Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Monday, 04/28/2003

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The Option Investor Newsletter                   Monday 04-28-2003
Copyright 2003, All rights reserved.                        1 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

In Section One:

Wrap: A Great Start To The Week
Futures Wrap: Drive to the Top
Index Trader Wrap: Dow presses 8,500 once again
Weekly Fund Wrap: U.S. Equity Funds Move Higher
Traders Corner: MOPO - Remember That Term?

Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
04-28-2003                  High    Low     Volume Advance/Decl
DJIA     8471.61 +165.26  8501.66 8305.03   1362 mln  1594/1246
NASDAQ   1462.24 + 27.70  1465.40 1436.35   1218 mln  1623/1399
S&P 100   464.78 +  8.58   466.80  456.20   totals    3217/2645
S&P 500   914.84 + 16.03   918.15  898.81
RUS 2000  395.20 +  6.70   395.20  388.50
DJ TRANS 2398.31 + 45.70  2399.68 2350.59
VIX        23.05 -  0.85    23.69   22.65
VIXN       32.68 -  1.02    34.14   32.56
Put/Call Ratio 0.76

A Great Start To The Week

Early morning headlines had traders reading a positive spin on
earnings announcements from Dow components McDonalds (MCD) and
Procter & Gamble (PG).  This overcame some mixed economic news
and more SARS coverage by the media.

That positive attitude had the Industrials vaulting out of the
gates and the DJIA closed up 165 points, almost two percent to
8471.  The NASDAQ Composite followed suit with a 27-point gain,
or 1.93%.  The NASDAQ-100 surpassed them both with a 2.2% gain
and the S&P 500 added 16 points to close at 914, up 1.78%.

Market Internals

Market internals were very encouraging today.  Advancing issues
out paced decliners by large margins.  Stocks closing in the
green tallied more than 2100 on the NYSE and more than 2,000 on
the NASDAQ.  Stocks losing ground today numbered 703 on the NYSE
and 970 on the NASDAQ.  52-week highs continue to overpower 52-
week lows at 254 to 49, respectively.  A very good sign for
investors was the up volume compared to down.  Up volume on the
NYSE was 1.3 billion with only 180 million in down volume.  The
NASDAQ turned in 1.1 billion over 271 million.  Maybe we should
just start reporting up and down volume in this format: 1308/180
(read as 1308 million over 180 million).  Sort of like the
market's blood pressure reading.

Economic News

Just as traders find it essential to monitor the market's blood
pressure, larger moves in the financial markets forecasted by
moves in the economic blood pressure of the U.S. and global
economies.  This morning's consumer spending and income numbers
were somewhat positive.  Adjusted for inflation, consumers'
income rose 0.4 percent, which matched consumers spending rise of
just 0.4 percent.  However, peel away the numbers and real
consumer spending only rose 0.1 percent in March.  This is pretty
slow but it reversed two months of declines.

This week will provide plenty economic data for investors to sift
through with the Employment Cost Index (ECI) report tomorrow and
the Consumer Confidence report again.  The Confidence number is
expected to come in around 71.  Given the estimates being raised
for a rebound, should there be a negative surprise, the markets
could react sharply to the downside.  On Wednesday we have the
Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which is expected to show a
contraction in this country's manufacturing sector.  Wall Street
will also be listening for any hints from Fed Chairman Alan
Greenspan's appearance on Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday will be busy with the Jobless Claims,
Productivity, Construction Spending, the Job's report and the
ISM.  The ISM is actually expected to rise slightly from 46.2 to
47.1 while the April Job's report is expected to show a rise in

Despite all these potential landmines for the markets, everything
depends on how investors interpret the data.  It's possible that
the rally today was boosted by the conclusion of the SEC's two-
year investigation into Wall Street's practices.  Should investor
sentiment remain positive then nothing will stand in the bull's

SEC Settlement

It's been a long time coming but the SEC and State Attorneys
offices from around the country have finally finished their
negotiating with the top ten firms on Wall Street.  After all the
haggling was finished the SEC proudly proclaimed victory with a
$1.4 Billion settlement, the largest in SEC history.  There was
plenty of delays and word-smithing by the two sides as the
brokers didn't want the SEC to use the word "fraud" in their
final statements.  To do so would only empower the herd of class-
action lawsuits many of them already face over these same issues.

Despite their pleas, the SEC did charge three firms with
fraudulent practices but on a civil basis and not a criminal one.
The three firms with the big scarlet "F" on their chest are
Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Citigroup's
Salomon Smith Barney.  The ten firms who are coughing up the $1.4
billion are Citigroup (C), Credit Suisse (CSR), Goldman Sachs
(GS), Merrill Lynch (MER) and Morgan Stanley (MWD).  These five
are paying the heftiest fines.  The second half includes Bear
Stearns (BSC), J.P.Morgan (JPM), Lehman Brothers (LEH), UBS
Warburg (UBS), and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray (USB).  Also
getting hit with some large monetary fines were infamous stock
analysts Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman.  Merrill's Blodget will
have to cough up $4 million in fines and Salomon's Grubman will
be writing a check for $15 million.  By paying the fines neither
analyst is admitting or denying any wrongdoing but both are
banned for life from operating in the securities industry.  There
are plenty of voices on Wall Street and Main Street that say the
$1.4 billion these firms are being fined is pocket change
compared to what investors lost.  This may be true but if anyone
is still seeking restitution they'd better get in line behind the
class-action suits.

More Earnings News

They don't call them earnings "seasons" for nothing.  They just
seem to go on and on and on.  This is the third heavy week for
earnings announcements but the pattern appears to be in place.
Wall Street analysts had lowered the bar so low, spurred on by
mid-quarter guidance and pre-earnings warnings from corporations,
that the sudden trend is for most companies to meet or beat the
estimates.  Gosh, this quarter wasn't so bad after all now was

Helping perpetuate the myth was McDonalds, who announced prior to
the bell this morning.  After three weeks of trading sideways
under resistance at $16.00 the stock exploded higher today and
closed at $16.93, plus seven percent on its earnings results.
Estimates had been for 28-cents a share and Ronald McDonald's
employer managed to beat by a penny.  Net income rose to $327.4
million compared to just $253.1 million the same quarter last
year.  Revenues rose six percent to $3.8 billion, which beat
First Call's estimates.  In an industry that is facing stiff
competition, a more educated consumer, and a product line with a
$1 menu, we're wary of any long-term appreciation.  Yes, the
stock is oversold and short-term traders might do well to
consider watching it but there is growing speculation that the
fast-food industry will come under the same sort of litigation
pressures that the tobacco industry did.

Another Dow component to announce this morning was Procter &
Gamble (PG).  Excluding a $66 million restructuring charge, PG
turned in 96 cents a share, which was inline with consensus
estimates.  Last year the company earned 74 cents a share.  This
was PG's third quarter and profits rose 23 percent with strong
sales of Crest toothpaste and Pampers diapers.  Total revenues
came in at $10.7 billion, up eight percent.  The stock added
$1.55 or 1.73 percent to close at $90.69.  Shares remain stuck in
their four-week range of $88 to $91 with significant resistance
overhead between $92.50 and $93.00.

Making headlines after hours was news from Intuit Inc. (INTU).
The tax-preparation software designer was hit hard today on
worries that its most important tax-season quarter would be
weaker than expected due to a number of factors.  Shares were
down 6.6 percent to $34.79 but up significantly off its lows for
the session.  The bounce continued after hours when the INTU spin
cycle hit the wires with word that sales were great but net
earnings would still come in at the low-end of guidance.  How
this shakes out tomorrow will be interesting for short-term
traders and OI readers.  The company is expected to announce
earnings on April 15th.


Adding some oomph to the tech rally on Monday was a bullish
report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).  SIA
proclaimed that chip sales for the first quarter of 2003 were up
13 percent over last year and sales were up 2.6 percent in March.
The $SOX index rose 2.5 percent, which lifted a number of chip
stocks with it.  Unfortunately for tech bulls the good news is
potentially overshadowed by the fact that chip sales fell 3.2
percent from the fourth quarter.  Furthermore, the SIA also
lowered their growth forecasts from 19% to a more conservative
10% to 15% for 2003.  Chip analysts appeared rather ho-hum about
the report and many remain cautious on the sector's outlook.
Given the current state of I.T. spending and the detrimental
impact SARS will have on the production line for many of these
companies industry watchers sounded skeptical.

The Charts

Investors have to take into account all the factors but one
that's hard to avoid is the charts themselves.  The rebound in
the DJIA is encouraging but the Industrials remain under
resistance.  The trend on the NASDAQ composite looks a lot more
tempting for the bulls as do the NDX and the S&P 500.  But
remember, Jim outlined the importance of the 920 area for the SPX
in the weekend wrap and the market has yet to break above this
crucial level of resistance.

Chart of the Dow Jones Industrials:

Chart of the NASDAQ Composite:

Chart of the S&P 500 (SPX):

Don't forget - tomorrow will be the ECI report and fresh Consumer
Confidence numbers and a full day of corporate earnings.



Drive to the Top
Jonathan Levinson

Daily Pivots (generated with a pivot algorithm and unverified):

            R2     R1      Pivot    S1     S2
DJIA      8622.29 8546.29 8425.66 8349.66 8229.03
COMPX     1483.71 1472.97 1454.66 1443.92 1425.61
ES03M      931.58  922.41  908.83  899.66  886.08
YM03M     8622.33 8536.66 8395.33 8309.66 8168.33
NQ03M     1132.33 1119.16 1100.33 1087.16 1068.33

Today caused massive gnashing of teeth for bears licking their
wounds from last week, and for bulls who targeted last week's
rally highs but fell just short despite an encouraging flagpole
rally just after the opening bell.

The indices closed just below their highs of the day on decent
but light volume than Friday, with the COMPX trading 1.53B shares
and the NYSE 1.54B.  Treasuries saw some selling, except for the
thirty year bond which was bought, with the five year yield up
1.8 bps, the ten up 1.4 bps, and the thirty year yield down 0.4

To provide some context, here's the daily chart of the SPX:

Chart of the SPX

The bearish ascending wedge on the daily candles has so far been
playing out as expected.  Higher highs are certainly possible
without violating either the formation or its target of SPX

Now, on to the shorter timeframes:

Chart of the INDU

Despite the doubtless existence of endless buy-stop orders (and
long buy orders) above Friday's highs, the INDU just couldn't
make it, and brought the 10(5) stochastic back up to top of its
range.  Make no mistake that today's action was a victory for the
bulls, as the INDU brought in a 1.98% gain, triggering upside
trading curbs.  However, unless the upper resistance line can get
taken out with authority, today will be remembered only as a
lower high.

Today's print brings in the possibility that the above chart is a
bullish ascending triangle, albeit a sloppy one.  Again, the
upper resistance line remains key.  With the VIX lying like
roadkill at 23.05, down .85 today, I see more potential to the
downside to than to the upside.

Chart of the COMPX

The COMPX has shown more strength than the INDU during the past
weeks, and today's action was a fine example of a "return to the
scene of the crime" rally.  Price came right back up and tested
the failed ascending trendline, the scene of Friday's breakdown.
Upper resistance from last week was not penetrated, though it
came close enough for bears' liking.  While the QQV was up .48 at
28.55, the VXN was down 1.02 to 32.68.  These remain extremely
low volatility readings for QQQ and the COMPX, but the strength
in the QQQ volatility index could be signaling some anticipatory
volatility increases from the traditionally "leading" index.  If
so, then the bearish cross in the 10(5) stochastics above can be
given more weight.  We'll find out tomorrow.

On to the futures contracts:


The YM contract led the INDU, and my comments with respect
thereto apply equally here.  Today just looked like a lower high
to me, and reaffirmed the flat resistance line just above.  A
break above will imply that this formation was a sloppy but valid
ascending triangle, with the last leg of it depicted here as a
reverse head and shoulders for good measure.  We'll see tomorrow,
but for the moment the battlefield appears to be a 200 point
range between 8300 and 8500.


The ES contract printed an intraday high of 918, just below last
week's 919 and change high.  The expanding wedge, or as Bulkowski
calls it, the "megaphone" formation, or as I call it, the
"bulloney bullhorn" is generally thought of as a "chaotic"
pattern.  I don't have my trusty "Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns"
with me, but each time I've looked up the bulloney bullhorn, it's
been during a nerve wracking, difficult market.  This one is no
different.  It's a low odds pattern, not bullish and not bearish,
but given the other equity markets, I'll lean bearish here.
Support is just below 900 on this chart, and we can see that the
10(5) stochastics are toppy.


The NQ contract is doing the same as the COMPX, but with that
bearish cross a little more advanced than for the broader COMPX,
which coincides with the QQV vs. VXN-  again, the NDX is leading
the broader market down.  Note the potential for a reverse head
and shoulders formation if last week's high gets taken out.  I
don't think of reverse h&s patterns occurring near tops, but
there appears to be that potential from the above chart on an
upside breakout.

For tomorrow, I will be watching the trendlines on the above
charts.  A break above last week's highs, kissing distance from
today's peak, will have significant bullish implications.
However, we also know how the market loves to run stops before
reversing.  For this reason, traders need to be nimble here.
We're either right under a significant top, or at the beginning
of a strong wave higher, punctuated by panic short covering,
momentum buying, and all of that fun stuff-  a flagpole rally,
such as we've been seeing all year.  Either way, tomorrow will
complete an important piece of the puzzle.


Dow presses 8,500 once again

For the fourth time in just over a month, the Dow Industrials
(INDU) 8,471 +1.98% recouped Friday's losses and once again
traded the 8,500 level, but bulls ran out of time, and perhaps
cash in an attempt to get this widely quoted index to the 8,550

Dow breadth finished today's session with all 30-components in
the green as better-than-expected quarterly earning's from
McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) $16.93 +7.08% brought some strength from
the bottom, while some resumption of longer-term strength from 3M
(NYSE:MMM) $126.80 +3.17% after 5-consecutive sessions of
declines last week, and a downgrade on Friday by Bank of America,
helped lift the Dow from its longer-term 200-day SMA of 8,300 and
rising shorter-term 21-day SMA 8,290.

Trading curbs were in place at approximately 11:00 AM EST when
the Dow traded 150-points above Friday's close, and while volumes
waned from last week's levels, the NYSE still managed to trade
just over 1.25 billion shares, while the NASDAQ came close to
Friday's 1.49 billion volume at 1.43 billion shares.

Market breadth was positive at the NYSE with advancers
outnumbering decliners by a 3 to 1 margin.  Meanwhile, 156 stocks
traded new 52-week highs compared to 21 stocks trading new 52-
week lows.  The most bullish readings for 52-week high/low
indications came on Tuesday of last week when the NYSE Composite
closed at 5,101.81 and bulls most likely want to see further
improvement in the 52-week high/low indicators (still quite
strong) with the NYSE Composite ($NYA) finishing up 90-points
(+1.8%) at 5,108 in today's trade.  The NYSE Bullish % ($BPNYA)
saw a net gain of 0.55% new point and figure buy signals in
today's session, which has this VERY BROAD indicator of market
internals growing to a bull cycle high of 50.55% and nearing
January's cycle high levels of 53%.

NASDAQ breadth showed advancers outnumbering decliners by a 2 to
1 margin, with 147 stocks reaching new 52-week highs compared to
20 stocks trading new 52-week lows.  On Wednesday of last week,
the NASDAQ reported 162 new highs and 24 stocks at new 52-week
lows.  Today's 147 new high rivaled last Monday's 147.  The
NASDAQ Composite ($COMPX) finished today's session with a
27.7-point gain (+1.93) at 1,462 and just off Wednesday's highest
close of the year of 1,466.  A move above Wednesday's 2003 high
of 1,468.08 still has the the January 13th relative high of
1,467.35 still has the December highs of 1,521.44 in play, and a
move above that level would have a "technical" bull market in
play as a series of higher highs and higher lows would have been
traded.  The VERY BROAD NASDAQ Composite Bullish % ($BPCOMPQ) saw
a net gain of 0.35% and builds to a bull cycle high reading of
50.55%.  Current levels of bullishness match those found in late
November, but still off the 56% levels of bullishness found in
May of 2001 and January of 2002.

A stronger U.S. dollar as depicted by the U.S. Dollar Index
(dx00y) 98.64% showed some foreign assets being converted back
into dollar-denominated assets couldn't have hurt equities today,
while some slightly stronger selling in the shorter-dated 5-year
bond, which had the June 5-year Treasury futures contract (fv03m)
$113'135 -0.09% seeing more selling than the 30-year June futures
(us03m) $113'130 (unch), finds a flattening YIELD curve in
today's trade, which tends to bode well for equities.

Dow Industrials ($INDU) Chart - 50-point box

The Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,471 +1.98% finished just off their
session highs of 8,501.66 and resistance below the 8,550 level
remains intact into today's close.  First sign of weakness would
be a trade at 8,250.  Bulls that played the "bullish triangle"
pattern break higher at 8,450 can raise stops from 8,200 to
8,250.  Bulls willing to give a little more room can match up the
8,200 level with this WEEK's WEEKLY S1 of 8,204.

Today's action saw no net change in the very narrow Dow
Industrials Bullish % ($BPINDU).  Still "bull alert" at 50% and
would still take a reading of 62% to achieved "bull confirmed"
status (each stocks chart is equal to 3.33%) while a reversal
back down to 46% would be "bear confirmed."

S&P 500 Index ($SPX.X) Chart - Daily Interval

The SPX tested and traded through our correlative DAILY R2 and
WEEKLY R1 intra-day, but wasn't quite able to hold that level
into the close.  With Treasuries finishing basically unchanged to
modestly lower, I was impressed that the SPX was able to trade
its WEEKLY R1 to begin with.  In Friday's market monitor, I was
looking for a morning trade near 894 then a rebound tomorrow back
near 910.  I do like bullish entries on a pullback near 884 as
SPX internals continue to improve.  A trade at 920 would be
another "double-top buy signal and a break much above 922 leaves
WEEKLY R2 in play.  Stochastics are trying to roll from
"overbought" and hints a pullback is coming.  Bears say it can't
come soon enough!

Note:  "Pink" retracement is conventional (October low-December
highs).  "Blue" retracement is this WEEK's, while Red is this
MONTH's (April) retracement from pivot analysis.

Today's trade saw a net gain of 3 stocks to new point and figure
buy signals.  Add that to Friday's net gain of 2 stocks and we've
got the S&P 500 Bullish % ($BPSPX) growing 1% since Thursday's
close of 54.20.  This has the SPX bullish % growing to a bull
cycle high of 55.2%, but still off the December high reading of

S&P 100 Index ($OEX.X) Chart - Daily Interval

Three levels appear at the 469 level tomorrow as resistance.  The
overlapping WEEKLY and Conventional (pink) retracement along with
the DAILY R1 of 469.0.  Last week we did see the OEX close just
above current levels, then fall back into Friday's close.

Key economic number tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM EST will be the
Conference Board's April consumer confidence with is forecasted
at 70.00, compared to March's 62.5 reading.  I've seen some
economist's forecast as high as 76 and it might take that type of
confidence reading to get the OEX above the 469 level.  The bears
have come out of hibernation and they look hungry to cover
positions when new relative highs are violated to the upside.
Aggressive bulls will press the issue on a move above 469.

Today's trade saw a net gain of 2 stocks to new point and figure
buy signals.  Add this to Friday's net gain of 1 stock and the
narrower S&P 100 Bullish % ($BPOEX) grows to a bull cycle high of
55% at today's close.  Still "bull alert" here and needs a
reading of 62% to achieve "bull confirmed."

Treasuries sure seemed to find modest selling as stocks continued
to bid as the session progressed.  With Stochastics approaching
"oversold" on the YIELD charts (overbought for price) something
has to give as the equity indexes and YIELDS have been stretched

NASDAQ-100 Tracking Stock (QQQ) - Daily Interval

Similar to the above chart of the S&P 100 (OEX.X), a "sliver of
resistance" is in play in the QQQ and NDX near-term, just above
WEEKLY R1 of $27.51, which was traded above, but not held at
today's close.  But this "sliver" comes from MONTHLY and WEEKLY
pivot analysis retracement.  The only level of resistance from
conventional retracement is the December highs of QQQ= $28.79 and
NDX= 1,155.68.  Tentative near-term support (tentative as it was
resistance today that was traded through to the upside) is the
WEEKLY pivot of $27.19, with more formidable support at the
WEEKLY S1 of $26.62 and overlapping of the WEEKLY 80.9%
retracement.  Keep this level in mind when considering current
levels of bullish %.

Today's trade saw the NASDAQ-100 Bullish % ($BPNDX) see a net
gain of 23 stocks to new point and figure buy signals.  This has
the bullish % "bull confirmed" (was "bull alert" after reversing
up to 36% on Monday, March 21).

While the bullish % can grow to 100%, we are now nearing a more
"overbought" 70% level of bullishness and bulls are advised to
exhibit caution on new bullish positions.

While the bullish % are not very good at predicting price
forecast, but are EXCELLENT in depicting market risk, I've tried
to show relative high and low reading of the last bull to bear
cycle.  I would "eyeball" a level close to the WEEKLY R2 of 28.08
as being in between the two recent relative high bullish %
readings of 76% and 66% (split the two for 71%) and this would be
a level if achieved, a bull would be well advised to get from
full positions to 50% position.  If you're holding 1/2 bullish
position, then par back to 1/4.

In December the NDX took a wild "plunge" lower from 76% (was risk
too high, or was it "news" driven?) fell to 60% bullish, then had
a little "pop" back to 66% bullish before eventually falling to a
bear cycle low of 30%.

I see a pretty good tie in with this WEEK's WEEKLY S2 of $26.30,
which I would deem to be reasonable BULLISH risk at this point.
With this bullish % now near 70%, I wouldn't rule out a test of
the December highs or even the MONTHLY R2 of $29.23, just
understand that at those levels, this MARKET (NDX/QQQ) would most
likely be EXTREMELY overbought and RISKY.

Pivot Analysis Matrix

In an attempt to get the Index Trader Wraps out on a more timely
basis, detailed reviews of the pivot matrix will be limited.
Weekly S1 and pivots are deemed support, while upper levels of
resistance, while correlative begin to serve as trading exit
points for bulls to then look for pullback entry levels.  The Dow
Industrials (INDU) MONTHLY R1 has yet to be traded and that level
is withing 10-points of DAILY R1.  As shown in the first chart of
tonight's wrap, Dow has found sellers below the 8,550 level on
recent rallies.  A break of that level (8,550) should then give
further upside potential to WEEKLY R2 and DAILY R2 near 8,620.

Jeff Bailey

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U.S. Equity Funds Move Higher

Most diversified U.S. equity funds produced gains for the weekly
period ended Friday, April 25, 2003 with the S&P 500 and S&P 400
indices up 0.6% and 1.3%, respectively, on the week.  Funds with
mid-cap and small-cap biases outperformed their large-cap equity
peers.  Value-driven funds did a little better overall last week
than pro-growth funds, with financials and utility stocks higher
and tech stock prices lower on the week.

As you can see, stocks are higher today (Monday), following last
week's net gains.  It was a volatile week that saw equity prices
rise sharply earlier in the week, only to give back a portion of
those gains later in the week.  Uncertainty about where the U.S.
economy is headed did not help matters in the equity market, but
it did contribute to price gains in the U.S. fixed income market.

For the week, the Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index rose 0.6%,
with the intermediate-term and long-term bond indices doing even
better, finishing the week up 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.  High-
yield bonds extended their year-to-date advance, with the average
high yield producing a 1.6% weekly total return according to data
from Lipper.

With both stock and bond prices higher on the week, some balanced
funds produced 5-day total returns of 1 percent or more depending
on their asset mix and portfolio characteristics.

U.S. Equity Fund Group

 Week   YTD
+0.6%  +2.7%  Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
+1.3%  +0.0%  Vanguard MidCap Index Fund (VIMSX)
+1.3%  +1.8%  Vanguard SmallCap Index Fund (NAESX)
+0.7%  +2.7%  Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
+0.3%  +2.1%  Lipper Large-Cap Core Equity Fund Average
+1.0%  +1.0%  Lipper Mid-Cap Core Equity Fund Average
+1.1%  +0.1%  Lipper Small-Cap Core Equity Fund Average
+0.6%  +2.2%  Lipper Multi-Cap Core Equity Fund Average
-0.2%  +6.2%  Lipper Science & Technology Fund Average

According to Lipper, the average tech sector fund lost 0.2% last
week, while the average large-cap growth fund lost 0.1%, so some
diversified stock funds struggled to finish the week in positive
turf.  Mid-cap growth funds did not keep pace with other mid-cap
styles, averaging only 0.45% for the week per Lipper.  All three
small-cap fund styles (value, core and growth) rose by more than
1.0%, led by small-cap growth funds up 1.5% on average for the 5-
day period.

Volatility in the tech sector last week did not apply to biotech
funds, which were the week's highest performing U.S. subcategory.
World Funds' Genomics Fund rose 8.9% last week, with three other
funds (Munder Funds, ProFunds and John Hancock) in that group up
7% or higher for the 5-day period.  ProFunds' Telecommunications
fund generated a 1-week return of 8.3%, among the week's highest
performers also.

The mutual fund profiled in our weekly manager microscope report
last week, Fidelity Leveraged Company Stock Fund produced a 6.1%
weekly return to lead the mid-cap group higher.  The Legg Mason
Value Prime Fund returned 3.4% on the week for one of the better
relative performances in the large-cap peer group.  Its sibling,
Legg Mason Opportunity Fund produced a 3.8% weekly total return,
one of the better weekly performances in the mid-cap peer group.

International Equity Fund Group

 Week   YTD
-0.4%  -2.1%  Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund (VDMIX)
-3.7%  -0.9%  Vanguard Emerging Markets Index Fund (VEIEX)
-0.5%  -1.9%  Vanguard Total International Stock Index (VGTSX)
+0.0%  -2.8%  Lipper International Fund Average
-2.0%  -0.1%  Lipper Emerging Markets Fund Average
-1.8%  -12.9%  Lipper Gold Fund Average

International equity funds were generally lower last week, with
the Pacific Stock index 1.3% lower for the week in dollar terms.
Funds investing in emerging Asia and in Korea were particularly
hard hit.  For instance, Fidelity Southeast Asia Fund lost 6.7%
last week, while its sibling, Fidelity Advisor Korea Fund had a
1-week loss of 9.1%.  The Korean Investment Fund lost 10.0% for
the week, the worst performing fund in the peer group last week.

On the bright side, funds investing in Eastern Europe and Russia
posted solid gains.  ING Russian Fund, for example, returned 6.5%
for the weekly period, followed by Third Millennium Russia Fund's
4.8%.  U.S. Global Investors Eastern Europe Fund produced a 5-day
total return of 3.3%.  Latin American funds also enjoyed gains on
the week, as evidenced by the 1.5% weekly returns from Van Kampen
and T. Rowe Price.

Gold funds lost 1.8% on average per Lipper, increasing their YTD
average decline to 12.9%.

U.S. Fixed Income Fund Group

 Week   YTD
+0.5%  +1.5%  Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund (VBISX)
+0.9%  +2.8%  Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund (VBIIX)
+1.3%  +3.4%  Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index Fund (VBLTX)
+0.6%  +1.9%  Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX)
+0.3%  +1.2%  Lipper Short Investment-Grade Fund Average
+0.7%  +2.6%  Lipper Intermediate Investment-Grade Fund Average
+0.5%  +1.1%  Lipper U.S. Government Fund Average
+0.7%  +2.4%  Lipper Corporate A-Rated Debt Fund Average
+1.6%  +10.4%  Lipper High-Yield Fund Average

Do you see that?  High-yield bond funds are now up over 10% on a
year-to-date basis through April 25, 2003, per Lipper, including
the group's 1.6% average return last week.  Fidelity Capital and
Income Fund managed by David Glancy (see also Fidelity Leveraged
Company Stock Fund) had a 5-day return of 2.2%, best among fixed
income funds with $500+ million in assets.  Franklin High Income
Trust: AGE High Income Fund generated a 2.8% weekly total return.

With the high-yield sector performing well, investment-grade bond
funds that include some high-yield exposure outpaced those, which
have little or no exposure to the sector.  For instance, American
Funds' Bond Fund of America produced a 1-week return of 1.1%, one
of the better relative returns on the week among investment-grade
funds.  It generally invests a portion of assets in lower-quality
securities for their greater yield and total return potential in
the long term.

Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Fund returned 1.0%, one of the better
weekly returns among government bond funds with over $500 million
in total assets.

International Fixed Income Fund Group

 Week   YTD
+0.8%  +4.3%  Lipper Global Income Fund Average
+0.8%  +4.2%  Lipper International Income Fund Average

As you can see, global/international fixed income funds produced
solid gains on the week, rising about 0.8% on average per Lipper.
The week's top performers included Loomis Sayles Global Bond Fund
(+1.4%), American Century International Bond Fund (+1.4%) and the
American Funds' Capital World Bond Fund (+1.3%).  A few more were
over 1 percent for the week.

Balanced Fund Group

 Week   YTD
+0.7%  +2.4%  Vanguard Balanced Index Fund (VBALX)
+0.5%  +2.0%  Lipper Balanced Fund Average

The week's top performer last week in the mixed equity group was
Wells Fargo Funds Trust: WealthBuilder Growth Balanced Portfolio,
up 2.7% for the 1-week period.  Among mixed equity funds with at
least $500 million, Oppenheimer Capital Income Fund produced the
week's top return, up 2.1% on the week.  It invests in bonds and
convertibles.  Speaking of convertibles, they did well last week
too as evidenced by the 2.3% weekly total return recorded by the
Ariston Convertible Securities Fund.

Franklin Income Fund, an income-oriented hybrid with exposure to
high-yield securities, which performed relatively well last week,
posted a 1-week return of 1.95%.  Balanced funds with pro-growth
styles such as Janus Balanced Fund lagged a little bit last week.
It rose just 0.1% for the week.

Money Market Fund Group

0.71%  iMoneyNet All Taxable Money Market Fund Average

The average taxable money market fund's trailing 7-day (simple)
yield fell two basis points last week, to 0.71%, per the latest
MMF survey by iMoneyNet.  PayPal Money Market Fund continues to
sport the highest current yield at 1.22%.  Only a dozen "prime"
retail money market funds yield 1.00% or higher today according
to iMoneyNet.

A 7-day yield of 1.07% offered by the Vanguard Admiral Treasury
Fund is the highest 7-day yield today among "government" retail
money markets funds.  Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund has
an average 7-day yield of 1.12%, better than most taxable money
market funds.

The nation's largest retail money market fund, the $58.4 billion
Fidelity Cash Reserves Fund, has a current 7-day yield of 0.96%.

Mutual Fund News

According to Morningstar.com, the Vanguard Group has added 2.0%
redemption fees (on shares sold within 60 days) for nine of its
international equity funds to encourage long-term investing and
discourage short-term trading.  Vanguard's Global Equity (VHGEX)
and Tax-Managed International (VTMGX) funds already have short-
term redemption fees in place.  Morningstar noted that Vanguard
is taking the step to thwart arbitrageurs who hop in and out of
foreign stock funds (to exploit pricing differences between U.S.
and foreign markets).

Fidelity Investments' Fergus Shiel has left the firm "to pursue
other business opportunities."  Shiel ran Fidelity Independence
(FDFFX) since June 1996, and had managed Fidelity Advisor Fifty
(FFYAX) since June 2002.  The former fund has lost 20.6% in the
past 12 months, ranking toward the bottom of the third quartile
of the Morningstar large-cap growth category.  Shiel's departure
is the latest in a series of managers to leave Fidelity in recent
years, according to Morningstar.  See their Fund Times report for
more details (www.morningstar.com).

Steve Wagner
Editor, Mutual Investor


MOPO - Remember That Term?
by Mark Phillips

I think it was Buzz Lynn that first coined the term MOPO in
reference to "The Mother Of Put Opportunities", speaking of that
situation that presents itself when the major the VIX reaches the
lower end of its historical range, at the same time the major
indices are running out of steam near major resistance.  The last
time we were presented with that sort of setup was over a year ago
-- ancient history to many of us.

I've talked a lot (perhaps too much) about the VIX over the past
few months, trying to determine whether a new, higher range was in
effect or if it was just a very long-lived excursion out of that
range.  Well, with the VIX now probing below the 23 level and
looking like it could fall further, I have no recourse except to
concede that the latter case is in fact what we witnessed over the
past 10 months.  The VIX is falling back towards its historical
floor (19-21), and appears close to giving us a great MOPO setup,
perhaps sometime in the next 2 weeks.

The war in Iraq is over, at least as far as the market is
concerned, and is no longer having a material impact on the
direction of the market.  This is the last major week of the April
earnings season, and while not a disaster, neither has it been a
screaming success.  Most companies are managing to come in close
to their lowered estimates, but it is the forward guidance that is
key.  You see, many company's got a free-pass of sorts for this
quarter, as they were able to use the "Iraq ate my earnings"
excuse, foregoing the "day of reckoning" for one more quarter.
The popular prediction seems to be that economic growth will be
back into the 4% area for the second half of 2003.  Just last
Thursday, Fed Governor Ben Bernanke parroted this line.  If that
name sounds familiar, it is because of his comments last November
that the Fed can print a virtually unlimited amount of money to
ward off the deflation monster.  Whether we next confront
inflation or deflation and what the Fed is likely to do to
confront it is a topic best left to brighter minds than mine.
What I find most interesting is that economists and analyst
actually have the unmitigated gall to trot out the "second half
recovery" story in a manner that indicates they don't think we
have the benefit of memory.

I know my memory is fading as time passes, but I seem to recall
hearing of the fabled second half recovery in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Is there something different this year that should lead us to buy
into it?  Those of you that are familiar with my writing know the
answer before I state it.  In short, I don't see how.  From a
fundamental standpoint, I think this market is a pig and will see
substantially lower lows before seeing anything approaching just
its 2002 highs.  But it is in picking the technical entry points
that the rubber meets the road.  Anecdotally, we recall that the
end of April earnings season ushers in the bad six months of the
year for the stock market as investors hang up their mice in favor
of enjoying the fun and sun of summer.  So is it time to start
getting heavily short the market?

While I do think we're close, I think we still may have a bit more
upside in store before that occurs.  It is the basis for my
hesitancy that I want to discuss here today.  Rather than forcing
you to interpret what I'm talking about, I'm going to rely heavily
on some charts, as I think they convey the message much more
clearly than the printed word.  We'll stick with the S&P 500
(SPX.X) for our discussion today, as I think it provides the best
measure of the broad market, while still giving us access to some
of the ancillary indicators I want to talk about.  First up is the
weekly chart of the SPX which I posted last weekend in the LEAPS

Weekly Chart of the S&P 500

We're certainly getting awfully close to either a failure or
breakout at those two converging trendlines.  I peg that critical
resistance in the $920-925 area.  So if we break out above $925,
does that mean we ought to abandon any bearish aspirations we
might have for the broad market?  No, I really don't think so.
Look at what happened with the violation of the bottom of that
channel in September of 2001.  After breaking out of the channel
to the downside, the market promptly reversed and headed steadily
higher for the next 3 months.  The channel isn't so much a line on
the chart as it defines an area that will be important to the
market.  The recent action in the market certainly seems to be
confirming the importance of this level as we have twice
approached the $920 level in just the past week.  The other thing
to keep in mind is that just clearing $920 doesn't get the SPX in
the clear, as there is significant overhead resistance in the
$930-940 area from January, and then again at $940
(November/December 2002 highs) and then $960-965 (August 2002
peak).  Then of course, we have the formidable resistance at $970,
left behind from the September 2001 lows.  Needless to say, there
are a lot of obstacles in the way of a continued bullish rise.

At the same time, the VIX (as mentioned above) is fast approaching
\the lower end of its historical range, which has always preceded
market tops.  Take a look at the weekly chart of the VIX and you
can see the lower end of its range defined as roughly 19-21.  The
last time it was in that area was in late March and early April of
last year.  As we can see Stochastics are well into oversold
territory, but not yet showing any sign of turning up.  Also,
today's close at 23.05 still gives substantial downside to the 20
level, so the high odds shorting opportunity (MOPO) isn't quite
here yet, at least based on the VIX.

Weekly Chart of the Market Volatility Index (VIX)

On numerous occasions in the past we've looked at variations of
these two charts and while they do show us one picture, I don't
think they tell the whole story.  Readers that have been with us
for awhile know the importance of looking at the Bullish Percent
(BP) charts to determine where the bulk of the risk lies (either
for the bulls or bears) at any given point in time.  The SPX BP is
currently registering in Bull Confirmed territory at 54%, and that
is still a ways off from overbought territory at 70%.

Sometime last year, a reader did me the great favor of suggesting
that I look at the BP charts in a standard line chart format
instead of the more conventional PnF format.  He suggested using a
10-dm with confirmation from the CCI oscillator as a method for
picking the turns in the market.  So I took another look at that
view of the BP this afternoon and I made some interesting

Bullish Percent Chart of the S&P 500

First off, I looked at the historical validity of the crossovers
of the bullish percent line (black/red) with its 10-dma (blue).
I've highlighted each of them on the chart above and you can see
that each of those crossovers did a good job at forecasting a
substantial move in the market.  The confirmation from the CCI
oscillator shown at the bottom shows the strength of each of these
reversals, as well as shows the weakness of the attempted bullish
reversal in January.

As you can see, we don't yet have a hint of a bearish reversal in
the SPX BP chart above, with both lines still pointing northward.
We can also see that the CCI oscillator is well above the +100
line as well, so the confirming weakness we want to see has yet to
present itself.  At a minimum, I would like to see the BP reach
the 60% level (where it reversed last August) before heading
south.  That isn't yet to overbought territory, but there is
historical precedent that it doesn't have to go that far.  The
other thing that caught my eye is the possibility of a long-term
Head & Shoulders pattern in the BP chart above, which I've
highlighted with 3 little "hats".  Technical analysis junkies like
myself tend to see H&S patterns everywhere nowadays, but I think
this one bears watching.

Another important indicator that I follow is the NYSE McClellan
Oscillator ($NYMO) and the related NYSE Summation index ($NYSI).
The only place I know of where I can access these values is on the
StockCharts.com website, and like the bullish percent, they are
only updated at the end of the day.  So let's take a look there as

NYSE McClellan Oscillator ($NYMO)

It is clearly apparent that the NYMO oscillator hasn't yet been
able to decisively break above the 50 level, but at the same time,
it is persistently holding its trend of higher lows since late
January.  No weakness there yet.

NYSE Summation Index ($NYSI)

Things look even stronger on the NYSI chart, which has pushed to
new 2-year highs over the past couple weeks.  Certainly it could
turn at any time, but we are not yet seeing any tangible signs of
weakness yet.

So let's review.  Starting with the SPX price chart we can see
some formidable resistance that is currently confronting the
bulls, and the VIX is nearing a level that has historically
presented a solid bearish entry point for a position trade.  But
at the same time, we are not yet seeing the necessary weakness in
the Bullish Percent, McClellan Oscillator or Summation Index.  To
my way of thinking, that makes us premature in our search for that
elusive MOPO opportunity.  But we know things can change a lot in
a very short period of time.  Our next goal is to define what to
watch for from each of these market indicators we've reviewed
today and how best to capitalize on the opportunity.

I've taken longer than intended to get to this point in our
discussion and I'm out of time for today.  I think we've laid some
good groundwork though and we can pick up where we left off on

See you then!


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Contact Support
The Option Investor Newsletter                   Monday 04-28-2003
Copyright 2003, All rights reserved.                        2 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.

In Section Two:

Stop Loss Updates: AZO, ERTS, INTU
Dropped Calls: OMC
Dropped Puts: None
Play of the Day: Puts - INTU
Market Watch: Mostly Bullish

Updated on the site tonight:
Market Posture: A bullish day all around

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AZO - call
Adjust from $74.75 up to $76.75

ERTS - call
Adjust from $57 up to $58

INTU - put
Adjust from $40 down to $39


Omnicom Group - OMC - close: 63.29 change: +1.15 stop: 59.50

Despite behaving rather well during its short tenure on the Call
list, we have to bid farewell to our OMC play tonight in deference
to the company's earnings release, which is scheduled for Tuesday
before the opening bell.  The stock has continued to work its way
higher, periodically using the 10-dma as support for the next
bounce, most recently on Friday.  Despite the $64 level capping
the price last week, OMC still looks like it could push through
$65 and then on to our target of $68.  Alas, we don't have the
time to stick around, as we need to close the play ahead of
earnings as a matter of discipline.  As noted today in the Market
Monitor, traders adhering to that discipline should have closed
any open positions ahead of tonight's closing bell.

Picked on April 15th at $61.30
Change since picked:     +1.99
Earnings Date         04/29/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.18 mil



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Intuit Inc. - INTU - close: 34.79 change: -2.45 stop: 39.00*new*

Company Summary:
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial
management solutions for small businesses, consumers and
accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services,
including QuickBooksR, QuickenR and TurboTaxR software, simplify
small business management and payroll processing, personal
finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeriesR and LacerteR
are Intuit's leading tax preparation software suites for
professional accountants. Founded in 1983, Intuit has annual
revenue of more than $1 billion. The company has nearly 7,000
employees with major offices in 13 states across the U.S. and
offices in Canada and the United Kingdom. (Source: company press

Why We Like It:
One look at Intuit's chart and you're likely to say "ouch". Shares
were in a very strong recovery mode from its February lows and the
stock had successfully broken back above the $50 level when
management came out with an earnings warning.  Earnings for fiscal
2003 were going to be about 5% below estimates.  However, Wall
Street tends to overreact and investors hammered the stock for a
24 percent loss or $12.17 to $38.72 on the news.  There was a
minor bounce back to $40 before failing again.  Investors now
worry that further slowdowns in sales of its TurboTax and
Quickbooks software could be an issue.

Now INTU has tried multiple times to rebound and the stock just
can't seem to break above the bottom of its gap down.  The latest
sell-off from the $41 area started a couple of sessions before the
Thurs-Friday weakness in the broader markets.  We see this
relative weakness as a bad sign for its short-term future.

Here's the plan: Traders have two ways they can try and enter this
play.  First would be a failed rally at $38 or possibly $39.
Second would be a break below its March 31st, 2003 low of 36.72,
but more aggressive traders could just target a move under $37.00.
The MACD is rolling over again, daily stochastics are falling and
still have farther to drop.  The point-and-figure chart looks
terrible and after $37, the next serious support looks like $30.
We're going to start the play with a stop at $40.00 but $39.00
doesn't look too bad either.

There is one caveat.  Earnings are coming up on May 15th, 2003.
This last quarter is probably their strongest of the year given
the April 15th tax deadline.  However, seeing how they have
already pre-warned lower earnings we doubt there will be any pre-
earnings run up.  Keep an eye on the GSO software index as well.
A pull back to the 100 level could certainly weigh on INTU too.

Why This is our Play of the Day
We love it when one of our plays roars out of the gate like INTU
did on Monday.  Bulls weren't happy with the direction of the
move, but it certainly worked in our favor, with the stock
plunging early and hard, satisfying the momentum entry target at
$37 in the opening minutes of trade.  Trader talk was that it was
rather disconcerting to have not heard anything from the company
(as is the normal practice) after the conclusion of tax season.
The uncertainty fed on itself, sending the stock down to an
intraday low of $33.30 before a mild rebound that lifted INTU back
to consolidate for the rest of the day between $34.50-35.00.
Traders thinking that this was the only decent entry into the play
just might get a pleasant surprise tomorrow, as it looks like we
could get a push back up near the $37 level in response to some
late-breaking news tonight.  The company released the results of
its consumer tax division (up 20% year-to-date) and forecast
earnings at the high end and revenues at the high end of guidance.
That has the stock active in the after-hours session near the
$36.25 area after initially probing slightly above $37.  So the
strategy is to look for new entries on a rally failure tomorrow
near the $37 area, as old support should now behave as new
resistance.  We're cautiously lowering our stop to $39 tonight,
and will look to tighten it further after seeing how the stock
trades during tomorrow's session.

Suggested Options:
Short-term traders are probably better off playing the Mays or the
Junes while longer-term traders can look to July or Octobers.

BUY PUT MAY-40 IQU-QH OI=5648 at $5.70 SL=3.75
BUY PUT MAY-35 IQU-QG OI=4018 at $1.95 SL=1.00
BUY PUT JUL-35 IQU-SG OI=1110 at $3.40 SL=1.75
BUY PUT OCT-35 IQU-VG OI= 878 at $4.70 SL=2.75

Annotated Chart of INTU:

Picked on April 27th at $37.24
Change since picked:     -2.45
Earnings Date         05/15/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.53 mil

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Mostly Bullish

Automatic Data Processing - ADP - close: 34.16 change: +1.06

Shares of ADP have been able to maintain their strength over
recent resistance at $33.  Now shares are pushing hard against
resistance at $34.25.  Shares don't move that fast but we like
the relative strength.  This is one to watch for its next move



Amylin Pharmaceuticals - AMLN - close: 18.46 change: +0.60

This biopharmaceutical company has been incredibly strong in
recent sessions and is quickly approaching all-time highs.  A
move above $19 would be blue-sky territory.  Earnings are May



Garmin - GRMN - close: 38.70 change: -0.30

This navigations and communications equipment maker has been an
incredible winner for investors over the last several months.
Shares have been struggling with the $40 level but resistance was
expected there.  Earnings are due on out on April 30th.  We're
going to watch and see how shares react.  A bounce at the 50-dma
has been profitable in the past.



CheckFree Corp - CKFR - close: 27.38 change: +1.27

The $24 level was major resistance for CKFR and since the
breakout shares have been moving steadily higher.  We know
nothing moves in a straight line so we'll be watching for a pull
back for potential long plays.


RADAR SCREEN - more stocks to watch

TRMB $23.50 - No stranger to the watch list, this global-
positioning equipment company rocketed 8.7% higher today with no
news.  Could it be someone has foreknowledge of the company's
earnings report, which is due out on April 30th?


A bullish day all around

To Read The Rest of The OptionInvestor.com Market Watch Click Here


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