PremierInvestor.net Newsletter Wednesday 10-30-2002 section 1 of 2 Copyright ) 2002, All rights reserved. Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited. The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment ================================================================= In section one: Market Wrap: Looking Ahead Watch List: AGY, BAX, COL, CTAS, KLAC, RYL, and more... Play of the Day: Hazardous to Bulls' Health ****************************************************************** MARKET WRAP (view in courier font for table alignment) ****************************************************************** 10-30-2002 High Low Volume Advance/Decl DJIA 8427.41 + 58.47 8459.31 8307.42 1702 mln 1155/538 NASDAQ 1326.73 + 26.19 1334.63 1300.55 1089 mln 1377/251 S&P 100 452.60 + 3.74 455.20 446.69 totals 2532/789 S&P 500 890.71 + 8.56 895.28 879.19 RUS 2000 374.17 + 5.54 374.17 368.14 DJ TRANS 2277.25 + 29.02 2298.89 2246.63 VIX 36.08 - 0.72 37.67 35.76 VIXN 51.29 - 1.18 54.58 50.38 Put/Call Ratio .85 ****************************************************************** =========== Market Wrap =========== Looking Ahead by Steven Price There are slow days and there are excruciatingly slow days. This one was the latter. We got little momentum to trade, but we did get a look at previous support and resistance levels and some surprising action in a couple of sector indices. By the end of the day, most averages were positive, but there wasn't a lot of commitment in the numbers. It appears as though we are in a holding pattern ahead of Thursday and Friday's economic data, and next Wednesday's FOMC interest rate decision. As that economic data flows in, speculation will fly as to just how much the Fed will lower rates. The debate about whether or not rates will be lowered, has turned into a debate over whether it will be a 25 or 50 basis point move. Goldman Sachs indicated it is looking for a 50 basis point cut next week, while the consensus is for 25 points. This may simply be the firm backtracking to its August prediction of a 75 basis point cut by the end of the year. With only two meetings left before the end of 2002, it doesn't leave much time for that prediction to pan out. The FOMC meets November 6 and December 10. The Fed Funds futures are currently predicting a 25 basis point cut, as can be seen below. Chart of the Fed Funds Futures Another indicator of how far we've come and whether we will run out of steam here is the bullish percentage. Bullish percent measures the number of stocks in a particular index currently giving point and figure buy signals. While the bullish percents of the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 are currently in the middle of their ranges, the Dow and NDX have reached significant resistance points. The Dow has rebounded from a low of 4% to a current reading of 56%, just below its bearish resistance line. The last rebound stopped dead at this level, as evidenced by the previous column of "X". The fact that the Dow's recent rally became range bound, between 8200 and 8550, as the index hit its bearish resistance line, may not be entirely coincidental, as many institutions pay close attention to the bullish percentages. Chart of the Dow Bullish Percentage The Nasdaq 100, which includes some of the largest tech stocks in the market, has also run into bearish resistance on the bullish percentage chart. It rebounded from a low of 14%, to a current reading of 54% and is right below its bearish resistance line at 58%. Similarly to the Dow, it failed this level on the last attempt, shown in the previous column of "X". Chart of the NDX Bullish Percentage With consumer spending making up two thirds of GDP, we are heading into a crucial time of the year, as the holiday shopping season is around the corner. The market has been able to shake off bad news from the techs recently, and continue to hold up over Dow 8000 and Nasdaq 1300. However, if consumer spending drops off heading into the busiest time of the year for retailers, it will be hard to sustain the current rally. Yesterday's Consumer Confidence data, which missed expectations by about a thousand miles, sent the retail group lower, but wasn't enough to keep them down. Concrete evidence of that lack of confidence may now be appearing. This morning saw a downgrade of Wal-Mart (WMT) by Goldman Sachs, which took the stock off its recommended list and labeled it a "market performer." Goldman's analyst was concerned about same store sales comparisons heading into the holiday season and the fact that WMT has lowered its monthly growth expectations to 2-4%, from the usual 4-6% (something we've been pounding the table on recently in this space). WMT is the biggest of the big retialers and even Goldman says, "(T)he company is best positioned for current lackluster spending environment." However, it also commented on a "an increasing challenge coming up against these strong results in, if we are correct, a decelerating consumer-spending environment next year." If we continue to see a drop in consumer spending in 2003, then any recovery may be stretched back to 2004 at the earliest. What may also be significant is that the retail sector, as measured by the Retail Index (RLX.X), finally broke down through its 50-dma, after rebounding from that level on recent pullbacks. The RLX also has rounded off to its second lower low, including the second peak of a double top formation. Traders looking for shorts in the sector should now watch for intraday resistance under the 50-dma, as well as continued weakness from WMT. Chart of the Retail Index (RLX.X) The networking sector rallied on news from France's Alcatel, which said the company's cost-cutting plan is ahead of schedule. The company also said it has increased its cash position, soothing bankruptcy concerns. Alcatel still said sales dropped 17.2% and the bottom line was affected by higher than expected write-offs. The sales decline was worse than expected, but the company's comments about returning to profitability in 2003 helped boost the Networking Index more than 8% and Lucent almost 20% to $1.20. The semiconductors got mixed news, as Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) reported earnings after the bell on Tuesday that met expectations, but warned about poor visibility for its end users and a lack of long-term orders, as a result. Today, however, Microchip Technology (MCHP) said at the Prudential Technology Conference that it was raising its fiscal 2004 earnings guidance and revenue forecasts. That was the first time in a while that we have heard anything but the opposite from the sector and it seemed to underscore comments from IBM's CEO that the economy may have bottomed. The news was enough to get the Nasdaq rolling, as the COMP tacked on 26.19, to close at 1326.73. The Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) also rallied, and managed its first close over 300 since September 11. The Sox has pulled back and tested its 50-dma several times since breaking through on October 21, and continues to set higher highs and higher lows. It is difficult to believe in a sector that has had mostly bad news, with no prediction of a turnaround, until this morning. It is also a group that has posted a 41% gain since October 9, without any real positive fundamental news. Bulls can point out, however, that the run has come during the meat of earnings season and that the prior sell- off was based on earnings expectations that were far worse than what we got. I would certainly feel more comfortable if less than 90% of the companies reporting earnings in the sector had not made negative comments about business conditions in the near future. I have been looking for a ceiling on the sector for short plays, but have yet to see it, now that the SOX is back above 300. Chart of the SOX One report that did not receive much press in today's news was the Market Composite Index of Mortgage Loan Applications. The index can be seen as a leading indicator for housing, as applications are usually filed several weeks before purchases. The index showed a 19.3% decline in mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings for the week ending October 25. While housing has remained strong, this will be a sector to keep an eye on, as much of the economy has hinged on the housing market. Housing stocks have begun to sink, as mortgage rates have crept higher, and this data seems to confirm the effects are real. The Dow Jones Home Construction Index (DJUSHB) has rolled over and is once again testing support at the 300-level. Builders may be whistling a different tune soon, as seasonal changes and creeping rates combine to put a crimp in record home purchasing rates. Shorts in the sector are looking more attractive, but I'll wait for the DJUSHB to break below 300 to avoid a bounce. Chart of the DJUSHB The Dow and S&P continue to move sideways, as we await the flood of data this week. Tomorrow we will get initial jobless claims for last week. The consensus estimate is 400K, and this will be one of the main indicators the Fed will look at when assessing the health of the economy. A decrease in claims from the previous week's 389K may reduce the need to jump start the economy with the first rate cut in almost a year. However, it is more likely that any number over 400K will simply jump start speculation that the cut may be 50 basis points. The other big numbers tomorrow are 3rd quarter GDP, which is expected to reflect an annualized growth rate of 3.6%, and the Chicago PMI, expected to be 49.0. Anything below 50 reflects a contraction and would underscore the need for a rate drop. Friday's data includes nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, personal and construction spending, the ISM index (like the Chicago PMI expected to indicate contraction), construction spending and auto and truck sales. It will be interesting to watch the market action the next two days, in response to the economic data, as it may be counterintuitive to what we might expect. Poor economic data may send us higher, as it will raise expectations of a 50 basis point cut, while good economic data may send us lower. The SPX has yet to close over 900, and that should be the first sign for bulls that want to jump on the bandwagon. However, next Wednesday's FOMC announcement should shake out investors who are less than committed and next Thursday may be the first day of a longer term trend. ================================================================== 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 --------------------------------- Argosy Gaming - AGY - close: 20.33 change: +1.23 WHAT TO WATCH: Argosy announced earnings on Tuesday that beat Wall Street expectations by one cent. Broader market weakness kept the stock from rising on this news, but today's action was much more favorable for the bulls. Shares gained 6.4% and sliced through resistance at $20.00. Now that AGY has cleared this obstacle, shares might quickly ascend to the 50-dma at $23.35. The uptrending oscillators suggest that shares will see more buying in the near-term. A trade at $21.00 would create a double-top breakout on the p-n-f chart. --- Baxter Intl. - BAX - close: 25.12 change: -1.63 WHAT TO WATCH: Shares of BAX slipped to new multi-year lows today after the stock was hit with a downgrade from Morgan Stanley. The brokerage cut Baxter's rating from "equal-weight" to "underweight," based on long-term earnings concerns. With no underlying support, it looks like today's breakdown could send the stock plummeting towards the next level of psychological support at $20.00. Short positions can be targeted on a move below today's low ($24.07). A move under $24.00 will create a triple-bottom sell signal on the p-n-f chart. --- Rockwell Collins - COL - close: 23.26 change: +1.34 WHAT TO WATCH: COL staged a breakout on Wednesday after repeatedly butting its head against resistance at $23.00. Investors applauded the aerospace company's earnings report, which included an EPS that was two cents above consensus expectations. Rockwell also said rising sales and improving profit margins on its commercial products would lead to additional profit growth in 2003. COL gained 6.1% today and climbed above the 200-dma ($23.40) before pulling back slightly during the final hour of trading. Overall it looks like the breakout above resistance could lead to a test of the August highs near $26.00, but we'd want to see the stock trade above today's high ($23.60) before considering any long positions. --- Cintas Corp - CTAS - close: 47.61 change: -0.34 WHAT TO WATCH: Shares of this corporate and industrial uniform maker zipped higher in mid-October but weren't able to overcome resistance at $50.00. The stock has started to roll over from this level, with the 200-dma ($47.44) acting as support in recent days. The bearish oscillators and recent p-n-f reversal are indications that CTAS will continue lower in the short-term. A move below yesterday's low ($46.90) would present a potential entry point, with an initial profit-target near the 50-dma ($44.17). --- Expedia Inc. - EXPE - close: 68.90 change: +2.06 WHAT TO WATCH: Whoa...Can you say "overbought?" EXPE has gained about 80% over the past three weeks! The company reported strong earnings on October 23rd, but the stock simply looks overdue for some backing and filling to consolidate its gains. With shares approaching resistance at $70.00, bearish traders can watch for a rollover from current levels to provide an entry point. Glancing at the daily chart, it looks like shares could pull back to the 200-dma near $60.00. Today's relative strength suggests that EXPE may test the $70.00 mark before pulling back. --- KLA-Tencor - KLAC - close: 36.28 change: +1.73 WHAT TO WATCH: The SOX.X finally closed above 300 on Wednesday. The index is in the midst of a three-week uptrend, and the next upside target for bulls will be the 350 region. KLAC looks poised to trade higher if the chip sector continues its winning ways. Shares have broken above bar-chart resistance at $35.00 and point-and-figure resistance at $34.00. Today's rally came to a dead halt just above the 100-dma. Watch for a break above the intraday high ($36.71) to clear the way for move to $40.00. --- Retail HOLDRS - RTH - close: 75.96 change: -1.94 WHAT TO WATCH: The retail group showed remarkable resilience in the face of yesterday's awful consumer sentiment data. Although the lack of a sell-off was good news for the bulls, today's action was less encouraging. WMT led a widespread retail decline after the stock was targeted by a downgrade from Goldman Sachs. The reduced rating was merely a valuation call, but the overall sector saw heavy selling anyway. This pushed both the RLX.X retail index and RTH below their 50-day moving averages. The RTH bounced near support at $75.00, but the rolling oscillators are hinting at further downside. A breakdown below support could send shares tumbling towards the $70.00 area. --- Ryland Group - RYL - close: 40.14 change: -0.71 WHAT TO WATCH: There's been plenty of debate on Wall Street surrounding the homebuilding sector. Those who argue that the group has formed a bubble were given more ammunition today when the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its weekly gauge of new mortgage loan applications dropped by nearly 20%. This hefty decline provides evidence of the first cracks in the strong housing market. This could translate to a decline for homebuilding stocks. RYL looks like a particularly good way to short the sector, because shares don't have much support directly below the $40.00 area. The latest rally lost momentum at the 100-dma ($42.70), despite last week's strong earnings report. Bearish traders can evaluate entries on a move below $39.71. --- Weyerhaeuser - WY - close: 45.33 change: -0.84 WHAT TO WATCH: Take a gander at the daily chart for WY, and you'll see that shares are beginning to roll over from the multi- month descending trend of lower highs. This trend is reinforced by the 50-dma at $47.80. The stock has plenty of room to fall, having recently bounced from the 52-week lows near $38.00. The three-box p-n-f reversal, rolling MACD, and falling daily stochastics (5,3,3) offer technical encouragement for the bears. Short entries with a good risk/reward ratio could be targeted on a move below $44.90, with a stop just above the relative high at $48.35. ========================= Play-of-the-Day (BEARISH active trader/non-tech play) ========================= Phillip Morris - MO - close: 41.34 change: -0.71 stop: 44.11 Company Description: The Philip Morris family of companies, including Kraft Foods Inc. (Kraft), is the world's largest producer and marketer of consumer packaged goods. Philip Morris Companies Inc. recorded 2001 underlying net revenues of approximately $81 billion and owns 83.9% of the outstanding common shares of Kraft and is the largest shareholder, with an approximately 36% economic interest, in SABMiller plc. The Philip Morris family of companies also includes Philip Morris Incorporated (PM USA), Philip Morris International Inc. and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. (source: company press release) - ORIGINAL WRITE UP: October 28th, 2002 - Why We Like It: With MO leading the way, tobacco stocks rallied sharply in recent weeks. Shares of the Dow component moved higher after the company's October 17th earnings report, which included a solid increase in profits and sales. Net income rose by 87% on a year- over-year basis. But Big MO might not be out of the woods just yet. Continued economic worries have led some analysts to believe that the company will have to increase its promotional spending, and the recent $28 billion payout to a women with lung cancer in California certainly isn't a positive sign. Although this amount will most likely be drastically reduced in the appeals process, the prospect of more lawsuits could spook potential investors. (On a related note, a new study indicates that nicotine might actually have beneficial effects on the circulatory system. Far be it for us to second-guess medical experts, but isn't that like saying alcohol has beneficial effects on the liver? Color us skeptical. Somehow we doubt this news will have health-conscious consumers rushing out to buy cigarettes or nicotine patches.) All sarcasm aside, what really gets our blood pumping about MO is the way shares have begun to rollover from descending resistance on the daily chart. The recent rally petered out just below the 50-dma ($43.86), and it looks like today's 2.2% decline could be the start of more pronounced sell-off. This outlook is supported by the declining daily stochastics (5,3,3). Further selling action could also cause the MACD to rollover from just under the baseline. Overall it looks like MO could eventually move back to the $36.00 region. There's some possible resistance at $40.00, but we suspect this level will give way if the Dow Jones begins to fall out of its current sideways trading range. We're placing an entry trigger one cent under today's low, at $41.49. If activated, this play's stop will be placed at $44.11, two cents above the relative high. This is also above the 50-dma. Those who are more risk-averse could use a stop just above $43.00. - Most recent update: October 29th, 2002 - The Dow Industrials moved lower this morning after the bulls were spooked by the latest consumer sentiment data. MO was met with heavy selling shortly after the opening bell and quickly reached our entry trigger at $41.49. The stock bottomed out at $41.12 before rebounding with the Dow during the final 90 minutes of trading. Although shares finished with a gain, the technical picture remains bearish. Today's trading produced a lower low and a lower high, and MO has unable to trade above the longer- term downtrend. This leads us to believe that more weakness is on the horizon. New entries can be targeted on a move below $41.00, but be aware that shares may find support at $40.00. Our stop is located at $44.11, safely above the 50-dma. - Play-of-the-Day Comments: October 30th, 2002 - MO showed some promising relative weakness on Wednesday, as shares faded the Dow Jones and gave back 1.6%. The stock pegged a new relative low and continued to distance itself from both the 50-dma ($43.45) and the descending trendline near $42.00. We'd anticipate heavier selling if the Dow begins to head lower ahead of next week's election and FOMC meeting. Short entries can be targeted on a move below $41.00, although aggressive traders could consider shorting another failed rally at $42.00. The daily chart shows possible support at $40.00, but we're not expecting more than a small bounce from this level. Picked on October 29th at $41.49 Results since picked: +0.15 Earnings Date 10/17/02 (confirmed) ================================================================= To stop receiving this PremierInvestor.net Newsletter, send email to Contact Support ================================================================= DISCLAIMER ================================================================= 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 as an offer to buy or sell securities of any kind. The 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 been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. PremierInvestor.net staff makes every effort to provide timely information to its subscribers but cannot guarantee specific delivery times due to factors beyond our control. Please read our disclaimer at: http://www.optioninvestor.com/page/oin/aboutus/disclaimer.html ***************************************************************** ADVERTISING INFORMATION For more information on advertising in PremierInvestor.net Newsletter, or any Premier Investor Network newsletter please contact Contact Support. ***************************************************************** Copyright ) 2002 PremierInvestor.net. and The Premier Investor Network. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
PremierInvestor.net Newsletter Wednesday 10-30-2002 section 2 of 2 Copyright ) 2002, All rights reserved. Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited. The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment ================================================================= In section two: Stock Bottom / Active Trader Triggered Plays: HIG (bearish) Closed Bearish Plays: MLM 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) ================================================================== Stock Bottom / Active Trader (AT) section ================================================================== =============== AT Play Updates =============== Triggered Plays --------------- Hartford Fincl. - HIG - cls: 40.17 chg: -4.23 stop: 42.26 *new* The recent flood of negative news for HIG worsened on Wednesday morning when the stock was downgraded by no less than three brokerages. UBS Warburg and Prudential cut HIG to a "hold," while Lehman reduced its rating from "overweight" to "equal- weight." Obviously Wall Street is not pleased with the company's asbestos-related problems and recent downward earnings guidance. HIG gapped lower on the downgrades and opened well below our trigger. This play was activated at the opening trade of $42.00. Because of our lower-than-expected entry, we've lowered our stop to $42.26. We've also set an official exit price just above the October lows, at $37.51. We'll close this play if shares trade at or below that level. We would not advise taking new positions at this time. =============== AT Closed Plays =============== -------------------- Closed Bearish Plays -------------------- Martin Marietta - MLM - cls: 27.58 chg: -0.13 stop: 28.51 MLM traded in a mostly directionless fashion on Wednesday, prior to tomorrow morning's earnings announcement. The stock stayed under resistance at $28.00 for the entire session and finished with a small loss. As per our exit strategy discussed in last night's update, this play was dropped at today's closing price ($27.58). This represents a gain of 41 cents from our entry point. Overall we think MLM has more downside potential, and we'll be watching to see how the stock behaves after the earnings report. We'd consider another short play if shares resume their downtrend after the dust settles. Picked on October 28th at $27.99 Results since picked: +0.41 Earnings Date 10/31/02 (confirmed) ================= 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 ESS Essex Property 47.95 +0.65 BGG Briggs & Stratton 38.92 +0.65 UCO Universal Compression 18.75 +1.10 FTO Frontier Oil 14.50 +1.40 OLOG Offshore Logistics 21.10 +0.92 TTEK Tetra Tech 8.70 +0.51 SWC Stillwater Mining 7.98 +1.08 --------------------------------------- Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20) --------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change CREE Cree Incorporated 18.27 +1.76 NDC NDC Health 17.33 +1.54 IDCC Interdigital Comm. 13.17 +1.58 ALA Alcatel 5.11 +1.26 NET Network Associates 16.11 +1.46 BORL Borland Software 12.50 +1.16 UTEK Ultratech Stepper 9.09 +1.31 RTEC Rudolph Technologies 17.31 +1.71 --------------------------------------- Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20) --------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change ACL Alcon Inc 40.20 +1.20 MXIM Maxim Integrated 32.72 +3.29 CLE Claires Stores 25.80 +1.15 AGY Agrosy Gaming 20.33 +1.23 AME Ametek Inc 35.61 +1.94 INTL Inter-Tel Inc 26.50 +2.75 COCO Corinthian Colleges 39.72 +5.52 ------------------------------------------- Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20) ------------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change WMT Wal-Mart Stores 53.80 -2.67 CECO Career Education Corp 42.69 -1.43 BN Banta Corp 31.37 -1.48 XL XL Capital 74.00 -3.65 ACE Ace Ltd. 32.34 -1.06 BAX Baxter Intl. 25.12 -1.63 ----------------------------------------- Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20) ------------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change BOW Bowater Inc 32.60 -3.70 FDS Factset Research Sys. 27.65 -0.65 CFR Cullen Frost Bankers 34.25 -0.30 VLI Valero Lp. 35.80 -1.13 STGS Stage Stores 20.90 -0.61 ================================================================= To stop receiving this PremierInvestor.net Newsletter, send email to Contact Support ================================================================= DISCLAIMER ================================================================= 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 as an offer to buy or sell securities of any kind. The 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 been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. PremierInvestor.net staff makes every effort to provide timely information to its subscribers but cannot guarantee specific delivery times due to factors beyond our control. Please read our disclaimer at: http://www.optioninvestor.com/page/oin/aboutus/disclaimer.html ***************************************************************** ADVERTISING INFORMATION For more information on advertising in PremierInvestor.net Newsletter, or any Premier Investor Network newsletter please contact Contact Support. ***************************************************************** Copyright ) 2002 PremierInvestor.net. and The Premier Investor Network. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
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