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  Jim Brown   6/30/200,  3:54:17 PM
I am going to leave my Editors Play DJX buy calls order at the Dow 8950 trigger open just in case we get a dive at the open tomorrow. I considered buying at market at the close but I do not see any urgency.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  3:43:21 PM
As of a few moments ago, advancers and decliners were only 6 issues apart on the NYSE. Decliners now lead on the Nasdaq, with 17 decliners to every 14 advancers. Up and down volume are nearly equal on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Total volume is 980 million on the NYSE and 1.2 billion on the Nasdaq.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  3:40:01 PM
That OEX 498 level I'd hoped to see today seems far away now. The OEX headed back once again toward the lower of the potential necklines for the H&S, as depicted in my 11:02 post. I'd noted earlier today that the 30-minute oscillators appeared to be cycling up fairly quickly as the OEX made a minimal move up, a notation that did work out to be a harbinger of weakness. However, as the OEX again approaches that trendline, oscillators cycled right back toward oversold levels again, although they're not quite there. MACD has given up the prediction business and just flattened. (I don't blame it. I can't predict anything today, either.) RSI is flattening now, too, on both the 30-minute and 60-minute charts. There are new bearish kisses on the 60-minute stochs, but they're kissing from the middle of their up phases, so don't have far to fall until they're indicating oversold conditions again.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  3:38:13 PM
03:15 Update posted at this Link

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  3:01:24 PM
Reader Question: Currently short, 2 puts on djx, should I hold over see if the funds sell off tomorrow or get ready to go long by exit puts today? I hate these days. Thanks.

Response: Boy, I hate these days, too, so I commiserate! Unfortunately, SEC rules prohibit us from answering these types of questions about individual positions. I don't know whether this reader is profitable yet or not, and it would probably be best if I don't know. The linked chart includes some considerations that might be important for this reader and others to watch. Link Other considerations include this trader's style (I tend to take my profit and run ahead of market-moving events but others feel braver), the amount of profit or loss accrued (is profit high enough to take partial profit and let the other put position run, for example) or what happens on closing today. If the closing drives the DJX decisively out of its regression channel, for example, I might feel more comfortable holding puts overnight than I would if it instead bounced up to successfully test the 21-dma. The daily ADX is descending, showing us that we probably can trust the oscillator evidence, but that evidence is mixed, with the RSI kicking up a little here as that trendline support is reached. There are hints of a possible bounce, but those hints can be undone by market forces we can't predict ahead of the close and tomorrow's open.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  2:44:52 PM
The put to call ratio has just come out at the day high of .99, with QQV and VXN positive and VIX negative. Treasuries are nearing their highs, with FVX -7.9 bps, TNX -5.9 and TYX -5 bps. TRIN.NQ still telling us nothing at .79, TICK.NQ -242.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  2:36:49 PM
If that OEX H&S (regular version, not reverse) on the thirty-minute and 60-minute charts is going to play out, then it's going to be a H&S with three right shoulders, it appears. I'm not sure how valid such a formation would be. Nevertheless, I had really wanted to see the OEX make it back up toward 498 today, the site of the descending trendline off the last two 30-minute highs, the thirty-minute 100-pma, and the 21-dma (at 497.65). I thought that level would give us the first trustworthy test of the strength or weakness in the OEX, since so many levels of resistance converge there. I'm not sure we'll get the opportunity to watch the OEX's performance at that level, however, as that last 495.23 high might be the highest level achieved on this last 30-minute trip up toward overbought levels on the oscillators.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  2:16:50 PM
The 30-minute 5(3)3 stochastics have made it all way deep into territory indicating overbought conditions, starting on the push up from 490. The 30-minute RSI has a slight downward hinge, but that hinge can still be straightened. Hourly oscillators still show room to climb, but the hourly MACD has flattened, not giving any clue as to direction.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  2:03:12 PM
What's going on with the TRAN, the transportation index? I note that the TRAN tested the 2430 level today, near historical S/R at 2450 and also near the 21-dma. It has since fallen back but found support near 2400. It's currently just above its 50-dma near 2416. Bullish traders want to see this index, the Dow's sister index, trade past that 2450 resistance level and especially past 2500, as a rounding over at that level would set up the possibility of a H&S top on the TRAN, too.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  2:02:03 PM
"Stocks Up on Quarter-End Window Dressing" Reuters - Link

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  1:50:46 PM
There's been no strong push either direction just yet as the OEX one-minute chart shows the OEX loitering at that 494.40-494.60 resistance.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  1:45:29 PM
It's time for the 1:45 ET push, with that push sometimes being reversed. Be careful during this time period.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  1:31:55 PM
Thirty-minute OEX oscillators appear to be traveling toward overbought levels at a fairly fast clip. Does this signal that it's taking a lot of momentum to push the index higher? Will the indicators already be indicating overbought conditions by the time the OEX reaches next strong resistance? We'll have to watch. Nearest resistance now for the OEX is 494.40-494.60. Above that is 495.80-496. The descending line off the last two 30-minute highs crosses now at 497.75, just above the 21-dma at 497.63.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  1:26:14 PM
The OEX bounced off the lowest of the possible H&S necklines shown in my 11:02 post. On 30-minute and 60-minute charts, RSI hinges up and shorter 5(3)3 stochastics have already headed up, too. Longer-term 21(3)3 stochastics have made bullish kisses on both the 30-minute and 60-minute charts. Volume patterns have shifted slightly again, with advancers now outnumbering decliners and up volume ahead of down volume, but not by huge proportions in either case.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  1:13:21 PM
Headfake as ES pushes to 978.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  12:43:33 PM
Children's Place (PLCE) $20.45 +1.48% Link ... specialty retailer discussed in Friday's monitor after clearing triple-top buy signal of $19.50, with further gain of $20.00 (wanted to be careful after seeing "bull trap" in SPX). S&P Retail Index (RLX.X) 327.05 +0.84% now holding today's sector winner spot.

Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 78.15 +0.78% is number 2 sector winner after closing on its shorter-term 21-day SMA 3 out of last 4 sessions. "Old downward trend" from June 4, 2002 high to January 24, 2003 relative high of 82.89 back in play as resistance at 78.75. This "old trend" didn't really serve much support on 06/23/03 as it might have, thus viewed again as resistance near-term.

Current thinking on my part is that nice rally from 72 level may indeed have been some "short squeeze" in sector, which may have ran its course 2-weeks ago. Would be cautious from bullish side right now with Precious Metals sector bullish % (BPPREC) still "bear confirmed" at this point.

Randgold (NASDAQ:GOLD) $16.95 +0.28% finding early session resistance at rounding lower 21-day SMA of $17.41 and still trending higher 50-day SMA of $17.95.Link

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  12:41:45 PM
The OEX has now made it back to the bottom of that 491.65-492.50 congestion zone in which it traded for a while this morning (best seen on the five-minute chart). It's also near the bottom of one version of the potential H&S neckline (better seen on the hourly chart). Will this be resistance now?

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  12:32:43 PM
eBay (EBAY) $103.07 +0.69% ... Prudential reiterates "buy" rating and raises bullish target to $120 from $108 citing growth opportunities and powerful business model. In addition, Pru saying that a meeting with eBay Powersellers over the weekend has the firm believing these people are helping to build one of the most impressive growth companies in the world. Link

PnF notes. eBay originally had bullish vertical count of $117, which was recently negated by "sell signal" (it's first in upward trend) at $97. Recent triple-top buy signal at $104, has current bullish count at exceeded it original bullish vertical count of $119. Maybe Pru isn't "out of its mind" on this call.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  12:28:37 PM
In case you haven't guessed, I fourth Jonathan's comments on the treacherous environment today. I have not entered an OEX play, although I own a few shares of a couple of stocks (bullish position) and a couple of contracts of puts on a stock (bearish position). I don't have much money in the market today either direction, but what I have is hopefully fairly well balanced.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  12:25:08 PM
Here's how the OEX currently trades in relationship to its ascending regression channel on the daily chart: Link This shows how key it is for bulls to maintain current levels while showing bears the danger that the OEX could bounce from the bottom of the channel, as it has several other times.

  Ray Cummins   6/30/200,  12:24:44 PM
Spreads/Combos & Premium-Selling -- Portfolio Activity

The number of bearish "watch-list" members seems to grow a little every session and today is no different. The downside activity is most obvious in the technology group and among those positions, Avocent (NASDAQ:AVCT) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) are enduring more than their fair share of selling pressure. Mercury Interactive (NASDAQ:MERQ) also warrants attention, as does Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), although both issues appear to have some buying support near the current levels. In the biotechnology group, Idec Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDPH) and Biogen (NASDAQ:BGEN) are falling in tandem and as mentioned last week, conservative traders should have exited any bullish positions in those issues. The jury is still out on Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX), both of which are trading near their respective sold (put) strikes. One final comment should be made about Lexmark (NYSE:LXK) as it was the subject of a reader's E-mail this week-end. The issue has shown surprising strength today, despite its recent slump, but based on the current technical indications, it may be prudent to use the upside activity to exit or adjust the bullish position.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  12:10:26 PM
Declining issues now pull ahead on the NYSE, as does down volume. On the Nasdaq, decliners slightly outnumber advancers, but up volume is still ahead of down volume. Total volume is 460 million on the NYSE and 607 million on the Nasdaq.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  12:07:56 PM
That OEX tight pattern of higher highs and higher lows I'd noted in my 11:52 post did break to the downside. It does appear to have been a bear flag pattern. Now the OEX approaches the lower of the H&S necklines I've had drawn on my OEX hourly charts, but it appears to keep finding support along that possible neckline, just as it did along the slighly higher possible neckline earlier today. (See my 11:02 post for several versions of that neckline.)

  Ray Cummins   6/30/200,  12:03:58 PM
Spreads/Combos & Premium-Selling -- New Positions

Another day of lackluster activity in the major equity averages and unless something drastic occurs, the month of June will not see the "end-of-quarter" mark-up that many analysts had been forecasting. The brief early-session spike was interesting but the buying pressure has faded and most of our new positions are trading in a relatively small range. Among the bullish candidates, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is enjoying a small rally and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) remains in positive territory (for the moment), however Biosite (NASDAQ:BSTE), Overture (NASDAQ:OVER), and ITT Educational Services (NYSE:ESI) are "in the red." In the bearish category, Igen (NASDAQ:IGEN), Mohawk (NYSE:MHK) are trading lower, as is the broader-market S&P 100 index (CBOE:OEX).

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  12:03:11 PM
There's no loft to this bounce off the lows so far, still a very tricky environment just above support. The TRIN.NQ is rising slightly but still in neutral bullish territory at .87, TICK.NQ -262 is full-on bearish. The TRIN.NQ is no help in drifting markets- so far, nothing extreme has happened today, not enough to trip this sensitive breadth indicator. Volatility indices are all green now, gold up, bonds up. Very little about which to be bullish from the indicators.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:52:50 AM
After the break of one version of the OEX H&S neckline, we're seeing a tight pattern of higher highs and higher lows form on the five-minute chart as the OEX rises back to test the violated neckline. You know what that might mean after a quick fall: a possible bear flag pattern setting up. That's not a given, but it's a possibility you should note.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:36:48 AM
Volume patterns are not going to guide us this morning as adv/dec volume and up/down volume remains roughly equal on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:35:16 AM
As soon as I post something saying there's been no definitive break of a trendline, it breaks! The OEX violated the possible H&S neckline that had been supporting it, and now drops toward that lower trendline depicted in my 11:02 post. It's now below last week's low, too, but approaches all those other landmines in the form of layered S/R levels.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  11:31:17 AM
PHLX Housing Index (HGX.X) 280.31 -1.47% ... getting downside alert here at 19.1% retracment (from March low of 199.23 to recent high 299.46). This is similar downside alert to how we had retracement set on the DJUSHB in past Index Trader Wraps.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  11:29:31 AM
11:00 Update posted at this Link

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:25:10 AM
The OEX slips beneath one of the neckline versions depicted in my 11:02 post, but only barely and excruciatingly slowly, and then it moves back up again with only slightly more alacrity. A definitive break of a H&S neckline should produce a rather quick fall. We haven't yet had a definitive break of this version or of the lower version, and there's certainly been no quick plunge.

Does that mean that the H&S formation will be rejected and we should soon expect a bounce instead? As I study the 30-minute, 60-minute, and daily oscillators, I note that stochastics and MACD still look bearish, although all are approaching levels indicating oversold conditions, and the 5(3)3 stochastics are already there and trying to kick up. RSI, an indicator I usually trust, is showing some indecision, as it flattens across most of those time frames. CCI is negative across all. The information I'm gleaning here is what I already know: markets have been going down but could go down further, but they're also approaching oversold levels and could bounce at any time. Not much help, is it? Furthermore, on the intraday charts, ADX is increasing to levels that say we couldn't trust those oscillators much anyway. On the daily chart, ADX decreases, showing a continuing loss of strength from the previous move, which was an up move.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  11:18:46 AM
August gold is up 2 to 347.50, with XAU +.45 and HUI +1.92. Yields are lower still, FVX -8.5 bps, TNX -6.6 and TYX -3.4 bps. I'm quite confident that the fed's repo is buying treasuries today.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  11:12:47 AM
The put to call ratio is .64 for this past half hour, no clear signs there, nor from the TRIN.NQ at .69 and TICK.NQ at -43. This is low volume chop so far.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:06:35 AM
Volume patterns now show advancers and decliners roughly equal on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Up and down volume are just about equal on the NYSE and up volume is only slightly ahead of down volume on the Nasdaq. These patterns have changed from this morning, when they were more bullish. Total volume is 289 million on the NYSE and 428 million on the Nasdaq.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:02:59 AM
The OEX appears to be gaining support along one version of the H&S neckline on the hourly chart, although there's a lower version, too. Here are several versions: Link

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  11:02:58 AM
The OEX appears to be gaining support along one version of the H&S neckline on the hourly chart, although there's a lower version, too. Here are several versions: Link

  Jim Brown   6/30/200,  10:55:09 AM
Editors Play - Still looking for that touch of Dow 8950 to buy the DJX calls.

  Jim Brown   6/30/200,  10:50:31 AM
Traders holding RGC put options may want to sell today. The stock will go ex dividend tomorrow and the stock price will drop by -5.05 and the option strikes you are holding will be adjusted down by -5.00 to allow for the dividend.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  10:46:44 AM
Homebuilder weakness in the PHLX Housing Index ($HGX.X) has DHI $26.37 -2.3% Link , Toll Bother (TOL) $28.71 -2%Link , Beazer Homes (BZH) $84.35 -1.57%Link , Pulte Home (PHM) $62.32 -1.32%Link .

Beazer (BZH) has been showing weaker relative strength vs. SPX. Here's RS chart of BZH vs. SPX. Link would be read as ..."relative strength sell signal and column of O. Good tie in to this weekend's "Ask the Analyst" column in my opinion.

Centex (CTX) getting close on its RS chart vs. SPX. Link

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  10:39:18 AM
Sector Weakness Biotechnology (BTK.X) 431.94 -1.52%, Airline (XAL.X) 54.65 -0.96%, Home Construction (DJUSHB) 439.77 -0.7%/PHLX Housing ($HGX.X) 282.06 -0.85%.

Sector Strength Disk Drive (DDX.X) 106.73 +1.1%, Semiconductor (SOX.X) 363 +1%, Networking (NWX.X) 182.5 +0.65%, Retail (RLX.X) 326 +0.65%

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  10:28:34 AM
Early volume patterns show advancers ahead of decliners and up volume about twice down volume on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Total volume was light as of a few minutes ago, with 160 million shares traded on the NYSE and 270 million on the Nasdaq. With that kind of volume, even a small sell or buy program could add tremendous volatility to the trading.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  10:25:42 AM
Biotechnology Index (BTK.X) 430.79 -1.75% ... session lows after fractional gain early. NASDAQ-100 components GENZ -4%Link , BGEN -3.87% Link , IDPH -3.6% Link , MLNM -2.3% Link , ICOS -2.23% Link , IVGN -1.96% Link are bottom six performers in NDX this morning.

NASDAQ-100 (NDX.X) 1,210 +0.41% with QQQ $30.09 +0.87% here.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  10:25:40 AM
The put to call ratio was nothing special, with the equity pcr .51 and the index pcr 1.25. TRIN.NQ is neutral in bullish territory at .62, TICK.NQ +63, QQV +1.25 at 27.24, VIX -.49 at 21.22. The tape feels like it's fighting every which way, no direction evident yet.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  10:24:53 AM
If the OEX continues to move up, possible resistance levels are layered even more closely than downside support levels. For example, some overhead benchmarks to watch on the OEX based on historical resistance and trendlines are 498, historical S/R, near the 21-dma at 497.66, and the site of a descending trendline off the last two thirty-minute highs; and 499-500, historical support, near Friday's high of 498.89, and near various intraday moving averages across several time periods. It goes on.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  10:20:26 AM
Nortel (NT) $2.77 +1.46% .... Legg Mason reiterating NT as its "top pick" with "buy" rating ad $3.50 bullish target. Firm saying NT's price has predictably pulled back into expected range as it enters second-quarter 2003 reporting season presenting an opportunity to buy the stock. Legg Mason believes that Wall Street has underestimated NT's ability to deliver bottom line results over the next several quarters and as estimates are revised upward, believes NT's shares should appreciate as earnings estimates increase and its is rewarded with a P/E multiple in line with comparable companies.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  10:14:38 AM
OEX traders should be aware of multiple alternative H&S necklines that can be drawn on the OEX hourly chart, with any one of those necklines providing a possible bounce point for the OEX or a point from which declines might accelerate if the neckline is violated. If the OEX should continue to decline, other benchmarks to watch are last week's 490.85 low and the June 6 low of 489.55. OEX 488 and 485 are also levels to watch, as they might provide support.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  10:06:26 AM
Market reaction to the June Chicago PMI (52.5) sent the OEX below that 493.93 level we had been watching, with a five-minute close below it. The OEX now climbs to retest it again.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  10:06:23 AM
Chicago PMI (June) came in at 52.5, which was slightly below the 53.0 forecast.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  10:03:11 AM
The fed announces a 4.75B overnight repo, no expiries today.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  9:48:12 AM
Is that a bull flag forming on the OEX five-minute chart as the OEX pulls back from its initial gains? Time will tell, but if it is, it should break to the upside before or by the time the OEX retraces about half those early gains, so about 493.93.

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  9:44:06 AM
Buying in treasuries is holding steady, with FVX -4.1 bps, TNX -2.7 and TYX up .9 bps. The Fed has nothing expiring today, so any amounts added at 10AM will be net additions to liquidity for the markets.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  9:40:48 AM
Correction to my 9:37 post: That first retracement usually begins about 9:50 ET, not 8:50 as I first wrote. Guess you can tell I'm still thinking in my own time zone, the Central time zone. That first retracement appears to have begun early today. So far, the 493.93 level has not been broached, however.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  9:37:00 AM
The first five-minute OEX candle was a larger-than-normal candle, and so gives us a benchmark to watch. The midpoint of that first five-minute range is 493.93. Bulls want to see that level maintained as support during the first retracement that usually begins about 9:50. Bears want to drive the OEX below that level and keep it there.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  9:34:02 AM
Marvell Technology (MRVL) $34.47 +3.48% .... Link upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" at GKM.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  9:31:00 AM
Electronic Data Systems (EDS) $21.45 ... slipping 10 cents to $21.35 as company reaffirms previously issued (06/18/03) full-year 2003 free cash flow guidance of $1.4-$1.7 billion, but now expects Q2 free cash flow to be less than previous guidance of $75-$125 million as the $98 million it expected to receive from MCI (in respect to pre-bankruptcy receivables) will not come in until later this year. Link

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  9:30:38 AM
TRIN.NQ opens at .38, TICK.NQ +13, QQV +1.22 to 27.27.

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  9:25:44 AM
Intel (INTC) $20.57 .... $21.14 in pre-market after Smith Barney upgrades to "outperform" from "inline," saying firm things Q2 and Q3 estimates appear achievable, current environment is allowing INTC to see slow price decreases and still increas profitability, management is increasingly focused toward improving return on invested capital (ROIC), and INTC is beginning to accelerate ust as the rest of the chip industry is decelerating (seasonally year-over-year). Smith Barney raises target from $20 to $23. Link

  Jeff Bailey   6/30/200,  9:15:15 AM
09:00 Update posted at this Link

  Jonathan Levinson   6/30/200,  8:29:03 AM
The US Dollar Index is down to 95.06, while futures are up, ES at its high of the session at 979.50, NQ +1216, QQQ 30.17. Bonds are being bought, FVX -3.7 bps, TNX +3 and TYX +1.7 bps. August gold is up .10 to 345.60. Dollar down, bonds and stocks up, gold up a touch... smells like another cropduster load of money is being deployed.

  Linda Piazza   6/30/200,  7:24:57 AM
Good morning. During morning trading, the Nikkei swung in a 40-point range, sometimes trading positive and sometimes negative. After the break, the index widened its swings but closed on a downswing, at 9083.11, down 20.95 points or 0.23%. The volatility may have occurred ahead of tomorrow's release of the tankan survey, a quarterly survey of Japanese business sentiment that is closely watched.

Japanese bonds were down ahead of a sale of the 10-years on Thursday. Japanese semiconductors gained after May semiconductor sales logged a 2% growth from April's level and a 9.9% growth from the year-ago level, according to SIA. In other news, Fujitsu and Nokia collaborate on a service that will allow Nokia cellular phones, specially configured for the service, to access a company's computer system. Fujitsu gained 6.5%. NEC reportedly has developed a long-life fuel cell workable for notebook computers. NEC gained 7.5%.

South Korea continues to be wracked by strikes, with the railway workers being the latest to strike. In addition, South Korea's June CPI dropped 0.3% from May's, a number that was worse than expected. South Korea's Kospi fell 1.09%.

Also of interest was a China-Hong Kong free-trade agreement signed Sunday. Hong Kong will have access to mainland markets more quickly than other competitors and tariffs will be eliminated. Both markets were down, with China's Shanghai Composite down 0.74% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 0.83%. Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore's Straits Times was down 2.02%.

European markets are mixed. In the Eurozone, consumer prices rose 2%, up from May's 1.9%, easing fears that the Eurozone countries would face deflation. Some have feared that Germany, in particular, might endure deflation, but Germany's rate rose to 1% from last month's 0.7%. In Germany, that increase was mostly produced by gains in travel-related costs and fuel costs, however. Eurozone consumer confidence rose to -19 from May's -20. Business confidence rose to -12 from May's -13.

Germany's DAX is gaining, perhaps boosted by those economic numbers and also by auto stocks as they gain after a strike by a metals union ended. In addition, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced that tax cuts will be brought forward to 2004. As of this writing, the DAX trades up 31.50 points or 0.98%, at 3256.16. The CAC trades up 15.85 points or 0.51%, at 3124.87. French engineering Group Alstom (ALS) announced that it would restate earnings for U.S. unit Alstom Transportation, due to the previous understatement of costs.

Currently, the FTSE 100 trades up 3.40 points or 0.08%, at 4071.20. It's just turned positive again after a brief foray into negative territory. The FTSE is down almost 30 points from its day's high of 4099, however, and had been descending since about an hour after its open.

  James Brown   6/28/200,  11:47:52 AM
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