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Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 04/24/2002

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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter              Wednesday 04-24-2002
                                                  section 1 of 2
Copyright  2001, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment
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In section one:

Market Wrap:      Beige, green and red were the colors of the day
Watch List:       RETK, CHKP, YHOO, PFCB, ITT, OSIP and more!
Play of the Day:  An Alternative Short

-----------------------------------------------------------------
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
        04-24-2002        High      Low     Volume Advance/Decline
DJIA    10030.40 - 58.80 10163.40 10027.70 1355 mln   1507/1645
NASDAQ   1713.30 - 17.00  1746.52  1711.11 1735 mln   1599/1945
S&P 100   541.86 -  3.94   549.98   541.47   totals   3106/3590
S&P 500  1093.14 -  7.82  1108.46  1092.51  
RUS 2000  507.32 -  2.97   514.57   506.76
DJ TRANS 2674.74 - 23.31  2741.91  2674.59
VIX        22.67 +  0.54    23.08    21.39
VXN        40.20 +  0.27    41.08    39.36
Put/Call Ratio      0.78
-----------------------------------------------------------------

===========
Market Wrap
===========

Beige, green and red were the colors of the day

It was seesaw action today with market participants not knowing 
what to do as the market averages whipsawed from green, then to 
red, back to green and then red again into the close.  The 
"culprit of uncertainty" looked to be the Fed's Beige Book survey 
of Federal Reserve Districts.

I won't go into great detail as the Beige Book survey is simply a 
report of various observations (not a finite number) of economic 
activity taking place in different financial districts in the 
U.S.

In brief, the survey showed that signs of economic improvement or 
increases in economic activity were present among the various 
districts since late February, with the sole exception being 
Boston, which described economic activity as mixed.  While the 
overall tone was positive, a few districts expressed 
"qualifications" about the pace of the recovery or strength of 
their regional economies. A link to the Beige Book summary can be 
found at the Federal Reserve website at 
http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/2002/20020424/default.htm

Both the Dow Industrials (INDU) 10,030 -0.58% and the S&P 500 
(SPX.X) 1,093 -0.71 were holding gains 30-minutes after the 
release of the Beige Book report, while the NASDAQ-Composite 
(COMPX) 1,713 -0.97 has edged lower just ahead of the report.  
NASDAQ losses were lead by semiconductors, which had been showing 
some technology leadership in recent weeks, but soon after the 
report was released, the Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) broke 
sharply from the 550 level and lost ground into the close, 
finishing down 3.76% at 534.  For technology bulls, seeing 
weakness in one of the stronger segments of technology became 
disheartening and other groups turned more bearish.

Semiconductor Index Chart - Daily Interval




Yesterday's break of upward trend and inability to rally with 
other sectors in the market earlier in the day, sure has the look 
of determination that semiconductor bulls were and perhaps 
broader technology bulls were going to need a blow out type of 
Beige Book report to bring them to the table.  

We had a bullish play set up with a trigger in shares of Applied 
Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) $24.96 -3.62% just in case there were 
some upside surprises from today's Beige Book report.  For weeks 
we've been looking for an entry point on the stock for a pullback 
and it looks like we're going to get it.

Applied Materials Chart - Daily Interval




Technology bulls have learned that waiting for a pullback and 
then taking some heat into levels of support has been the best 
way to attack a trade.  With the Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) 
breaking firmly below trend, expect some risk management in 
inventories to be underway.  The greater the pullback in AMAT to 
the December-March consolidation range the better the chance to 
find committed longer-term bulls and institutional sponsorship.

With the Beige Book report depicting a still growing economy, but 
perhaps not at the rapid pace of some momentum investors, expect 
technology stocks to get very volatile.  The MARKET hates 
uncertainty and investors are beginning to question just how 
"robust" the economic turnaround is.

Other technical damage taking place

While a stronger group of technology like the Semiconductor Index 
(SOX.X) has fallen below an upward trend and experienced a 3.7% 
decline, one of our "key" economic sectors in the deep cyclicals 
and the Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index (CYC.X) 559 -1% also has 
broken below our upward trend and gives hint of a market's 
willingness to sell.

Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index Chart - Daily Interval




Today's "firmer" break of bullish trend is an alert to weakness 
in the scenario of more robust economic growth.  While it is 
"tempting" to look for bearish opportunities in the group, there 
are undoubtedly some eager bears from lower levels looking for a 
pullback to get back to break even in their trade.

It's my view that if the Cyclical Index (CYC.X) is going back to 
the lows, then yes this group would be a good short.  However, if 
that were to happen (I don't think it will, but won't rule it 
out), then look out for many technology stocks that have lacked 
sponsorship.

Another piece of mentionable "technical damage" came in the Dow 
Industrials (INDU) 10,030 -0.58% with a trade at the 10,050 
level.  On the 50-point box chart of the point and figure chart, 
this was a triple-bottom sell signal and this sell signal came 
below trend.  In essence, on three previous declines, there had 
been enough buyers to prevent a trade at the 10,050 level, but 
today we saw more willing sellers than buyers at that level and 
this too is considered a technical breakdown in the Dow 
Industrials.  

I now have resistance firming at 10,300.  There may be some 
"psychological" support at the 10,000 level, but bulls most 
likely should begin assessing downside risk to the 9,800 level 
near-term.

Seeing rotation into Treasuries

While the Treasury market closed at 03:00 PM EST today (it 
normally closes at that time every day) there was still an hour 
left in trading after the Beige Book numbers were released.  
Bonds saw buying across the maturities and here too we see a 
break of trend (from our regression) in the 10-year YIELD 
($TNX.X).

10-year YIELD Chart ($TNX.X) - Daily Interval




Today's action in the bond market was quite "defensive" looking.  
Note the rather "sharp" decline in YIELD.  This hints to me that 
Treasury bulls are getting more aggressive with their buying in 
the bonds, despite a lower YIELD than found near our "YIELD top" 
of March 21st of 5.452%.  While the difference between 5.45% and 
current YIELD of 5.095% may not seem like that much, imagine 
you're moving several million dollars a day among various 
investments (stocks or bonds).

With the information currently at hand, I will go on record as 
saying I don't think the 10-year YIELD will break below the 
4.854% level (50% retracement).  I think there is enough 
underpinning economic strength to have an unfavorable risk/reward 
trade in bonds versus stocks (not all stocks) at that type of 
YIELD level.

We will deal/monitor with this one day at a time.  Just like we 
always have, but for now this bond action looks more defensive.  
I've "benchmarked" the March 21st date on the YIELD chart.  Use 
it if you will to perhaps understand how this YIELD may have 
impacted securities you're trading, have bought, shorted, etc.

It isn't all bad news!

Bulls and bears that have been with us awhile know that there are 
opportunities to make money from both the bullish and bearish 
side of a trade.

It's interesting to note that the Dow Jones US Home Construction 
Index (DJUSHB) 382.24, gave back just fractions of recent gains.  
All of a sudden, the "higher YIELDS driving mortgage rates 
higher" than may have priced buyers out of the housing market 
have started to come down a bit haven't they? (see 10-year YIELD 
chart above).

A month ago, there was plenty of chatter that the higher YIELDS 
would have an adverse impact on mortgage rates and homebuilders 
would get crushed.  So far this week, homebuilders have been 
reporting some stellar earnings and guiding estimates higher.

True!  A bear will now turn the table and talk about consumer 
confidence and how a "not so robust" economic picture will put a 
damper on consumer confidence and buyers for new homes will dry 
up.

The bull will simply ask, "then explain what the heck happened to 
that scenario over the past two hears?"  

Look, arguing points of economic philosophy can be left for those 
that have a lot of time on their hands.  What you and I need to 
do is stick with our disciplined methods of trading.  Identify 
good action points where we can properly assess risk/reward and 
take it from there.

Let's quickly review this morning's New Home Sales report that 
came in at 878,000, which was below the consensus number of 
884,000.  In an effort to perhaps "clear things up" we must 
understand that the consensus estimates were bumped higher to 
"account" for higher revisions to the February data.

In February (prior report), the New Home Sales numbers were 
reported as 875,000.  However, those numbers showed a higher 
revision (based on more complete data) to 906,000.  Part of the 
reason the homebuilders saw some selling near the opening of 
trading was that the "3.1% decline" was taken from the 906,000 
revised number, not the previously reported 875,000 data.

Who knows.  Next month, "today's" New Home Sales data can be 
revised (up or down).  Again, if you and I are going to trade the 
homebuilders, we simply need to stay disciplined in our trading 
and let the stock tell us what to do.

New Subscribers and those that have been with us!

I get a lot of questions from subscribers regarding our play list 
and why we're doing the things we're doing with stops, targets, 
etc.

Let it be the first priority that YOU do what is right for your 
account.

If you feel a stop of ours (as outlined) is too tight and you 
want to give it more room, then you have the right and the 
priveledge to make the adjustments you feel are warranted.

If you've got a nice gain going in the trade and want to exit the 
position, I STRONGLY advise you to do so!  Hey, I will never tell 
an investor/trader that they shouldn't have taken a profit.  
That's what we're here for.

By golly, that Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) $16.79 +19.4% is 
something else isn't it?  If you would have told me at the 
beginning of the month that I had to pick one stock that might 
just end up representing the biggest gain from profiled entry, 
you'd have had to twist my arm to make the one bet on Amazon.com 
(AMZN).  I can't say that I'm "surprised" that the stock has 
acted well, but 19% gains in a single day are very hard to find, 
especially from a bullish trade under current/recent market 
conditions.  That gain should be protected and any subscriber 
taking partial positions or full positions off the table today 
should be proud that they sucked it up, traded their plan, and 
now have the opportunity to reap the benefit.  Don't let it slip 
away!

You can also bet there are some bears out there in other stocks 
on our play list that have also "sucked it up" and are playing 
the downside of things.

I think we've got some stocks profiled on both the bullish and 
bearish side of things that have some good potential.  A trader 
that will stay disciplined and true to the trading strategy will 
not only survive, but thrive!

AOL earnings

If you thought that earnings from Microsoft (MSFT) $53.02 -1.79% 
last week were "confusing" then you'll most likely find tonight's 
earnings report from AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) $19.30 +0.99% an 
equal.

After the close of trading, AOL reported Q1 earnings (excluding 
charges) of $118 million or $0.18 per share, which was 5-cents 
better than Multex consensus of $0.13.  Q1 revenues came in at 
$9.76 billion versus consensus of $9.5 billion.  AOL said it sees 
"light at the end of the tunnel" and sees Q2 revenue growth in 
mid to signle digits year-over-year, with full year revenue 
growth of 5-8%.

While the numbers were reported concise and clear, many were 
shocked that INCLUDING CHARGES, AOL lost $54.2 billion in the 
first-quarter, the largest quarterly loss reported in U.S. 
history.  AOL said the charges/losses stemmed from expenses in 
the aftermath of the January 2001 merger between America Online 
and Time Warner.

My advice on AOL?  Stay clear.  There are too many other stocks 
to trade or invest in with less uncertainty surrounding the 
stock.  Let things settle down and let the MARKET digest this 
earnings report.  Gamblers only at this point, and 
PremierInvestor.net attempts to avoid "gambling" when risk/reward 
is so difficult to assess.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
PremierInvestor.net


==================================================================
WATCH LIST
==================================================================

The PremierInvestor.net watch list is not designed to be read
as full fledged stock picks.  Rather we would prefer to offer
it as an extra tool in today's investor toolbox.  Think of it
as a radar screen with your own radar operator pointing out
interesting developments, technical patterns or potential plays
that you may or may not have seen on your own.  Due to time
constraints we do glance at the news but rarely do we have 
time to fully read pertinent news stories, due background 
research and other necessary screens that investors should do
before making a decision.  A common exercise is to read the
entry, glance at the sector and other stocks in that industry
and then compare what's happening in the stock to what's 
happening in the broader market indices.  We hope you enjoy
the Watch List and that it proves to be a useful tool for your
own trading success.

STOCKS WORTH WATCHING
---------------------------------


Retek Inc - RETK - close: 21.91 change: -0.16

WHAT TO WATCH: RETK is another software stock that actually 
appears to be showing decent relative strength versus the group 
the last couple of months but now appears to be giving in to the 
sellers.  Shares recently closed under the 50-dma and the 
declines have been coming on rising volume.  We have drawn a 
trendline from the September lows to the February lows and if 
RETK breaks the $20 mark, not only will it break psychological 
support but this trendline as well.  The PnF chart looks bearish 
and shares have just broke bullish support.  Aggressive traders 
could initiate plays here and attempt to capture the $1.90 
between here and the $20 mark.




--- 

Check Point Software - CHKP - close: 18.25 change: +0.05

WHAT TO WATCH: Obviously another software stock and one that is 
no stranger to the watch list.  We've been waiting and watching 
for a move under the $20 level for 2.5 weeks.  Earnings came out 
three days ago and investors rewarded CHKP with anew gap down 
under support.  Today's performance looks like a perfect failed 
rally at the $20 mark on strong volume.  However, given SYMC's 
strong earnings report after the close, traders might get another 
chance to short CHKP closer to the $20 level.  We would target a 
move to $15.00.  




---

Yahoo! Inc - YHOO - close: 14.61 change: +0.44

WHAT TO WATCH:  All the negative talk about ad revenues being 
lower and no improvement in sight (yet) has shares of YHOO 
trading near support at $14.00.  The stock did bounce today but 
we see that as a reaction to the AMZN earnings report, which will 
quickly fade - at least for YHOO it will fade.  A move under 
$13.80 could be a potential trigger to go short the stock (or you 
could consider put options).

---

P.F. Chang's - PFCB - close: 73.90 change: +2.33

WHAT TO WATCH: PFCB, which happens to be a great place to eat, is 
also dishing out tantalizing gains for investors as well.  Shares 
have been on an incredible run from the September lows and the 
recent consolidation sideways above $70 appears over.  The stock 
added 3.25 percent today and with a 2:1 split coming on May 1st, 
it appears the bulls are going to run this one into the split.  
We would target $80 or $40 if you're going to hold over the 
split.  Earnings were today.




--- 

I T T Industries - ITT - close: 68.00 change: +2.40

WHAT TO WATCH: ITT is another stock that is seeing a positive 
response to its earnings report today.  Shares look pretty 
extended but buyers continue to step in and pick up the slack on 
pull backs.  Today's move off the $65 level of support has us 
thinking another leg higher may be in the works.  Shares closed 
near resistance at $68.00 but we wouldn't be surprised to see ITT 
trading near $75 in a couple of weeks.  Use a stop loss!




---

OSI Pharmaceuticals - OSIP - close: 31.47 change: -2.26

WHAT TO WATCH: This drug and biotech stock is trading near new 
52-week lows today.  Shares have been trading lower these last 
four days once word got out that the company had issued a large 
convertible worth four million shares last week.  While we would 
expect potential support at $30, traders can keep an eye on this 
one for shorting opportunities.  Failed rallies at $34 or moves 
under $30 look good.





=============
MORE TO WATCH
=============

McAfee.com - MCAF - close: 18.54 change: +0.20

This is another software stock, and a security one at that, which 
has failed twice at the 200-dma in two months.  We would consider 
shorts with a target of the 50-dma at $16.44 or the $15.00 level.  
However, look to see if shares react positively to SYMC's 
earnings report tonight first.

---

Fastenal Company - FAST - close: 84.54 change: +3.29

If the economy is going to improve, that usually means 
construction and that's good news for FAST.  Shares have been 
very strong these last several months and the company recently 
announced a 2:1 split.  Definitely a stock to watch.

---

Inamed Corp - IMDC - close: 35.75 change: +1.99

IMDC is another stock in the medical equipment and supplies 
sector that is hitting new highs.  What looks impressive for IMDC 
is the recent rally and breakout has been fueled with lots of 
volume indicating real conviction from the buyers.  Shares look 
short-term overbought so look for a pull back.  Earnings are 
expected on April 30th.

---

Andrx Group - ADRX - close: 44.50 change: -0.36

A brief jaunt over resistance at $45 created a double-top p-n-f 
buy signal before ADRX pulled back into the close.  Watch for a 
move over today's high of $46.33 to confirm the breakout.

---

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 58.09 change: +0.36

Shares of APOL closed over resistance at $58.  It could be argued 
that the stock is overbought, but with no overhead supply (APOL 
is at all-time highs), it's anyone's guess where the rally will 
peter out.  The obvious guess is to look for some profit taking 
near $60.

---

General Dynamics - GD - close: 96.00 change: +1.08

GD grabbed our attention today after the stock traded to an all-
time high in intraday trading.  Look for a close over $97 to open 
the door for a test of the $100 resistance level.  The DFX.X is 
also threatening to trade new all-time highs.  You may also want 
to keep an eye on LMT.

--- 

Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 18.64 change: -0.89

RIMM dropped 4.5% today as is trading at near-term lows.  With 
support at $20 out of the way, a move to the next support level 
at $16 is not out of the question.  Look for RIMM to trade below 
$18.50, which would create a double-bottom p-n-f sell signal.


===============
Play-of-the-Day  (Bearish)
===============
(( new play ))

J.P. Morgan - JPM - close: 35.89 change: -0.71 stop: 38.01

Company Description:
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services 
firm with assets of $713 billion and operations in more than 50 
countries. With relationships with over 99% of the Fortune 1000 
companies, the firm is a leader in investment banking, asset 
management, private banking, private equity, custody and 
transaction services, retail and middle market financial 
services, and e-finance. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial 
Average, JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York and serves 
more than 30 million consumer customers and the world's most 
prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. 
(source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
Buying a case of bad news was the order of the day last week when 
shares of JPM rallied higher on their Q1 earnings report.  JPM 
posted an 18 percent drop in Q1 net profits claiming that 
investment losses, lower fees, problem loans and lack of M&A 
activity were to blame.  After all, what does the market expect 
from a company that previously had large exposure to Argentina, a 
huge loss on loans due to the bankrupt Enron and a less than 
inspiring stock market to deflate trading and merger activity.  
The latest news was word from JPM on another round of job cuts, 
this time for the investment banking division.  A senior exec 
claimed that JPM had too many bankers for too few clients.  We're 
beginning to wonder now if JPM might also be sucked into the 
growing storm over brokers and their analysts' recommendations.  
The stock price briefly rose over its 200-dma but in hindsight 
that is likely to be seen as a bull trap.  Shares have fallen 
this week and are back below the 200-dma and today's decline put 
shares below the $36 mark, which should have been support.  We 
glanced at the PnF chart, which has stopped dead at overhead 
bearish resistance.  However, compared to the daily chart, it 
looks like we have a rollover underway.  We do suspect there 
might be potential support at the 50-dma ($33.75) but our target 
price is between $32 and $30.  We will start the play with a stop 
loss at $38.01 and adjust it quickly as we see shares move in our 
favor.

Picked on April 24th at $35.89
Gain since picked:       +0.00
Earnings Date         04/17/02 (confirmed)
 





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This newsletter is a publication dedicated to the education
of stock traders. The newsletter is an information service
only. The information provided herein is not to be construed
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newsletter picks are not to be considered a recommendation
of any stock but an information resource to aid the investor
in making an informed decision regarding trading in stocks. It
is possible at this or some subsequent date, the editors and
staff of PremierInvestor.net may own, buy or sell securities
presented. All investors should consult a qualified professional
before trading in any security. The information provided has
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Copyright  2001  PremierInvestor.net. and
The Premier Investor Network.
Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.



PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                Wednesday 04-24-2002
                                                   section 2 of 2
Copyright  2001, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment
=================================================================
To view this email newsletter in HTML format with imbedded
charts and graphs, click here:
http://www.PremierInvestor.net/htmlemail/d24b_2.asp
=================================================================

In section two:

NetBulls Tech Stocks
  Triggered Bearish:   BRCM
  New Bearish Play:    KRON
  
Active Trader Non-Tech Stocks
  New Bullish Play:   CTEC   
  New Bearish Play:   JPM, MER, V

High Risk/Reward Plays
  Stop Adjustments:    AMZN


Split Trader Stock Splits
  Split Announcement:  
                      RYL:  2-for-1 split announcement
                      IFIN: 2-for-1 split announcement


Trading Ideas
  Value Plays With Bullish Signals
  Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20)
  Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20)
  Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20)
  Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20)


==================================================================
Net Bulls - Tech Stocks (NB) section
==================================================================

NB Triggered Short Play
-----------------------

Broadcom - BRCM - close: 34.01 change: -1.45 stop: 36.76

Continued weakness in the SOX.X helped to push BRCM under both 
support at $35 and our trigger at $34.84.  At this point we 
entered a short play with a stop at $36.76.  Afternoon selling 
exacerbated the decline, and BRCM traded as low as $33.75 before 
rebounding slightly into the close.  If shares rebound tomorrow a 
failed rally at the $35 might offer a fresh opportunity for entry 
points.





============
NB New Plays
============

  ----------------
  New Bearish Play
  ----------------

Kronos Inc. - KRON - close: 39.36 change: -0.84 stop: *text*

Company Description:
Kronos Incorporated is universally recognized as the world's #1 
provider of solutions for frontline labor management. With 
approximately 40,000 customers worldwide, Chelmsford, Mass.-based 
Kronos offers the broadest suite of applications for managing 
employee time and activity data, scheduling the workforce, and 
providing frontline managers with the tools they need to measure 
and improve labor productivity. Kronos applications allow 
organizations of all sizes to automate labor management for their 
entire workforce. (source: company press release)

Why We Like It: 
Kronos is another software stock that has been hammered recently 
with the famine in IT spending.  On April 9th, shares were 
hammered for a 22 percent loss of more than $10 fueled by volume 
greater than 21 times the daily average.  The company warned that 
it would not meet Q2 estimates and that key-decision makers were 
not willing to sign large orders this quarter.  Shares fell to 
support at the $35 level but since the announcement a strong 
rebound has occurred in the stock price.  Unfortunately for the 
bulls, it appears that it was merely an opportunity for the stock 
to fill the gap (sort of).  When shares meet with the previous 
support level near $42, it saw selling pressure and re-
established this level as new overhead resistance.  The stock has 
fallen the last four days in a row, which should not be a 
surprise with the Nasdaq down six days in a row and the GSO.X 
software index hitting new relative lows almost daily.  Despite 
the warning, the company, who announced earnings on Tuesday, 
April 23rd, offered a positive spin for investors.  Q2 net 
profits more than doubled from the year before despite the tough 
economy and revenue rose 18% to $79.6M.  Apparently, Wall Street 
isn't listening as the stock fell another two percent today and 
closed under the $40 level of potential psychological support.  
Management claims to still have a share buyback program still in 
effect but we don't see it holding up the stock price at the 
moment.  We are using a trigger to leg into this play because we 
have noticed a bullish reaction to a number of software stocks 
after the bell in response to SYMC's positive earnings report.  
More aggressive bears can consider shorts on failed rallies to 
$40 or $41 but we are going to wait for KRON to trade at or below 
our trigger of $38.79.  Once we are triggered we'll initiate a 
stop loss at $43.01, which is just above the recent highs.  The 
PnF chart is showing a fresh column of O's for the stock and the 
daily chart is showing KRON back under its 200-dma.  Hence, the 
bears do appear in control and we are going to target the $35 
area first.

Picked on April xth at $xx.xx <- see text 
Gain since picked:      +0.00
Earnings Date        04/23/02 (confirmed)
 





=================================================================
Active Trader/Non-tech Stocks (AT) section
=================================================================

============
AT New Plays
============

  -----------------
  New Bullish Plays
  -----------------

Cholestech Corp - CTEC - close: 19.68 change: +1.19 stop: *text*

Company Description:
Cholestech is committed to enabling all people to lead longer, 
healthier and more active lives. Cholestech's Diagnostic Products 
and WellCheck(TM) business units provide easy to use, accessible 
tools and information to health care practitioners and consumers 
in over 35 countries around the world. Cholestech offers 
efficient and economic diagnostic screening for cholesterol, 
blood sugar and liver function at the point of care. Health care 
providers can use the CLIA-waived Cholestech L-D-X System to 
initiate and monitor the progress of patient therapy. By 
providing effective disease management solutions, Cholestech's 
goal is to be a leading provider of tools and information for 
immediate risk assessment and therapeutic monitoring of heart 
disease -- the #1 killer of Americans.
(source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
In the current market environment, investors are looking for 
companies with strong earnings.  CTEC just announced this morning 
before the bell and the numbers were strong.  CTEC turned in 
fiscal year end with revenues of $47.4 million, an increase of 28 
percent over fiscal 2001.  Earnings per share for the year were 
$0.40 versus the previous year of $0.11.  The stock rallied 
strongly with a 6.4 percent gain and a close over resistance of 
$19.00.  Unfortunately for the bulls, the stock is still under 
overhead psychological resistance of $20.00 both on the daily and 
PnF charts.  What we like on the PnF chart is what appears to be 
a pattern of accumulation by managers as the stock builds on 
higher lows.  The breakout today looks very encouraging and most 
of the rallies during the last two months have been on strong 
volume indicating conviction.  Despite all of the bullish clues, 
we're still going to force bulls to show their determination with 
a move over the $20 level.  Our trigger to go long will be 
$20.05.  Once we are triggered we'll initiate a stop at $17.49 
but quickly adjust it higher as the play progresses.  Our initial 
target will be $23.25 but slightly longer-term traders might be 
able to get a move to $25.00.

Picked on April  Xth at $xx.xx 
Gain since picked:       +0.00
Earnings Date         04/24/02 (confirmed)
 




  -----------------
  New Bearish Plays
  -----------------

J.P. Morgan - JPM - close: 35.89 change: -0.71 stop: 38.01

Company Description:
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services 
firm with assets of $713 billion and operations in more than 50 
countries. With relationships with over 99% of the Fortune 1000 
companies, the firm is a leader in investment banking, asset 
management, private banking, private equity, custody and 
transaction services, retail and middle market financial 
services, and e-finance. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial 
Average, JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York and serves 
more than 30 million consumer customers and the world's most 
prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. 
(source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
Buying a case of bad news was the order of the day last week when 
shares of JPM rallied higher on their Q1 earnings report.  JPM 
posted an 18 percent drop in Q1 net profits claiming that 
investment losses, lower fees, problem loans and lack of M&A 
activity were to blame.  After all, what does the market expect 
from a company that previously had large exposure to Argentina, a 
huge loss on loans due to the bankrupt Enron and a less than 
inspiring stock market to deflate trading and merger activity.  
The latest news was word from JPM on another round of job cuts, 
this time for the investment banking division.  A senior exec 
claimed that JPM had too many bankers for too few clients.  We're 
beginning to wonder now if JPM might also be sucked into the 
growing storm over brokers and their analysts' recommendations.  
The stock price briefly rose over its 200-dma but in hindsight 
that is likely to be seen as a bull trap.  Shares have fallen 
this week and are back below the 200-dma and today's decline put 
shares below the $36 mark, which should have been support.  We 
glanced at the PnF chart, which has stopped dead at overhead 
bearish resistance.  However, compared to the daily chart, it 
looks like we have a rollover underway.  We do suspect there 
might be potential support at the 50-dma ($33.75) but our target 
price is between $32 and $30.  We will start the play with a stop 
loss at $38.01 and adjust it quickly as we see shares move in our 
favor.

Picked on April 24th at $35.89
Gain since picked:       +0.00
Earnings Date         04/17/02 (confirmed)
 



---

Merrill Lynch - MER - close: 44.65 change: -2.49 stop: 47.57

Company Description:
Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management 
and advisory companies, with offices in 38 countries and total 
client assets of approximately $1.4 trillion. As an investment 
bank, it is a leading global underwriter of debt and equity 
securities and strategic advisor to corporations, governments, 
institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch 
Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest 
managers of financial assets. (source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
The bad news bears are running hard after the brokerage group and 
MER is in the lead.  The last few weeks have brought plenty of 
unwanted attention to the leading brokerage as the NY Attorney 
General, Eliot Spitzer, has taken his fight public.  Whether you 
agree with Spitzer's tactics or his opponents' claims that he is 
merely looking for press attention, there is no denying his 
affect on the sector's performance.  With a handful of 
incriminating evidence, the NY AG is seeking to reform the 
broker/analysts world and many are speculating that his findings 
could lead to both civil and criminal charges being filed.  You 
can already see the class action suits lining up against MER and 
there are bound to be more.  Technically, the stock looks pretty 
depressing.  Shares have continued to fail at overhead 
resistance, drop lower, and then fail at new overhead resistance.  
The close today under the $45 mark looks like an opportunity to 
get short.  Although more conservative traders who check the PnF 
chart might want to wait for MER to trade under the $44 mark and 
produce that next bearish sell signal before going short.  We 
like how volume has been very strong on the declines and MER's 
stock price is suggesting it could easily trade to the $40 level.  
On top of it all, MWD came out today with bad news during the UBS 
Warburg Financial Services conference in New York.  MWD claims 
that its four biggest revenue generators: trading volume, 
volatility, primary activity and market direction have all fallen 
since the first quarter (source: CBSMW).  MWD also stated that it 
looks like things are going to be tough all around for the 
brokerage group giving buyers no reason to step forward and take 
positions.  We are going to start the play with a stop at one 
cent above today's high, which is also near MER's 10-dma at 
$47.57.  However, we'll probably adjust the stop lower pretty 
quickly if we get a couple of confirming closes below the $45 
level.

Picked on April 24th at $44.65
Gain since picked:       +0.00
Earnings Date         04/17/02 (confirmed)
 



---

Vivendi Universal - V - close: 33.35 change: -1.05 stop: 36.01

Company Description:
A consumer-focused, performance-driven and values-based global 
media and communications company, Vivendi Universal is positioned 
to be the world's preferred creator and provider of 
entertainment, education and personalized services to consumers 
anywhere, at any time, and across all distribution platforms and 
devices.  Combining the rich global and local content of its 
Music, Publishing and TV & Film units, the company leverages the 
strength of its market-leading brands and products through a 
broad array of state-of-the-art interactive distribution channels 
and platforms provided by its Telecommunications and Internet 
units. (source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
There has been plenty of news on Vivendi and its CEO, Jean 
Messier the last couple of weeks and shareholders and employees 
booed the company executive at today's annual meeting and 
earnings report.  Protestors are angry with how the CEO has 
communicated or failed to communicate V's strategy as well as his 
handling of some recent shake ups in top management.  The stock 
price has been in a very steady downtrend and there appears to be 
plenty of downside left.  We did not see any trading after hours 
but traders might want to wait and see how shares open tomorrow 
before committing capital.  Considering that large conglomerate 
media stocks are all sliding, we found it very interesting that 
when looking for V's earnings report tonight, all we could find 
were EBITDA numbers.  The company did show improvement in its 
revenues but we did not see what the net profits (or losses) 
were.  We did note that JPM downgraded the stock and lowered 
their price target while stating that they did not expect V to 
meet their 2002 estimates.  Regression channel fans will notice 
that if you take a regression channel from where the trend 
changed on January 2nd, you'll see that V has been slowly sliding 
down the top edge of its channel.  We feel that the stock is 
likely to fall and traders could capture a quick 10%, which would 
only be to the middle of the regression channel.  Very 
conservative traders could use a stop above today's or 
yesterday's high while we will use the recent resistance at $36 
as a buffer and place ours at $36.01.  Remember, it may be best 
to sit back and see how shares trade early on before considering 
a position.  

Picked on April 24th at $33.35
Gain since picked:       +0.00
Earnings Date         04/24/02 (confirmed)
 





==================================================================
High Risk / High Reward (HR) section
==================================================================

Stop Adjustments
----------------

Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 16.79 change: stop: 15.64 *new*

Shares of AMZN exploded today as Wall Street applauded the 
company's lower-than-expected Q1 loss and optimistic revenue 
forecast.  The 19.4 percent move came on volume of 33M shares, 
the second-highest reading of the year.  Obviously this move 
demands a stop adjustment.  We're going to move our stop to 
$15.64, just under the top of the gap from March 13th, which 
should be technical support.  With resistance directly overhead 
at $17 we wouldn't recommend entries at current levels, but 
aggressive traders could look for a bounce from $16.  We are 
going to consider exiting the play on moves to $18.00 to $19.00.  
Our new stop should protect a gain of about nine percent.  If 
you'd rather take gains tomorrow at the open, don't hesitate to 
do so if it fits your trading plan.






=================================================================
Split Trader Stock Splits (ST) section
=================================================================

Split Announcements
-------------------

Ryland builds a 2-for-1 stock split

After the bell today, The Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE: RYL) announced 
a 2-for-1 split of its common stock.

The split will come in the form of a stock dividend and will be 
distributed on May 30, 2002 to shareholders of record on May 15, 
2002.

This marks the first split since a 2:1 offering in 1986.  Like 
most homebuilding stocks, shares of RYL have risen dramatically 
since September.  The stock is currently trading near the top of 
its ascending channel and had recently broken over psychological 
resistance at $100.

Shares closed at $107.90 on Tuesday.  For a current quote,
click here:
http://user.financialcontent.com/pin1/quote.cgi?account=pin1&ticker=RYL


About the company
With headquarters in Southern California, Ryland is one of the 
nation's largest homebuilders and a leading mortgage-finance 
company. The Company currently operates in 21 markets across the 
country and has built more than 190,000 homes and financed over 
165,000 mortgages since its founding in 1967. (source: company 
press release)


-----


Investors Financial declares 2-for-1 stock split

Investors Financial Services Corp (NASDAQ: IFIN) announced today 
that its Board of Directors had given the green light on a 2-for-1 
stock split.

The split will come in the form of a 100% stock dividend and will 
be disbursed on June 14, 2002 to stockholders of record on May 24, 
2002.  

This will be the first split since a 2-for-1 offering in June 
2000.  IFIN has risen 65% since bottoming out in September, and in 
recent weeks has been consolidating under resistance at $77. 

Shares closed at $76.15 on Wednesday.  For a current quote,
click here:
http://user.financialcontent.com/pin1/quote.cgi?account=pin1&ticker=IFIN


About the company
Investors Financial Services Corp. provides services for a variety 
of financial asset managers such as mutual fund complexes, 
investment advisors, banks, and insurance companies
(source: company press release)



==================
  Trading Ideas
==================

This section contains stocks that meet criteria which may make
them of interest to long and short side traders.  These are not
recommendations, nor have they been reviewed by PremierInvestor
editors for investment potential.  However, each of them has
technical and fundamental characteristics that make them worthy
of further review by traders and investors looking for fresh ideas.
New stocks will appear daily following the market close.

--------------------------------- 
Value Plays With Bullish Signals 
--------------------------------- 
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change  

ASBC    Associated Banc-corp       40.13     +0.77
DSL     Downey Financial Corp      51.97     +1.12
SKX     Skechers USA Inc           23.84     +1.60
NCEN    New Century Financial      28.65     +0.67

--------------------------------------- 
Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20) 
--------------------------------------- 
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change 

BCE     BCE Inc                    17.54     +2.94
AMZN    Amazon.com                 16.79     +2.73
CKFR    Checkfree Corp             19.60     +2.76
HDWR    Headwaters Inc             17.83     +1.48
VWKS    Vitalworks Inc              7.49     +1.44
CTEC    Cholestech Corp            19.68     +1.19

--------------------------------------- 
Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20) 
--------------------------------------- 
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change 

GSK     Glaxosmithkline Plc ADR    48.32     +1.22
TSG     Sabre Holdings Corp        47.85     +1.37
MCO     Moody's Corp               42.38     +1.28
MGG     MGM Mirage Inc             40.96     +1.16
ITT     ITT Industries Inc         68.00     +2.40
BBI     Blockbuster Inc            26.95     +2.44
EXPE    Expedia Inc                80.56     +9.81

------------------------------------------- 
Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20) 
------------------------------------------- 
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change 

SC      Shell Transport & Trading  42.10     -1.55
MMC     Marsh & Mclennan Cos      104.08     -2.40
MER     Merrill Lynch & Co         44.65     -2.49
V       Vivendi Universal          33.35     -1.05
NSC     Norfolk Southern Corp      20.88     -2.10
CVG     Convergys Corp             27.52     -1.38

----------------------------------------- 
Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20)
------------------------------------------- 
Ticker  Company Name               Close     Change 

KSS     Kohl's Corp                73.56     -0.59
GAS     Nicor Inc                  47.42     -0.36
CLE     Claires Stores Inc         21.15     -0.60
LSS     Lone Star Technologies     25.60     -1.59



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