PremierInvestor.net Newsletter Monday 03-31-2003 section 1 of 2 Copyright ) 2003, 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: Floor Falls Out Watch List: CHIR, CYTC, DIA, PSFT, SANM, and more... Play of the Day: Breaking Down and Underperforming ****************************************************************** MARKET WRAP (view in courier font for table alignment) ****************************************************************** 03-31-2003 High Low Volume Advance/Decl DJIA 7992.13 - 153.64 8142.83 7929.31 1626 mln 362/1250 NASDAQ 1341.17 - 28.43 1357.00 1336.61 1530 mln 361/1155 S&P 100 429.13 - 8.81 437.94 427.29 totals 723/2405 S&P 500 848.18 - 15.32 863.50 843.68 RUS 2000 364.54 - 4.16 368.67 361.91 DJ TRANS 2131.21 - 31.99 2162.90 2106.34 VIX 33.37 + 1.19 34.37 32.35 VIXN 43.05 - 0.04 44.91 42.83 Put/Call Ratio 1.31 ****************************************************************** =========== Market Wrap =========== Floor Falls Out by Steve Price Back to business - or at least the lack of business. After another weekend in which the war dragged on with little signs of a quick end, investors refocused on the economy and showed their discontent by dropping out in droves. The morning started out with a big slide, which actually followed the weekend drift lower in the Asian markets. As of Sunday night the S&P futures were already down over 13 points and that drift continued into Monday morning. The drop finally broke the markets out of the consolidation and drifting they had seen over the past couple of weeks and tested some important areas of support. Chart of the Dow There were a number of factors leading to the morning dip, including bankruptcy talk from a couple of the largest U.S. companies. Altria (formerly Philip Morris) said it is "presently uncertain" whether it will be able to make the next $2.5 billion payment to state governments required by its 1998 tobacco settlement. The problem is a $12 billion bond the company must put up, in order to preserve its appeal of a judgment of that amount levied against it by an Illinois court last week. Standard & Poor's said it might lower its rating on the company's debt to junk status and that, "S&P believes that the company would be seriously challenged to raise the amount. In the event that the amount of the bond cannot be raised or reduced to a manageable amount, Standard & Poor's believes Philip Morris USA might have to consider bankruptcy as an option." The other big-whig faced with impending bankruptcy is American Airlines (AMR). AMR has been in wage concession talks with its unions that have yet to yield an agreement on a package that aims to save $1.8 billion on labor costs. The troubled airline lost $3.5 billion in 2002 and all airlines have seen bookings plummet since the start of the war - particularly on international routes. If this war continues to drag on, as it appears it will, the problem may only get worse. Insiders are saying that even if there is an agreement with the unions, bankruptcy may be the eventual result anyway. The company announced an agreement with its mechanics and flight attendants mid-day that gave the stock a boost, but has yet to conclude negotiations with its pilots. The company is also still trying to put together debtor-in-possession financing needed to continue operating in Chapter 11. If it does file, it would be the industry's largest, following filings by UAL and U.S. Air, which is set to emerge from bankruptcy today. Last week's University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report showed a big jump in confidence as soon as the war started. However, it appears that Americans have yet to show that confidence with their wallets. Last Monday, several retailers reported that sales were tracking below estimates, but the biggest of them all - Wal-Mart - said it had seen a minimal impact from shoppers sitting home watching the war on T.V. and that sales were still on track. The tune changed this morning as the company said its sales were now tracking toward the low end of its previously predicted range. It is expecting sales to rise by a low, single-digit percentage. Similar comments came from Nordstrom (JWN), which warned that its earnings would miss forecasts. Federated and J.C. Penney both said sales were weak and trending below projections for the month. Whether the reluctance to spend is due to the war or the worsening employment picture is not entirely clear, as both are assumed to go hand in hand. But the bottom line is that consumers aren't spending what was expected. One of the unknown factors that started out as a health story, but is beginning to have an economic impact, is a new disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It is beginning to affect the tourism industry in Asia, as well as travel worldwide and has now led economists to lower GDP forecasts for Hong Kong, which relies heavily on tourism. Salomon Smith Barney said the disease could slice 0.2%-0.9% from Hong Kong's economy this year, but in a worst case scenario where the disease goes on uncontested for months, it could be as much as a third. So far doctors identified the disease, which is pneumonia, as related to the virus that spreads the common cold; but they have been unable to do anything about it other than isolate and ventilate patients. If it continues to spread, the tourism industry across Asia could be affected for months and we may see further weakness overseas. Companies such as Intel, Motorola and Sony have already begun sending workers at overseas factories home after individuals at their locations came down with symptoms. The disease was one of the factors in driving the Nikkei back under 8000, along with prolonged war concerns that sent the FTSE, DAX and CAC lower as well. The Semiconductor Index (SOX) got hammered today, losing 4.4% following the release of data that shows a 3.3% sales decline in chips from January to February. The Semiconductor Industry Association released the numbers and the head of the organization said that the recovery of the past 15 months appears to have stalled. SIA president George Scalise said "The traditional seasonally flat first quarter has been further impacted this year by geopolitical uncertainty. Demand has softened in the markets that drove growth throughout the past year, including PCs, global wireless and consumer." On a quarter-over-quarter basis, there was a 20% decline in units in the microprocessor segment and Bear Stearns said it expects the slowdown to continue until late in the third quarter of 2003. The SOX made a run last week, eventually failing at its 200-ema, but has now given back 10% of its value in the past 6 sessions. This morning's Chicago PMI report, which reflects manufacturing data in the region and is generally a precursor to the nationally based ISM data showed an ugly picture for the sector. The expectation for the report was a mild 50.8, which equates to a slight expansion in manufacturing activity (the expansion/contraction line is 50.0). However, the report came in at 48.4, showing contraction in the region and the regional indices appear to be signaling a sub-50 reading in the ISM, which is due out tomorrow. The drop from 54.9 in February was the largest decline since March 2001 and the lowest reading since October. The production index fell from 62.4 to 49.1, for the largest one month decline since 1980 and the lowest level since December 2001, just a couple of months after the 9/11 attacks. The Dow dropped far enough to take out the 8000 level, trading all the way down to 7929 intraday. We did get a bounce back to the 8000 level, where we treaded water for much of the afternoon. However, if traders are wondering just how much effect the war news is having, they got more evidence that the answer is still "a lot" when news hit the wires that U.S. troops had taken control of oil fields in Kirkuk in Northern Iraq. Those fields contribute approximately 720,000 barrels of oil per day and the both the equity markets reflected the capture with a sudden rally late in the day However, the May Crude Oil Futures still reflected the ongoing war and the situation in Nigeria that is strangling that country's output, as well. As oil prices have risen, the equity markets have dropped. That relationship remains consistent, reflected by today's $1.11 per barrel gain in the futures back over $30 per barrel to $31.27. Gold futures also reflected global uncertainty, with a gain of $6 per ounce. Chart of Oil Futures The late day rebound after the oil field capture lifted all boats, but not before certain key levels were broken. In addition to the Dow breaking 8000, the SPX broke 850, the OEX broke below 430 and the COMP fell under 1350. Those levels were all retaken on the late day rally, but eventually failed after the news euphoria wore off. The rally of almost 100 Dow points reversed itself and headed back toward mid-day lows. The bond market may have given us an indication of why we got a bit of a bounce in the morning before the war news broke. The treasuries reached an important level this morning, one which led to a big reversal in November and December, triggering asset allocations and sending equities higher. A look at the charts of the five and ten-year yields shows that this morning's drop ended almost at the exact point where those reallocations were triggered previously. Traders will also note that the big rebound in the middle of March, while pegged for the start of war, actually coincided with the drop in yields to their October lows. The war may have been cited as the main impetus, but it is probably no coincidence that the bounce in equities came at the exact time yields hit those October lows. That tells bears to be careful now, as well, as we have again reached a pivotal level. Chart of Five and Ten Year Yields The percentage of stocks on the upswing according to the bullish percents is still in rebound mode and those indicators have been very reliable. While we saw a sea of red and few reasons to be bullish from the economic front, we do have the major indices and the treasuries sitting at pivotal levels. We also continue to see a news driven market, as this afternoon's bounce on the oil field news will attest. The breakdown from last week's consolidation looks bearish and is supported by economic data. However, we are trading in an unpredictable environment and any U.S. victory or failure overseas can move the markets out of whatever the trend happens to be at that moment. The CBOE put/call ratio is at an extreme 1.31, which can be seen as a bounce indicator, as well. Interestingly, though, the market volatility index does not reflect a large increase in downside fear. We have conflicting signals at pivotal levels and while things certainly look bearish for the moment, traders should be nimble and manage their positions knowing how quickly things can change. ================================================================== 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 --------------------------------- Chiron Corp. - CHIR - close: 37.50 change: -0.85 WHAT TO WATCH: This biotech stock suffered a 2.2% decline on Monday after shares fell through short-term support near $38.40. The next challenge for the bears is the converging 21-day, 50- day, and 200-day moving averages in the $37.10-$37.20 range. If that support region failed, CHIR would be in danger of retracing its sharp rebound from $34.00. Watch for a move below whole- number support at $37.00 to confirm a breakdown. Traders who follow the biotech index will note that the BTK.X is also approaching its 21-dma and 50-dma near 330. --- Cytyc Corp. - CYTC - close: 13.05 change: -0.06 WHAT TO WATCH: The market's latest downward leg hasn't had much of an impact on the healthcare sector. Both the HMO.X health provider index and RXH.X healthcare index actually moved to new relative highs on Monday. Meanwhile, the Dow and NASDAQ have already given back a large portion of their mid-March gains. Shares of Cytec, a manufacturer of medical diagnostic products, are also trading neat multi-month highs. On Friday the stock got a boost after it popped above resistance at $13.00. Shares moved back below that level this morning but quickly bounced back. What's particularly interesting about CYTC (in addition to its relative strength) is the lack of overhead resistance. There's a large fast-move region that was created by the sell-off from the $16-$17 region that occurred in June 2002. Short-term traders would probably want to target a test of bearish p-n-f resistance at $15.00. Confirm upside momentum with a break above Friday's high of $13.54. http://www.PremierInvestor.net/charts/chapsftrts.asp?symbol=CYTC --- Diamonds - DIA - close: 79.82 change: -1.75 WHAT TO WATCH: Growing pessimism surrounding the war in Iraq made it impossible for the market to maintain its huge mid-March gains. But now that the Dow has retraced roughly 50% of that rally, could another upward leg be in the cards? Today's failed afternoon bounce suggests that won't be the case. And from a strictly technical perspective, bulls should be concerned about the close below 8000. That level coincides with the 21-day and 50-day moving averages. A break under today's low ($79.38) might yield a shorting opportunity in the Diamonds. The Industrials have been trending lower for the past week (check out the 10- minute chart), so some traders might want to wait for a failed rally near either 8050 or 8100. --- Genzyme Corp. - GENZ - close: 36.45 change: -0.10 WHAT WATCH: GENZ is another possible play in the biotech group - but this is one for the bulls to watch. The stock only suffered a fractional loss today while the BTK.X biotech index moved lower by 2.2%. The daily chart shows that GENZ, in sharp contrast to the overall market, has done a good job of maintaining its mid- March gains. The $36.00 level has acted as a price magnet for nearly two weeks. Given the recent sideways consolidation, it's easy to imagine how Genzyme could break out to new highs if the BTK.X bounces from potential support at the converging 21-day and 50-day moving averages near 330. The weekly chart shows no major overhead resistance, and the point-and-figure chart is on a triple-top buy signal. Watch for a move above $38.00 to offer a potential action point. --- PeopleSoft - PSFT - close: 15.30 change: -0.34 WHAT TO WATCH: Weakness in PSFT has helped to push the GSO.X below short-term support near 102 and the 200-dma at 101.18. The stock's recent tendency to underperform the sector was on display on Monday as shares gave back 2.1%. Bears will now be watching for PSFT to fall below support at $15.00. In addition to creating a double-bottom sell signal on the point-and-figure chart, a move below that level would also put the stock in a large fast-move region that was created by the strong rebound from $12.00 in October. The recent bearish MACD crossover does not bode well for another bounce from the $15.00 region. http://www.PremierInvestor.net/charts/chapsftrts.asp?symbol=PSFT --- Sanmina-SCI - SANM - close: 4.04 change: -0.29 WHAT TO WATCH: SANM traced an interesting chat pattern over the past few months. The stock has trended higher from its February lows, with buyers consistently taking advantage of pullbacks to the 100-dma. On Monday SANM closed below that moving average (currently located at $4.10), and also finished under the 50-dma and 200-dma. That's a sign of trouble for the bulls. However, the multi-week trend of higher lows in still intact, and shares are holding above whole-number support at $4.00. Using a stop slightly below that level, aggressive traders could evaluate long positions if SANM moves above $4.16, which provided intraday resistance throughout today's session. http://www.PremierInvestor.net/charts/chapsftrts.asp?symbol=SANM --- Sony Corp. - SNE - close: 35.13 change: -1.63 WHAT TO WATCH: The U.S. Dollar (DX00Y) was hit with more selling in the currency market today as foreign investors moved their money into the Yen and Euro. This shift has been going on for more than a week, and it'll probably continue until there are some clear indications that the war in Iraq will come to a swift conclusion. The declining dollar will pressure exporters such as Toyota and Sony. And with the Nikkei-225 getting slammed for a 3.7% loss overnight, Sony's U.S. ADR never had a chance. The stock is threatening to take out its relative low at $34.85. Although some traders could use a break below that level as a shorting opportunity, the 2001 lows at $32.80 might limit short- term downside potential. Instead, we'd like to see another failed rally near the 21-dma ($36.78), just below the top of Sony's multi-week regression channel. A rollover from that region would offer a better risk/reward setup. http://www.PremierInvestor.net/charts/chapsftrts.asp?symbol=SNE --- Zimmer Holdings - ZMH - close: 48.63 change: -0.83 WHAT TO WATCH: ZMH has been bouncing around in the $48-$50 range without much regard to the broader market's recent downtrend. Shares are consolidating a powerful rally from the $44 region, which was sparked by Zimmer's March 14th upward earnings guidance. The daily stochastics (5,3,3) have had a chance to work off some steam and are beginning to reverse from the mid- level. That's a sign that a breakout to new all-time highs could be just around the corner. Long entries can be targeted on a move above $50.00. And on a related note, shares of competitor Stryker (SYK) are also trading in a narrow range just below their all-time highs. http://www.PremierInvestor.net/charts/chapsftrts.asp?symbol=ZMH =============== Play-of-the-Day (BEARISH non-tech play) =============== AT&T - T - close: 16.20 change: -0.58 stop: 17.36 Company Description: AT&T is among the premier voice, video and data communications companies in the world, serving businesses, consumers, and government. The company runs the largest, most sophisticated communications network in the U.S., backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs. A leading supplier of data, Internet and managed services for the public and private sectors, AT&T offers outsourcing and consulting to large businesses and government. (source: company press release) - ORIGINAL WRITE UP: March 14th, 2003 - Why We Like It: As Albert Einstein once pointed out, opportunity can often be found in the midst of great difficulty. That piece of wisdom applies particularly well to the recent trading in BBOX. Shares of the networking company lost roughly a third of their value on March 12th after Black Box reduced its fourth-quarter earnings expectations to 53-54 cents/share. Analysts, on average, had been expecting an EPS result of 74 cents. Explaining the shortfall, BBOX said "overcapacity in just about all vertical markets...continues to have an impact on our business." They also cited the continued war and terrorism concerns as reasons for the weakness, but of course that could be said for the entire economy in general. Investors were not pleased with these bearish comments regarding IT demand. BBOX gapped from $39.14 to $26.78 on extremely high volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock continued to decline and bottomed out at $25.58 during the following session. Things were looking awfully bleak as BBOX fell to multi-year lows, but the bears finally decided to call it quits when they were confronted with Thursday's broader market rally. Although there have been no fresh news developments for Black Box since last week's earnings warning, bargain-hunting and short covering have pushed BBOX sharply higher over the past two sessions. Obviously yesterday's market rally played a big factor in those gains. Shares continued to trade strong on Tuesday and outperformed the NASDAQ with a gain of 7.4%. That relative strength is a positive sign for the bulls. Point-and-figure chartists will also note that BBOX has reversed into a column of "X." And while a case could be made for some consolidation of the recent bounce from the $26.50 region, we feel the stock is poised to continue higher as it fills in the March 12th gap. An entire retracement of those losses would take BBOX to the $39-$40 area. This might be a realistic goal for longer-term traders. Because we have a shorter-term timeframe, our objective will be to capture a rally to our official exit target at $34.94, just below psychological resistance. The action trigger to enter this play is set at $30.86. Should we be triggered, we'll use a stop-loss at $28.69, five cents under today's low. Those looking for less downside risk might want to use a stop slightly below $29.50, which acted as a price magnet during the middle of today's session. - Last Update: March 28th, 2003 - Not much to report for AT&T. The stock continued to trade in a tight range on Friday, with weakness in the Dow preventing shares from making another run at resistance at $17.00. All this sideways action has created some coiling action on the 10-minute chart. For much of today's session shares moved with absolutely no direction, bouncing back and forth between $16.70 and $16.80 like a ping-pong ball. T showed some relative strength today with a fractional pullback, but that could change if further market weakness drags the stock out of its rangebound pattern. Conservative traders can continue to use a stop just above $17.03. We are not recommending that traders enter new short positions at this time. - Play-of-the-Day Comments: March 31st, 2003 - Well what do you know?! AT&T finally broke out of last week's trading range - and in the direction we had hoped it would. Shares of the telecom giant were hit with selling immediately after the opening bell as T made a beeline towards last Monday's low of $16.31. Bargain-hunters moved in near that level, only to see the stock fail on two occasions to move though the $16.50- $16.55 region. The final hour of trading saw T join the Dow Jones in a late-session sell-off. Shares finished just off the lows of the day and posted a loss of 3.4%, clearly underperforming the Industrials. The Dow is looking technically weak after closing below 8000. Further weakness would provide an ideal climate for AT&T bears. We're also pleased with the downturn in the stock's daily stochastics (5,3,3), and the rolling MACD. Aggressive traders can target new short entries if T continues to decline from current levels. Those looking for downside confirmation should wait for shares to move under the relative low of $15.75. Picked on March 21st at $16.48 Results since picked: +0.28 Earnings Date 04/24/03 (unconfirmed) ================================================================= 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 ) 2003 PremierInvestor.net. and The Premier Investor Network. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
PremierInvestor.net Newsletter Monday 03-31-2003 section 2 of 2 Copyright ) 2003, All rights reserved. Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited. The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment ================================================================= Stock Bottom / Active Trader Triggered Plays: ALK (bearish) 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 ---------------- Alaska Air Group - ALK - close: 15.66 change: -0.32 stop: 16.69 ALK gapped lower this morning, amid speculation that AMR would be headed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if its talks with labor representatives failed to produce a deal. Our short play was activated at the opening price of $15.58. Shares languished under $15.50 until 2:00 EST, when AMR announced that it had come to a tentative agreement with its mechanics' union. This development increases the chances that the company will be able to avoid a bankruptcy filing. The improving sector sentiment lifted ALK back to its short-term trend of lower highs. Tomorrow we'll be looking for shares to roll over from that trend and move under today's low of $15.28. New entries could be targeted on a break below that level. Our stop for this play is set at $16.69. ================== 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 CVH Coventry Health Care 32.90 +0.83 ATH Anthem Inc 66.25 +1.30 --------------------------------------- Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20) --------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change DIGE Digene Corp 16.54 +1.02 --------------------------------------- Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20) --------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change ACL Alcon Inc 41.02 +1.26 ODFL Old Dominion Freight 31.50 +1.48 ------------------------------------------- Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20) ------------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change MERQ Mercury Interactive Corp 29.68 -1.95 EBAY eBay Inc 85.31 -3.98 LTR Loews Corp 39.84 -1.41 RJR RJ Reynolds 32.26 -1.75 FISV Fiserv Inc 31.48 -1.11 NYT New York Times 43.15 -1.07 SNE Sony Corp 35.13 -1.63 KB Kookmin Bank 23.00 -1.90 ----------------------------------------- Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20) ------------------------------------------- Ticker Company Name Close Change ABT Abbott Labs 37.61 -0.60 CELG Celgene Corp 26.08 -1.02 RYAAY Ryanair Holdings 41.64 -1.32 CTAC 1-800 Contacts 20.25 -0.79 SI Siemens Aktkien 41.14 -1.14 ================================================================= 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 2003 PremierInvestor.net. and The Premier Investor Network. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
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