators suggest the
pullback is simply profit taking after the huge run-up.  We are
going to suggest traders use a bit more caution when considering
new plays in HGSI.  The close under the 10-dma at $136.13 is not
a good sign.  Volume today came in near 1.6 mln shares, which
isn't huge, but is certainly worth noting.  Technically, HGSI
has minor support near $130 and again at $128.  If investors
continue to click on the sell button, it may not take much to
drive the price back to another support level seen between $115
and $117.  There was little in the way of news the past two days,
however HGSI and others in the genomics field will move from the
Russell 2000 index to the Russell 1000 index next week.  Some
analysts suggest that could once again light a fire underneath
stocks in the industry.  For now, we will stick with our play,
but suggest traders treat any moves higher with caution unless
the volume returns in a big way.

MRVC $58.06 -5.38 (+2.69) There can be a fine line between
profit taking and a change of trend.  At this point, we believe
the retracement seen today is just profit taking.  MRVC began
to run out of gas early Tuesday morning.  That's not necessarily
a bad thing as stocks need to have some consolidation to
strengthen a trend.  Once a support area is reached, we believe
traders that bought shares of MRVC somewhere on the way up will
once again return to the table.  In watching this one trade, it
seemed to begrudgingly move lower.  It didn't have the "get me out
at any price" kind of personality.  Now for the $64 question.
Where will the buyers begin to strong-arm the sellers?  MRVC
closed near a minor support level at $58.  There is better
support near $55 and don't forget the gap back at $48.  We don't
believe a filling of the gap is in sight just yet, but it still
must be kept in mind.  The 10-dma sits tonight at $54.52 and
bounces of that area could be considered as an entry for new
plays.  Part of the recent strength came on speculation of an
IPO of the company's Luminent division, so any news confirming
the speculation could get our play back on track.  For now, be
patient and wait for a bounce, accompanied by solid volume.

MSFT $79.88 -0.81 (+7.31) The effect of the surprise
Restrictions Stay by Judge Jackson on Tuesday became immediately
evident.  From the start on Wednesday, MSFT opened up $2 and
then tacked on $5.75, or 7.7% by the finish.  Volume was heavy
at 80.2 mln shares being exchanged compared to the ADV of 39.2
mln.  The clean break through the $80 level was also an added
bonus.  Today CIBC World Markets upgraded MSFT to a Buy from a
Hold and issued an $89 price target.  Analyst Melissa Eisenstat
shares our sentiment saying that investor focus is shifting away
from the ongoing antitrust trial with the Justice Department.  A
resurgence in MSFT shares is beginning to really blossom.  The
price has drastically improved from a 52-week low of $60.38 set
in late May.  We believe the worst is over.  And the company's
product improvements just keep rolling out.  Today Microsoft
unveiled its blueprint for developing software to connect PCs,
the Internet and smaller devices such as cell phones and
handheld computers.  Their ".net" strategy faces competition
from the likes of Sun MicroSystems and Oracle who also want to
control the standards for this leading-edge technology.  The
share price continued to hold the higher levels set in
yesterday's market, which is definitely a bullish indication
considering many stocks were selling off.  The pattern of
higher-lows and higher-highs also give promise that MSFT can
rise to the occasion.  Near-term support is now at $79 and $80.
The new resistance to watch is at $82.19.  Look for a move
through this mark if you're concerned about some back-filling
following the past two days of gains.

PDLI $168.69 -15.31 (-13.31)  Oh yes, you need to shorten the
leash.  The impressive run up of late is feeling some
resistance.  The whole biotech sector began to slump in today's
action.  The Amex Biotechnology index ($BTK) reflected the
negative disposition.  After a fantastic peak at $191.75
yesterday afternoon, PDLI crash landed today.  The slide through
near-term support at $173-$176 and the 5-dma ($174.34) is
unnerving.  Be patient for upward confirmation before adding
positions.  Conservatively look for PDLI to move back through
$180 and make a charge for overhead resistance.  Even so, be
aware Celera Genomics (CRA) is planning to announce a major
breakthrough in DNA sequencing next week, which could send
others in the sector on a downward spiral.

PMCS $190.31 -13.06 (-2.69) A back-fill to firmer support at
$190 offers a nice entry level if your interested in playing a
potential splitter as it approaches earnings next month.  Of
course an intraday bottom at $195 today, which is what should be
evolving as near-term support, would have dispensed better
confirmation overall.  But the selling pressure did bring down
many other high-flyers so let's not panic.  Be patient and wait
for a bounce off the current level at the 10-dma ($190.59)
before jumping into any more positions.  Better yet, look for a
definitive move through the 5-dma ($194.05) if you're more the
conservative type.

AETH $202 -8.38 (+16.06)  Hey, nobody promised it would go
up in a straight line.  We're pleased to see that AETH held
its upward trendline in the wake of tech stock selling this
afternoon.  Yesterday's activity saw the stock open on the
low of the day, trade within an 18 point range and then close
keeping 16 of those points.  Today, we weren't so fortunate.
With the broader market selling, AETH suffered a ten point
drop in the closing hours to set us back a step, stopping
right on its 5-dma.  This guy has momentum and that is all
well and good in an advancing market but we'd be remiss if
we didn't caution that AETH has now advanced 184% since its
April 17th close.  Yes, that's right.  184%.  We're on the
train but watching closely for any jumping of the tracks.
The 10-dma currently sits at $191.  Today's decline was not
done on higher volume than the advancing days so we remain
cautiously optimistic.



*******************
PLAY UPDATES - PUTS
*******************

DCLK $40.63 -3.38 (+2.13) Pushing it right to the limit, DCLK
gave us a great entry point this morning.  Remember our
cautionary statement from Tuesday, where we said to stand
aside of shares of the Internet ad company traded through the
$45 resistance level?  The recovery continued yesterday right
up to the close.  Hitting a high of $44.88 this morning, DCLK
began drifting lower as the Internet sector came under pressure,
and the selling accelerated into the close.  The daily volume
is light, which is to be expected as DCLK approaches the $40
support level once again.  If the market weakness continues,
the stock could take another run at Monday's lows near $35.
Use volume for confirmation of the strength of a further
decline.  If it picks up as the price drops through support,
consider initiating new positions.  Otherwise, wait for another
rollover at the $43 resistance level before jumping aboard.

NKE $35.19 -0.38 (-2.06) NKE's Web site was overcome by hackers
Wednesday.  An activist group known as S-11 took over NKE's
homepage in protest of the upcoming World Economic Forum.  The
cyber sabotage is an extension of human rights organizations'
protest over conditions at NKE factories in Asia and Latin
America.  The news didn't have a major impact on the stock,
though NKE did slide lower Wednesday.  The stock mustered a minor
rally Wednesday morning, but after running into resistance at
$36, it weakened into the close of trading.  NKE dipped at the
open Thursday, and slid lower through the course of trading.
It did manage to find support at $35 Thursday, and bounced
slightly higher from that level.  Watch closely Friday morning to
see if support at $35 holds.  Consider an entry if the $35 level
fails.  Additionally, if the Retail sector rallies, watch for NKE
to run into resistance at $36 again, and consider an entry if the
stock drifts lower from that level.

UTX $56.50 -0.38 (-2.38) Is our play in UTX trying to find a
bottom?  It could be, but we really believe it needs to look
further south for its bottom.  As we've said, UTX doesn't move
at the speed of light, like many at the NASDAQ.  It appears
as though the trend is still intact, and our play is getting
ready for its next trip down.  We mentioned Tuesday UTX may
find some support near the $55 level and it has the past two
days.  Our play kicked into gear earlier on the news from
Honeywell.  Analysts this week have attempted to come to the
rescue saying that HON's problems are their own, and investors
shouldn't be selling shares of others in the same industry.
We won't know about that for sure until UTX reports quarterly
results in the middle of July.  There hasn't been any other
news for UTX this week.  With the major indices falling
today, we would like to have seen more participation from UTX.
However, that may not come until the tech stocks pick up
and investors move back into the exciting tech plays, selling
shares of UTX to fund their investments.



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

LNUX - VA Linux Systems Inc. $45.19 +6.94 (+12.44 this week)

Linux is poised to become more than just a fringe player in
corporate computing.  Firms employing Linux for print-n-file,
e-mail, and Web services are offering encouraging reports of
the operating system's high reliability, performance, and
scalability.  There are also firms using clustered Linux systems
for intensive tasks on large data sets.  Within the Global 2000,
Linux is picking up speed, moving forward as a legitimate
alternative OS for both server and desktop.  Certainly not
hurting its chances of deployment is the fact that information
systems departments can significantly cut budgets in the
per-server and per-client licensing fees arena by electing this
Unix-like OS.

An 18% gain on a day that the major indices stubbed their toe?
So what got investors to focus their attention towards Linux?
It could have been the announcement this morning from Intel.
INTC unveiled a limited-function computer for e-mail and
surfing the Internet.  It was Intel's bid to break into the
consumer market for Web appliances.  The Intel Dot.Station
Web appliance comes with a bunch of goodies like a built-in
telephone, calendar, address book, and e-mail.  So what got
investors so excited?  It uses the Linux operating system and
will be distributed and sold to consumers by Internet Service
Providers.  Investors expect demand for these so-called Web
appliances to be huge.  International Data Corp said they
expect the market to grow to 55.7 mln units and about $15.3 bln
in sales by the year 2002.  Since mid-April our new play has
been putting in a bottom between $30 and $40.  The move up today
could put LNUX back in the spotlight after its fall from $320 in
early December.  You may have noticed there are only four major
brokerages firms following the software company, and all of those
only have LNUX rated as a Buy.  With today's announcement we
would look either more reiterations or possibly firms initiating
coverage of Linux in the coming days.  Technically, our new play
gapped up through resistance at $38 this morning at the open, and
never looked back.  As the major indices were deteriorating late
today, LNUX moved $2 higher, with over 250K changing hands in the
last 15 minutes of the session.  Intraday support shows up at $43,
$40 and back at $38.  Should we see any profit taking, a bounce
off those levels could be considered as an entry for a new play.

Linux stocks began the week in a rally mode after Red Hat said
it would expand its relationship with Dell Computer.  Mission
Critical Linux, also announced on Monday, that General Atlantic
Partners had invested $20 mln in the Linux start-up.

BUY CALL JUL-35 NUU-GG OI=120 at $12.00 SL= 9.00
BUY CALL JUL-40*NUU-GH OI=130 at $ 8.75 SL= 6.50
BUY CALL JUL-45 NUU-GI OI=  0 at $ 6.13 SL= 4.00
BUY CALL AUG-40 NUU-HH OI= 36 at $10.75 SL= 8.00

SELL PUT JUL-40 NUU-SH OI=  1 at $3.25  SL= 5.25
(See risks of selling puts in play legend)

Picked on Jun 22nd at  $45.19    P/E = N/A
Change since picked     +0.00    52-week high=$320.00
Analysts Ratings    0-4-0-0-0    52-week low =$ 26.88
Last earnings 05/00 est=-0.23    actual=-0.13
Next earnings 08-22 est=-0.13    versus= n/a
Average Daily Volume =  601 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=LNUX


AGIL - Agile Software Co $63.63 +1.81 (+6.44 this week)

Agile develops and markets product content management software,
which is software that enables companies to collaborate over
the Internet by interactively exchanging information about the
manufacture and supply of products and components.  Agile's
collaborative suite of software products is designed to improve
the ability of all members of the manufacturing supply chain.
Since their start in 1996, they have licensed their products to
approximately 300 customers including Gateway, Texas
Instruments, Philips Mobile Computing, Lucent Technologies,
Solectron, GE Marquette Medical Systems and FSI International.
About 40% of sales come from additional material procurement
applications, consulting, implementation, support, and training
services.

AGIL's month long recovery took on new life yesterday with
promises of more to come.  While waiting in desperation for a
break through that ever-elusive 200-dma (currently at $61),
Southwest Securities stepped in with a new Buy rating.  The
timing was right and AGIL jumped out of the tight trading range
of $56 and $59.  Analyst Bradley Whitt initiated the coverage
citing "the stock deserves a premium valuation due to its
accelerating software growth, high gross margins, leadership
status, exceptional execution, scalable business model, and
financial security".  He also issued an $86 12-month price
target.  Last week another analyst, Michael Micciche at DLJ,
reiterated a Buy recommendation for the stock and issued a $100
price target.  However, AGIL remained trapped under that
formidable resistance at the $60 mark.  The boost of adrenaline
propelled AGIL even higher in today's session.  The share price
peaked at $66.19 and volume remained robust at more than twice
the norm.  Essentially this is a simple momentum play.  Don't
look for an earnings announcement to generate any excitement.
The company isn't due to report until late August.  So for now
play the trend for what it is - a technical rebound.  Dips
followed by definitive bounces off the 200-dma technical can be
used for entries.  If you're more on the cautious side, wait for
the trend to develop with more positive moves off the current
level.

In the news today, Agile Software announced an alliance Symix
Systems (SYMC) to provide its mid-market manufacturing customers
with extended supply chain collaboration capabilities.

BUY CALL JUL-60 AUG-GL OI=211 at $9.25 SL=6.25
BUY CALL JUL-65*AUG-GM OI= 83 at $7.00 SL=5.00
BUY CALL JUL-70 AUG-GN OI= 71 at $4.63 SL=2.75
BUY CALL AUG-60 AUG-HL OI=  0 at $8.38 SL=5.75
BUY CALL AUG-65 AUG-HM OI=  0 at $7.50 SL=5.25

Picked on June 22nd at  $63.63    P/E = N/A
Change since picked      +0.00    52-week high=$112.50
Analysts Ratings     2-6-0-0-0    52-week low =$ 17.13
Last earnings 03/00  est=-0.06    actual=-0.02
Next earnings 08-26  est=-0.04    versus=-0.09
Average Daily Volume =   692 K
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=AGIL



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

AMZN - Amazon.com $42.00 -4.06 (-4.00 this week)

Amazon.com opened its virtual doors in July 1995 with a mission
to use the Internet to transform book buying into the fastest,
easiest, and most enjoyable shopping experience possible.  Today,
Amazon.com is the place to find and discover anything you want to
buy online. Over 17 million people in more than 160 countries
have made them the leading online shopping site.  Earth's Biggest
Selection of products, including free electronic greeting cards,
online auctions, and millions of books, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys
and games, and electronics.  In addition to its US Web site, the
Company currently has two internationally focused Web sites
located at www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.de. The Company also
has invested in and developed strategic commercial relationships
with a number of selected e-commerce companies.

Since hitting its all-time high of $113 on December 9, 1999, it's
been all downhill for the Poster Child of High Cash Burn Rate
Stocks.  While AMZN is beloved to its customers for their low
prices, ease-of-use and excellent service, its investors have
been treated to an experience more closely resembling a root
canal - down down down - slowly and deeply.  Connecting the local
highs since its December top, a clear downtrend line can be drawn
from which AMZN has not broken out of.  This can also be found in
its Business to Consumer (B2C) peers such as EBAY and YHOO, but
to a far lesser extent.  Once the darling of tech investors, B2C
Internet stocks gave way to B2B Internet stocks and now the
flavor of the moment seems to be the Internet Infrastructure
stocks.  So where does that leave AMZN? Over 60% off its high is
one way to answer the question.  With negative momentum in the
Internet B2C sector, summer being a traditionally slow season for
B2C Internet stocks, and little in the way of fundamentals to
support the stock (even at its current price AMZN could hardly be
called a value play), there is little incentive to buy.  With
little incentive to buy, we are adding AMZN as a put play and
going with the direction of the trend.  After trading in a range
from $40-$45 for the last week, the stock finally chose a
direction.  Losing almost 9% today on almost twice the average
daily volume, the direction is decidedly down, riding the 5-dma
currently at $45.  Resistance can also be found at its 10-dma,
currently $46.72 and its 20-dma, currently $48.75.  Be aware of
support that can be found at $40.50 for the stock.  A break
through that level on good volume will lead to more downside with
little resistance.

BUY PUT JUL-45 QZN-SI OI=2191 at $6.13 SL=4.25
BUY PUT JUL-40*QZN-SH OI=6970 at $3.50 SL=1.75

Average Daily Volume = 6.67 mln
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=AMZN



**********************
PLAY OF THE DAY - CALL
**********************

RBAK - Redback Networks $132.25 -3.38 (+13.25 this week)

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Redback
Networks is a leading provider of advanced networking solutions
that enable carriers, cable operators, and service providers to
rapidly deploy broadband access and services.  The company's
market-leading Subscriber Management Systems (SMSs) connect and
manage large numbers of subscribers using any of the major
broadband access technologies such as Digital Subscriber Line
(DSL), cable, and wireless.  To deliver integrated transport
solutions for metropolitan optical networks, Redback's SmartEdge
multi-service platforms leverage powerful advances in
application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), IP, and optical
technology.  With this product portfolio, Redback Networks is the
first equipment supplier focused exclusively on developing
integrated solutions for the New Access Network.

Most Recent Write-Up

On Sunday, we mentioned $120 as a difficult obstacle.  So much
for obstacles.  Monday saw RBAK breaking up and out, gaining
almost 15% or $17.32 on heavy volume.  Since then the stock has
been digesting its big one-day gain.  Tuesday saw news of a
strategic alliance with Internet infrastructure provider AsiaInfo
in a broadband initiative in China.  On Wednesday, analyst Bob
Hirschfeld of Bear Stearns made positive comments about Internet
infrastructure stocks, giving a thumbs up to RBAK, calling it the
leader in DSL/cable aggregation.  Considering the general market
sell-off today, RBAK held up well, closing just above its 5-dma.
During the drop, RBAK stopped dead at $129.25 and bounced.
Bounces from the $130 level along with a strong NASDAQ could be a
good entry.  Look for support at this level as well as the 10-dma,
currently at $124. This also happens to be the area from which
RBAK broke out after consolidating all of last week.  On the
upside, $145 is formidable resistance considering the recent
run-up.

Comments

RBAK spent part of the day over $140 but slipped with the
broader NASDAQ sell-off.  It did bounce at $130 though.  You can
be certain that if the NASDAQ runs for 4100 again, RBAK will be
right there.  Support lies at $130 and $124, the 10-dma.  Bounces
from there would provide strong entries.  Keep a close on the
NASDAQ, especially key levels at 3950, 4000, 4050, and that
elusive 4100.

BUY CALL JUL-125 BKK-GE OI= 282 at $20.38 SL=15.75
BUY CALL JUL-130 BKK-GF OI= 335 at $17.88 SL=14.00
BUY CALL JUL-135*BKK-GG OI=1159 at $16.13 SL=12.50
BUY CALL JUL-140 BKK-GH OI=1397 at $13.75 SL=11.00
BUY CALL AUG-140 BKK-HH OI=  11 at $20.25 SL=15.75

SELL PUT JUL-120 BKK-SD OI= 444 at $ 8.63 SL=11.00
(See risks of selling puts in play legend)

Picked on May 28th at   $72.06     P/E = N/A
Change since picked     +60.19     52-week high=$198.50
Analysts Ratings     9-3-1-0-0     52-week low =$ 20.00
Last earnings 04/00  est= 0.03     actual= 0.05 surprise = 33%
Next earnings 07-12  est=-0.06     versus=-0.05
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 mln
/charts/charts.asp?symbol=RBAK



************************
COMBOS/SPREADS/STRADDLES
************************

Wall Street Bears Retaliate!

Wednesday, June 21

Equity markets moved higher today amid strength in technology
issues.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded 62 points
to end at 10,497 and the Nasdaq composite index added 50 points
to finish at 4063.  The S&P 500 Index ended slightly higher at
1479.  Trading volume on the NYSE reached 1.01 billion shares,
with declines beating advances 1,603 to 1,264.  There were 55
stocks at new highs and 75 at new lows.  Activity on the Nasdaq
was moderate with 1.5 billion shares traded.  Declines edged
advances 1,996 to 1,975.  In the bond market, the U.S. 30-year
Treasury was down a full point, pushing its yield up to 5.96%.


Tuesday's new plays (positions/opening prices/strategy):

Cytogen      CYTO   AUG7C/JUL10C  $1.56   debit   diagonal
Gen. Magic   GMGC   NOV7C/JUL7C   $1.25   debit   calendar
Unisys       UIS    JUL35C/J20P   $1.38   credit  strangle

All of our new positions offered favorable entry opportunities.


Portfolio plays:

The Nasdaq rallied again today, boosted by gains in the price of
Microsoft (MSFT).  Shares of the world's leading software company
climbed above $80 after a trial judge unexpectedly froze a set of
restrictions implemented as a result of the federal government's
antitrust lawsuit.  The decision essentially granted the company
a year-long stay of execution and for investors, the news sparked
a wave of optimism.  Analysts were also expecting Microsoft to
reveal details this week of plans to deliver its software products
and services over the Internet.  The software giant's gains helped
both indices move higher but the effect was most pronounced in the
Nasdaq, which ended just a few points short of positive territory
for the year.  The Dow recovered from Tuesday's slump on strength
in Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (MMM), which ended $4 higher
after a bullish analyst's meeting.  Unfortunately, the advance in
industrial issues was tempered by concerns over interest rates and
future earnings.  Some analysts said the market is being weighed
down by worries that the FOMC may not be through raising interest
rates.  One expert commented on the Wall Street Journal's report,
which said that economists remain skeptical that the current signs
of slowing growth will be enough to restrain inflation.

Overall, the market performed quite well considering the recent
interest-rate uncertainty and a number of groups excelled during
the session.  Oil stocks moved higher after the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries opted to raise crude production by
an amount more modest than analysts anticipated.  Equipment and
drilling companies were among the industry leaders and our long-
term position in Texaco (TX) benefited from the upside activity.
Shares of biotechnology stocks joined in the bullish movement and
our leaders in that group were Immunex (IMNX) and Sepracor (SEPR).
In the broader market, electronic instrument and gaming stocks
advanced while household products, aluminum and healthcare issues
slumped.  Internet stocks also came under pressure but business
software and semiconductor companies offset those losses.  Our
top performers in those categories were Active Software (ASWX),
which added $3.75 to close at a recent high near $77 and Red Hat
(RHAT) with a $1.75 gain to $32.  Integrated Silicon Solutions
(ISSI) finished just short of an all-time high near $41.


Thursday, June 22

The technology rally came to a halt today amid concerns over the
impending Federal Reserve meeting.  The Nasdaq ended down 127
points at 3936.  The anticipation of lower corporate earnings
drove the Dow 121 points lower to 10,376.  The S&P 500 Index was
also down 26 points at 1452.  Trading volume on the NYSE hit 1.02
billion shares, with declines beating advances 1,866 to 1,001.
On the Nasdaq, trading in biotech, chip and Internet shares all
contributed to an active session where 1.64 billion shares were
exchanged.  Technology declines beat advances 2,434 to 1,539.
In the bond market, the 30-year Treasury was flat with its yield
steady at 5.96%.


Portfolio plays:

The majority of issues in our portfolio moved lower today along
with virtually all the market sectors.  Industrial and technology
stocks succumbed to selling pressure as new concerns over next
week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting weighed on investors.
The Dow aptly displayed analyst's worries over the current state
of the economy with blue-chip cyclical and retail issues falling
precipitously.  Profit-taking in biotech and semiconductor stocks
hammered the Nasdaq and in the broader market, drug, oil service,
and brokerages endured the biggest declines.  Many of the issues
in our portfolio had achieved substantial gains in the past few
session and thus most of the positions were little affected by
today's sell-off.

The were a number of surprises in the small-cap section.  Cytogen
(CYTO) jumped $1.50 to close at $10, even as profit-taking in the
biotechs helped drag the Nasdaq lower.  There was no announcement
in conjunction with the move but the trading volume suggests the
rally will continue.  Our new position is profitable after just
tow days and we will look for any favorable exit opportunities.

General Magic (GMGC) rallied $2 today after officials of the
company announced they have secured a contract to integrate its
Voice XML-based magicTalk communications software with IBM's
DirectTalk and WebSphere Voice Server with ViaVoice Technology.
The deal calls for the companies to jointly deliver and host
end-to-end voice products.  General Magic also secured a deal
with Global Services Network to deliver unified communications
services to the enterprise and mobile professional markets.  The
terms of the agreement were not disclosed but investors believe
it will boost GMGC's revenues substantially.  Our new calendar
spread position traded at a small profit during the session and
closed near break-even.  Of course the decision must be made to
remain at the "in-the-money" strike ($7.50) or roll up-and-out
to a (NOV7C/AUG10C) diagonal spread.  The additional debit for
the new position is approximately $0.50 and the potential return
on investment is slightly above 40%.

There was an unexpected announcement concerning our bullish,
diagonal position in PSS World Medical (PSSI).  Fisher Scientific
International (FSH), the world leader serving science, announced
that their board of directors has agreed to acquire PSS World
Medical in a tax-free, stock exchange.   Under the terms of the
agreement, 0.31 of a share of FSH common stock will be exchanged
for each outstanding PSS World Medical share.  Based on Fisher's
June 21, 2000 closing price of $38 per share, the value of the
transaction is approximately $11.86 per PSS share.  Unfortunately,
the price of Fisher's stock dropped $10 today and the deal does
not have a collar on the lower limit for PSSI shareholders.  With
our position at $12.50 in November, the alternatives were limited.
We chose simply to roll to the AUG-$12.50 calls on the short side
and hope that Fisher's share value eventually recovers.  Our new
cost basis in the position is now $0.50 and there is a reasonable
possibility that FSH will rebound in the next few months.

In the straddles section, Jones Apparel (JNY) continued to slump
with the retail sector and today, the overall credit for the
(AUG30C/AUG30P) position reached $8.12; a $1.00 profit on $7.12
invested.  The Lennox International (LII) debit-strangle also
enjoyed a small boost during the session as the issue rallied to
a midday high near $12.62.  The overall credit for the position
hit $1.50; an 80% return in just over one week.

Questions & comments on spreads/combos to Contact Support
******************************************************************
                         - STRATEGIES -
******************************************************************

DEBIT STRADDLES...

This neutral, low risk strategy works well when the underlying
issue is expected to make a large movement in either direction.
Before we can begin a discussion on the proper techniques for
purchasing straddles, there are a few definitions that must be
fully understood.

Debit straddle: A neutral option trading strategy, which consists
of the purchase a put and a call, generally with the same strike
and the same expiration month.  The position will benefit from a
large move in one direction or the other and based on the size
and timeliness of the move, it can generate large profits.  The
risk, (if little or no movement occurs) is limited to the initial
amount paid for the straddle.  By carefully selecting undervalued
options and making reasonable assumptions about future movements
in the underlying security, this can be a profitable strategy
with very limited risk.

Option Pricing: The primary influence on an option's price is the
movement of the underlying security.  The next important factor is
time value.  An option's price decays each day it is in existence.
The closer the option gets to expiration, the faster it decays.
There are other, less important factors that affect the price of
an option including interest and dividend rates.

Volatility: The volatility component of option pricing is a
measure of the range the underlying security is expected to
change over a given period of time.  The actual measurement is
the standard deviation of the daily price changes in the issue.

Historical (statistical) Volatility: A measure of how quickly the
underlying security has moved in the past.  It is a mathematical
definition based on historical prices.  In most cases, the higher
the statistical volatility, the more an option is worth.

Implied Volatility: The market's estimate of future volatility of
the underlying security.  Implied volatility calculators begin
with the current option price and extrapolate the theoretical
value of volatility.  Even though it is a computed value, it is
still just an estimate and is subject to errors or irregularities
when the market performs unexpectedly.  In general terms, implied
volatility is the volatility value that makes an option's fair
value equal to its actual market price.

There are three rules to identifying favorable conditions for a
straddle purchase.  First, the trader should select options that
are undervalued (cheap).  Next, the underlying security must have
the potential to move (high or low) enough to make the straddle
profitable.  Finally, the underlying stock should have a history
of multiple movements through a sufficient range in the required
amount of time to justify the overall risk/reward of the position.

The first step is to determine how fairly the options are priced.
This may be done with sophisticated pricing software or by simply
comparing the current levels of implied volatility to past levels
of implied volatility.  When the relative implied volatility is
low, options are effectively under priced.

After identifying a series of inexpensive options, the trader must
determine if the underlying stock has the ability to move to a
profitable position in the required amount of time.  Three months
is generally the shortest recommended period for debit straddles;
shorter-term positions suffer from time decay too quickly.  With
a simple probability calculator, it is easy to estimate the chance
of the underlying stock finishing outside the break-even points at
expiration.  One thing you must understand when using these tools
is that historical volatility measures are generally based on 10,
20, 50 and 100 day statistics and thus it is important to make a
conservative estimate so as to not to artificially inflate the
probability of profit.

The next step is to look at a price chart of the stock to see if
it has a history of moving the required distance in the allotted
time frame.  The important thing to examine is how often the issue
moves through the necessary profit range in each of the past four
or five (target) periods.  Once again, simple option analysis
software will do this automatically and more importantly, it will
forecast the probability of actually profiting from the position.

One thing to be aware of when buying any option is that time decay
becomes greatest during the last month before expiration.  A three
month debit straddle will have lost approximately 50% of its value
before the beginning of the worst erosion period even if the stock
remains exactly at the original price when the position was opened.
This makes it very important to use a mental loss limit near one-
half the cost of the initial straddle purchase to preserve capital
in the event the underlying issue does not perform as expected.

After the position is open and the underlying stock begins to make
a move, it is necessary to decide whether to "ride the trend" to
the break-even point or trade against the straddle.  One technique
is to hold the straddle until the value of either option pays for
the entire position, then the remaining option is risk-free with
unlimited profit potential.  A similar method bases the target exit
on the sum total of both positions.  When one position is worth the
total initial debit, both positions are closed and the premium
from the lower priced option is profit.  The latter strategy works
well when there is still ample time until the options expire.

"Riding the trend" is considered the more profitable technique for
directional traders but it involves additional risk and requires
knowledge of basic technical analysis.  The most common approach to
this strategy is to monitor the underlying issue for a breakout or
key reversal through a technical support or resistance level.  When
the new trend has been positively identified, the lower priced
options (losing side) are sold along with one-half of the higher
priced options (profitable side).  The remaining position is held
until a reasonable profit target is met and downside protection
is maintained with a trailing stop.  Advanced traders favor this
follow-up technique because it is based on known technical trends
and the action generally occurs near the position's break-even
points.  When one of these points is reached, two simple trades
lower the overall cost basis while retaining a high probability
of eventual profit.

Determining how and when to exit a play is a matter of personal
preference but in most cases, if the underlying issue performs
poorly, the play should be liquidated before time value decay
erodes the entire position significantly.  As the last month of
option life approaches, you should begin to plan an exit.  Study
the daily movement of the underlying issue and use it to your
advantage to exit the position; selling each option for whatever
you can, when instincts (not emotion!) tell you it's right.
It's very difficult to learn to close out losing plays early but
the simple fact is; there is no reason to hang on to a losing
position when there are so many other profitable plays that
deserve your time and money.  Accept your losses, learn from
your mistakes, (and evaluate each one critically) then move on!

Favorable debit straddles are relatively simple to uncover.  The
basic requirements are inexpensive options on issues that have
proven historical volatility.  The strategy is very simple and
perfect for the novice trader providing he or she understands
option pricing basics and follows a few simple guidelines.  This
type of strategy can generate excellent returns because losses
are limited to the initial investment and profits are limited
only by time and volatility in the underlying issue.

More information on this and other spread/combination strategies
can be found in Larry McMillan's book, "Options As A Strategic
Investment", available in the OIN bookstore.

Good Luck!



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