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  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  3:50:53 PM
This is not the usual late-afternoon short-covering rally we've been accustomed to seeing lately. However, I note that the 30-minute 21-pma is rising strongly beneath the current OEX price, and will perhaps provide support now on pullbacks.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  3:34:02 PM
CSCO's thirty-minute chart had showed an orthodox broadening formation, better known as a bulloney bullhorn, in Jonathan's words. That appears to have broken to the downside. They're usually topping formations, in this case a short-term term perhaps since it's showing up on a 30-minute chart, but traders should next watch this morning's gap level to see if it provides support.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  3:21:09 PM
For the first time since August 26, the 30-minute RSI has violated its trendline formed off the higher lows. Link As I mentioned yesterday, I usually trust RSI trendline penetrations as they often either precede or confirm what's happening on the price chart. However, as I also mentioned yesterday, I'm not sure how much relevance to assign this particular trendline break. Here's the reason: the trendline had risen so high that RSI was doomed to violate it, even on a minor dip. I also must factor in, however, the fact that RSI penetrated this trendline as moved out of levels indicating overbought conditions, so which factor weighs more heavily? I'm not sure, but the price weakness tells me that I'm right to consider this a confirmation, at least. I'm now watching for 30-minute MACD to break through its own rising trendline.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  3:20:42 PM
Donaldson Co - DCI - Wow! Here's a recent winner for the bulls. This filtration systems company has been on a non-stop climb from mid-August (and arguably from February as well). Shares rallied strongly ahead of their Aug. 28th earnings and have continued to rally afterwards. Stocks like these make it tempting to pick a top and open bearish positions but the path DCI has been climbing is probably littered with bears that thought they had picked a top. Any takers that $60 might be resistance?

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  3:10:29 PM
The 3:15 PM ET update is posted. Link

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  3:08:42 PM
The DRUG sector (DRG.X) has been under performing the markets for months, ever since it peaked in mid June near 350. The last two months have been a slow descent back toward April levels. While the DRG has bounced from the 300 mark a week ago it continues to struggle with resistance at its simple 200-dma.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  2:48:40 PM
The OEX has been moving away from the 30-minute 1.35% envelope. With a Bollinger band, such a move away often precedes a drop, at least toward the central average. In this case, that central average has been climbing all day, so the drop wouldn't have to be far on the OEX: only to 511 or so, using either the 18-pma or the 21-pma. Both produce similar numbers on the 30-minute chart. The bottom of the envelope now converges with the 100-pma on that chart, with both just under 504, so even a touch of the 100-pma, if it were to hold, would only retrace to that level. That's also the locus of historical S/R.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  2:32:08 PM
The Dow hit a high of 9597.30, near that much-watched 9600, and then retreated quickly, now at 9573.40, but will 9560 support hold?

 
 
  Mark Phillips   9/3/2003,  2:22:00 PM
More accurately James, it seems August was the month for IMPORT auto sales. Notice the trend? All three of the domestic manufacturers saw their sales numbers decline, while every one of the imports saw sales growth.

As you pointed out, GM and DCX are extending their already attractive incentives and for good reason -- people apparently don't want what they have to offer. Brand loyalty is completely out of the picture here -- this is all about where can I get the best value for my dollar and judging by the trend, U.S consumers are putting their money where their collective mouths are, saying quite clearly that the best value is NOT coming from the likes of Ford, General Motors, or Daimler Chrysler. This is at the heart of our domestive manufacturing industry, and the trend does not leave me with a good feeling.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  2:20:03 PM
I feel as we're back in the previous few weeks, when something always seemed on the verge of happening, but never quite did. However, that's only when we're looking at the midday trading pattern. Quite a bit has happened when we examine the daily and weekly OEX chart.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  2:15:05 PM
It appears that August was a month for auto sales.

KIA August sales up +5.1% from last year.
Volvo Cars of N. America August sales up +11.6%.
Nissan N. America August sales up +14.2%.
Porsche Cars N. America August sales up +16%.
BMW Group August sales up +3.4%.
Ford (Lincoln, Mercury) August sales -13%.
General Motors August sales -0.5%.
DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes August sales -4.3%.

It appears that GM and DCX are already extending their big incentives and low interest rates through the end of the year.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  2:01:33 PM
If you're not watching both the Futures and the Options Monitors, Jim is warning that the Beige Book is due out momentarily. As I mentioned in this morning's first update, market participants are going to want clarity on what the FOMC was seeing during the last meeting, and this will provide some of that clarity. It could be potentially market moving.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  1:51:11 PM
I've been scanning stock charts this afternoon, noting some stocks in healthy patterns, breaking to the upside out of recognizable chart patterns. However, I also notice some showing isolated candles sitting high above a second running gap (ALA) or bearish engulfing candles engulfing the previous day's gains (F). While looking at indices that are overextended makes me nervous, seeing a number of charts that show patterns like these only adds to the nervousness. Some of these charts I'm seeing would actually show gains on the day if you look only at their trading levels compared to yesterday's closes, but that doesn't mean the charts look great or healthy.

 
 
  Mark Phillips   9/3/2003,  1:46:47 PM
Laughing...Yes Jane, that could be. Although in the perverse way the human mind works, ever since my little rhyme earlier, I've incessantly got a modified version of Green Eggs and Ham running through my mind. "I do not like overpriced stocks, Sam I am. I do not like them on a train, I do not like them in the rain..." You get the picture. See what I spared you all from by cutting my digression in the 13:34 post short? GRIN

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  1:46:25 PM
I can't help hoping for a decent retracement, Jonathan. If there's going to be a fall continuation of the summer rally, I want to participate just like everyone else. It's more fun to trade bullish, especially with the CNBC voices hitting excited rhythms in the background, ducks winging by overhead, and the fall sunslight slanting softly through the windows . . . However, I just don't feel comfortable at this level, with the VIX at its current level, and without that retracement to test support.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  1:41:09 PM
It's the time of day when we often see a big push either to test next resistance or next support, so be careful. It's the outcome of that test that usually tells us something about afternoon direction.

 
 
  Mark Phillips   9/3/2003,  1:40:01 PM
Mistakes We all hate them, whether they are of our own creation or if made by another. This time, I'm the culprit, as one of my readers pointed out this morning. The new OI Call writeup on GS has incorrect option symbols listed. We'll get the problem corrected this afternoon, but for those of you looking to enter the trade, here are the correct symbols.

September 90 Call = GS-IR

September 95 Call = GS-IS

October 90 Call = GS-JR

October 95 Call = GS-JS

 
 
  Jane Fox   9/3/2003,  1:37:36 PM
Mark I think someone referred to this as a lovefest. Maybe what you are seeing is a Sea of Love.

 
 
  Mark Phillips   9/3/2003,  1:34:14 PM
ESRX $61.85 (-2.89) In the sea of green on my screen (I feel like Dr. Seuss), ESRX is a standout loser, having lost nearly 4.5% on the day after once again reversing from the $65 resistance level yesterday. We knew that level was going to be pivotal, but to be honest we really didn't know if resistance would hold or ESRX would follow the rest of the market higher and breakout. Today we seem to be getting that answer, with the stock falling sharply on strong volume (already 50% above the ADV). It is good to see price falling back under the 10-dma and 20-dma, but the real test will come near $61.25. A break below that level would bring the pattern of higher lows over the past month to an end and have us feeling more confident about the downside potential that we initially laid out a week and a half ago. Below $61.25, look for next support at $60 (the early August low) and then the 200-dma ($58.63).

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  1:21:56 PM
The 1:00 PM ET update is posted. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  1:20:31 PM
A new high on the OEX: There's no confirmation of the potential double-top pattern (and so no short-term weakness).

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  1:20:17 PM
Amgen - AMGN - AMGN has been appearing on the OI watch list for days now. We've patiently been waiting to see if the $65 level will hold as support (bounced twice so far) or will it breakdown into some more serious profit taking from its nearly non-stop run over the last 12 months. Thus far it appears that AMGN has fallen prey to the same trend of lower highs that affected the BTK index. No play yet but we could get a move soon.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  1:07:05 PM
The OEX is none too anxious to confirm that potential double top formation and instead prefers to retest the day's high. On the 30-minute chart, CCI continues down (but it did yesterday, too), MACD lines touch (but they did yesterday, too), and RSI flattens. The 30-minute pattern now is a rectangular one at the top of the day's rise. Could this be a "p" accumulation pattern? It could be, but the 30-minute oscillators aren't hinting at that possibility. In a strongly trending market, though, a downturn in the oscillators can signal nothing more than consolidation, and the 30-minute ADX now measures a hefty 49.60, showing that this is indeed a strongly trending market. (Did we need ADX to tell us that?) I'm still cautious, however, willing to miss out if this afternoon's push is to the upside as has been usual lately. I'd feel a lot better about bullish plays if we'd get any kind of pullback to test support first, but this is like flying the high wire with no net underneath. Come on, dip buyers, let the markets retrace and test that support so we'll all feel more comfortable!

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  12:52:31 PM
Dow Industrial Components - Leading the Industrials higher is none other than Microsoft (MSFT), +3.3%. Falling behind Mr. Softee is General Electric (GE) who was upgraded today by JPM from "under weight" to "neutral". GE is up 2.3%. Additional winners are: SBC +2.3%, BA +2.25%.

Nine of the 30 components are in the red this afternoon. Leading the losers are: Caterpillar (CAT) -1.5%, Intl Paper (IP) -1.39%, Alcoa Inc (AA) -1.25% and Intel (INTC) -1.07%.

Don't forget that Intel has its mid-quarter update tomorrow.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  12:48:24 PM
eBay Inc - EBAY - Shares of auction giant, EBAY are seeing some post-split depression. The stock is down nearly 4 percent and have fallen below support at $54 and its simple 50-dma. I would look for potential support at $50.00, but the technicals are bearish.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  12:45:59 PM
Sony Corp - SNE - Shares of SNE have completed the bounce from $30 to $35 but now they are trying to breakout above the $35 level and its simple 200-dma. This could be one to keep an eye on.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  12:41:49 PM
It's not just shares of CSCO pushing the NWX higher, but shares of Nortel Networks (NT) are also up strongly on the session. Nortel has signed a $1 billion multi-year deal with Verizon Wirless (Can you hear me now?). Investors are cheering the deal with an 8 percent gain for NT.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  12:40:53 PM
This is very premature, but the OEX now presents the possibility of a double top. If the OEX declines below 513, it confirms that double top on the five-minute chart, with a minimum downside of about 511, which would bring the OEX back near yesterday's highs. However, bearish targets haven't been met lately. I mention this one only so that we can watch to see whether the pattern confirms (first sign of short-term weakness) and then whether the downside target is met (second sign).

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  12:28:39 PM
We finally got the move up to test the high after the OEX break of the bull flag, with that move occurring on the second five-minute candle rather than the first. Not a big difference, as it turns out.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  12:17:40 PM
There's been a sort of sideways rather than upside break of the latest five-minute OEX bull flag, but this time, there hasn't been an accompanying rush up to test the previous high. That may change soon, but in previous breaks, it usually occurred within the first five-minute candle outside the bull flag. The OEX now builds its second candle since the sideways break. Perhaps that's just due to the lunchtime lull changing the trading patterns, however, and it's dangerous to make too many assumptions too soon, especially based on a five-minute chart.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  12:05:28 PM
However, the bullish appearance I showed on the five-minute OEX chart could be balanced by this 30-minute chart, showing how the 30-minute candles have climbed this upper envelope line, confirming how extended the market is on a 30-minute basis. Link Also confirming that impression are the potential reversal signals offered by the 30-minute candles, with a large white candle matched by a large red candle, with those two candles followed by a doji. The danger is that the OEX will drop away to move back to the 21-pma, at 508.29, or even to the bottom of the envelope, at 501.43 currently. The bottom of the envelope now corresponds more closely with the 100-pma, a key average, with that average now at 502.48. The OEX traveled further away from that average than it tends to do, also seconding the impression that the OEX gains are overextended.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  12:02:30 PM
Remember the first part of this year, as the markets melted into the March lows? I was thinking, "so much for the theory that the third year of a President's term ahead of an election year was always up."

Looks like that historical trend could be proven true again. Of course as Jon points out, it has not happened by accident. Just four more months to go and everyone's expectations are pretty high for the fourth quarter.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  11:58:46 AM
The OEX hit the bottom support of the potential bull flag on the five-minute chart, depicted in my 11:45 post, and moved up right on schedule. While there's not yet been an upside break of the potential bull flag, there's also not yet been any change in the recent pattern by a sustained downside break, either. The next expectation is for an upside breakout and a retest of the day's high, and we can measure short-term bullish or bearish sentiment by how well this expectation is fulfilled.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:54:16 AM
What could make an observant bull worry are the exceptional gains in these major market sector indices. These are outstanding. If the sector indices are up this much, how far have some of their components run?

Furthermore, this is a lot of "profit" to be taken if the markets do ever see profit taking again!

Check these out:
- Dow Jones Transports, up 41.5% off its March lows.
- DDX disk drive index, up 100% off its Feb. lows.
- GHA hardware index, up 56% off its March lows.
- GSO software index, up 45% off its April lows.
- INX Internet index, up 70% off its March lows.
- SOX semis index, up 73% off its February lows.
- BKX banking index, up 34% off its March low.
- XBD broker/dealer index, up 79% from its March low.
- XNG natural gas index, up 71% from Oct. 2002 low.
- DFI defense index, up 46.6% from March low.
- RLX retail index, up 50% from its March low.
The big winner:
- XAL airlines index, up 138% from its March low.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:47:21 AM
Jane, yes, I made a note about JBLU yesterday. It looks like the stock has doubled since its 3-for-2 split last December and could be due for another one if management has enough authorized shares. I certainly don't feel like chasing it but a pull back to the 21 or 30-dma might be tempting (assuming it bounces there).

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  11:45:40 AM
Is this another bull flag forming on the five-minute OEX candles? Experience lately would predict that's what it is, but when one of these finally breaks to the downside and stays broken to the downside, we might begin to see a pattern change: Link

 
 
  Jane Fox   9/3/2003,  11:43:37 AM
James, yesterday you made a note of JetBlue Airlines (JBLU). Did you see it is up $2.00 today?

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:37:52 AM
Yesterday I brought up the specter of analyst downgrades on valuation concerns and we're starting to see some of that today. After watching Jaws again over the Labor Day weekend, I can just picture in my mind a school of analysts just waiting for the opportune time to announce a valuation downgrade the day after I go long something. I bet no one has ever had that happen to them.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  11:35:16 AM
The OEX has just retraced a little more than 38.2% of the day's range, a normal retracement level on a pullback, and then began inching up again. Volume patterns remain bullish, and not excessively so, so they're also sustainable. However, I look at the OEX candles perched on top of the 30-minute 1.35% envelope and still would not want to buy this dip, even though dip-buying during the trading day has been a profitable endeavor lately. I'm just too much of a coward, I guess, or have too good of a memory of other times when all the good feelings suddenly imploded, bringing the markets down with them. I need to see that pullback to broken resistance first.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:33:01 AM
Don't give in Jon. Keep that fur coat on. Winter is coming! *grin* The rally is great but I'm growing concerned to. Everything is looking so extended. It is tough to throw new money at these stocks that are so overbought. The Russell 2000 is up nearly 50 percent from its March lows and is approaching old highs between 515-520.

Granted there are probably plenty of investors just waiting for a dip so they can ride the momentum train as well.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:26:09 AM
Airlines Make It Two In a Row - The XAL airline index trying to make it two in a row. Yesterday it was the leading market winner and today it's up another 4.9%. Fueling the move are positive comments from Merrill Lynch (MER) on shares of AMR (American Airlines). MER believes that the current quarter could be a lot better than expected and raised their earnings estimates for the airliner. Shares of AMR are up more than 13 percent and many of its rivals are up 5 percent or more.

I suspect this sector could be hit with some profit taking after these two big days of gains, especially as we approach the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  11:18:53 AM
The 11:00 AM update is posted. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  11:10:53 AM
Here's the bullish case on the OEX: Link It features a breakout over resistance, confirming the recent pattern as a bull flag, a MACD that's turning up just above zero, RSI that's full-out bullish, and stochs that turned up again as they were midway through a down cycle. As I mentioned in the Monitor yesterday, I even entered a personal and somewhat risky bullish OEX play Friday afternoon and carried it over the long weekend, taking my profit ahead of the ISM numbers yesterday morning, so it's not that I'm unwilling or never play the bullish side. However, this just makes me nervous until I see a pullback and retest of the broken resistance, to see if it holds, particularly with seasonal patterns and that low VIX to consider.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  11:04:05 AM
The OEX hit 515. If we had entered a short OEX Swing Trade based on yesterday afternoon's first touch of the 1.35% envelope (at 511) with a four-point stop, we'd have been stopped out at the trade over 515. I note that 30-minute CCI has been turning down again since this morning's opening, but neither MACD nor RSI did, although RSI may be flattening some now. So far, MACD, although not my favorite indicator, appears to be working better although it, too, gave a false signal yesterday afternoon.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  10:54:41 AM
Good thing I don't count my candle patterns before the hatch, because the current OEX 30-minute candle has reformed itself into a bullish candle springing up from support.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  10:37:35 AM
The last OEX thirty-minute candle offered a potential reversal signal, a small candle body with a long upper shadow--an inverted umbrella. Although the current 30-minute candle has only just begun forming, it's presenting the possibility of completing the third of a three-candle formation familiar to some as an evening-star formation. I don't count my candle formations before they hatch, but this, coupled with the extreme overextension of the OEX away from its 30-minute 100-pma would make me cautious on the bullish side. Current volume patterns would not, however. They're bullish, without being so extravagantly bullish as to be unsustainable. Volume is light, however.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  10:13:08 AM
The OEX moved almost 13 points above its 30-minute 100-pma this morning. It doesn't usually move so far away from that moving average. Although it has moved 10 or 11 points from that moving average a couple of times over the last months, the closest approach I can find to this distance between the OEX and its 30-minute 100-pma came on July 1, when the OEX traded a low of 484.41, 12.15 points below its 100-pma at 496.56. That time, the OEX rebounded as if it had been flung out of a slingshot, moving through its 100-pma and eventually touching the top of the 1.35% envelope band again. That's no guarantee that it will be flung back through that 100-pma this time, but there's some danger for bulls.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  9:59:22 AM
Yesterday, I mentioned that I was watching several parameters in real-time trading conditions, preliminary to using them to establish OEX Swing Trades. As I also mentioned yesterday, late in the afternoon, the OEX touched the top of the 1.35% envelope surrounding a central 18-pma and 21-pma, two central averages I'm watching, on both the 30-minute and 60-minute charts. It hit that upper envelope level earlier on the 60-minute chart, and a short play would long since have been stopped out if it had been based on the touch of the envelope on the 60-minute chart. With a touch of the envelope on the 30-minute chart at OEX 511 and a four-point stop, the play would still be open. No one would be breathing, but it would still be open. One problem in backtesting is finding the best way to eliminate entries when the OEX might be most likely to climb the envelope band rather than retreat or bounce from it.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  9:47:56 AM
Gap support held at the top of the OEX gap, as bulls might hope. The OEX now achieves a new day's high and a new year's high.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:47:10 AM
Gold Futures - As Jon noted in the FuturesMonitor, December Gold futures are slipping again after what looks like a failed rally at $380 yesterday. Currently, Gold is down 70 cents to $373.60 but it looks like there is minor support at $370. The XAU gold & silver index may have been divining the future when it peaked on Friday (a day before gold itself did). Currently, the XAU is down fractionally under the 90 mark.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  9:42:19 AM
The OEX does not hold the 50% retracement of the first five-minute range, and now heads down to test the gap. Bulls want to see it hold gap support from the top of the gap or perhaps from the middle. Bears want to see the OEX move below the middle of this morning's gap.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:41:52 AM
Networkers surge - A gap up in shares of CSCO (+2.8%) is driving the NWX.X networking index higher (+2.4%). The GSO software index is the next best sector, up 1.76%.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:38:52 AM
SOX - The Semiconductor index is still coming up short. It's the only technology sector index currently not in the green.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  9:36:16 AM
The 50% retracement of the first five-minute OEX range lies at 512.28. The OEX now tests that level. Bulls do not want to see the OEX remain below this level in early trading, while bears want the opposite.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  9:33:38 AM
The OEX gaps up this morning. We'll first watch that gap zone, from yesterday's close at 510.97 to this morning's open at 511.69. Bulls will want to see only a minimal retest of that gap, while bears will want to see the gap closed. As soon as the first five-minute candle is completed, we'll look at that, too. So far, it looks as if it may be large enough that we can watch retracement levels of that first five-minute span as a benchmark in early trading. Note that the OEX exceeded the June 17 512.67 high this morning.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:30:15 AM
Electronic Arts - ERTS - Current OI call play, ERTS, has just been downgraded by Wedbush Morgan (I know, you're thinking who?). The analyst is citing valuation concerns. I doubt this will affect the stock unless a big shareholder is looking for a reason to sell.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:27:30 AM
Chiron Corp - CHIR - We almost added CHIR, a biotech/drug stock, to the OI call list yesterday. Shares had broken out above the $48-49 level of resistance in late August and retested it as support on a recent dip. Now the stock is making new relative highs and the weekly chart show next major resistance near $56-57.

Now that the BTK has broken out above its descending trendline and USB has upgraded CHIR to "out perform" this morning we would be looking for more strength from CHIR.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:24:01 AM
For our California readers, evidently Schwarzenegger has chosen to make another speech and skip the recall debate. (-AP)

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:21:51 AM
Coach - COH - We recently added COH to the OptionInvestor watch list based on its strength and the upcoming holiday sales season. Looks like COH is getting an early start. This morning the company has raised its first quarter earnings guidance above its previous target and consensus estimates.

Wall Street is looking for 34 cents and COH is now expecting 36 cents a share (which will need to be adjusted for its up coming 2-for-1 split effective near Oct. 1st). COH will be addressing investors at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference in New York later today.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:16:37 AM
Goldman Sachs & Bear Stearns - Prudential may not like shares of MWD but it raised its earnings estimates for GS and BSC. Goldman Sachs is a new call play on OI.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:13:32 AM
Office Depot - ODP - And it starts! ODP issues a Q3 profit warning. Consensus estimates had been for 30 cents a share. ODP is now thinking they could be a couple of cents shy. The company said that its N. American same-store sales will probably come in "slightly negative to neutral" while exchange rates will make profits tougher in Europe (Reuters). The company also said that technology sales were mostly lower due to a lower average selling price.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:09:11 AM
Morgan Stanley - MWD - The brokerage stocks have been very strong lately but Prudential (PRU) has decided to downgrade MWD to a "hold" based on valuation issues.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  9:05:54 AM
More upgrades - Oracle (ORCL) has been upgraded to "out perform" by Wachovia. This is on top of yesterday's upgrade by Thomas Weisel.

 
 
  James Brown   9/3/2003,  8:58:45 AM
The 09:00 AM ET intraday is posted. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   9/3/2003,  6:44:55 AM
Good morning. The Nikkei opened up more than 100 points in Wednesday's trading and moved up about 23 more points soon after the open. Exporters and especially computer-related exporters led the index higher in early trading. After trying to steady for the first forty-five minutes of trading, the Nikkei plunged through the rest of the morning session and the early part of the afternoon session, eventually trading about 70 points in the red. It recovered some of the lost ground in the early afternoon, closing up 25.61 points or 0.24%, at 10,715.69. Banks gained as Nomura Securities raised its rating for the Japanese banks from neutral to bullish. The firm cited both improving economic conditions and government strictures that will tighten requirements on banks. In addition, Goldman Sachs added two Japanese financials, UFJ Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, to its "Current Investment List." The telecom sector declined.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses were mixed. The Taiwan Weighted dropped 0.75%, and South Korea's Kospi was flat, down 0.02%. Singapore's Straits Times climbed 0.54%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.48% in its first full day of trading since closing early yesterday because of a typhoon. China's Shanghai Composite closed up 0.09%.

Most European bourses currently add to their gains, with one article's title reading "Europe rallies to 12-mo high." CNBC Europe just released the U.K.'s CBI Sales Index for September, showing that the number had climbed to +28 from August's +24. Morgan Stanley issued upgrades to IT group Cap Gemini and software maker and Oracle competitor SAP. Vivendi gained after yesterday's announcement that it would give GE's NBC exclusive negotiating rights for its U.S. entertainment assets. Dutch Airliner KLM announced an increase in passenger load by 0.8 percentage points, with that load increase apparently coming as the airline trimmed its capacity by 2% as its passenger traffic decreased 1%. KLM gained, perhaps due to an increase in business class traffic and cargo traffic.

As of this writing, the FTSE 100 has gained 63.60 points or 1.51%, and trades at 4268.00. The CAC 40 has gained 63.87 points, to trade at 3427.80; and the DAX has gained 72.96 points, to trade at 3640.16.

 
 
  OI Technical Staff   9/2/2003,  8:02:09 PM
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