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  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  5:25:26 PM
Express Scripts (ESRX) $65.51 +0.13% ... Robert Willoughby from Banc of America Securities (fundamental/ industry analyst) mentioned ESRX as benefiting from recent Medicare Drug Bill.

See technicals in today's 01:00 PM EST Update Link

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  4:23:38 PM
Closing Internals at this Link

QQQ, which closes at 04:15 PM EST finished at $35.84 +0.75%, or +$0.27.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  4:05:51 PM
Many of you won't be signing on tomorrow for our shortened day. For those of you celebrating the holiday, have a safe and happy time with family and friends. For those of you for whom this is not a holiday, use the down time to rejuvenate and think about your strategies for next year.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:53:48 PM
Reader B.R. points out the doji on GM today with the long upper shadow. Scanning the news reports, I notice yesterday's announcement that automakers may be forced to raise the gas mileage on SUV's and trucks. GS came out today and reiterated its buy rating.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:51:07 PM
Ciena (CIEN) $6.05 +0.16% ... has tracked the Networking Index (NWX.X) 246.15 +0.21% percentage for percentage all day long. Neither going anwhere too fast into the close.

Santa isn't due for another day though.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:48:48 PM
RIMM $69.55 +50.7% ... not quite at BLUE #6. 9-minutes left to get there.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:46:50 PM
QQQ $35.97 +1.09% ... just off session high of $36.02.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:42:23 PM
In my 13:45 post, I speculated that I wouldn't be surprised to see another OEX push toward 544-546 this afternoon. That's turning out to be more accurate than my hesitant prediction that the Dow might close in the red today. It's going to be close on the Dow, but once it broke above that descending trendline, I thought all bets should be off about any negative close.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:33:34 PM
Will we see another doji on the OEX today, this one on top of an extended climb? It's possible. As we saw on Friday and again on 12/15 when we saw a shooting star or inverted umbrella, potential reversal signals don't always result in a reversal, so we can't be counting our reversals before they happen. Yesterday about this time, the doji that we were seeing broadened into a more bullish candle as the OEX climbed into the close and that may be happening today, too. If we do see yet-another doji, I think it's telling us what we already know, that markets are extended on a short-term basis.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:28:45 PM
Amazon.com (AMZN) $52.20 +4.61% Link ... Had been monitoring AMZN for a short, but wanted to be careful of that trade at $47, which might have been a trap. With eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) $63.61 +1.49% setting an all-time high today, must be careful that AMZN doesn't end up being a short-squeeze.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:23:07 PM
The SOX did attempt an upside breakout from its possible bull flag, but it hasn't been able to make much headway since doing so. Rather than a burst of buying after the breakout, it was met with hesitation, but that's because it's also dealing with round-number resistance at 500 and gap resistance at 502. It has a hard fight against it to rise above those levels.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:22:13 PM
QQQ $35.88 +0.89% ... I should note that QQQ has been either side of its upward trend from March lows (trending higher at $35.90) in today's trade.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:18:51 PM
Ciena (CIEN) $6.05 +0.16% ... inching higher. BLUE #1 ahead at $6.07. Earlier this morning, CIEN jumped to BLUE #3 of $6.15.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:16:57 PM
Darden Restaurants (DRI) $20.79 +1.96% .... nice move from DRI today. Near-term resistance at $21.00. Want to keep monitoring bullish positions and market's reaction to the stock after recent mixed guidance from DRI about future. See if MARKET doesn't know something DRI management not aware of.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:13:55 PM
The Dow now tests that descending trendline off the 10:20 high from this morning. If it makes it through that trendline on a five-minute closing basis, then all bets are off about whether it will close positive or negative (in reference to my 14:59 post). The advdec line continues to improve.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:10:32 PM
Dow Industrials (INDU) 10,319 -0.18% ... off afternoon low of 10,296.15, which did undercut its DAILY Pivot of 10,310.42 by more than 10-points, but has started to bid as bond market closed at 03:00 PM EST.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  3:08:43 PM
As a reminder, the stock markets will close at 1:00 EST on Wednesday and Friday, and be closed all day on Thursday, December 25. The bond market association recommends an early close both tomorrow and Friday, at 2:00 EST, and a close for the entire day on Thursday, December 25.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  3:07:42 PM
03:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  2:59:37 PM
In reference to Jonathan's 14:42 post (perhaps on the Futures side of the Monitor), I'm studying a descending trendline near 10,327.00, so would expect some resistance at that level. Some slight resistance is also beginning to gather near 10,320 on the Keltner channels, so that might add to the trendline resistance. As long as the advdec line keeps falling, I wouldn't think it likely the Dow could climb above that resistance, but the caveats are that "likely" doesn't count in a low-volume environment and the advdec line does appear to be improving on a very short-term basis.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:57:26 PM
Day trade long alert .... CIEN $6.03 -0.16%, at market, stop $5.98, target $6.12.

Swing trade longs can play using the "inside day" technique, where stop would initially go under yesterday's low of $5.95. Here I would target $6.45.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:52:09 PM
Research in Motion (RIMM) intra-day chart shown on 10-minute intervals with volume turned on. Link

Trader question.... would be a great stock for Market Monitor today, other than just look at link or fun to watch shorts cover...as stock keeps moving... explain/educate why the stock is moving up to no limits, what causes this momentum we have not seen since the l999/2000--march.. is the stock price justified for such a run, are there possibilities for a pullback what is the pattern if it does happen, mention that there were five upgrades although Morgan is skeptical, this is news...your opinions...

What is the same today as 1999-2000? I think positive news and no overhead supply. Might tie in with INDU/SPX/OEX that we've seen lately.

Multiple broker upgrades? Maybe because they've been wrong the stock for a long time.

Why Morgan skeptical? Maybe because they are short the stock.

I'm probably as shocked as the next trader at today's action, but must admit this was probably a BIG surprise. Still... one must wonder if that's why RIMM has traded so darned bullish.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  2:44:29 PM
It took the TRAN, the Dow Jones Transportation Index, a little while, but it finally achieved a new closing high on 12/18, echoing the new relative closing high seen on its sister index, the Dow, much earlier in December. If I'm remembering Dow theory correctly, the closer together these two confirm new highs or new lows, the more powerful a move. I'm not certain whether this was close enough to be considered "close," but it certainly wasn't within a day or two of the Dow's 12/01 new relative closing high.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:43:42 PM
Sell Prog. Prem. Alert SPX = 1,092.30

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  2:39:45 PM
For most of the day today, the SOX has traded inside the 12/12-12/15 gap. The 30-minute chart formation looks like a classic flagpole rise and then a bull flag decline, but that possible bull flag formation is now getting a bit long in the tooth, it seems. The SOX needs to find the strength to break above the top of that gap, near 502.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  2:24:05 PM
The OEX sits on the rising trendline off the 12/10 low. It's also testing the 30-minute 21-pma, with the 60-minute 21-pma just below that at 540.82, near that support we identified on the weekly chart.

The advdec line had been improving, but declined again and reached a new low for the day.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:20:19 PM
RIMM $67.04 +45% ... session high. Fun/interesting to watch shorts come in to cover on the new high above $66.73.

While a compelling risk/reward trade, it just appears that intra-day bears are being smart, trying to get the top, but stopping out with each new high.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:15:54 PM
02:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:07:18 PM
Correction of sell program alert... My charts have been weird today, and not just getting an alert from earlier this morning. I looked at $PREM chart, and only see the one prem level today.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  2:00:05 PM
S&P 500 (SPX.X) here's intra-day chart (yesterday too) of SPX. Link

Is Jim Brown's early departure not unlike other "sell side" now heading for the exits for extended vacation? We will see.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  1:47:35 PM
QQQ $35.89 +0.92% .... never sure, but that SURGE in RIMM may have had the QQQ being today's bullish hedge for what RIMM has done.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  1:46:10 PM
INDU/SPX/OEX ... 5-minute bar charts look almost IDENTICAL to what they did at this time yesterday. I had an intra-day alert set at SPX 1,095.00, which was a late-monring level of support, that was breifly violated (just like yesterday) and when SPX came back above, stocks built gains to the close.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  1:45:58 PM
The Keltner band resistance on the OEX 5-minute chart has now spread out, not gathering quite so thickly in one spot. When this happens, the OEX can sometimes move through that resistance more easily. The advdec line has been improving, too, over the last thirty minutes. We're right in the stop-running time of day, so I hesitate to draw too many conclusions, but I wouldn't be surprised at another push toward 544-546, or maybe even 547-548.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  1:38:58 PM
Since I mentioned the performance of the European markets, saying that some had reached closing highs not seen since August, 2002, one reader would like to know how the European bourses performed after those August, 2002 levels were hit. Specifically the reader wanted to know what I'm suggesting in the information I posted and how that might relate to short-term performance.

I'm really not suggesting anything other than that many global bourses are seeing new relative highs, confirming each others' strength, but that many are also equally overstretched right now. The FTSE 100's performance exemplified many of the other bourses, so let's concentrate on that one. Link It was hitting a swing high in August 2003, moving up from the disastrous July performance. The FTSE clung to the 4400 level over a period of a week to two weeks and then declined, ultimately hitting the March 2003 low that made the July 2002 decline look mild by comparison. Are there any differences between what was happening then and what is happening now? Should we expect the same reaction?

One obvious difference is the relationship of the FTSE to its 200-dma, with that important moving average now crossing just below the historical S/R zone near 4200, as depicted by a blue horizontal line on the chart. The FTSE could presumably find support from its 200-dma and from the historical support that's since been established near 4200-4250.

As with many indices, we see the MACD divergence that's been showing up on the daily charts, with MACD showing a trend of lower highs since about May while the FTSE has been making higher highs. So, what can we say about the FTSE? Like the other indices across the globe, it's been making strong gains, but is probably due for a pullback. It's the depth of that pullback that's going to tell us how much of that strength is real, but investors would look for support at 4200-4250. If that doesn't hold, then it's something more than a mere pullback.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  1:15:28 PM
01:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  1:12:49 PM
The OEX is back just above a descending trendline that has held since December 10. That trendline crosses at about 541.60, so further declines will soon see the OEX hit that trendline. Bears might be watchful for a bounce from that trendline while bulls might be watchful for a fall through it.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  1:09:26 PM
The advdec ratio continues to decline, not a sign of strength, but low volume during the lunchtime lull must be credited with some of that decline.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  1:04:36 PM
1:02pm U.S. 2-YEAR NOTES AUCTIONED AT YIELD OF 1.950%

Bid to cover ratio was 2.15. That to AB for pointing out that this was likely the destination of at least part of Al Green's repo money today.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  1:02:25 PM
Today, the FTSE 100 closed up 16.90 points or 0.38%, at 4440.90. If I'm studying the chart correctly, the last time the FTSE closed at this level was in August, 2002. The CAC closed up 4.03 points or 0.12%, inching over 3500, to 3500.09. The DAX is up 26.40 points or 0.68%, to 3903.34. The last time the DAX closed over 3900 was also in August, 2002.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  12:52:33 PM
Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Parmalat Finanziaria SpA, Italy's biggest food company, is unable to document about 9 billion euros ($11 billion) of funds listed in its accounts, said people familiar with the investigation into the company's finances.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  12:47:10 PM
The BIX appears to be dropping more quickly than the other indices I've been watching over the last few minutes, but it's headed down toward Keltner and historical support just above 337.50.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  12:33:04 PM
It looks to me as if the OEX might try to steady here or a bit lower, near 542.68, but resistance is now gathering rather thickly between 543-543.50, so I would expect a rollover again. I don't expect a huge downside, but those Keltner channels do need to realign themselves in a state of equilibrium. By this afternoon, that gathering resistance will either have thinned out somewhat or maybe gathered at a different place, but this is what's showing up on the very short term.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  12:17:16 PM
Keltner resistance gathers between OEX 543.40-543.48. The short-term channel is angling back down inside the longer-term channel after having broken out this morning. Usually that's a sign that it's trying to return to a state of equilibrium, with the short- and intermediate-term channels moving back toward the middle of the longer-term channel, now at 541.37.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  12:06:36 PM
One problem using the subtraction method of comparing advancing and declining issues, however, lies in the fact that as volume decreases, that advdec line is going to decrease, too, although the advancers and decliners might actually stay in the same proportion to each other. For that reason, I prefer to watch adv/dec ratios, but I can find that information only on a delayed basis.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  12:04:53 PM
12:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  12:04:46 PM
The advdec line is still strongly positive, but it's been moving down since about 10:15. It's reaching a new five-minute low while prices on the indices are not.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  11:47:29 AM
The OEX is turning down beneath the Keltner resistance showing up near 543.27-35. Support is spread out rather thinly, but occurs at 542.94 and 542.45, with that level roughly coinciding with support from the violated ascending trendline the OEX broke through this morning. I'm not convinced that any of these numbers have particular significance, however, and am still working under the thesis that we're going to see choppy trading from here until the early part of January.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  11:38:30 AM
Research in Motion (RIMM) $65.68 +42% Link ... Now that's what it looks like to be wrapped in a wet pig's skin.

Any guesses on what short interest is/was?

Also wonder how many Clark Griswald bears there were that tried shorting the open?

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  11:35:59 AM
Vertical Count and targets .... Jeff, tks for the profile on esrx. Could you tell me how you target 85 and then determine the vert count of 93 please?

Thought I understood the vc computations, but I can't seem to get this one. By way of info, the stockcharts.com "price objective" that they compute is 92, which sounds good.

tks very much

Good question. Just because a stock has a bullish vertical count of $93, doesn't necessarily mean that has to be a trader's target. After all, vertical counts (bullish or bearish) may not be achieved. I set the bullish target at $85, as I think it is achievable, ties in with retracement technique. Remember that the bullish vertical count should be mainly used for assessing longer-term risk/reward for the trade.

For ESRX, current risk to a sell signal ($61) is $5, while reward from $66 to the bullish vertical count of $93 is $27. For an August $70 call buyer, your risk is whatever you buy the option for.

If ESRX trades $85, or $93, the question is.... "is it worth the risk?"

As for StockCharts.com's calculation of vertical counts, I would hesitate to rely on their calculated bullish vertical counts, as discussed in a prior Ask the Analyst column at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  11:32:35 AM
Why consider a spread rather than just trading a put or a call? After all, trading spreads requires double the commissions, and selling an option requires that you set aside funds for maintenance. Risks are limited, but so are gains.

Some people like the idea of establishing a spread so that time value decay actually benefits them rather than works against them. With a spread, it's possible to be slightly wrong and still profit or to have an underlying not move at all and still profit. As we saw last opex cycle, it's possible to be really wrong, but suffer only a small loss.

As always, though, I caution you to read and understand any tactic that you're considering employing. I can't explain all there is to explain about spreads in the MM, and I've already admitted that I haven't used spreads in this manner before, so it's as new to me as it is to you. I've used them as Mike Parnos uses them, setting them up and letting them stay set up unless some adjustment is needed.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  11:25:55 AM
In addition to believing that 560 might be difficult for the OEX on an intermediate term, I also believe that OEX 545-550 might be the top of a shorter-term movement, and that the OEX might need to retrace to 535-536 to regroup, so let's look at how we might structure a spread to establish a swing trade that might take advantage of that possibility. In my 11:03 post and a previous post, I mentioned the reason why an OTM bear call credit spread might not be the best idea. Let's set up a couple of other spreads and benchmark them, seeing how they perform over the next couple of days to weeks, watching them as if they were swing trades. Using the same option chain I benchmarked in my 10:48 post, let's imagine that earlier this morning, we had set up an ITM bear call credit spread using the 535/540 calls. The credit would have been 2.70 (sold the 535 for 12.50 and bought the 540 for 9.80). Another possibility would have been to establish a bear put debit spread, and we could have done it several ways: ITM, ATM, OTM. The debits would have been $3.80 for a 545/550 debit spread, $2.60 for a 540/545 debit spread, $2.20 for a 535/540 debit spread.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  11:13:40 AM
eBay (EBAY) $63.69 +1.61% .... Upside alert here at all-time high of $63.75.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  11:03:45 AM
I believe that the OEX is going to have difficulty moving above 560 without a significant pullback or hesitation, as 560 represents a 38.2% retracement of the decline. It's just natural to see an underlying rest or retrace ahead of those significant Fib levels. Based on that belief, earlier this morning, I could have established an OTM bear call credit spread for Jan expiration, either a 555/560 or 550/560. Based on the option chain I benchmarked this morning in my 10:48 post, I could have taken in $0.85/contract for the 555/560 bear call credit spread (sold the 555 for 2.70 and bought the 560 for 1.85) or $2.45/contract for the 550/560 bear call credit spread (sold the 550 for 4.30 and bought the 560 for 1.85). The 550/560 assumes greater risk for that greater credit, of course.

This position would likely be a position held until option expiration or close to that time, however. It's possible that the sold call in the 550/560 position would lose value quickly enough on any drop that we could exit that for a credit before opex week, but this wouldn't be a swing trading vehicle.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  11:01:59 AM
11:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  10:48:04 AM
I followed an OEX bear call credit spread through the last two weeks of last month's opex cycle so that readers could see how such a play might transpire. I mentioned that I was actually glad that the OEX moved against the position, so that we could compare the behavior of that position to what we likely would have experienced if we'd guessed just as wrongly but entered a plain put position. Several readers were interested in spreads, but wanted to trade them on a short-term basis. Some mentioned their own experiences or those of their friends, buying OTM options and then selling options against those long positions.

I've typically used spreads as a way to establish a position that doesn't require much tending or active trading. For that reason, my preferred type of spread is an OTM credit spread. Those aren't going to be suitable for the type of trades that readers are asking about, though. They're interested in plays in which a position is established by buying calls and/or puts, and then selling calls and/or puts against those positions at the time one would normally enter a bearish or bullish position, letting time decay and price movement work against the sold position, and then buying it back at the time one would normally exit a bearish or bullish option position. In that case, my preferred vehicle, the OTM credit spread, is not going to be the best vehicle. Deltas are low in OTM options, and the spreads aren't going to widen appreciably until close to expiration. Other possibilities include ITM credit spreads. With a bigger delta, the sold option is going to lose value more quickly as the underlying moves against it. One risk is early assignment, but as long as there's still considerable time premium in a position, that's not going to be a big problem. Especially with the indices, we don't have to worry about early exercise that might occur around the time of dividend payments, for example. Another possibility is a debit spread. Debit spreads tend to widen a bit sooner. There's an outlay of money, of course, in a debit spread, rather than a credit collected. Because I just haven't used spreads to swing trade, but am intrigued by the idea, I thought I'd benchmark the OEX options prices this morning, and we could take a look over the next couple of weeks at how various spreads might have performed. Here's the benchmarking option chain: Link Now we can watch how several different options plays might have transpired for a few weeks, with a goal to deciding which might work best for swing-trading spreads. I'm not opposed to the idea, but think that we ought to understand any tactic well before undertaking it, and I just haven't used spreads in this manner although they're actually one of my favorite options tactics.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:44:53 AM
Eventually it will happen Jonathan, but may need the binoculars if this keeps up.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  10:40:23 AM
Thanks, Jeff. I'm looking forward to seeing some bulls turned into "hambur-jay" within the coming sessions ;-)

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:38:44 AM
Shlumber-jay

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:38:00 AM
Don't worry Jane! ... The wet leather technique was mostly used on men. Those like Clark Griswald, that thought they had just gotten a new coat!

 
 
  Jane Fox   12/23/20,  10:34:21 AM
Linda (10:27 post) I know how it feels!! Unfortunately I must include myself in the bear camp.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:30:37 AM
When I was a kid is used to love to read various westerns. One torture was to wrap a person in wet leather, stake'm out in the hot sun, and let the leather shrink wrap captive. A slooooow, sloooow, slooooow way to wrap up a bear this holiday season! And perhaps squeeze out some bullish gains into the end of the year.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  10:27:10 AM
Jeff, I'm trying to imagine how you would know how it felt to have a wet pig skin wrapped around you in the hot sun. (Grin.)

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:24:11 AM
QQQ $35.92 +0.98% .... No bulls can go long at "the top." But being a bear right now is like having a wet pig skin wrapped around you in the hot sun.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  10:22:52 AM
With some Nasdaq stocks gaining, as Jim mentioned earlier, their earlier pullbacks now begin to look like possible bull flag pullbacks. The SOX, for example, pulled back to its 72-ema and then has risen from that average over the last few days, but the SOX was actually the laggard among some tech-related indices. The software stocks, as represented by the GSO, led the pack, though, not pulling back as deeply and starting its climb earlier. The XTC, the North American Telecoms Index, also has been posting strong gains, not pulling back all the way to the 72-ema before it began its climb.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:21:42 AM
Express Scripts (ESRX) $65.77 +0.53% ... here's bar chart for ESRX, where I've used the retracement technique of anchoring a low, and attaching to bullish vertical count. Link

I've tried to make this chart look as BEARISH as I can.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  10:20:17 AM
I should add, "not extreme readings relative to what we've seen lately." 15.98 VXO is certainly extreme.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  10:19:44 AM
The VXO is down to 15.98, TRINQ .47 and TRIN .82. These are not particularly extreme readings, and following Jim's comments, it's looking very bullish right here.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  10:17:44 AM
The Fed has replaced 5.25B expiring with a whopping 9.25B overnight repo, for a net 4B addition.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  10:15:57 AM
The OEX currently challenges the 544-546 known S/R level.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  10:03:52 AM
Express Scripts (ESRX) $65.51 +0.13% Link .... This stock is on my "buy list" for partial positions here, and round up in position on trade at $67.

Yesterday, ESRX announced it had signed an agreement to acquire capital stock of privately held CuraScript Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy services provider for $335 million. CuraScript is said to have annual revenue run rate and operating income of $425 million and $21 million respectively.

Profiling the ESRX AUG $70 calls (XTQHN) $4.50 x $4.90, targeting $85 before expiration. ESRX's PnF chart is longer-term bullish with a vertical count of $93.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  10:02:06 AM
The first put to call reading of the day is neutral at .76, with the VXO down .01 to 16.19. The TRINQ is at the low end of bullish at .53.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/23/20,  9:59:01 AM
Monthly Mass Layoffs 1,438 compared to 1,532 in November

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  9:51:55 AM
Univ. of Mich. December Sentiment (rev) revised came in at 92.6 from previously reported 89.6 and consensus of 91.0. Revised doesn't get nearly the attention that the preliminary gets.

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/23/20,  9:44:39 AM
I am hearing that Schwab StreetSmart & Cybertrader are currently down

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  9:43:58 AM
Swing trade long alert for the QQQ $35.70 +0.36% at market, stop $35.20, target $36.25. May look to hold this trade until December 31 close.

Those traders with QQQ Feb. $35 or $36 puts will see this as a near-term hedge trade.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  9:40:47 AM
The advdec line is strongly positive this morning, backing up the climb so far.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  9:34:41 AM
During the first five minutes of trading, the OEX saw a range from 542.49 to 541.55, with a midpoint at 542.02. The OEX currently trades above that level, indicating strength in the earliest trading. These first observations help us guide earliest trading, but don't necessarily relate to the rest of the trading day. They may help guide a buy-a-dip entry on a day when earliest trading is weak, for example, but when the OEX actually ends up with a strong performance.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  9:32:22 AM
Yesterday, a further examination of the weekly chart, rather than the monthly one, showed that the OEX did have a S/R zone at 439.90-441.66, with 440.80 looking to be the most important of the numbers within that range. The pullback this morning tested that range before the bounce that's happening now, but we haven't seen the first true reversal of the day yet. Once the OEX pulled over 535-536, however, I had expected a rather quick test of 544-546, the next zone from the monthly chart. It didn't come quite as quickly as I expected, but perhaps we're going to get it this morning.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  9:18:33 AM
The OEX ended the day against resistance implied by a rising trendline, but above support implied by another rising trendline. Link Oscillator evidence proved mixed on the 30-minute chart. I consider it the main job of people and institutions with more money than I have to hold the markets as high as possible until the end of the year, however, so I'm giving less credence to what I see on the charts and more to that belief. I'm tempering that belief with the knowledge that funds and institutions would still have seen great performance this year even if the markets were now allowed to slip back a little. In this kind of trading situation, complicated with light volume, now is the time to set up the great trades you expect to make early next year rather than trading now. I'm looking forward to doing just that. For the benefit of those who like to scalp a few points here and there, I'll also point out what I see developing on the charts, but I'll be tempering any of those observations with the knowledge of what can happen in a light-volume environment. If you want to see what a light-volume environment can do, take a look at RIMM, scrolling across the bottom of the CNBC screen up by more than 10 points or 20% in premarket this morning. I hope you'll also temper my observations with that knowledge of how light-volume environments can exaggerate movements.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/23/20,  9:18:15 AM
09:00 Update posted at this Link

 
 
  Jane Fox   12/23/20,  9:17:06 AM
The NASDAQ and the NYSE are exploring the possibility of a merger of the two marketplaces. NASDAQ was dealt a severe blow by the burst of the Internet bubble nearly four years ago, a blow from which it hasn't fully recovered and has been losing market share to alternative trading sites such as those run by Instinet and Archipelago. The NYSE is also seeing market share slip. For 2003, the exchange's share of trading in its own listed stocks promises to dip below 80% for the first time since the 1970s.

However, a merger of NASDAQ and the NYSE could have far-reaching implications for the way U.S. stocks are traded. Currently, the NYSE relies on a human-based auction model to trade stocks, while NASDAQ stock traders use a system of interconnected computers spread across the nation. A decision on whether to talk further with NASDAQ will be made in part by the Big Board's newly appointed CEO, John A. Thain, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive who is a proponent of the trading model that NASDAQ and its electronic competitors already embrace.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  8:51:56 AM
U.S. NOV. PCE PRICE INDEX FLAT, CORE DOWN 0.1%

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  8:31:57 AM
GDP final for Q3, 8.2% , Personal income for Nov, .6%, Personal spending for Nov .4%.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   12/23/20,  8:12:22 AM
Today's news at 8:30: Chain deflator for Q3, est 1.7%; GDP final for Q3, est 8.2%, Personal income for Nov, est .4%, Personal spending for Nov est .7%. At 9:45 we have the Michigan sentiment data, and no, they STILL haven't called to ask my opinion, est 91.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   12/23/20,  6:44:47 AM
Good morning. The Nikkei was closed for a holiday on Tuesday, but other Asian markets were mixed. The Taiwan Weighted gained 0.18%. South Korean steelmakers gained, at least in early trading, with investors pointing to their good valuations and the recently increased pricing power by some. However, banking and financial stocks dragged the index down. News reports center on a crisis building with KEB Credit Service, facing fund shortages at the year's end. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.33%. Singapore's Straits Times traded flat, down 0.09%. Hong Kong has been a center of IPO fever lately, and Tuesday saw the debut of Fujian Zijin Mining Industry Co., the owner of what is reputed to be China's largest gold mine. The new stock soared in early trading, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost ground anyway, dropping 0.54%. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.51%.

European bourses are mixed this morning, too, but headlines focus on the 12-month highs that some bourses approach in today's trading. This morning, the INSEE statistics agency released November's consumer spending number for France, showing a 2.8% drop from November's number with October's number revised down, too. INSEE and the Bank of France had prepared economists to expect a bad number, however. Producer prices rose 0.1%, the agency also announced. Steelmakers were in the news in Europe, too, with steel group Arcelor making plans with Nippon Steel Corporation and Bao Steel to create an operation to be based in Shanghai. The former CEO and some executives of Italian dairy company Parmalat were named in a fraud probe, with the government making plans to bail out the company.

As of this writing, the FTSE 100 was down 2.90 points or 0.07%, at 4421.10. The CAC 40 was up 3.92 points or 0.11%, at 3499.98. The DAX was up 29.78 points or 0.77%, at 3906.72. Both the FTSE and the CAC had opened higher, while the DAX has been holding steady in a tight range all day.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   12/22/20,  8:42:50 PM
Pivot Matrix for tomorrow at this Link

 
 
  Jim Brown   12/22/20,  8:22:06 PM
2003 Annual Renewal Special

OptionInvestor's TOP 50 Stock Picks for 2004

Reserved yours yet? Click here: Link

 
 
  OI Technical Staff   12/22/20,  8:21:53 PM
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