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Daily Newsletter, Monday, 01/10/2005

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The Option Investor Newsletter                   Monday 01-10-2005
Copyright 2005, All rights reserved.                        1 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


In Section One:

Wrap: Bulls Push Back 
Futures Wrap: See Note
Index Trader Wrap: PHLX begins trading options on Spyders!  


Posted online for subscribers at http://www.OptionInvestor.com
*******************************************************************
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
*******************************************************************
      01-10-2005           High     Low     Volume   Adv/Dcl
DJIA    10621.03 + 17.07 10663.74 10582.38 1.83 bln 1779/1059
NASDAQ   2097.04 +  8.43  2111.43  2086.66 2.09 bln 1658/1362
S&P 100   568.27 +  1.89   570.22   565.57   Totals 3437/2421
S&P 500  1190.25 +  4.06  1194.78  1184.80
SOX       406.25 -  1.31   411.55   404.80
RUS 2000  617.74 +  4.53   623.30   613.21
DJ TRANS 3663.23 + 26.45  3683.05  3628.28 
VIX        13.23 -  0.26    13.93    12.94
VXO (VIX-O)13.17 -  0.68    14.22    12.99
VXN        19.61 +  0.46    19.84    19.23
Total Volume 3,935M
Total UpVol  2,013M
Total DnVol  1,801M
Total Adv  3437
Total Dcl  2421
52wk Highs  142 
52wk Lows    42
TRIN       0.95
PUT/CALL   0.82 
*******************************************************************

Bulls Push Back
Jonathan Levinson

Bulls picked up the ball from faltering bears and ran the indices 
higher. The intraday bounce broke the upper end of the sideways 
range from last week on the SPX, while for the Dow and Nasdaq the 
range highs held.  The SPX gave back the bulk of its gains by 
session's end, closing back within its range. Volume was lighter 
than we saw last week and aside from a small number of buy and 
sell programs, there was very little about which to get excited.


Daily Dow Chart


The Dow advanced 17 points to close at 10621, failing from a high 
of 10664 and bouncing from a low of 10582 on relatively light 
volume.  The move printed a slightly higher high and higher low, 
but the 100 point range between 10570 and 10670 continues to 
contain the action, as it has since mid-last week.  A strong 
break above the range high will target next light resistance at 
10720, on the way to the stronger line at 10800.



Daily S&P 500 Chart


The SPX managed to break the high of the past 3 sessions on its 
spike to 1195, but it closed back within the range at 1190, +4.06 
for the day.  The low was 1185, at the 78.6% Fibonacci line off 
the August low.  Above 1195, next light resistance is at 1200, 
followed by 1205.  A close above 1205 should be enough to begin 
generating buy signals on the daily cycle oscillators, while a 
break below 1180 should get the ball rolling for a test of 1170 
support. 



Daily Nasdaq Chart


Today's 2111 high tested Wednesday's high after Friday's spike 
low to the 2075 level.  This defines the high and low end of the 
range, with key overhead resistance above at 2125-30.  A close 
above that level will spell trouble for the daily cycle 
downphase, as will a failure to break the 2070-75 level this 
week.  For the day, the Nasdaq closed higher by 8.4 at 2097.


Weekly TNX Chart


The treasury auctioned 16B worth of 6 month bills generating a 
2.48 bid-to-cover ratio, and 9B worth of 3 month bills generating 
a bid-to-cover of 2.15.  Ten year treasury notes were steady 
within a very narrow range, closing in lightly positive territory 
with the yield (TNX) down .7 bps to close at 4.278%.  The move 
respected a narrow range that had emerged last week between 4.26% 
and 4.295%.  Like the daily cycle oscillators discussed in the 
Futures Wraps, the weekly cycle upphase has been faltering on the 
so far weak/corrective upphase that emerged off the October lows 
beneath 4%.  A break below 4.14% support should be sufficient to 
begin generating sell signals for the TNX, while a move above 
4.295% will target key 4.4%-4.44% resistance.

Weekly chart of Crude oil


Oil was catching a bid this morning, breaking 47 as Iraqi 
officials announced that sabotage ahead of the January 30 
elections had halted oil operations in the North and brought 
exports to a standstill.  Oil flows through Iraq's northern 
pipeline have been on hold since an attack on December 18, and 
repair operations have been continually impeded by ongoing acts 
of sabotage.  In addition to these stories, the financial press 
began discussing a "cold snap" in the U.S. Northeast, after 
several consecutive weeks' discussion of the mild winter to 
justify the downward correction in oil prices.  As well, there 
was mention of the storm in the North Sea disrupting Norwegian 
production.  Nevertheless, a selloff in the afternoon reversed 
the morning gains, with crude oil closing fractionally lower for 
the day.

On the daily chart of front-month crude oil futures, the head and 
shoulders neckline support held in the 41 area, and the bounce 
since the new year has turned the daily cycle oscillators to a 
new upphase.  46-47 is a significant confluence level, and the 
break above 47 this morning represents a break of the previous 
high.  Today's 6-week high weakened, but has not yet invalidated, 
the head and shoulders formation.  Above 48, the next 
significant resistance is back at the 50.50 level.  For the day, 
crude oil closed lower by 12.5 cents at $45.30.

In corporate news, GM announced that it intends to reduce its US 
workforce by approximately 7%, eliminating 8000 positions over 
the coming 12 months.  This marks the fourth consecutive year of 
workforce reductions at the world's largest auto manufacturer- in 
each year since 2002, GM has fired between 2% and 3% of its 
salaried employees, 5%-6% of its hourly workers and approximately 
10% of its contractors.  GM closed lower by 1.31% at $38.49.

Executives of the Big Three automakers made comments over the 
weekend to the effect that inflation in US health costs, 
particularly for retirees, is severely impacting their ability to 
compete with foreign automakers. Ford revealed that it has paid 
3.2B in healthcare expenses for American employees, of which 2.2B 
went to retirees.  GM spent 4.8B in 2003 to cover 1.1M people, 
more than it spent on steel for its vehicles and adding an 
amazing $1,400 to the cost of every vehicle it manufactures in 
the US.  They stressed that this is an issue besetting all 
domestic manufacturers and not just their industry. 

Big news today was News Corp.'s (NWS) agreement to purchase the 
remaining 18% of Fox Entertainment (FOX) in a stock swap valued 
at approximately 6B.  This acquisition would complete NWS' 
ownership of FOX.  Under the deal, FOX Class A shareholders will 
receive 1.9 shares of NWS Class A shares, which represented a 
premium of over 7% above Friday's closing price of $31.22 for 
FOX.  NWS lost 2.08% to close at $17.85, while FOX gained 9.8% to 
close at $34.28.

Rural wireless provider Alltel Corp. (AT) announced that it will 
purchase Western Wireless Corp. (WWCA) for 4.4B in a cash and 
stock deal that values WWCA at $39.27 per share, a 7.5% premium 
over Friday's closing price.  AT will also assume 1.5B of WWCA's 
debt.  WWCA shareholders will receive $9.25 in cash and .53 AT 
shares for each WWCA share they hold.  Word of the deal prompted 
Standard & Poor's to place AT's long term "A" and short term "A-
1" ratings under review, as S&P believes that the acquisition 
could pressure AT's creditworthiness.  S&P placed WWCA's "B-1" 
credit rating under review as well, but with positive 
implications.  AT closed lower by 2.44% at $54.75, while WWCA 
gained 2.33% to close at $37.37.

After the bell, Alcoa announced Q4 earnings of 345M or 39 cents 
per share (flat against Q4 2003's 342M or 39 cents EPS), missing 
consensus estimates for 41 cents.  Sales rose to 6.04B from 5.42B 
in Q4 2003.  AA finished the day -.72% at 30.47.


In economic news, the lone report for the day was Wholesale 
Inventories released at 10AM.  The Commerce Department announced 
that inventories at US wholesalers rose 1.1% in November on 
increases in a wide array of categories, exceeding analyst 
expectations for a .7% rise.  Inventories had risen 1.1% in 
October.  Despite the larger than expected gain in November, 
however, the inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.15- 
indicating that it would take 1.15 months to deplete current 
inventories.  

Just after noon, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced the 
administration's proposal for pension plan reform.  In 
particular, the plan seeks new rules for the funding of the 
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and a likely increase in 
employer premiums.  Also included would be rules requiring more 
information to be provided to workers and greater flexibility for 
employers seeking to contribute to pension plans.  Those 
companies with fully funded plans would likely see their current 
premiums indexed to growth in employees' wages.  Those companies 
whose plans are in the red would see premiums increase.

There are no major economic reports scheduled for release 
tomorrow, and on Wednesday we'll get the November Trade Balance 
and the December Treasury Budget.  The big question that has 
dominated equities since last Tuesday's close has been whether 
this sideways range is a corrective distribution to consolidate 
Monday's and Tuesday's impulsive drop, or whether it's an 
accumulative base.  While the daily cycle oscillators suggest 
more downside to come, the surge in bearishness and the now 4-day 
extension on that sideways range mitigates on the bullish side of 
the ledger.  Based on the daily cycle oscillators, my 
interpretation is a bearish bias below the nearby resistance 
levels detailed above.  Above those levels, however, the 
oscillators will likely whipsaw back up, and the indices will be 
set for a retest of the rally highs.
 

************
FUTURES WRAP
************

Futures wrap is not emailed due to the excessive number of charts.
It may be read on the website at this address.
http://www.OptionInvestor.com/indexes/futureswrap.asp


********************
INDEX TRADER SUMMARY
********************

PHLX begins trading options on Spyders!

It was the first day of listed option trading on the S&P 
Depository Receipts (AMEX:SPY) $119.00 +0.47%, where the 
Philadelphia Stock Exchange hopes that trading in its newly 
listed options on the SPDRs, will prove as successful, or active, 
as that of the NASDAQ-100 Tracker (NASDAQ:QQQQ) $38.53 -0.05%.

SPDRs (AMEX:SPY) Option Chain - Most active 01/10/05

 

Traded in $1 increments, the PHLX hopes to provide investors and 
traders with greater liquidity and price competition through its 
PHLX XL electronic options trading system.  Traders and investors 
will want to equate a $1 move in the SPY, with roughly a 10-point 
move in the SPX.

S&P 500 Index Option Chain - Most active (01/10/05)

 

I sorted today's SPX option chain by most active, and then made 
some relative option price comparisons as to what the closing 
OFFERS of similar SPY options were at the close.  The SPX will 
most likely continue to be the derivative of choice among 
institutional investors/traders, but as long as investors do not 
over leverage in SPY option, their lower price per contract will 
allow access to a greater number of market participants, that may 
not have otherwise been able to trade options on the S&P 500 
Index.

The PHLX list of options on the SPY also gives longer-term 
investors the ability to buy/sell calls/puts on the exact 
security that they may be holding long in investment accounts.  

In today's 11:00 AM EST intra-day update, we took a look at the 
SPX chart with updated WEEKLY Pivot retracement overlaid.  Here's 
a quick look at the S&P Depository Receipts (AMEX:SPY) $119.00 
+0.47%, which edged up 56 cents on the session.

S&P Depository Receipts (AMEX:SPY) - 01/10/05 Close

 

I didn't review how both the SPX and SPY came very close to the 
massive reverse head and shoulder patterns identified earlier 
this fall, but if using a descending neckline, with mid-point of 
$114.50 at the neckline, and head at $107.00, the SPY would have 
come pretty close to a derived $122.00 objective.  We used this 
pattern to derive upside after the SPY exceeded its point and 
figure bullish vertical count of $110.00 in December of 2003.  

I had made some notes in last week's Market Monitor that after 
the major indices had traded below their weekly S2s from 03/08-
03/12 in 2004 (like they did last week), the strongest gains the 
week after (03/15-03/19) came to the WEEKLY Pivot (DIA/SPX were 
only indices to just barely trade their WEEKLY Pivots).  If that 
pattern were to repeat, then this week, as well as early next 
week would trade lower, with a strong rebound potentially coming 
the week of January 24-January 28.

In the above chart of the SPY, one can perhaps see how the SPY 
has shown a tendency to trade bullish on closing above the 
$119.50 level, or the current WEEKLY Pivot.

Pivot Matrix - 01/10/05 Close

 

An almost exact 10-point range for the SPX in today's trade, 
where after Alcoa's (NYSE:AA) $30.47 -0.71% quarterly earnings 
report, Alcoa traded down an additional 28 cents at $30.19, while 
e-mini S&P futures (es05h) are unchanged at 1,191.75.  The Dow 
Diamonds (AMEX:DIA) $106.20 +0.34% edged up 3 cents at $106.23.

I made note in today's Market Monitor, when posting the updated 
WEEKLY pivot matrix, that I did NOT use Friday's 10-year yield 
($TNX.X) "spike low" of 41.48, or 4.148%, which may have been 
artificially generated from a brief and incorrect nonfarm payroll 
headline.  The 10-year yield intra-day chart showed a spike high 
to 43.13 (since corrected), then a reversal back lower to 41.48 
(not corrected) in the span of 1 minute.

U.S. Market Watch - 01/10/05 Close

 

The AMEX looks to have gotten the North American Telecom (XTC.X) 
703.54 -0.57% quotes repaired with the XTC.X down 0.57%, and not 
the steeper 7% displayed during the better part of the entire 
session.  

The HMO Index (HMO.X) 1,257.68 +1.92% came close to setting 
another all-time high after Goldman Sacks named WellPoint 
(NYSE:WLP) $120.70 +4.23% its "top pick" for 2005.

This weekend I was looking at some of the various ETFs to see 
what were the "top performers" in the first 5-days (looking for 
relative strength to first 5-days weakness), and "healthcare" was 
a reoccurring theme with the Healthcare Ss Spdr (AMEX:XLV) $30.01 
+0.87% having fallen just 1.45% the first 5-days of 2005, while 
the Dow Jones Healthcare iShares (AMEX:IYH) $58.45 +0.67% were 
down 1.58% last week.  Only two equity-based ETFs showed a gain.  
The MSCI Malaysia (AMEX:EWM) $7.29 +1.53%, which had gained 
0.41%, and the Consumer Staples Spdr (AMEX:XLP) $23.24 +0.60%, 
which had gained 0.08%.

ETF 5-day percentage losers were the MSCI Brazil iShares 
(AMEX:EWZ) $20.54 -0.53%, which had fallen 7.14%, the Goldman 
Sachs Software iShares (AMEX:IGV) $39.90 -0.20%, which were down 
6.26%, and the Russell 1000 Value iShares (AMEX:IWD) $65.06 
+0.40%, which had declined 6.22%.

The Disk Drive Index (DDX.X) 116.55 +0.83% may be a bullishly 
spotlighted sector tomorrow after Hutchinson Technology 
(NASDAQ:HTCH) $32.69 +1.17% said this evening that it has shipped 
approximately 175 million suspension assemblies during its first-
quarter 2005 (ended December).  The 175 million exceeded the 
company's prior guidance of between 155-170 million suspensions.  
Hutchinson said revenue for the quarter looks to be approximately 
$145 million, which would be above the $137 million consensus.

Market Snapshot / Internals - 01/10/05 Close

 

NH/NL ratios begin to show some bullish improvement at the NYSE, 
where for a third-straight session, new highs expand while new 
lows abate at the big board.  Meanwhile, the NASDAQ shows 
expansion of new highs for a third-straight session, but new lows 
slip to 29, after stabilizing on Thursday and Friday at 29.  

Jeff Bailey


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The Option Investor Newsletter                   Monday 01-10-2005
Copyright 2005, All rights reserved.                        2 of 2
Redistribution in any form strictly prohibited.


In Section Two:

Stop Loss Updates: FDX 
New Call Play: ARLP	
Dropped Calls: FSH
Dropped Puts:  None
Watch List: Defense, Homebuilders and more 


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 * Free streaming quotes and Dow Jones news
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*****************
STOP-LOSS UPDATES
*****************

FDX - put play -
  Readers need to be careful here.  Last week the Transportation
  section was looking pretty weak and poised to breakdown even
  more.  On Friday FDX produced a sharp failed rally and broke
  down under support at the $95 level to hit our trigger.  Yet now
  the $TRAN looks ready to bounce and FDX will likely bounce with
  it.  We would be very careful about watching your stops and we
  would not consider new positions until FDX traded back under the
  $95 level.

*********
NEW CALLS
*********

Alliance Resource - ARLP - close: 69.80 chg: +2.54 stop: 

Company Description:
Alliance Resource Partners is the nation's only publicly traded 
master limited partnership involved in the production and 
marketing of coal. Alliance Resource Partners currently operates 
mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Maryland.
(source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
We're adding ARLP to the play list for its consistent trend of 
bouncing from rising technical support at the simple 50-dma.  
This would essentially be a bullish momentum play and we're 
buying at support.  Our goal is to capture a quick pop toward 
resistance in the $74.50-75.00 range.  More conservative traders 
can wait for ARLP to trade over the $70 level again before going 
long.  We'll use a stop loss at $66.49.  We can't find an 
earnings report but we suspect that ARLP could announce around 
January 28th and we don't want to hold over the event. 

Suggested Options:
We're going to suggest the February calls because this a short-
term trade.

BUY CALL FEB 65 AFV-BM OI= 29 current ask $6.50
BUY CALL FEB 70 AFV-BN OI= 22 current ask $3.50
BUY CALL FEB 75 AFV-BO OI= 38 current ask $1.50

Annotated Chart:

 

Picked on January 10 at $ 69.80
Change since picked:     + 0.00
Earnings Date          10/28/04 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      115 thousand 
Chart =



*************
DROPPED CALLS
*************

Fisher Scientific - FSH - cls: 59.60 chg: -0.80 stop: 59.85     

Uh-oh!  It's not a good sign to see FSH breaking down while the 
rest of the market is trying to bounce.  Shares meandered 
sideways for the first half of the session before suddenly 
breaking down.  When FSH did break support at $60.00 the volume 
began to pick up and we were stopped out at $59.85.  We could not 
find any news to explain today's weakness in FSH.

Picked on December 21 at $ 61.70
Change since picked:      - 2.10
Earnings Date           02/02/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.3 million  
Chart =



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************
DROPPED PUTS
************

None


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**********
Watch List
**********

General Dynamics - GD - close: 101.48 change: +1.67

WHAT TO WATCH: Ouch!  After a tough first week of January shares 
of GD are trying to rebound from the $97.50 level and its 200-
dma's.  We considered buying this bounce with the up turn in the 
stochastics and RSI but given the huge volume during the recent 
sell-off this could just be an oversold bounce before GD rolls 
over again. Aggressive bulls could go long and target a move back 
toward $108-110 but watch for resistance in the $104-106 region.  
Bears can wait for another failed rally in the same resistance 
region.  Earnings are expected around Jan. 26th. 

Chart=


---

MDC Holdings - MDC - close: 86.30 change: +2.95

WHAT TO WATCH: The homebuilders look ready to rally again even 
though the DJUSHB index needs to clear resistance around the 810 
level.  MDC Looks a little bit closer to breaking out to new 
highs than most of its peers but shares are due to split 13-for-
10 tomorrow so we would wait and see how investors react.  A new 
high might be a momentum entry point for the bulls.

Chart=


---

Frontline Ltd - FRO - close: 44.82 change: +1.42

WHAT TO WATCH: FRO is still trying to bounce form the $40 level 
and its 200-dma.  The MACD is inching closer to a new buy signal 
and we're watching for the move over $45.00 although more 
conservative types might want to wait for a break over $46.  Our 
short-term target would be $50.00 but more aggressive traders 
could target a 50 percent retracement/bounce of its November high 
to the recent low at $52.50. 

Chart=


---

Aetna Inc - AET - close: 125.70 change: +1.76 

WHAT TO WATCH: Momentum traders can keep an eye on AET.  The 
stock is bouncing from the bottom of its recent trading range at 
$120 and is nearing resistance at $127.50.  A breakout would be a 
new all-time high and a potential entry point for bulls.  The P&F 
chart is extremely bullish with a long-term $213 target.  We 
would probably only target $135 maybe $140. 

Chart=



-----------------------------------
RADAR SCREEN - more stocks to watch
-----------------------------------

LEH $88.84 +0.62 - LEH is getting closer to that breakout over 
the $90 level.

GS $104.92 +0.20 - We're still waiting for the move over $106.

KBH $103.00 +3.40 - KBH might be a play over $105.  Looks like a 
bull-flag pattern forming.

*******************
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card server or you may simply send an email to

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information over the phone.

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