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  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  6:43:46 PM
Late today, oil and gas producer Unocol (UCL) guided expectations for adjusted earnings to $0.40-.45 from earlier estimates of $.50-.60. Unocol attributed the lowered expectations to two causes: lower-than-anticipated futures prices for crude oil and natural gas, and a non-cash charge that resulted from the conversation of Pure Resources, Inc. stock options to options on Unocal common stock. Unocol had anticipated the average benchmark price for crude futures to be $29.75 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rather than the actual $28.10 per-barrel average. Ahead of the news, Unocol closed at 31.65 today, trading an anemic 348,900 shares.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  5:48:34 PM
Stock Trader's Almanac Note Just noticed today's entry in the Stock Trader's Almanac regarding "NYSE new lows lately perform better if selected last settlement day of year."

I find this somewhat interesting related to today's 01:00 EST Update when noting NYSE 52-week high versus NYSE 52-week low breadth (50:13). A "tax loss bounce" may indeed be in play for early January in some beaten down NYSE-listed stocks.

I'm trying to find some time to put together the "dogs of the Dow" type of strategy for a longer-term options trader, but here too, might be a starting point for a January bullish trade.

Not sure how Disney (DIS) $16.56 +0.91% fits into the Dow dog theory (10 highest dividend yielding components), but DIS is a stock that hasn't done much at all this year, got some "bad news" recently regarding commercial air plane lease write-downs. Widely held by individual investors that might see some selling into Tuesday, then potential pop early January.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/26/02,  4:42:16 PM
End of year renewal special - The end of year special this year has been a hit and those readers who want to lock in the cheapest rate possible with a ton of freebies should check it out! Click here: Link

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  4:02:25 PM
Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 79.20 +4.21% .... pegs a close at session high and challenges recent high of 12/17/02 (79.26). While commodity bears look to be under some "short-squeeze" pressure, same may be true for sector equity bears into the close.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   12/26/02,  3:58:06 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Candidates?

As the market comes to a close with a mildly negative trend, there are still a few "premium selling" candidates for traders with a bearish outlook. Positions offered recently in Wednesday's edition of the OIN include short "uncovered" calls on CCMP (JAN-$55), MXIM (JAN-$40), NVLS (JAN-$35), and EXPE (JAN-$75). For spread traders, the $135/$130 "bear-call" in MMM is available. Bullish players will have to be content with selling some puts on gold issues (hard to chase now!) or a few of the oil-related stocks such as VLO (JAN-$32.50) and APC (JAN-$45). Let me know if you see any other candidates for the week-end edition of the OIN.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  3:57:53 PM
On Friday at 10:00 a.m., November New Home Sales is expected to fall slightly to 1 million units from October's 1.007 million reading. The last three months have been the strongest on record, and gains in November are expected to be seen in the Midwest while both the West and South soften slightly. The YTD average is at 963k and is 6% above 2001.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  3:56:24 PM
I mentioned earlier that the VIX (31.09 +1.09)had stayed in the green, in spite of the rally. I'm not sure if someone knew something, or the light volume on the rally simply didn't inspire confidence, but it was a good indication that a pull back was in the cards.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  3:54:57 PM
The Forest and Paper Products Index ($FPP) is up .53% today. I like to check this index, too, for indications of strength in the economy. I'm seeing a lot of charts that are difficult to decipher today, and this is one. Link There's been a bullish 22-ema/50-ema cross and price is above both MA's, but those MA's have flattened. The candles are getting smaller and smaller, often an indication of a bigger movement to come, but which direction will this index move? I see higher lows, but $FPP broke through its ascending trendline (not shown) in early December, climbed along the bottom of that trendline and now is beginning to fall away from it. MACD started moving down, but also has flattened (above zero). RSI also formed a pattern of higher lows, but also broke through an ascending trendline. (5)(3) stochastics (not shown) had flattened out in mid-fall. P&F charts show this index is on a buy signal.

I also wanted to look at this chart in a top-down approach to considering a trade in Louisiana Pacific. I could guess which direction $FPP would break, giving me information to use when studying LPX's chart next, but my guess would be just a guess. What do you do if you're finding yourself similarly undecided after studying a chart? Nothing. Find a better trade, and that's what I'll do.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  3:54:20 PM
Swing Trade Signals
We got another bounce at approximately the 100-dma in the Dow at 8411 (low of 8408). Although I am hoping for the pullback to continue closer to 8300 before entering, aggressive traders may want to play a small long position on a bounce from here with a stop at 8250.

 
 
  Mark Wnetrzak   12/26/02,  3:51:20 PM
CC Early Exit Watch List
The move lower in shares of MGI Pharma (NASDAQ:MOGN) today is becoming a bit worrisome as the stock threatens a trend-line starting from the August lows. Another candidate for an early-exit or adjustment.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  3:47:45 PM
XAU has just broken 78 and HUI is about to take out 148 on a wave of buying just now.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  3:47:32 PM
The 3:15 PM Intraday Update has been posted. Link

 
 
  Mark Wnetrzak   12/26/02,  3:39:57 PM
Viisage Tech. (NASDAQ:VISG)
A reader asked about Viisage Tecnology: The stock is testing several key support areas and should be monitored closely. Today's rebound is encouraging in the short-term, especially in the face of a down market. A break-even exit is available now (a profit if the calls were bought back on weakness), or rolling-forward to the April- or July-5.00 calls is also a viable move. Just depends on your long-term outlook.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  3:37:31 PM
Swing Trade Signals
I said in Tuesday's Swing Wrap that I like a long entry from the 8350-8400 range on a bounce play. I still believe there is a lot of support around 8300 and an entry around that level would provide a high percentage play, with a stop loss around 8250. I'd want to see a bounce for evidence of support, however, and the way things are going we may enter that territory before the day is out. If we continue to free fall, I wont jump in blindly, but if we hold at 8400, I may start with a small 1/4 positon.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  3:35:31 PM
The COMPX has just begun to break last week's support with lows at 1365.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/26/02,  3:34:40 PM
As I stated earlier I thought the potential break under 8450 would be negative. Now that we have broken that level the internals are definitely getting worse. The holiday rally attempt has failed and we are at risk of retracing the gap up from last Friday and the 8328 low from Thursday. This Thursday low is now the most critical level in our future and less than 100 points away.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  3:25:34 PM
Shares of IBM continue to trade weak, and a trade at $78 will issue a double-bottom sell signal via P&F charting. Note: There is "market maker" support at $77.34. Jeff, did I get it right?

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  3:25:25 PM
The UN nuclear watchdog is describing events in North Korea as "very worrying". I find that a well-diversified portfolio of worries prevents any single worry from growing out of proportion, and so I'm not currently losing much sleep over North Korea. I don't believe that stories such as this are responsible for the rise in gold, but it is real, as the spot price approaches 350/oz, with HUI +4.58 on the day and XAU +1.90.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  3:14:10 PM
The new Powerball winner will do his part to improve employment. For those not watching CNBC, he stated that he'd had to lay off 25-30 employees due to the economic slowdown, but will now expand his business.

 
 
  Mark Wnetrzak   12/26/02,  3:10:09 PM
CC Early Exit Watch List
The Covered-Call portfolio is enduring the current bearishness as the Santa Claus rally appears to be a no-show. Some stocks to consider for an early exit/adjustment watch list: Biomarin Pharma (NASDAQ:BMRN), Level 3 (NASDAQ:LVLT), Viisage Tech. (NASDAQ:VISG), and Imclone Systems (NASDAQ:IMCL).

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  3:02:24 PM
The Utility Index (UTY) hit an intra-day high of 259.98 and just missed the pivotal 260 level. This could be one reason buying dried up in equities. Another most likely revolves around the Sox, which rose impressively to 310.84 early on before falling to near 300 (intra-day low of 300.60) and sitting almost unchanged on the session. With one hour until the close, look to see if the UTY can get back to 260 or if the Sox can power above 308. I do think a move under 295 in the Sox would get shorts involved.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  3:01:37 PM
It looks like the COMPX has violated this week's support and is now resting on support from Dec 20th- below resistance and above support is a good recipe for rangebound trading. It looks like Santa Claus might have flown into a chimney. Once again, however, we must note that light volume is just that- only a small percentage of the market came out to vote today, and so today's conclusion will no doubt be subject to change, whether up or down. The COMPX is currently flat on the day. It may go nowhere, but it sure has an exciting way of getting there.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/26/02,  3:00:06 PM
The A/D line is rapidly dropping and currently at +884. The advancing volume, which was rising all morning has seen two huge drops in the last hour. ES futures are threatening to break support at 890. The 60 min oscillators I use (MACD 8.18.6, STO 10,3,5) have turned negative and the MACD is about to break the midline. The bulls are struggling to hold the 8450 level as we move into the final hour. The next five minutes will be critical to the historically bullish post holiday period

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  2:59:01 PM
Turns out that Steven was making a great point in bringing up that red flag of of the VIX remaining positive and above 30 on a rally morning. (See Steven's 13:58 post.) New traders might make a note in their trading journals about the way the day played out in relationship to that rising VIX. While other market factors can skew the VIX (such as the volatility surrounding an options expiration week), a divergence from the way this volatility index usually behaves in certain market conditions and the way it's actually behaving can warn of changing market conditions. As always, it provides a warning only, and price action should always be your guide. If we can't ask for those crystal balls Jim mentioned, the best we can do is be forewarned of a possible change in market conditions.

 
 
  Kent Barton   12/26/02,  2:56:23 PM
Scanning through the NAZ-100, I noticed that Qualcomm (QCOM, $38.26 -0.20) has pulled back to its multi-month trend of higher lows after bouncing from the 38% retracement level (September low to December high). Although the stock isn't yet in danger of breaking this trend, the bulls have their work cut out for them with short-term resistance directly overhead at $40.00. The p-n-f chart shows that QCOM gave a double-bottom sell signal at $38, reversed into a column of X's, and then promptly moved back into another column of O's. Now that shares have given another 3-box reversal, it'll be interesting to see whether the bears pile on once again. P-n-f chart of QCOM: Link

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/26/02,  2:55:17 PM
Dead stop on 8450 support but if this level fails we could be in deep trouble. We are seeing bargain hunters at the moment but I think it is only temporary.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  2:55:03 PM
Swing Trade Signals
This is one heck of a breakdown, with the SPX and Dow turning negative on the day, giving up the entire rally plus more. I still think we'll find support around Dow 8300-8400/SPX 880, so I'm going to avoid the short from this level, but that bullish sentiment into the New Year has completely dissipated.

Current levels: Dow 8452/SPX 892.27/OEX 452.31/COMP 1369

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  2:53:05 PM
That's a gravestone hammer candle on the daily chart printing today, athough the session still has an hour left. The TRINQ has at last broken 1, currently 1.14, and the QQV has just turned flat from negative territory. HUI and XAU continue to rally as the COMPX has just broken below 1370.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  2:46:43 PM
Currently at 8489.98, the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index ($WLSH on stockcharts.com and $TMW on some other quotes services) remains below its 50-ema at 8495.02. Although we seldom mention the Wilshire, some consider this "the" market, since it's the most inclusive index of all. Are all sectors of the market falling beneath this important 50-ema? Studying the markets by capitalization, I noticed that while the S&P 500 (big caps) is also below its 50-ema, the S&P 400 MidCaps ($MID on stockcharts.com) and S&P 600 Small Caps ($SML on stockcharts.com) both sit above their 50-ema's. There's divergence here, but the trouble lies in deciding whether the small and mid-caps will pull the broader markets up with them, or whether the large caps will pull the small and mid-caps down.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  2:42:50 PM
Swing Trade Signals
As today's rally faded, bonds went into the green, with yields turning red (both bearish for equities). However, we have re-tested support from this morning's open and appear headed back toward Dow 8500. Traders need to be concerned that the SPX broke through 900, trading as high as 903.89 and fell back through 900 without much support. If we had found support at that level, I'd be more comfortable with a long position right now.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/26/02,  2:40:30 PM
The market action today is looking pretty grim. A huge spike at the open followed by listless range trading which finally failed just after 2:PM. The overhead resistance is building and starting to compress. The 50 DMA is at 8537 and the 30 and 20 DMA at 8607. If we cannot make any progress over these levels on a day that is usually strongly bullish then the outlook is quickly turning bearish. The battle is far from over but ending in negative territory today would be very detrimental to market sentiment.

For the last three weeks I had been targeting 8750 as the possible post holiday high. That target is receding in the distance and I would now be very surprised to see it hit. For the last two weeks I thought shorting below 8450 (current support) did not have a favorable risk/reward ratio. After the last several days of trading I think it is the next potential play. We have failed on several bounces and this pattern of failure is setting up for a new negative market event in our future. Obviously I do not have a crystal ball that will guarantee this to be the correct outcome but this is the way I am leaning today. (I put that ball on my Christmas list but it did not appear under the tree.) I wanted to be bullish to 8750 but it is just not working out that way. Trade what you see.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  2:28:35 PM
The ES contract fell from profiled resistance at 902.75 back underneath the 894.50 pivot. This morning, I said I would like the Dow on a CLOSE above 8515; however, once again this market looks to disappoint. Things could change, especially with volume so light. I don't have support in the Dow until 8400, and that would be a good sell-off from current levels. 8400 could be asking too much during trading today.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  2:28:01 PM
Sharper Image (SHRP) $18.07 +14.7% ... stock spiking higher in last 35-minutes and bulk of today's gain in that time after the company's CEP reported "robust holiday sales." Preliminary December sales through 12/24 totaled $111 million, a 28% increase over $86 million for same period a year-ago. Company said comparable store sales increased 7%, reaching high end of expectations. Link

First real "positive" news out of any retailer that I've seen so far and most likely has some broader "retail shorts" closing out some positions. Mayve have some near-term upside to $19.00.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  2:23:49 PM
Hotels.com (ROOM): $55.95 (-1.65) OI put play ROOM, picked at $59.45, is now approaching support around $55. Conservative traders may want to think about taking some profits, but on a break below $55, next support levels would be the PnF breakout at $53 and then support on the daily chart at $50.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  2:18:55 PM
NASDAQ-100 (NDX.X) 1,023.48 (unch) .... quick look at the NASDAQ-100 Heatmap Link has 3 "internet" stocks leading the decline. AMZN -7.7%, EBAY -2.7% and YHOO -1.84%.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  2:14:16 PM
What is the volume, since CNBC mentioned that today is likely to hold the record as the lightest-volume full trading day of the year? So far, 415 million shares have traded on the NYSE, and 489 million have traded on the Nasdaq. Adv/dec figures remain positive, showing a 2.12 number for NYSE issues and a 1.28 number for the Nasdaq. Although not as strong proportionately as earlier today, up volume still runs about 3.5 times down volume on the NYSE and about 3.4 times down volume on the Nasdaq. New highs far outnumber new lows, at a 51:13 ratio on the NYSE and a 49:31 ratio on the Nasdaq.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  2:13:30 PM
The COMPX has just completed its round trip to where it opened. Yet, the TRINQ is down .80 from its close, HUI +3.65, XAU +1.57, and QQV up .37. According to the TRINQ, it took a lot of buying in the Nasdaq to hold it flat today so far.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  2:06:25 PM
The TRINQ spiked up to just below .55 but is currently at .42, as the COMPX pauses on its decline within the 1380-85 confluence zone. The QQV remains low at 38.69, and with the COMPX up a mere 8.89 points on the day, it seems to me that there's an awful lot of complacency still in the market. Yields have now gone negative across the curve. So far, this looks like nothing more than rangebound trading, despite all the excitement.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  2:05:33 PM
CNBC is predicting that today's volume will the lowest of the year for a full day of trading.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  2:05:01 PM
Crude Oil powers to a new two-year high on Thursday, continuing to rise as the strike in Venezuela extends beyond 25 days. The February contract (CL03G) is currently higher by 0.29 cents to 32.26 and above the 31.95 high set on Tuesday. Using fitted retracement analysis, resistance is felt above at 32.70.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  2:04:19 PM
The 1:00 PM Intraday Update has been posted. Link

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  2:02:02 PM
Coors (RKY) $61.22 (+0.60) This OI put play has continued to find support over $60. While it hasn't built any upside momentum, I would not recommend new entries until we break below $60. If we do get that breakdown, I wouldn't expect support until $57.50 and then $55.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  1:58:34 PM
Swing Trade Signals
One red flag I've noticed for bulls is the VIX (30.47 +0.46), which remains slightly positive and holding above 30 on a rally day in the broader markets. Normally we see a pull back on rallies, but the fact that it continues to remain above 30 tells me there are still some bears out there not buying into this low-volume rally.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  1:57:38 PM
At 2326.71 as of this writing, the Dow Jones Transportation Index has moved slightly below its 22-ema at 2327.52. This index has been oscillating around that MA most of the day. Daily and weekly charts of this important index, an indicator of underlying market strength, are difficult to interpret, with most indicators flattening at neutral levels while the index completes a pennant formation. Link

At 285.22 as of this writing, the Dow Jones Banking Index remains firmly above its 22-ema of 282.60.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  1:53:02 PM
Trimeris (TRMS): $44.96 (+0.26) Not much action in the Biotech Index (BTK +0.12%) today, but OI call play TRMS did manage to break over $45 and reach a high of $45.30, its fourth straight higher intraday high and a breakthrough of resistance it found the last few days at that level. New entries should wait for a more decisive break over $45 and some support above that level. My initial target is still the 50-dma of $48.02 and then $50 as the next target on a break above the 50-dma.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  1:28:25 PM
The Dow continues to consolidate; however, the MACD on shorter-term charts looks to turn upwards from near the zero level and help equities. Volume is still light, and there isn't bullish confirmation out of the Sox index (still under 308), bonds (basically unchanged), or Utility Index (still under 260).

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  1:27:28 PM
In Jonathan's 13:09 post, he mentioned knowing your time frame when using MA crossovers. I agree. That's particularly important since MA crossover signals tend to be late. For example, look at this chart of ROOM: Link As the reader mentioned, it appears that the 21-dma may soon cross down over the 50-dma (exponential). However, it's also obvious that prices have been moving down for some time and readers might have been capitalizing on the put play for some time before that crossover occurs (if it does). (5)(3) stochastics are showing oversold levels, although not yet turning up. Conceivably, ROOM could even come back up and test those overhead MA's while it works off those oversold levels. Although I'm not predicting ROOM will bounce, a trader who bought ROOM puts with a short time frame on an MA crossover, if it should soon occur, could see premium collapse while ROOM bounced and retested overhead resistance, only to see the put play perform well on a longer time frame. I like to watch for bearish or bullish crossovers to indicate the overall trend, while remaining aware that they often give late signals.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  1:25:03 PM
There has been trader talk about large put positions in IBM being acquired. I heard about a 75,000 contract bid in January 70 IBM puts on Tuesday. This is unverified, but heard from a trader I follow and who is generally reliable. Someone is feeling not-bullish on IBM if it's true.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   12/26/02,  1:13:05 PM
Strategy Selection - "Premium Selling" Techniques

One of our readers asked me to define some goals for writing naked options. Although I have accumulated some excellent historic data for "premium-selling," the variables in this strategy and the inherent position adjustments require some complex mathematics to determine the best possible results, which are based primarily on your success in choosing winning positions and even more on managing the losing plays for minimum drawdown. That being said, a reasonable target for monthly yield (annualized) is 2-4%. That would be a minimum of 26% APR after compounding. The average yield in winning positions is 6-8% historically, but that number fluctuates in different market conditions. The average loss in losing positions should be limited to 15-25%, which is certainly a viable goal but it must account for 2-3 catastrophic (and unpreventable) losers annually. The percentage of outright winners to losers should be in the range of 75-85% but again, this can fluctuate substantially in different market conditions.

Traders who favor a conservative approach to "premium selling" generally select only deep-out-of-the-money positions with a very high probability of profit, sometimes as high as 90% -- which corresponds roughly to the 2nd standard deviation of a normal distribution. (The market almost always trades within the 2nd standard deviation of a normal distribution). Of course, it would be great if every position were in this category but since that isn't possible, the best course of action is to choose trades that offer a favorable balance between probability of profit and potential downside risk. Keep in mind, a gapping issue will occasionally wipe out a portion of your previous gains and there is nothing you can do about it. But, at the same time, you must manage the remaining positions effectively or there will be no profits to offset the (rare) catastrophic losers. In short, the key to success with a strategy such as selling OTM options is the position management that follows the initial trade and in all cases, you should remember the adage, "Traders become successful when they learn to take small profits regularly and they don't let losing plays significantly erode capital."

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  1:09:48 PM
As you mentioned about crossover of SMA 21 & 50, I see this situation about to happen in the folowing (downward crossover) stocks:

1) ROOM 2) GS 3) qqq 4) TSM

Does it mean to buy put (short) these ones. I know that GS & ROOM are OI put plays?

It depends on the timeframe of the moving averages you're watching versus the timeframe in which you like to trade, but yes- the crossover of a longer moving average by the shorter one is a sell signal.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  1:02:03 PM
Intl. Business Machines (IBM) $79.49 -0.3% ... stock trading marginally lower. Looks like a block of 300K crossed at approx. 10:15 AM EST near $80.50. May have put a bit of damper on Dow rally just as Dow Indu. traded 8,550.

Might hint of some institutionl asset/portfolio shift using Dow 8,550 combined with IBM to re-weight a portfolio. Will make note here as my thinking, along with others here in market monitor is that IBM somewhat of a "key stock" right now for Dow Indu.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  12:59:46 PM
Why do you prefer to track the QQV vs. the VXN? thanks

I prefer to track the NDX volatility index instead of the broader VXN (COMPX volatility index) because the stocks "that matter" in the COMPX are all covered by the NDX. It allows me to filter out the trading in thinner issues and focus in on the QQQ. As well, the QQQ is my preference for trading index options, due to the high liquidity and thin spreads, and so the QQV evolved as my main measure of volatility.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  12:56:19 PM
Hotels.com (ROOM): $56.80 (-0.80) The sell-off in OI put play ROOM continues, with the stock breaking down below recent support at $57. There is support at $55 and the triple top breakout on the way up was $53, which should also lend some support. If the stock approaches $55, traders can tighten stops up and look to take some profits, possibly 1/2 off the table.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   12/26/02,  12:55:15 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling - Other Notable Activities

Selling pressure continues to weigh on some of the big-cap NASDAQ issues and two our more successful positions in that group include Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS). Both stocks sustained their recent declines today, despite the bullish activity in the broader markets, and it appears there is little catalyst for a change of character in the near-term. On the upside, gold shares are performing well and one of our market "hedge" candidates; ASA Ltd (NYSE:ASA) is trading at a new "all-time" high. Conservative players can close the bullish spread (put credit - short at $35) for a favorable profit while more aggressive participants can monitor the issue for a move below the current support area at $40 before taking evasive action.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  12:48:40 PM
Associated Press is reporting that Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is not just cutting oil supplies, but beer as well. Venezuelans have had to turn to whiskey and other alternatives, paying $28 for a bottle of whiskey. Note: Venezuela is the No. 3 beer producer in Latin America. Per capita, Venezuelans are the biggest beer consumers in Latin America, drinking an average of 20 gallons annually.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  12:47:32 PM
Thanks, Ron:

For that question on macd I wanted something a little faster also and found the original macd work used a 8,17,9 buy and a 12,25 9 sell. Still think the 12,25 or 12,26 gives fewer false crossings on short term trades but both are interesting to watch. Keep up the good work.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  12:41:18 PM
I have explaining to Jeff how to use pivot analysis, and we both agree that it complements retracment analysis very well. Using it on the Dow, it signals that bids should enter the Dow on a pullback near the 8505 area.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  12:41:18 PM
The dull markets must be allowing readers to put all their brain cells to use writing interesting questions. Here's another concerning Panera (PNRA): Just checked the short interest on PNRA, and it's at a high level, 9.5%. Put/call ratio is only 0.63. The gurus who follow this stuff say that a high short interest level is potential fuel to keep the stock up, and a put/call ratio over 1.0 indicates overly fearful investors that contrarily means there's potential for a rally. I haven't been able to apply this stuff to individual stocks, particularly not for timing entry into plays. Do you put any credence into short interest and put/call ratios?

I agree that it's difficult to use that information for timing entry into plays. Although this is admittedly unscientific information, it's seemed to me across my trading career that the usefulness of this information can vary according to the market cycle. In late 1999 and early 2000, for example, knowing about heavy short interest in a particular stock might have helped momentum players decide to jump on a breakout, but during the worst of the bear market in the intervening years, shorts tended to hang on and even add to their positions on minor breaks, anticipating yet another failure.

Watching short interest, in particular, feels similar to watching the COT figures for information on the broader market. That information tells me something about where markets might go, but commercial traders have a different time frame than mine. The move predicted when commercials go net short or net long the DJIA might not appear in time to do me much good in an options play, for example.

While I might not use that information to enter plays, I might use it to exit a play. For example, my trading style might lead me to be quick to honor stops on a short/put play if there were heavy short interest. I'd want to be the first one out!

 
 
  Ray Cummins   12/26/02,  12:40:00 PM
NBIX - The Rally Continues!

Shares of Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) raced higher today, up $2.81 to $49.98 and a new 52-week high. The issue has pulled back since the morning spike but any consolidation should be seen as a buying opportunity for aggressive investors. The bullish positions in the Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling portfolio are at maximum profit and can be closed for favorable gains.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  12:34:54 PM
At present I use 12-26-9 and 8-18-6 settings for MACD. Do you know of any other settings that are used, as I would like to speed up my indicators, at times, and slow them down at other times.

I always stick with the standard 12-26 MacD, and instead altering that setting, I usually fiddle with my simple MAs- like plotting a 7 and 13 period SMA, then a 21 and 50 period, and search for the crossovers. This is my own chart fetish, but I find the moving averages simpler to visualize on different time frames.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  12:32:13 PM
The US Dollar Index has slipped off the edge of 103.00, currently just below 102.90.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  12:28:14 PM
The most recent put to call ratio came in at .78, while the TRINQ remains very low at .31 and bond yields continue to fall. This would be a perfect bearish pattern, but interestingly, the QQV is falling too, as the QQQ options market becomes more complacent as price falls. A curious divergence. Nonetheless, the COMPX is now resting on resistance turned support at 1385.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  12:09:45 PM
The NDX briefly broke above the level of its gap down from its closing on Thursday, December 12, to its opening on Friday, December 13, but has since dropped back into that gap, and also into last week's gap. For those of you not used to watching gaps, gap levels can provide resistance on an attempted move up. Those two gaps represent times when market participants ended a trading day holding stocks in the NDX, only to have the next market day open with many of those stocks trading much lower. Those market participants did not have an opportunity to sell at the prices that are inside the gap. As NDX equities move up again, those who lost money on those gap-down openings may be looking for an opportunity to sell at break-even levels or a minimal loss. As prices move into the gap and especially as they approach the top of that gap, where market participants could break even, more and more of them might want to sell. Therefore, a move above the top of the gap shows that bullish traders are outnumbering bearish traders who might have wanted to offer their stock at break-even levels. If, instead, prices fall back into the gap and especially if they fall below the bottom of the gap, bearish traders have won, at least temporarily. Today isn't over yet, so prices may still close above those gaps.

When prices gap up, those gaps can be watched, too, but for potential support levels rather than potential resistance levels.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  12:04:07 PM
Swing Trade Signals
The failures at the 50-dmas are looking eerily familiar to Monday's efforts. The OEX never quite made it and I'm hoping for a re-test of the recent lows for entry. However, with the rising 50-dmas and what appears to be a break in the pattern of lower lows, we may not get that pull back. There is still plenty of resistance at Dow 8625-8650/SPX 910, which makes me weary of entering long here, but I wouldn't be closing a long position if I still had one on.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  11:54:57 AM
Per 10:22:43 Post, both the ES and NQ contracts found solid resistance at the 902.75 (high 903.25) and 1044.75 (1045.50) levels - profiled in Tuesday nights futures wrap. These levels were calculated via pivotal analysis. For more on the subject, see link: Link

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:42:54 AM
Volume is very very very light so far today, with just 291M shares traded on the COMPX and 299M on the NYSE.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  11:42:41 AM
The 11:00 AM Intraday Update has been posted. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  11:41:40 AM
An astute reader has examined Panera Bread's weekly chart and noticed a potential for bearish divergence on the MACD and OBV. I'm impressed! Not only is this reader watching a weekly chart and watching OBV, but he's also watching for patterns in this indicator that might predict future action in the equity. Bearish/bullish divergence, trendline breaks, and pattern confirmations in indicators can sometimes be more important than the actual reading of the indicator. This can be particularly true of RSI, a leading indicator. Although I have no empirical proof, since I consider OBV a leading indicator of what might happen to a stock's price, I also watch patterns on this indicator to provide advance warnings of what might happen to prices.

Here's the weekly chart for PNRA: Link The reader was right. There's potential for bearish divergence between OBV and price: lower high on the OBV with equal highs on price. However, prices may not have made a top yet. They've been consolidating at current levels for several weeks. It's still possible for OBV to turn back up, too. While the OBV moving average turned down, it's flattened now, and OBV remains above its MA. (I also looked at weekly accumulation/distribution and it looks bullish.)

Watch these signals and be warned by what you see, but wait for confirmation of potential patterns, as this reader plans to do. More especially, wait for price confirmation. It's possible prices won't confirm that potential bearish divergence the reader saw, as Panera is also on a P&F buy signal, shows a bullish 10-week/30-week MA crossover, has stayed above its ascending trendline and 50- and 22-dma's, and shows prices consolidating while the (5)(3) weekly stochastic cycles down (a potentially bullish sign). Whatever happens, the full text of this astute reader's letter reveals that he's watching all signals, weighing them against what he knows about the company's fundamentals, and preparing to take the appropriate action. He's got an "if, then" plan in place. That's what we should all be doing.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:41:10 AM
The put to call ratio has just dropped again, latest reading .79.

 
 
  Kent Barton   12/26/02,  11:32:33 AM
Amazon (AMZN) $20.40 -1.48: Really getting whacked this morning after shares fell below the 50-dma up at $21.18. There isn't any apparent news to explain this sell-off. I haven't checked their "Delight-O-Meter" lately, but by all accounts the company was having a brisk holiday season. The optimistic bull in me says that today's pullback to $20.00 (which was formerly stubborn resistance) might offer an entry point. At this point, however, I'd want to see some price stabilization and maybe another test of the $20.00 level before taking more than a small speculative position.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:31:18 AM
Hi Jon,

Hope you're having a happy :-)

$37.75B from Santa Span (highest yet), only $4.25B of that expiring this week, and only a few more days for Santa Seaeson to rally Wall Street. If we don't see some serious upside action soon, I may just stash some bullion!

We've been seeing a general increase in the value of securities owned by the fed through its 22 primary dealers commencing (guess when) with the October rally. Most of the people with whom I've spoken recently who don't watch the market actively have expressed worry/hope that the downside in the market is over. They weren't too pleased to hear my observation of the increased fed intervention, persistent unemployment, low interest rate/high debt, balance of trades deficits, etc., and I was careful not to spoil anyone's turkey dinner. But it continues to appear to me to be a dangerous environment for committed bulls- we're either looking at a wall of worry portending lasting upside, or the top or near top of yet another bear market rally. Nothing to do but watch, trade carefully, and respect our stops.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:20:52 AM
Here's another good one: Link

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:18:50 AM
The HUI and XAU are both having big days. with HUI +145.66 and XAU +1.74 to 77.74. Precious metals continue to show strength.

I've just come across a link that's making me laugh all over again. I'm posting it for your listening pleasure, but it is NOT market advice or an esoteric prognostication- just a hilarious tune.

Link

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  11:14:09 AM
The XAU index is higher by two percent; however, the index is still in-between the recent relative high of 79.26 and the recent pull back of 72.76. Therefore, it seems more technical in nature than anything else. I am, on the other hand, a little worried about weakness in the dollar. The Greenback is lower by 0.19 at 103.06 and not showing the strength expected. With the Dow higher by 100 points, I wonder what could happen to equities if the dollar turns back around.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  11:12:42 AM
Just want to thank all the readers for their gift suggestions on Tuesday! My, um, friend's wife was very happy with her gifts.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  11:11:23 AM
That move through 1390 faked out a lot of options traders, and the put to call ratio has just come in for the past half hour at .81. Bond yields are still flat to negative, but a little more negative, while the TRINQ remains low at .29.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  11:09:40 AM
Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) $53.95 (+1.26) OI call play ACS gettting a nice push higher and flirting with resistance at $54.00. The target on this long play, picked at $51.86, is between $56 and $57, where there is quite a bit of resistance. New entries should keep this in mind if they are considering entry on the move through resistance over $54.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  11:04:42 AM
Hotels.com (ROOM) $57.20 (-0.40) OI put play ROOM has been left behind in the rally, setting yet another relative low. The next level of support appears to be $55. I am going to lower the stop loss from $63.00 to $61, since a decisive move back over $60 would be a trend break.

 
 
  Kent Barton   12/26/02,  11:03:51 AM
Forest Labs (FRX) $98.65 -1.48, currently a long play on PremierInvestor, is getting a pullback after rolling over near its 50-dma (100.84) on Tuesday. So far FRX hasn't broken its trend of higher lows on the daily chart, and there's some additional support at $97.00. If FRX reverses course and moves back above $100 we'll be watching for shares to move above the rising 50-dma and continue to fill in the December 6th gap.

P-n-f chartists will note that FRX produced a double-top buy signal on Tuesday.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  10:46:06 AM
Swing Trade Signals
So far the rally is holding impressively, with the Dow also taking out resistance at 8550. From here, I am expecting to re-test Dow 8625/SPX 910.

Current levels are Dow 8551/OEX 457.87/SPX 902.46/COMP 1390.69

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  10:45:54 AM
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is currently lower by 2.16% to $30.69 after a study showed that patients using the arthritis drug Celebrex, marketed by Pharmacia Corp. (PHA) and Pfizer, had a 5 percent chance of suffering more bleeding (not less) from ulcers.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  10:42:23 AM
The breakout of the 1380-85 resistance area on the COMPX hasn't resulted in the explosive upside one might otherwise expect, and the move higher to 1389 has been a struggle. The TRINQ remains low at .29, and the QQV is up 1.01 on the day, while yields remain flat. Despite a 16 point rise in the COMPX, we've seen stronger days lately. The CBOE put to call ratio has made it up to .92, however, and that could provide more fuel for the fire. Lately, fading the close on down days to catch the gap and run bullish opens has been the only action.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  10:36:56 AM
With markets a little further into the trading session, volume patterns remain positive. Adv/dec numbers (by ratio method) are 2.87 on the NYSE and 1.48 on Nasdaq-traded issues. New highs outnumber new lows on both. Up volume comes in at more than 6 times down volume on the NYSE and at 5.7 times down volume on the Nasdaq.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  10:26:16 AM
I know low volume can skew things in either direction. I'm trying to find the reason your leaning more toward long than short or flat. The claims number is so erratic right now that I don't put much credance in it especially after today. What is it that has you long? Is it techical in nature? Thanks, Angel

I am leaning long for technical reasons, as we change the pattern of lower lows and take out the 50-dmas, which are currently on the rise. These factors, along with a traditionally bullish period at the end of the year have me "leaning" in that direction; however I have not opened a signal, since we are very close to resistance at Dow 8625-8650 and the last two rallies have turned back decisively from that level. I think bulls should consider tightening stops as we get to that resistance.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  10:22:43 AM
Note: The E-mini S&P Contract is near its second level of resistance of 902.75. The intra-day high is 902.25. The E-mini Nasdaq contract is at 1042.50 and also near its second level of resistance of 1044.75. This contract traded at 1028.50 at 9:30 a.m. and was 0.25 above its calculated pivot; signaling a bullish bias.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  10:22:40 AM
Sector action broadly positive with all but Biotech (BTK.X) 356 -0.2%, Drug (DRG.X) 301 -0.6% and HMO's (HMO.X) 519 -0.1% in the green.

Gaining sectors have Airline (XAL.X) +2.54%, Semiconductor (SOX.X) +2.58% and Fiber Optic (FOP.X) 47.15 +2.54%.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  10:21:49 AM
Swing Trade Signals
One additional note on the 50-dmas - they have capped rallies the last four sessions. Bulls will point out that this is not necessarily a negative, since they are rising. If today's rally holds, it will mark the first time since the slide from Dow 9043 began that we didn't get a lower low on a rollover following a rally. That rollover would have been Tuesday's and it stopped short of Thursday's lows.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  10:14:40 AM
Swing Trade Signals
We are trading near our highs of the day in the major indices. Key levels from here are now the 50-dmas at Dow 8537/SPX 901.94/OEX 459.33 These 50-dmas were broken on Monday, but eventually failed by the end of the day. A close above those levels would look awfully good for a continued rally over the next few days. The Dow broke above its level, but the SPX and OEX have yet to break through.

Current levels Dow 8535/SPX 901.53/OEX 457.67/COMP 1387

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  10:11:35 AM
The fed has added 7.5B via 7 day repo for a net addition of 500M. As we saw on Tuesday, an ordinarily insignificant amount of liquidity should have more of an impact on a low volume day, which I expect today to be. We'll see.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  10:10:27 AM
In earliest trading, volume patterns proved positive, with adv/dec numbers at 2.4 for NYSE issues and 1.2 for Nasdaq issues. Up/down volume showed up volume more than 4 times down volume on the NYSE and almost six times down volume on the Nasdaq. This was earliest trading and sometimes doesn't prove to be a reliable indicator of later trading.

Scanning other indices, I notice that both the Dow Jones Transportation Index and the S&P Banking Index are above their 50-ema's and 22-ema's. One caution: on the S&P Banking Index, the 22-ema has just nudged below the 50-ema. If this movement of a shorter-term moving average below a longer-term moving average continues, that could be viewed as a bearish indication.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  10:03:10 AM
Identix (IDNX) $5.66 +16.94% ... biggest percentage gainer this morning after face/fingerprint recognition technology company announced it has received an order for 450 units of its new DFR 2080 fingerprint reader from the Department of Defense. Link

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  9:55:35 AM
Swing Trade Signals
The Dow broke 8500, with the SPX also above the Monday afternoon spike level and approaching 900. I'd be leaning long here, but the SPX is not getting any momentum through 900, so I'd hold off on adding to any long positions until that happens.

Current levels Dow 8509/SPX 899.27/OEX 456.61/COMP 1384.65

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  9:54:06 AM
Right now they're busy debating how much to add by way of repos for the remaining 7B expiry. "If we don't jam it, the 5 minute COMPX candles will print The Finger." "If we do, though, gold bugs might get excited about all this inflation of the money supply and power the metal up and blow out all the bullion banks' shorts." And around it goes for another 10 minutes or so. I'd sure love to sit in on one of the fed's conference calls one morning. As I typed it, the COMPX splashed to new highs, touching the upper trendline of an ascending wedge verging on an ascending triangle on the 60 minute COMPX candles.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  9:53:10 AM
It is reported that U.S. mortgage applications fell 7.8 percent last week, despite 30-year mortgage rate hitting 5.74 percent last week and tying a record low. Certainly the pool of homeowners looking to refinance would fall if rates remain steady or if yields edge higher. Note: Mortgage refinancing was responsible for one-fifth of U.S. economic growth since 2000, according to a report commissioned by the Homeownership Alliance.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  9:49:34 AM
My two cents on Seckinger's last post: I was a market maker in the pit where Wal-Mart traded for about four years and the usual monthly same-store sales growth projections ran 4-6% like clockwork. With a holiday estimate of 2-3%, we are now solidly at 1/2 of normal sales from just a couple of years ago and that is in a holiday month.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  9:45:57 AM
Swing Trade Signals
We got a boost in the last couple of minutes and the Dow/SPX hit their Monday afternoon spike levels of just under 8500/898. There's been a light pullback and I would not yet consider us out of congestion. We did, however, get a boost through the opening range, which has been a bullish sign recently. If we can get another move through that congestion, as well as the 50-dmas I mentioned earlier, I can see a re-test of Dow 8625 by the end of the day. If not, then we may get our entry point closer to 8400.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  9:44:26 AM
Wal-Mart (WMT) apparently cut December same-store sales expectations to a 2-3% gain from its previous 3-5% range. Shares of WMT are higher by 0.15 cents at 49.85.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  9:43:01 AM
The COMPX and NDX are again testing gaps this morning: the gap down from the Thursday, December 12, close to the Friday, December 13, opening, and the gap down from the Tuesday, December 17, close to the Wednesday, December 18, opening.

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/26/02,  9:37:38 AM
With the first five minutes behind us, the Dow had a range of 8448 to 8478. Watch to see if the blue chips can get 8478 to become support or become range bound and test support near 8450. With today most likely going to be a quiet session, I will look to see if the the Dow can close above 8515. Note: There is really no activity out of the bond market, so that could be actually bullish for stocks.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  9:36:40 AM
The TRINQ is now down at .19, indicating a very overbought COMPX. A reversal is possible here, but with the 60 minute 5(3) stoch still running and not yet topped, it might be a little early. Lots of buying out of the gate. Will it last? Bond yields are negative to flat.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  9:31:37 AM
3 point gap up open to 1375 on the COMPX, TRINQ .25, QQV +1.59.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  9:26:28 AM
Amgen (AMGN) $51.45 ... ticking higher at $51.60 despite late Tuesday's announcement that a US District Court judge dismissed AMGN's claim against the Health and Human Services department on the grounds that AMGN lacks standing to challenge the Medicare decision to lower Arenesp reimbursement rates. Link

Many industry watchers say the downside from this decision is minimal as company viewed this as a long shot and 2003 guidance did not assume a positive outcome.

In other company news, the Wall Street Journal reported that AMGN received FDA approval to operate a new manufacturing facility, a decision that allows AMGN to boost production of its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Enbrel.

 
 
  Steven Price   12/26/02,  9:25:17 AM
Swing Trade Signals
My preferred entry point in the Swing Trade Plan was on a continued pullback to the 8350-8400 range. I'm not sure if I'll get that entry this morning. The SPX is trading right up into resistance from late Monday and early Tuesday, between 896-897, which corelates to right around Dow 8500. If these averages can plow through that resistance, then aggressive traders can lean long. One word of caution - there is significant resistance at Dow 8625-8650 and SPX 910, as well as the rising 50 dmas at Dow 8537 and SPX 901.54 to contend with on the possible "Santa Claus" rally.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/26/02,  9:23:28 AM
The 9:00 AM Intraday Update has been posted. Link

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  9:05:47 AM
The fed has 7B in multi-day repos expiring today, plus another 5B in 29 day day repos which has just been refunded with a 5B 28 day repo. So far, a net wash, and we await the next announcement on the remaining 7B.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  8:58:04 AM
I grew up in a manufacturing town where we always closed for two weeks at Christmas and one week at July 4. I owned one of the factories and we filed claims for our qualified employees during those periods. They would have been included, I think, either in next weeks report or last weeks. I am sure there are many places like this. Do you have any thoughts on this. The Christmas report would have to be off due to this in my opinion. Thanks, Suzanne

Lettuce say that I don't think that this number is signalling a sudden and sharp turnaround in the economic conditions that have been resulting in over 400,000 people PER WEEK losing their jobs for the past months. I don't want to Grinch us out here, because it could be possible, and I sincerely hope that more people don't lose their jobs next week, but your explanation or something similar seems to be a likely candidate to explain the drastic drop in initial claims. Thanks, Suzanne!

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/26/02,  8:46:51 AM
Bloomberg is reporting that same store sales from WMT for Christmas came in below expectations, while initial jobless claims fell by 60,000, the largest drop in over a year to 378,000. The futures like the news, with QQQ trading up at 25.66, NDX +6.00 and SPX +2.90. Bond yields are flat, however. My spotty internet service continues, and I am unable to get a USDX quote for the moment. However, gold is rallying off its lows around 343/oz and Bloomberg is reporting that the USD is at its worst level relative to the euro in 3 years due to war concerns. Looks like an interesting day today.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  7:40:21 AM
In Thursday trading, the Nikkei rose 2.3%, climbing 198.96 points on the lightest volume of 2002. Analysts note that a new capital gains tax to go into effect next year led to a sell-off by individual investors in recent sessions, but that selling has now abated, allowing prices to rise on light volume.

In Europe, the major stockmarkets are closed today, and scheduled to open for trading again tomorrow. Company developments include the news that France Telecom may sell Casema, its Dutch cable-television unit, to Carlyle Group LLC, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and GMT Communications Partners Ltd. as a first step in reducing its 70 billion euros debt. Also in France, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute SA may take advantage of Gucci's reduced price to purchase more shares, thereby reducing the cost of the offer it contracted to pay for the company. Currently owning a 53% stake in Gucci, Pinnault is allowed to take a 70% stake ahead of its promise to buy remaining shares at $101.50 in 2004. Since Gucci currently trades below $101.50, taking an increased stake now will reduce the cost Pinnault pays for the luxury goods maker.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/26/02,  6:55:41 AM
Since Thanksgiving, Jim has been inviting readers to contribute anecdotal information about shopping patterns across the geographical areas covered by our readership. This morning, I was struck by the comments Alan Rifken, Specialty Retail Analyst with Lehman Brothers, made on CNBC. He noted that "time and time again," his field research showed that Best Buy was outperforming Circuit City during the holiday shopping season. You heard it here first! With informal field research contributed by our readers, Jim reached the same conclusion some time ago, and has been posting some of those comments from readers. This isn't trading information, but rather a confirmation of the value of this anecdotal information about shopping patterns that Jim has been collecting.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/25/02,  11:59:59 PM
End of year renewal special - The end of year special this year has been a hit and those readers who want to lock in the cheapest rate possible with a ton of freebies should check it out! Click here: Link

 
 
  John Seckinger   12/25/02,  11:59:47 PM
The Futures Trader Wrap has been posted: Link

 
 
  Steven Price   12/25/02,  11:59:25 PM
The Swing Trade Game Plan has been posted: Link

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/25/02,  11:58:44 PM
Yesterday's Market Monitor has been archived. You may view it and any previous days here: Link

 
 

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