Option Investor
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  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  4:50:36 PM
IBM (IBM) $80.07 +1.67% ... released for trading. Currently $81.45 over New York ECNs.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  4:33:42 PM
QQQ $26.03 +2.03% ... finished its 04:15 PM EST session. After-hours trade ticks fractionally higher here at $26.13.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  4:32:16 PM
Novellus (NVLS) $27.35 +2.62% ... stock sheds 20 cents to $27.15 in after-hours trade after reporting Q1 earnings of $0.08 per share, which was a penny better than consensus. Company said shipments of $235.2 million in Q1 represented an increase of $44.2 million or 23.1% compared to Q4. Deferred revenue at the end of recently completed quarter was $127.0 million, a decrease of $3.1 million or -2.4% from $130.1 million at the end of Q4.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  4:10:34 PM
IBM (IBM) $80.07 +1.67% ... halted for trading. Headline number was $0.79, a penny below consensus of $0.80.

Revenues rose 11.3% year-over-year to 20.07 billion, which was just above consensus of $19.86 billion.

  Mark Phillips   4/14/03,  3:55:44 PM
BLL sure doesn't seem to want to go along with the up day. Appears to be quite weak actually. Any passing thoughts? TIA Grant

Boy, you aren't kidding! I hadn't really looked at BLL today, but you can sure sense a lack of conviction by either the bulls or the bears on this one. Monday's candle looks like a repeat of what we saon Friday, with the stock looking to close in positive territory, but not by much, leaving behind another doji, with the real body very near the low of the day. I wouldn't say it is bearish just yet, but it isn't bullish either. We really won't get a fell for strength/weakness unless we see either a test of the 20-dma (currently $56.37) or a push up to the $58.25 level, which is mild intraday resistance. Everything between there is mush, leaving us with little to go on except the fact that daily Stochastics (5,3,3) are just starting to turn bullish.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  3:51:07 PM
Volume remains extremely light, with only 899 million shares traded on the NYSE and 973 million on the Nasdaq.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  3:48:20 PM
Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,341 +1.7% ... on the move here into the close and trying to make a move above our "conventional" 38.2% retracement of 8,338. Might be able to "catch up" with the 10-year YIELD and try a close at 8,379, which would be the 38.2% retracement from our WEEKLY pivot retracement.

The equity indexes look to try and "close the DIVERGENCE" we saw from the bond market on Friday. Bulls look in control here.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  3:47:46 PM
At 305.29 currently, the SOX appears headed up for a test of its simple 200-dma at 305.71. Although this MA is important, the SOX, like the OEX, seems to get turned back more often by the exponential 200-dma than by the simple. The exponential is still far overhead.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  3:44:23 PM
QQQ traders ... if you're a short-term trader and holding the QQQ, get ready for some after-hours action. My guess is that a "knee-jerk" bullish reaction to any IBM "upside earnings" on the bottom line, will see firm type of selling in the $26.44-$26.48 area. If you're a bull in the QQQ, don't "expect" a QQQ jump into that area, but be ready for it. I'm going to sell my 1/2 bullish in extended hours if that level or "zone" is traded. I know this is "overly" bullish type of thinking, but I've seen some weird trades from the Q's when the bottom line numbers are first released.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  3:42:40 PM
The COMPX looked like it was headed for a breakout above 1382, and then reversed, with QQQ currently trading 26.04. The QQV is flickering between red and green, TICK.NQ +215, TRINQ .43. The Friday highs are the next significant resistance point, above which the picture will look decidedly more bullish.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  3:40:55 PM
QQQ $26.03 +2.03% ... back above the WEEKLY pivot of $26.00 here. Let's see if the Q's can't build a rally into the close near $26.17, as they did when they broke above the DAILY pivot of $25.68, settled back, then moved back above that pivot.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  3:35:21 PM
Business Inventories ... Jeff: Help me here... While inventory numbers were up today, I was trying to figure out the why? Inventories can go up due to demand or lack of sales... so which is it? If I look at the sales numbers I don't see demand. Did I miss something?

Your observation of sales falling (lack of demand) as sales fell 1% is correct, and marks the largest drop since November 2001, is a negative, and so is the 0.6% rise in inventories. But where did the other 0.4% go for a direct 1:1 type of relationship? It couldn't have been from a replenishing of January, as January's business inventories also rose 0.3%.

This type of "inventory build" may hint that while sales is anemic in February (is/was it Iraq?), businesses may be forecasting some type of pickup into the second quarter.

It may be this type of thinking that has some economists now contemplating a stronger than forecasted GDP of 3% as inventories build to a seasonally adjusted $1.155 tillion.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  3:31:06 PM
It's time for all options traders to assess willingness to hold over IBM's earnings tonight, especially if holding April options. Not only must you be willing to guess what IBM will say, but you must also be willing to guess how the market might react.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  3:18:39 PM
So much for five-minute formations! I'm certainly glad that I always say that they're not as predictive as longer-term formations, but lately a violation of even a longer-term formation has not been particularly predictive of later action. Trendlines are violated, retested unsuccessfully, and then the OEX skips back across as if they did not exist. So far, though, the OEX has not managed a move above the violated ascending trendline that formed as it moved off the March 12 low or above last week's high or any of the other resistance levels between 449-450. We've still got 45 minutes to go, however. With daily oscillator evidence mixed [5(3)3 oversold and turning up, 21(3)3 having turned down from overbought but perhaps trying to turn up again, RSI flattened], I don't have much faith that this confusion will sort itself out soon.

  Kent Barton   4/14/03,  3:10:41 PM
The 3:15 update has been posted: Link

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  3:05:25 PM
The COMPX is actually finding support at the lower end of this s/r zone, but resistance at the top, and is currently pegged in a very narrow range. The FVX closed at a 5.8 bp gain on the day. Despite that brief lurch, the market seems to be back in its earlier groove, going nowhere for the time being. IBM is announcing after the bell, and if nothing else, that should get things moving. The directions remains the question.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  3:02:54 PM
Altria (MO) $30.23 -1.27% ... stock fell rapidly from the $32.00 level in last 10-minutes and has the Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,300 slipping back.

Illinois judge sided with MO to appeal recent bond requirement of $12 billion to $7 billion.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  2:39:25 PM
The five year yield is down to a 5.8 bp gain now, and though I'm tempted to conclude that the 1377-82 resitance level has held back the COMPX, the pullback has been very light. The TRINQ, TICK.NQ and put to call ratio remain collectively bullish, and until the sellers actually show up, it appears that the bulls are still in the driver's seat.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  2:37:12 PM
The OEX did break below that H&S neckline on the five-minute chart, as well as below the five-minute 21-pma. The predicted H&S target is 444.60 or so. As I mentioned earlier, that's not a big enough or dependable enough target upon which to base an OEX trade with its wide spreads, but if that target were hit, it would give traders an opportunity to assess the strength or weakness of the OEX near that 444-445 level once again. Will that target be hit? Dialing out to the 60-minute charts, the 5(3)3 stochastics have now begun to roll, although they have not yet crossed below 70. The fast line of the 21(3)3 stochastics is flattening just below the 80 level. RSI is still flat, at 56.75 currently. The stochastic evidence hints but does not promise that we'll get another opportunity to assess OEX strength at 444-445 again.

  Mark Phillips   4/14/03,  2:17:49 PM
Just back from an 8:30am PT doctor's appt. (amazing how docotors don't seem to understand what it means to actually set an appointment time anymore!) and looking at what's going on in the markets and thankful I was away from the screens for the morning 'rally'. It sure didn't come on an overabundance of volume, but there are some encouraging signs in some of the OI Plays.

BBBY $38.14 (+0.68) The morning rise was enough to push this play through our $38 trigger, and the stock is still holding near it's $38.20 high. As noted in the weekend update, the break above $38 constitued a new all-time high and made for a solid entry into the play. Those that passes on that entry setup will now want to watch for support on a pullback in the $37-38 area.

AZO $76.08 (+0.84) After an early dip to $74.80, this new play found some willing buyers just above the 10-dma and is inching back over $76. While it would be nice to see some volume to back up the price action (only 450K shares so far vs. the ADV of 1.4 mln), we'll take what we can get. I still like entries closer to the $74 area, but based on this morning's action, $75 is shaping up as decent intraday support. Next resistance above current levels is $76.50 and a break above that level could be used for aggressive entries, with the understanding that the $77.10 level (top of last Monday's gap could act as resistance until we get some follow through on the volume front.

WFMI $57.50 (+1.01) Encouraging to see that ascending trendline at $56.35 held another test this morning and the broad market rebound led WFMI as high as $57.93, just a few pennies above last Monday's intraday high. After pulling back from that intraday high, the stock is right back in that short-term neutral triangle that we spoke of over the weekend and really needs some volume conviction to push above $58.25 to convince us there is another upward leg in the making.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  2:11:51 PM
The OEX saw a brief blip below the 5-minute 21-pma, a MA that had previously supported prices throughout the day, but then moved back above that MA, currently at 447.22. A continued turn down from here in OEX prices sets up the possibility of a H&S formation on the five-minute charts, with a neckline at 446.75-446.85. Of course, that's a five-minute formation, with little predictive ability for OEX trades with their wide spreads, but what else is there to do on a day like today but study five-minute charts?

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  2:07:34 PM
The FVX has pulled back, but very slightly, now up 6.8 bps. There's been no hint of a resolution as to the current s/z zone challenge on the COMPX, except that the bounce came on a retest of a short term descending trendline just now. I wouldn't trade based on that, but it's the only tell I've seen in the past few minutes. The put to call ratio moved up to .89 for the past half hour, which bodes ill for bears.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  1:49:49 PM
There's now a bearish kiss on the OEX 60-minute 5(3)3 stochastics, although they haven't yet turned down out of overbought territory, and a flattening on the RSI. The fast line of the 21(3)3 has already moved up to the 80 level with the slow line at 69.44. These oscillators can and do redraw themselves, especially lately, so I don't give this evidence the credence I would in other times, but it does show that a lot of energy has been expended to move prices up today. In the last week, we've seen a higher low on the OEX 60-minute chart and now could possibly see a lower high. What happens next? Prices could move up while oscillators flatten. Prices could consolidate while oscillators roll down and reset themselves. Prices could dive while oscillators do, too. During opex week, any of those is possible.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  1:38:50 PM
The put to call ratio dropped just .02 to .86 for the half hour just past. The COMPX has paused, currently trading 1379. HUI and XAU are weak, and the spot price of gold fell to 324.10. Combined with the strength in treasury yields today, it paints a very bullish picture for equities. The only question is whether we've seen the rally, or whether it will continue. I cannot say, except that the current s/r level is critical. A failure here will print a lower high, while a breakthrough will energize the bulls. I'm still holding all of my QQQ puts, having gotten a good entry early last week.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  1:24:58 PM
As the OEX moves up, it approaches from below the violated ascending trendline that began forming as the OEX moved off the March 12 low. Last week's high moved the OEX briefly above that trendline before the OEX fell again after that unsuccessful test. Now, after a week, that trendline has risen to cross OEX prices just above 449, adding its resistance to that of last week's high and the 38.2% retracement of the October-to-December move, at 449.69. A sustained move above 450 would then put the OEX above all those levels. Looking beyond the hourly chart to the daily chart shows oscillators that are totally useless in predicting the sustainability of any move.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  1:10:32 PM
The put to call ratio has just reiterated .88- the third such reading in a row. Whether the call traders or put traders blink first will tell the story, but for the meantime, the high put to call ratio looks bullish to me. With the COMPX now in the 1377-1382 s/z zone, we'll have to wait and see how this move plays itself out. The FVX is holding its 7 bp gain, and QQV is somehow still in the green. It looks to me as if the bulk of the bearish speculation is coming from the QQQ options market, as even the VXN is negative, though not by much. Once again, we'll have to continue to watch the s/r levels for a read on what might happen next.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  1:01:56 PM
Now the OEX hourly chart shows the 5(3)3 stochastic deep in overbought territory, but not yet turning down, while the 21(3)3 moves strongly up. RSI moves up, but there's the slightest hint of a flattening at its current level, 59.74. On both the RSI and 5(3)3 stochastics, there's the potential for bearish divergence, but this potential will not be realized if the OEX price continues up past last week's high of 449.03. OEX 449-450 is the next area of potential strong resistance, with that high of last week near 449, and the 38.2% retracement of the October to December move at 449.69.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  12:54:15 PM
QQQ $26.00 +1.9% ... OK, QQQ trades WEEKLY pivot here, which is correlative to DAILY R1 of $25.99. Will monitor or 5-minute close above this level to bring into play the $26.17 level or 19.1% retracement from DAILY R1.

See 12:13:26 intra-day chart of QQQ.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  12:45:30 PM
In Mark's article this weekend, he recalculated the floor of the VIX as 24.50-25.20, based on its historical variation from the 200-dma. Here's the article, if you'd like to read it: Link

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  12:43:29 PM
The put to call ratio has just printed its second successive .88 reading. The FVX is up 7 bps on the day. The COMPX is flatlining at 1377, the start of a major s/r zone. The TRINQ has dropped to .39, showing extreme but not "hysterical" buying pressure of the calibre we've seen during recent flagpole rallies. On the one hand, the persistent p/c readings in the mid .80s shows that bears are not giving up, which is a bullish sign. I'd be expecting an immediate drop if the ratio was in the low .60s, for example, but that's not the case here. On the other hand, the TRINQ is very low, and a lot of energy was just spend bringing the indices to their current levels, just below major support, and so far at a lower high than we saw on Friday's brief rally.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  12:33:29 PM
Volume patterns have grown stronger, with adv/dec ratios and up/down ratios higher than they were this morning. Total volume is now 463 million on the NYSE and 531 million on the Nasdaq--still tepid volume levels, in my opinion. The VIX still drops, as do the bond and gold prices. However, crude oil prices ticked up, and traders might watch that price.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  12:32:10 PM
The inchworm anchors Alcoa (AA) $21.91 +2.96% .... juuust above Friday's highs. This is my "tail" of a Dow inchworm and ability for the laggared stock to build a gain above Friday's high from a "lower end" stock has me thinking the there's some "traction" at the lower end of the inchworm.

A quick look at "the head" has 3m (MMM) 132.99 +0.06% only showing a fractional gain, and for "true bullishness" or expansion, I'd want to see this stock get in the act to the upside.

The "thorax" of my inchworm has American Express (NYSE:AXP) $35.30 +1.96% moving higher.

Interesting isn't it that the "inchworm" shows the gains from the bottom right now as if the "head" is actually anchoring itself, the tail pulls up as does the mid-section. This gives the inchworm followers the impression that the inchworm is going higher when the inchworm finally "expands."

Keep the cash coming from the bond market!

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  12:20:13 PM
The COMPX is knocking at the door of the 1377-82 s/r zone that we've seen so many times. FVX is confirming the strength we've seen so far, +7.7 bps. Interestingly, QQV is holding its gains, +.18, while the TRINQ holds steady at .44, TICK.NQ +279.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  12:15:33 PM
Currently dropping to 26.92, the VIX is now within reach of the 26 support level. It could steady there or continue to drop through that level, of course.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  12:13:26 PM
QQQ $25.96 +1.7% ... from Friday's bullish entry of $25.52, initial target was $26.04. Shorter-term "day traders" can either sell strength at $26.00, or simply raise their stops just underneath the $25.86 level from our DAILY pivot analysis work.Link

I'm going to use the "trailing stop" for my 1/2 bullish position as I "like" this action from the bond market again today.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  12:10:08 PM
10-year YIELD ($TNX.X) intra-day chart Link

Today's action in bond market sees selling. Some traders/economists saying that this morning's inventories build in February could have GDP rising to 3% annual rate.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  11:59:10 AM
The SOX seems to be finding support from its simple 50-dma today with this morning's SOX low of 296.30 just above the 50-dma at 295.67. Unlike some of the other indices, however, the SOX has not been able to push above other key moving averages on the daily chart, such as the 21-dma at 314.08, the simple 100-dma at 307.40 and the simple 200-dma at 305.69. As I type, the SOX is at 300.84. Both the Russell 2000 and TRAN, other indices I watch, trade above both 21-dma's and 50-dma's, but remain below other key averages.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  11:53:12 AM
11:00 Update posted at this Link

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  11:41:23 AM
That was a nice spurt of buying, bring the Qubes up to the mid 25.80s. The FVX didn't really participate, currently +6.1 bps. QQV dropped, however, now up just .1, while the TRINQ dropped to .43, now showing excessive buying pressure. The TICK.NQ is still +259. The COMPX didn't seriously challenge the 1375 resistance level, and I'd wait for a move above the 1380-2 COMPX s/r zone for confirmation of today's strength.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  11:41:12 AM
OEX 444-444.20 contained prices for the first couple of hours, but then the OEX moved straight up past the simple 100 and 200-dma's. As I mentioned this morning, it moved up as if they didn't exist. What did stop the OEX? Oddly enough, the bottom line of Thursday's since-violated upward-slanting regression channel. Now the OEX moves back toward that channel again and may break above that line, but why a pause, even if only momentarily, there and none at the simple 200-dma, which should have more relevance? I don't have a clue.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  11:12:53 AM
The put to call ratio opened at .90, fell to .76, and is currently at .81. This is a moderate reading given the recent range over the past months, and fits with the other indicators today- mildly bullish.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  11:10:39 AM
A reminder: OEX 444.09 is the 50% retracement of the December 2-March 12 move. The neckline of the crude H&S formation showing up on the hourly chart lies between 444-445, depending on whether you draw it along the real bodies of the candles or include the shadows. On the daily chart, the simple 100-dma is at 444.30, and the simple 200-dma is at 445.53. These levels should provide strong resistance, but, lately, market action has moved the OEX back and forth across such levels as if they didn't exist. Daily oscillators are mostly inconclusive, too.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  11:04:36 AM
We're seeing a gradual climb in the FVX, now up 6.7 bps on the day. The initial selling pressure in the TRINQ is now gone, current reading .53. QQV is up .77, TICK.NQ +53. The indicators show casual bullishness so far today, with the FVX backing up every cent of the gains in equities so far.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  10:50:03 AM
Although volume is extremely light today, volume patterns are positive, with adv/dec ratios of 1.79 for the NYSE and 1.4 for the Nasdaq, and with up volume 2 times down volume on the NYSE and 1.6 times down volume on the Nasdaq. Total volume is 208 million shares traded on the NYSE and 260 million on the Nasdaq.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  10:30:26 AM
What strike price do you see the Q's getting "pegged" at for April expiration?

I have a feeling that we're very close to it. My guess, and it's just that, is that we'll see the 25-26 range respected.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  10:29:11 AM
Although oscillators haven't been the best tools to use for trade entries over the last several weeks, traders should be aware that most oscillators look bullish on the 60-minute OEX chart. The 21(3)3 stochastics are just curling up after touching the 20-line, 5(3)3 stochastics are in a full move up, and RSI has turned up again, although not from a fully oversold level. MACD is difficult to characterize, however, perhaps slanting up slightly, but underneath the midline level. So far, the OEX maintains a short-term ascending trendline that began forming on the move off the Thursday low. That's all bullish, as are the lower bond prices and lower crude oil prices. However, the lower dollar and higher VIX don't look quite as bullish, and there's that strong resistance just ahead at 444-445. I'm reserving judgment just yet, but one scenario is that the OEX pushes up toward that stronger resistance while those hourly oscillators push up toward overbought levels again. I'll be interested to see if the OEX stalls out there, however.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  10:23:10 AM
QQQ intra-day chart Link with WEEKLY and DAILY (light brown) pivot retracement.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  10:22:40 AM
It's that time of the month again, options expiration week, opex week, or, colloquially, scam week. The flatlining action we've seen so far this morning should tip you off even if you've lost track of the calendar. Each month, we see "strange" price action, if any action this year can be properly called strange. One opex phenomenon is to see the price of underlying securities and indices flatline as they get "pegged" near certain strike prices by the hedging and unhedging of competing options models seeking an optimal expiration price for the option writers. One might wonder how an option can be considered to be a "derivative" if it actually drives the price of its underlying security, but that's more of a philosophical question.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  10:18:24 AM
If the Russell 2000's behavior is any guide, those wedges I've been watching so long may not provide much guidance after all. I've mentioned recently that in addition to seeing either an upside breakout or a downside breakdown, another dreaded possibility presented itself: prices trickling out the apex of the wedge, with that occurrence negating the significance of the wedges. In March, the Russell temporarily broke down out of the wedge, then climbed back inside, only to break out to the upside on the April 2 push. Since then, however, the Russell's prices have been following the top descending line of the wedge downward so closely that it's difficult even to characterize this as a breakout any longer. The wedge is fast closing toward its apex. While the prices aren't exactly tricking sideways through the apex, they're nearly doing so as they follow that top line down toward the apex. Unless there's a quick breakdown or breakout to the upside, that long-term wedge isn't going to be significant after all.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  10:11:45 AM
Al Green has just added a 5.5B 3-day repo, which refunds the expiring 2B weekend repo with 3.5B to spare. We could see this additional money deployed into either stocks, bonds or currencies today.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  10:08:13 AM
DAILY Pivots for the most part are all serving up morning resistance in the equity indexes.

NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,030 +0.4% session high has been 1,033, which was right at DAILY pivot of 1,032.90.

Marginal selling in Treasuries should help hold a bid in the equity indexes and slight more selling in 5-year than longer-dated 30-year should have YIELD curve flattening a bit, and also slightly bullish for equities.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  10:07:34 AM
The VIX isn't giving much guidance as of yet. As I type, it's measuring 28.58, up .31, with the opening level being above Friday's closing level (bullish for the VIX, bearish for equities), but not above Friday's high nor above the trendline it violated last week, which makes the VIX's "bullish" opening somewhat suspect or tentative.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  10:04:33 AM
The US Dollar Index has revisted the sub-100 level, while the FVX has faded to a 3.2 basis point gain. The Qubes can't break through the 25.65 level, and seem to be confined to a narrow range between 25.55 and 25.65. Despite this, the QQV is up .67, presumably as QQQ options reprice slowly after the weekend. If things don't get moving quickly, we'll see the QQV start to drop.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  10:00:52 AM
While the OEX 60-minute 21-pma seems to be providing resistance, the five-minute 21-pma seems to be providing support this morning. That MA is currently at 441.43.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  9:46:28 AM
I've seen bigger rallies, but the day is young. I never got filled on my QQQ puts on Friday, and am happy about it so far. We have strength growing in treasury yields, which could add some fuel to the fire, but so far equities have been flopping around at their opening levels. FVX is currently +4 bps, QQQ 25.55.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  9:44:56 AM
The 60-minute 21-pma might be particularly helpful to watch this morning, as the OEX has not been able to maintain hourly closes above that average since March 7. On March 9, the OEX did have one hourly close above this average, but fell below it again the next hour and has not had an hourly close above it since. Currently, that MA is 442.05, with the OEX currently at 441.97.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  9:36:33 AM
The OEX currently moves into an area of S/R, just now bumping above the 60-minute 21-pma at 442.09, and headed toward that important 444-445 resistance level. With the Nikkei making a fresh 20-year low and European markets up, it should be interesting to see what our markets do.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  9:32:14 AM
2 point gap up open to COMPX 1360, TRINQ .64, TICK.NQ -17.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  9:25:55 AM
Currently, just ahead of the U.S. open, major European markets trades as follows: the FTSE 100 is up 40.40 points or 1.06%, to 3848.50; the CAC 40 is up 32.53 points or 1.15%, to 2870.67; and the DAX is up 25.65 points or .94%, to 2759.60.

  Jeff Bailey   4/14/03,  9:21:59 AM
09:00 Update posted at this Link

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  8:54:31 AM
The strength in futures is finding confirmation in yields, with the five year t-note yield up 2.3 basis points, the ten year up .8 bps and the thirty up .7 bps.

  Jonathan Levinson   4/14/03,  8:28:46 AM
The US Dollar Index is trading the 100.20 level, with the futures showing light strength, ES3M +4.75 and NQ3M +4.00. QQQ is trading 25.60, up 9 cents. Gold is down 2.10 to 325.10.

  Linda Piazza   4/14/03,  7:40:01 AM
Good morning. One market analyst predicted 7500 for the Nikkei this week. That forecast didn't appear likely on the opening, as the Nikkei opened up 35.05 points in Monday's trade, with tech stocks on the rise. However, there were moments later in the day when that 7500 this week seemed possible. By the morning break, the Nikkei was down 21 points, and it continued falling after the break, reaching an intraday low of 7693.46. It climbed 60 points above that low to close down 64.39 points or .82% at 7752.10, another fresh 20-year low. Many other Asian markets dropped, too, but South Korea's Kospi was an exception, gaining 2%.

Elections for Tokyo's governor were held this weekend. Incumbent Shintaro Ishihara, a man some label xenophobic, won re-election. Ishihara authored a book promoting the need for Japan to be more assertive in foreign policy. He also imposed a since-court-reversed tax on the banking community, a tax that angered bankers, but he handily won re-election. Now that elections are settled and the Iraq conflict appears less prolonged than some feared, investors may be ready to turn their attention to market fundamentals. Worries about earnings and their impact on pension selling may have influenced Japanese market participants. Companies likely to be sold by pension funds, such as Toyota and Hitachi, tumbled the hardest. Financials moved down, too, some by modest amounts, and some by more than 5%, as was the case with UFJ Holdings. SARS remains a concern, with Cathay Pacific issuing a release this weekend refuting a Reuters report that it might ground all passenger flights in the near future. However, although recent economic number do not appear to be good, some Japanese market pundits, like some in the U.S., discount those numbers, saying they reflect a period when war fears were heightened. That argument apparently did not carry much weight with Japanese market participants today, but market pundits also point to the likely intervention of the Japanese government to boost stock prices.

Wim Duisenberg, soon-to-retire ECB president, downplayed the role the ECB could take in easing uncertainty about the performance of European economies, however. He said further monetary easing could not take away that uncertainty. The FTSE, CAC, and DAX appeared to be following the Nikkei's pattern in early trading--opening positive but then dipping into negative territory. Those bourses turned up again as U.S. corporations began reporting earnings this morning and now trade up, with most European markets trading flat or slightly up on the day. The FTSE 100 currently trades up 36.90 points or .97%, to 3845; the CAC 40 now trades up 21.03 points or .74%, to 2859.17; and the DAX currently trades up 19.97 points or .73%, to 2753.92.

Two corporations not turning up with other European stocks are Allianz and engineering group ABB. Both made announcements related to rights issuance. Allianz upped the amount it intended to raise through rights issuance, and the Swiss-Swede ABB announced that it intended to ask shareholders to approve the issuance of up to 400 million shares.

  Steven Price   4/11/03,  11:52:13 PM
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