Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 01/08/2003

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The Option Investor Newsletter                Wednesday 01-08-2003
Copyright 2003, All rights reserved.                        1 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

In Section One:

Wrap: Paying the Piper
Futures Wrap: Is Least Resistance Now Lower?
Index Trader Wrap: Bears show tough goal line defense
Weekly Fund Family Profile: Westcore Funds
Options 101: 'Tis The Season, Part II

Updated on the site tonight:
Swing Trader Game Plan: Fading Fast

Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
01-08-2003                  High    Low     Volume Advance/Decl
DJIA     8595.31 -  44.11  8736.07 8580.10   1770 mln  509/1252
NASDAQ   1401.07 -  30.50  1424.12 1399.06   1431 mln  224/1194
S&P 100   460.06 -   7.78   467.84  459.34   totals    733/2446
S&P 500   909.93 -  13.00  922.93  908.32
RUS 2000  389.07 -   4.88   393.95  389.07
DJ TRANS 2370.65  - 26.24  2398.22 2366.45
VIX        28.42 +   0.94    28.78   27.47
VIXN       44.56 +   1.60    45.81   44.44

Paying the Piper
by Steve Price

As we get into earnings season, we are bound to get schizophrenic
reactions to surprises on an almost daily basis. The President's
tax plan release took us into higher ground to start the week,
and Tuesday brought mixed reactions between the techs and the
blue chips.  The Nasdaq continued to churn higher on EMC's upside
surprise, while the Dow pulled back slightly, digesting
Democratic resistance to the president's plan and failing at
heavy technical resistance after the leg up. Wednesday brought a
continued pullback in the Dow and a Nasdaq reversal following a
profit warning from Gateway and an Alcoa earnings miss.  It would
seem that the almost 600-point Dow explosion over the past
several days was unsustainable and those concerns appear to be

There were several levels of previous resistance on the way up
that failed to hold as support today on the way down.  While we
still have a series of higher highs and higher lows in place from
the rally of the last few days, that pattern is becoming
endangered, particularly with today's Dow pullback below 8600.
The bears have come out of the woods to reinitiate talk about a
possible bearish head and shoulders pattern that may be forming
in the Dow/OEX/SPX. This is not the first time we've heard this
talk this year.  From July to September, we saw similar concerns
and they wound up being right on.  In fact, the head and
shoulders pattern at that time fulfilled its downside measuring
objective just below 7200 almost exactly.  The Dow bottomed at
7197, before rebounding all the way to the December high of 9043.

The next time we started predicted a bearish head and shoulders
pattern was in the midst of that rally to 9043.  That took place
from the middle of October, to the middle of November, where a
possible left shoulder appeared at 8550 on October 21, a possible
head appeared at 8800 on November 6 and then the possible right
shoulder appeared at 8579 on November 18.  The rollover began
from that November 18 high, headed toward a neckline break around
8300.  Only problem was that we got a big reversal off a low just
over 8400 and raced higher.  We learned a lesson about getting
ahead of ourselves before that neckline was broken.  Now that we
are looking at the formation again, we are using what we thought
was the head at 8800 as our left shoulder, with the head at 9043.
The Monday/Tuesday high of 8800 would certainly provide a
symmetrical right shoulder, but we need to be careful not to
mistake a series of higher lows and higher highs on the recent
rally for a bearish pattern. We also need to be aware that the
SPX did not experience the same symmetry as the Dow, having blown
through its left shoulder at 925 to a high of 931.77.  The OEX,
on the other hand, came about a point shy of the 472.47 left
shoulder, with a high of 471.41.

The move below Monday's support at Dow 8600 would certainly
appear as though the higher lows pattern is in danger and traders
can use the break under that level as another piece of evidence
in favor of the H&S. Similar support levels in the SPX and OEX
are 908.59 and 459.20, respectively. Those SPX and OEX levels
held up at the close, so we don't yet have confirmation of a
pattern break, but we are getting close.

Chart of the Dow

Chart of the SPX

The Nasdaq Found its way all the way down to support at 1400
after the Gateway warning, giving up 2% and 30 points.  It failed
its 200-dma on Tuesday and today's rollover appears as though
that failure more closely represents the last failure at the 200-
dma in December, rather than the other milestone it crossed on
Tuesday, which is a close over resistance at the August high of
1426. The last time it had closed above that level on the way up,
it exploded all the way to 1500.  That certainly does not appear
to be the case this time around.

Chart of the COMP

The action in the bond market also indicates that we are seeing a
reallocation back into bonds after the equity rally.  Traders can
watch action in the treasuries for signs of a continued sell-off
in stocks.

Chart of the Ten Year Note

The retailers attempted to mount a comeback today, in spite of
more negative news from the sector.  Poor Christmas sales led
Laura Ashley to lower earnings expectations.  Flowery items
weren't the only ones seeing disappointing sales, as Men's
Wearhouse (MW) also warned for the fourth quarter and full-year
2002.  Those warnings were accompanied by a report from
Electronics Boutique (ELBO) that said worldwide same store sales
were down 9% in the holiday season.  That drop in sales was felt
not only by retailers, but by electronic manufacturers, as well.
It wasn't a surprise, as it matched earlier predictions, but it
was confirmation that those doom and gloom predictions are coming

We are just beginning to get earnings warnings in the retail
sector, following sales warnings throughout the month of
December.  The sector sold off hard during those December sales
warnings and the latest bounce appears to be in rollover
territory.  We will begin to get retail earnings results in
February and it is hard to imagine many of them coming in above
expectations. The one pleasant surprise in the sector came from
Coach, which raised its earnings expectations after what it
called "robust holiday sales."  This is most likely an
aberration, as we will find out tomorrow.  Thursday is the day
many retailers announce December sales results. Tuesday's chain
store sales showed a 2-2.5% gain in same store results.  However,
according to Michael Niemira, senior retail analyst at Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi, which puts out one of the chain store reports,
"overall sales were modest for December and for the November-
December period as heavy discounting held down reported sales
gains."   I have said in this space repeatedly for the last
couple of months that the shortened holiday shopping season (due
to a late Thanksgiving) might not lead to fewer purchases, but
lead to a larger percentage of those sales being concentrated
closer to the holidays and therefore more goods being sold at
deeper discounts.  Add to that the poor economy and dock workers'
strike and the upcoming earnings reports should be anything but
positive in the sector.   The question remains just how much of
this news is already priced into these stocks.  However, if we do
get the warnings and earnings misses I think we'll see, I expect
another leg lower for retail. The RLX.X is right now holding
above support at 260, but if that level breaks, I'd look for a
move to the October low around 245.

Chart of the Retail Index

The Semiconductor Index, which has been a good leading indicator
over the past year, turned south quickly on the Gateway warning.
Gateway increased the size of its predicted loss on disappointing
holiday PC sales and aggressive sales promotions that cut into
margins (sounds a lot like the retail story).  It was only a few
weeks ago that we were hearing about an upturn in chip orders due
to increased holiday PC demand.  Apparently things didn't exactly
go as planned. If Gateway is suffering, then investors figured
that there may be other surprises in the sector, as well.  After
climbing impressively through resistance at 330, the SOX rolled
over and gave up    %, testing support ten points lower at 320.
The fact that it is testing support at 320, however, is actually
evidence of a pullback, rather than a decisive rollover.  The
previous resistance level it cracked before heading up to 330 was
actually 310.  If we find support at 320, then we may have a
trend of higher lows developing.  On a move back under 310, then
look out below.

One of the big factors in today's rollover was the downgrade to
J.P. Morgan by UBS Warburg.  The banks are another leading group
that can signal a change in market direction and today's comments
from UBS highlighted issues with capital markets and corporate
credit quality.  The credit issues have continued to make their
way into the news occasionally over the past few months and until
the economy improves, they are likely here to stay. UBS also said
the stock now discounts stock now discounts a healthier economy
and improved market conditions for 2003.  Morgan Stanley also got
in on the action, cutting its 2003 profit forecasts from $2.42 to
$2.20 per share, citing higher credit costs and lower revenue.

Apparently not even "cheap" vacation destination point Las Vegas
has been able to hold up in the face of a sinking economy.
Mandalay Bay Group (MBG)  warned that fourth quarter earnings
would miss expectations after the bell last night. The company
said it would earn only half of analysts expectations  ($0.10 v.
$0.20) after " Softer-than-expected results on the Las Vegas
Strip over the holidays, and a low win percentage on table
games."   That was a major change from what the company's CFO had
said in early December, which was that the holiday appeared as
though it would be solid.   This was the first casino to warn,
but a number of hotel owners have said that the fourth quarter of
2002 was barely an improvement over 2001 and much worse than
expected.   It didn't take MGM long to join the parade, with its
own warning this morning.  The casino operator  reduced its
fourth quarter outlook, as well, citing a weak economy and its
impact on high-end domestic customers.

General Motors is making more pension news again.  After under-
funding problems in the billions, now the company will apparently
reduce its expected rate of return for the plan from the 10% it
has been using since 1993.  This could cut further into the
company's bottom line and may signal a similar move by other
firms facing similar issues. With 60% of its pension fund
invested in stocks, a lower predicted rate of return might not
only lead to more funding problems to make up the difference, but
also a shift in the fund out of stocks and into other assets. If
we begin to see pension funds looking to put their money
elsewhere, that would weigh even more heavily on equities and
could end up as a self-fulfilling bearish prophecy.

The telecoms also headed lower today, following a UBS downgrade
of regional baby bells (Verizon, BellSouth, SBC).  The reduction
in rating went from a "hold" to a "reduce," saying fundamentals
remain weak and do not justify current price levels.  It also
said that consensus earnings estimates for 2003 were too high and
that the FCC's Triennial Review will not return as favorable an
outcome as recent media reports suggest. Those stocks lost 4-5%,
reversing much of the gains of the last few days.

With the Dow, OEX and SPX rolling over into what could be a head
and shoulders formation, traders should watch the support levels
highlighted above for a break in the trend of higher highs and
higher lows.  There may be some bounce after today's sell-off and
if it fails significantly below that right shoulder, then we can
cautiously begin playing the short side.  So far this year we are
50/50 on H&S predictions and should keep that in mind when
jumping in.


Is Least Resistance Now Lower?
By John Seckinger

All three futures contracts came back to previous resistance
areas (read: support); however, the weakness on Wednesday
certainly stunned bulls.  Will bears now go for the knockout

Wednesday, January 8th at 4:15 P.M.

Contract      Last    Net Change     High        Low       Volume

Dow Jones..  8595.31  -145.28      8736.07     8580.10
YM03H        8574.00  -176.00      8745.00     8561.00     22,104

Nasdaq-100   1042.52   -29.33      1065.69     1040.38
NQ03H        1045.50   -29.50      1072.50     1042.00    274,157

S&P 500       909.93   -13.00       922.93      908.37
ES03H         910.50   -13.00       923.00      907.25    642,406

ES03H  = E-mini SP500 futures
YM03H  = E-mini Dow $5 futures
NQ03H  = E-mini NDX 100 futures

Note:  The 03H suffix stands for 2003, March, and will change
as the exchanges shift the contract month.  The contract months
are March, June, September, and December.  The volume stats are
from Q-charts.

Notes:  Support, Resistance, and Pivotal level for Dow, SPX, and
NDX will be posted in the Market Monitor every morning at
approximately 9:30 a.m.


The March Mini-sized Dow Contract (YM03H)

The short scenarios outlined on Tuesday worked well during
trading on Wednesday.  The contract fell quickly for the first
five minutes, and then failed to retrace 50% of the opening
period.  Moreover, once S2 was hit, traders then were able to
sell against S1 with confidence.  With the pronounced weakness on
Wednesday, it is interesting that the contact has retraced 38.2%
of the rise seen so far in 2003.  With the contract closing above
this 8571 level, I am not as bearish as you might think.  The
nice thing for bears is that the contract did close under
Thursday’s calculated pivot (8627).  Going forward, a move under
8571 should be bearish, and the objective then is for a move to
8500.  If the pivot is taken out to the upside, risk then becomes
for a move to 8700.

Chart of Mini-sized Dow Contract, Daily

The 8643 area was taken out on Wednesday, and my bias DID change;
however, only during the day and not based on the closing level.
I will give the 8571 area more weight than the 8545 level
profiled below; however, conservative traders should use 8545 as
confirmation that bears are in control and that there is a
possibility of more selling the following day.  S1 is close to
the 19.1% retracement area, so monitor that level closely if
short.  I would look to have only a quarter position on heading
into Thursday, but being short does has the slight advantage.
However, if the pivot is taken out, things could change in a

Chart of YM03H, 30-minute

Bullish Percent of Dow Jones:  56% (Recent High at 72%, last
Significant Low at 10%).  There is now a new column of X’s in
place.  Look now for a move back up to 60%, with a print of 48
canceling out the recent bullishness.  On Wednesday, the
indicator was unchanged.


Support               Resistance                Pivot

8508.00               8692.00                   8627.00
8443.00               8811.00

The March E-mini Nasdaq 100 Contract (NQ03H)

Since S2 (Second Support level) was hit, albeit barely, it does
make sense to then look to sell rallies.  However, looking at a
daily chart, the next significant area is solidly higher at 1065
(matches up well with Resistance 1 [R1]).  Stochastics have
crossed lower, and the NQ contract did close under Thursday’s
pivot.  Not a bullish event.  With the NQ settling between the
38.2% retracement of both December’s decline and from the top of
the rally in 2003, sentiment is not as clear as I would like.

Chart of NQ03H, Daily

Bulls really never had a change on Wednesday, but looking at the
chart below, the 1040 and 1034 area might stop the bleeding.  If
these levels give without a fight, remember to use them as
resistance and adding to short positions going forward (daily
basis).  I am slightly concerned with the Stochastics on a 30-
minute chart being oversold, but a daily read clearly takes
precedence.  If the market does get back above its pivot, watch
to see what happens if R1 and R2 are hit.  I suspect there will
be selling pressure there; however, trade what you see and not
what the bias should be.  If R1 is solidly cleared and the market
begins to head higher on good volume, bulls are telling a trader

Chart of NQ03H, 30-minute

Bullish Percent for NDX:  62% (Recent High at 82%, last
Significant Low at 14%)  The recent column of O’s still stands at
11, despite the rise on Monday and intra-day high on Tuesday.
This indicator still points towards more risk in buying than
selling; therefore, continue to use tight stops on positions.
The indicator was unchanged on Wednesday.


Support              Resistance                 Pivot

1034.25              1064.75                    1053.25
1022.75              1084.00

The March E-mini S&P 500 Contract (ES03H)

Right back down to 910 and prior resistance.  Moreover, the
contract rejected both the 38.2% retracement area of the pullback
from the rally in 2003 and the 50% retracement of December’s
decline.  Definitely a nice day to be short, but we might need a
close under 907 before we can really talk about the H&S
formation and keeping full short positions overnight.  In fact,
we might need a close under 900 (50% retracement of the move in
2003 and also the mid-point of the Bollinger Band).  As you
probably already know, I am cautiously a quarter bearish (25% in
sentiment) heading into Thursday.  Under 907, more bearish for
sure.  However, above the pivot of 913.50 and then I would most
likely go flat and then wait for a move under 907.  Note:  S1 is
at 904.25, so this level can be used as well.  I do like 904.25,
because it should account for some stops under 907.

Chart of ES03H, Daily

A 60-minute chart really tells the same story as the daily chart
above; however, shorter-term levels are more clearly defined for
day traders.  Stochastics are oversold on a 60-minute chart, and
this oscillator should help for getting out of positions (playing
the extreme of the indicator).  I do hope that Thursday clears up
this somewhat opaque picture; taking the contract either below
907 or using 910 as support and getting back above the 919 area
(next daily retracement area).  I can see where keeping a short

overnight into Friday could make sense on weakness tomorrow;
however, only an amazing rally back up to the 931 area would have
me thinking about holding a long into Friday.  Maybe a close down
below at 900 would do it as well, but that would be much more
speculative in nature.

Chart of ES03H, 60-minute

Bullish Percent of SPX:  59.5% (Recent High at 66%, Last
Significant Low at 20%).  There is still risk in buying the
contract, and note that the number has not risen and gone into a
column of X’s after Thursday’s and Monday’s rally.  This
indicator only fell slightly on Wednesday.


Support              Resistance                 Pivot

904.25               920.00                     913.50
897.75               929.25

Good Luck.

Questions are welcomed,

John Seckinger

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Bears show tough goal line defense

If you or your spouse has been showing any signs of depression as
the college football season and plethora of bowl games has come
to and end, and professional football (American football) enters
its post-season play, I view today's action as a bit of a goal-
line stand where bears were able to defend some rather important
levels and what could have been thought of as "first and goal
from the 1-yard line" for the bulls, has suddenly become "second
and goal from the 10-year line."

In essence, I felt that today's trade had a bear really needed to
see some type of reversal take place in order to perhaps catch
their breath after a sudden and perhaps somewhat unexpected
reversal took place as the New Year started off bullish.

UBS Warburg might be considered to be today's "bear's best
friend" after the investment firm lowered it ratings on a handful
of baby bells citing concern over valuation after a nice bullish
run higher from the October lows, and a New Year's rally that
looked technically stronger than the major indexes as the North
American Telecom Index (XTC.X) 487.83 -3.97% was very close to
taking out its December 2nd relative high of 526.40.

The downgrade by UBS Warburg didn't send the sector into a tail
spin by any means, but may have given some sector bears a bit of
a reprieve on what looked to a bullish move starting to get out
of hand.

Again, I'm not "criticizing" UBS for downgrading stocks or
sectors that looked to be breaking out.  Heck, compared to a
couple of years ago, it may actually be a refreshing change to
see some type of "valuation" call when a stock/sector is at a
"high" to actually advise that some profits should be taken.

UBS didn't just stop with telecom downgrades when they advised
caution in Dow component J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM) $26.77 -3.84%
just two-days after the stock was able to break above its
downward trend 200-day SMA of $27.50 on Monday.

While I say that "bears showed a tough goal line defense" today,
then while UBS Warburg might be today's most valuable player
(MVP), Dow component and deep cyclical Alcoa (NYSE:AA) $21.85
-10.37%, which is the first Dow component to report quarterly
earnings laid an "aluminum goose egg" when it reported a larger
than expected fourth-quarter loss and said it planned to lay off
8,000 workers because of weakness in the aerospace and telecom

One would have "thought" the company's reported quarterly loss of
$0.16 per share, which missed analyst's forecast for a profit of
$0.25 a share would have warranted some type of "warning" ahead
of earnings.

Hmmmm.... maybe Alcoa executives took the month of December off
just as many traders did into the end of the 2002.

Discussions and analysis regarding how to eliminate the double-
taxation of dividends overshadowed President Bush's signing of a
13-week extension for federal unemployment benefits, which
ensures that roughly 800,000 unemployed would continue to draw
checks that otherwise would have ended last month.  Democrats
said the measure, which was aimed at those recipients who have
exhausted their 26 weeks of state benefits, was needed, but still
left behind 1 million workers whose federal benefits have run

Some "new analysis" regarding the potential for dividends to not
be taxed at the corporate level had those who appose the tax-cut
coming at the corporate end saying that a tax cut at the
corporate level might skew a company away from investing capital
into research and development which could increase America's
productivity, in favor of sacrificing future gains for what may
be viewed as an "accounting" loophole to boost earnings on an
after-tax basis.

You see?  I "knew" I was forgetting something.  Heck.  I feel a
bit like an Enron executive.  Only difference is that I didn't
think that a company would potentially sacrifice its longer-term
objectives and viability by plowing every last cent of retained
earnings into a dividend so that it could boost its bottom line.

Would a company really take the bulk of retained earning's and
plow it into a dividend without investing some of the cash back
into its business to create new products or new efficiencies?

Oh goodness.  After what we've all seen with Enron and WorldCom,
that's a question I needn't have asked.

Onward we go!

Last night we listed today's intra-day pivots and levels of
intra-day support and it was rather "amazing" how the markets
traded today, at times seemingly seeking out some of the levels
of support.

We displayed the intra-day support, pivot, and resistance levels
as they were perhaps some "critical" short-term levels that bears
and bulls may have wanted to monitor to get a feel for who might
have been able to carry today's session.

Most of the "support 1" levels were tested early and when they
were tested, then upper levels sure seemed to serve resistance
and an intra-day leg lower to "support 2" was found.

I said earlier that today's action reminds me somewhat of an
American football game where the bulls may have had the ball at
the bears 1-year line on a first and goal to go situation.
Today's 145-point loss in the Dow is a near-term setback on a
bulls ability to deliver a blow to the bears, but there's been no
decision on dividends, no war with Iraq, no nuclear treaty with
North Korea and earnings season is just beginning.

There are about as many different "scenarios" at play right now
(bullish and bearish) that it can make a trader's head spin.  As
in a football game, lets take it one play at a time, or should I
say one session at a time and build from there.

Here are tomorrow's intra-day pivots and levels based on the
indexes high/low and closing values.

INDU : S2= 8,481, S1= 8,538, P= 8,637, R1=8,694, R2=8,793

SPX : S2= 899, S1= 904.5, P=914 , R1=919 , R2=928

OEX : S2= 454 , S1= 457 , P=462.4 , R1=465 , R2=471

NDX : S2= 1,024, S1=1,033 , P=1049.5 , R1= 1,059, R2= 1075

QQQ : S2= 25.44 , S1= 25.69 ,P=26.09 , R1= 26.34 , R2=26.74

Many traders talk about a "follow through" day.  As it relates to
the above "levels" of intra-day support, I would think a bear
needs to see all of the S1s tested, and see closes below the
pivots "P."

Dow Industrials Chart - Daily Interval

It's that darned Dow bullish % reversal back into "bull
confirmed" status yesterday that has me advising some caution
toward bears and my thinking that 8,800 really needs to be the
"risk level" or resistance level for bearish traders at this
point.  While Monday and Tuesday's trades just above the upper
Bollinger Bands had a bear pulling his/her hair out, the upper
Bollinger Band looks to have served some resistance too.  A bear
sure shouldn't feel greedy in the coming sessions if the Dow
trades anything close to 8,338.  My upward trend (green) and
downward trends (red) create a wedge, which on a daily chart
define somewhat of a range where these trends have not been

About the only "correlation" of levels on the above chart with
those found in the intra-day pivot analysis for tomorrow is R1 of
8,694, which would tie in with 19.1% retracement.

Today's action saw no net change in the Dow Industrials Bullish %
($BPINDU) which remains in "bull alert" status at 56.67%.

S&P 500 Index Chart - Daily Interval

Bears got the break below 918 and would like to see any type of
rally attempt near that level or tomorrow's R1 of 919 find
resistance.  I'd expect some type of squaring of positions near
900 as I think the recent rally above 918 was a little more that
some bearish traders had expected.  The 900 level ties very
closely to tomorrow's S2 of 899.12.

Today's action saw a net loss of 2 stocks to reversing point and
figure sell signals as the bullish % slips to 60.2% from 60.6%,
which would be considered "frog's hair" type of change.  Still
"bear alert" here.

S&P 100 Index (OEX) - $2.5 box scale

I like the "tie in" between the OEX $2.5-box scale p/f chart and
last night's observation that the OEX bullish % was just one-
stock away from reversing back into "bull confirmed" status.
That gives a "longer-term" perspective of just how "pivotal"
today's trading may have been for bears.  As such, bears will
play trend, but most likely see a break above 472.50 or 475 as
sign of renewed bullishness.  In the coming sessions, should the
OEX fall back to 442.50, we could make some bullish % comparisons
to the recent low bullish % reading and look for any confirmation
of internal weakness.

Today's action saw no net change in the S&P 100 Bullish %
($BPOEX).  Still just 1 stock away from a "bull confirmed"
reversal, but status remains "bear alert" at 59%.

NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock (QQQ) - Daily Interval

The volume pivot of $27 held resistance and that's what bearish
traders use as their leverage point.  The ability for the QQQ to
have recently moved above the $26.18 level lends some bullish
support on any near-term test of $25.00.

Today's action saw no net change in the NASDAQ-100 Bullish %
($BPNDX).  Status remains "bear alert" at 62%.

Jeff Bailey

Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
email. The highlights include two option expiration mousepads
to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:



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the management of equity, fixed income and balanced accounts for
pension/profit-sharing plans, foundations/endowments, unions and
high net worth individuals.   Accordingly, Westcore Funds may be
appropriate as options in a defined contribution plan or in your
personal long-term financial plan.

While Denver Investment Advisors manages billions of dollars for
institutional and wealth management clients, the "Westcore" name
isn't as well known in the retail fund marketplace.  Mutual fund
assets account for less than $1 billion in assets today, but you
shouldn't let the small asset base dissuade you.  Low investment
minimums of $2500, no-load NTF fund availability, and reasonable
annual expense ratios add appeal to the Westcore Funds family of
mutual funds.

Information on Denver Investment Advisors LLC may be obtained by
going to their institutional website (www.denveria.com).  Mutual
fund information is located at the Westcore Funds website, found
at www.westcore.com.

Fund Overview

If you go to the Westcore Funds website, they provide a breakdown
of funds by their respective management style, and the style that
the fund replicates on the institutional asset management side.

Domestic Equity Growth Styles:

Westcore Growth Fund (WTEIX) follows the firm's growth investing
style and normally invests in large-cap growth stocks.  Westcore
MIDCO Growth Fund (WTMGX) and Westcore Small-Cap Growth (WTSMX),
as their names imply, replicate the firm's mid-cap and small-cap
growth investing styles.  Westcore Select Fund (WTSLX) follows a
more concentrated equity investment approach.

Domestic Equity Value Styles:

Westcore Blue Chip (WTMVX) replicates the firm's large-cap value
investing style and invests in large, well-established companies
whose stock appears to be undervalued.  A mid-cap value product,
Westcore Mid-Cap Opportunity (WTMCX), and a small-cap value fund,
Westcore Small-Cap Opportunity (WTSCX), round out the value fund
lineup.  Note that Morningstar's style analysis puts the Westcore
mid-cap and small-cap funds in the "blend" style box.

International Equity Styles:

Westcore's only international equity fund, Westcore International
Frontier (WTIFX), replicates the firm's "international small-cap"
investing style and invests mainly in foreign small-cap companies
that appear to have above-average revenue and earnings potential.
According to Morningstar, the fund has a small-cap "blend" style.

Domestic Fixed Income Styles:

Westcore Plus Bond Fund (WTIBX) replicates the firm's core plus
management style.  It seeks long-term total return by investing
in bonds of different maturities and investment-grade qualities.
It uses a unique blend of conservative, government bonds, while
increasing yield through investments in high and medium quality
bonds issued by companies.  There is no corresponding style for
the Westcore Flexible Income Fund (WTLTX) and Westcore Colorado
Tax-Exempt Fund (WTCOX).

Balanced Styles:

Westcore does not currently offer a mutual fund replicating its
balanced management style.  But, you can get the desired "asset
class" exposures by mixing Westcore stock and bond mutual funds
in varying proportions based on your situation and risk profile.

Common Principles:

The Westcore website states that the principles that are common
across all of their investment disciplines include a "bottom-up"
decision making process, a focus on fundamental research that is
supported by quantitative analysis, and strict valuation methods
that bring "rigor" as they put it to the buying/selling process.

In their research, Westcore tries to get a real understanding of
the investment.  They will look at how the company works as well
as what factors that may be unique to the situation and a driver
for performance.

Their growth styles favor companies with above-average earnings
growth prospects, while their value styles try to capitalize on
the valuation distortions that frequently arise in the domestic
equity market, favoring stocks that are under-priced at time of

Westcore's fixed income process emphasizes spread products such
as corporates, mortgages and asset-backed securities, with long-
term total returns driven by both "sector management" and "issue
selection."  Risk management is integrated into the fixed income
process to maintain the desired risk/reward portfolio attributes.

Fund Ratings and Performance

Of the 11 Westcore funds in Morningstar's database, only one is
rated less than average (3 stars) for risk-adjusted performance
relative to category peers.  The Westcore Small-Cap Growth Fund
(WTSMX) is currently rated only 1 star by Morningstar.  However,
the other 10 Westcore funds are 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star rated
by Morningstar for risk-adjusted relative performance.

Two of Westcore's growth equity fund products have above average
4-star overall ratings.  The Westcore Growth Fund (WTEIX) sports
a Morningstar highest 5-star rating for the trailing 3-year time
period within the large-cap growth category.  The family's more-
concentrated sibling, Westcore Select Fund (WTSLX) is relatively
new and sports a 4-star rating for the trailing 3-year period in
the mid-cap growth group.  Westcore MIDCO Growth (WTMGX) managed
by firm president Todger Anderson has delivered returns that are
competitive overall with other mid-cap growth funds with similar
risk.  Its trailing 5-year returns are rated as "above average."

Westcore's value equity and international equity funds are rated
3 stars (average) overall by Morningstar.  Because it invests in
foreign small-cap companies, the Westcore International Frontier
Fund has "high" risk relative to foreign stock category.  On the
other hand, international small-caps may be a better diversifier
against U.S. investments than international large-cap funds - so
it may still be appropriate as part of one's long-term financial

The fixed income funds are each rated 3 stars overall.  Westcore
Plus Bond (WTIBX) has produced average investment results with a
"low" risk level relative to other intermediate-term, investment
grade funds.  Westcore Flexible Income (WTLTX) has above average
risk relative to its "multisector" bond fund peers, but has also
generated above average relative returns.  Westcore Colorado Tax
Exempt Fund (WTCOX) has produced average returns compared to its
single-state municipal bond fund peers, with below average risk.

All in all, good, perhaps not great "risk-adjusted" returns over
time for shareholders.  Below is a summary of the return numbers
through January 7, 2003 using data from Morningstar's website at

 Average 3-Year Return (Percentile Rank in Category):
 - 6.0% Westcore Blue Chip (WTMVX) 60th percentile
 + 7.1% Westcore CO Tax-Exempt (WTCOX) 50th percentile
 + 6.2% Westcore Flexible Income (WTLTX) 27th percentile
 - 9.5% Westcore Growth (WTEIX) 5th percentile
 -13.4% Westcore International Frontier (WTIFX) 28th percentile
 + 3.0% Westcore Mid-Cap Opportunity (WTMCX) 14th percentile
 -13.6% Westcore MIDCO Growth (WTMGX) 37th percentile
 + 8.2% Westcore Plus Bond (WTIBX) 60th percentile
 - 1.6% Westcore Select (WTSLX) 8th percentile
 -22.9% Westcore Small-Cap Growth (WTSMX) 87th percentile
 + 5.9% Westcore Small-Cap Opportunity (WTSCX) 29th percentile

 Average 5-Year Return (Percentile Rank in Category):
 + 0.3% Westcore Blue Chip (WTMVX) 55th percentile
 + 4.8% Westcore CO Tax-Exempt (WTCOX) 41st percentile
 + 3.7% Westcore Flexible Income (WTLTX) 40th percentile
 + 2.6% Westcore Growth (WTEIX) 14th percentile
 + 2.7% Westcore MIDCO Growth (WTMGX) 32nd percentile
 + 6.1% Westcore Plus Bond (WTIBX) 49th percentile
 - 0.1% Westcore Small-Cap Opportunity (WTSCX) 72nd percentile

You can see that the Westcore funds have generally put up good
returns with a couple exceptions.  Most Westcore funds rank in
one of the top two quartiles of their respective category peer
groups for the trailing 3-year and 5-year periods.  The firm's
risk management process has kept most funds in line "risk-wise"
with their category peers, while providing opportunities to do
better "return-wise" over time.


Competitive return performance, institutional style management,
and controlled risk are key elements of the Westcore Funds, run
by Denver Investment Advisors.  Before the growth bubble burst,
Westcore's growth oriented funds sported better overall ratings.

If you are seeking a good mid-cap growth fund that's capable of
putting up strong numbers in a growth-led bull market, then you
may want to look further at Westcore MIDCO Growth Fund, managed
by Todger Anderson.  Denver Investment Advisors is perhaps best
known for their growth equity management styles, and Todger has
26 plus years experience of managing money for Denver Investment
and predecessor organizations.

For more information or to download a fund prospectus, go to the
Westcore Funds website at www.westcore.com.

Steve Wagner
Editor, Mutual Investor


'Tis The Season, Part II
by Mark Phillips

While laying the groundwork for detailing what I expect out of
the stock market for the next year on Monday, I ran out of time
and space before really getting to the meat of what I wanted to
talk about.  So I'm not going to waste any time rehashing that
discussion and want to pick up right where we left off.  If you
missed Monday's article, here's the link so that you can catch
up with the rest of us.

'Tis The Season

For ease of discussion though, I am going to replicate the
charts of the SPX and COMPX here, so we have pictures to talk
about during today's discussion.

S&P 500 (SPX) Weekly Chart

NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) Weekly Chart

As you can see from the weekly charts above, both indices are
in protracted and well-developed downtrends and there are some
distinct overhead resistance levels that must be overcome.  With
few signs of improved business demand throughout the economy,
breaching these resistance levels is going to be a tough nut to
crack unless companies provide more encouraging news in the way
of increasing demand for their products and services, which
will translate into improved earnings.  In my opinion, just
showing improvement relative to last quarter or last year,
isn't necessarily going to get the job done.  Those comparisons
'should' be easy to beat due to the dismal performance in 2002.
But we're still left with the fact that valuations are extremely
high compared to the norm near bear market bottoms.  Translation:
Not only has the fat lady not sung, she hasn't even arrived at
her dressing room yet!

I feel that the rally of the past week has been due to
expectations of wonderful things from the President's economic
stimulus plan, and the weakness today was just a continuation of
the 'Sell the News' reaction of yesterday afternoon.  Don't get
me wrong -- I really liked the President's proposals, and I
think it will help to stimulate the economy.  I just don't think
it is enough to stimulate a business turnaround this year.  Let's
face it, most of the tax-related proposals (even if they do make
it through Congress) won't really have any material affect until
2004, when the 2003 tax returns are filed.

The cornerstone of the stimulus package, at least for investors,
is the elimination of the tax on dividends.  As Larry Kudlow
pointed out on CNBC yesterday, if passed, this tax cut should
start to focus investors' attention on the dividend yield of a
metric of corporate health, removing in large part the debate
over pro-forma earnings.  Dividends are real money being paid
out.  You can't pay a dividend out of EBITDA earnings -- you
need real cashflow to do it.  Here's where it gets interesting
though.  The aggregate dividend yield of the S&P 500 is currently
about 1.75%, ridiculously low by historical standards.  In the
past, a dividend yield of roughly 3.5% has been typical of market
tops.  Just to get to that level, either dividends paid out would
have to double or share prices would need to be cut in half.
That would equate to the S&P 500 trading for about 450, level
last visited in late 1994!  Don't worry, I'm not going to
predict a slide to anything approaching that level...at least not
this year.  No, I think we'll see gradual improvement in earnings
and dividends paid out.  But at the same time stock prices will
continue to drop, helping to bring the actual dividend yield

I don't hold any illusions about a sharp near-term increase in
the dividend payout from the companies in the S&P 500.  The
primary reason why is that they just don't have the income stream
to do it.  Currently, approximately 45% of the earnings of these
companies is paid out to shareholders.  Just to get to that
'historically toppy' 3.5% yield, companies would need to pay out
90% of real earnings in the form of dividends.  Think that's
going to happen?  Not on your life!  That would leave virtually
no working capital with which to go about growing the business,
which is precisely what businesses will need to spend money on
if we're going to return to a steadily growing economy.  In the
past, bear market bottoms are accompanied by dividend yields in
the neighborhood of 6%, 4 times what they are right now.

With that perspective, I think you can see why I pay so much
attention to the long-term charts that I inserted above.  They
tell me the dominant trend is still very much down, and that
coupled with the fundamentals of the economy and the market
tell me there isn't enough fuel to break out of those trends
in any decisive manner.

I think there is a large contingent of investors (actually
institutions) that have a vested interest in seeing a healthy
market, at least for the first quarter of 2003.  There's a
historical pattern that says if the market falls below its
December lows anytime in the first quarter, then it's a bad omen
for the remainder of the year.  With most of the strategists
and economists (as well as the Wall Street firms) touting that
we won't have a fourth down year in a row, I expect to see some
significant effort expended to ensure that we don't violate
those lows over the next 3 months.  For the SPX the low to
watch is 869.45, and for the COMPX it is 1327.19.

That gives us some solid numbers to watch over the next few
months, now doesn't it?  If those levels are violated, I would
consider it a big warning sign that new lows lie in our future.
However, just because those levels aren't violated in the first
quarter, it certainly isn't a sign that the bulls are back in
town.  With virtually all of the 'experts' lined up saying that
we won't have a fourth down year, you would think that it would
be a no-brainer to expect the contrarian view to once again be
correct.  But believe it or not, I have to say that I don't
expect 2003 to close in the red.

My expectation is that the recent rally up to the 930 level on
the SPX isn't quite done yet.  Oh sure, it looks like we've got
some near-term weakness to deal with, and the arrival of
earnings season next week isn't likely to help the bulls' case.
But I expect another run during the first quarter to challenge
the December highs and then quite possibly the descending
trendline on the COMPX and the upper channel line on the SPX.
To be sure, challenging those trendlines looks like a long-shot
now, and if we accomplished it in the next couple weeks, we
would have established the first higher high in a loooong time.
But what happens if that rally to those resistance lines takes
until mid-February or later?  By then, the SPX upper channel line
will be near 960 and the COMPX descending trendline would be right
at 1600, which is heavy resistance.  The COMPX would establish a
higher high, but not the SPX.  Embedded in that view is my belief
that Technology will outperform to the upside this year, but more
on that below.

I expect any rally up near those higher levels to be met with
heavy selling pressure, getting the mid-year decline I expect
off to a roaring start.  All right here's my view in a nutshell:
We could get a rally continuation over the next couple months
or we could just muddle along sideways -- I think that first
phase could go either way.  But as we move beyond the April/May
timeframe, I expect selling pressure to once again increase and
I expect a major breakdown again to new lows.  For the SPX, I'm
thinking that the 700-750 level will define the floor, depending
on timing.  But watch the center-line of that descending channel,
as my expectations are that it will act as support as the year
rolls along.  In contrast, I don't expect to see the COMPX
violate its 2002 lows this year, primarily because so far in this
bear market, Technology stocks have suffered much more damage
than the rest of the stocks making up the broad market.  As such,
I look for Technology to outperform to the upside in 2003.  That
said, I fully expect to see the COMPX trade below 1200 again in

After that decline, which likely lasts through the summer and
possibly into early fall, my views turn more optimistic.  I
actually expect by the 3rd quarter, we'll start to get some more
positive comments out of Corporate America, and the end of 2003
should provide a strong rally.  In fact, it should be strong
enough to finally break the SPX out of its descending channel to
the upside, since the top channel line by then will be in the
vicinity of 800.  Technology stocks should lead on that rally
and the early signs of this occurring will be the COMPX breaking
out decisively over its descending trendline, which by that time
(early September) will be near 1400.

By the end of the year, I'm looking for the SPX to be trading
north of 900 again and the COMPX to be above 1450.  Those
certainly aren't levels that will excite the bulls looking at
current levels, but coming from the levels I expect to see
mid-year, it will represent quite a year-end recovery.  As they
say, "it isn't the destination, it's the journey".  As you can
see, I'm looking for a mild year-over-year rise, but only after
once again breaking the most recent lows.  Buy and hold investors
will once again get abused for listening to the rosy predictions
of the Wall Street strategists, but those that listen to the
language of the market and trade the major swings over the next
year should do quite well.

There are lots of factors that I didn't get to today, like what's
going to happen to the dollar, the price of gold, interest rates
and then the whole inflation/deflation debate.  So much to cover,
so little time.  Maybe I'll do another article, delving into
those topics, or maybe I'll see if I can twist Buzz's arm and
get him to chime in with his views.  After all, diversity of
views provides a better well-rounded view of the beast we call
"The Market".

Of course, all of the foregoing is predicated on the assumption
that I know what I'm talking about.  They don't call the market
"The Great Humiliator" for nothing, and this could be the year
that I'm left wiping egg off my face.  If so, I'll take the
abuse in stride, knowing full well that it happened because I got
too cocky for my own good.  I'll revisit my musings throughout
the year and we can look together to see if I'm even close to
the mark.  At year-end, I think it will be interesting to see
how my crystal ball performs relative to some of the more
well-known analysts.

Feel free to send along any comments or questions and may we all
have a prosperous year in the markets!


Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
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to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:



Fading Fast

We finally got the rollover we were looking for and it is
beginning to appear more and more like it is something more than
just a pullback on the way up. We can't come to that conclusion
just yet, but we have taken the first steps toward a very bearish

To read the rest of the Swing Trader Game Plan Click here:

Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
email. The highlights include two option expiration mousepads
to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:



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Contact Support
The Option Investor Newsletter                Wednesday 01-08-2003
Copyright 2003, All rights reserved.                        2 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

In Section Two:

Stop Loss Updates
Dropped Calls: None
Dropped Puts: None
Play of the Day: Put - KSS
Big Cap Covered Calls & Naked Puts: Reality Returns To The Market!

Updated on the site tonight:
Market Posture: Correction
Market Watch: A Few Good Picks

Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
email. The highlights include two option expiration mousepads
to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:








Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
email. The highlights include two option expiration mousepads
to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:



KSS - Kohl's Corporation $53.55 -2.11 (-2.80 this week)

Company Summary:
Kohl's Corporation operates family-oriented, specialty department
stores, primarily in the Midwest.  The company's stores sell
moderately priced apparel, shoes, accessories and home products
targeted to middle-income customers shopping for their families
and homes.  Kohl's stores have fewer departments than full-line
department stores, but offer customers assortments of merchandise
displayed in complete selections of styles, colors and sizes.  Of
the 420 stores the company operates, 116 are takeover locations,
which have facilitated the entry into several new markets,
including Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Ohio; Boston,
Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Louis, Missouri,
and the New York region.

Most Recent Write-Up:
The holiday shopping season went out with a whimper and the
recent news out of the Retail sector is not encouraging for the
bulls.  Even the leading discount retail chains like Wal-Mart
had a disappointing season to close out a disappointing year.
Merrill Lynch didn't waste any time shedding the dead weight
from its Focus List on Tuesday, removing KSS and sending shares
of the stock plunging 3.8% on volume well above the ADV.  A quick
look at the KSS chart shows how weak the stock has been since
early December, having given up all of its gains since
mid-October.  Despite the recent slide, the stock looks like it
still has some substantial downside in store, at least according
to the PnF chart, which is currently on a Sell signal with a
bearish price target of $46.  Last Thursday's euphoric rally in
the broad market lifted the stock up to the 20-dma, where the
bears promptly stomped on it, and with volume on the rise, it
doesn't look like they're going to let up anytime soon.  While
we'd prefer to enter on the next failed rally (ideally in the
$55.50-56.00 range), we may not get the chance.  Traders willing
to trade a breakdown will want to target a trade under $53,
which is just below today's intraday lows.  If trading the
breakdown, make sure to confirm KSS' weakness with weakness in
the Retail sector (RLX.X), which is currently resting just above
significant support in the $255-260 area.  Place stops initially
at $56.75.

Why This Is Our Play of the Day:
After dropping over $5 in three days, it appeared likely that we
would get our entry on a bounce below $56.00.  However, in spite
f its best efforts to make up lost ground, Kohl's was hit with a
slew of earnings warnings by other retailers, including
Electronics Boutique, Laura Ashley and Men's Wearhouse. The one
positive comment out of the retail sector was from Coach, which
generally appeals to a different demographic.  As the retail
reports roll in, it appears that the holiday season was even
worse than predicted.  We should get another snapshot of those
results on Thursday, when many retailers release December sales
data. After trading as high as $54.71, KSS couldn't break the $55
barrier and eventually faded to yet another relative low. If the
news tomorrow morning is anything like the news today, then
momentum traders can look to enter below today's low of $52.70.
If the news is better than expected, traders can look for another
failure at $55 as a signal that we are simply getting an oversold
bounce and a better entry point.

*** January contracts expire in less than two weeks ***

BUY PUT JAN-55* KSS-MK OI=5848 at $3.30 SL=1.70
BUY PUT JAN-50  KSS-MJ OI=9673 at $1.20 SL=0.60
BUY PUT FEB-55  KSS-NK OI= 310 at $4.70 SL=2.35

Average Daily Volume = 4.06 mln

Annual Renewal Special

The annual special this year is far too large to put into an
email. The highlights include two option expiration mousepads
to which we have added the FOMC meeting dates this year. There
are also two videos with Jim, Jeff and Buzz and seven books
by leading market professionals like John Murphy and and Jim
Rodgers. We even brought back the Trading Strategies CD from
last year for all the new subscribers who have been asking
for it.

Click here for the full details:



Reality Returns To The Market!
By Ray Cummins

The first rally of 2003 came to an abrupt end today as investors
sold for profits amid a slew of negative announcements.

The major stock averages were toppled by gloomy forecasts from
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and Gateway (NYSE:GTW) while brokerage downgrades
hammered telecom shares and blue-chip stalwart J.P. Morgan Chase
(NYSE:JPM).  Despite the unveiling of President Bush's stimulus
plan, analysts remain apprehensive about a near-term recovery in
share values and the myriad of woes surrounding the economy have
quickly overcome the public's yearning to purchase stocks in the
current uncertain situation.  The Dow Industrials slid 147 points
to 8,593 while the NASDAQ slumped 30 points to 1,401.  The broader
S&P 500 index fell 13 points to 909.  Stocks in the semiconductor
sector were among the worst performers, along with networking,
gaming, oil, airline, and banking shares.  Limited gains were seen
in natural gas, gold, health service, and defense issues.  Trading
volume hit 1.43 billion on the NYSE and 1.44 billion on the NASDAQ.
Decliners beat advancers by a ratio of 5 to 3 on both the Big Board
and the technology exchange.  Treasury markets improved as stocks
slumped.  The benchmark 10-year note rose 5/32 to yield 3.95%.




The following summary is a reasonable account of the positions
previously offered in this section.  However, no representation
is being made as to the actual performance of a position and in
fact, there are frequently large differences between the summary
results and those of actual traders, due to the variety of ways
in which each play can be opened, closed, and/or adjusted.  In
addition, the summary might not be completely representative of
the manner in which the average trader would react to changing
conditions in a position and to the options market in general.
The play commentary (when provided) is simply a service to help
new traders understand when positions might be opened and closed.
In most cases, actions taken based on the commentary would be far
too late to be effective, thus it is not intended as a substitute
for personal trade management nor does it replace your duty to
diligently monitor and manage the positions in your portfolio.


The Maximum Yield (listed in the summary and with new option
selling plays) is the greatest possible profit available in the
position.  This amount, expressed as a percentage, is based on
the initial margin requirement as determined by the Board of
Governors of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. options markets and
other self-regulatory organizations.  Although increased margin
requirements may be imposed either generally or in individual
cases by various brokerage firms, our calculations use the widely
accepted margin formulas from the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
The "Simple Yield" is based on the cost of the underlying issue
(in the event of assignment), including the premium from the sold
option, thus it reflects the maximum potential loss in the trade.

Naked Puts

Stock  Strike Strike  Cost Current   Gain    Max   Simple
Symbol  Month  Price Basis  Price   (Loss)  Yield  Yield

AMGN     JAN    40   39.20  50.24   $0.80   5.29%  2.04%
MERQ     JAN    22   22.05  37.00   $0.45   5.53%  2.04%
NBIX     JAN    40   38.75  45.75   $1.25   7.51%  3.23%
OMC      JAN    60   58.65  66.69   $1.35   5.44%  2.30%
PPD      JAN    22   21.55  20.28  ($1.27)  0.00%  4.41%
QCOM     JAN    32   31.85  37.26   $0.65   5.67%  2.04%
SYMC     JAN    35   34.30  44.61   $0.70   5.66%  2.04%
AMGN     JAN    47   46.60  50.24   $0.90   5.27%  1.93%
BSX      JAN    40   39.10  44.92   $0.90   6.10%  2.30%
IGEN     JAN    35   33.90  42.10   $1.05  10.01%  3.10%
OVER     JAN    22   22.20  29.46   $0.30   4.83%  1.35%
PLMD     JAN    25   24.50  26.98   $0.50   7.09%  2.04%

Among the January positions, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) traders
with a short option at $47.50 should consider closing the
play if the issue moves below technical support at $47.

Naked Calls

Stock  Strike Strike  Cost   Current  Gain    Max   Simple
Symbol Month  Price   Basis  Price   (Loss)  Yield  Yield

CCMP     JAN    60   61.35   51.80   $1.35   8.36%  2.20%
EXPE     JAN    80   81.35   65.75   $1.35   5.48%  1.66%
LLTC     JAN    33   32.90   29.34   $0.40   7.00%  1.22%
NVLS     JAN    35   35.30   33.13   $0.30   5.12%  0.85%

Novellus (NASDAQ:NVLS) is a candidate for early exit on any
close above $34.

Put-Credit Spreads

Stock                                             Gain
Symbol  Pick   Last  Month L/P S/P Credit  C/B   (Loss) Status

EK      38.22  39.16  JAN   30  35  0.55  34.45  $0.55   Open
MRX     48.86  50.20  JAN   40  45  0.40  44.60  $0.40   Open
BSTE    35.01  37.87  JAN   25  30  0.60  29.40  $0.60   Open
SYK     65.88  68.40  JAN   55  60  0.40  59.60  $0.40   Open

Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) rebounded after Deutsche Securities
issued an upgrade on the stock.  EK shares are now trading at
a multi-year high and the trend is bullish in the near-term.

Call-Credit Spreads

Stock                                             Gain
Symbol  Pick   Last  Month L/C S/C Credit  C/B   (Loss) Status

ERTS    60.68  48.93  JAN   75  70  0.50  70.50  $0.50   Open
ITMN    29.29  22.21  JAN   40  35  0.50  35.50  $0.50   Open
CCMP    48.75  51.80  JAN   65  60  0.40  60.40  $0.40   Open
LOW     38.20  36.95  JAN   45  43  0.25  42.75  $0.25   Open
MXIM    34.18  38.10  JAN   45  40  0.50  40.50  $0.50   Open

Cabot Micro (NASDAQ:CCMP) and Maxim Integrated Products are on
the "early exit" watch-list.

Credit Strangles

No Open Positions

Synthetic Positions:

Stock  Pick     Last    Position   Credit   C/B    M/V   Status

EASI   37.25   36.94   JAN40C/35P   0.10   34.90   0.40  Closed

Engineered Support Systems (NASDAQ:EASI) provided a small profit
just after the play was opened but the position should have been
closed when the issue fell below the sold strike at $35.

Questions & comments on spreads/combos to Contact Support


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.  The positions with "*" will be included
in the weekly summary.  Those with "TS" (Target-Shoot) are below
our minimum monthly return but may offer a favorable entry price
with a limit order, due to the daily volatility of the underlying


BULLISH PLAYS - Premium Selling

All of these issues have robust option premiums and relatively
favorable technical indications.  However, current news and market
sentiment will have an effect on these stocks, so review each play
thoroughly and make your own decision about its future outcome.

ASA - ASA Limited  $41.30  *** Broad Market Hedge! ***

ASA Limited (NYSE:LTD) is a closed-end investment company.  The
firm was organized to provide investors with a vehicle to invest
in a portfolio consisting mainly of stocks of companies conducting,
as a major portion of their business, gold mining and related
activities in South Africa.  The company is permitted to invest up
to 20% of the value of its assets outside of South Africa and may
also invest up to 25% of the value of its assets in gold or gold

ASA - ASA Limited  $41.30

PLAY (sell naked put):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL PUT  JAN 37.5 ASA MU     417    0.25  37.25   7.3%   0.7%
SELL PUT  JAN 40   ASA MH     623    0.65  39.35  15.6%   1.7%
SELL PUT  FEB 35   ASA NG     125    0.55  34.45   4.4%   1.6% *
SELL PUT  FEB 37.5 ASA NU     112    1.15  36.35   7.2%   3.2%

COF - Capital One  $35.41  *** Change Of Character! ***

Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) is a holding company whose major
subsidiaries market a variety of financial products and services
to consumers using its proprietary information-based strategy.
The company's primary business is consumer lending, with a focus
on credit cards, but including other consumer lending activities
such as unsecured installment lending and automobile financing.
The company's principal subsidiary, Capital One Bank, a limited
purpose, state-chartered credit card bank, offers credit card
products.  Capital One, F.S.B., a federally chartered bank, offers
consumer lending and deposit products.  Capital One Services, the
other major subsidiary, provides various operating, administrative
and business services to the company and its subsidiaries.

COF - Capital One  $35.41

PLAY (sell naked put):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL PUT  JAN 27.5 COF MY    6,652   0.25  27.25  13.0%   0.9% *
SELL PUT  JAN 30   COF MF   15,411   0.55  29.45  22.5%   1.9%
SELL PUT  FEB 23.5 COF NX      220   0.45  22.05   5.2%   2.0% *
SELL PUT  FEB 25   COF NE    3,174   0.65  24.35   7.3%   2.7%

IGEN - IGEN International  $43.28  *** Testing 2002 Highs! ***

IGEN International develops and markets products that incorporate
its proprietary electrochemiluminescence (ORIGEN) technology,
which permits the detection and measurement of various biological
substances.  ORIGEN provides a combination of speed, sensitivity,
flexibility and throughput in a single technology platform.  The
product is incorporated into instrument systems and other related
consumable reagents, and IGEN also offers assay development and
services used to perform analytical testing.  Products based on
ORIGEN technology address the Life Sciences, Clinical Testing and
Industrial Testing worldwide markets.

IGEN - IGEN International  $43.28

PLAY (sell naked put):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL PUT  JAN 40   GQ MH    2,556    0.60  39.40  15.6%   1.5%
SELL PUT  FEB 35   GQ NG       97    0.95  34.05   8.3%   2.8% *
SELL PUT  FEB 40   GQ NH      149    2.30  37.70  12.2%   6.1%

INVN - InVision Technologies  $27.93  *** New Up-Trend? ***

InVision Technologies (NASDAQ:INVN) is a provider of Federal
Aviation Administration certified explosives detection systems
used at airports for screening checked passenger baggage.  The
company's EDS products are based on complex computer tomography,
which is the only technology for explosives detection that has
met the FAA certification standards.  InVision was the first
manufacturer, and is one of only two manufacturers, whose EDS
products have been certified by the FAA for screening checked

INVN - InVision Technologies  $27.93

PLAY (sell naked put):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL PUT  FEB 22.5 FQQ NX     181    0.45  22.05   6.3%   2.0% *
SELL PUT  FEB 25   FQQ NE     283    0.95  24.05   9.0%   4.0%

PHM - Pulte Homes  $51.03  *** Up On A Down Day! ***

Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM) is a holding company whose subsidiaries
engage in the homebuilding and financial services businesses.
The company's direct subsidiaries include Pulte Diversified
Companies, Inc. (PDCI), Del Webb Corporation and others that
are engaged in the homebuilding business.  PDCI's operating
subsidiaries include Pulte Home Corporation (PHC), Pulte
International Corporation and other subsidiaries that are
engaged in the homebuilding business.  The company also has a
mortgage banking company, Pulte Mortgage Corporation, which is
a subsidiary of PHC.

PHM - Pulte Homes  $51.03

PLAY (sell naked put):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL PUT  JAN 50   PHM MJ     635    0.75  49.25  14.2%   1.5%
SELL PUT  FEB 45   PHM NI     140    0.95  44.05   5.4%   2.2% *
SELL PUT  FEB 50   PHM NJ     374    2.30  47.70   9.2%   4.8%


BULLISH PLAYS - Credit Spreads

These candidates are based on the underlying issue's technical
history or trend.  The probability of profit in these positions
may also be higher than other plays in the same strategy, due to
small disparities in option pricing however, each play should be
evaluated for portfolio suitability and reviewed with regard to
your strategic approach and trading style.

FRX - Forest Labs  $106.07  *** 2-for-1 Split Coming! ***

Forest Laboratories (NYSE:FRX) develops, manufactures and sells
both branded and generic forms of ethical drug products that
require a physician's prescription, as well as non-prescription
pharmaceutical products sold over-the-counter.  The company's
most important U.S. products consist of branded ethical drug
specialties marketed directly, or "detailed," to physicians by
its Forest Pharmaceuticals, Therapeutics and Specialty sales
forces.  The company's many products include those developed by
Forest and those acquired from other pharmaceutical companies
and integrated into Forest's marketing and distribution systems.
Principal products include Celexa, an SSRI for the treatment of
depression; the respiratory products Aerobid and Aerochamber;
Tiazac, a once-daily diltiazem for the treatment of hypertension
and angina; and Infasurf, a lung surfactant for the treatment and
prevention of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants.

FRX - Forest Labs  $106.07

PLAY (conservative - bullish/credit spread):

BUY  PUT  FEB-90.00  FRX-NR  OI=262   A=$1.05
SELL PUT  FEB-95.00  FRX-NS  OI=1305  B=$1.45
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=9% B/E=$94.55

PFCB - P.F. Chang's China Bistro  $37.96  *** A New S&P "Buy" ***

P.F. Chang's China Bistro (NASDAQ:PFCB) owns and operates a chain
of full-service, or Bistro, restaurants that feature a unique
blend of traditional Chinese cuisine and American hospitality in
a sophisticated, contemporary bistro setting.  These restaurants
offer intensely flavored, highly memorable culinary creations,
prepared from fresh ingredients, including premium herbs and
spices imported directly from China.  P.F. Chang's menu is focused
on select dishes created to capture the distinct flavors and styles
of the major culinary regions of China: Canton, Hunan, Mongolia,
Shanghai and Szechwan.  P.F. Chang's also owns and operated some
limited-service, or Pei Wei, restaurants and has developed Pei Wei
Asian Diner, a new concept that caters to a quicker, more casual
dining experience as compared to P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

PFCB - P.F. Chang's China Bistro  $37.96

PLAY (conservative - bullish/credit spread):

BUY  PUT  FEB-30.00  HUO-NF  OI=2   A=$0.25
SELL PUT  FEB-35.00  HUO-NG  OI=39  B=$0.80
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=14% B/E=$34.40

SLM - SLM Corporation  $106.71  *** Recession Proof? ***

SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM), formerly USA Education, is a private
source of funding, delivery and servicing support for higher
education loans for students and their parents in the United
States.  SLM provides a range of financial services, processing
capabilities and information technology to meet the needs of
educational institutions, lenders, students and guarantee
agencies.  The company's managed portfolio of student loans,
including loans owned and loans securitized, totals over $70
billion, of which the majority is federally insured.  The firm
also has commitments to buy billions of dollars of additional
student loans.  Primarily a provider of education credit, the
company serves a diverse range of clients, including over 6,000
educational and financial institutions and guarantee agencies.
The company serves in excess of seven million borrowers through
its ownership or management of student loans.

SLM - SLM Corporation  $106.71

PLAY (conservative - bullish/credit spread):

BUY  PUT  FEB-90.00  SLM-NR  OI=102  A=$0.65
SELL PUT  FEB-95.00  SLM-NS  OI=90   B=$1.05
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=9% B/E=$94.55



Based on analysis of option pricing and the underlying stock's
technical background, these positions meet our fundamental
criteria for bearish "premium-selling" strategies.  Each issue
has robust option premiums, a well-defined resistance area and
a high probability of remaining below the target strike prices.
As with any recommendations, these positions should be carefully
evaluated for portfolio suitability and reviewed with regard to
your strategic approach and personal trading style.

CTSH - Cognizant Technology  $64.55  *** Rolling Over! ***

Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) delivers full life
cycle solutions to complex software development and maintenance
problems that companies face as they transition to e-business.
These information technology (IT) services are delivered through
the use of a seamless on-site and offshore consulting project
team.  The company's solutions include application development
and integration, application management and re-engineering
services.  The company's customers include ACNielsen Corporation,
ADP, Incorporated, Brinker International, Incorporated, Computer
Sciences Corporation, The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, First
Data Corporation, IMS Health Incorporated, Metropolitan Life
Insurance Company, Nielsen Media Research, Incorporated, PNC Bank
and Royal & SunAlliance USA.

CTSH - Cognizant Technology  $64.55

PLAY (sell naked call):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL CALL JAN 70   UPU AN    637     0.30  70.30   5.5%   0.4% *
SELL CALL FEB 75   UPU BO    293     0.65  75.65   3.5%   0.9% TS
SELL CALL FEB 70   UPU BN    419     1.80  71.80   7.1%   2.5%

EXPE - Expedia  $64.03  *** Pure Premium-Selling! ***

Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) is a provider of travel-planning services.
The company's travel marketplace includes direct-to-consumer
Websites offering travel-planning services located at Expedia.com,
Expedia.co.uk, Expedia.de, Expedia.ca, Expedia.nl and Expedia.it.
Expedia also provides travel-planning services through Voyages
sncf.com, as part of a joint venture with the state-owned railway
group in France.  In addition, the company offers travel-planning
services through its telephone call centers and through private
label travel Websites through its WWTE business.  WWTE is now a
division of Travelscape, one of Expedia's primary subsidiaries.
In February 2002, a controlling stake in the Expedia was acquired
by USA Networks.

EXPE - Expedia  $64.03

PLAY (sell naked call):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL CALL JAN 70   UED AN   6,816    0.30  70.30   5.7%   0.4%
SELL CALL FEB 65   UED BM     576    4.50  69.50  13.4%   6.5%
SELL CALL FEB 70   UED BN     724    2.50  72.50   9.8%   3.4%
SELL CALL FEB 75   UED BO     309    1.25  76.25   6.8%   1.6% *
SELL CALL FEB 80   UED BP     270    0.50  80.50   3.3%   0.6% TS

MBG - Mandalay Resort Group  $27.01  *** Sector Slump! ***

Mandalay Resort Group (NYSE:MBG) is a hotel-casino operator.
The firm's Mandalay Mile is a large-scale hotel-casino resort
development in Las Vegas, the world's largest gaming market.
Mandalay Mile consists of three interconnected mega-resorts on
230 acres, including its flagship property, Mandalay Bay.  The
company and the joint ventures in which it participates operate
a total of 16 properties with more than 27,000 guest rooms and
more than one million square feet of casino space in Nevada,
Mississippi, Illinois and Michigan.  Of these properties, 12
are wholly owned and have more than 22,400 guestrooms and more
than 800,000 square feet of casino space.  In addition, the
company owns a 50% interest in each of three joint venture
casino properties that have approximately 4,700 guest rooms
and more than 200,000 square feet of casino space, and a 53.5%
interest in a fourth joint venture casino with 75,000 square
feet of casino space.

MBG - Mandalay Resort Group  $27.01

PLAY (sell naked call):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL CALL JAN 27.5 MBG AY      23    0.60  28.10  20.9%   2.1%
SELL CALL FEB 27.5 MBG BY       0    1.55  29.05  11.4%   5.3%
SELL CALL FEB 30   MBG BF   1,297    0.65  30.65   6.7%   2.1% *

QCOM - Qualcomm  $36.62  *** Technology Slump! ***

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is a developer and supplier of code
division multiple access (CDMA)-based integrated circuits
and system software for wireless voice and data communications
and global positioning system (GPS) products.  The company
offers complete system solutions, including software and
integrated circuits for wireless handsets and infrastructure
equipment.  This complete system solution approach provides
customers with advanced wireless technology, enhanced component
integration and interoperability, as well as reduced time to

QCOM - Qualcomm  $36.62

PLAY (sell naked call):

Action    Month &  Option    Open    Last  Cost    Max.  Simple
Req'd     Strike   Symbol    Int.    Price Basis  Yield  Yield

SELL CALL JAN 37.5 AAW AU   17,184   0.60  38.10  15.8%   1.6%
SELL CALL FEB 37.5 AAW BU      760   2.10  39.60  11.4%   5.3%
SELL CALL FEB 40   AAW BH    5,614   1.15  41.15   8.0%   2.8%
SELL CALL FEB 42.5 AAO BV    1,169   0.55  43.05   5.1%   1.3% *


BEARISH PLAYS - Credit Spreads

All of these positions are favorable candidates for "bear-call"
credit spreads, based on the current price or trading range of
the underlying issue and its recent technical history or trend.
The probability of profit from these positions may be higher
than other plays in the same strategy, due to disparities in
option pricing.  However, current news and market sentiment will
have an effect on these issues, so review each play individually
and make your own decision about its future outcome.

HET - Harrah's Entertainment  $37.47  *** Gaming Glut! ***

Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment (NYSE:HET) is the
most recognized and respected name in the casino entertainment
industry.  Harrah's operates 26 casinos in the United States
primarily under the Harrah's name.  Harrah's goal is to provide
great customer service in exciting and entertaining environments
to become the first choice for casino entertainment.  Harrah's
concentrates on building loyalty and value for its customers,
shareholders, employees, business partners, and communities by
being the most service-oriented, technology-driven, diversified
company in gaming.  Harrah's Code of Commitment seeks to promote
responsible gaming among Harrah's customers, and identifies the
firm's commitment to employees and the communities where Harrah's
casinos are located.

HET - Harrah's Entertainment  $37.47

PLAY (less conservative - bearish/credit spread):

BUY  CALL  FEB-42.50  HET-BV  OI=220  A=$0.40
SELL CALL  FEB-40.00  HET-BH  OI=212  B=$0.75
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=16% B/E=$40.40

PHA - Pharmacia  $42.00  *** Trading Range? ***

Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:PHA) is primarily involved in the
development, manufacturing and sale of pharmaceutical products.
Prescription pharmaceuticals is the company's only business
segment and includes general therapeutics, ophthalmology and
hospital products, including oncology as well as diversified
therapeutics.  The company also operates several business units
that do not constitute reportable business segments.  These
include, among others, consumer healthcare, animal health,
diagnostics and contract manufacturing and bulk pharmaceutical
chemicals.  Due to the size of these operating units, they have
all been grouped into the Other Pharmaceuticals category.  The
company's products are sold throughout the world to a range of
customers, including pharmacies, hospitals, chain warehouses,
governments, physicians, wholesalers and other distributors.

PHA - Pharmacia  $42.00

PLAY (conservative - bearish/credit spread):

BUY  CALL  FEB-50.00  PHA-BJ  OI=86    A=$0.15
SELL CALL  FEB-45.00  PHA-BI  OI=2218  B=$0.70
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=14% B/E=$45.60

ZBRA - Zebra Technologies  $57.32  *** Failed Recovery Rally? ***

Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) and its wholly owned
subsidiaries design, manufacture and support a broad range of
direct thermal and thermal transfer bar code label and receipt
printers, plastic card printers, related accessories and support
software.  The company's main products consist of a broad line
of computerized printers for the production of bar code labels,
receipts and tags, and plastic cards, specialty bar code labeling
materials, ink ribbons for bar code and card printers, and bar
code label design software.

ZBRA - Zebra Technologies  $57.32

PLAY (conservative - bearish/credit spread):

BUY  CALL  FEB-70.00  ZBQ-BN  OI=155  A=$0.35
SELL CALL  FEB-65.00  ZBQ-BM  OI=279  B=$0.80
POTENTIAL PROFIT(max)=11% B/E=$65.50





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