Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 12/06/2000

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The Option Investor Newsletter                Wednesday 12-06-2000
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MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
        12-06-2000        High      Low     Volume Advance/Decline
DJIA    10664.40 -234.30 10896.10 10620.90 1.37 bln   1219/1669
NASDAQ   2796.50 - 93.30  2916.20  2781.24 2.31 bln   1540/2392
S&P 100   717.25 - 14.84   731.16   714.24   totals   2759/4061
S&P 500  1351.46 - 25.08  1376.01  1346.15           40.5%/59.5%
RUS 2000  463.54 -  7.63   474.11   463.15
DJ TRANS 2815.71 - 27.96  2854.28  2810.87
VIX        27.94 +  1.00    28.34    26.49
Put/Call Ratio      0.61

Greenspan rally hit by falling apple! Supreme Court will hear case.

The warning by Apple Computer after the close yesterday was the
primary cause of the early morning dip but that was just the
beginning of the problems. The warnings list today was led by Banc
America and followed with about a dozen lesser companies. The
downgrades were flying and stocks were dropping. Just like last
week all over again. Four of the Fed head's partners on the FOMC
gave speeches today but there was not anything earth shaking like
the Greenspan speech. Did you really expect the markets to tack
on another couple hundred points today?

The Greenspan speech was dissected by dozens of pundits today each
with a sharper microscope. What Alan said about positive things
ahead was filled with enough caveats to fill a state of the union
address. Seems he was preaching to the choir and they heard what
they wanted to hear and ignored the things they did not like. Kind
of like my children when listening to a list of chores to be
completed before going to the movies. Traders heard soft landing,
bias change and rate cuts and did not hear the "IF" word used
repeatedly. Part of the IF came true this morning with today's
economic reports. The Productivity Report showed a revised +3.3%
gain in 3Q productivity, revised downward from +3.8%. This is
still good news. The bad news was the Labor Costs rose +2.9% which
showed that even though employment is still tight but declining
the costs are climbing. The Fed has been concerned for quite a
while that the climbing productivity would slow and labor costs
would rise. Bingo! This report will be overshadowed by the Non-
Farm payroll Report on Friday. If the unemployment rate stays in
the 3.9% range and hourly wages climb along with a rise in jobs
then all the IF clauses in Greenspan's speech will come back to
haunt us. The other Fed gremlins have almost all gone on record
recently as saying they are still more concerned with inflation
and labor markets than recession. Perry is the one exception that
comes to mind today. He said he personally felt the economy was
dropping faster than necessary. With the Fed not meeting until
Dec-19th we still have over a week of verbal warfare before the
actual outcome is known.

With all the Fed dread sneaking back into the market chatter after
only one day of euphoria, the earnings warnings news was even more
dramatic. The Apple warnings rippled through out the entire PC
sector. INTC, which had reaffirmed its estimates recently was
downgraded again by Salomon Smith Barney saying they expect the
fourth quarter to be the worst in a decade for Intel. Wow! INTC
dropped to another 52-week low of $31.24 making our lottery put
on INTC a sure winner without a miraculous recovery. Dell, CPQ,
IBM and HWP all suffered similar fates with Dell hitting a new
52-week low to $17.50. Hewlett-Packard had an analyst meeting
today and affirmed their estimates but still fell -3 to $32.
The PC sector is turning into the Rodney Dangerfield sector and
it may be a long time before they garner respect again. The PC
has now invaded 60% of U.S. homes on the Internet wave last year.
With a 3yr or longer replacement cycle that puts us into late 2001
and 2002 before there is any replacement wave expected to form.
The Y2K business upgrades are now approaching two years old and
the same replacement cycle puts them into 2002 before there is a
major wave. With more and more Internet enabled devices other than
the PC there is a large possibility that many of these current PC
strongholds will not be replaced but retired. CSFB downgraded
almost anything that touches a PC this morning and more are sure
to follow. As written here before the worst sector to downgrade
is the PC sector since it hits almost every other sector except
maybe biotechs. Chips, Internet, Networking, Software, Retailers,
etc will all suffer from the falling PC sales and ripples
of downgrades. ADBE took a serious hit today since they are linked
to Apple for many retail products. We don't see this as a major
problem for them since they are receiving much more business from
Internet commerce and we added them as a play tonight.

Juniper got hit today on not only profit taking but on news that
Ericsson had sold 10.4 million shares of JNPR stock for about
$1.2 billion that they said they were going to use to fund the
third generation cell phone effort. JNPR traded down -$22 in
pre-market trading but the key word here was "sold." Ericsson
had already sold these shares and there should have been no
impact other than sentiment to JNPR stock. JNPR closed down -16
which was only about 2/3 of the gains from yesterday. We view
this as an entry point for JNPR ASSUMING the market recovers and
moves higher.

The big noise in the market today was the BAC warning. Claiming
that loan losses would be almost double the 3Q rate the stock
dropped almost -$6 from yesterday's high but recovered to close
down only -1.19 after the smoke cleared. The damage was to other
financial stocks guilty by association.

Other high profile warnings today included FSR, another bank,
and CC, CEFT, SCNT and HAS to name a few. Circuit City warned
that slowing sales would almost quadruple the expected -.08 loss
into a possible -.33 loss. CC dropped -25% on the news. The
good news CSGS warned to the upside saying that they would
probably beat estimates going forward. LSCC said they were
taking the low stock price as an opportunity to buy back an
additional 5 million shares of stock. Henry Blodget downgraded
Yahoo again and sent it back down to $37.50 where it appears
to have found support. YHOO announced today they were looking
for a new sales executive and I wish them luck. Internet ad
sales is very tough now and even though they have clout on their
side it is a tough sell. Dow Jones also warned today due to a
slowing demand in advertising after the Internet died. Tribune
also warned after the close.

The election news was mixed with several cliff hangers currently
in process that could turn the election 180 degrees in a heartbeat.
The win by Gore in the Atlanta court today took another -$3 off
the MSFT stock price. This was obviously impacted by the PC sector
downgrades as well. The court cases are rapidly approaching a
brick wall of noon on Dec-12th. According to the law electors
have to be certified by then so there are only five days left
for all the fireworks to end. That will be another benchmark for
the market and with the election still teetering on the brink
and no clear winner everything is still up for grabs. The market
does not like this uncertainty as evidenced by the wide swings
whenever there is major news of court decisions. This could help
keep the lid on until the final gun sounds.

Bonds soared today with the prospect of lower interest rates
next year and with money flowing out of the bipolar markets.
With no follow through from Tuesday's rally the same money that
was ready to jump on the next tech train was derailed into bonds.
Oil rebounded off $28.20 and rose almost +1.60 from the lows.
The three day drop had energized the transport sector but the
bounce today brought them back to reality.

Did you pop the champagne last night or did you wait like I
recommended? Do you feel as confident today as you did last night?
There was a lot of rumors in the market today that the majority
of the bounce yesterday was short covering by large hedge funds
and almost no retail trades. As much as the talking heads tried
to fuel the bounce and give it legs it just did not happen. The
Nasdaq spiked up to resistance at 2900 and rolled right over to
close at the low of the day at 2796. The Dow never had a chance
with a strong bounce off resistance at 10900 and then the BAC
warning which knocked -$12 off JPM in only about 30 min. The
Dow is heavily financially weighted and with AXP, C, JPM and
tech weighted now with IBM, MSFT, INTC, UTX, HWP. Either sector
could have caused weakness but the combination of the two was
the kiss of death. The Dow gave back -234 of the +338 points
it gained on Tuesday. Now I would gladly trade those numbers
on alternate days forever but I don't think that is in the cards.
Even if we had not had the big high profile warnings today there
would have been some weakness from simple profit taking. You
don't get +250-350 point gains without pull backs.

Many analysts are now pointing to the length of time before the
Fed meeting, the election uncertainty and the flood of earnings
warnings as evidence of yet another retest of 2500 on the Nasdaq
and 10400 on the Dow. Maybe, maybe not. The taste of positive
sentiment on Tuesday was a powerful drug and as we know today's
traders have a very short patience threshold. With the important
Payroll Report due out before the open on Friday there is a
possibility that traders will want to lighten up Thursday afternoon.
Recently we have had the reverse with traders buying in anticipation
of a post jobs report rally but the market is very fragile now
and traders burned today may want to simply watch. Many analysts
are saying that any further dip is a selective buying opportunity
but they have been saying that since Nasdaq 3800 which happens to
be the 200 DMA, over +1000 points above us.

I would be a selective buyer. Simply to take out the naysayers
I would like to see another 2500 retest so they would have no
excuse going forward. Another retest would also take a lot of
the risk out of the market again and us dip buyers could party
yet once again. Still I would buy NTAP, JNPR, BRCD, BRCM on any
pull back and rebound. After the close today ORCL picked NTAP
as their vendor of choice for network storage only one day after
EMC announced their NTAP competitive product. Timing is everything!
The VIX retreated to only 27.94 and the put/call ratios .61. This
is not pointing to a big up trend. While I personally believe
2500 was the bottom, that belief and $3.50 will get you a cup
of coffee. What I believe more strongly is that we will jump
around a lot until the election is over and the Fed actually
does something. There is a strong possibility that they will
still do nothing. However, once the election is settled on Dec-12th
the bargain hunters and bottom fishers will start loading up before
the Dec-19th Fed meeting in hopes of a favorable decision. I believe
we should selectively buy the dips on ONLY the strongest stocks.
We should also be ready to bail on a moments notice in case our
entry points were not the bottom of the dip. This is a traders
market and not a market for people who want to buy and hold options
until 2001. That time will come but probably not for a week or two.
Be patient or be quick. That is our only opportunity at this time.
There are a lot of stocks that appear to have put in bottoms but
even a helium balloon goes down in a down elevator. Wait for the
up elevator!

Good luck and don't buy too soon.

Jim Brown

JOHN DESSAUER "Dream Seminar at Sea"

You have seen me write about John Dessauer, a newsletter editor
with a 20-year history. John spoke at our March Expo here in Denver
to about 600 attendees. John uses a common sense bottom up method
of stock picking and has been very successful. He has asked me to
speak at his "Dream Seminar at Sea" in March. The itinerary looks
more like a vacation than a seminar with stops in Aruba, Caracas,
Grenada, Dominica, St Thomas and San Juan but John will manage to
keep us busy. If you have interest in this event visit this link:


Why put all your risk into one stock when you can play the
index instead?

Learn how to invest in the OEX, QQQ, and SPX.  Get intraday
market updates, plays, education and daily commentaries by
those who know.

Sign up for a two week free trial and see for yourself:


ADBE - Adobe Systems $67.19 -9.50 (-0.13 this week)

A long-time leader in desktop publishing software, ADBE
provides graphic design, publishing, and imaging software
for Web and print production.  Offering a line of application
software products for creating, distributing, and managing
information of all types, the company generates nearly 75% of
sales through publishing software products such as Photoshop,
Illustrator, and PageMaker.  Its Acrobat Reader, which uses
portable document format (PDF) is popping up all over the
Internet, as businesses shift from print to digital

Compared to most stocks on the NASDAQ, ADBE has a pretty good
looking chart.  Despite the broad-based technology selling that
we have seen over the last 8 months, ADBE has continued to march
higher, tagging a new 52-week high as recently as early
November.  Since then the stock has fallen off with the rest of
the technology sector.  So why are we adding it as a new call
play?  Quite simply, the solid bounce at the 200-dma a week ago
is too good to pass up.  That was the first time in over 18
months that the bears were able to drag the price low enough for
a test of this level, and the rebound was quite encouraging.
Unfortunately the company got caught in the stampede created by
APPL's earnings warning, giving up all of its Tuesday gains, to
close back down near the 200-dma ($62.69).  Anything related to
PC sales took a big hit today on the warning news, despite the
fact that APPL's problems are not really deemed to be industry
related.  Rather, they are due to poor management and an
inability to achieve growth goals.  ADBE couldn't dodge the
selling which came with the conviction of volume nearly triple
the ADV.  The bulls finally reappeared in the final hour,
supporting the stock near the $65 support level, gobbling up
nearly 2 million shares before the closing bell.  If you're
looking for another catalyst, think earnings.  ADBE will release
its results on December 14th after the close, and if recent
history is any indication, should handily beat estimates of 29
cents per share.  This will be a short-lived play due to the
earnings report, but with our stop placed at the 200-dma, it has
an attractive risk-reward ratio.  Intraday dips to support are
buyable, but make sure that the stock bounces before playing.
More conservative players will want to see strong buying volume
push the stock up through the $70 resistance level before
opening new positions.  Regardless of your entry strategy,
confirm strength on the NASDAQ before initiating a trade.

***December contracts expire next week***

BUY CALL DEC-65 AXX-LM OI= 758 at $ 7.25 SL= 5.25
BUY CALL DEC-70*AXX-LU OI= 492 at $ 4.50 SL= 2.75
BUY CALL JAN-70 AXX-AN OI=6260 at $ 8.13 SL= 5.75
BUY CALL JAN-75 AXX-AO OI=1806 at $ 6.38 SL= 4.25
BUY CALL APR-70 AXX-DN OI= 174 at $13.50 SL=10.00
BUY CALL APR-75 AXX-DO OI= 474 at $11.50 SL= 8.50

SELL PUT DEC-60 AXX-XL OI= 917 at $ 2.63 SL= 4.25
(See risks of selling puts in play legend)



RMBS - Rambus Inc. $47.31 -2.31 (-3.88 this week)

Synonymous with high-speed memory, RMBS designs, develops,
licenses and markets high-speed chip-to-chip interface
technology to enhance the performance and cost-effectiveness
of computer and consumer electronics products.  The company
licenses semiconductor companies to manufacture and sell
memory and logic ICs incorporating Rambus interface technology,
and markets its solution to systems companies in an effort to
encourage them to design Rambus interface technology into
their products.

There has been no safe haven for stocks even remotely connected
to the PC sector over the past month, with earnings warnings
from the likes of DELL, GTW and APPL.  Add in the fact that the
Philly Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) recently tagged a new
52-week low, and you can see the logic behind our new put play
on RMBS.  RMBS' claim to fame is the new RDRAM that is reputed
to greatly increase the performance of the INTC Pentium 4, but
the prospects of brisk sales are being called into doubt.
Rumors have been flying around fast and furious that INTC will
warn about being unable to meet analyst expectations in its
upcoming earnings report, and once again traced a new 52-week
low today.  It's hard for a stock to move up when all of the
company's customers are seeing a slowdown in their respective
industry.  RMBS makes its income through royalties on its
intellectual property, and if fewer products are sold, there
will be less royalty income, plain and simple.  After breaking
below the 200-dma again a month ago, RMBS' downtrend has
steepened again, and today's rollover at the $52 resistance
level completes yet another lower high.  We are placing our
stop at the $55 resistance level, which sits right on the
30-dma.  Conservative traders will look to initiate new
positions on a break below support at $45, as the bears
increase their selling pressure.  Further weakness looks like
it could easily challenge the stock's recent lows near $37,
before conditions improve.  More aggressive entries can be
had on a failed rally to resistance, but confirm strong
selling volume as well as negative trend on the SOX.X before

***December contracts expire next week***

BUY PUT DEC-50*BYQ-XJ OI= 696 at $ 6.00 SL=6.00
BUY PUT DEC-45 BYQ-XI OI= 423 at $ 3.25 SL=1.50
BUY PUT JAN-50 BYQ-MJ OI=2971 at $10.88 SL=8.00
BUY PUT JAN-45 BYQ-MI OI= 895 at $ 8.00 SL=5.75



AIG - American International Group $101.25 +1.19 (+3.81 this week)

AIG is the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial
insurance in the United States.  Its member companies write a
wide range of commercial and personal insurance products through
a variety of distribution channels in approximately 130 countries.
AIG's global businesses also include financial services and asset

Amid the volatility in the broader markets, the insurance sector
continues to produce profits.  And AIG is no exception.  The
stock flirted with an all-time high during Wednesday's session
while the broader markets spent the day back filling and combating
profits takers.  For its part, AIG has been rolling higher since
last spring, using its 50-dma as support along the way.  But,
AIG hasn't seen the likes of its 50-dma for quite some time.  The
stock has managed to post seven consecutive sessions of higher
prices - a feat in and of itself.  That said, a pullback may be
in order in which we'd use as an entry point.  If AIG does back
fill, watch for a bounce off support at $98, or lower near $96,
and wait for the buyers to step in before entering new call
positions.  Make note that we've set our stop just below AIG's
50-dma at $95 in order to give the stock room to trade.  We
would drop coverage if AIG closed below $95.  The more
adventurous traders might consider entering new positions if
AIG continues its climb to new highs.  Watch for a breakout
above the near-term high at $102.56, but make sure to confirm
such a move with strong volume.

***December contracts expire next week***

BUY CALL DEC- 95 AIG-LS OI=2201 at $6.75 SL=4.75
BUY CALL DEC-100 AIG-LT OI=2758 at $2.81 SL=1.50
BUY CALL JAN- 95 AIG-AS OI=2703 at $9.25 SL=6.25
BUY CALL JAN-100*AIG-AT OI=4210 at $5.38 SL=3.50
BUY CALL JAN-105 AIG-AA OI=1250 at $2.88 SL=1.50
BUY CALL FEB-105 AIG-BA OI= 891 at $4.38 SL=2.75


TERN - Terayon Communications $16.19 +1.75 (+2.69 this week)

Terayon Communications provides innovative broadband systems and
solutions for the delivery of advanced, carrier-class voice,
data and video services, which are deployed by the world's
leading cable, telco and satellite network operators and

While certain sectors of technology continue to struggle, the
networkers, large and small, are showing signs of life.  The
rebirth of small-cap networking stocks was evident Wednesday when
TERN posted substantial gains in the face of an unfavorable
NASDAQ, on strong volume to boot.  The stock has spent the past
week climbing from its recently traced 52-week low at $11, and
has appeared to built a solid base.  We're looking for TERN to
emerge from its base, with help from the broader networking
sector.  New positions could be initiated if TERN breaks out
above the $17 level on strong volume.  But before entering on
a breakout, make sure to confirm direction in the NASDAQ and
other networkers including CIEN, CMVT, and LVLT.  If TERN
pulls back, consider entering on a bounce off support at $15
or lower near $14.  However, make certain TERN is able to
hold above the $13 level, as that is the site of our stop
loss.  We would drop close positions if TERN settled below

***December contracts expire next week***

BUY CALL DEC-15 TUN-LC OI= 864 at $2.44 SL=1.25
BUY CALL DEC-17 TUN-LM OI= 389 at $1.25 SL=0.50  High Risk!
BUY CALL JAN-20*TUN-AD OI= 763 at $2.25 SL=1.00
BUY CALL JAN-22 TUN-AR OI= 175 at $1.56 SL=0.75
BUY CALL APR-20 TUN-DD OI=1432 at $4.38 SL=2.75



CLX - Clorox $38.81 -2.06 (-4.88 this week)

Engaged in the production and marketing of non-durable consumer
products, CLX sells its products primarily through grocery and
other retail stores.  The Household Products division includes
the company's household cleaning, laundry, home care and water
filtration products.  The Specialty Products segment makes
charcoal, automotive care, cat litter, insecticide, and food
storage products.  CLX's International segment is primarily
focused on the laundry household cleaning, automotive care and
food storage categories.

Somebody forgot to tell CLX investors that the old economy
stocks were in rally mode yesterday, as shares of the
household products company accelerated their slide into the
basement.  In the last 2 weeks, the stock has given up nearly
$10 or 20%, and it looks like there is more pain in store for
the bulls.  After falling below the 50-dma ($42.94) in the midst
of yesterday's broad-based market rally, CLX plunged through the
200-dma ($39.63) today.  Although shy of yesterday's 1.8 million
shares, the bears still managed to push volume 50% above the ADV
today, and it looks like they are taking aim on  the next level
of support, actually congestion, between $35-37.  Below that,
the possibility of a drop to $33 looks good.  The great thing
about this play is the dirt-cheap option premiums.  The
best entry points will likely be found on a failed rally to
either the 200-dma or resistance at $41 (also the level at which
we have placed our stop).  Of course, continued selling below
today's close will provide conservative traders with attractive
entry points.  Just make sure that selling volume remains
strong, and tighten your stops as the stock approaches support
at $35.

***December contracts expire next week***

BUY PUT DEC-45 CLX-XI OI= 140 at $6.25 SL=4.25
BUY PUT DEC-40 CLX-XH OI=1055 at $1.94 SL=1.00
BUY PUT JAN-40*CLX-MH OI= 356 at $3.25 SL=1.75
BUY PUT JAN-35 CLX-MG OI= 732 at $1.13 SL=0.00



INTC - put play
Adjust from $39 down to $37


CELG $63.50 -6.00 (+1.50) Presenting at the American Society of
Hematology this morning, officials from Celgene announced the
company would "aggressively" proceed with late-stage trials of
its Thalmomid product.  Despite the bold proclamation from
company executives, CELG fell victim to the "buy the rumor,
sell the news" syndrome.  Along with the post-announcement
sell-off, CELG had to cope with the broader weakness spanning
the biotech sector.  Although CELG's recent up-trend is still
intact, the stock is having trouble clearing resistance at $70.
With the lack of conviction in the way of volume during today's
sell-off, CELG may rebound Thursday, which would present an
opportunity to exit positions and take profits.  On the other
hand, if CELG drifts lower, consider cutting losses on a
breakdown below $63, our stop.

COF $58.31 -0.88 (+1.44) Our recently-added long-term call play
in COF was sailing along smoothly Wednesday morning, building
upon profits from Tuesday's record rally.  But an earnings
warning from finance counterpart Bank of America (BAC) ripped
through the sector this afternoon and erased all of COF's early
morning gains.  Although COF may not be afflicted by the same
credit problems as BAC, the warning sent a shock through the
entire finance sector and may impede the progress of our COF
play going forward.  But, the finance sector may benefit from
a relief rally Thursday, which would provide traders an
opportunity to exit positions and lock in profits.  If COF does
bounce higher, look to exit positions on strength up to the
50-dma around the $59 level.

IMCL $48.25 -1.50 (-0.69) Yesterday's stellar technology gains
faded to obscurity today, as more earnings warnings and
political uncertainty prompted traders to take profits.  The
Biotech Index (BTK.X) reluctantly participated in Tuesday's
rally, and when the broad-based move failed to continue today,
the index rolled over right at its 200-dma. For its part, IMCL
couldn't clear the $50 resistance level and actually traded all
the way down to our stop at $46.  While the late-day recovery
was encouraging, it looks like the near-term direction will be
flat to down; not what we are looking for in a successful call
play.  Even though IMCL managed to close above our stop, we just
can't find a reason to keep the play active when the broader
sector is having such a hard time making headway.  Use any
strength tomorrow as an opportunity to sell into strength and
obtain a better exit price.

MLNM $52.06 -1.94 (-1.44) Falling victim to the overall Biotech
weakness, MLNM gets dropped tonight prior to actually violating
its stop at $50.  The Biotech Index (BTK.X) rolled over right
at the 200-dma, and the resulting weakness dragged our play
down for almost a $2 loss on heavy volume today.  The sentiment
in the broader markets was decidedly negative, motivated by
more disappointing earnings news and election uncertainty.
Rather than get run over by this bearish train, traders elected
to just get off the tracks.  We think they have the right idea,
especially given the recent history of failed rallies.
Stepping aside from the play before it really turns negative
will give us the perspective to be on the right side of the next
major move in Biotech stocks, whether up or down.


FMKT $33.63 +1.50 (+4.83) Bolstered by the news of an agreement
extension, shares of FreeMarkets bucked the broader sell-off in
the tech sector Wednesday.  FreeMarkets announced Wednesday
morning that it had extended its existing agreement with
Allegheny Technologies (ATI), a leading specialty materials
producer, to provide e-business services and solutions.  The
news induced steady accumulation in FMKT in the early going,
and boosted the stock above our protective stop at $34 for a
short while.  And although FMKT rolled over and slipped into
the close of trading, we're dropping the play tonight in light
of the stock's impressive relative strength.  Use any further
dip on weakness early Thursday as an opportunity to exit
existing positions.

BLDP $77.25 +2.31 (+7.25) As we cautioned last night, BLDP was
threatening to break through our stop at $76.  Despite weakness
in the broader markets, the bulls drove the price through $82
before profit taking set in.  The increased selling into the
close wasn't enough to bring the stock back under its
descending trendline, giving the bulls the victory for the day.
The breakout in a down market combined with the improving
technicals does not bode well for our put play.  Confirming
this sentiment is the strong moves seen in competitors FCEL,
(+4%) and PLUG, (+11%).  Fighting the trend can get you run over
in a hurry, so we'll take the prudent approach and move to the
sidelines tonight.


Watching the Money Flows
By Mary Redmond

It was refreshing to listen to Chairman Greenspan yesterday,
after having been inundated with legal analysts for the
last three weeks.  I feel as if I have heard enough legal
analysis from law professors being interviewed on the news
over the last month that I am prepared to pass the bar exam
without having attended law school.

Most analysts now feel that the Fed has accomplished its task
of slowing aggregate demand to a pace which does not exceed
aggregate supply, and that one or more rate cuts next year
is highly probable.  The most likely result of this would be
a market rally, or at least a market which stops declining.

We may need to realize that we have been in a bear market for
so long that it may take a period of adjustment before investors
feel comfortable committing cash at previous levels.

In addition, many traders and investors who began buying stocks
in the 1990s had not previously experienced market crashes as
intense and as devastating as the ones we experienced this year.

In order to gain perspective on the situation, it is informative
to examine some numbers from previous years. The Dow is down
5.2% year to date, the S & P is down 6.31%, and the Nasdaq is
down 29%.  The Dow has not been down by this high a percentage
since 1981.  The Nasdaq has not been down by this high a
percentage since 1974, and this is the worst year for the S & P
since 1990.  In addition, the crashes of March and October of
this year were as bad in percentages as the market crash of 1987
for the Dow and S & P , and worse for the Nasdaq, which lost 50%
of its value from the high levels of the year.

We have not had this drastic a change in the rate of growth in
the GDP for the last twenty years.  The GDP grew at a rate of
over 8% last December, and is currently growing at 2.4%, which
is a slowdown of over 70%.  Considering this fact, it is
remarkable that the stock market is not lower than it is now.
The Fed may not have wanted to slow the economy by this much,
but the Fed can never be completely certain how much of an
impact each rate hike will have.

At this point, the P/E of the S & P 500 is 22.4X forward earnings,
which is down over 20% from March.  The consensus for earnings
growth for the S & P 500 is 8.7% for next year, which is revised
down from 15% several weeks ago.

While this P/E may be high by historical standards we need to
consider another factor.  Twenty years ago, the real return on
equity for the S & P 500 was 4.5%.  It is currently 20%.  Free
cash flow has doubled in the last twenty years, and now
represents over 25% of earnings. Companies which are earning
money but have a low cash flow and low return on equity will
never be able to provide real growth to their shareholders.
It is the retained earnings of a company in terms of free cash
flow which allow a company to increase its shareholders’ equity,
and thus provide real gains for the shareholders.  Since
investors are getting a higher return from stocks in terms of
growth in shareholders’ equity they are willing to pay a
higher P/E.

History has consistently shown us that it is possible for the
market to rally while the earnings growth of the S & P is
slowing or decreasing, as long as we are in an environment of
low or decreasing interest rates and inflation.  We really want
to see the CPI and the other inflationary indicators decreasing
this year.  The other important factor is increasing liquidity,
and flows of money into the market and equity funds.

When you examine a ten year chart of the Nasdaq, you can see
that it is possible that the longer term trend line is finally
intact, after the high deviation it took earlier this year.

Ideally, we would like to see an environment of stabilizing
or decreasing interest rates, moderate earnings growth,
a high level of cash flows into equity funds, and moderating
demand in the IPO market.

Since the election turmoil starting Nov 8, we have seen an
abnormally low level of cash flow to equity funds of approximately
$200 million weekly, compared to the prior level of $2.5 billion
weekly.  At the same time, money market fund assets have increased
dramatically, as investors sought a safe haven.  Last week, the
Investment Company Institute reported that retail money market
funds took in $5.6 billion, and institutional money market funds
took in $5.6 billion, bringing the total to $1.8 trillion.

Money market funds and CDs have taken in over $100 billion
since early October, and once a new up trend is established,
at least some of this money is likely to enter the market.
Ideally, we would like to see monthly inflows to equity funds
of at least $20 billion.  We had a real boom and bust cycle
of cash flows to technology funds over the last 18 months.
Weekly cash flows to technology funds grew from $250 million
in March of 1999, to an amazing $2.5 billion in March of 2000,
an increase of ten fold, to the current level of approximately
$250 million.  If the flows to tech funds increase, it is
almost certain to rally the Nasdaq.

It may have taken a severe crash to create a long term stable
upward trend line in the S & P 500.  For example, during
1999 and early 2000, we saw a distortion among sector groups
in relation to their performance.  For example, the Nasdaq 100
increased dramatically, at the expense of many sectors which
stayed flat, during the rotation from "old economy" to "new
economy" stocks.  Stocks like Cisco and Microsoft grew to
enormous market capitalizations of over $500 billion, with P/Es
in the hundreds, while fund managers were forced to sell non tech
companies as if they were garbage.  It was great for a while,
but this type of trend can’t continue forever.

In addition, the fund managers are by necessity selective in
terms of the liquidity and market capitalization of the stocks
they buy.  The larger companies are more liquid, which means
that funds can buy and sell millions of dollars of stock at
a time without disrupting the stock price.  The disproportionate
demand for large cap liquid technology stocks caused their
P/E ratios to become even more distorted in relation to the
earnings growth rate.  This was compounded by the Federal
Reserve’s cycle of interest rate increases, which dried up
the financing available to small company stocks through stock
and bond offerings.

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BRCD - Brocade Communications $191.00 +1.19 (+23.13 this week)

Brocade Communications Systems is a supplier of open Fibre
Channel Fabric solutions that provide the intelligent backbone
for Storage Area Networks (SANs).  Brocade's family of SilkWorm
switches enables a company to manage growth of its data storage
requirements, improve the data transfer performance, and
increase the size of its SAN.  Brocade's products are primarily
sold in the US with 70% of sales derived from Compaq, Data
General, Dell, McDATA, and Sequent.

Most Recent Write-Up

BRCD $189.81 +28.00 (+21.96) The leading provider of Storage
Area Networking infrastructure, along with the likes of JNPR,
BRCM and MUSE, took the NASDAQ by storm today.  These heavy-
weights led the NASDAQ into its biggest one-day gain ever.
Today's monstrous $28, or 17.3%, advance and break through
the 200-dma ($177.97) was more than we could have asked from
Santa.  The literal explosion of its share price, backed by the
triple digit gains in the NASDAQ, provide the perfect synergy
for BRCD to run into its 2:1 stock split, slated for December
22nd.  We're looking for BRCD to rally through the $200 level
and return to its more pristine price levels, seen just last
month. BRCD's share price should find short-term support at
$185, and perhaps lower at $180.  But take note, we have raised
our stop from $159 to $175 to protect against back-filling in
the coming sessions.  Consider new entries only if you can
handle HIGH-RISK and potentially volatile trading.  A move
through the $200 level would entice more momentum traders to
jump into the upswing.


The fact that BRCD finished Wednesday with a gain is rather
impressive considering the near triple digit losses sustained
in the NASDAQ.  If the buyers return to the tech sector
Thursday, BRCD's relative strength is likely to return and lead
the charge higher.  New positions could be entered at current
levels early tomorrow if the NASDAQ displays strength.  But make
certain to confirm direction in the likes of CLS and EMLX before
entering new BRCD positions at current levels.  A more
conservative approach would be to wait for BRCD to build momentum
and look to enter new positions on a breakout above the
significant $200 level.  If the profit taking persists tomorrow,
aggressive entries might be found if BRCD bounces off support
at $180, but make sure the buyers step in with volume before
entering on a pullback.

***December contracts expire in two weeks***

BUY CALL DEC-190 GUF-LR OI= 8291 at $11.13 SL= 8.25
BUY CALL DEC-195*GUF-LS OI= 1059 at $ 8.75 SL= 6.00
BUY CALL DEC-200 GUF-LT OI= 1411 at $ 6.75 SL= 4.75
BUY CALL JAN-200 GUF-AT OI=10681 at $19.25 SL=14.00
BUY CALL JAN-210 GUF-AB OI= 6043 at $15.00 SL=11.00



Time for a breather, or one last gasp?

A retreat in blue-chip technology issues weighed heavily on the
market today and the earnings warning from Apple Computer (AAPL)
brought the recovery rally to a halt.  Personal computer stocks
were hit hard after Apple lowered revenue guidance for the first
quarter and warned it will post its first loss in three years.
Analysts lowered their ratings on the company's shares and other
stocks in the group slumped after the news.  Semiconductor issues
were also affected by the perceived slowdown in the PC industry
and Intel (INTC) was among the biggest losers, falling over $4 to
$31 on talk that a major brokerage was poised to release a report
saying the chipmaker's current quarter could turn out to be its
worst in a decade.  The only Nasdaq bright spot came in Internet
shares as a few e-commerce issues managed favorable gains.  The
Dow was also affected by the slide in bellwether computer shares
and the big losers in the blue-chip barometer included Microsoft
(MSFT), International Business Machine (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard
(HWP).  Chase Manhattan Bank (CMB), Citigroup (C) and J.P. Morgan
(JPM) fell after Banc of America guided earnings estimates lower
in the financial group, and DuPont (DD) and McDonalds (MCD) were
among the industrial laggards.  Home Depot (HD) was among the few
bullish issues, rallying to a recent high near $45 on news that
Robert Nardelli, CEO of General Electric's power systems segment,
will become Home Depot's president and chief executive.  Within
the broader market, brokerage, retail, drug, healthcare, cyclical
and consumer products issues all slumped.  Oil service companies
also headed south as a bigger-than-expected rise in inventories
pushed crude prices to four-month lows.  Analysts believe that a
strong follow-up rally over the next few days is necessary to end
the recent slump and without that catalyst, the market is likely
to remain in an extended downtrend until well into the year 2001.

Summary of Previous Picks:

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

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

EMLX    DEC   120   113.56 155.75    $6.44   4.7% 2-1 Split 12/18
ADBE    DEC    68    64.44  67.19    $2.75   4.3% Key Moment

Naked Puts:

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

FNSR    DEC    23    21.94  29.06    $0.56  10.7%
CHIR    DEC    35    34.31  44.63    $0.69   9.6%
PWAV    DEC    40    39.00  65.25    $1.00   8.3%
SAWS    DEC    35    34.12  70.00    $0.88   8.0%
GENZ    DEC    75    74.19  89.50    $0.81   6.9%
CMVT    DEC    85    83.37  95.50    $1.63   6.7% Early Exit?
QCOM    DEC    65    63.81  99.38    $1.19   6.7%
ADBE    DEC    55    54.00  67.19    $1.00   5.9% Key Moment
FRX     DEC   125   123.69 133.38    $1.31   5.8%
PVN     DEC    35    34.75  45.38    $0.25   5.0% Adj 2-1 Split
SCMR    DEC    40    39.31  56.44    $0.69   4.9% Close Call?
CRGN - Position closed.

Sell Straddles:

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

CFLO    DEC   165   172.13  58.94    $7.13  23.2%Straddle 1
CLFO -  Short-put position closed.

Naked Calls:

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

MANU    DEC   135   136.75  97.75    $1.75  13.0% 2-1 Split 12/8
CIEN    DEC   110   111.00  95.38    $1.00  12.2%
EMLX    DEC   185   187.19 155.75    $2.19  10.9% 2-1 Split 12/18
EMLX    DEC   175   176.06 155.75    $1.06   8.7% 2-1 Split 12/18
CIEN    DEC   140   141.25  95.38    $1.25   8.3%

Credit Spreads:

Stock  Pick    Last     Position   Credit    C/B    G/L   Status

AFFX  $87.25  $68.31   DEC50P/60P  $1.12   $58.88  $0.88   Open
AGN   $90.75  $82.19   DEC70P/75P  $0.75   $74.25  $0.75   Open
AET   $66.06  $69.25   DEC55P/60P  $0.56   $59.44  $0.56   Open
APA   $62.44  $57.25   DEC50P/55P  $0.63   $54.43  $0.63   Alert
BMY   $67.94  $66.06   DEC60P/65P  $0.88   $64.13  $0.88   Alert
ELN   $53.38  $53.00   DEC47P/50P  $0.50   $49.50  $0.50   Open
XL    $80.00  $81.00   DEC70P/75P  $0.62   $74.38  $0.62   Open

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.  (We monitor the positions marked with ***).


BULLISH PLAYS - Naked Puts, Combinations

AIG - American International  $101.31  *** Hot Sector! ***

American International Group is a holding company that, through
its subsidiaries, is engaged in a broad range of insurance and
insurance-related activities and financial services in the
United States and abroad.  AIG's primary activities include both
general and life insurance operations.  Significant activities
include financial services and asset management.  The company's
principal insurance subsidiaries are American Home Assurance,
National Union Fire Insurance, New Hampshire Insurance, Lexington
Insurance, Transatlantic Reinsurance, American International
Underwriters, American Life Insurance, American International
Assurance, Limited, American International Assurance Limited,
Nan Shan Life Insurance, American International Reinsurance,
and United Guaranty Residential Insurance.

American International Group is widely recognized as a leading
provider of life insurance and also many other types of general
insurance, including various property and casualty segments,
along with lines of personal and commercial insurance.  The
companies in this industry have performed very well over the
past few months and the trend is expected to continue.  The
technical outlook for AIG is also favorable and our conservative
position offers an excellent way to participate in the future
movement of the issue with relatively low risk.

AIG - American International Group $101.31

PLAY (aggressive - bullish/credit spread):

BUY  PUT  JAN-88.00  ZPW-MS  OI=125   A=$0.31
SELL PUT  JAN-90.00  AIG-MR  OI=3905  B=$1.00
INITIAL NET CREDIT TARGET=$0.68-$0.75  ROI(max)=50%


BEAS - Bea Systems  $74.13  *** On The Rebound! ***

BEA Systems is a provider of e-commerce infrastructure software
that helps companies of all sizes build e-commerce systems that
extend investments in existing computer systems and provide the
foundation for running a successful integrated e-business.  The
company's products have been adopted in a variety of industries,
including commercial and investment banking, securities trading,
telecommunications, airlines, retail, manufacturing, package
delivery, insurance and government, in many cases using the
Internet as a system component.  The company's products serve as
a platform or integration tool for applications such as billing,
provisioning, customer service, electronic funds transfers, ATM
networks, securities trading, Web-based banking, Internet sales,
supply chain management, scheduling and logistics, and hotel,
airline and rental car reservations.

There's not much news on BEAS to explain the recent recovery but
the technical indications suggest the issue has successfully
completed a recent consolidation and is poised for future gains.
In addition, the fundamental outlook for the company is excellent
and the rebound has been on increasing volume; both factors that
lead us to a bullish position in the issue.  The favorable option
premiums also help provide a low risk cost basis with a reasonable
expectation of profit.

BEAS - Bea Systems  $74.13

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

Sell Put  DEC 55   BUC XK  4140      0.50    54.50    11.0% ***
Sell Put  DEC 60   BUC XL  2286      1.00    59.00    20.5%


IDPH - Idec Pharmaceuticals  $198.50   *** On The Move! ***

IDEC Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company engaged
primarily in the research, development and commercialization of
targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune
and inflammatory diseases.  The company's first commercial
product, Rituxan, and its most advanced product candidate,
Zevalin, are for use in the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin's
lymphomas.  The company is also developing products for the
treatment of various autoimmune diseases (such as psoriasis,
rheumatoid arthritis and lupus).

There is general realization that new medicines being made by
leading biotechnology companies have the promise of helping
control the cost of healthcare by providing better results than
current therapies.  IDPH is one of the top candidates in this
group and the company's stock has been "on the move" after a
report that experimental drugs that use cloned antibodies to
deliver radiation directly to cancerous lymphoma tumors are
effective in patients who do not respond to standard therapies.
The results came from clinical trials of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
drugs Zevalin and Bexxar that were presented at a meeting of the
American Society of Hematology in San Francisco.  The research
showed that Zevalin, made by IDEC Pharmaceuticals, was effective
in 74% of patients, 15% of whom went into complete remission.
That's great news for this unique company and even as biotech
stocks faded during the past week, IDPH managed to propel the
group higher.  Today the issue closed up almost $10 at a recent
high near $200, on almost twice its normal volume.  That is a
good indication of its strength, relative to other companies in
the sector and we think the issue has further upside potential.

IDPH - Idec Pharmaceuticals  $198.50

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

Sell Put  DEC 155  IDK XK  60        1.06   153.94     8.8% ***
Sell Put  DEC 160  IDK XL  103       1.56   158.44    12.4%
Sell Put  DEC 165  IDK XM  146       2.13   162.88    15.0%


NOK - Nokia  $51.38   *** Own This One! ***

Nokia is the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, based on
unit sales, and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and Internet
Protocol networks and related services as well as multimedia
terminals.  The company is also becoming a leading supplier of
cellular networks as well as mobile Internet and broadband
solutions designed to meet the needs of operator customers and
Internet Service Providers.  In addition, Nokia Networks also
provides service creation, network management, unique systems
integration and customer service.

Earnings continue to be the key to success in today's market and
in late October, Nokia unveiled strong third quarter results,
showing a 40% increase in net profit and a 50% increase in net
sales.  As if that wasn't enough, earlier this week the company
extended its targets up to 35% annual revenue growth into 2003
and said its share of the cellular phone market was now more than
30%.  Nokia also said the number of mobile phone users worldwide
will surpass 1 billion during the first half of 2002, and that
the company's growth in its key mobile phones business continues
to outpace that of its competitors.

Investors were excited about the news and their optimism pushed
the stock up over 10% in just one day.  We feel the issue has
great future potential and the recent technicals suggest our
cost basis offers a favorable price to enter a new position.
Target a higher premium initially, to allow for consolidation
from the recent rally.

NOK - Nokia  $51.38

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

Sell Put  JAN 40   NAY MH  19618     0.75    39.25     4.7% ***
Sell Put  JAN 42.5 NZY MV  10599     1.00    41.50     5.5%



FITB - Fifth Third Bancorp  $55.25  *** Probability Play! ***

Fifth Third Bancorp is a bank holding company that engages
primarily in commercial, retail and trust banking, data
processing services, investment advisory services and leasing
activities.  In addition, the company provides credit life,
accident, health and mortgage insurance, discount brokerage
services and property management for its properties.  They
also have 18 wholly-owned subsidiaries.

This position meets our criteria for a favorable straddle; cheap
option premiums, a history of adequate price movement and future
events or activities that may generate volatility in the issue
or its industry.  This selection process provides the foremost
combination of low risk and potentially high reward.  As always,
review the position with regard to your strategic approach and
trading style.

FITB - Fifth Third Bancorp  $55.25

PLAY (conservative - neutral/debit straddle):

BUY  CALL  DEC-55  FTQ-LK  OI=67  A=$1.68
BUY  PUT   DEC-55  FTQ-XK  OI=10  A=$2.38


MANU - Manugistics  $97.75  *** Technicals Only! ***

Manugistics Group is a global provider of intelligent supply
chain optimization solutions for enterprises and evolving
eBusiness trading networks.  Its solutions, which include
client assessment, software products, consulting services for
implementation and solution support, can be optimized to the
supply chain requirements of companies.  Their solutions also
provide clients with the business intelligence to participate
in various forms of trading relationships, from traditional
linear supply chains to eBusiness trading networks.  Their
newest generation of proven solutions help enable businesses
to work in concert with their trading partners via the Internet,
expanding their supply chains to eBusiness trading networks.
The solutions assist customers in anticipating requirements in
both fixed and dynamic environments to anticipate and meet the
needs of customers, thereby maximizing client satisfaction.

This play is based on the current price of the underlying stock
and its recent technical history.  The probability of profit in
these positions is also higher than other plays in the same
strategy based on disparities in option pricing.  We will use
the recent volatility and the overpriced options to initiate a
neutral position with a favorable premium.  The probability of
the share value reaching our sold strikes is rather low, but
there is always the possibility of a break-out from the recent
trading range, so monitor the position for changes in technical

MANU - Manugistics  $97.75

PLAY (aggressive - neutral/credit strangle):

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

Sell Call DEC 130  ZIU LF  159       1.06   131.06    17.4%
Sell Put  DEC 75   ZUQ XO  87        1.75    73.25    27.8%

Sell Call DEC 135  ZIU LG  38        0.75   135.75    12.5%
Sell Put  DEC 70   ZUQ XN  128       1.00    69.00    16.4%

Sell Call DEC 140  ZIU LH  30        0.50   140.50     8.4% ***
Sell Put  DEC 65   ZUQ XM  25        0.69    64.31    11.5% ***



IWOV - Interwoven  $77.00  *** Premium Selling! ***

Interwoven is a global provider of enterprise-class Web content
management software.  The company's flagship product, TeamSite,
controls the development, management and deployment of business
critical Web sites.  Interwoven unique solutions are based on an
inclusive content architecture that empowers all of its content
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

Technology investors were outnumbered again today as new selling
pressure appeared in the wake of yesterday's rally.  The news of
Apple Computer's (AAPL) earnings warning weighed heavily on the
computer hardware group and the weakness spread to many of the
bellwether companies in the software sector.  Interwoven is one
of the leading companies in the information software industry but
their share value has drifted lower with the recent sell-off in
Nasdaq issues.  Technically, the overall IWOV price trend remains
bearish and reflects a pronounced negative divergence from an
intermediate-period moving average.  In addition, the decline in
November came on increasing selling pressure and a major support
level near $85 was violated.  Now that area becomes "resistance"
and it appears the share value has little chance of reaching our
sold positions in one week.

IWOV - Interwoven  $77.00

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

Sell Call DEC 105  IQG LA  537       1.38   106.38    27.7%
Sell Call DEC 110  IQG LB  174       0.88   110.88    18.2%
Sell Call DEC 115  IQG LC  191       0.50   115.50    10.6% ***

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